Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine introduces 5 biking/gastronomy tours in Italy’s Dolomites

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine introduces five bike tours in the Dolomites starting this spring that showcase outdoor recreational grandeur and gastronomy of Northeastern Italy.

The new six-night tours are: “Train Like a Local” departing May 26 and September 1; “The Agony and the Ecstasy” departing June 9; and “The Classic Climbs” departing July 7 and September 8. Rates start at $3,695, per person, based on double occupancy and include accommodations, all ground transportation, guide services, all breakfasts and three dinners. A 15% discount is offered on the September 8 tour if both tours in September are booked.

Each tour invites a riding exploration of the Dolomites in Northeastern Italy and delves into the region’s rich culinary heritage, pairing opportunities to sample Marostica cherries and Bassano’s famed white asparagus with challenging climbs along routes unknown to mainstream tour companies.

“Train Like a Local” tour– May 26 – June 1; and September 1-7, 2013: Focusing on the “mid-mountains” with climbs ranging between 900 and 1700 meters, this tour explores the foothills south of the Dolomites, an area widely considered the preferred training ground for local and race teams. An ideal introduction to riding in the mountains, the “Train Like a Local” tour prepares cyclists for more challenging ascents in the upper elevations of the Dolomites and the Alps.

“The Agony and the Ecstasy” tour – June 9 – 15, 2013: Comprising the hardest climbs in northeast Italy (those rated at the 200-point difficulty level), the aptly named “Agony and Ecstasy” tour is designed for cyclists who have trained hard and are ready to embrace the most difficult climbs the Dolomites can offer. This tour takes guests on epic climbs through the regions of Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia, with stops to sample and savor local delicacies such as prosciutto, homemade gnocchi and grappa.

“The Classic Climbs” tour – July 7 – 13; and September 8-4, 2013: “The Classic Climbs” traces a path through the heart of the Dolomites, combining little-known passes with the renowned and rigorous bike climbs that have made the region a sought-after destination for cyclists. While exploring the Dolomites the way locals do, riders will have opportunities to experience the blend of Italian and Austrian/Germanic cultures that define this picturesque region.

Led by expert cyclist and mountain guide Vernon McClure, and cooking instructor and chef Kathy Bechtel, also an avid biker, Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine cycling tours introduce both new and accomplished cyclists to the spectacular Dolomites region, taking care to sample regional cuisine and discover local wines unknown beyond the area. Daily coaching and challenging climbs are interspersed with opportunities to explore off-the-beaten-path towns such as Rovereto, an ancient fortress town; Conegliano, the heart of the Prosecco DOCG zone; and Bassano del Grappa, for a grappa tasting.

Tours are tailored to provide a balance of activity, rest and relaxation. A maximum of 12 persons per group allows for daily itinerary customization and refinement, based on participants’ interests, pacing, and real-time “finds.”
For more information or to receive Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine newsletter, recipes and wine information, visit or Chef Kathy Bechtel’s blog at

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine is an owner-operated private guide service, creating and guiding active culinary tours in Northeastern Italy. Unique in their ability to combine active biking, skiing and hiking adventures with world-class culinary programs — including tours with James Beard award-winning chefs — Italiaoutdoors customizes vacations for groups of 4 to 12 people. Italiaoutdoors has more than 15 years of recreational programming experience in the region, plus formal culinary and wine training. Programs also include cooking classes, wine tastings, and restaurant dining which explore the best in local regional cuisine and undiscovered wines. Itineraries are rounded out with city visits, shopping, cultural excursions or just relaxing. The owners — experts in fitness, food, and the region — personally lead each tour., 978-270-5774. Twitter @italiaoutdoors. Facebook

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