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A Taste of Italy: Emilia Romagna

  • 4.2


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  • 6 nights | 32 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 2
  • Self-guided from: €1120
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Tour Type: Guided Self-guided

Tour description

On this fabulous 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!

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

Daily Program

This tour starts on Mondays to allow you to have the full benefit of all possible attractions and excursions. Starting on other days may be possible; please inquire. Note that all optional services are bookable and priced on the Dates and Prices section.

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 may be booked for a surcharge.
Overnight in Bologna

Day 2: Bologna Loop (16-28 miles/25-45 km)
Learn a few secrets from local artisans this morning at a special cooking demonstration (must be booked in advance; cost not included in tour package price). You'll have time in the afternoon for a short loop ride that takes you on the hills south of Bologna, where Partisans were fighting during the Second World War.
Overnight in Bologna

Day 3: Bologna – Modena (39 miles/62 km)
Taste the history of gelato at the Carpigiani Gelato Museum (must be booked in advance; cost not included in tour package price) before enjoying great views along the hills. A rails-to-trails bike path will lead you out to the fortress town of Bazzano, before heading to Modena. Don't miss a visit to the historic center of this city.
Overnight in Modena

Day 4: Modena – Reggio Emilia countryside (32 miles/51 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.

Another culinary mystery is unveiled today as you stop at an "acetaia," a traditional balsamic vinegar factory to learn how leftover grapes are transformed into the sweet rich vinegar that can sometimes be worth hundreds of dollars (must be booked in advance; cost not included in tour package price). Tradition is beautifully preserved here as the historic methods of production are still in use. You'll continue on along back roads to reach your agriturismo, a country house hotel with a working farm, where you'll stay tonight. Dinner may be booked for a surcharge.
Overnight in Reggio Emilia

Day 5: Reggio Emilia – Parma (39 miles/62 km)
Get up early to observe the artistry of a working Parmesan cheese maker on your way out this morning (must be booked in advance; cost not included in tour package price). You'll ride along bike paths following an old railroad. Your destination is a city where your taste buds will not be disappointed. It is, however, a city where the arts flourished also outside of the kitchen: Parmigianino, Corregio, and Giuseppe Verdi are some of the most famous citizens. Enjoy time in the historic center and delight your palate with Parma's signature cured ham (prosciutto crudo) and Parmesan cheese, eaten as an aperitivo or perhaps sprinkled on homemade pasta dishes. Dinner may be booked for a surcharge.
Overnight in Parma

Day 6: 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 salame--taste them in this historic setting!
Overnight in Parma

Day 7: 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!

Route map

Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route. Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.


Mondays*: Mar 1-Nov 30, 2019 (*other start days are possible, except Thursdays or Fridays; beginning the tour on other days may mean some optional activities may not be available)


Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
Solo traveler surcharge (1 person in party), payable in addition to the single room surcharge
Dinner in Bologna, drinks not included (per person)
Cooking class in Bologna (per person, based on 2 people)
Gelato Museum, entrance and tasting (per person; closed on Sunday and Monday)
Visit to Balsamic vinegar producer (per person)
Dinner at Agriturismo (per person), drinks not included
Visit to Parmesan cheese maker (per group, up to 10 people)
Dinner in Parma, drinks not included (per person)
Aperitif in Parma (per person)
Support van and driver (per group, up to 8 people)
Cycling guide (per group, does not include support vehicle)
Bike Rentals
Electrically assisted bike
Extra Nights, Bologna
Per person, double occupancy
Extra Nights, Parma
Per person, double occupancy
Per vehicle (1-4 persons), hotel in Parma to Bologna airport
Per vehicle (5-8 persons), hotel in Parma to Bologna airport
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

CycleEurope Terms and Conditions

Changes to current itineraries or custom SG tours may incur modified Terms and Conditions which will be communicated at the time of reservation. Additionally a change fee of 150 Euros will be incurred for any modifications to the itinerary.

The tour price is based on double occupancy and includes the services specified in the itinerary plus optional activities listed.  The price does not include services and meals not listed specifically in the itinerary, passports, or other travel documents, air or other transportation to and from the tour start and ending points (unless otherwise stated in the tour itinerary), visas, vaccinations where required, or personal expenses such as laundry, medical insurance, and communications.

Cancellation & Refunds: We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance.  All cancellations must be received in writing or via confirmed e-mail.  The following table explains cancellation fees for tours:

Days before Departure Cancellation fee per participant
91 or more 100 Euros
91-61 400 Euros
60-31 400 Euros + 50% of final payment
30-1 100% of the tour price

No refunds are possible after the tour begins.  Refunds take 2-4 weeks to process from the date written cancellation is received.  We reserve the right to cancel a rental prior to departure for any reason, in which case a full refund will be made.

  1. The booking and its associated services shall constitute consent to all provisions listed under the tour operator herein. These provisions are hereby incorporated by reference in this RESPONSIBILITY notice, and participants are advised to take notice.
  2. The tour operator are the principal bicycle rent operator for these rentals and is responsible to the participants for all rental arrangements and for all services offered.
  3. The tour operator, its agents, servants and employees shall not be responsible for personal injuries or property damage, loss or delay, or change of itinerary incurred by any person or renter arising out of the act of negligence of any direct or supplemental carrier, or other person rendering any of these services, nor shall the tour operator be responsible for any injuries, death, damage, loss or delay in any means of transportation or by reasons of any event beyond the actual control of the tour operator, or of any agent or supplier, or due to force majeure. Renters use the bicycles at their own risk and agree not to hold the tour operator responsible for injury or death resulting from accidents.
  4. Bicycles provided for rent are in satisfactory operating condition and participants agree to use them at their own risk or call deficiencies to the immediate attention of the tour operator employee giving them the bicycles. Instruction in the use of bicycles will not be provided and participants affirm that they are familiar with the use of a multi-speed bicycle.
  5. The tour operator reserve the right to substitute bicycles with comparable bicycles if necessary. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a renter due to circumstances beyond the control of the tour operator
  6. Bicycle renters accept the following conditions:
  1. Bicycle renters are required to wear a helmet while cycling.
  2. Renters understand that bicycles are rented without safety devices such as lights (and so can only be ridden from sunrise to sunset) and bells (and so must use other auditory signals while bicycling).
  3. Renters agree to abide by all national rules of the road while using the bicycle/s, including the new laws forbidding cycling while under the influence of alcohol and cycling while using a cellular phone. Renters are responsible for paying for any infraction of the Italian rules of the road, including any costs resulting from impoundment and subsequent retrieval of the bicycle/s.

Modified September 16, 2009

All photos used by permission. ©CycleEurope


Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 3
  • 4 Star 1
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 1
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall


  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3
  • Value 4
  • Included meals 4.4
  • Bikes & equipment 4.2
  • Hotels or boat 4.4
  • Scenery 4.2
  • Ease of navigation 3
  • Tour documents 4.2
  • Local tour company services 4.8
  • Route selection 3.6


MarkE November 13, 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.

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.

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.

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

Responses from Biketours.com

Lindsay Nash January 20, 2019
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