4.3/5 (6)
7 nights | 32 miles/day
Self guided from EUR € 1045
Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours
4.3/5 (6)

7 nights | 32 miles/day
Self guided from EUR € 1045

Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • A Taste of Italy

    7 night self guided bike tour in Italy

    On this best-selling bicycle tour, you'll ride through Italy's premier pasta region. Every meal will include extraordinary local dishes made according to tradition. Every day of pedaling will not only take you on behind-the-scenes visits of parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar but also to ancient castles and world heritage UNESCO sites. Here, history, art, culture, and tradition conspire to make this tour unforgettable!

    Note: This tour starts on Sundays. Other start days may be possible with a surcharge. If you start this tour on a day other than Sunday some of the optional services may not be available due to businesses being closed.

    There is also a shorter version available(4-night/5-day). Please inquire for more details.

    It is possible to book this tour with van support and/or a guide. These prices are listed in the Dates and Prices section.

    Highlights

    • Balsamic vinegar cellar
    • Parma famous cured ham
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Bologna and mortadella
    • Castle of Torrechiara
    • Modena
    • Gelato Museum and tasting

    Learn More

    Learn about our self-guided tours or see more bike tours in Italy.

  • Traveler photos

    • the central square in Parma (photo by TomS)
    • the first stage of Parmesan cheesemaking (photo by TomS)
    • at the Parmesan cheese factory (photo by TomS)
    • our hosts at the traditional balsamic vinegar producers (photo by TomS)
    • True Parmesan Cheese (photo by DeniseCS)
    • Castello Torrechiara (photo by DeniseCS)
    • The Beautiful Dining Room at La Razza Agritourismo (photo by DeniseCS)
    • Reggio Emilia (photo by DeniseCS)
  • Daily program

    This tour starts on Sundays to allow you to have the full benefit of all possible attractions and excursions. Starting on other days may be possible for a surcharge. If you start this tour on a day other than Sunday, some of the optional services may not be available due to businesses being closed.

    Day 1: Arrive in Bologna
    Arrive in Bologna and meet us for bike fitting and briefing. Bologna today is Emilia Romagna's administrative capital and, arguably, its culinary capital too. Home to the oldest continually operating university in the world, Bologna has a long tradition of studies, arts, and gastronomy. Speaking of gastronomy, Bologna gave birth to the mortadella, vulgarly distorted abroad as "bologna," although the fresh, artisanal mortadella has nothing to do with processed ham! Make sure you put this culinary delight on your 'must try' list! Dinner at a local trattoria may be booked in advance as part of the optional dinner package.
    Overnight in Bologna

    Day 2: Bologna – Modena (34 miles/55 km)
    After meeting our staff this morning at your for a tour briefing and bike fitting, you are ready to go! Leave Bologna on its city bike paths to get to the first hills where great views reward you after a short climb. A rails-to-trails bike path leads you out to the fortress town of Bazzano, before heading to Modena. Don't forget to visit the historic town center of this city with the marble covered cathedral and its Ghirlandina bell tower. Dinner may be booked as part of the optional dinner package.
    Overnight in Modena

    Day 3: Bologna – Castelvetro loop ride (37 miles/60 km)
    Take time to explore Modena today by climbing up the bell tower or visiting the Palace of the Duchy. Alternatively, enjoy a ride to the foothills of the Apennines along quiet roads and bicycle lanes. Visit the picturesque town of Castelvetro with its fortified historical center and balsamic vinegar production. If you are a car fan, Modena is the home of Ferrari and other historical brands so there are museums and exhibitions you can indulge in!
    Overnight in Modena

    Day 4: Reggio Emilia countryside (29 miles/47 km)
    Before heading out of Modena with your bicycle, we suggest a visit to the local covered market that has been selling local products since the Middle Ages: fruits and vegetables, but also gourmet selections of Lambrusco wine, Amaretti cookies, truffles, cheese and Prosciutto, and of course traditional balsamic vinegar.

    With your senses alight by the sounds, sights and smells, you will visit the lovely Acetaia Cavalli estate, where the family has been producing the highest quality balsamic for over a hundred years.
    An easy ride today will lead you along back roads to tonight’s very special stay - an agriturismo country house hotel with a working farm, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar production, vineyards and winery, and more, within a wonderful natural setting.
    Dinner may be booked as part of the optional dinner package.
    Overnight in Reggio Emilia

    Day 5: Reggio Emilia loop ride on the hills (12-36 miles/20-58 km)
    Head for the hills today on a ride to Canossa Castle ruins, where the Holy Roman Empire Emperor Henry 5th had to show penance to the Pope, waiting in the snow barefoot at the gate of Matilda's Castle for 3 days before Matilda, countess of Canossa, convinced the Pope to open. Alternatively follow the bike path to Reggio Emilia for a visit of this bustling, pretty town.
    Overnight in Reggio Emilia

    Day 6: Reggio Emilia – Parma (34 miles/54 km)
    You'll start the morning with a visit of the parmesan factory at your Agriturismo. Paolo the friendly owner and manager of the La Razza establishment will guide you through a truly wonderful experience, learning why Parmiggiano-Reggiano is known as "the king of cheeses".

    With your senses awakened, you are ready for today's destination - yet another place where your taste buds will not be disappointed, Parma! Famous for its culinary traditions, the arts also flourished outside of the kitchen in this lovely, stately city: Parmigianino, Correggio, and Giuseppe Verdi are some of its most famous citizens, and their influence are present to this day. The city is still an important cultural and artistic center. Explore and enjoy the historic center, and delight your palate with Parma's signature cured ham (prosciutto crudo) and Parmesan cheese, eaten as an aperitivo or sprinkled on homemade pasta dishes. No place better to do this than from a table in a piazza! Aperitif and dinner in Parma may be booked in advance as part of the optional dinner package
    Overnight in Parma

    Day 7: Loop ride to Torrechiara Castle (30 miles/48 km)
    Get ready for your last day of bicycling amidst ancient castles and local traditions! Today's ride will loop to the breath-taking castle of Torrechiara. Dominating the Val Parma, the castle was constructed between 1448 and 1460, devised as an instrument of defense as well as a distinguished home for the count and his lover. This area is famous for its cured prosciutto and local salami--taste them in this historic setting! Enjoy time in the historic center and delight your palate with Parma's signature cured ham (prosciutto crudo) and Parmesan cheese, eaten as an aperitif or perhaps sprinkled on homemade pasta dishes.
    Overnight in Parma

    Day 8: Departure
    Your cycling tour ends in Parma. Now with a refined palate, shop well and take some recipes home to try in your own kitchen!

    There is also a shorter version available(4-night/5-day). Please inquire for more details.

    Surface and terrain

    This tour features relatively short daily distances on non-hilly terrain. You cycle on roads and dedicated bicycle paths.


    Hotels

    These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.

    Hotel Touring Via De' Mattuiani, Bologna
    www.hoteltouring.it

    Hotel Canalgrande, Modena
    www.canalgrangehotel.it

    Agriturismo La Razza Via Monterampino, Canali di Reggio
    www.larazza.it

    Hotel Button Borgo della Salina, Parma
    www.hotelbutton.it

    Local hotel taxes are not included and are to be paid directly to each hotel (approximately €1-5 per person/night). Hotel upgrades are possible; please inquire for pricing.

    Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.


    How to get there

    Tour start
    Nearest airport and train station: Bologna (BLQ), Italy

    Tour end
    Nearest airport: Bologna (BLQ), Italy
    Nearest train station: Parma, Italy

    Tips on getting to and from your tour

  • Dates

    Sundays: Mar 1-Oct 31, 2022 (other start days are possible for an additional fee)

    Low season: Mar 01, 2022 - Aug 31, 2022, Oct 01, 2022 - Oct 31, 2022

    High season: May 01, 2022 - Jun 30, 2022, Sep 01, 2022 - Oct 31, 2022

    Interested in 2023 dates? Contact us for more information.

    Prices

    Tour package

    Per person, double occupancy € 1045
    High season surcharge € 100
    Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room) € 290
    Optional dinner package (4 dinners) € 120
    Non-Sunday tour start € 100
    Artisan food producer visits € 15
    Cooking class in Bologna (per person, based on 2 people) € 80
    Support van and driver (per group, up to 8 people) € 3220
    Cycling guide (per group, does not include support vehicle) € 2810
    Aperitif in Parma € 15
    Solo traveler surcharge (1 person in party) € 505

    Bike Rentals

    Aluminum hybrid bike € 120
    Titanium hybrid bike € 160
    Titanium road bike € 160
    Electrically assisted bike € 240

    Extra Nights, Bologna

    Per person, double occupancy € 170

    Extra Nights, Parma

    Per person, double occupancy € 130

    Transfer

    Per vehicle (1-3 persons), hotel in Parma to Bologna airport € 160
    Per vehicle (1-3 persons), Bologna airport to Bologna hotel € 40

    Included services

    • 7 nights in 3- or 4-star hotels
    • 7 breakfasts
    • Detailed route descriptions, roadbook, and map
    • GPS with preloaded tracks
    • Luggage transfers
    • Welcome briefing and bike fitting with local, English-speaking professional staff

    Local hotel taxes are not included and are to be paid directly to each hotel (approximately €1-5 per person/night).

    NOTE: If you start this tour on a day other than Sunday, some of the optional services may not be available due to businesses being closed.

    You may book these optional services for this tour.

    The "Optional dinner package" service includes:

    • Dinner in Bologna (Day 1--drinks excluded)
    • Dinner in Modena(Day 2--drinks excluded)
    • Dinner at the Agriturismo (Day 4--drinks excluded)
    • Aperitif and dinner in Parma (Day 6--aperitif includes 1 glass of wine and a platter of Parma ham serviced with local bread. Dinner does not include drinks.)
    • Each dinner consists of a 3-course set menu or a multiple choice menu

    The "Cooking class" service (Day 1 in Bologna) includes approximately 3 hours helping prepare a multi-course meal followed by enjoying the meal. Water and 1 bottle of house wine per every 3 people are included.

    If you book the optional dinner package and the cooking class, you can change the cooking class to Modena or Parma instead.


    Bike rentals

    Bikes available to rent on this tour (reserved in advance at the time of booking):

    • High-quality titanium hybrid bicycle
    • High-quality titanium racing bicycle
    • Electrically assisted bikes (upon request)
    • Tandem bikes (upon request)
    • Children's bikes (upon request)

    *More about electrically-assisted bikes >

    Note: premium bike upgrades and ebikes are subject to availability in September.

    Equipment included at no extra cost:

    • Water bottle cage with water bottle
    • GPS with preloaded tracks
    • Lock
    • Rear rack and bag
    • Spare tube, repair kit, mini-tool kit, and small pump
    • Cycle computer
    • Small bell
    • Map holder
    • Helmet rental (upon request)
    • Gel seat cover (upon request)
    • Kick stand (upon request)
    • Mud guard (upon request)

    Equipment available for an extra cost:

    • Panniers
    • Helmet purchase

    Pedals:
    The bikes will have flat pedals with optional toe cages. If you bring your own pedals, be sure to bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

    Helmets:
    Helmets are available on this tour. However, we recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.


    Tour Company

    • csilva September 30, 2019

      Best Bike Tour even 3 plus years passed

      Best way to see the most underrated area of Italy!

      What was the date of your tour?
      11/2016
      How many tours have you completed?
      3
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
    • MarkE November 12, 2018

      Great 1st self guided tour - mixing cycling and culinary experiences

      Mostly flat terrain so easy riding at moderate pace which allowed plenty of time for stops, photos etc. Each of the towns had unique architecture/character. Great selection of hotels in the old town sections. All meals excellent whether part of package or self selected. A little challenging following directions out and back into towns in order to avoid major roads. Each of the tours very educational (and tasty) - we learned so much.

      What was the date of your tour?
      10/13/18
      How many tours have you completed?
      1
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat easier
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 4/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 3/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 4/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
    • TomS June 18, 2018

      the combination of biking and food was excellent

      This was our third time out with biketours and each has been unique and fun. The Taste of Italy was well-named. Stops to see the production of parmesan cheese, gelato, and especially balsamic vinegar were terrific. Loved the cooking class! Level of difficulty was not bad--although some of the hills on the first day required us to dismount. The night at the Agritourismo was memorable.

      What was the date of your tour?
      June 3
      How many tours have you completed?
      3
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • the central square in Parma (photo by TomS)
      • the first stage of Parmesan cheesemaking (photo by TomS)
      • at the Parmesan cheese factory (photo by TomS)
      • our hosts at the traditional balsamic vinegar producers (photo by TomS)
      • 4/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 3/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
    • DeniseCS October 19, 2017

      By Far, the Best Bicycle Tour Ever

      We encourage any cyclist with a spirit of adventure to take this tour. We call it a self-guided tour with training wheels! We have used other companies (Back Roads, VBT) but by far BikeTours.com and the local tour company (CycleEurope) was the best experience we ever had.

      Even though this is a self-guided tour, the local representative, Giovanni, spent over two hours with us at the inception, going over every detail. They provided us with a huge binder with everything needed: maps, written instructions; points of interest; restaurant recommendations; info on each city we visited.

      Their titanium framed bikes looked brand new and were maintained beautifully.

      Giovanni informed and reassured us that if we had any trouble along the way, he could reach us within two hours maximum wherever we were.

      Do take advantage of their provided GPS. It was the first time we used one on a bike and it was a blast.

      The hotels were all 5 Star and our suites in Modena and Reggio Emilia were incredible. The cooking class included with Manuel was one of the best experiences. We learned so much and will use our new cooking skills at home. The included dinners were at top restaurants in that particular city and the food and staff were phenomenal. The included meal at the Agritourismo was one of the best we have ever had. The steak was truly the best beef we ever ate. The owner, Paolo and his wife Cecelia treated us like family.

      Please do not miss this experience. The staff at BikeTours.com will make your self-guided tours the most fabulous trip of a lifetime.

      What was the date of your tour?
      9/22/17 to 10/1/17
      How many tours have you completed?
      9
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with young kids, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • True Parmesan Cheese (photo by DeniseCS)
      • Castello Torrechiara (photo by DeniseCS)
      • The Beautiful Dining Room at La Razza Agritourismo (photo by DeniseCS)
      • Reggio Emilia (photo by DeniseCS)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
    • Chloe March 31, 2017

      A Taste of Italy

      What was the date of your tour?
      3/9-3/16
      How many tours have you completed?
      2
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 4/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 3/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 3/5 Route selection
    • kirbymom October 19, 2016

      Great Effort but we were frequently lost

      We had titanium bikes and a very intro. Unfortunately we were lost so often that instead of enjoying time at q location, we were biking around asking locals and using our compass. I think Bike Tour tried too hard to use route with less traffic or a bicycle trail. This made it very hard to get in and out of cities. We had both a bike gps with the routes inputted and the written instructions. Just give us the most direct route out of the cities.
      The hotels were nice and mostly well located. Sometimes they weren't well located like the one on the farm. We very much enjoyed the cooking class, the visit to the balsamic vinegar producer, and the gelato machine making -- that ws great. Also the dinners and breakfasts were very good to excellent.
      I would recommend this tour IF the routes were adjusted and the visit to the farm was eliminated

      What was the date of your tour?
      10-4-16
      How many tours have you completed?
      thousands of miles w/o guides
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Do you recommend this tour?
      No
      • BikeTours.com staff reply from Lindsay Nash October 20, 2016

        Hi, thanks very much for sharing your experience! We're so glad to hear that the cooking class, hotels, and food experience on this tour was wonderful. However, we're sorry to hear of your problems with the directions and route. We'll share your feedback with the local tour operator and work together to make sure this experience is improved. Thank you again for your review and for helping us share in the joy of bicycle touring!
        Kind regards,
        Lindsay

      • 3/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 1/5 Ease of navigation
      • 3/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 2/5 Route selection