TOURING BY MOTORBIKE
Enchanting Italian North-West, Piedmont, Liguria and Cinque Terre, Aosta Valley and a hint of France
From Milan for 12 days
A sumptuous tour amidst the Savoia family palaces with their enchanting gardens, the delightful Langhe and Roero (first rural Unesco World Heritage Site) vineyard hills, some exhilarating stretches on the highest mountains, the extraordinary spectacle of mountainsides plummeting to the sea and the many colourful little harbours all along the enchanting seaside. In Piedmont late Italian kingdom castles and villas, the holy mountains spirituality and the ancient hamlets of the Barolo hills. The ex-capital city Turin (Torino) and fascinating Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore. And some days of really challenging riding on the highest passes and deepest canyons of the Alps along the fortified border, with various pleasant digressions into France. In Liguria the delightful coastal landscapes that characterise this fine territory: the enchanting Cinque Terre Park with its colourful old villages and Portofino.
This is the ideal tour for those who want a short but significant synthesis of the most typically European, elegant and sumptuous Italy, its history and its population, that is reverberated in the cuisines that you will have the opportunity to taste. Riding with us along the most beloved roads by Ligurian and Piedmontese motorcyclists you will discover an often still unknown though really amazing territory, homeland to the most sophisticated Italian cooking (haute cuisine) and to the most prestigious wines in Italy.
Inclusive of beautiful 4-star accommodation and one super meal per day.
6 Unesco world heritage sites on our itinerary: Genoa, Milan, Portovenere and Cinque Terre, Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, Sacred Mounts of Piedmont and Lombardy, Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont.
In harmony with our motorcycle-touring philosophy, we visit the magnificent Italian North-West drinking in its history via a series of enriching tours brimming with motorcycling pleasure, sweeping along superb roads where visual verve and great riding go hand in hand. These are enchanting landscapes teeming with castles, woods and lakes – an Alpine wonderland – infinite vineyards and charming sea sceneries.
Meeting in Milan (Milano) We meet up in the afternoon at our hotel in Milan and pick up the rental bikes. We all meet up before dinner and get to know each other through a welcome aperitif and a short but important briefing, the time to explain a few simple rules for organizing and synchronizing things, thus ensuring that everyone has a safe holiday that is unforgettable for all the right reasons. Overnight in 4-star hotel in Milan; included meals: D.
Day 2: 220 km We set off for Liguria, stopping first in Pavia to look around its famous Charterhouse. Then, like the good bikers we are, we take the least direct and most scenic route to a splendid mountain pass in the Apennines, through a national park and on to the historical seaside town of Rapallo. Rapallo will be our base for two nights, just down the coast from the picturesque Portofino, a destination loved by Italians and the international jet set. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Rapallo. Included meals: B, D.
Day 3: 200 km We spend all day roaming the fabulous Cinque Terre National Park. With its five colourful villages cascading down to the water’s edge in a riot of pastels, the Cinque Terre well deserves its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We focus on the southern part of this enchanting area, along with Porto Venere, taking in the unmissable seafront walk known as the Via dell’Amore (if it reopens in time). Lunch by the sea is included, and you’re free to find your own place later for dinner. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Rapallo. Included meals: B, L.
Day 4: 140 km We press on to Genoa and its historical city centre, visiting Palazzo Rosso before heading for the hills on the road into Piedmont. We emerge in the Langhe and Roero, the first rural area to attain UNESCO World Heritage status, with its marvellous vineyards and castles. Despite being one of Italy’s most beautiful and interesting areas, it is still relatively undiscovered – so enjoy it while you can. This land of the Savoy, Italy’s last ruling royal house, includes the bulk of Piedmont’s renaissance castles and larger border fortresses. And there’s no better place to savour the finest food and wine, for this is home to Italy’s most prestigious wines, from Barolo and Nebbiolo to Barbaresco and Barbera d’Asti. Piedmont is a joy not just for the eyes but also for the palate, with an endless variety of gourmet delicacies and slow-food delights ready to seduce your senses. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Acqui Terme. Included meals: B, D.
Day 5: 160 km Today is all about exploring the beauty and history of the Langhe and Roero, with visits to the area’s most important centres, in Barolo, La Morra and Grinzane Cavour. Tasty lunch in some delightful wine village included, whereas you are free to explore the excellent Piedmontese cuisine for dinner in the Italian white truffle capital, Alba. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Alba. Included meals: B, L.
Day 6: 165 km After a last look at Le Langhe, we focus on another delightful slice of Piedmont: the Turin area. It is brimming with heritage from its prestigious past as the seat of the Italian royal family, the house of Savoy, and the first capital of Italy, which has been a unified country for just little more than 150 years. It would be remiss not to explore some of the many fine castles, so we’ll be visiting Stupinigi and the Royal Basilica of Superga. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Turin. Included meals: B, L, D.
Day 7: 0 - …km Today the bikes get a well-earned rest. And so do we. It’s time to slow down and savour the delights of Piedmont, with its fine food, wonderful wines and plenty more. Here are some ideas of things to do:
Visit Turin and its important Egyptian museum (second only to Cairo’s). The magnificent Parco del Valentino and its castle is also a lovely spot, while the National Automobile Museum, the Mole Antonelliana, and the elegant city centre are also not to be missed.
Take a chauffeur-driven minibus tour of the wineries to taste the wines, cheese, charcuterie, hazelnuts, and chocolate, to name just a few of Piedmont’s superb slow-food products.
Ease your way into a gourmet lunch in a Michelin-starred restaurant … or take a half-day cooking course where you get to eat your own work.
Since we’re in Italy’s finest white-truffle area, grab the chance to go on a guided truffle hunt in the woods near Alba, in a quest for the most sublimely fragrant underground delicacy that nature has to offer.
Our team is on hand to organize your day. NB: many of the proposed activities need advance booking. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Turin. Included meals: B. No main meal is included to leave you completely free on this rest day.
Day 8: 240 km You needed a day’s rest to be ready for this. For today has the “wow” factor in spades, as we attempt the high Alps on the border between France and Italy. We climb the Piedmont uplands and speed into French Savoie with its lakes and mountain passes, including the perfect Little San Bernardo Pass. And then the cherry on the top: the highest peak in Europe, the majestic Mont Blanc passes by as we head for the popular ski resort of Courmayeur in Val d’Aosta. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Courmayeur. Included meals: B, D.
Day 9: 150 km After the magnificent landscapes rolling and swaying with vineyards, the enchanting little old towns with their castles, regal Turin and all the Savoy palaces, and the imposing high mountains (as much a joy in summer as in winter), you might think that’s all the North-West has to offer. But no. For there are plenty more gems, like Fort Bard, Fenis Castle, and Aosta, a delightful border town founded by the Romans in 25 BC. Our forays for the day conclude near Biella, where we stop for the night. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Biella. Included meals: B, D.
Day 10: 150 km The deliciously sinuous roads of the Biella area bring us in good spirits to the Sacred Mountain of Varallo (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), before we roll down into town for lunch. A local speciality awaits, a mouthwatering Milanese cutlet, wiener schnitzel or, as they call it here, an “elephant’s ear” (that gives you an idea of the size.). We then meander uphill and then down, amid the breathtaking views of Lakes Orta and Maggiore. Finally, we wind onto the banks of Lake Maggiore, to rest for the night. Dine where you please. Overnight in a 4-star hotel on Lake Maggiore. Included meals: B, L.
Day 11: 180 km After passing Lake Orta and crossing Lake Maggiore, we have one last mouthful of bendy roads to get our teeth into. We hop into Switzerland, to Lake Lugano, then return to Italy and splendid Lake Como, whirring past its amazing array of Belle Epoque lakeside villas. Finally, we motor on for another 60 km to reach Milan and check into our original hotel. After taking the hire bikes back a lavish dinner provides a fitting end to our adventure together. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Milan. Included meals: B, D.
Day 12: Farewells in Milan We say our goodbyes after breakfast, leaving you free to go home or explore further the magic of Italy on your own. Included meals: B.