MANCHESTER, UK – Inquisitive travelers eager to see the real Italy at the speed of a bicycle can choose among four bespoke, self-guided tours that dip variously in and out of the Dolomites, Lake Garda, Venice, Tuscany and the Chianti region. These seven-day/eight-night itineraries are available through early autumn from Freewheel Holidays, a UK specialist cycling vacation provider offering a 2017 portfolio of more than 40 European holidays on two wheels.
“We are really passionate about Italy as a cycling holiday destination and have selected cycling holidays that really showcase the varied nature of the country,” says Steven Rittey, Freewheel Holidays’ spokesperson. “There’s still time to book a trip this season and to help decide where to go, here are four of our favorite tours.”
Dolomites & Lake Garda begins in Resia (accessed by train from Bolzano) near the Austrian border where Italy’s South Tyrol region combines Italian and Austrian influences. Here at 5,000 feet, a dedicated cycle track winds down through Val Venosta and a collection of small villages as mountains on either side rise up to over 13,000 feet. Merano, a town that pampers people in its spas, is followed by Bolzano, the regional capital. Lake Garda beckons through the Adige valley past apple orchards and vineyards, promising a boat trip from Riva del Garda down the lake to Peschiera, a walled town with a traffic-free center. The Arena di Verona Opera Festival can be the piece de resistance in the city of Romeo and Juliet where this summer’s offerings include, among others, three Verdi favorites: Rigoletto, Nabucco and Aida. Per person double rates are from £669. http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/dolomites-and-lake-garda
Venice Lands – Self Guided is a classic tour between the Alps and the Adriatic that is centered on the jewel of Venice. Cycle tracks and minor roads are generally flat on this tour that begins and ends in Vicenza with its own Teatro Olimpico and an array of historic buildings and cobblestone streets. The next stops are Marostica, famous for its castle and chessboard in the main square, and Bassano del Grappa with a covered wooden bridge and grappa. Another Italian city shares a canal culture with Venice. This is Treviso that follows a downhill run through Prosecco vineyards. This walled city also sports a castle and may be the birthplace of radicchio and tiramisù. The cycle continues into Venice and later along two rivers which carried Venice’s trade centuries ago. The Bacchiglione River leads to Costozza, a small town at the foot of the Berici hills. The cycle path passes in front of La Rotonda, the architect Palladio’s most famous creation. Per person double rates are from £519. http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/venice-lands-8-days-7-nights-self-guided
Tuscany – Pisa to Florence 7 nights embraces the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, enroute exploring an intimate landscape beloved by anyone who has ever visited Tuscany. Travel is on cycle-friendly tracks and minor roads, with two rest days to explore Lucca, a city ringed by Renaissance walls and the birthplace of Puccini. Enroute to Montecatini Terme, known for its spa waters, is a village, Collodi, known as the place where Pinocchio sprang from his creator’s hands. There’s never enough time to imbibe all of the ancient villas and landscapes, but two days in this region affords a fair amount of time for unscheduled pedals led by curiosity. The per person double rate is from £659. http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/tuscany-pisa-to-florence-7-nights
Siena, Chianti Region and Florence brings into the spotlight the history of Palio di Siena, a race held twice annually in Siena with riders representing 10 of the city’s 17 wards and political feuds never to be forgotten. This adventure begins and ends here. The history of the dynamics, again political, between this one-time highly important municipality and Florence begin to sink in, along with ample quantities of Chianti ripe for the sampling. Along with viniculture comes high culture (think Florence), thanks to Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and, of course, assorted Medicis. Siena was also an important stop along the ancient (11th century) pilgrim’s way (from Canterbury to Rome), the via Francigena. The per person double rate is from £659. http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/siena-chianti-region-and-florence-7-nights
Freewheel Holidays’ (www.freewheelholidays.com) self-guided tours include, among others, inn and/or bed and breakfast accommodations, bike rental, luggage transfers, route maps and notes, services of a tour host including welcome and information talk.
To check trip availability, make reservations, or to find out more about Freewheel Holidays’ leisure cycling tours call +44 (0) 161 703 5823, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.freewheelholidays.com.
A division of Sports Tours International, Freewheel Holidays specializes in self-guided, expertly supported European cycling holidays that strike the perfect balance between leisure pedaling and immersive sightseeing. The company offers easy cycling programs designed with special appeal to European and North American travelers.
Guests cycle on their own, with enroute assistance and distinctive accommodations expertly chosen and secured by the company. A portfolio of more than 40 European holidays offers choices for riders of all levels. The company features a range of 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 night itineraries to 12 European countries including the UK, Austria, France, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Portugal. The majority of tours are self-guided with the exception of a few fully-guided vacation packages in Croatia, France, Italy and Prague to Vienna. The company also offers family-focused, coastal, wine lover and solo traveler holidays.
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