A 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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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
As for food, in Ferrara there is a happy marriage of aristocratic and popular cuisine, starting from the
Dish of the stage: Cappellacci di Zucca IGP. This pumpkin filled pasta is the staple dish of Ferrara.
Hotel: Hotel Ferrara
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
In the afternoon we enjoy crossing the River Reno over a small ferry; and finally, we enter Ravenna, the jewel Byzantine town once
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
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
Hotel: Hotel Centrale Byron
Where: Fratta Terme
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 “
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’
Hotel: Grand Hotel Terme
Where: Bagno di Romagna
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.
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
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
In twenty-five more miles riding passed the hills of
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
Hotel: Grand Hotel Rimini
Ride: 25 mi or 40 km
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.
How 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).
How to Depart
Airport/s - Bologna (BLQ)
Other transportation - Private transfer by Tourissimo from last hotel to the airport.
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.
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
June temperatures average 17C (63F) low / 26C (79F) max - precipitation probability 13%