Distance: 32 mi.
Elev. Gain: 5,400 ft
Today, you get to cycle up the most famous col in the Dolomites the Pass Pordoi. Take time to enjoy the amazing views down the valley as you climb. The road is really neat and you get 360-degree views on your surroundings. Later on, continue toward the Sella towers. The road is narrow with pine trees on both sides before reaching a restaurant in the heart of mountain. The afternoon ride starts with a downhill and is much easier than the morning route.
Passo Pordoi: Pordoi is a pass in the Dolomites in the Alps, located between the Sella group in the north and the Marmolada group in the south. The pass is at an altitude of 2,239 m (7,346 ft), It is the highest surfaced road traversing a pass in the Dolomites.
Sella Towers: The Sella Towers are four summits in the Sella group in South Tyrol, Italy.the Campolongo Pass, Pordoi Pass, Sella Pass, and Gardena Pass. In winter it is possible to ski around the entire massif by using the Sella Ronda ski lift carousel. Also each winter the alpine touring ski Sellaronda Skimarathon race is held, which leads around the entire Sella and covers 42 km of mountain trails. The same trails can be mastered by Mountain bike during the summer.
Each year the course of the annual single-day seven mountain passes crossing Maratona dles Dolomites Bicycle Race goes around the Sella group.
Distance: 35 mi.
Elev. Gain: 2,000 ft
The beginning goes around the town of Fasano. Pedal on small country roads and along the way discover lovely villages with masseria, trulli, fields and olive trees before reaching the Unesco world heritage site of Alberobello and it 1,500 trulli.
Itria valley: The main Itria Valley features are the following:
• Trulli, the typical ancient Apulian small round houses of stone with a conical roof
• A large amount of olives from which they obtain olive oil
• Vineyards from which they obtain high quality white wine, such as Locorotondo DOC and Martina Franca DOC.
Distance: 29 mi.
Elev. Gain: 2,900 ft
Start the day with a nice ride thru the heart of Piedmont before reaching the town of Barolo for a wine tasting and lunch at a local restaurant in the heart of town. The ride is very scenic and the area you bike in is one of the most famous in Piedmont. In the afternoon, cycle some more through the rolling hills of Piedmont before reaching back your hotel the villa Beccarris.
Novello: A tiny town near Barolo in Piedmont with well preserved old buildings and picturesque eighteen-century castle adapted for a hotel. Townspeople’s life is concentrated around wine and grapevine cultivation.
Bossolasco: It is a popular tourist area situated in the Upper Langhe.The historical part of the town is decorated with thousands of roses which you see growing everywhere even from the pavements and roads. The Balestrino castle can be found on the road to Murazzano and was built in 1600, while the parish church, a traditional Gothic stone building, was built in the 14th century. The patronal fair ( festa) takes place in June, on St John the Baptist’s day. Bossolasco was previously a favourite place of famous painters such as Enrico Paulucci, Francesco Menzio and Franco Garelli, who decided to create craftsmen type shops in its honour, therefore beautiful paintings came to decorate bakers’, chemists’, and all other shops in town. There were originally 28 artistic signs but now unfortunately only 13 remain and can be seen in the council hall. The Community has now invited other artists to paint facades for local hotels and restaurants. The town of Bossolasco has a full range of shops, restaurants, bars and a pasticceria ( Eugenio Giachet) Truffa well known in the region for its cakes, ice cream and chocolate.
La Morra: The town, in a beautiful panoramic position, with views of the Langhe and Alps, has a medieval layout which vaguely recalls a fan. In Piazza Castello there is a spectacular viewpoint of the surrounding hills. The parish church of S. Martin, which houses a painting by Aliberti, and the municipal towers of 1730, which are 31m tall, square, made up of five simple and sombre square floors and a Baroque style bell tower, are worth visiting. In the Annunziata hamlet there is the Museum Ratti dei Vini di Alba, relative to the history and techniques of oenology and viticulture.
Barolo: It is a world famous wine city. It is the namesake city for the “king of wines and the wine of kings.” Barolo is a very scenic small town. The town is famous for its many vineyards and its many varieties of red wine, which are made from the nebbiolo grape. Barolo is spread over a tiny area of 5.6 sq km and the population of the village is only around 750. Pop: 681, 5.6 km2.
Initially inhabited by Celtic-Ligurian tribes, and then by the Romans, the first real settlements took place in the late Middle Ages. The name Barolo most likely comes from the Celtic “bas reul”, meaning low-lying place. It was part of the commune of Alba on and off until 1486, when it became part of the House of Savoy. Like its neighboring towns, its residents participated in the Partisan resistance movement during WWII.
The most scenic spot in town is the Castello Falletti, which is located in the center of town. The Castello Falletti contains a number of interesting sights, including a museum and an enoteca. Built in the 10th century to guard against the invading Saracens, from 1250 it was inhabited as a residence by the famous and powerful Marchesi Falletti until the last male of the family died in 1864. After several years of abandonment, in 1970 the castle became property of the commune.
Parts of the original 10th century keep are still standing, although much of the original structure was destroyed by the Savoyards in 1544. A number of the most famous Barolo crus (specific vineyards) are located just outside the town of Barolo. For example, the cru Cannubi is on the south-facing hillside on your right just before you enter the town on the road from Alba.
Monforte d’Alba: Of Roman origins and in the medieval times a centre of Cathar heresy, Monforte d’Alba is in a privileged position on the most majestic hills of the Langhe. The town, clinging to sundrenched slopes, has preserved its original medieval layout, with narrow streets that quickly go up towards the Piazza dell’Antica Chiesa, where there are the oratory of S. Augustine, the Scarampi Palace, made from the structure of a medieval castle, and, in an isolated position, an ancient bell tower. The square, in the shape of an amphitheatre, is a real open air auditorium, in which numerous concerts take place. In the lower part of the town there is the parish church of the Our Lady of the Snow, in a neo-gothic style in the form of a Latin cross, preceded by an ample staircase.
Distance: 35 mi.
Elev. Gain: 3,600 ft
The beginning of the ride will be similar to the ride yesterday, as we will cycle thru olive groves and thru charming villages before reaching the town of Pienza for lunch. In the afternoon you have 360-degree views as you cycle in the heart of the Val d’Orcia. The riding is easy until you reach the bottom of Pienza and start climbing the cypress-lined road near Monticchiello before arriving back to the hotel for your cooking class.
Pienza: It is a town where one of the Pops was born. In 1458 the Pop decided to transform PieII Corsignano, his hometown, a city in renaissance refined. It will rename the town Pienza and the architect Bernardo Rossellino will built around the main square the main symbols of power, the cathedral, the episcopal palace and the town hall.
Pecorino is the name of a family of hard Italian cheeses made from ewe’s milk. The word derives from pecora meaning ‘sheep. Of the four main varieties of Pecorino, all of which have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status under European Union law, Pecorino Romano is probably the best known outside Italy, especially in the United States, which has been an important export market for the cheese since the 19th century. The other three mature PDO cheeses are the Pecorino Sardo from Sardinia; Pecorino Toscano, Pecorino Siciliano from Sicily. All come in a variety of styles depending on how long they have been aged. The more matured cheeses, referred to as stagionato (“seasoned” or “aged”), are harder but still crumbly in texture and have decidedly buttery and nutty flavours. The other two types semi-stagionato and fresco have a softer texture and milder cream and milk tastes. In Southern Italy, it is traditional to add black peppercorns or red chilli flakes to Pecorino, producing what is called Pecorino Pepato (literally, “peppered Pecorino”).
Sant’Anna in Camprena: The monastery ofSant’Anna in Camprena was founded in 1332-1334 by Bernardo Tolomei as a hermitage for theBenedictines; it was remade in the late 15th-early 16th century, and several times in the following centuries. The refectory houses frescoes by il Sodoma (1502–1503). The Italian-American director Anthony Minghella chose Sant’Anna in Camprena to shoot some of the most famous scenes from the film “The English Patient” winner of nine Academy Awards.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.