Posts Tagged ‘ItaliaOutdoors’

Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine’s May and June 2013 “Train like a Local” Cycling Tours

April 9, 2013

Ever wonder how top cyclists get ready for a race? (Hint: It doesn’t always involve doping.) From May 26 to June 1 and June 16-22, Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine offers “Train Like a Local,” an immersive, six-night steroid-free bike tour exploring the foothills south of the storied Dolomites, an area widely considered to be the preferred training ground for local and race teams. Focusing on the mid-mountains – climbs ranging between 900 and 1700 meters – the tour is an ideal introduction to riding at higher elevations, preparing cyclists for more challenging ascents. The tour attracts adventurists who share a passion for cycling and culinary pursuits, pairing challenging climbs with opportunities to sample the Germanic/Hungarian-influenced cuisine of Northeastern Italy. The tour is priced $3,695 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes accommodations, all ground transportation, guide services, all breakfasts and three dinners.

Expert cyclist and mountain guide Vernon McClure – recently named one of the “Great Tour Guides in Northern Italy” by Dream of Italy magazine — and cooking instructor and chef Kathy Bechtel ( also an avid biker) lead the tours, which feature cycling routes unknown to mainstream tour companies and introduce guests to magnificent regional cuisine and local wines.

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. For more information or to receive Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine newsletter, recipes and wine information, visit www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com or Chef Kathy Bechtel’s blog at www.chefbikeski.com.

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

January 24, 2013

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. http://www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com/index.php/bike-tours-italy-ski-holidays-italy/dolomites-cycling-tours

“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 http://www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com or Chef Kathy Bechtel’s blog at http://www.chefbikeski.com.

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. http://www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com, 978-270-5774. Twitter @italiaoutdoors. Facebook http://www.facebook.com/foodandwineitaliaoutdoors.

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Italiaoutdoors Offers ‘Chefs on Bikes’ Cycling Tour in Northern Italy, June 24-30

March 16, 2012

Italiaoutdoors, a provider of small-group, personalized recreational vacations in Northeastern Italy, announces their 2012 “Chefs on Bikes” tour, a guided cultural and cycling exploration of the culture, foods and wines of Northeastern Italy.

Scheduled for June 24-30, the 7-day/6-night tour invites cyclists to learn from the culinary expertise of Chef Kathy Bechtel and is priced at $3895 per person, based on double occupancy. With a route covering 20-35 miles per day, the tour travels through the Veneto at the foot of the Dolomite mountains and along the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Recognizing the different riding levels of participants, the small-group size (maximum 8) allows for daily customization, including longer rides, and an immersive culinary and cultural experience.

“Chefs on Bikes” follows one of the former trade routes that distributed spices and goods from the East throughout Western Europe, meandering through flat farmland, by 16th and 17th-century villas, around volcanic hills, and into the foothills of the Pre-Alps. Days begin with gentle, scenic bike rides, followed by a culinary exploration with cooking lessons and wine tastings led by Chef Bechtel. Accommodations are in elegant four-star villa hotels in Mira, Vicenza and Asolo. The program includes all transfers, all breakfasts and snacks, five dinners with wine, plus entry fees to museums and other venues. The program can also be scheduled as a private group trip of 4-12 cyclists.

Highlights of the trip are:

  • · A ride along the Brenta River, touring Palladian estates and the summer villas of the Venetian aristocracy
  • · A visit to Vicenza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city most closely associated with Andrea Palladio, noted Venetian architect of the 16th century
  • · Rides through the picturesque Berici Hills (Colli Berici) Wine Zone
  • · A visit to the medieval walled cities of Treviso, Castelfranco, and Cittadella
  • · Two nights in Asolo, a striking hilltop village with winding streets and a graceful piazza overlooking the valley
  • · A visit to Villa Cipriani, with a Bellini reception in the garden
  • · Six nights at opulent villas and hotels
  • · Two hands-on cooking classes, one with local chefs, and one with Chef and Italiaoutdoors Culinary Director Kathy Bechtel
  • · Daily wine tastings of Prosecco and the best of regional Veneto wines
  • · Tastings of regional culinary specialties at local trattorias featuring olive oils, risotto, polenta, Venetian frutti di mare, and spicy pasta dishes

Italiaoutdoors is an owner-operated specialty guide service, offering individualized programs for small groups seeking to explore the beauty and diverse culture of Northern Italy. Hiking, biking and skiing programs are offered in combination with a culinary and culture immersion in the area. Participants share a passion for a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for the region’s history, beauty, culture, wines and culinary delights. Because of their small size, tours are adaptable to the fitness levels and interests of individual guests. Daily recreation is balanced with cooking lessons, wine tastings, fine meals and cultural explorations. www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.

Programs Focus on Biking, Skiing and Hiking

Italiaoutdoors offers bike routes for the more relaxed cyclist or more challenging rides for the stronger rider wanting aggressive hill climbs and longer days in the saddle. Ski itineraries include lessons for all levels of skier or snowboarder, guided resort skiing or backcountry explorations, and alternate activities for the non-skier. Hikers can enjoy hut-to-hut treks across the spectacular Dolomites, or more leisurely day hikes with four-star accommodations. All tours include daily free time to discover and enjoy the culture and foods and wines that have made Italy a favorite destination.

For more information and reservations, visit www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com.

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ItaliaOutdoors Introduces Custom Ski Trips to Italy for Wine, Food Enthusiasts

October 12, 2011

Fresh from its successful “Chefs on Bikes” tours with James Beard Award-winning chefs Susan Regis and Jody Adams, Italiaoutdoors introduces equally engaging and intimate custom ski and snowboard tours for the winter sport enthusiast and oenophile.

Like all Italiaoutdoors experiences, the small group tours are led solely by partners Vernon McClure, a one-time Airborne Ranger turned Defense Department mountaineering instructor, and Kathy Bechtel, a certified ski instructor and chef. Together, they customize unique tours that reveal their deep-rooted passion for the Trentino Alto-Adige region of Northeastern Italy. Highly personalized programs can be designed for every budget, with each custom tour including daily wine tastings and activities tailored to all ski levels, from shorter trails and groomed terrain for relaxed athletes to classic climbs of the majestic Dolomite Mountains for the advanced skier. Dates are available beginning December 2011. Trips are all-inclusive, with the exception of air, and can be arranged from a mini-holiday of five days to a more comprehensive tour of two weeks. As an example, a week-long adventure starts as low as $2800 per person and can be customized to include all level of accommodations.

Designed for small groups of friends and family, or ski clubs, Italiaoutdoors works with each group to craft a custom itinerary that provides a perfect balance of activity, rest and relaxation. The small group size (12 travelers maximum) allows for daily itinerary customization and refinement, based on participants’ interests, pacing, and real-time “finds.” Exploring the region’s well-known and undiscovered wines in and around the cities of Bolzano, Trento, Merano and Bressanone, and pairing them to the area’s fine cuisine, are itinerary staples.

An avid researcher of and writer about the region’s wines, Bechtel carefully curates each day’s wine tasting selection, choosing wines from the world-renowned wine regions of Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli Venezia-Giulia, as well as some wines only familiar to frequent travelers within Italy, including Amarone, Valpolicella, Lagrein, Schioppettino and Vino Santo. In the evenings, the culture and rich Austrian-Hungarian history of the region come to life, as guests enjoy local cuisine in charming osterias and elegant dinners in more refined ristorantes. This small region boasts more Michelin star restaurants than any other region in Italy.

By day, guests ski and explore the Trentino Alto-Adige region of Northeastern Italy, home to the majestic Dolomite Mountains and numerous winter resorts, where guests can enjoy some of the most stunning panoramic vistas in the world while skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing.

Italiaoutdoors partners Bechtel and McClure personally design and lead each tour. McClure, a trained ski and snowboard instructor and mountain guide, has more than 15 years experience designing, leading and teaching ski adventures in Italy and Europe. Bechtel is a trained ski instructor currently on staff at Sugarloaf, Maine. She is also a chef with formal wine training and hosts a TV food and wine show at Sugarloaf where she shares recipes and tips inspired by her travels to these regions.

Commented James Beard Award winner (and “Chefs on Bikes” special guest) Chef Susan Regis about her experience, “Italiaoutdoors supplies the framework for the trip of a lifetime leaving just the right amount of time and space to discover the unexpected and the authentic Italy. To feel as though you are part of the Italian culture is a testament to the insightful precision of a thoughtful journey, because in the end, it is all about the roads taken. I loved my journey!

For more information on custom ski or bike tours or to receive Italiaoutdoors’ newsletter with recipes and wine information, visit http://www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com or Chef Kathy Bechtel’s blog at www.chefbikeski.com. For ski clubs and other groups, discounts are available for trip organizers, with a free trip earned for as few as eight guests. Italiaoutdoors can also work with organizations to create fundraising opportunities.

About Italiaoutdoors

Italiaoutdoors 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.

http://www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com, 1-978-270-5774.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin