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La Piazza

Where We Spark Your Passion

WE KNOW CYCLING.

From expert advice on all things cycling to the latest and greatest of Ciclismo Classico bike tours, La Piazza has got you covered!

Meet the Guides: Upcoming Webinars

As we pedal our passion throughout the month of February, we invite you to join us for some amazing discussions with guides who will be sharing the highlights and stories about the thrilling rides for the following tours: Liguria and Portugal with Massimo De Laurentis; Piedmont and Follow the (100th) Giro d'Italia with Enrico Pizzorni, and gourmet discoveries in Costa Brava with Alessandro Allegro. 

Top Guide Enrico Pizzorni & The Giro

Enrico Pizzorni has spent the Winter pouring over maps and routes sorting out the zillions of details related to designing our Follow the Giro d'Italia tour departing in May. In this interview Enrico reminisces about The Grand Italian Race and how he experienced this important annual event growing up in a small Northern Italian village. Read on as he shares many enlightening and heart-warming Giro stories!

Guide Eccellenza

It takes motion to create excellence. In Italian: eccellenza. And our exceptional tour guides are not only active but taking action--on each and every trip--to deliver nothing less than excellence.

We know that our guides raise the standard. They have a standard of perpetual motion, outdoing self to the next level each and every day on tour – and that has become the Ciclismo Classico standard of excellence:

Go beyond the norm; be distinguishable; and be excellent.

Swimming with Sea Lions

Feeling Forever Young in The Soul Stirring Galapagos

This past summer I fulfilled a life-long dream of traveling to the Galapagos Islands and witnessing up close a myriad of amazing birds and sea creatures. Scouting our Galapagos Magic journey, I enjoyed 8 days on our small luxury boat La Beluga, peacefully immersed in these magical islands and surrounded by creatures who were not afraid to wander or swim near me and say "hello." It was beyond my wildest imagination. 

Cycling Discoveries in Bermuda

Last November, I had the pleasure of accompanying our first group of travelers on our long-weekend cycling escape to Bermuda. The group was made up of four "first-timers" and four who were on their second bike trip of the year. Only a 2-hour flight from Boston, this island-nation is a true gem in the sub-tropical Atlantic whose beauty and charm created a long-lasting surprise-and-delight effect on those visiting for the first time. It has the same effect on me every time I return!

Ceri & Other Festivals Across Italy

Our Bike Across Italy trip stops in the most incredible villages, including Gubbio, where every spring they celebrate the lively, colorful Festival dei Ceri. Read more here about this illustrious event happening during our May 2017 trip--and other Spring festivals across Central Italy.

Best of Forever Young

We took a look at our four-part series "Forever Young" and came up with a list of favorite top trips that had been taken by many of our youthful (over 60 years of age) guests. There were many that came up again and again. Have a look at this cool round-up we are calling our "BEST OF Forever Young" trips.

Ossian's Photo of the Week: The Galapagos

This week I will give you a taste of The Galapagos—one of the few places in the world where you can take wildlife photos with a wide angle lens!  In the photo below, these Galapagos sea wolves were lying on the beach without being disturbed by our presence. 

Meet The Giro's Tough Guys

This May, on one of the days during our Follow the Giro d'Italia trip, we'll have a special-access meet and greet with our bicycle provider-partner Bianchi and the Team LottoNL-Jumbo. We'll have the fantastic opportunity to chat and take photos with them. Don't miss out on the chance to rub shoulders with amazing riders like Steven Kruijswijk, Enrico Battaglin and others. Read on to hear about these exceptional--and very tough--athletes that we actually get to meet!

8 Dramatic Differences

We have spent almost 30 years refining those important, magical ingredients that make each and every Ciclismo Classico tour a perfect blend of gorgeous, rewarding cycling, local engagement, cultural visits, epicurean bliss and of course, that simple--and most beautiful--element of SURPRISE!

Here are eight of those dramatic differences:

Food & Frolic in the Canadian Maritimes

We've got lots of goodies in store on our NEW Canadian Maritimes trips: on Prince Edward Island folks are shaking it up to Celtic music and meeting the locals via fun, traditional gatherings and dances. In addition, we'll take a step off the eaten path in Nova Scotia and test our epicure skills on the streets of Halifax and beyond. Read on for more food tips and fun in our new 'friendly neighbor' favorite cycling destinations! 

Guide Profile: The Maritimes Pace

We met Canadian Tour Guide Ken Chambers several years ago when he and his partner Gail joined our Assaggio Toscana trip. A magical relationship was born and Ken ended up as our local expert, Ciclismo Classico guide and coordinator for us in the Canadian MaritimesHere Ken shares with us his story, his life passions, his love of cycling and travel and a bit about life in his stunning, friendly home: The Canadian Maritimes. Let's read more about what Ken has to say...

Part IV: Forever Young Guests

Every week the stories get better and better. This week's Forever Young tales includes that told by our youthful 82 year-old guest Ivan Strand with his inspirational ideas on the power behind adapted attitudes and approach to life. He brought a huge smile to my face when he said "I'm pretty excited, I have waited almost 82 years for my 15 minutes of fame ... and here it is!"  A truly motivating force of life.

Colors of Spring

Spring is in the air! We can just about taste it. Let's have a look at what's blooming and cooking this Spring in Italy and France. This is our most favorite time of year to celebrate new life, abundance, freshness, renewal---all bursting in big, bright and bold colors.

Let's take a sneak preview of what's in store for you this Spring on some of our best of-colors-of-Spring trips. 

Part III: More Forever Young Guests

The stories continue to pour in. This week we'll read about the FOREVER YOUNG journeys of two special (multiple trip) past guests who are over 60 and still humming! The sharing of these stories continues to enlighten us with real life accounts of the benefits of riding, affirming that it keeps us young and only inspires us to do more!

Guide Reflections: Sicilian Colors

I recently had the special opportunity to chat with Peppe Esposto, Ciclismo Classico guide and native of Sicily. The focus of our chat was Sicily in the Springtime with her glorious, bright palette on display!

Read on to learn more about Peppe's passion and love for Sicily through his colorful tales.

2017 Top Guide Tours & Their Wows

All of our Top Guide trips have something in common: they are led by wholeheartedly passionate people with years of experience and an in-depth knowledge and excitement about their most treasured places. So, whether it’s a tour through Liguria & Toscana with Massimo De Laurentiis, Bike Across England with Enrico Pizzorni, or the special edition Tuscany & Eroica with Sandro Draghi and Marcello Bonini--you are sure to be “wowed” by all.

NEW! Meet-A-Guide Webinar Series

We are thrilled to launch a brand NEW series of upcoming webinars entitled Meet-A-Guide. Join us as we revel in the knowledge of our expert team of guides who will be sharing the highlights and delights of the Ciclismo Classico tours they know and love best. Next up: Tuscany on January 18th with Top Guide Sandro Draghi. Special savings on trips for all webinar attendees!

2017 Staff Picks & Insider Wows

Over the years, both on and off the bike, Ciclismo Classico guests would inevitably ask me the question: “So, what is your favorite trip?”

We’re diving head first into 2017 with great enthusiasm and giddiness about many of our trips. But we thought it might be fun to share a real "insider" view of things.  So we asked the Ciclismo Classico Team: “What is your favorite trip? And, can you name one WOW moment on that trip?”

Top Group Tour Picks for 2017

We've helped you narrow down choices for the best trips we can tailor to your own group. The following 4 trips offer a variety of scenery, cycling levels, all chock-full of cultural events and happenings designed and curated to perfectly fit your unique group of travel companions. Read on to learn more about our favorite picks for 2017...

6 Reasons to Take a Family Bike Trip

 
A well-traveled kid grows into a worldly adult. A family bike tour gives you the opportunity to discover a different culture through the eyes, ears and enthusiasm of your children and all generations. You'll expose everyone to the endless benefits of cycling plus an array of fun activities to engage in and explore: pizza making, truffle hunting, chocolate and gelato tasting, butchery, olive and grape harvests, Italian vintage cars, real Italian football and more.

Cycling Heroes Who Paved The Way

My grandfather was born in a tiny village just a few kilometers away from where cycling legend Fausto Coppi was born (Castellania, Piedmont). So, I had the privilege of visiting the museum and Casa Coppi there on one of my very early trips to Italy. It was there that I learned about an era of legendary cyclists and about the great, historical race called the Giro d'Italia. This year, Italy celebrates the 100th edition of this grand race. Let's take a closer look at how this whole thing got started.

Giro d'Italia: The Greatest Cycling Event Ever

Ciclismo Classico is beyond elated about our Follow the Giro: 100th Edition tour. Get ready for the monumental ride of a lifetime! Our 9-day trip follows four stages of the Giro d’Italia in the last week of racing and gives you a chance to watch and participate in all the fun and fervor while riding the route! Join this or any of our other favorite live-long-and-happy trips.

Part II: Forever Young Guest Stories

We heard from several more past guests this week about how cycling and bicycle touring continues to keep them healthy, vibrant and young. There is no denying it! The sport of cycling continues to enrich the lives of many far into the later years of life. Read more here as Ciclismo Classico guests share their tales about slowing down the pace while remaining forever young at heart!

Our Forever-Young Guides

We asked a few of our guides to share their thoughts on cycling, livlihood, passion and, more precisely, how leading Ciclismo Classico tours and cycling both on and off tour has added countless years to their own experiences and lives.

Capturing Patagonia's Most Coveted Creature Through a Lens

This week I will give you a taste of Patagonia, Chile and its most coveted creature: The Puma.

Live Long, Ride Strong: 4 Places Known for Longevity

Forever Young! As we continue to pedal our own passion, we are repeatedly reminded by guest testimonials that there is no better way to keep and stay young as the years pass--than getting and staying on the bike. Here are 4 Ciclismo Classico trips we feel inspire longlife as the local peope in these places are doing just that: living life...alla grande! (in a big way!).

8 Healthy Longevity Habits Including Cycling

Ciclismo Classico Tour Guide Renato Matta poses with 103 year-old Sardinian cyclist Giulio Prodda--still riding today!

Remember the age-old expression for something that should come easy?  “It’s like riding a bike!” Bad habits are tough to break but once we replace them with healthy, fulfilling alternatives, the payback is huge. Research tells us forming and keeping good habits can really make all the difference in how long we stick around. We came up with 8 of our favorite healthy longevity habits---both on and off the bike.

2 'Forever Young' Guest Stories

This is the first of a two-part series of stories written by some of our past guests over 65 yrs old who have traveled with us countless times over the years. They share with us why cycling is a sure way to keep us all fit and FOREVER YOUNG.

Read more here as a few of our precious long-time Ciclismo Classico guests share how the incredible sport of cycling really can and does spring Eternal Youth...

Cycling is one sure way to keep us all fit and FOREVER YOUNG!

Cycling Foods We Love To Love

We asked a smattering of our Ciclismo Classico expert food-lover guides: What are the cycling foods you love to love on tour? Our guides are the real champions when it comes to picking out the best foods to re-energize our cycling legs or simply indulge--any moment of the day.

Here are a few of their favorite picks:

What guests are saying about our guides

Setting standards. That’s what we do. Golden Ciclismo Classico Standards! Guest testimonials come streaming in with great glory and endless accolades after every Ciclismo Classico trip. Just thought we'd share a sampling of post-2016-season Ciclismo Classico trip testimonials here. The proof is in the pudding!

What makes a Ciclismo Classico Top Guide tour "Top-Rate"?

The staff at Ciclismo Classico is proud to shout out about our consistently amazing, joyful, colorful, talented, top-rated “A” team of guides. These guys and gals run every single trip to the hilt---putting no less than 100% into the experience. That’s why we are repeatedly overwhelmed with an endless stream of positive testimonials, countless praises and tributes to the quality, expertise and passion of our extraordinary team of guides. 

The Different Types of Photo Shots You Take While Traveling

Traveling by bicycle provides you with plenty of opportunities to take photos. As you pedal the days away, you’ll see things that interest you and that you want to share with your family and friends back home.

Carnaval in Gran Canaria

In Gran Canaria, Carnaval is a colorful, annual celebration taking place throughout the island every early February to early March. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnaval is one of the oldest, most deeply rooted and unique festivals of the Canary Islands capital. For over five centuries the city has celebrated with masquerading, merrymaking and flesh!

Post-Tour Reflections: Mallorca

Ciclismo Classico Guide Umberto Cena reflects on our final Fall 2016 tour in Mallorca:

There are some critical differences between Mallorca and the Spanish mainland including the fact that the climate provides absolutely perfect weather conditions for Ciclismo Classico’s fabulous tour which runs fin early Spring and late Fall. The Balearic Islands stay warmer for longer/later in the year than on the peninsula/mainland. Mallorca--a long standing famous Winter cyclist training destination--is also just pure cycling paradiso.

A List of Questions to Ask Yourself in Your Travel Journal

A travel journal makes the perfect souvenir after a bicycle tour. It reminds you of the good times that you’ve had visiting other countries and meeting other cyclists from around the world. It becomes a part of your personal history, chronicling your experiences as time progresses. To remember specific details of your trip requires a quick walk down memory lane by opening up the pages of your journal.

Things To Consider When Planning Your Bicycle Tour

If you’ve never gone on a bicycle tour before, it’s time that you did. In order to prepare for the occasion, you’ve got to be well aware of what’s ahead of you. To give you an idea of what goes into planning a bicycle tour, we’ve decided to write a blog educating you on the Ciclismo Classico process.

8 Reasons to Signup Now for Your Next Bike Tour

1. Elections are over and we need a vacation!

Make a Difference by Taking a Vacation

In our fragile world, your photography and your travel dollars make a difference. Photo travelers help save the puma, the jaguar, and many other beautiful creatures and places, because our tourism dollars help local conservation efforts and our photos communicate that animals and beautiful places matter. Your camera is not only your passport to the world, it is a tool that you can use to help protect our planet.

Five Ways You’re Missing Out If You’re Not Traveling by Bike

If you’re looking for a way to add excitement to your life, travel will do it for you. Not only will you see things you’ve never seen before, you’ll experience things that are beyond your comprehension, too. If you love riding a bicycle and haven’t explored the option of touring by bike, you’re in for a treat. There’s something to be said about traveling by the power of your own two feet.

How to Start a Travel Blog and Share Your Latest Adventures

After traveling by bicycle, you may want to share your experience with others through the creation of a blog. If you haven’t had a chance to explore your options, now is the time to do so. There are many choices to consider when building and hosting a blog. Some are free and require no coding. Others cost a certain amount per month or year and may require coding skills.

France: La Musique que j'aime.

This week’s blog post is of special interest to me: the sounds of France. Naturally, the soundtrack to our bike trips in France belongs primarily to the melodies of Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg.

How to Prepare for Bad Weather on Your Bicycle Tour

So, you’ve packed your bags and you’re ready for adventure. You’ve heard about how much fun a bicycle tour can be and want to experience it for yourself. What you weren’t ready for, however, was bad weather.

Verona to Salzburg: A Truly Epic Cycling Experience

Verona to Salzburg is one of Ciclismo Classico’s classic tours of truly epic proportions—not just in the rides, which are sure to challenge even the strongest of riders, but culturally as well.

Savor the Flavors of Liguria & Toscana

The cooking of Liguria makes the most of the fruits of land and sea. On our epic Liguria and Toscana trip, you’ll be able to see for yourself how the luxuriant Ligurian hills offer a bounty of meaty porcini mushrooms and resiny pine nuts, while the sea provides succulent anchovies ready to be salted for future use.

Post-tour Reflections: La Bella Sicilia

CC Tour Leaders Gabriel Del Rossi and Giuseppe (Peppe) Esposto recently finished the last La Bella Sicilia trip of our 2016 season. Here are a few of their trip reflections, favorite 'wow' moments and highlights. Sicily never ceases to amaze us all in her relentless glory and astonishing beauty!

Following the Giro d'Italia: The Great Italian Race

If you're cycling enthusiast and have never witnessed the thrill of the Giro d’Italia, then you should consider Ciclismo Classico’s Follow the Giro in May of 2017.

5 places in France you need to visit.

People who travel to France have their ‘top’ lists: the Effiel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris; the palace of Versailles or the holiday markets in Strasbourg. Many of Ciclismo Classico’s trips to France uncover places you didn’t know belong on your ‘top’ list. So when planning your next bike trip to France, here are 5 places you made not have heard of but definitely want to see:

20 Fantastic Photos to Inspire You to Go to Patagonia!

I am still glowing and overwhelmed with wonder and joy from one of the most amazing landscape and nature experiences of my life: co-leading our new Best of Patagonia in Argentina & Chile with native Argentinian photographer and naturalist, Ossian Lindholm.

Stretches You Can Do Before Cycling Long Distances

When done correctly, stretching helps cyclists prepare for touring long distances. By demonstrating proper form, you’re able to protect yourself from injury and remove tension from your muscles before a long day of riding. One of the best ways to learn technique is by reading a book on the subject but we will introduce you to a few stretches you can try before cycling with us.

20 Fantastic Photos to Inspire You to Go to Northwest, Argentina!

Most of my journeys begin with a photograph. I see a place in a magazine or on the web, it touches a cord and suddenly a litte voice says, "Wow, I gotta go there!" That is how my love affair with Northwest Argentina began. 

This Is What Makes Our 'Tuscany Green' Bike Tour So Special

Since 1996, the young and vibrant Tuscan dynamic duo, Elisa Cucini and Alessandro “Sandro” Draghi (who’s been a Ciclismo tour guide since 2007), have been running a medieval grain mill and farm in Tuscany converted into an agriturismo (agricultural farm-stay) located near Siena.

Vintage Cycling and Delicious Wine in Tuscany

Every year, Ciclismo Classico joins the spectacular L’Eroica event on day 8 of our Tuscany & L'Eroica trip. The ride starts and ends in the historic piazza of Gaiole in Chianti, where you’ll ride with more than 7,000 other cyclists experiencing the thrill of L’Eroica.

Bike Across France: the Best Wines Along the Wine Road

Our award-winning Bike Across France trip is wondrous on many levels. One top highlight is the incredible opportunity to sample a variety of high quality and complex French wines.

Bike Across Italy in May to Experience Festa dei Ceri

Our Bike Across Italy trip stops in the most incredible villages, including Gubbio, where every spring they celebrate the lively, colorful Festa dei Ceri.

Bruges and Beer: The Oldest Brewery on the World's Coolest Bike Trip

Our Bike Across Belgium trip includes three amazing days in the fascinating and gorgeous city of Bruges. This town is hopping with way more than hops and barley! Ciclismo Classico’s ride, named the “world’s coolest bike trip” last year by Bicycling Magazine, surely offers an amazing itinerary across Belgium (it also includes Luxembourg) that doesn’t miss a trick.

Basilicata’s Treasured City: Matera

Dear Matera,

We are so incredibly excited to revisit the jewled-city of Matera on our magnificent Bike Across Southern Italy trip. Nothing beats seeing this place through the enchanted eyes of Ciclismo Classico guests as we roam the maze of sassi (cave houses) under the city center and to see not only how people lived once upon a time---but are still living today! 

What to Expect from Your First Bicycle Tour

If you’ve never toured by bicycle, you’re in for something special. You’ll never be able to forget the experience no matter how old you are. Touring by bicycle gives you an up close and personal view of the cities and country of your choosing. It provides you with a lifetime of memories that you’ll never let go of.

Take a Bite of Sardinia: A Guide to Sardinian Food

Sardinian food is so incredible! The island is an absolute paradise for food lovers. I’ve been collecting ideas and recipes over years traveling back and forth to the island, and always wanted to create an overview of this rich, intensely historical, traditional way of eating. Or, better yet, a “where-to-begin” guide to eating in this marvelous place.

Post-Tour Reflections: Savor Sardinia

Tour guide Jacopo Montobbio reflects on his most special tour in Sardinia.

Five Ways to Make the Most of Your Bicycle Tour Travels

If you want to make your next vacation one you’ll never forget, you should travel by bicycle. Not only is it an incredible way to see a country, you’ll get to meet a group of people just like you who love to travel and seek adventure in their daily lives. The friendships that you form while traveling are ones that you’ll have and cherish for years.

Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Bicycle Tour

So, you’re all about the memories when you travel, right? If you haven’t traveled by bicycle with Ciclismo Classico, you’re in for a treat. Every moment is filled with excitement as you travel the country of your choice with old and new friends. Each trip has something special to offer bicyclists so make sure to read up about it before booking it. You’ll also want to note what skill level it is so that you feel comfortable and prepared every leg of the journey.

Choosing a Tour Based on Your Cycling Ability is Easy with Ciclismo

When choosing a bicycle tour to book, there are a number of factors to consider. In addition to selecting the dates and location that is most convenient for you, you also need to factor in your cycling ability. Some tours are designed for advanced cyclists and if you’re not as athletically inclined as your peers, you’ll have trouble keeping up with the group.

Things to Do in Preparation of Your Bicycle Tour

A bicycle tour offers plenty of mind blowing experiences. You’ll see, smell, taste, and hear things you’ve never had a chance to explore before. That’s what makes a trip life changing. Once you step out of your comfort zone, you’re free to experience a world full of new things.

What Makes the Ciclismo Experience Better Than Bicycle Tours?

If you’re looking to have the experience of a lifetime, you’ve come to the right place. Ciclismo Classico offers exciting bicycle tours of all types to meet your needs and satisfy your hunger for adventure. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to ride solo, with a partner or your family, we’ve got something in store for you that you’ll talk about for years.

Ways to Share Your Bicycle Tour Photographs

Meet the Ciclismo Tour Guide Who's Also a Producer of Fine Italian Wine

I often meet amazing people doing amazing things in my line of work, but one of the most intriguing women I have come across in recent years is a dear Ciclismo Classico colleague and co-guide, Giuditta Parisi.

Recycle, Re-charge and Feed Your Soul

Come join any 2017 Assaggio Toscana trip and discover all things Tuscan, including some great cycling goodies you simply won’t be able to resist and will surely want to recreate back at home—simple, easy dishes even the most non-gourmet cyclist can easily whip up! 

Assaggio Toscana translated into English means “Taste of Tuscany.” On this trip, travelers immerse themselves in daily tastings of a variety of classic dishes, including unique bread-salads and soups.

A France worth sitting down for: Tous à table!


When I first came up with the idea of the France series, my mind (via my palate) automatically thought of the dinner table. Last Friday I mentioned my goal (in this post) set across five weeks to praise of all the great things going on in France and the reason why you should visit. This is the first of those lists, and anyone who knows me knows that my heart lies very close to my stomach.

Pack What You Need for Your Upcoming Bicycle Tour

If it’s your first time taking a bicycle tour, you may not know what to pack and what to leave at home. Since a number of things are provided to you on Ciclismo Classico tours, we thought we’d take the opportunity to address some of the items we don’t provide that come in handy while touring by bike. As you already know by reviewing our site, you must have a bicycle helmet because you’re not permitted to tour without one.

On France: Je suis avec vous.

This year I returned to Ciclismo Classico to streamline our bicycle adventures in France. In fact, by the time my season comes to an end in mid-October, I will have completed six tours (one new departure in the Loire Valley and one off-the-hip custom tour of Bordeaux). Each trip is a sensorial experience and France has grown to be a country I simply adore (France, je t'adore!).  

Unveiling the 2017 Ciclismo Classics

After almost 30 years of pedaling her passion throughout the seductive roads of Italy and beyond, Ciclismo Classico’s spirited Director, affectionately known as La Lorena (Lauren Hefferon), proudly unveils her Ciclismo Classics for 2017!

Five Tips for Safeguarding Your Personal Belongings While Touring by Bike

There are safety measures to take while touring by bike. One of the most important is traveler’s insurance. It protects your personal belongings from loss or damage and your body if it becomes injured during your tour.

Ten Travel Quotes That Get You Excited About Your Bicycle Tour

Travel has a way of moving people emotionally. It changes them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It doesn’t matter what your reason is for traveling. You’re likely to feel some strong sentiments as a result of it.

My Left Knee: A twisted, torn and crooked love story of surgeries, cycling and my new active life after total knee replacement

My Left Knee at six weeks. Looking bizarre but solid!

How to Keep an Exciting Journal of Your Travels by Bicycle

So, you want to document your journey by bicycle but don’t know where to begin. You’ve never kept a journal before and you’re not going to be able to write every time you feel like sharing your experience on top of a bike. What should you do to mark each momentous occasion? One of the easiest ways to revisit your daily adventures is through the photos that you take with your camera and the voice recording feature on your phone.

Five Essential Things You Need for Your First Bike Tour

Traveling the country by bicycle is an experience like no other. You can’t put a price tag on the experiences you’ll have and the memories you’ll come back with. Although most riders’ needs are taken care of by Ciclismo Classico, there are a few extras you’ll want to take with you to ensure that your travels are safe and comfortable.

Why Travel Over the Holidays

Experts often advise people to travel during the off-season to avoid crowds and have cities, beaches, and landmarks to themselves.  What they don’t tell you about traveling during the holidays and vacation season is this.  The destinations that you travel to come alive in a different way than they do during the off-season.  The cities buzz with excited energy! 

The Mystique of the Italian Sciopero

A Sciopero is a common practice of striking in Italy.  All transportation comes to a halt or is slowed down by a temporary work stoppage.  The sciopero can be local or national and may affect the trains and airlines you plan to travel on.  A strike can last from four hours to 1 day depending on what strikers are trying to accomplish.

10 Truths About Cycling in Bermuda


When someone says “Bermuda”, usually images of tropical scenes come to mind. Along with locals clad in blue blazers and pastel-colored Bermuda shorts, you might picture images of coral reefs, pink beaches, award-winning golf courses, celebrity sightings, and lush, manicured landscapes dotted with palm trees.Now imagine all of these infused with a relaxed, island vibe with a British flair, just a short 2-hour flight from the east coast of the US. But would you think of cycling here?

Most Unique Cycling Events

 

If you love cycling and want a fun and unusual way to blow off steam, make friends, and see the world, you’re going to need to sign up for a cycling events.  Full of fun, amazing adventures as well as prizes in many cases, these rides serve as a reminder to take it easy, let your guard down, and laugh until your stomach hurts.

What is Slow Food?

One day at the very beginning of my career with Ciclismo I was reading one of our itineraries and came upon a term I had never heard or seen before: Slow Food. I read another itinerary and there it was again!

Most Romantic European Hotels

February is passion month, and we're celebrating by bringing you a list of the most romantic European hotels. When you go on a bike tour with Ciclismo Classico, you'll be staying at carefully selected hotels that provide the perfect complement to riding, dining, and other activities. From cozy inns and guesthouses to medieval castles and monasteries, we’ve chosen lodgings for their local flavor and charm as well as for their amenities and convenience.

5 Reasons to Visit Sardinia

Ciclismo Classico guide Simone Scalas defines himself as a curious person who most enjoys life when he has the opportunity to discover something new, from an unfamiliar author to an unexpected sunset. Simone lives in the seaside village of Pula in southwestern Sardinia, about half an hour from the island’s main city, Cagliari. 

Everything You've Always Wondered About Italian Cheek Kissing

When traveling to Italy, the most important thing you need to know (other than how to order coffee), is the Italian greeting. And no, I'm not talking about common Italian phrases, I'll save that for another time. I'm talking about il bacio (the kiss) or il saluto (the greeting). Who would have thought that this common gesture - the cheek kiss - could cause so much anxiety and confusion, and often lead to some awkward encounters?

Benefits of Traveling During Holidays & Ways to Enjoy Them

The New Year will be here in the blink of an eye. Have you already started dreaming about where you’d like to travel in 2016? When you have limited vacation days, combining them with paid holidays makes a lot of sense. Including a paid holiday in your travel time reduces the number of precious vacation days you have to use.

Ditch the Bucket List and Invest in New Experiences

When we enter into a new year, we celebrate, we relax, we reflect, we plan with a new found introspective. We often say, “out with the old, in with the new”. 

It's Here! The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Cyclists

We all have that one friend, family member, or co-worker that is obsessed with their bike. Road, mountain, hybrid... you name it, they have 3 of each. With the holidays around the corner, you might be thinking about what to get the cycling enthusiast in your life, and we're here to ease the process and make holiday shopping a blast.

Your Complete Guide to the Italian Caffè

Many claim that espresso is the Italian drink. And like everything the Italians do, the preparation of this sacred drink should not be taken lightly. That's why when you travel to Italy, you must have un caffè. What is it about this tiny cup of coffee that makes everyone go wild?

What I Learned as a Solo Traveler

This past fall I embarked on my first bike tour of Croatia. I have traveled to many corners of the world - Germany, Austria, Netherlands - but never solo and for a group travel experience. I had everything laid out in preparation for my journey across the world - flight, ground transportation, SIM card, contact information - yet, I still felt a pit in my stomach and something telling me that I should just stay home. "Why am I so nervous?" I thought to myself...

Bucket List Destination: Costa Brava

Catalonia is Spain's most independent-minded region, boasting its own identity and language dating back to the middle ages. Now, Catalonia is the most popular tourist region with its Blue Flag beaches, fabulous hotels and resorts, 360 miles of breathtaking coastline, world-class gastronomy (more than 300 wineries, and 50 Michelin-star restaurants), amazing architecture and beautifully preserved monuments. 

What Makes a Top Cycling Guide?

A guide plays a pivotal role in making any travel experience the most memorable/unforgettable it can be. Making a personal connection with your guide, building group camaraderie, sharing local secrets and encouraging personal growth will all contribute to the "footprint" your travels have on the rest of your life.

7 Easy Steps: How to Get Through TSA Airport Security in 15 Minutes

Oh, the dreaded TSA line. It's the last thing that stands between you and your flight. As a frequent traveler, I've spent a lot of time at airports and standing in line. With all this time waiting, I've noticed that people are constantly making the same mistake. Through careful observation and testing it myself, I've come up with a few simple strategies on how to get through the TSA security line as quickly and efficiently as possible.

13 Essential Tips for Surviving the Airport

You booked your tour and it's been confirmed. Your trip is months away so you purchase your flight. Before you know it, you're one week away from departing and you realize you should probably start packing. It's the night before departing and you're scurrying around last-minute to find your passport, converter, and whatever item you previously thought you didn't need but now you're not sure so you pack it anyways.

Ciclismo's Mediterranean Island Hopping Tour was the Catalyst for our Love Affair with Corsica

By Jay Jacobson

Originally posted on 1/6/2010: As someone who has traveled to about 100 countries (and cycled in over 50 of them!) I am frequently asked “What is your favorite place to bike?” I am hard pressed to come up with a venue I enjoyed more than Corsica. It epitomizes the Mediterranean region. Although it is now part of France, it represents a fusion of French, Italian and Corsican cultures, history, languages, terrain, cuisine and love of cycling.

Announcing New Bike Tours in France, Italy and Spain

As the pioneers in active vacations of Italy and Europe since 1989, we are proud to announce our new 2016 bike tours in France, Italy and Spain. These tours were carefully crafted by our dedicated trip specialists and Top Guides who have decades of experience in designing award-winning adventure travel itineraries. We are proud to bring you another year of the best bike touring itineraries that take you on the road less traveled for a full cultural experience. Andiamo! Let's Go!

Staff Picks: Rosa Bleta, Pt. 1

As a Francophile, I always think about my travels in France, to old memories, and, of course, I can't wait for my next Ciclismo Classico bike tour: Loire Valley, where I'll  create new memories and amazing moments with my family and friends. There is no better way to explore and experience the Loire Valley than by bike.

My First Bike Tour: Pedaling Croatia's Istrian Peninsula

Croatia has been an independent country since 1991, yet it remains relatively undiscovered and visited. The first question that many ask when you tell them you're going to Croatia is "Where is that?" So, why does this little country with white sandy beaches perched along the Adriatic Sea, tucked between Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, still remain an undiscovered territory for many travelers? Let's take a look.

Share Your Memories From The Road

The best part of our job is to hear your stories from the road, whether it was a guide who helped celebrate your special moment (anniversary, birthday, etc), or if you experienced or learned something new on our tour. We're inviting past and current Ciclismo Classico alumni to share their fondest memories and experiences through our social media.

Pedal in Gran Canaria

Cycling Gran Canaria was the most enchanting experience of my adult life. I mean, where else in the world can you hop on your bike from under a grove of palm trees and spin along the edge of a volcanic crater in the middle of the sea?

What's the World's Coolest Bike Tour?

According to Bicycling Magazine, our Bike Across Belgium is one of the World's Coolest Bike Tours, and we couldn't agree more! Our award-winning Bike Across Belgium tour has it all and more (thank you, Outside Magazine)! The beer culture is at a level of refinement, depth and complexity that easily rivals any renowned wine region. 

Staff Picks: Barb Patterson

This is part 4 of our Staff Picks blog series! Here we outline the tours our US staff members have been on, what they liked most, and tours they hope to go on. I joined Ciclismo in 2007 while I was living the adventure travelers dream. In 2010 I relocated to southern California because I could experience my love of hiking and biking year round.

Our 2016 Catalog has Arrived!

We want to bring you the exclusive opportunity to browse our 2016 online catalog, the earliest that it's ever been released. We have some exciting announcements, including complimentary upgrade to our new carbon bikes on all intermediate and advanced tours, new Top Guide tours in Spain, Italy and France, and itineraries never offered before, so grab the nearest couch and your Cup of Jo, and get ready to roll!

Staff Picks: Francesca Loomis

This is part 3 of our Staff Picks blog series! Here we outline the tours our US staff members have been on, what they liked most, and tours they hope to go on. I joined Ciclismo in March of 2014 and am excited to go on my first Ciclismo Classico bike tour this September to Croatia, a corner of the world I have never been to.

Craft Beers, Chocolate, and Waffles

The Outside Magazine award-winning Bike Across Belgium tour has it all and more. On this special tour, we were lucky to host the CEO and Founder of Surly Brewing Company, Omar Ansari and his closest wild, crazy and wonderful friends. They were a JOY to pedal with and were the perfect guests in every way! 

Winter Shminter: Top 5 Reasons to Ride Off-Season

The winter of 2014-15 proved to be one of the wildest for the United States and Canada. Parts of the West experienced some of the warmest and least snowy conditions, while the East suffered the snowiest and coldest winters on record.

Cycling Apparel: A Brief History

Jerseys are the defining emblem of cycling. Nothing reveals the various eras and memories of great races and champions as the jersey.

Cycling Safety Guide

On every Ciclismo Classico active tour your safety is our first priority. Please read through these guidelines in order to become familiar with rules for cyclists and ensure that you have a happy and healthy cycling trip!

Top 5 Harvest Tours

The grape harvest, or vendemmia, is an important and deeply-rooted Italian cultural tradition where local producers begin harvesting the fruit of their labor. It is an evocative time to travel to Italy; hillsides are cloaked in ready-to-pick grapes, and a fragrance of fermenting wine permeates the air as you cycle along quiet country roads.

What is a Confirmed Tour and What are the Benefits?

What is a confirmed - or guaranteed - tour? Confirmed tours are dates that have been selected by us that have a very high probability of reaching the minimum group size for us to run the tour and for you to receive the best Ciclismo Classico experience. These tours are confirmed as much as a year in advance, compared to our regularly scheduled tours which are confirmed around 90 days prior to departure. 

What is an Agriturismo?

Have you seen or heard word agriturismo pop up in conversations? Are you looking for an authentic Italian experience? We're here to answer your questions about agriturismo's {agree-tour-ismo} and offer some insight into this unique and highly-valued style of Italian vacationing.

Fall Guide Schedule

What's the #1 reasons guest return year after year? Our guides, of course! Many of you have asked about our fall guide schedule, so without further adieu, here it is! Below is a list of our most popular departures and requests.

How To: Garmin Edge GPS

New this year are our Garmin Edge Touring GPS navigators! They are complimentary with all carbon fiber upgrades, or an additional $30 upon request with all other bikes. Intended to provide a hands-off navigating experience, giving you more time to soak in your surroundings, pedal harder, and chat with friends, while spending less time fiddling with a map, the GPS is a must-have for those who want the most out of their ride!

Space Added to Bike Across Belgium!

There is nothing quite like biking through Belgium’s contrasting landscape of flatlands in Flanders and the rolling hills in French speaking Wallonia. Whether you're traveling solo or with your significant other, whether you like craft beer or a hearty meal, Belgium is a cyclist's dream with miles of bicycle paths that zig zag along romantic canals and wind their way between quaint towns, charming castles, outdoor cafés and incredible restaurants.

Staff Picks: Henry Seamans

Welcome to part 2 of our Staff Picks! Here we outline the tours our US staff members have been on, what they liked most, and tours they hope to go on. Henry joined Ciclismo in March of 2015 and while he has not done a tour yet, he is already learning a lot about the industry. One day he hopes to see all sides of this business, and who knows, maybe join a tour or two.

Bloomin' Metric - Come Say "Hi"!

Ciclismo Classico will be attending and riding in the 38th annual Bloomin’ Metric on Sunday, May 31st, 2015. If you are planning to ride or are simply in the area, stop by our booth for special Ciclismo Classico bike tour offers! We will also be raffling off a camera. 

It's National Bike to Work Week!

National Bike to Work Week is this week and we want to make sure everyone considers the opportunity. For starters, there are a number of economic/environmental reasons to consider when deciding whether or not to ride your bike.

Find the Golden Ticket!

For the month of May, Ciclismo Classico will be randomly placing five, $500 off golden tickets into our catalogs. Will you be the lucky winner? Request a catalog this month for a chance to win!

Climbing Tips for Intermediate to Advanced Tours

Most cyclists new to European terrain tend to try to do the hills too fast and, as a result, get tired and/or discouraged before reaching the top. Finding your OWN pace and having the right attitude about hills is key. Ride the hill like it will last all day (in other words, don't be in a hurry for hills to end). Also, think about how great you will feel when you get to the top, how gorgeous the view will be, and the thrill of the downhill. 

Top 10 Reasons to Pedal with Ciclismo Classico

New to Ciclismo Classico and considering an active adventure? We have over 25 years of experience bringing you the finest guided tours in Europe. Our years of experience coupled with superior customer service, world-class guides, and immersive activities bring you the best adventures in the bike tour industry.

Staff Picks: Marc Mastrolia

Welcome to part 1 of our Staff Picks! Here we outline the tours our US staff members have been on, what they liked most, and tours they hope to go on. Marc started with Ciclismo in 2010. A self-described jack of all trades, he is our marketing manager, assisting with many different aspects of operations. 

Take an Award-Winning Tour

With over 25 years of exceptional service in the active travel industry, our itineraries, guides and agency as a whole have been recognized by big names in the travel business. We are honored to receive awards for our dedication to our guests, and continue to strive to achieve success. For your next bicycle adventure, why not take an award-winning tour to see what all the hype is about?

Bike Tours Beyond Italy

Ciclismo Classico is known as the Italian cycling tour operator. Many of our itineraries are modeled off of founder Lauren Hefferon's early years of exploring the many corners of Italy and discovering her Italian heritage. Since then, Ciclismo Classico has offered many tours all over the world, but Italy still remains our focus.

Tips for Family Travel

A well-traveled child grows into a worldly adult. Our family tours give you the chance to cycle, kayak or swim with your outdoor progenylong before they're ready to vanish with the keys to the family carto teach them a healthier way to get from place to place. Kids gain confidence through learning new skills and exploring a foreign culture in a positive environment.

Wine on Tuscany Green

The Tuscany Green bike tour is approaching and I'm proud and eager to introduce you to my family and invite you into my home, Agriturismo Il Molinello (pictured above). Rides are mapped out, foods are still "in the ground" and growing slowly in the garden and... wine is sweetly resting in the cellar!

2015 Top Guide Tours

This new Top Guide tour series is our way to celebrate what our multi-talented, super passionate and charismatic guides love and do best: design itineraries, share their love of cycling and deliver world class bicycle travel experience to every Ciclismo Classico guest.

Cast Away on an Island Getaway

Our island escapes are the perfect way to experience un piccolo mondo (a small world). Zigzagging your way up and across the rugged interior of these tiny ancient worlds is like going back in time. No other tour company loves or has been pedaling islands for as long as we have-in fact, our expert and native guides are not only from these remarkable island getaways, they will put you in touch with their family and friends that live there!

Gaeilge, Guinness & Goosebumps!

MO Chairde (My friends),

An exciting 2015 Ciclismo Classico season is almost ready to swing into action. From a personal viewpoint this season is even more special, with my top guide tour in July to Ireland. It’s with great pleasure that I will have the opportunity to take Ciclismo Classico guests to my home town of Killarney.

Win a FREE tour!


Our six-day Assaggio bike tour of Tuscany is a delicious, entry-level sampling of the world’s most beloved region! You begin pedaling in the upper Val d’Arno, a series of terraced foothills that hug the river Arno, these graceful hills are a curious blend of micro-climates and a fertile ground for vineyards, olive groves, and nut trees.

How to train: Bike Across Italy

Bike Across Italy is a spectacular 11-day coast-to-coast cycling tour across the fabled heartland of Italy. We've run more than 140 departures and hosted over 1,500 travelers; Bike Across Italy has graced the pages of National Geographic Traveler, Outside, USA Today, and an array of other top-tier media outlets. It is the undisputed champ of cross-country bike tours of Italy.

Follow the Tour in France with Massimo!

2015 has brought many new and exciting opportunities for Ciclismo Classico. After 15 years of working as a guide, Ciclismo Classico has promoted me to be the NEW Director of European Operations. I love this company and I am excited to build my team in Italy, and I would love to celebrate this new opportunity with you at the 2015 Tour de France!

Ride a Tandem with your Honey

Apropriately named, our newest addition to our beautiful fleet of bikes is our premium tandem by Honey Bikes. Last year we held a meet and greet at Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, MA to give potential - and returning - customers a chance to test ride this bike - and what a success! 

Couples (or friends) who bike together, stay together

Studies show that couples who bike together, stay together. It all comes down to the fact that exercise leads to a healthier lifestyle, and healthy people are happier overall. While this article promotes commuting to work on a bicycle with your significant other (or friend), we've decided to take it one step forward to offer you a great selection of couple-friendly bike tours all over Europe.

What's New with Ciclismo Classico

Even though we are buried in snow, Ciclismo Classico keeps spinning through the seasons with great new changes and plenty of innovative new active vacations to stir your many passions! Here’s a taste of What’s NEW in 2015 at Ciclismo Classico!

Enrico & Paolo invite you to Sicily



It's Enrico, your fearless guide, writing from snowy Piedmont. 
I am writing to you for a special reason: the vivacious Lauren Hefferon has allowed me to create my dream family vacation this July 11 - 18 to celebrate my 16 years with Ciclismo Classico. 

Join us in the Heart of Tuscany

For Ciclismo, Tuscany is where it all began 25 years ago. We offer many bike tours here, home to our favorite favorite wineries, trattorie, gelaterie, night spots and more. On Heart of Tuscany you discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Val d’Orcia, Medieval Siena and charming Pienza.

"Bike Across" Tour Series

After graduating from Cornell, founder and CEO Lauren Hefferon was awarded a Rotary Scholarship to study fine arts in Florence, Italy. During those three years living in Tuscany, she joined an Italian cycling club and explored as much of Italy by bicycle as possible.

Top 6 Foodie Tours

An important aspect of every Ciclismo bike tour is making your gastronomic fantasies come true! We believe that every interaction with food and libations should whet your appetite and peak your curiosity. Our evening feasts offer a generous variety of local specialties—all made with only the finest and freshest ingredients.

Pedal Sardinia and Corsica

Outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, nature and water lovers will be dazzled by this trip’s dramatic beauty. The route follows the coastline, allowing you to experience the best of northern Sardinia and western Corsica. Distinct and exotic, Italian-influenced Sardinia and French-flavored Corsica enchant all who visit their Mediterranean shores.

European festivals and events not to miss in 2015

Cultural immersion is at the heart of our trips, each of which is designed to reveal the landscape, history, and way of life. Our diverse array of fun activities and events will help you connect with local people and get to know their culture and lifestyle from the inside. Many of our trips are also designed to coincide with special events. Here are some not to miss in 2015:

Top 5 most interesting hotels

All our accommodations are carefully selected to provide the perfect complement to the riding, dining, and other activities on each trip. From cozy inns and guesthouses to medieval castles and monasteries, we’ve chosen lodgings for their local flavor and charm as well as for their amenities and convenience.

Trips for solo travelers

We provide the most authentic, unique and exciting vacations in the adventure travel industry. Our small group sizes maximize every guests enjoyment and support, ensuring more one-on-one coaching and chances to make life-long friends. We've compiled a list of tours perfect for different "types" of solo travelers, from newbies to hammerheads.

10 destinations to cross off your bucket list for the new year

Most people take the new year as an opportunity to start fresh. As the years go by you start looking back at the promises you made to yourself to get fit, to quit smoking, and to travel (according to Time Magazine). We know that keeping promises can be difficult, but we have a solution:

Bucket List Essential: Bike Sardinia

Since 1992 Ciclismo Classico director Lauren Hefferon has had a love affair with the seductive island of Sardinia. Flash forward to 2015 and the love affair has blossomed into an incurable passion for one of the world's most beautiful cycling islands.

Preparing for a Ciclismo Classico Bike Tour

So, you want to take a cycling vacation, perhaps a tour with Ciclismo Classico, and you’re thinking, "Am I going to be ready?” Here are some helpful tips from General Manager and Cycling Guide Beppe Salerno to help you prepare.

80+ Cyclists Pedal & Sing at the 18th Annual Jingle Ride!

18 years ago, my dear cycling pal and colleague Carol Sicbaldi and I were pedaling on a cold November day and came up with a silly little Ciclismo ride to celebrate the holidays. Add my love of parades, singing Christmas carols and (occasionally) acting foolish, the Jingle Ride was born (three months before my first son Lorenzo now 17 years old and pictured below).

6 Reasons to Take Your Family on a Bike Tour Vacation

A well-traveled child grows into a worldly adult. Our family tours give you the chance to cycle (or kayak, or hike…) with your outdoor progeny-long before you’re they’re ready to vanish with the keys to the family car. Here are six reasons to take a family bike tour with us:

18th Annual Jingle Ride


Come one, come all, we’re on for December 14th!

Put some antlers on your helmet, tie some jingle bells to your two-wheeled friend, and join fellow holiday merrymakers at the 18th Annual Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride.

Join Enrico and Henrick on the emerald isle

Thanks to Lauren and Ciclismo Classico I’ve been given the great honor of inviting you to a very special bike tour in my homeland. What makes this tour so special is that we will not only visit the beautiful western coastline around Connemara and the Aran Islands but travel down south to my home County and town of Killarney. Even though I live in Italia now, my heart will always beat to an Irish drum.

Tuscany's Wine: Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is a red DOCG wine produced in Tuscany, only in the small town of Montalcino in the province of Siena. 

The name Brunello derives from the dark grape varietal cultivated in Montalcino (bruno or brunello is the Italian word for dark), which in the mid 1800's was classified as a variety of Sangiovese (Sangiovese grosso). Between 1865 and 1869, the owners of a few estates perfected the Brunello wine making and

What is it about Bianchi?

We are approaching yet another year of collaboration with Bianchi for our 2015 bike tour season and we are proud to present our bike of choice: the Carbon Intenso, the so called Coast to Coast (C2C) series! Our color of choice was, of course, Celeste and we've added gearing to better suit our bike tours on European roads. This beauty is sure to turn heads, so watch this video to find out more about our fabulous Bianchi Intenso!

Bike Across Switzerland with Frank & Dana

Hope your cycling season has been a good one! Although some of you may live in areas where you can cycle all year long, the rest of us will be dreaming of our next cycling adventure! So we, Frank and Dana, inspired by the kind request from Lauren Hefferon owner and creator of Ciclismo Classico, would like to “spark a dream” and invite you to a new Ciclismo Classico tour, Bike Across Switzerland!

Tuscan Cuisine at its Best

The first meal of our Heart of Tuscany tour is lunch at the Relais Vignale hotel in Radda. Each course was perfectly plated and presented in a playful way. The pasta serving was just right, not too little or too much so we were ready to hop on our bikes after the meal.

Friends and food around Puglia and Basilicata

We start our Bella Puglia tour in Lecce, a pretty province capital with a lively scene and white stone baroque palaces and monuments. Puglia though is also and very often about people and how they experience our present times and specifically our cycling visitors.

A Look Back at Biking in Sardinia

Simone, Cristina and the one and only Joe Amendolara in Villaurbana

Let's Reunite in Tuscany: Medieval Music Magic

I am so excited to announce that I have been "chosen" as a co-guide for Isacco Colombo's top guide tour through Tuscany, one of my favorite destinations where I have had the pleasure to meet many of you!

Discover the Pristine Beauty of Sardinia


This is not a tour just about food, beautiful sceneries, culture...
this tour is above all about people. Authentic people”

I had the pleasure to guide and help developed a bicycle tour of Sardinia alongside Chef Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge, MA.

Tour Tuscany with a Tuscan: Tuscany Green

When I was approached by Lauren to propose a top guide tour I felt honored and I want to thank her for this wonderful opportunity.

I had many ideas, but in the end I realized the idea was closer than it seemed, and all I had to do was put the ingredients together and voila! Tuscany Green emerged as my top guide tour for 2015.

Official Tour Operators of Maratona dles Dolomites

Ride with Ciclismo Classico on Italy's main amateur cycling event!

It is with great pleasure that we announce we have become an official tour operator for the 2015 Maratona dles Dolomites! Join us in the Dolomites for a bike tour through some of the most epic passes in Italy from June 29 - July 6, 2015. We will get our legs warmed up for the Maratona, a thrilling, one-day Gran Fondo on July 5.

The Pied Piper of Ciclismo Classico

I'm so happy, grateful and enthusiastic for my experience working for Ciclismo Classico, I couldn't have found a better way to share my passion for cycling, traveling and meeting people. Ciclismo Classico is offering an unbelievable option to combine my passion for cycling AND early music in a unique, never-before-seen tour!

FREE Bay Area Bike Ride

Join Club Ciclismo for the Healdsburg Harvest ride through the vineyards of Russian River and Alexander Valley with Ciclismo Classico alumna Debbie Miskell at the helm!

Discover Malvasia di Bosa doc wine in the vineyard of Emidio Oggianu

Malvasia di Bosa
in the vineyard of Emidio Oggianu
Featured on Savor Sardinia

Sardinia is not, among the Italian regions, the largest producer of wine, but here the culture of the vine and wine is an invaluable asset, intimately tied to our culture and our traditions.

Follow the Race in France in 2015!

Ciclismo Classico brings you the exciting opportunity to follow the Race in the French Alps! Join us on this bicycle tour as we get up close and see who will take the throne of the most prestigious stage race in the world. Spin along the course before the pros arrive and then take to the sidelines to cheer with thousands of other passionate fans from all over the world.

The Original Bike Across Italy


From Pesaro to Porto Ercole, travel across Italy like you've never done before! Ciclismo Classico is the creator of the first cross-country cycling tour of Italy, originally designed by director Lauren Hefferon more than two decades ago. With more than 140 departures and 1,500 travelers served,  Bike Across Italy has graced the pages of National Geographic Traveler, Outside, USA Today, and an array of other top-tier media outlets. It is the undisputed champ of cross-country bike tours of Italy. This is a huge feat and we couldn't be any prouder!

In Piedmont, Italy with the Bike at 50!

In Piemonte con la Bici a 50!!

Contributed by Carlo Tamburrino, recent tour participant. Written as a monthly newsletter for his local Italian American Social Club (The Colombo Club) in Oakland, California.

Bike Across Belgium: celebrating our inaugural bike tou

2014 was the year we celebrated our first Bike Across Belgium bike tour, filled with brewery tours and selected by Outside Magazine as the "Best Foodie Destination". With all the media hype, this tour quickly sold out and we were thrilled to hear great reviews from guests upon their return.

Beginner's Guide: What to Pack

Are you excited about your upcoming cycling vacation, not sure what to pack? Here's a list of items to to add to your packing list! For even more information you can read our more in-depth packing guide.

Looking back at our 2014 Bike Tours

2014 is not over yet! Here's a look back at our bike tours through pictures

What to Expect on a Ciclismo Bike Tour

1) Most days of your bike tour begin by waking up and going downstairs to eat your complimentary European breakfast. If you are switching hotels you will need to pack your bags and bring them to the lobby after breakfast. Otherwise, pack your day bag (normal shoes or sandals, sunscreen, hot or cold weather gear, camera, medications, spending money/wallet).

5 Reasons to go to Italy

Reason #1: Food, Glorious Food

Seize the Day! Follow Your Passion

Are you easily seduced by incredible views? Do the gods of gelato and pasta constantly call your name? Does your yearning to explore new places pull on your heartstrings every time you hear the word travel? Do your dreams include pedaling quiet roads with your senses fully alive? 

Transforming Lives Through Active Travel

October was a one-year anniversary of becoming a rider and athlete in training. It’s the month I found the joys of cycling. When we became empty nesters five years ago we celebrated our anniversary by going on a European bike trip to Provence.

Savings you don't want to miss...

You've probably heard about our amazing fall departures by now. But did you know that we are also DISCOUNTING select fall departures? No? Well, put on your helmet and get ready to ride!

Fall Departures

As the specialist in cycling vacations in Italy since 1988, celebrate fall by joining us on a cycling tour of la bella Italia!

Fall is the season to travel! With cool sea breezes, perfect riding weather and the harvest season in full bloom, you're sure to have a splendid time traveling on the backroads of Italy through olive groves and charming hilltop towns. It's typically our busiest season, but we still have spots left on select departures.

A feast for the senses awaits....

Piedmont: Land of Barolo and Truffles

A gourmand's fantasy, this gustatory cycling tour of Piedmont - a region we have cycled through for over 20 years - is sure to remain in your memories for years to come.

Exciting news about Heart of Tuscany!

We want to share some exciting news with you about our wonderful Heart of Tuscany trip. Our GM Beppe and guide Federica have recently returned from a review of our trip and we are ecstatic to report some fantastic new additions for 2014, so get ready to immerse yourself in the Tuscan countryside!

Special Offers this Season!


See these happy clients? They're cycling from the Adriatic to Tyrrhenian Sea on our newly discounted and confirmed Bike Across Italy tour!

You're Invited! Bike Travel Film Fest


You're invited to join us at the 5th Annual Bike Travel Film Fest!
Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Location: The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington, MA
Times: Social Hour 6-7 PM; films 7-10 PM
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
Raffle: Win a trip to ITALY!

Never Too Busy for a Vacation...

Not enough vacation time? Don't worry, you can have the trip of a lifetime in just 7 days!

The
Ciclismo Experience is more than just getting on a bike or putting on your hiking shoes, it's about immersing you in the local culture, enabling you to discover your destination from the inside.

Save the Earth, Ride a Bike!

Every parent has heard it - the dreaded question your child asks during a long car ride - "Are we there yet?"

So why not ditch the car in honor of Earth Day by booking an Active Family Cycling Vacation in Europe?

Watch The Tour.. On Tour!


French Alps to French Riviera

An Experiential "Peak" for the Experienced Rider

75% off all tours - April Fools! - Ways to Save

APRIL FOOLS!

A Letter from Andrea

The Wichita Eagle Announces Best Travel Bargains

Read Article

Spring into Spring with 20% off

Washington Post Announces Assaggio Toscana Deal

Read Article

Rock the Pasta tour continues with Federica

Announcing our 2014 Travel Awards

We invite you to share in our excitement!

Best Foodie Destination: Bike Across Belgium

We were chosen as "Best Foodie Destination 2014" by Outside Magazine for our Bike Across Belgium cycling tour. Why? Simply put, there is nothing quite like biking through Belgium's contrasting landscape of flatlands in Flanders and the rolling hills in French speaking Wallonia. It is truly a cyclist's dream, and home to arguably the most scenic cycling in Europe.There are miles of bicycle paths that zig zag along romantic canals and wind their way between quaint towns, charming castles, outdoor cafés and incredible restaurants. This bicycle infrastructure, gorgeous scenery, delicious food and varied culture help explain why cycling is the country's national sport.Select dates available. Book now!

Best Cycling Guide in the World: Marcello Bonini

We congratulate our own Marcello Bonini voted "Best Cycling Guide in the World 2014" by Outside Magazine. Marking his 17th year with Ciclismo Classico, Marcello has led over 100 tours. In celebration of this milestone, he has created a special signature trip!

"The Best of Po Valley" will combine his early cycling experiences - rides to "the big river" looking for fishing spots and old style Osteria - and the thrilling climbs to the ancient castles of Matilde di Canossa where the view embraces the ridge of Apennines. Add the excitement of a gran finale participating in a classic amateur cycling event in Italy, the 42nd Gran Fondo Cooperatori of Reggio Emilia.

Tour Date: May 26 - June 2, 2014. Don't be left out! Book now!

Best Family Adventure

Family Vacation Critic named us one of the Top Ten Best Family Adventures for 2014. Our Family Funster tours are an excellent way to make worldly adults out of your children. Our Family tours give you the chance to cycle or hike with your outdoor progeny - long before they're ready to vanish with the keys to the family car - to teach them a healthier way to get from place to place. Savor these priceless moments while you still can. After all, what child doesn't like Italian food? Tuscan Fantasy is our #1 family vacation.

Call today to see about how you can join our July 28th Departure. Book now!

Adventure Travel Trade Association announces Ciclismo's Travel Awards

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Vote NOW!2014 Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards!

In Transit section of NY Times features Ciclismo Classico

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Multisport Sardinia trip is named one of the "10 Best Family Adventures" by Family Vacation Critic

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Marcello Bonini wins "Best Cycling Guide in the World" in Outside Magazine

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Belgium tour wins best "Foodie Destination" by Outside Magazine

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Adventure Travel Trade Association shows Ciclismo Classico some love

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Save on our award-winning itiniraries!

With Oscar season upon us again, we are in a nostalgic mood at Ciclismo Classico reflecting upon the array of accolades we've garnered over the past two and a half decades. In honor of awards season, we've created a special offer!

Ciclismo Classico mentioned in Travel Weekly

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Featured Story in American Airlines In-Flight Magazine

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Especially for "Last Minute" Lovers

GoNomad.com Recommends Ciclismo Classico for Cycling in Sardinia

GoNomad.com Recommends Ciclismo Classico for Cycling in Sardinia

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Ciclismo Classico Releases Exclusive 'Birthday by Bike' Bucket List Discount for 2014

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Celebrate Your Birthday on a Ciclismo Classico Tour

Bike Across Belgium Named as Top Adventure Travel Trips 2014

We were thrilled to see that ActiveTimes.com, a top website for authoritative, inspiring, enlightening content for living the active, adventurous life, named our new “Bike Across Belgium” tour one of the best new adventure travel tours of 2014.

Bike Across Belgium

Ciclismo Classico Announces Sardinia Foodie Tour with Celebrated Chef

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Arlington, MA – Sardinia is often described as “almost a continent”, due to its geographic diversity and rich history dating back 5,000 years. Very few places are as magnificently unspoiled and undiscovered as this vast island, the second largest in the Mediterranean. With chef Jody Adams, a James Beard Award winner and the creative visionary behind two of Massachusetts’ most loved restaurants: Rialto and TRADE as a host, Ciclismo Classico guests will spend seven days this summer experiencing Sardinia’s matchless regional cuisine and wines, while biking 300+ km across the gorgeous island.

Taking it to the Streets - Celebrating Easter in Andalucia

Easter traditions vary from country to country to but there’s nothing quite like being in Andalucia to experience the true pageantry and revelry that is associated with this sacred holiday.

These ancient traditions are not about the Easter Bunny, pastel colored dyed eggs laying atop synthetic grass in baskets, or the early morning hunt for the treasured chocolates/goodies that lay hidden around the house by the elusive Bunny.

Forget Black Friday - Enjoy Sleep in Sunday!

Whatever happened to a quiet Thanksgiving Weekend?

Ask Beppe about our Italian Tour Itineraries

Eco-Adventurer Plugs Our Vietnam Splendor Bike Tour

Eco-Adventurer.com, a top blog for adventure travelers, wrote a nice piece about our Vietnam cycling tour happening this Christmas. Highlights of the Vietnam Splendor tour include: scenic cycling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon); a boat cruise up the Perfume River; delicious and locally-sourced meals; a culinary lesson with famous local chef Duc Tram; jaunts to UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hue, Hoi An and My Son; and encounters with thousands of cultural and historical artifacts from the Dinh, Ly, Tran and Le dynasties. The tour is slated for 12/22/13 – 1/1/2014 and spots are still available.

Highlights from Marc's Bike Tour in Piedmont

One of the great benefits of my job at Ciclismo Classico is the opportunity to travel on our bike tours and experience the world through the eyes of our guests. Not only does it give me a unique perspective on their desires and wishes, enabling me to help service our clients better, but it also affords me the chance to explore the world and enjoy all the amazing adventures that our trips have to offer!

Ciclismo Classico Named Top Women-Led Business for 3rd Straight Year

For the third straight year, the Boston Business Journal and the Commonwealth Institute have named Ciclismo Classico as one of Boston’s top 100 woman-led businesses. Ciclismo Classico, founded by Lauren Hefferon in 1988, offers authentic, unique and culturally-rich cycling vacations worldwide. It is one of the most respected boutique operators in the travel industry, garnering awards from Outside, Forbes, Bicycling Magazine and National Geographic Traveler, among others.Hefferon is considered a pioneer in the world of adventure travel and continues to expand her company’s offerings every year. For more information, visit http://www.ciclismoclassico.com/ or call 800-866-7314.

Lauren riding in Namibia

Test Drive a Ciclismo Bike Tour

Are you relatively new to the world of cycling vacations? Afraid a longer bicycle tour might be too much for you? Perhaps you don't have enough vacation time to spend two weeks on the road or you'd prefer a hiking adventure instead? Why not take a 6 day spin and see what you think.

Top 5 Things to Pack for a Cycling Vacation

A Winter Escape Cycling in Vietnam

Are you looking for a warm and sunny getaway during the winter months? Look no further than our Vietnam Splendor cycling tour.

Tuscany bike tours during the World Cycling Championships

"Guests will pedal the rolling Tuscan hills, sip Chianti, and see who earns the right to wear the Rainbow Jersey."

Gran Canaria in the Chicago Tribune Travel Section

The Chicago Tribune features great travel opportunities in it's travel section. Gran Canaria is a great off season training destination featuring beautiful beaches, mountain-scapes and sunshine. Read More here: Chicago Tribune Travel Section. or visit our Gran Canaria bike tour page.

Ciclismo Classico Goes on a Culture-Focused Bike Tour of Puglia

Deep Cultural Travel features our Puglia bike tour

Andalucia and Gran Canaria bike tours featured on Examiner.com

"Attention globe-trotting cyclists: If winter-time biking in exotic locations with summer-like climes turns you on, an Italian tour operator that puts "a touch of La Dolce Vita (the good life)" into its trips has two upcoming tours for you."

Director Lauren Hefferon attends ATMEX adventure travel show in Mexico

2013 ATMEX: Adventure Travel Nirvana! A Showcase of the Best of Mexico’s Natural Beauty, Outdoor Activities and Cultural Treasures

Check out her blog for more!

Ciclismo Classico’s Top 5 Places to Bike in Italy

Lauren Hefferon, CEO of Ciclismo Classico, has biked all over Europe and extensively in Italy since founding the company 25-years-ago. In fact, after graduating from Cornell University, she earned a Rotary Scholarship to study Art in Florence, where she pedaled 200+ miles a week to familiarize herself with every road within 100 miles.

Single Supplement Waived on October Piedmont Italy Cycling Tour - $800 Value!!

Rick Steves explains that in Europe, "Some people travel almost exclusively by bike and wouldn't have it any other way." Our give single travelers the opportunity to keep fit while seeing more of Europe than they would be able to by car. Single cyclists can meet other singles who share their love of travel and adventure, or they can join a small group to explore the European countryside. Either way, the expertise of our local guides exponentially improves the travel experience.

Pedaling.com

Many of us remember how independent we felt on our first solo bike ride. Every time you get on your bicycle, you can recapture that feeling of independence. If you are dreaming about cycling across the US or across town, is your best resource for , , and . Our section will provide you with maps and cue sheets while you are vacationing in Maine, California or any where in between this summer. It is not to late to register for aor a Once you register, you will have extra incentive to ride locally to prepare for your tour or event. If you want to feel really independent this , ride your bike to celebrate. Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter for some very important tips about protecting your bike from people who may want to take away your ride to independence. will help you to enjoy every mile.

Scotland Cycling Called “Must Visit” by BBC News

A June 10, 2013 BBC News story entitled, “” details how a recent report from , studied the economic value of residents and visitors involved in touring and leisure cycling, and revealed that cycle tourism is worth up to £239m per year to the Scottish economy. The report makes recommendations for unlocking the economic potential of leisure cycling, including marketing routes in rural areas of Scotland.

Ciclismo Classico’s eight-day “” tour does just that. Beginning in Inverness, this intermediate tour pedals alongside the mighty Loch Ness and Great Glen, a geological marvel more than 400 million years old. Guests visit Urquhart Castle before heading north to Strathpeffer via Glen Ord, home to one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. Next, they’ll tackle increasingly rugged and wild terrain, en route to the majestic mountains of Torridon and Applecross, where an epic day of riding over the UK’s highest mountain pass awaits. The final push takes riders to the lovely coastal village of Gairloch and concludes the journey on the shores of the Atlantic. The tour covers 254 miles, and average 36 miles per day.

Bike Across France Awarded National Geographic “Tour of a Lifetime”

Our new tour has been selected as one of ’s and will be featured in the May 2013 issue. The “50 Tours of a Lifetime” are selection of the most authentic, most innovative, most immersive, best-guided, and most sustainable tours in the world.

“We are very honored to have our Bike Across France tour selected as one of ‘50 Tours of a Lifetime’,” said Ciclismo Classico Founder Lauren Hefferon. “The list of activities on this France cycling tour includes wine tastings, a canoe ride on the Dordogne River, a visit to the Museum of Toulouse Lautrec, and guided visits of Castelnaud Castle, Cap Blanc and the Fortified City of Carcassonne.”

Special Kayak and Culture Extension for the June 23rd Ireland Tour

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Ready for a peaceful invasion of Puglia?

Ciclismo Classico 2013 La Bella Puglia has been a best seller and only a few spots for the April 27th departure are left. Here’s a preview of the first part of the tour, which is also newly added to the itinerary, by our senior guide and Puglia specialist, Beppe: “I just got back from scouting, finalizing the itineraries, selecting menus and tasting wines from different local producers. I must confirm that Puglia is perfect for bike touring thanks to spectacular view rides, along colorful olive groves, orchards and coastal roads. Peaceful biking that opens up your senses.

The tour starts in Lecce, in the Salento area. We are very happy to visit this town which I consider the most aristocratic in Puglia but with a typical hosting (welcoming) sense of the South. If you are a wine lover you would know Salice Salentino, but do you know which is the oldest winery there? Leone De Castris was founded in 1665 and we had a nice visit with Alessandra De Castris, yes the business still runs in the family, and they will be glad to open their doors, and a few bottles, for us. The tour moves North among vineyards and olive groves.The olive tree was brought in this area by the Greeks over 2000 years ago and some of those trees are really that old. Ostuni, la città Bianca (the white city), dominates the valley laying in front of the Adriatic sea. On this day, we get to ride on one of my favorite itineraries. It is never too demanding and it mingles the country side with the seacoast. Here comes the best part, a gourmet dinner followed by a relaxing evening on the Selva di Fasano high plan awaits us after that. Alberobello and Matera are still ahead and along with Lecce they are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Still wondering about what to do on your upcoming cycling vacation? Do not hesitate to choose La Bella Puglia, where you can sense the true taste, smell and views of South Italy! What else? This tour takes off on Beppe’s birthday and that’s why you will all be part of this celebration!

An Excerpt from "Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die" by Chris Santella

“I studied archaeology and anthropology in college, and I love places with great architecture and culture,” Lauren Hefferon began. “I came to Italy to continue my education. When I was living in Italy, I’d ask the people I’d meet, ‘Where are the great places to ride?’ After I heard about a place, I’d go to a bookstore and look at maps and guidebooks to figure it out. I was committed to riding all the great places I was learning about. When someone mentioned Sardinia, it piqued my interest. The photographs convinced me to go. Sardinia is to Italians as Hawaii is to Americans—an island Shangri-La. I love islands, the idea that you can cycle around or across and get a sense of completion. When I visited in 1992, I was blown away by how gorgeous it was. The roads were fabulous, and the contrast between the coast and the interior was tremendous. At that time, Americans knew little of Sardinia. I felt like people would embrace it, both for fitness riding and for the chance to combine swimming and biking and the opportunity to immerse yourself in an authentic, exotic culture.”

Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (160 miles long and 68 miles wide), located west of the Italian mainland, north of Tunisia and the African continent, and just south of the French island of Corsica. The island is one of Italy’s five autonomous regions with its capital, Cagliari, in the far south. Throughout history, Sardinia has had a variety of courtiers and conquerors, including (but not limited to) the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, and finally, the Italians. The island has been part of Italy since the early 1700s, and though Italian is widely spoken and many aspects of Italian culture have been adopted, Sardinian (an early Romance language dating back two thousand years) is still commonly heard. Sardinia boasts 1,200 miles of coastline along the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Seas, with myriad white sand beaches and turquoise water that cries out to swimmers. Costa Smeralda (or the “Emerald Coast”) on Sardinia’s northeastern shore appeals to European jet-setters, royals, and other glitterati; it’s a major stop on the Rolex Cup sailing circuit. Inland, you’ll find a much different side of Sardinia of canyons dotted with ancient mountain villages, forests of chestnut and cork trees, and shepherds herding their flocks much as they have for thousands of years.

An Excerpt from "Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die" by Chris Santella

“I studied archaeology and anthropology in college, and I love places with great architecture and culture,” Lauren Hefferon began. “I came to Italy to continue my education. When I was living in Italy, I’d ask the people I’d meet, ‘Where are the great places to ride?’ After I heard about a place, I’d go to a bookstore and look at maps and guidebooks to figure it out. I was committed to riding all the great places I was learning about. When someone mentioned Sardinia, it piqued my interest. The photographs convinced me to go. Sardinia is to Italians as Hawaii is to Americans—an island Shangri-La. I love islands, the idea that you can cycle around or across and get a sense of completion. When I visited in 1992, I was blown away by how gorgeous it was. The roads were fabulous, and the contrast between the coast and the interior was tremendous. At that time, Americans knew little of Sardinia. I felt like people would embrace it, both for fitness riding and for the chance to combine swimming and biking and the opportunity to immerse yourself in an authentic, exotic culture.”

Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (160 miles long and 68 miles wide), located west of the Italian mainland, north of Tunisia and the African continent, and just south of the French island of Corsica. The island is one of Italy’s five autonomous regions with its capital, Cagliari, in the far south. Throughout history, Sardinia has had a variety of courtiers and conquerors, including (but not limited to) the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, and finally, the Italians. The island has been part of Italy since the early 1700s, and though Italian is widely spoken and many aspects of Italian culture have been adopted, Sardinian (an early Romance language dating back two thousand years) is still commonly heard. Sardinia boasts 1,200 miles of coastline along the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Seas, with myriad white sand beaches and turquoise water that cries out to swimmers. Costa Smeralda (or the “Emerald Coast”) on Sardinia’s northeastern shore appeals to European jet-setters, royals, and other glitterati; it’s a major stop on the Rolex Cup sailing circuit. Inland, you’ll find a much different side of Sardinia of canyons dotted with ancient mountain villages, forests of chestnut and cork trees, and shepherds herding their flocks much as they have for thousands of years.

Beppe's Birthday Ride through Puglia, April 27-May 5!

It happened by chance that the spring tour begins on April 27th, my birthday! We are working on putting together some special activities to celebrate the ocassion in Puglia! However, the logisitics of the tour overall will not be changed.

Beppe's Birthday Ride through Puglia, April 27-May 5!

It happened by chance that the spring tour begins on April 27th, my birthday! We are working on putting together some special activities to celebrate the ocassion in Puglia! However, the logisitics of the tour overall will not be changed.

Eleven Madison Park Event with Chef Daniel Humm

Ciclismo Classico's first Ride and Dine event with Chef Daniel Humm of , October 20th, exceeded even the highest expectations of those who planned and attended the event. The foliage laden ride in Westchester followed by a bruschetta and vino lunch break, to our four hour dining experience over convivial good company and memory making food, was reminiscent of a day in the life of a Ciclismo Classico tour.... Dialed up a notch of course, as the opportunity to ride alongside and share genuine conversation with one of the most esteemed chefs today, in his 3 star Michelin restaurant, was intensely special and a unique experience for all.

Piedmont Cycling Tours: Enjoy Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera Wines

Join and our on a and you will add at least three “B” words to your vocabulary: , and . These wines, woven into the very fabric of the landscape and culture of this region, practically take on mythical qualities. They will become familiar characters as we bike between local vineyards where the owners personally open their doors to Ciclismo guests to share the wine-making knowledge that has been passed down for generations. Here’s a primer on the wines of Piedmont Italy:

Seventy percent of Piedmont’s wines are made from red grapes concentrated in the Langhe and Monferrato hills. More than half of the region's 170,000 acres of vines have earned Italy's prized D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) label, a guarantee of a place name and production formula, awarded by the government. Piedmont also has more D.O.C. zones (50) than any other region in Italy.

Biking In Spain: Five Reasons Why Andalucia Rocks

For cyclists who crave the chance to spin through challenging, hilly terrain while enjoying authentic, passionate Spanish culture, Andalucia is a dream destination for a biking tour of Spain. The country’s southernmost region is the focus of Ciclismo Classico’s , a 9-day journey for intermediate cyclists. Here are five reasons why we think Andalucia rocks:

Twenty percent of Andalucia is comprised of nature reserves interspersed through the mountain ranges for which the region is famous. It is spinning through Andalucia’s natural parks with their mix of limestone formations, ecological diversity and historic small villages.

Le Marche: A Meaningful Place to Start The Bike Across Italy Tour

There’s a reason our coast-to-coast starts in region of on Italy’s Adriatic Coast, before continuing through , and and reaching the Mediterranean Sea. This 11-day journey is inspired by the life-changing solo bike trip founder Lauren Hefferon took in 1983 to reconnect with her roots in little-known Le Marche.

Graduating from Cornell with four years of Italian under her belt, Lauren sent letters to cousins in Le Marche asking to visit and learn more about her family. Landing in , she biked for five days to reach the little town of , where her grandmother lived until the age of 18 when she left for the U.S.

L'Eroica Cycling Race in Tuscany Named One of "50 Rides of A Lifetime"

recently named, an amateur cycling race on the (white roads) in the hills of Tuscany, as one of “.” Having taken part in this zany race a few years back, the team can definitely agree. Held every fall, L’Eroica features only vintage bikes (pre-1987) and often vintage outfits (think leather shoes). The full race traverses 130 miles (there are four routes of varying distances) with an elevation gain of 11,000 feet. Oh and did we mention that the majority of the time is spent on dirt roads?

On the October race morning at 5:20 a.m., six adventurous left from all geared up with wool jerseys, tubulars carried on our body, leather helmets, thin leather shoes and very old bikes with toe cages and gears almost even impossible to conceive for a bike ride nowadays.

L'Eroica Cycling Race in Tuscany Named One of "50 Rides of A Lifetime"

recently named, an amateur cycling race on the (white roads) in the hills of Tuscany, as one of “.” Having taken part in this zany race a few years back, the team can definitely agree. Held every fall, L’Eroica features only vintage bikes (pre-1987) and often vintage outfits (think leather shoes). The full race traverses 130 miles (there are four routes of varying distances) with an elevation gain of 11,000 feet. Oh and did we mention that the majority of the time is spent on dirt roads?

On the October race morning at 5:20 a.m., six adventurous left from all geared up with wool jerseys, tubulars carried on our body, leather helmets, thin leather shoes and very old bikes with toe cages and gears almost even impossible to conceive for a bike ride nowadays.

Bicycling Magazine Features Ciclismo Classico’s La Bella Puglia Bike Tour in Italy

Tucked in the heel of Italy along the turquoise water of the Adriatic, the region of Puglia might just be one of the country’s best kept secrets. (You think you’ve seen stunning scenery and sampled scrumptious food in the rest of the country? Experience how Puglia compares.) But word is getting out and here at Ciclismo Classico couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

recently featured one of Ciclismo Classico’s Puglia bike tours as one of “eight spots at the intersection of great eating and cycling” in its article . “, a five-day tour run by Ciclismo Classico, features slow food and slow riding: You cover only about 25 miles per day, the better to feast on the scenery as well as the fruits of the landscape,” says.

What Makes Ciclismo Classico Bike Tours Unique? Our Native Guides Of Course!

Ciclismo Classico’s immerse our guests in a biking destination a way that no one else can. In fact, our cycling guides are the number one reason why guests say they come back to take yet another Ciclismo Classico bike tour.

“Both of our guides, Federica and Stefano, treated us with care and respect, showed us a great time, helped me personally with my Italian and instructed and taught me about cycling,” notes a recent guest on Ciclismo’s .

France Biking Tours: Why Dordogne Provides the Perfect French Cycling Locale

For cyclists who love French culture and history and want to bike along some of the most gorgeous terrain in all of France, offers a wealth of unique experiences. Dordogne is the land of ancient stone villages, pre-historic art, picturesque castles, lovely people, hearty cuisine and enchanting valleys. If you’re looking for an intermediate bike tour in France that satisfies your craving for cycling and culture and gets you off the beaten path, join us on our this spring or fall.

Here are some of the amazing corners of Dordogne you can look forward to visiting by bike:

Where to Bike in Tuscany? Assaggio Toscana Explores the Best of Tuscany

– Zachary, recent guest

– Joseph, recent guest

Why We Love Sardinia and Why Our Guests Love Our Sardinia Bike Tours

– James Bennett

– Roger Breene

Why Choose Ciclismo For A Family Bike Trip in Europe

With many schools out this week and moms and dads already thinking about summer vacation, we wanted to delve into specific family offers this summer, what makes them special, and of course the savings around them. Why bring your family on a Ciclismo tour? love kids and can make last-minute adjustments in the itinerary to accommodate children of all ages.

Meet the Local Guides Behind Our Piedmont Bike Tours

February is the month of love. Ciclismo Classico guests are unanimous about what most about our bike tours and that is ourpassionate, experienced native guideswho are eager to introduce guests to colorful locals and little-known places. Eight of our guides were born in the spectacular Italian region of Piedmont and have helped craft our Piedmont tours -- and -- into true insider’s experiences. Two of them, Enrico and Cristiano, share their Piedmont favorites:

15 years with Ciclismo Classico , home to ancient Roman hot springs (soak them up on )the hills of , a sequence of geometric vineyards that change color and shading every minute of the day: his mom’s homemade ravioli, eaten “naked” without any sauce: by (late harvest, white wine)

Six Memories You’ll Bring Home From a Ciclismo Bike Tour of Piedmont

Not only does have eight native guides but we also has a local office in Piedmont. This gives us the unique ability to craft and tweak our Piedmont tours on the ground: finding the best routes, adding hidden gems, introducing you to some of the locals we interact with on a daily basis. With our unique connections and comfort with Piedmont, our and tours make you feel like you are visiting old friends in the region. Piedmont offer not only natural beauty but some of Italy’s finest culinary and wine experiences. The stuff memories are made of…

Climb the mountains of the Alps and the Apennines that crown the west and south; pedal through the rolling hills and scenic vineyards of the and ; daydream on the endless quiet, flat roads of the Po Valley.

Sicily Is Hot: Combine A Visit to Palermo With A Sicily Bike Tour

There’s no other way to say it, Sicily is for 2012. The travel agents and tour operators I talk to say travelers are choosing this enchanting island for their next vacation. The stunning landscape (volcanic vistas, winding roads and turquoise waters) makes a one of the best ways to see the treasures of Sicily.

For thousands of years, the island was under the domination of outside forces including the Greeks, Arabs, Romans and Normans. Their influences are layered throughout the Sicilian landscape and lifestyle — from the architecture to the cuisine.

Hear from those who've been there

You want to travel. You hear about the various tour operators and it isn't necessarily obvious the differences between the options you have. Research is time-consuming and you need a vacation but not more work in order to make that vacation happen.

Hear from those who've been there

You want to travel. You hear about the various tour operators and it isn't necessarily obvious the differences between the options you have. Research is time-consuming and you need a vacation but not more work in order to make that vacation happen.

First Time Travel Tips

If this is your first trip to Europe, you're not alone! There are a few things that are helpful to know prior to setting out to another country for the first time. If you're traveling with us, you know that the moment your trip starts until it ends, you'll be completely in the care of our incredibly capable guides.

We're at Le Tour...

This year we have master guides and leading our trip to the Tour de France. According to blogger David Cox, they have already been amazing to get the Ciclismo group on mountain passes where it wouldn't otherwise have been possible.

We're at Le Tour...

This year we have master guides and leading our trip to the Tour de France. According to blogger David Cox, they have already been amazing to get the Ciclismo group on mountain passes where it wouldn't otherwise have been possible.

What is a Gran Fondo? And a Peek into Italian Racing...

Photo courtesy of Gary Resnick.

Are you Addicted to le Tour?

The is upon us, it's starting tomorrow! Who's as excited as I that it's beginning? July is defined by the Tour de France and this year (finally), I will be able to watch it on my own television. Then again, I see the stages of the as a pretty good excuse to get together with friends, go out and watch it together in a variety of cycling establishments and bars.

A Trip to Denver, a lesson on bikes...

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to represent Ciclismo Classico at the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Festival in Denver, Colorado. Being from Denver, it was particularly cool to take part in such an event and meet a wide array of people who ride bicycles. The interest amongst those who came to the Ciclismo table was very high for our trips--many people are Ciclismo alumni in the area and many more know about us even though, historically, we haven't had a physical presence in the Denver Metro area.

2nd Annual Bike Film Festival

The 2nd Annual Ciclismo Classico Film Fest presented in the historic Regent theater for Bike Week gave a pleasant reprieve from the week's constant rain to the 130 attendees.

Frank's Review of Greece to Italy tour

It is not my intention in this review to attempt to describe the tour, because as most Ciclismo Classico tours, it is simply indescribable. Where would I start, with the unbelievably clear coastal sea water at the first day meeting point in Loutraki, or riding past the ruins of Ancient Corinth on day 2 or are the ruins at Mycenae (also on day 2) with her juicy story of the king Agamemnon, being so brutally slain by his wife’s lover more interesting. It's all but forgotten when we arrive at Nafplio later in the day... and the story goes on.

Frank's Review of Greece to Italy tour

It is not my intention in this review to attempt to describe the tour, because as most Ciclismo Classico tours, it is simply indescribable. Where would I start, with the unbelievably clear coastal sea water at the first day meeting point in Loutraki, or riding past the ruins of Ancient Corinth on day 2 or are the ruins at Mycenae (also on day 2) with her juicy story of the king Agamemnon, being so brutally slain by his wife’s lover more interesting. It's all but forgotten when we arrive at Nafplio later in the day... and the story goes on.

The Boston Marathon is Coming!

On Monday, April 18th, come join the Ciclismo Classico gang for the 10th Annual Chalk-the-Hill. This is a three-part event that includes cycling, chalk drawing and cheering at Boston's most famous sporting event: The Boston Marathon. Each year Ciclismo Classico gathers at the top of Heartbreak Hill (mile 21 of the race) to cheer and cover the course's most challenging stretch in colorful chalk messages.

Announcing the new Ciclismo Classico website!

After lots of hard work by everyone at Ciclismo, our new website is ready for prime time!

An Invitation to Sardegna

By Simone ScalasStop. Take a break from your busy life and experience a true Italian vacation. Come to a very special place that is my home and I want it to be yours during your visit to this little-known Italian paradise.

Ciclismo Classico's Campione Series

Ciclismo Classico has a of tours specifically for those looking for the action of racing and doing some serious (and seriously cool) riding. Here's a bit more perspective on what these are all about from one who's been there, done that and has a lot more than a t-shirt to show from it...and can't wait to go back.

Ciclismo Classico's Campione Series

Ciclismo Classico has a of tours specifically for those looking for the action of racing and doing some serious (and seriously cool) riding. Here's a bit more perspective on what these are all about from one who's been there, done that and has a lot more than a t-shirt to show from it...and can't wait to go back.

How Ciclismo Cross-trains for the New Year

By Lauren Hefferon

Guide Profile: Frank Yantorno

Many people have asked me, “What is it like to live, as an American, in a fairy tale place like Italy? How did you get there? How do you keep it together?”I am a multimedia artist, and live with my sweetheart for the longest time, fellow CC guide and artist Dana. This winter we went telemark skiing in Val Senales with yet more CC guides and friends: Enrico, Suzie and G.P. Fosco When Ciclismo Classico talks about being a big family, it's true.

Right now, I am in the middle of a huge photo editing project archiving more than 18,000 images into a new system. My computer has been bonking. I know how that feels, so I am very patient.Although I love my life as a guide, I consider myself first and foremost, an artist, then a cycling guide, then a mechanic, and lastly, an athlete. My art training helps me navigate the diverse cultures of guests on our tours; the tours and guests inform and inspire my art.

Three great Italy trips for foodies

By Lynette Chiang

Guide Profile: Sandro Draghi

If the life of an international tour guide sparks mild feelings of envy, then save that deadly sin for Ciclismo’s Allesandro "Sandro" Draghi, who lives the way most of us dream to vacation.Sandro, a trained biologist, tour guide, and wine sommelier, knows exactly where you're coming from. Tired of the honking, jostling, polluting city life, he finally tore himself from its grip in 1996 and transplanted to rural Tuscany, where he and his family run “ ,” an agriturismo just outside Siena.What is an agriturismo? A contraction of "agriculture" and "tourism", it is a rural vacation destination based around a farmhouse. An agriturismo will usually serve foods from a raw state produced right on the farm or at least locally, with an uncompromising emphasis on freshness and seasonality. Some will also offer farm activities you can participate in and get "mud on your boots."Amid the Etruscan ruins including a tumulus (ancient burial mound), medieval mill, very old oak trees, and heavenly peace and quiet, Sandro and his family invite you to experience - food that is locally-produced and not industrially processed in any way, that you can enjoy at a rural pace. The inspiration at Il Molinello begins at breakfast: "Having breakfast at Il Molinello means eating fresh food or food prepared right here. Bread and cakes are cooked by us using organic flours from nearby farms, organic eggs from our hens, and organic chicken from Valdarno. We make organic jams; honey comes from organic farms in Asciano and Rapolano. We grow or source local organic fresh fruit; juices come from the biodynamic farm Terra d’Arcoiris. Cold cuts are wild and organic. Cheese comes from local farms, like Spereta, Vergelle and La Fonte, almost always made from organic, raw milk. Even cornflakes, granola, juices, yogurts, tea, herb teas and milk are organic."Ciclismo sales manager Christy Mraz had an enviable stay at Sandro's house, after completing the tour Sandro led in September."He's incredible. Though his website says they don't want to "teach" you so much as let you organically experience the delicious pace and space of Il Molinello, he never stops being an unstoppable fountain of knowledge and enthusiasm. Walking the grounds, photographing the sunset and his truffle trees, and witnessing first hand his research, uncovering and restoration that went into his 14th Century home was when we truly grasped the breadth of his passion. His love and attention to so many things was so clear to everyone. The floor around their sofa is actually glass so you can see the original mill, lit up beneath your feet! It’s a constant reminder of the history you're literally standing on. Sandro was actually nicknamed "The Passion" by a guest on the last night of the trip during a final toast."Christy also fondly remembers the cycle coaching Sandro offered on their tour. "For me, it was help with my riding position for decents. For my husband Dion it how to get the best work-out while grinding up the 4km climb to Cortona at my slower speed!"And what of Sandro's the Sommelier's legendary reputation for his knowledge of the grape?"He would draw clear distinctions about the cultivation of the wines, the effect of different microclimates and so on, and not fall back into simple categorization. For example, if you ask for a "Super Tuscan" he'll be happy to order you one but would likely follow with an explanation of how the term tells you very little about the wine you'll be drinking, and then follow with as much clarification as you'd like. His home enoteca (collection of local wines) speaks wonders - he is much more interested in sharing his collection with guests than turning a profit by marking them up."No matter how fast or slow you ride, or how into food or wine you are, Sandro is an extraordinary guide, teacher and friend, and if you time things right, you might like to add a week at his agriturismo to your next Ciclismo Classico tour. Now, won't your friends be envious?

Guest Profile: Carla Gambescia

Carla Gambescia - cyclist, entrepreneur, and dog-loving philanthropist - is all about the pizzette (little pizzas) at her Italian fusion cafe !, which means "the way forward" or "the road ahead." I'm slowly chewing the most toothsome, crispy crust studded with figs, walnuts, fresh thyme and a drizzle of honey. The Beatrice (pronounced Bea-treech-eh) is her culinary gauntlet. And she's ready to throw it down before the biggest names in Italian cuisine."The secret is the par-baking the crust and ..." Carla leans forward. "I declare this a historic moment: I hereby challenge Mario Batali to better my pizzette crust!"Other non-mama-mia-red-sauce items on her eclectic but very accessible and affordable menu include her "breadless panini" (where South Beach meets the Riviera?) and a dessert pizza involving Nutella and three scoops of her signature gelato.What was the appetizer for this impressive second course in her life? "It was on my favorite vacation ever, a Ciclismo Classico trip in Sicily, 1995, with a really small group and native guides. We sang songs, had Italian lessons, the food the history ... I'm Italian and it really ignited something in me, brought back everything about my childhood. I was in marketing and food, so when I came home I wanted to conceive of this place so that when you came in here, you would feel like you were there.""Here" is Mt Kisco, just 50 minutes from Grand Central, and a short bike ride from her home in nearby Chappaqua. The cafe is housed right in Mt Kisco's historic train station.Aside from the wonderful perfume of Italian cooking in the air, she has meticulously curated the interior, inspired by her favorite city, Venice."I believe Venice is the home of fusion cuisine," she declares. "It was the gateway to the East, the spice trade." The Venetian theme unfurls: Murano glass chandeliers, chairs from the design epicenter of the universe, Milan; partitions and tilework echoing the Doge's Palace in Venice; Carrara marble counter, and Italian classic movies by Fellini rolling behind bottles of Lambrusca and Frascati at the bar. And of course, the signature gelato case.Carla was a a founder of well-known gelato brand Ciao Bella. She proudly shows me .

Haggis to Ubuntu: Lauren's Trip to Scotland

Having just returned from the annual , I am once again energized, inspired and proud to be a part of one of the fastest-growing and most successful travel sectors - adventure travel.Since we are launching a , I was excited to taste as much of this wonderful country as nine days (and lots of meetings, lectures and networking) would allow. As usual, I packed a full schedule! Highlights of the nine days included a walk up to Arthur’s seat (a dramatic peak right in the middle of Edinburgh), a bike tour around Edinburgh with Andy of , learning the intricacies of single malt scotch at the with my colleagues, paddling with an expert kayaker/tour operator from Sweden, and mountain biking through lavender fields.Lunch each day was sponsored by a different country, showcasing their native cuisine and demonstrating their unique sights and sounds. As expected, the Scottish tourist board won points for authenticity in their live performance of the Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns. The haggis is a traditional Scottish dish traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" (turnips and potatoes) and "dram" (a glass of whisky). .How lucky am I? Not only did I travel to a spectacular country but I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the latest trends in travel, explore exciting new destinations via multi-media demonstrations and mingle with adventure travel “movers and shakers” from around the word. .

Haggis to Ubuntu: Lauren's Trip to Scotland

Having just returned from the annual , I am once again energized, inspired and proud to be a part of one of the fastest-growing and most successful travel sectors - adventure travel.Since we are launching a , I was excited to taste as much of this wonderful country as nine days (and lots of meetings, lectures and networking) would allow. As usual, I packed a full schedule! Highlights of the nine days included a walk up to Arthur’s seat (a dramatic peak right in the middle of Edinburgh), a bike tour around Edinburgh with Andy of , learning the intricacies of single malt scotch at the with my colleagues, paddling with an expert kayaker/tour operator from Sweden, and mountain biking through lavender fields.Lunch each day was sponsored by a different country, showcasing their native cuisine and demonstrating their unique sights and sounds. As expected, the Scottish tourist board won points for authenticity in their live performance of the Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns. The haggis is a traditional Scottish dish traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" (turnips and potatoes) and "dram" (a glass of whisky). .How lucky am I? Not only did I travel to a spectacular country but I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the latest trends in travel, explore exciting new destinations via multi-media demonstrations and mingle with adventure travel “movers and shakers” from around the word. .

The Italian Experience

Americans crave the Italian Experience. We come to Italy for real Italian food and wine, to meet real Italians, relax with the best gelato, visit history and soak in the fantastic panoramas. However, from what I've seen, most tourists tend to gravitate to the tourist spots, the places that are easy to go with the English language and those that are easy to get around without a car. Rome, Florence and Venice are absolutely must-see places, but so many people stop there.The thirst for this Italian experience only became obvious to me when I met a couple from California who were in Perugia for their honeymoon a few weeks back. I happened to be in town with my Italian friend, Damiano (who doesn't speak English) and he and I were having a drink in the warm evening air. This couple, Mark and Amy, asked us a question about the menu and so began a fascinating evening of conversation that tied together our different worlds (and it was a reminder to me of the one I left behind as they were the only Americans I had seen in months).This was the first opportunity for me to play translator between Italian and English and I must admit it was quite fun. Damiano has an incredible personality and the Italian story to tell. Oddly enough, one watching the dialogue from afar would have assumed we all spoke the same language. Mark and Amy were curious about everything, they couldn't stop asking questions about living here, what life is like as an Italian, where the best vineyards are, the little hilltowns to visit, all of it.Damiano explained what he does for a living. He works on a farm and, not unlike a sculptor, creates different cuts of meat from the great white bovine that are then sold to various stores. On this farm, one can see these grand animals grazing on real grass and view the awesome landscape that embodies what stories such as "Under the Tuscan Sun" describe. But this is Umbria (not Tuscany), becoming more popular with Americans, but still very much a hidden Italian treasure unknown to most.Watching the expressions on the faces of Mark and Amy as they heard Damiano speak was priceless. They were attempting to catch every word of his Italian, he spoke directly to them as if they were native Italian speakers. I provided quick translations and let conversation flow. When they understood, their faces lit up and their eyes gleamed with excitement that they were actually seeing the real Italy, right at that moment. They thanked us profusely when it was time to part. They had been searching for exactly this kind of interaction during their time here. As much as they have traveled in Italy, they found that evening with us one of the most special they have had.It's not easy to just step foot on the streets of Italy and get this perspective. To be able to share this same sort of experience with them was awesome... and to hear Damiano talk about it afterwards with the same enthusiasm also was heart-warming.I thought back to last summer on tour with Ciclismo, of the days we got to spend eating at family establishments, of Napoleone, a wonderful little old man who owns a bike shop at 83 years old, of Marco, the Sorano resident and entertainer who sang and played piano for us one evening. Back then, I was the same as Mark and Amy, not speaking any of the language yet I had that real experience that is so diffcult to find.When you come to Italy, know that much of it must be discovered. Much of what there is here cannot just be seen passing by. Cool, there's another big church and a really old castle. This valley is gorgeous. But there is so, so much more. The heart of Italy is embedded in its people, food and culture. Trust me when I say you can have the full experience without knowing Italian, but you have to hunger for the full adventure. The this photo shows me with the cooks of an amazing dinner served to me and my teammates after a race in the Marche region (very close to the Adriatic Sea). The specialty of the evening was oca (goose). It was oh so good and the very real Italian family atmosphere.

Dreams Come True Moment by Moment on a Ciclismo Classico Tour

Reuniting with Roots. Personal change. Simplicity reached. Friendship found. Health and fitness improved. Traditions discovered. Balance achieved. Adventure captured. Deeper cultural connections. Passion released. Families united at the core. These are just some of the soul-satisfying experiences that regularly occur on a Ciclismo Classico bicycle tour. Often our big dreams feel out of reach, but what if our travel experiences were so wonderful and life-changing that we discover that our dreams coming true, moment by moment? What if by doing what we love and what makes us happy, whether that is biking along a stunning seascape or pedaling to a hill town with our soul-mate, we realize we are living a dream and the search is over.Having just spent a dreamy summer with my family cycling and touring Norway, Ireland, Italy, and Spain, I look back and am thankful for the many “dreams” big and small that we fulfilled. We experienced a Ciclismo Family tour (, Norway, we connected our kids to another branch of their heritage and saw a new part of the world (Connemara, ), we reconnected with family and our guides in our favorite Italian places (Tuscany and Calabria) and we checked off seeing another great European biking cities and visited with dear our friends (). Most personally satisfying was experiencing my children’s much improved fitness, bicycle skills and appreciation of bike travel (yahoo!). This dream has been a process which has taken many years of baby steps - trying hard to integrate bicycling in our lives, getting the right bikes, knowing when to push and when to eat gelato and knowing how to turn mom’s boring group photo ops into a “jumping shot” and opportunity for them to have fun and be engaged in the landscape. Finally this process and merging of a parental challenge to a personal zen outcome is knowing in my heart that when they say they hate bicycling (and they do many times) that it’s more about the headwinds, their hunger, their saddle discomfort, the challenges they feel in their young bodies and that this moment, like so many in raising children, will pass.In my 35+ years of bicycle travel, this has been my experience: I spin through a beautiful landscape. My mind expands. My senses soar. I create memories. My heart and battery is charged. Life is good and I can’t wait for more.Ciclismo Classico strives to jumpstart your dreams by creating this magical connection between you, the landscape and the local culture. We don’t just hand you an itinerary and a bike, we set the stage, engage you and work hard to provide an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime experience. We take this Ciclismo DIFFERENCE born and perfected in Italy, the Land of Cycling, wherever we ride.In 2011 we are proud to introduce three NEW Beyond Italy tours that reflect our commitment to creating the WORLD’s BEST RIDES: , , and . We are expanding our hugely popular More Miles for Less Tours with new rides in , , and the . Like all our tours, each tour new promises to combine gorgeous roads, learning opportunities and cross cultural exchange.I founded Ciclismo Classico in 1989 as the FIRST company to specialize in Italian bicycle tours. My simple yet bigger vision: to inspire people to embrace cycling as a soulful form of travel that connects each one of us with the. Twenty one years, thousands of miles, ecstatic guests, delicious meals and wonderful memories later, our passion for bicycle travel grows stronger. Best of all, regularly riding a bicycle any distance is one simple and joyful way we can all make the planet more sustainable and better place.A bike ride with Ciclismo Classico always reminds me of how life should be: Active, fun, delicious, educational, flowing, energizing and always connecting with beautiful places, its peoples and other curious travelers. After a week on a Ciclismo tour, your will not only feel more connected and part of one big cycling family, your realize that life itself is a dream waiting to happen. Let us get your dreams rolling in 2011!Happy pedaling!

Fantastico! Incredibile! Piemonte!

Fantastico! Incredibile! These are the words that come to mind when I think of the trip from which I just returned. Starting north of Milano on Lake Orta, the route took us through the pre-Alps, the Monferrato region, and ultimately ended in Torino. This departure had preponderance of aggressive riders, so we were sure to ride every extra loop and climb available. Needless to say, never again will I consider 60 miles an easy day!

Cycling, Travel, & Fatherhood: Life Just Keeps Getting Better

Life just keeps getting better. When I was a kid, bicycling was one of my favorite pastimes. I remember my first bike, a 20” Coast-to-Coast Black Hawk. It looked sleek and fast, and I still have it. I lived in a small town, and I rode it up and down and around the dirt lot near my house. It was exciting. I could get around on my own. As a teen, I bought a used road bike, a 27" 15-speed Schwinn Paramount for $30 (much too big for me). I envied my friends, because they all had cool new banana bikes, but soon I grew stronger and explored beyond the local grocery to pick up a soda. Only now do I realize how valuable that road bike was. I could cross town with ease--to swimming, to bowling, to my friend’s house, and to nowhere. When I reached my mid-teens, now the freedom of my bike allowed me to travel! I could choose my own destinations, not those of my parents, and get there for next to nothing. Living in central Connecticut, I explored regularly, riding to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. At 16, I rode by myself to Niagara Falls (500+ miles). I was quite a sight, still on that Schwinn, weighed down by all my gear including the pots and pans that my Mom sent along. Recently, at age 53, I began training on my carbon fiber Trek to get ready for the L’Étape du Tour 2010, which climbs Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees. But also, as a Dad, I am reliving the gift of giving freedom and exploration to our kids. I put our daughter on the back of my bike when she was about 1 year old, and I rode her to the zoo and the park. She started riding her own bike at 5 and would tool around Golden Gate Park on her own. Now, at 10, she is riding a 20" Trek with derailleurs and hand brakes. Our son is 9. His is on the autism spectrum, which makes it hard for him to coordinate the actions of pedaling and balance. We started him on a Rolli Rider (a wooden bike without pedals) when he was 3. It was perfect. He started out by “riding” (walking/running) and later progressed to coasting. Last summer, at 8, he was riding on a larger bike still without pedals or behind me on a Trail-a-Bike. Then on a camping trip, he could no longer wait for Dad to give him a push, so he started pedaling on his own. Now, on long bike trips, he rides his own bike on the quiet roads and dirt paths, and he rides on a Trail-a-Bike on the busy sections. I don't mind pulling him on a Trail-a-Bike, as he has never talked to me so much as when we are riding together. He likes to sing while we ride too. Instead of using training wheels, I recommend that everyone put their kids on a bike without pedals. I love to do local rides with our kids that incorporate events or destinations. We ride along the Pacific Ocean and stop for root beer, ride through Golden Gate Park and listen to jazz bands, and ride with their friends and stop for lunch at Fisherman's Wharf. We even ride through Chinatown, weaving through the traffic (my son on the back of my bike), to join Mom for Dim Sum. They particularly like to go to Yosemite and bicycle around the Valley. It's fun to ride from the swimming hole, to the waterfalls, to ice cream, and back to swimming. Bicycling in San Francisco has become tremendously popular, with miles and miles of bike lanes around the City. Mom is now biking to work, and perhaps our children will choose to bike to work as adults too: it's cheap, healthy, and faster than public transit. Importantly, now we travel the world together as a family - on bikes with Ciclismo Classico. I love these escorted vacations. I feel much safer exploring with our kids, with a support vehicle and guides (BTW, the guides are with the kids). We immerse ourselves in the local culture (hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing, feeling), and the experience is greatly enhanced by the personal experience of meeting and talking with the locals. We took our first family bicycling vacation when Angie was 8 and Devin was 6. Our kids explored Sardinia (summer 2008), eating in the mountains with shepherds, swimming in crystalline seas, and slurping hand-made gelato. ( ) Our son, who loves to eat, wants to travel everywhere now, but he recently advised us that "We must stop in Italy to pick up our food on the way." Also, they have ridden along the rice paddies of Vietnam (Christmas 2009), cooked with farmers, climbed ancient ruins, and viewed the world through new eyes. ( ) Our daughter was amazing, riding through the dense bike traffic of Hue. The roads were teaming with bikes and motorbikes, all moving like schools of fish that wove together like fabric at street intersections. I was quite gratified to hear her advise her friends that Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) was the most important place to visit in the world. When I ask them what they like best about our bike vacations, they say "Everything!" This summer we will travel north of the Arctic Circle to the to explore fishing villages with Ciclismo Classico (departure July 3, 2010). It is a family bicycling vacation, so I suggest that you grab your kids and join us for our next great adventure. We plan to stop in Copenhagen on the way to Lofoten to visit this beautiful city, renowned for its bike culture.

What Cycling Mammas Want for Mothers' Day

Any mother will tell you the most important thing in her life is her children. Inherent in each “La Mamma” is the drive to mold her kids into upstanding adults. Ever since they were born, I have loved sharing travel experiences to shape the minds, heart, and spirit of my three children (Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca), aged 13, 11 and 7. Sharing my travel/cycling passion with my children is one of the highlights of our family life. It is enormously satisfying to watch my children experience travel at their own speed and with their own wonderfully playful eyes.Seeing the world through the eyes of a child conjures memories of a much simpler time when we were young and experiencing things for the first time. Kids at this age respond to the simplest pleasures and remind us to slow down, play in a fountain, try on a mask or chase a pigeon through a piazza. Kids always love walking through villages, taking in the pulse of life and following their serendipitous natures.For those reluctant to take their kids on a vacation for fear small kids will be too challenging, consider this: Kids, while amazingly fulfilling, can present challenges wherever they are, so why not take them on a trip where we parents can have a uplifting travel experience? At home, kids are in their comfort zone and can be more difficult. When traveling, it is more likely that kids will let their guard down and follow your lead. I am usually more at peace on outings or traveling with my kids than when I stay at home where I battle the ‘Mommy, I am bored’ syndrome. When I am on a bike trip alone without my kids I find that I am always wanting to share my experience with them. Our lives are simpler when we travel. There is less stuff in our travel life, no multi tasking, constantly taking care of practicalities or rushing to get places. We are focused on each other and more in the flow of life. The spontaneity, serendipity of it all brings us closer. We see each other at our best.Allowing your children to have experiences they would not otherwise have at home will create memories to last a lifetime for all. We loved jumping off our boat into the gorgeous blue waters of Sardinia, getting soaked in Roman fountains or playing tag in the Boboli Gardens. Some of our memorable travel experiences include bouldering (hiking rocks) along the Sardinian coastline, spinning downhill 10 miles to the sea in Greece and hiking through the Dolomites. It’s a collective memory I know we will treasure for a very long time.When planning vacations, I start off with some initial research to list things to see and do. Upon arriving in a certain locations, I'll make adjustments depending on each day. Guidebooks and web sites like the with kid-friendly ideas are instrumental in helping find all the kid-friendly eateries and activities. I will always mix up the highly cultural experiences with purely fun ones. A trip to Rome will include some classics, but also lots of gelato breaks and hanging out in piazzas. Anything that includes swimming, the beach or open playing (like rambling fields, etc) is a hit for us. When picking sites, we usually avoid very crowded places (like the Vatican museum) for they are guaranteed stress producers. I always choose a more low key "attraction" where we can have a more authentic, human experience over the more touristy ones. As the kids get older, allow them to have some input into the vacation plans. You never know what they are going to come up with.

What Cycling Mammas Want for Mothers' Day

Any mother will tell you the most important thing in her life is her children. Inherent in each “La Mamma” is the drive to mold her kids into upstanding adults. Ever since they were born, I have loved sharing travel experiences to shape the minds, heart, and spirit of my three children (Lorenzo, Valentina and Luca), aged 13, 11 and 7. Sharing my travel/cycling passion with my children is one of the highlights of our family life. It is enormously satisfying to watch my children experience travel at their own speed and with their own wonderfully playful eyes.Seeing the world through the eyes of a child conjures memories of a much simpler time when we were young and experiencing things for the first time. Kids at this age respond to the simplest pleasures and remind us to slow down, play in a fountain, try on a mask or chase a pigeon through a piazza. Kids always love walking through villages, taking in the pulse of life and following their serendipitous natures.For those reluctant to take their kids on a vacation for fear small kids will be too challenging, consider this: Kids, while amazingly fulfilling, can present challenges wherever they are, so why not take them on a trip where we parents can have a uplifting travel experience? At home, kids are in their comfort zone and can be more difficult. When traveling, it is more likely that kids will let their guard down and follow your lead. I am usually more at peace on outings or traveling with my kids than when I stay at home where I battle the ‘Mommy, I am bored’ syndrome. When I am on a bike trip alone without my kids I find that I am always wanting to share my experience with them. Our lives are simpler when we travel. There is less stuff in our travel life, no multi tasking, constantly taking care of practicalities or rushing to get places. We are focused on each other and more in the flow of life. The spontaneity, serendipity of it all brings us closer. We see each other at our best.Allowing your children to have experiences they would not otherwise have at home will create memories to last a lifetime for all. We loved jumping off our boat into the gorgeous blue waters of Sardinia, getting soaked in Roman fountains or playing tag in the Boboli Gardens. Some of our memorable travel experiences include bouldering (hiking rocks) along the Sardinian coastline, spinning downhill 10 miles to the sea in Greece and hiking through the Dolomites. It’s a collective memory I know we will treasure for a very long time.When planning vacations, I start off with some initial research to list things to see and do. Upon arriving in a certain locations, I'll make adjustments depending on each day. Guidebooks and web sites like the with kid-friendly ideas are instrumental in helping find all the kid-friendly eateries and activities. I will always mix up the highly cultural experiences with purely fun ones. A trip to Rome will include some classics, but also lots of gelato breaks and hanging out in piazzas. Anything that includes swimming, the beach or open playing (like rambling fields, etc) is a hit for us. When picking sites, we usually avoid very crowded places (like the Vatican museum) for they are guaranteed stress producers. I always choose a more low key "attraction" where we can have a more authentic, human experience over the more touristy ones. As the kids get older, allow them to have some input into the vacation plans. You never know what they are going to come up with.

How to Pack for Your Trip

As a cyclist, you've no doubt already got lots of shorts and jerseys. Bring your favorites! It's crucial to bring shorts that you're used to and that you know fit you well. If you buy new ones for the trip, please do some long rides with them to make sure they work well for you. Even expensive shorts can ride up or rub you the wrong way. Same goes for jerseys. Stick to comfortable cycling jerseys that are plenty long in the back and have pockets that are easy for you to get to. Comfort and visibility are the most important characteristics of the jerseys you should bring with you. If you've got a saddle that you really love (or if you've had problems with saddles in the past), it's a good idea to bring your own. The saddles we provide are great, but a saddle can be a very personal choice. If you've ridden lots of different saddles and never had any real trouble, you'll probably be fine with the ones we provide - otherwise, consider bringing your own.Many of our guests also bring their own pedals. If you use cleats and clipless pedals, you'll need to bring them. (There are simply too may different kinds of pedals nowadays for us to stock them all.) If you choose to use our standard pedals, with or without the toe clips, make sure to bring shoes that are comfortable and have reasonably stiff soles that will grip the pedals. The is popular for bike touring, with good reason (they'll also give you some nice retro street cred!).

Ride with your favorite guide

All of our alumni have their favorite guides. We invariably get calls that go like this "Do you know what trips Frank & Dana will be guiding next year? I'd like to do one of those!" or "I've signed up for this tour - pleeeeeeeez put Christiano on that one!" Of course, we love all our guides! And it's understandable that when our guests get to know them, they'll want to come back with those same guides every time. But we can assure you that of our guides are exceptional. That's why most of them have been with us for five years or more.So, having said all that, each of our guides is unique, and they all have something different to offer. We've finished assigning guides to our spring and early summer trips, and we wanted to share this info now that it's available. As if riding the hills of Tuscany wasn't enough of an enticement, knowing who you'll be riding with might be just the enticement you need to sign up for that trip!Here's a snapshot of the first trips of the season and the guides who are leading them. If you'd like information on another departure, contact us on 800-866-7314 or !It's only fitting that one of our most popular and enduring tours is being led by Frank and Dana, who have been inseparable both on-bike and off for years. This year, they celebrate their 10-year anniversary guiding for Ciclismo! They're both from Colorado originally, but don't let that fool you - they know their new stomping ground in Italy as well as they do the back roads around Aspen. Their combined joie de vivre is matched by their cycling skill (Frank is a mechanic and Dana is a coach), and their creative passions: Dana is an accomplished artist and Frank is an expert photographer. Together, they'll make this Bike Across Italy an unforgettable experience! |

Letter from Lauren: Spring is here!

As you may know, the East Coast has been getting drenched with rain over the past two weeks. Sections of towns like Sudbury Massachusetts have become islands and our neighbors were seen kayaking in our local park, which for several days was called Magnolia lake. We hear flood warnings daily and the contents of people's water-filled basement line the streets.

Meet Gilles Guillain

I was born and raised in the Normandy region of France. It’s a beautiful part of the country, right on the English Channel.

I started cycling when I was in high school. My friends were already into it, and they got me hooked on road biking and mountain biking.

Announcing the 13th Ciclismo Reunion Weekend

Would you like to meet other Ciclismo Classico alumni from the past 20 years? Are you interested in taking your first Ciclismo Classico tour but would like to sample what our tours are like? Craving a foliage ride this fall? Need a romantic getaway? A fun family retreat? Join us this September in the spectacular White Mountains of NH at the historic and breathtaking for our 13th Ciclismo Reunion Retreat Weekend.

A Love Affair with Corsica

As someone who has traveled to about 100 countries (and cycled in over 50 of them!) I am frequently asked “What is your favorite place to bike?” I am hard pressed to come up with a venue I enjoyed more than Corsica. It epitomizes the Mediterranean region. Although it is now part of France, it represents a fusion of French, Italian, and Corsican cultures, history, languages, terrain, cuisine and love of cycling. Of the 60-plus bike tours I have done on six continents, this is the only one I’ve repeated. I was fortunate to have completed this fairly challenging journey in 2002, 2003, and 2009. In 2004 I did a tour of Corsica’s other coast and its interior and for each of the past ten years my wife Joan and I enjoyed at least a week on our own on this gorgeous island.

Ciclismo’s itinerary begins in Sardinia which is also an excellent location for bike touring. When I met my fellow group members there last year, they couldn’t understand why anyone would want to complete a tour three times and spend even more time in this one place. When we arrived at the last stop, the magical town of Calvi, Corsica, they said, “Now we understand!” Incidentally, two hours after the group disbanded that day, I cycled out to the small airport to happily and romantically greet Joan who had just arrived on the 45-minute flight from Nice.

That's Amore! Our Most Romantic Trips

Whether you’ve just fallen head over heels or spent a lifetime with your soul mate, getting to spend quality time with your loved one on a vacation is irreplaceable. Sharing such a wonderful adventure with one of the most important people in your life is a revitalizing experience and strengthens your relationship. From the cities you visit, to the food you eat, and even the places you sleep; the perfect mix of all the right ingredients in an active vacation will create long lasting and magical memories that won’t be soon forgotten. Read on to learn about the Ciclismo trips that represent the best in romantic cities, heavenly cuisine, and charming accommodations.

For those looking to take a nice and easy bike tour, this very flat region offers spectacular views at every turn, tantalizing cuisine, and savory wines. The relaxed pace of this trip affords just the right amount of exercise to compliment the cultural activities we’ve packed into this outstanding itinerary. Spend a day before the trip roaming the streets of enchanting Venice. You’d be hard-pressed to find something more romantic than a cruise down one of the city’s many waterways in a gondola for two. Let the gondolier lead the way as you relax with your loved one and take in all the beautiful and mystical sites of charming Venice.

Sandy's Ciclismo Transformation Story

I am married to a very serious cyclist; obsession may not be too strong a term; he has a mountain bike equipped with studded snow tires to give you a clue. He loves bikes, he loves biking and he loves me. He’s an athlete; I am not. How to convince me that I would love biking? Thoughtful pondering: she loves to travel; how do we compromise? The solution has two parts: a custom tandem bike and traveling with Ciclismo Classico. He would bike and sleep in a tent; I like creature comforts at the end of a ride.

Our first trip with CC was to in 1995. We had the best vacation ever and loved seeing an area at “people level” with experiences choreographed by an awesome set of guides. We went back and did several other trips. I became more willing to tackle hills after we decided that the ride was too easy.

Dan & Julie's Dream Ciclismo Honeymoon

If you've ever bought a wedding gift from a gift registry, you probably know your way around the world of china patterns, flatware, and small appliances. When Dan and Julie got engaged, they had a different idea - they set their sights on their dream honeymoon: a trip to Italy with Ciclismo Classico! They're the first couple to sign up with our new , so their friends and relatives can help send them on the ultimate romantic getaway after they're married.Though he had only spent a few hours in Italy, Dan knew that he had to come back to ride his bike. , on the other hand, a food writer and food science major, wanted to experience some of the world's best cuisine. When the two of them were deciding where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do for their honeymoon, Italy was the natural choice to suit both of their interests. After conferring with Ciclismo Classico's expert Tour Consultants, they decided to join one of our award-winning departures. agreed to train for the intermediate-level trip and Dan was certainly in favor of eating Piemontese food. The give-and-take of happy married life is already in full swing!Dan first fell in love with biking when he decided to ride from his hometown of Milwaulkee to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, which was 80 miles away. His interest in cycling was furthered by 's father, who is also an avid cyclist. Whenever Dan paid a visit to 's parents' home, a ride with her father was always on the agenda. Soon after Dan, caught the cycling bug and she is now an enthusiastic rider eager to improve her skills. Since Dan was only in Italy for a few hours and has never been, their honeymoon will be an exciting adventure full of cultural discovery. Sharing this experience, combined with their love of food and cycling, is what made Ciclismo's Piedmont trip an ideal choice for their honeymoon. After reading about the trip and conducting his own research, Dan commented that there is certainly "a romantic aspect" to the region, and said just the idea of "Italy is romantic." We here at Ciclismo are certainly honored to help make Dan and 's dream honeymoon come true.

That's Amore! Our Most Romantic Trips

Whether you’ve just fallen head over heels or spent a lifetime with your soul mate, getting to spend quality time with your loved one on a vacation is irreplaceable. Sharing such a wonderful adventure with one of the most important people in your life is a revitalizing experience and strengthens your relationship. From the cities you visit, to the food you eat, and even the places you sleep; the perfect mix of all the right ingredients in an active vacation will create long lasting and magical memories that won’t be soon forgotten. Read on to learn about the Ciclismo trips that represent the best in romantic cities, heavenly cuisine, and charming accommodations.

For those looking to take a nice and easy bike tour, this very flat region offers spectacular views at every turn, tantalizing cuisine, and savory wines. The relaxed pace of this trip affords just the right amount of exercise to compliment the cultural activities we’ve packed into this outstanding itinerary. Spend a day before the trip roaming the streets of enchanting Venice. You’d be hard-pressed to find something more romantic than a cruise down one of the city’s many waterways in a gondola for two. Let the gondolier lead the way as you relax with your loved one and take in all the beautiful and mystical sites of charming Venice.

Sandy's Ciclismo Transformation Story

I am married to a very serious cyclist; obsession may not be too strong a term; he has a mountain bike equipped with studded snow tires to give you a clue. He loves bikes, he loves biking and he loves me. He’s an athlete; I am not. How to convince me that I would love biking? Thoughtful pondering: she loves to travel; how do we compromise? The solution has two parts: a custom tandem bike and traveling with Ciclismo Classico. He would bike and sleep in a tent; I like creature comforts at the end of a ride.

Our first trip with CC was to in 1995. We had the best vacation ever and loved seeing an area at “people level” with experiences choreographed by an awesome set of guides. We went back and did several other trips. I became more willing to tackle hills after we decided that the ride was too easy.

Dan & Julie's Dream Ciclismo Honeymoon

If you've ever bought a wedding gift from a gift registry, you probably know your way around the world of china patterns, flatware, and small appliances. When Dan and Julie got engaged, they had a different idea - they set their sights on their dream honeymoon: a trip to Italy with Ciclismo Classico! They're the first couple to sign up with our new , so their friends and relatives can help send them on the ultimate romantic getaway after they're married.Though he had only spent a few hours in Italy, Dan knew that he had to come back to ride his bike. , on the other hand, a food writer and food science major, wanted to experience some of the world's best cuisine. When the two of them were deciding where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do for their honeymoon, Italy was the natural choice to suit both of their interests. After conferring with Ciclismo Classico's expert Tour Consultants, they decided to join one of our award-winning departures. agreed to train for the intermediate-level trip and Dan was certainly in favor of eating Piemontese food. The give-and-take of happy married life is already in full swing!Dan first fell in love with biking when he decided to ride from his hometown of Milwaulkee to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, which was 80 miles away. His interest in cycling was furthered by 's father, who is also an avid cyclist. Whenever Dan paid a visit to 's parents' home, a ride with her father was always on the agenda. Soon after Dan, caught the cycling bug and she is now an enthusiastic rider eager to improve her skills. Since Dan was only in Italy for a few hours and has never been, their honeymoon will be an exciting adventure full of cultural discovery. Sharing this experience, combined with their love of food and cycling, is what made Ciclismo's Piedmont trip an ideal choice for their honeymoon. After reading about the trip and conducting his own research, Dan commented that there is certainly "a romantic aspect" to the region, and said just the idea of "Italy is romantic." We here at Ciclismo are certainly honored to help make Dan and 's dream honeymoon come true.

A Bici Built for Two: Beppe & Milena

Beppe is from Turin (remember Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games?) and has been a CC tour leader since 2001. Milena is originally from the Apennines near Bologna and has been a Ciclismo tour leader since 2007. They're most frequently found on our Piedmont and Puglia tours. In the summer of 2009 the they completed mountain bike race on their own offroad tandem, which they brought with them from Italy!

Cold Weather Riding Tips

As with any winter outdoor activity, layering is key. Fortunately, Ciclismo Classico tours run spring through fall in Europe so you usually won't need to layer up unless you have selected an advanced tour in, let's say, the Pyrenees or French Alps, where you will reach high altitudes and lower temperatures.

The Italian Thanksgiving Table

Are you hosting this year's Turkey Day but still wondering what to cook? We've got the answer for you. Here are some recipes inspired by our most popular Italian tours that will complement your turkey, stuffing, and cranberries perfectly. Delizioso! Although Thanksgiving is not a holiday that Italians (in Italy) traditionally celebrate, there are many wonderful Italian dishes that would fit perfectly into a holiday menu. Italian Americans have embraced Thanksgiving wholeheartedly and made this holiday their own by adding their own special touches to the celebration. They often do this by including traditional family favorites such as a special pasta dish or a pasta-based soup to the holiday menu. There are many wonderful autumn foods that can give your menu a special Italian flavor; here's a selection, paired with equally-delicious cycling trips.Follow the links below for the recipes and to find out about the trips that inspired them!

A Jingle Ride of Your Very Own

Even if you don't live in the Boston area, you can experience the fun and holiday cheer of a Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride by setting up your own! Here's how.

Make a Special Occasion Absolutely Unforgettable

Special occasions in our lives only come so often, so why not do everything you can to make these occasions not just special but absolutely unforgettable? Once-in-a-lifetime. Completely unique. Transformational. Couldn't be better. Magical. Unforgettable. These are the sorts of terms we hear all the time from clients who choose to combine milestone events with our cycling trips. Here are some ideas for adding our Ciclismo magic to your next special occasion. It's your trip - you ought to have it your way!

Posting Photos on Ciclismo Flickr Galleries

Ciclismo Classico uses to create a community in which our guests can share the wonderful images from their travels. Flickr is more than just a platform for Ciclismo Classico, of course, millions of people have been using this site for years, and it's proven to be a wonderful tool for people to share their passions with their friends and the rest of the world.

Norway Takes Off

Clad in a full-face helmet and plastic armor, Arild Eidset raced his freeride mountain bike along the high spine of Norway’s Godøya Island as if being chased. An ocean storm was welling up off the coast, edging out the early summer sunshine. Dark shadows spilled across the surface of the North Atlantic like ink over a tablecloth.

Godøya is three tunnels and a bridge from Ålesund, a town of 45,000 in southern Norway (“southern” being relative for a city farther north than Moscow, Helsinki, and Anchorage). And its high point is a short helicopter ride from the multicolor villages and lighthouses along its shore. That’s how Eidset and I got there at least, heading up in a chopper that would shuttle us from one screaming descent to the next.

Great cycling kids books

In honor of Fathers Day 2009, we, here's a list of wonderful children's books about cycling. The list was compiled by Michael Beck of the . If you have a favorite book that deserves to be on the list, let us know!

Find Ciclismo Staff & Guides on Facebook!

If you want to connect with Ciclismo Classico on Facebook, we're making it really easy! Here's a list of all the staff and guides who are on Facebook.

Some of our fave Facebook pages

Here at Ciclismo Classico we are also fans of some other pages found on Facebook. Ten of our favorites are listen below: - the magazine that draws a distinction between "tourism" and "travel." They named our Sardegna Multi-Sport Tour to their "50 Tours of a Lifetime" list! - http://www.facebook.com/pages/@/24253428991- America's leading outdoor-lifestyle magazine. Named our "Giro del Gelato" their 2007 "Trip of the Year!" - www.facebook.com/pages/@/12248980428 - Somerville's popular BBQ spot and huge supports of local cycling! www.facebook.com/pages/@/49310988779- Ciclismo's official bicycle supplier - www.facebook.com/pages/@/107124356423 - What else would you eat on a Ciclismo trip! This page has great recipes for all our favorite dishes - www.facebook.com/pages/@/12289784087 - Il vino migliore del mundo! If you've toured with us in Tuscany, you've surely tried this. Also, home to our smybol, the "gallo nero." www.facebook.com/pages/@/35625101770 - The best of Italian cookbooks! - www.facebook.com/pages/@/51344486486 - If you've recieved free chocolate from us this year, it's from Taza! Their all-natural products are made right down the street in Somerville. www.facebook.com/pages/@/46089583974 - Vermont's Original All-Inclusive Family Resort! www.facebook.com/pages/@/72834976364- Boston's premier, all-female cycling team. www.facebook.com/pages/@/27478769056

Crunchy Knees Do Tell Tales...

Sometime around my 46-and-a-halfth birthday, while descending a flight of stairs, I noticed a creaking, crunching sound coming from somewhere "down below". I checked my cleats, examined my shoes, and even inspected the steps for spilled Cheerios - because that's precisely what it sounded like. Nope, it the sound was coming from the silently turning and meshing cogset that had transported me from the bottom of Great Britain to the top, across Cuba, the USA, and beyond - my knees. I confess I'd never had a professional bike fit done, despite cycling being my stock in trade, in the same way I've never had a facial or pedicure or shamanic healing or colonic irrigation done. It's just one of those things you think about but never get done, right? I dropped a line to Ed Pavelka and Fred Matheny at the roadie bible, . They were adamant: Lynette, you need to see a cycling medical specialist. The best in the business is Andy Pruitt at the . If you can't go to Colorado maybe he can recommend someone in your area. Generally, pain behind the knee indicates a saddle that's too high. But there can be a lot more to it than that. Good luck. Medicine! Clinic! I hadn't been inside such an establishment for years. Was I falling apart? Since Boulder wasn't visible from my New York window, a visit to a local recommended knee specialist, Mark Feldman, determined that I had a "relatively benign form of ". Wiki it and you'll see it's a term for anything resulting in noisy knees. In my case, no bones or diminished cartilage involved - just fluid. "Stop riding a bike," joked Feldman as he strode into the room with my x-rays. Then more seriously, "Yes, if you stopped, your knees would get better. But my job is to keep people doing their sport - i.e. manage without damage." As he examined the x-rays I sat dreading the result; a friend told me about a mogul skier buddy who had to have bone fragments sucked out from under her kneecaps in order to walk again. But my knees looked "clean" - not bone-on-bone, but some misalignment resulting from my occupational hazard - riding a bike. The problem is that bike riding is a very "planar" movement, and if you've ever tried to do anything in a straight line without adequate support, gravity, chaos theory, Satan ... will all force you from your path. "Over time, with repetition, your knees can start to track incorrectly, creating inflammation," he said. I was given two knee braces with donuts cut out for the kneecaps to use "when exercising", a script for Voltaren of things got bad, a physiotherapy prescription for strengthening the area, and instructions to get a proper bike fit done. Now, my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro Petite fits me better than any regular bike could - it's one of the advantages a small-wheeled bicycle - it can fit all riders great and small. My issues, shared by small women and people developing a tendency towards misalignment, are trifold: I took some of Feldman's advice, but serendipitously, found myself booked in Colorado, doing my traveling bicycle adventurette show. Despite his booked-out-for-months schedule, Andy Pruitt made a special space for me to get the "full kneedown" at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Pruitt needs no introduction to the cycling and running cognizancia. Losing his leg below the right knee in an early hunting accident didn't stop him from becoming a medal -winning Paralympian in skiing and cycling, developing his world famous "3D gait analysis" bike fit procedure and became the traveling medical advisor to the USA Cycling Federation. He just happens to be a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket owner from way back too. "I needed a bike to travel easily with my tools of the trade - medical bag, duffle, and of course, bicycle." Andy prodded and poked my knees then took a "merchant" x-ray - a view of the kneecaps that looks two ice cream sundaes complete with chocolate topping and a cherry on top - the patella. He pointed to a slight shift in my patella to one side - caused by incorrect alignment, and some fraying that looked like "shag carpet". He took my Specialized Sonoma recreational riding shoes - fine footwear for anyone else but me - and twisted them about. "Too soft - you need a supportive shoe." Andy actually worked in developing the Specialized Body Comp footwear but the particular shoe I'd chosen - the sexy, multi-use Sonoma - didn't have all the features of the more serious models in the range. Oh why do good, solid bike shoes have to be so ugly, and personally, I count the very well respected SIDI as being the ugliest of them all? "A shoe you can easily walk in is just not going to serve you, " he said. So much for my rabid insistence on multi functionality, as demonstrated in my Traffic Cone Bag! He also recommended I do some cross training to complement pure bike riding. "Not running, but dancing, skating, hiking, anything that gets your leg moving in other planes - is a necessary adjunct to cycling, which happens all in one plane, and clauses weak glute muscles." So: stiffer shoes, more varied motion, glute exercises and a bike fit were prescribed. I was scheduled a day later for a 2D bike fit and Pruitt-trained with biomechanics pro, Avery Frazier, Avery went through an exhaustive process, first examining and testing my flexibility, then using a "goniometer" - which doesn't measure what you think it does - to test leg angels. The Assometer, however, does measure precisely that - it's a temper foam pad where your sit bones are measured, then a wide enough saddle prescribed accordingly. My right foot naturally turns out from the hip, so my cleats had to be turned accordingly, something I thought I'd done - perhaps they'd worked their way back. Check your gear often! She even detected a slight tilt in the ball of my feet - called "forefoot varus", which she corrected by slipping some thin wedges into my shoes. Of course, all these adjustments should be done on the final shoes, not the ones about to be ditched ... As for my actual bike measurements, the seat had to go back a couple of centimeters, but other measurements seemed good - something Alan Scholz has become expert at due to years of sizing customers for Bike Fridays.But my stance width remained the single, tough-to-crack problem. Fellow bike fitter Sean Madsen leaned over and suggested a research narrower bottom brackets made by niche manufacturers, but of course that would entail getting a whole new bike.At least there was something we could do about the pedals. Avery recommended some fancy Speedplay titanium pedals and shoes that could get me that shrinking "Q" factor - but this was tough to swallow. Carry around two pairs of shoes? Are you nuts?"I think you've misjudged what a serious cyclist you are, by avoiding "lycra-lizard roadie shoes," said Andy. "Anyone who is riding a bike for commuting purposes and more, especially someone with your issues, needs to have equipment promoting the right fit."

Bicycling with Kids: Weaving together Passion and Pedaling

When I learned I was pregnant with my first son Lorenzo, I admit there was a moment (okay, several) when I wondered what would happen to my freewheeling spirit and my bike tour leading once I had a baby in tow. As usual, I figured out a way to weave my personal and business life together with my passion to create two tours for Ciclismo Classico that would become big hits. The first: the Bambino Bike Tour was a celebration-tour that brought together our best guests for the tour of a lifetime: a tour that circumvented Sicily and ended up Cittadella, Calabria (my husband Mauro’s home town) where together with guests, family and friends we baptized Lorenzo in a tiny chapel by the sea. The second tour, The Tuscan Fantasy is a family tour based at the Fattoria degli Usignoli that is one of our best selling tours now in its 12th year. While I hear many people define their cycling life as pre- and post-kids with the former being full of active adventures and the latter being more sedentary, I hope to show there is a way to have both! I always tell parents (who are shocked at how we keep traveling and biking with our kids) that kids are kids whether we are at home or away. I would rather deal with them in a beautiful or fun new place! Some parents are seamlessly able to uphold their cycling quality and quantity while others (like my husband and I) have had to modify expectations which has meant less miles, but happier kids. Here are some guidelines on how to keep cycling and kids happily in your life. Do your research on child seats, trailers, bikes and tandems then go to your favorite bike store and invest in good, quality equipment that will last you years of fun! An excellent book we provide for our tours that has the best overview I have seen on cycling with kids is: by Trudy Bell. It really is the Bicycling with Children Bible! While I support equipment swaps, sharing and reselling items on craig’s list etc, I prefer complete peace of mind having always supported my local bike shop by purchasing my cycling equipment new and using it until it’s worn out! If they are in a trailer or bike seat, you are mostly in control of their safety. As they graduate to training wheels, tandems, and their own bikes, you must teach the basics and constantly bombard them with the rules of the road and trail. Courses are available for kids, but the best person to hear it from and see it executed is by you! Walk the talk. Wear your helmet. Be courteous. Follow the rules and be a safety role model. I still cycle closely behind my 10 year old daughter who bikes on her own little road bike. I constantly give her tips. Recent ones have been on blind spots, avoiding potholes, signaling and steady pedaling. Study up on cycling safety with kids.

Cycling with kids starts out with setting realistic expectations for both you and your children, but it also involves being a creative and fun parent so as to stretch your children’s cycling endurance. When Lorenzo was a baby he hated to be in the Burley for more than an hour. I could usually stretch this by at least another 30 minutes if I included an ice cream stop or let him get out to “smell or pick the roses” or make sure that we stopped at playground along the way. As my kids have graduated from Burley to trail-a-bike to their own bikes, I have maintained this simple guideline: Make it fun. Take lots of breaks and reward with yummy food, drink and play. While I do not give my kids junk food, I never calorie count when we are biking. I want them to get the connection between food calories and exercise. They get to eat what they burn so bring on the ice cream, cookies and healthy snacks! Kids get bored on bicycles especially if they are with their boring parents! Children have the strength and stamina but they don’t have the mental energy (or need to unwind) to keep them focused for very long on the road. When biking with kids singing silly songs, telling funny stories and just plain parental goofiness (with a high degree of safety) is the norm for our family outings.

Mrs Hefferon Goes to Washington

Lauren just sent us this pic from the National Bike Summit in Washington. She seems to have found a kindred spirit on another green Bike Friday! Of course, this also means that she was able to re-assemble the bike on arrival, which is also great news! We're looking forward to having her back in Arlington on Monday.

Lauren's new Bike Friday

Lauren received delivery of her brand new " " last weekend, just in time to take it to the in Washington DC this week. How exciting!

Lauren's new Bike Friday

Lauren received delivery of her brand new " " last weekend, just in time to take it to the in Washington DC this week. How exciting!

Dreaming of Sardinia

Even though I am immersed in the world of snow sports, my imagination quickly spinning towards spring cycling and my plans to ride again this summer Sardinia with my family on our (join us!) My guests and cycling friends inevitably always ask me what is my favorite place to ride and although I am reluctant to respond (as if I had to choose a favorite child), my answer is alway Sardinia. We currently have three Ciclismo Classico tours there ( , and ). We plan to expand our offerings and with the guidance of our native Sardinian expert, , who can also create a custom tour for you. Backpedaling for a moment, I love cycling almost anywhere as it pedaling outside always puts me in a better frame of mind no matter where I am. It's a fact that, for the record, I have never had a bad bike ride ANYWHERE! Having made that grand proclamation, there are cycling destinations that simply make my heart, soul and body soar and our focus at Ciclismo Classico is to take you to the world's absolute BEST cycling destinations such as Italy, France, Ireland, Austria and Spain. So why do I pick Sardinia as my ultimate favorite place in the world to pedal? It fulfills the following TOP TEN list on what makes a premier Ciclismo Classico cycling destination:

A fondness for the Classics

As a long-time fan of classic bikes, I'm really excited that Ciclismo Classico is now supporting , an active community of like-minded folk. I subscribed to the group's mailing list ages ago, and it's been fascinating to follow the in-depth discussion of vintage lightweights (this covers racing bikes up to the demise of friction-shifting, more or less). The site contains all sorts of info on lugged steel bikes from all over the world. Except for a very brief stint with an aluminum-framed MTB, I've always ridden steel, so I've got a lot of affinity for this group. (I also have a collection of "project bikes" at home, waiting for restoration!) Ciclismo's support for this community extends to one of our ! This is a wonderful ride in Italy that celebrates the golden ages of racing, when roads were unpaved and racers had to do their own repairs - great fun!

Pasta day at Ciclismo HQ

This has been an exciting week at Ciclismo Classico's Arlington office. We've been preparing for this year's , which takes place on Sunday. After 18 hours of torrential rain (freezing at times), we're optimistically believing the weather man's prediction for Sunday 40s and clear. Perfect for a festive bike ride!

My Assaggio Toscana -- a story by Jewel

I just recently returned from my six-day cycling trip in Tuscany, the Assaggio Toscana. To say that the trip was “fantastic” would be an understatement. The weather welcomed us with open arms and made every day better than the last. The glorious hills alternated in color between hues of bright green and yellow, while red poppies delightfully spotted the fields. And, one of my most favorite parts of the ride, a typical trait of Tuscany, was the majestic quality of “le cipri,” the Cyprus trees lining the road and towering over us as we cycled our way to our next destination. Of course, the food and wine were endless (we even had delicious pizza leftovers sprinkled with truffles as a super-snack). In addition to a typical Italian pizza and beer night, we sampled and learned about Tuscany’s infamous red wines. We feasted on Florentine steak, fresh vegetables and fruit, Pappa al Pomodoro, learned how to make a typical Tuscan dish called Ribollita, and sampled all different kinds of olive oil. One of the best parts of the trips was the group. I’ve walked away (or should I say cycled away) with some great new friends—folks from all over the globe: Canada, Japan, Chile, California, Chicago, Boston, and New York. Thanks to the good times and for sharing the sweat and happiness that the group endured. We met locals together, cringed at the sight and smell of grappa and toasted to everyone and everything – sang, danced, feasted, shared stories, and loved every moment! On a personal note—after this tour I really feel like I improved as a cyclist (and I’m still riding on the cycling high leftover from the tour). Growing up in Florida, it took me some time to get used to hills and actually using the gears. Thanks to our lovely guides, Frank and Dana, and the loving hills of Tuscany, I am no longer intimidated to go uphill or downhill, and I’m definitely ready to conquer more! Tuscany’s notorious hills are really welcoming for the first-time visitor to Italy and perfect for an active person who wants to improve their cycling skills. – A word of advice for the traveler…it’s nice to arrive at least a day before your cycling trip so you can rest up before the tour starts. For this Assaggio Toscana tour I arrived the same day as the start, and happily (luckily) got through all of the first day’s activities, but by dinnertime I was definitely ready for bed. Given another chance, if I had the time then I would arrive the day before.

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