Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cycling in Italy's Piedmont region.

Italys Piedmont region was my cycling destination this summer. Bordering on France and Switzerland, the Piedmont region is a beautiful destination for cycling. Medieval hill towns, fabulous wines & food, and a diverse group of riders made for a great cycling adventure. Our group included 2 psychiatrists, a pediatrician, an anesthesiologist, an author, a World Bank economist and an attorney. Our tour company was Experience Plus out of Fort Collins, Colorado. The guides were wonderful and even marked our routes in chalk so we wouldn’t get lost. One of the guides was a sommelier versed in Italian wines!

The steep road up to the hamlet of Crissolo was challenging but very scenic!

Anyone that made the tough ride deserved applause!

Jeannette and Alan study the day’s route.

The royal palace of Racconigi was the home of the Marquis of Saluzzo.

A dog in the courtyard of our hotel in Saluzzo keeps a close watch on the killer geese. They would attack anything smaller than a horse. I suggested that they might we great candidates for pate’.

I’ve taken a number of European bike trips, but dinners with Experience Plus were the best!

Dena and Allan in Racconigi. We bought supplies and had a picnic in the town square.

We stopped in Barolo for a caffe’. Cappuccini are drinks of choice at the bar for breakfast or mid-morning, but you won’t catch an Italian drinking them after 11:30 am.

Many of the hilly roads in this region are short in distance but often steep.

I really got used to stopping for wine tastings on the route. I’m having a quick taste in the Regional Enoteca of Barolo.

Riding up to the famous hill towns of Barbaresco & Neive.

We had an amazing multi-course regional dinner in Pollenzo. The town is a World Heritage site and home to the first gastronomic university. This is where the “slow food” movement first started.

A medieval town along our route.

Beautiful church in Barbaresco.

I loved these little places to have a caffe’ or a beer.

Sarah and Wyn discussing their favorite wines.

A late afternoon bocce game in Pollenzo.

My last ride of the tour was in the hills outside of Asti. The next morning I took the train to Rome and met Marla. We traveled to Positano, on the Amalfi Coast, to finalize arrangements for our September, 2011, Wesco Fabrics trip. Contact me at for “buy-in” information. It will be wonderful.

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