Join the Waiting ListA trip to the apex of Italian "home food" in Emilia Romagna. From seaside resorts to the splendid Apennines, we ride to taste, and we taste to understand.

At Tourissimo we believe that you cannot explore and understand the gastronomy of a region without considering the region’s history, culture, landscape, and climate. But for the Emilia Romagna Chef Bike Tour we want to go further.

We aim to showcase how food is linked to the well being of an area in terms of health, and socio-economically. To fully accomplish that, we invited renowned American chefs and food critics to come along for the ride – literally! Chef Mary Sue Milliken, Chef Ben Cohn, and Chef Travis Flood have already confirmed their participation. 

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Located between the fertile Po River Valley and the Apennines, Emilia-Romagna is renowned for its soul-satisfying food. To Italians it is known as the “home-cooking capital of Italy.” To others, it is known as the birthplace many of the foods that lie at the heart of Italian cooking- lasagna, tortellini, prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar, and “The King of Cheeses,” Parmigiano-Reggiano, to name a few. The Romagna DOC wines are the perfect pairing to the regional dishes.

In this part of Italy, people care about farming, and therefore about what is on their plates. They don’t mess around with recipes, but it’s not reversed snobbism. Some products of the land cooked in a traditional way meant survival through incredibly hard times, including two World Wars. More sophisticated dishes, with animal proteins, meant celebration.

The locals are revered for having a great balance of respect for tradition, cheerful attitude, and bursting entrepreneurship. In Emilia Romagna tradition merges with innovation and the past (in many practical ways) becomes the foundation for the future. And in all of this, food is an important part. Some would say the corner stone.

The gran finale is in Rimini the weekend of a phenomenal gastronomic event: Al meni. Twelve of the best chefs from the region meet (and cook with) 12 young international chefs for the street food event with, unarguably, the most ‘Michelin star hands’ in the kitchen. A circus tent is the main venue to pay homage to Rimini-born Federico Fellini, the genial director of Amarcord and 8 1/2. The riding is a superb mix of landscapes and views. From the flat plane of the Po river delta and the Comacchio Valley (WWF protected area) we ride to the hills and from the Apennines to the Adriatic. The rides are fully supported and participants can ride just part of the stage. Companions that are non-riders are also welcome.

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Join the Waiting List
 
[fa icon="plus"] Highlights
  • Ferrara city of Renaissance
  • Destra Po and Po River delta
  • “Food and Wine Trail” hills of Forli and Cesena
  • Pellegrino Artusi Restaurant-Museum
  • Gold sandy beaches of Rimini
  • Thermal waters of Fratta Terme and Bagno di Romagna
  • The Apennine Mountains
  • Variety of landscapes and riding terrain
  • Superb meals and the "best home food" of Italy
[fa icon="plus"] Tourissimo Experience
  • Immerse yourself in the authentic farming and fishing culture of Emilia Romagna
  • Al meni festival (Michelin-star street food)
  • Wine tasting at Romagna DOC producer
  • Two UNESCO sites: Ferrara & Po Delta, and Ravenna
  • Private cooking workshop at Pellegrino Artusi, the father of gastronomy
  • The traditional salt pans of Cervia (Slow Food)
  • Learn about cheese aging in underground pits (D.O.P.)
  • Try many local specialties including piadina, the iconic Parmigiano Reggiano, and charcuterie
  • Comacchio lagoon (WWF reserve)
  • Learn why Dante's tomb is in Ravenna
[fa icon="plus"] Day by Day

Apple_Touch_IconDay 1

Where: Ferrara
Terrain: Flat 
Ride: 
35 mi or 56 km
Meals: L, D

Our tour starts in Ferrara. After an airport transfer, we arrive at our hotel located in the majestic Piazza Castello. Ferrara is one of the centers of Italian Renaissance history and an outpost of papal power in the North of the country.

Bicycles are the favorite mode of transport and its streets are closed to car traffic. In the Ferrara area, the bicycle has always been linked to work, commuting, socializing, and leisure. What better way to start a bike tour! Ferrara, with its uniquely well-preserved walls, is home to the stupendous monuments from the 13th-15th centuries: the Castello Estense, the Archiepiscopal Palace, Lion's tower, Rossetti's Renaissance Palace of Diamonds.

Optional quiet afternoon ride along peaceful canals to Ro Ferrarese. We follow the River Po, the longest Italian river, riding on the embankment road.

Pre-dinner walking tour of town (Castello Estense, Cathedral, medieval Via delle Volte, Osteria al Brindisi).

As for food, in Ferrara there is a happy marriage of aristocratic and popular cuisine, starting from the salama da sugo, a Reinaissance dish served over pasticcio di maccheroni. Ferrara has its own uniquely shaped bread. It is a specialty of the area and an excellent fragrant companion for the cured meats of Ferrara. 

Dish of the stage: Cappellacci di Zucca IGP. This pumpkin filled pasta is the staple dish of Ferrara.

Hotel: Hotel Ferrara

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 2

Where: Ravenna
Terrain: Flat
Ride: 
65 mi or 100 km; short 45 mi or 72 km
Meals: B, L, D

We bike east, from the heart of Emilia-Romagna towards the Adriatic Sea, crossing the Pianura Padana, and edging the lagoon of Valli di Comacchio.

Away from the large river Po one realizes the quantity of canals built by the man to keep irrigated every area of the plain. You will notice its variety of crops (chefs take note) and ordered fields that occupy a vast reclaimed area. The 6 mile stretch on the Argine Agosta "floats" between the lagoon and the canal with open views of the WWF natural reserve, home of avocet and white heron. It’s the most important lagoon area of Italy.

In the afternoon we enjoy crossing the River Reno over a small ferry; and finally, we enter Ravenna, the jewel Byzantine town once capital of the Roman Empire.

It is the longest ride of the week but the terrain is flat. We cross several small towns, including Portomaggiore, Longastrino, and Sant’ Alberto. We will learn about the local fauna and flora and the economy of the wetland lagoon.

As for river and lagoon fare, the eels of Comacchio are celebrated by gourmands and should be washed down with the red “wine of the sands”, Bosco Eliceo DOC.

Upon arriving, you will have some free time to explore Ravenna on your own. Dinner is at Antica Trattoria al Gallo.

Dish of the stage: Eel of Comacchio logoon (Slow Food Presidium)

Hotel: Hotel Centrale Byron

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 3

Where: Fratta Terme
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
51 mi or 80 km; short 35 mi or 55 km
Meals: B, L, D

The ride is gorgeous, beginning in Ravenna and spinning through endless fruit orchards along tiny farm roads. We will ride south to the saline of Cervia, artificial ponds where salt has been produced and traded for 2000 years. Salt was a highly valued trade item to the point of being considered "white gold" and a form of currency. Next stop is Casa Artusi in Forlimpopoli. Pellegrino Artusi (Forlimpopoli 1820 - Florence 1911) is still considered the father of gastronomy. Casa Artusi is a museum, cooking school, and restaurant. Artusi’s book Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well had an unthinkable success. During the following 20 years, the author himself worked on 15 editions and the “Artusi” (by then simply called by the author’s name) became one of Italy’s best read books. 

In the afternoon we reach Bertinoro, a charming Medieval hilltop village which position affords a stunning view. It is in fact named ‘the balcony of Romagna’ (234 mt above sea level). After Bertinoro we continue to Fratta Terme. This village is known for its thermal baths and it is our final destination for the day. Emilia Romagna is world renown - but perhaps not as much as it should - for its thermal waters that have been around since roman times. We will get to the hotel early enough to check-in at the Spa. Dinner will be at the hotel.

Dish of the stage: Tagliatelle con ragu’ alla Bolognese. It is the champion of the regional cooking and one of the most imitated pasta dishes worldwide. You will learn about this dish right where it’s from.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Terme della Fratta 

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 4

Where: Bagno di Romagna
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
50 mi or 80 km; short 35 mi or 55 km 
Meals: B, L, D

Today we ride to Bagno di Romagna on the Apennines.

On our ride, we will see hills covered with vineyards and we have planned to visit one of the local wine producers. We will get an in-depth explanation of the local wine culture, of the terroir, of the local grape varieties, and of the climate. And, of course, we will get to taste!

Each region of Italy boasts an incredible winemaking tradition. Here in the Province of Forli and Cesena, local winemakers’ pride and joy is the Romagna Sangiovese DOC.

At lunch, Tourissimo will introduce you to a regional pride: the piadina romagnola. This flat bread is filled with simple but high-quality ingredients (such as cold cuts) and makes a whole meal. Several towns claim to have the best recipe for it. Buon appetito

After a couple of steady passes, we arrive in Bagno di Romagna. Take full advantage of the thermal water, as Bagno di Romagna is also a Spa town. Or check out the charming village, which - for the first time - hosts a Giro d’Italia stage. Whatever you decide to do, be ready for another culinary event as dinner will be prepared under the supervision of chef Paolo Teverini.

Dish of the stage: Wild game and mushroom

Hotel: Tosco Romagnolo

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 5

Where: Rimini
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
52 mi or 83 km; short 30 mi or 48 km 
Meals: B, L, D

Today we head west while losing elevation. The Adriatic and its gold sandy beaches are calling! The ride mainly follows the Savio river valley in the morning. If you would like to test your climbing legs, this is the day because there are a couple of possible detours with extra hills. Whatever your approach to today’s stage, we all gather in Sogliano sul Rubicone for lunch. The village was a Malatesta family hamlet and it’s been known for centuries for the Formaggio di Fossa di Sogliano D.O.P. (cheese aged in pits inside caves). The most representative local producer will guide us through a cheese tasting while explaining how this aging process changes the product and why underground.

In twenty-five more miles riding passed the hills of Rimini we reach our hotel, the spectacular Grand Hotel Rimini. 

The rest of the day is all about the Adriatic and its beach resort town of Rimini. In the Summer months, the coast is busy with tourism from all over Europe. But the big event this weekend is Al meni, the not to be missed cooking fair with the Michelin star chefs from Emilia Romagna. 

Hotel: Grand Hotel Rimini

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 6

Where: Rimini
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
25 mi or 40 km 
Meals: B

This morning you can enjoy the private beach, outdoor swimming pool, and the many amenities of the beautiful hotel. You can also opt for an early morning ride.

Unless you are extending your stay, a transfer will be arranged according to your travel plans.

Contact us for optional extensions to this tour. 

[fa icon="plus"] Other Info and Cost

Apple_Touch_IconHow to Get There

Airport/s - Bologna (BLQ)

Other transportation -  Private transfer by Tourissimo from the airport to the first Hotel. Upon request, guests can be picked-up elsewhere (additional cost).

 

Apple_Touch_IconHow to Depart

Airport/s - Bologna (BLQ) 

Other transportation -  Private transfer by Tourissimo from last hotel to the airport.

 

Apple_Touch_IconTour Level

Recreational/Active/Athletic - Active/Athletic: 35 to 50 mi a day. Two days all flat; Three days hilly and rolling. Ebikes available. Regular and short option available. 

 

Apple_Touch_IconCost

 USD 3,495 per person in double room. Private room +USD 250

• All accommodation and breakfasts

• All dinners and all lunches 

• Wine and beer at dinner and at some lunches

• Bike rental with Garmin GPS

• Two or more professional tour guides

• Van assistance and luggage transfer for all stages

• Walking tour of Ferrara

• Entrance to thermal spa

• Private cooking workshop

 Transfer from and to the airport

• All activities per day by day description
 

Apple_Touch_IconClimate Data 

June temperatures average 17C (63F) low / 26C (79F) max - precipitation probability 13% 

[fa icon="plus"] Hotel Highlights
Fratta TermeGrand Hotel Terme della Fratta (Emilia Romagna)

 

Grand Hotel RiminiGrand Hotel Rimini (Emilia Romagna)