Lombardia Mountains-Franciacorta (Italy)

Salo, Ponte Di Legno, Prato Allo Stelvio, Ome, Brescia, Verona

Description

Enjoy the mountains, the vineyards and the romantic history the Lombardia and Franciacorta regions. You will experience the excitement of the Opera in the Verona Arena or the thrill of conquering the legendary passo Stelvio and passo Gavia all the while staying in beautiful hotels in truly iconic locations. If you want to experience the rich culture and history of Italy, then this is a must do tour.

2017 Dates

September 2 – 9, 2017 | 7 nights | Closed for Bookings

2018 Dates

June 9 – June 16, 2018 | 7 nights

September 22 – September 29, 2018 | 7 nights

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More Information

Rider type* Enthusiast

Average daily distance 70km

Average daily climbing  1,400 metres

Hotel Style* Classic

Maximum guests – 10

Price €3,950 p.p.

Start | End Venice, Italy | Venice, Italy

 Tackle the iconic climbs of Passo Stelvio and Pass Gavia

  Experience the magical and romantic Verona, including visiting the infamous balcony of Guilietta Capuleti

 The excitinement of seeing a performance of the Verona Opera

 Ride the stunning and challenging Lombardia Pre Mountains

 Relax and unwind in the healing waters of the Sirmione thermal springs

 Ride part of the epic stage 14 route featured in the 2008 Giro d’Italia

 Explore the ancient town of Salo on picturesque Lake Garda

 Visit the magnificent Isolo Del Garda, a fairytale Venetian Villa

Day 1 - Salo

Today’s ride
3pm departure
Post travel recovery ride of 30 km (1:00)

 

Advanced Ride Option
2pm depart

If you arrive early and you are feeling up to it we have a 46km, 2 hour ride option that will prepare you for the awesome week ahead. Enjoy the beautiful rolling terrain of the region around Salo and Lake Garda.

Hotel
Hotel Laurin
www.hotellaurinsalo.com/

 

Included Meals 
Lunch | Dinner
Ride Outline

We will collect you from your pre-arranged collection point at Venice Airport or from a nearby train station. You will be transported to the hotel and our support crew will assist you to settle in. Your tour host (Nicoletta) will give you a run down on the itinerary for the day and support crew will unpack and build your bike to your specifications.

After a post travel spin you will have time to unwind and relax and get yourself ready for an Aperitivo at the hotel. We will update you on tomorrow’s schedule during Aperitivi. Dinner tonight is at the hotel which will give you an opportunity to get to know your new ride and touring acquaintances.

Sightseeing Outline

Your SEARCHTRAVEL adventure begins in Salò, an ancient town on the edge of Lake Garda (dating back to 700 BC), bounded by hills and mountains and featuring the longest waterfront promenade of all the towns on the lake.

After settling into your luxury hotel, you will be able to relax by the idyllic pool that overlooks the lake or wander into the town to begin your discovery. If you head out before lunchtime you will be lucky enough to experience the lively morning market where you can buy anything from freshly made cured meats and cheeses, local delicacies, leather goods, clothes, souvenirs and more. Enjoy a calming scenic walk along the promenade and explore the stylish boutiques, cafes and restaurants that are hidden within the cobbled alleyways of this historic old town.

A visit to the town’s Museum is a real treat for any art and history lovers as it is home to an impressive selection of Renaissance art and ancient archaeological relics. Other ‘must see’ sites include the Roman ruins and ancient necropolis, the medieval castle surrounded by a moat and the ancient churches with their Roman bell towers; it is hard not to fall in love with this place.

Aperitivo and dinner in the hotel’s exquisite fresco-ed restaurant will top off a perfect first day on Lake Garda.

Day 2 -Ponte di Legno to Prato allo Stelvio

Today’s Ride
Ponte di Legno to Prato allo Stelvio
Approximately 91km with 3,570 metres climbing (3:50)

 

Advanced Ride Option
Ponte di Legno to Prato allo Stelvio
Approximately 118km with 5,645 metres climbing (5:45)
Hotel
Hotel Laurin
www.hotellaurinsalo.com

 

Included Meals 
Breakfast
Ride Outline

This is what you have been training for; today you tackle the Passo Gavia and the Passo Stelvio. Iconic climbs that will be sure to leave you with an amazing sense of achievement and exhaustion.

It is an epic day that starts and finishes in the team support vehicles and no doubt that you will need a massage and a nap before Aperitivo where Nicoletta will brief you on the schedule for tomorrow and you can share your amazing achievements of the day.

Our Advanced Ride option will follow the same route but instead of stopping at Prato allo Stelvio you will climb back up to the Passo Stelvio (from the Swiss side). A big day; sure, but one you will never forget.

Sightseeing Outline

Today is your chance to independently explore some of the most iconic towns around the lake, but before you head off, we have organised a special treat – a private guided tour of Isolo Del Garda! This fairy tale Venetian Villa with its exotic gardens, dating back to 234 AD, is steeped in romantic legend and history; your guide will take you on a magical journey back in time!

Following the Island visit, you will take a short ferry trip back you back to Salo where you can choose to do what you like – remain in Salo to continue your exploration of this town or spend the afternoon cruising around the southern half of the Lake by simply jumping on another ferry ⃰. This is a great opportunity to check out some of the amazing towns around the lake as you can hop on and off the ferry at designated stops such as Garda and Bardolino. For those wanting to check out some of the towns on foot, there is a flat scenic walking track along the lake, either side of Garda. A 45 minute walk will take you to Bardolino in one direction or to Lazise in the other direction. If it’s more shopping you want, then stop off in Desenzano where you will find plenty of designer boutiques and clothing stores to choose from.

When done sightseeing and shopping you can jump onto a ferry and head back to Salo in time for Aperitivo at the hotel, after which you are free to independently wander back to the town centre to find that perfect Italian restaurant to dine at.

Day 3 - Salo to Salo

Today’s Ride
Salo to Salo
Approximately 45km with 870 metres of climbing (1:50)

 

Advanced Ride Option
Salo to Salo
Approximately 69km with 1,035 metres of climbing (2:50)
Hotel
Hotel Laurin
www.hotellaurinsalo.com

 

Included meals
Breakfast | Dinner
Ride Outline

Today is all about recovery. We have prepared a short flat route that takes advantage of the valleys in the Lombardia pre-mountains. Still amazing and picturesque so you are sure to be inspired for what is to come tomorrow.

Once you have completed your ride and showered (and enjoyed a massage) it is off to Sirmione to meet the rest of the group at the Sirmione Thermal Springs. You can enjoy a spa, swim, dip in one of the many healing sulphur pools or unwind in the aromatic saunas or soak in a Jacuzzi.

Our Advanced Ride is in the same vain as our standard ride for the day but with a longer loop that will take you closer to Brescia. We have thrown a small climb in because, well, you just like to push yourself that little bit harder!

Sightseeing Outline

The day will begin with a ferry cruise to Sirmione where you can spend a few hours exploring the many treasures of this scenic lake town. You can start your day with a stroll through the bustling morning market, grab some lunch and then head off to the ancient ruins and monuments. Sirmione is famous for its medieval port, its 13th century moated castle and the Grottoes of Catullus (Grotte di Catullo) so there is much to see!

For those feeling energetic, the climb up the hill to the oldest church in Sirmione is well worth the effort. San Pietro in Mavino, built in A.D. 765, is situated amongst the vineyards on the hill overlooking Sirmione. You will be awed the views, by the exquisite frescoes, the Romanesque bell tower and the ancient church ceiling made of wooden beams.

After a meander through the old town and some more shopping, you will be treated to a relaxing afternoon at the Thermal Springs where you can enjoy light refreshments, lounge by the outdoor pools, take a dip in one of the many healing sulphur pools, unwind in the aromatic saunas or soak in a Jacuzzi; all you need to do is remember to take your swim suit and thongs! For those wanting some extra pampering, finish your spa experience with a facial ⃰ and/or massage ⃰.

The cycling group will join the other guests at the spa late in the afternoon where they too can relax in the soothing springs, and enjoy an Aperitivo. After a dip and drinks, guests are free to independently wander through the town, experience the fun and hype of the spectacular night market and find a lovely restaurant to dine at.

Day 4 - Salo - Ome

Today’s Ride
Salo to Ome
Approximately 94km with 1,627 metres of climbing (3:55)

 

Advanced Ride Option
Salo to Ome
Approximately 148km with 3,350 metres of climbing (6:00)
Hotel
Hotel Laurin
www.hotellaurinsalo.com

 

Included meals
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Ride Outline

Todays route is a favorite. Rolling through the valleys in Lombardia pre-mountains we ride a loop past Lago dÍseo around Torbiere del Sebino nature reserve and back into Ome. You will end the ride in Ome at the Al Rocol country farmhouse where you will be able to take a dip in the pool and freshen up before going on a private winery tour and wine tasting at the farmhouse. The tour will include tastings of sparkling and red wines accompanied by delicacies from the region – a culinary delight!

The evening will conclude with a scrumptious dinner at the exquisite Trattoria Borgo in Franciacorta.

Our Advanced Ride caters to your love of the mountains. These mountains may not enjoy the reputation of the Alps around the border between Italy and Switzerland but they are beautiful with challenging gradients and plenty of switchbacks along the way. You will end the ride in Ome at the Al Rocol country farmhouse where you will be able to take a dip in the pool and freshen up before going on a private winery tour and wine tasting at the farmhouse. The tour will include tastings of sparkling and red wines accompanied by delicacies from the region – a culinary delight!

Sightseeing Outline

The Franciacorta region is often described as a paradise for wine lovers as it produces some of the best sparkling wines in the world.

Your Fraciacorta adventure begins with a drive to the Al Rocol country farmhouse and winery in Ome, where you will spend the morning walking through the vineyards and visiting the working farm (home to an assortment of adorable farm animals), meander through the olive groves, have a lovely country-style brunch by the pool and take part in a brilliant cooking class. To top it all off, you will get to enjoy the meal you have prepared!

Our cycling guests will join the touring group at Al Rocol after their ride, where they can take a dip in the pool and freshen up before going on a private winery tour and wine tasting at the farmhouse. The tour will include tastings of sparkling and red wines accompanied by delicacies from the region – a culinary delight!

The evening will conclude with a scrumptious dinner at the exquisite Trattoria Borgo in Franciacorta.

Day 5 -Salo to Brescia

Today’s Ride
Salo to Brescia
Approximately 39km with 802 metres of climbing (1:35)

 

Advanced Ride Option
Salo to Brescia
Approximately 58km with 2,025 metres of climbing (2:20)
Hotel
Grand Hotel Des Arts
www.grandhotel.vr.it

 

Included meals
Breakfast
Ride Outline

Today is a transition ride as we change accommodation from Salo to Verona. A beautiful ride through the Northern edge of Casinette which is a region at the foot of the Alps and produces a huge amount of the worlds Marble. Once we reach Brescia you will have time to shower and change and then spend a few hours in this historic paradise and savouring more of the delicious local cuisine of this region, you will be thankful for having made the detour.

After lunch we will make our way to Verona. Once you have settled into your luxurious accommodation at the Grande Hotel Des Arts and enjoyed a pre-dinner Aperitivo, you are free to do what you like. You can simply remain in the hotel, relax by the pool and dine in the hotel or you can wander through the streets of Verona, making note of the multitude of things you must do over the next couple of days. You are free to find a lovely restaurant in the old city centre where you can soak up the ambience of this wonderful city.

Our Advanced Ride cuts through Casinette and includes a couple of short but challenging climbs. Once we reach Brescia you will have time to shower and change and then spend a few hours in this historic paradise and savouring more of the delicious local cuisine of this region, you will be thankful for having made the detour.

Sightseeing Outline

Today you will leave the lake to head to your next destination – the enchanting city of Verona. However, we have planned a surprise detour on the way Verona – a visit to the town of Brescia, rich in history dating back to the pre-Roman era and a must see for lovers of antiquities!

Brescia has an impressive number of ancient Roman sites: Roman temple, amphitheatre, Duomo, Cathedral, Torre e Fontana della Palata, Museo di Santa Giulia and the lavish Teatro Grande….all within the main streets of the old city. After spending a few hours in this historic paradise and savouring more of the delicious local cuisine of this region, you will be thankful for having made the detour. The cycling group will join the touring group for lunch before heading off to the enchanting city of Verona.

Once you have settled into your luxurious accommodation at the Grande Hotel Des Arts and enjoyed a pre-dinner Aperitivo, you are free to do what you like. You can simply remain in the hotel, relax by the pool and dine in the hotel or you can wander through the streets of Verona, making note of the multitude of things you must do over the next couple of days. You are free to find a lovely restaurant in the old city centre where you can soak up the ambience of this wonderful city.

Day 6 - Verona to Verona

Today’s Ride
Verona to Verona
Approximately 107km with 2,182 metres of climbing (4:26)

 

Advanced Ride Option
Verona to Verona
Approximately 150km with 3,729 metres of climbing (6:15)
Hotel
Grand Hotel Des Arts
www.grandhotel.vr.it

 

Included meals
Breakfast
Ride Outline

Todays ride covers some of the route used in stage 14 of the 2008 Giro dÍtalia which was won by Italy’s Emanuele Sella of Team CSF Group Navigare. The 2008 Giro dÏtalia included names of riders and teams who are still featuring in 2016. Riders such as Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali and teams such as Tinkoff Credit Systems, Astana and QuickStep. Robbie McEwan retired from the 2008 Giro on this stage but don’t worry; you don’t have to race the stage.

After a rest and refreshing Aperitivo back at the Grand hotel, you are free to independently dine at the hotel restaurant or wander back into the city centre to discover yet another idyllic Italian restaurant.

Our Advanced Ride follows the same route for the first half of the ride and then we climb up to Monte Baldo and follow the ridge line descending back in to Verona.

Sightseeing Outline

The most famous monument in Verona is the Grand Arena, built in the 1st century AD by the Romans and still used today to stage the worlds’ best concerts and operas. We begin the morning with a guided tour of the Arena (approx. 2 hours) where you will venture into the depths of the Arena, see the galleries, cells and passageways beneath this massive architecture, climb along the marbled tiers looking down onto the stage, and visit the Arena museum with its intriguing ancient artefacts.

After your guided tour, you might want to get on board a fancy little train called the “Trenino Turistico” which starts in Piazza Bra next to the Arena and takes you around the city, visiting the Roman ruins, stunning frescoed architecture and the imposing Gothic-style medieval Castelvecchio, overlooking the river Adige River. The castle museum is extensive with its beautifully restored frescoed walls and ceilings and a vast collection of paintings, statues, weaponry, sculptures and more.

When you have had enough sight-seeing for one day, you can wander back to Via Mazzini. Housing many high-end shops, this is a shoppers’ paradise! Be sure to find your way to Via Cappello where you will see Verona’s most famous residence – the house and infamous balcony of Giulietta Capuleti.

After a rest and refreshing Aperitivo back at the Grand hotel, you are free to independently dine at the hotel restaurant or wander back into the city centre to discover yet another idyllic Italian restaurant.

Day 7 - Verona to Verona

Today’s Ride
Verona to Verona
Approximately 96km with 492 metres of climbing (4:00)

 

Advanced Ride Option
Verona to Verona
Approximatey 160km with 700 metres of climbing (6:30)
Hotel
Grand Hotel Des Arts
www.grandhotel.vr.it

 

Included meals
Breakfast | Dinner
Ride Outline

Total change of pace today with a mostly flat ride from Verona to Verona via Mantua. The roads are wide and flat and the area occasionally get a bit windy so it is time to roll with the bunch practicing rolling turns and echelons. By now you will be working as a unit so the pace should be fast and lots of fun.

Be sure to get some rest as your last evening in Verona will be a late one! It’s a night at the Opera with a pre-dinner meal at the Michelin rated Locanda 4 Cuochi within the city centre and close to the Arena. You are guaranteed a scrumptious meal and an outstanding musical performance. Enjoy!

Our Advanced Ride follows the same route to Mantua but then detours via Lonigo at the base of Monte Geretta.

Sightseeing Outline

A morning visit to The Basilica di San Zeno, a Romanesque church with a large underground crypt and vaulted ceiling is recommended. Not only famous for its architecture but also for being the place where Romeo and Juliet were secretly married. The Basilica is as impressive on the outside as it is on the inside, with its large rose windows, marble reliefs, bronze doors, bell-tower and Abbey Tower.

For those fascinated by excavations and feeling energetic, you can walk from the Bascilica to the Verona Duomo, where you can see the Baptistry and the Excavation area – definitely worth the effort!

Also within the city centre are The Scaliger Tombs, a group of five Gothic funerary monuments celebrating the Scaliger family, who ruled in Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century. For those who have yet to discover the tombs, they are located in a court of the church of Santa Maria Antica, in full view from the street. Built in Gothic style, they are a series of tombs, in the shape of small temples and are said to be one of the most outstanding examples of Gothic art in all of Europe.

When you done enough sight-seeing for one day, you are free to spend the rest of your day either relaxing at your hotel or taking a leisurely walk past the luxurious shops and numerous souvenir stores. Be sure to get some rest as your last evening in Verona will be a late one! It’s a night at the Opera with a pre-dinner meal at the Michelin rated Locanda 4 Cuochi within the city centre and close to the Arena. You are guaranteed a scrumptious meal and an outstanding musical performance. Enjoy!

During the Opera off season:

You will be driven to Bevilacqua Castle, a Medieval castle (50 min drive south-east of Verona) where you will step back in time and enjoy a fascinating tour of the castle and a traditional medieval banquet dinner. This is one of the most intriguing estates of the Veneto region with its frescos, paintings and extensive hanging gardens.

Your adventure will begin with a ‘step-back-in-time’ tour that includes wine tasting in the ancient cellars of the Castle. You will sample a selection of elegant wines selected by a professional Sommelier, all accompanied by mouth-watering local cheeses and cold cuts. This will be followed by an unforgettable meal of traditional medieval Venetian recipes, once eaten by the Duke and Duchess themselves and served in the medieval banquet room. A most memorable experience!

Day 8

Todays Ride
No planned rides today

 

Advanced Ride Option
No planned rides today
Included meals
Breakfast
Ride Outline

Today is about getting ready for your journey on to your next adventure. Hopefully you will be heading on to other beautiful European destinations but if you have to head home we are certain that you will be leaving with beautiful memories of an outstanding adventure with new found friends from this beautiful corner of Italy.

Our team will pack your bike bags and assist you get underway with transfers to Venice airport or train stations.

Price per person: € 3,950

Booking: € 1,000 deposit

90 days prior to the tour departure date: balance due

You may also pay in full at the time of booking

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • 7 night twin share* accommodation in classic* style hotels
  • We safely deliver your bags to your room each time we change hotels

Transport

  • All transport from your designated pick up and drop off points with bike and one other bag
  • Transportation to and from planned tour activities

Support

  • Throughout your tour there will be a minimum of 2 hosts looking after you
  • Support vehicle and mechanical breakdown support on each ride
  • Experienced mechanics will ensure your bike is ready to ride upon arrival

Tour Activities

  • Entrance fees into planned tour activities 

Meals

  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners are included in the price of this tour. On certain nights you will have the opportunity to explore the town you are in and choose your own restaurant for dinner.

Other

  • 2 sets of  Search Travel Cycling Kit made by Marcello Bergamo (2 x knicks, 2 x jerseys, 1 x wind vest)
  • Physio Massages as required
  • Prepare for your tour like a pro. We include a 6 month Pro CyclEd Training Plan in the cost of your tour. 

What’s not Included

  • Airfares to and from the tour
  • Transportation to the pickup/drop off locations
  • Accommodation before and after the tour
  • Activities that are not organised and scheduled by Search Travel
  • Bikes/ helmets
  • Travel Insurance 
  • Laundry services

Follow the link below to book your tour!