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From the Alps to Verona: A Cycling Odyssey Through Northern Italy

Program Number: 20865RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/7/2013 - 9/18/2013; 5/7/2016 - 5/18/2016; 8/6/2016 - 8/17/2016; 9/10/2016 - 9/21/2016;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 20; 10 Breakfasts, 0 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Follow the Adige River Valley from the shadow of the Alps, through the Dolomites in Trentino, across Lake Garda and onto the plains of Veneto, a journey by bicycle that exposes you to Northern Italy at the pace of a true explorer, not a mere tourist. Accompanied by experts and other cyclists, ride to ancient Roman outposts, sprawling vineyards and great monuments of the German — and Italian — speaking worlds, stopping for local insights and perspectives on each treasure you encounter.


• Marvel at Otzi, the 5,300-year-old mummy found in a local glacier.
• Ferry across Italy's largest lake to the ancient villa ruins of Veronese poet Gaio Valerio Catullo.
• Learn about the art of winemaking at a unique production facility near Salorno.

Activity Particulars

For novice to experienced cyclists comfortable biking as a group 20-38 miles a day at a rate of 10-12 mph, with rest breaks every 25 minutes. Cycling will be primarily on dedicated paved and some unpaved bicycle paths, some secondary roads. Participants bring and wear their own bicycle helmet. Walking up to one mile/day, standing for up to two hours/day on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones.

Personal bike helmet required, 27-speed hybrid bikes provided.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Innsbruck (Austria), coach to San Valentino alla Muta (Italy), 1 night; bike to Silandro, 1 night; bike to Merano, 1 night; bike to Bolzano, 2 nights; bike to Salorno, 1 night; bike to Trento, 1 night; bike to Lake Garda, 1 night; ferry to Sirmione, bike to Peschiera del Garda, 1 night; bike to Mantova, 1 night; coach to Verona, departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
Arrival Innsbruck (Austria)
Coach to San Valentino alla Muta (Italy)
1 night
Bike to Silandro
1 night

En route to the hotel, view the steeple of a submerged 14th-century church jutting out of manmade Lake Reschen. In San Valentino, get fitted for your bike before vistas of the snowy Alps. Bike to the preserved city walls of Glorenza, discover the origins of the white marble mined in the mountains near Lasa and continue to Silandro, surrounded by the orchards and pastures that provide its livelihood.

Bike to Merano
1 night
Bike to Bolzano
2 nights

In Naturno visit San Procolo Chapel and its eighth-century frescoes. Explore the aristocratic spa town of Merano and marvel at the corridor of arches connecting Piazza Duomo to Piazza del Grano. In German-speaking Bolzano, a local historian takes you through the medieval center dominated by the Duomo and at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, you meet Otzi the 5,300-year-old ice mummy.

Bike to Salorno
1 night
Bike to Trento
1 night

Leaving behind German-speaking South Tyrol, enter a land of medieval castles, orchards and scores of vineyards where 20 varieties of grape are grown to make red and white wines. In Trento, explore the remains of the old Roman town of Tridentum.

Bike to Lake Garda
1 night
Bike to Peschiera del Garda
1 night

Learn about the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from an expert, then follow the path to Rovereto, steeped in World War I history. Descend to Lago di Garda and ferry across to Sirmione. In Peschiera del Garda, visit the old town center inside an enormous fortress.

Bike to Mantova
1 night
Coach to Verona

Cycle to the unique hamlet of Borghetto, home to ancient water mills used during the Venetian Republic. In Mantova, surrender your bike and explore the historic piazzas, palaces and Renaissance structures.


“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.

Centrally located three- and four-star hotels throughout.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Stocker
  San Valentino alla Muta, Italy 1 night
   Hotel Goldener Loewe
  Silandro, Italy 1 night
   Hotel Siegler im Thurm
  Merano, Italy 1 night
   Hotel Scala Stiegl
  Bolzano, Italy 2 nights
   Hotel America
  Salorno, Italy
Trento, Italy
2 nights
   Hotel Club La Vela
  Torbole sul Garda, Italy 1 night
   Hotel Puccini
  Peschiera, Italy 1 night
   Hotel Casa Poli
  Mantova, Italy 1 night
 Hotel Stocker
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Centrally located hotel operated by the Stocker family. This cozy Tyrolean-style hotel is a perfect location for participants to unwind.
  Contact info: Via Principale 42
San Valentino alla Muta,  39020 Italy
phone: +39 0473634666
  Room amenities: Shower, WC, Telephone, LCD Television, Safe, Some rooms have a balcony
  Facility amenities: Restaurant with Tyrolean Cuisine, Bar, Pub, Sun Room, Outdoor Garden, Library/TV Lounge with WIFI, Turkish Steam Bath, Finnish Sauna, Hot Jacuzzi
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Check directly with hotel Check directly with hotel for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Goldener Loewe
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A family operated hotel in the center of the beautiful village of Silandro in the heart of the Vinschgau Valley. The hotel offers a restaurant featuring typical Tyrolean cuisine is located in the pedestrian zone of the village.
  Contact info: Via Dante 6
Silandro,  39028 Italy
phone: +39 0473730188
  Room amenities: Shower, WC, Telephone, LCD Television, Hairdryer, Modem Plug
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bistro Bar, Private Outdoor Garden, Indoor Heated Swimming Pool, Sun Terrace, Sauna, Pool Table, WIFI Access
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Siegler im Thurm
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A family operated hotel in a quiet residential district ten minutes by foot from the historic district of Merano.
  Contact info: Via Parrocchia 6
Merano,  39012 Italy
phone: +39 0473 231133
  Room amenities: Shower, WC, Television, Telephone, Safe, Hairdryer, WIFI Internet Access
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Coffee Shop/Bar, Outdoor Swimming Pool with Private Garden, Internet Point, TV Lounge
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Scala Stiegl
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: A privately owned hotel located in a quiet residential district ten minutes from the historic center of Bolzano. The hotel had its origins as an ancient coach station and boasts a restaurant with fresco cycles by Rudolf Stolz. A liberty-style facade adorns the hotel.
  Contact info: Via Brennero 11
Bolzano,  39100 Italy
phone: +39 0471 976222
  Room amenities: Insulated Windows, Shower/Tub, WC, Hairdryer, LCD Television, Internet Access, Air Conditioning/Heat, Ventilation, Minibar, Safe, Desk, Couch or Seating
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Seated Lounge Area, Internet Access Points & Computer For Customer Usage, Outdoor Terrace, Private Garden with Swimming Pool
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel America
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A family operated hotel located in the historical town center, a short walk to the Castle del Buonconsiglio and the Dom Cathedral. The hotel offers individually decorated guest rooms.
  Contact info: Via Torre Verde 50
Trento,  38100 Italy
phone: +39 0461 983010
  Room amenities: Shower/Tub, WC, Hairdryer, Telephone, Air Conditioning/Heat, Satellite Color TV, Minibar, Internet Access
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Restaurant Terrace, Library with Internet Access Point
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Club La Vela
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: A full service hotel located a short walk to Lake Garda in the center of Torbole sul Garda.
  Contact info: Via Strada Granda 2
Torbole sul Garda,  38069 Italy
phone: +39 0464 505940
  Room amenities: Shower, WC, Telephone, Satellite Television, Air Conditioning
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, Outdoor Swimming Pool, Sun Terrace
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Puccini
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A family owned and operated hotel set on the shores of Lake Garda. The hotel is a ten-minute walk from the historic downtown area of Peschiera and features a large garden area. Evening meals will be on the the terrace of a former historic fort which has been converted into a restaurant with magnificent lake vistas.
  Contact info: Via Puccini 2
Peschiera Del Garda,  37019 Italy
phone: +39 0456401428
  Room amenities: Shower/WC, Air Conditioning/Heat, SatelliteTelevision, Telephone, Internet Access, Minibar, Hairdryer, Safe
  Facility amenities: Large Garden Area, Breakfast Restaurant, Bar, Outdoor Swimming Pool and Sun Terrace, Internet Access for fee
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Casa Poli
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: A family operated hotel which provides a unique exclusive environment, furnished in a minimalist, sophisticated style. The hotel is located within a ten-minute walk to the old city center. The group will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant featuring typical local cuisine.
  Contact info: Corso Garibaldi 32
Mantova,  46100 Italy
phone: +39 0376 288170
  Room amenities: Shower/WC, Air Conditioning/Heating, Television, Telephone, Hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, Internal Private Garden, Reading Room
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel for rates. Contact the hotel directly for rates and availability.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
1:00 PM Transfer from Innsbruck Airport to San Valentino hotel for bike fitting and testing. You will be staying at Hotel Stocker that night.
  End of Program:
Early morning group transfer to Verona Airport for independent flight departures. You will be staying at Hotel Casa Poli the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking not available at first program site.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: See ground transportation information above.
To Start of Program
  Location:  San Valentino alla Muta
  Nearest airport:  Innsbruck, Austria
  Transportation to site: On arrival at Innsbruck Airport take public bus "F" from the airport to the main train station in Innsbruck. Departures are every 15 minutes at a cost of approximately €2 per person. The transfer takes 10 minutes. At the Innsbruck train station, board a train for Landeck-Zams. Departures are hourly and the transfer takes one hour. On arrival in Landeck-Zams, you will need to transfer to a bus to Nauders Mhle. This transfer takes approx one hour. On arrival at Nauders Mhle, board a bus to San Valentino alla Muta. This transfer is about 20 minutes. The hotel is located in the center of San Valentino alla Muta - Hotel Stocker, Via Principale 42, Tel: 0473 634666.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Mantova
  Nearest airport:  Verona
  Transportation from site: Take a train from the rail station in Mantova to the rail station in Verona. The transfer time is approximately one hour. Transfer to the airport shuttle bus which departs the main rail station for the Verona airport several times an hour.
Equipment Requirements: Participants are required to bring and wear a bicycle helmet while biking each day.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure
(Saturday, September 7)
 Evening: Board an overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrival Innsbruck/Coach to San Valentino/Bike Fitting & Testing/Welcome Dinner
(Sunday, September 8)
 Afternoon: Join your fellow travelers at the Innsbruck Airport for the coach transfer to our hotel in San Valentino alla Muta in Italy. Our route will take us through the Passo di Resia, an Alpine pass connecting the Inn River Valley with the Val Venosta. This pass was formerly part of the Via Claudia Augusta, an ancient Roman road that allowed people and goods to pass from the Adriatic Sea to Donauworth, Germany. En route to the hotel, we’ll enjoy an excursion to a fascinating site near Curon to see a striking landmark - a 14th-century church steeple towering from the lake. Lake Resia is an artificial lake created in 1950, when two smaller lakes were unified for the sake of power generation, submerging several villages and 1300 acres of cultivated land. On arrival at our hotel in San Valentino, we’ll fit your bicycle and test your biking skills to insure that you are safe and comfortable for the days ahead.
 Dinner: Join us tonight in the hotel dining room for our welcome dinner.
Accommodations: Hotel Stocker
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Bicycle to Glorenza/The Lasa Marble Industry
(Monday, September 9)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: After a typical Tyrolean breakfast of meats, cheeses, cereals, yogurt and delicious rye breads, attend a lecture on safety, rules of the road and the IBT corner system. Our cycling begins at an altitude of 1500 meters which means you’ll almost forget how to pedal your bicycle today. Vistas of the snow-covered Alps and the fresh mountain air will energize you as we follow dedicated cycle paths along the Adige River. Enjoy a visit to the intriguing village of Glorenza with its perfectly preserved city walls with parapet walks, seven towers and three gates. This smallest town in South Tyrol was an important trading center for bringing ores and salt to Innsbruck.
 Lunch: Sample the local fare in Glorenza on your own.
 Afternoon: We'll discover the origins of the famous pure white marble mined from the mountains near Lasa, which was used extensively in many of the world's monuments and statues. Our cycling continues to the village of Silandro, located in the heart of fruit orchards and green pastures. The landmark of the city is the 97-meter high bell tower of the parish church, believed to be one of the highest in Tyrol.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: Learn more about your fellow travelers at group introductions.
Accommodations: Hotel Goldener Loewe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Fruit Cultivation/San Procolo Chapel Frescoes
(Tuesday, September 10)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We'll start the day with a lecture on the age-old tradition of fruit cultivation and its importance to this area. The Val Venosta runs from Passo di Resia to Merano and has a special micro climate of dry and sunny days that is perfect for fruit cultivation. Our route takes us through the town of Laces, sometimes called the “apple capital," where many of the largest cooperatives of the valley are located. In Naturno, we’ll visit San Procolo Chapel, home to magnificent 8th-century frescoes, the oldest in the German-speaking world.
 Lunch: Free to sample local fare on own.
 Afternoon: Our day culminates in the aristocratic spa town of Merano, famous for its picturesque promenades, towering cathedrals and lush gardens.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel Siegler im Thurm
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Historic Merano Guided Walk/Bicycle to Bolzano
(Wednesday, September 11)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We’ll trade our cycling shoes for walking shoes this morning for a guided walking introduction to Merano’s old town to view its elegant architecture and learn the vivid history of this former Roman crossroad. Marvel at the Street of “Portici," a corridor of arches supported by masonry columns, which connect Piazza Duomo to Piazza del Grano.
 Lunch: Free to sample local fare in Bolzano.
 Afternoon: After sampling some of the culinary delights of South Tyrol (try the speck and dumplings or the local asparagus), we pedal along the Adige River through acres of vineyards to Bolzano. The town feels and looks more German-Austrian than Italian, and German is the predominant language spoken.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel Scala Stiegl
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Bolzano/South Tyrol Archaeology Museum/Independent Exploration
(Thursday, September 12)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Discover the artistic and cultural treasures of Bolzano with a local historian on a guided walk of the city. Marvel at the pink sandstone and multi-colored roof tiles of the Duomo (cathedral) as you discover the delightful medieval center. Visit the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, featuring Ötzi, the Iceman, the remarkably intact 5300 year old mummy, discovered twenty years ago in Alpine ice. You are in for a special treat as a new exhibit opened recently showing the new, naturalistic reconstruction of Ötzi the Iceman. Using 3D images of his skull as well as X-ray and CT images, two Dutch artists, Adrie and Alfons Kennis have recreated Ötzi.
 Lunch: Free to sample local fare in Bolzano.
 Afternoon: Take the balance of the day for independent exploration of Bolzano. Wander through the market squares, take the shuttle to Runkelstein Castle to view its spectacular wall paintings, or ride the oldest levitating funicular world wide from Bolzano to the mountain village of Colle for a panoramic view of Bolzano. Your feet will welcome the rest at dinner tonight in the hotel.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel Scala Stiegl
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Bicycle to Trento/Wine Production
(Friday, September 13)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We leave the German-speaking region of Southern Tyrol behind to enter the land of medieval castles, manor houses, orchards and vineyards. Wine is king in this area and we'll be cycling through scores of vineyards. There are twenty grape varieties used in the production of this region's top quality red and white wines. The most popular is the red Vernatsch grape, which accounts for 55% of the grapes grown.
 Lunch: Free to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: Learn about the passion of the wine-making process during a visit to a unique production facility. We cross the Italian-German speaking border at Salorno, where Italian influences surpass that of northern Italy. Take the opportunity tonight at dinner to sample some of the region's wines.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel America
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Historic Trento
(Saturday, September 14)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore Trento, whose Duomo was once the meeting ground for the Council of Trent. The remains of the old Roman town of Tridentum, complete with mosaic floors and a water heating system, remind us of the golden olden days. We'll discover the rich artistic and historic heritage of this city's elegant Renaissance style monuments and landmarks during a guided walking excursion of the archaic city center.
 Lunch: Free to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: Your afternoon is free for further independent exploration of this unique Alpine city.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel America
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Dismantling the Austro-Hungarian Empire/Bicycle to Lake Garda
(Sunday, September 15)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Learn about the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during a lecture this morning. We mount our bikes and follow the bicycle path along the Adige River to Rovereto, whose surrounding mountains were heavily fought over during World War I. A former railway track leads us through a low pass to an awesome descent to the deep blue Lago di Garda, Italy's largest lake.
 Lunch: Free to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: Our hotel is located on the northeast corner of the lake, known for its beaches, windsurfing and sailing.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel Club La Vela
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Ferry Cruise Lake Garda/ Sirmione
(Monday, September 16)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Start the day with a ferry cruise on Lake Garda from Torbole sul Garda to Sirmione, which affords a unique perspective of the resort-studded shores lined with olive, lemon and orange trees. Watch the windsurfers skimming across its temperate waters.
 Lunch: Free to sample local fare.
 Afternoon: After disembarking the ferry in Sirmione, we'll explore this peninsular tourist enclave, renowned for its thermal baths and ancient villa ruins of Veronese poet Caio Valerio Catullo. Our cycling route continues to Peschiera del Garda, one of the most characteristic towns on the lake, which in Roman times was an important trading center for fish and agricultural products. Our hotel is located on the southern shore of the lake. After arriving at the hotel, you may want to visit Peschiera's old town center which is located in the middle of an enormous fortress in the shape of a five-pointed star.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a former historic fort which has been converted into a restaurant with magnificent lake vistas.
Accommodations: Hotel Puccini
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11:
(Tuesday, September 17)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Our last day of cycling will be on the level towpath along the Mincio River, which is Lake Garda's only outgoing stream flow. We'll explore the unique hamlet of Borghetto, the first settlement that developed near the ford across the Mincio River. The three ancient water mills that seem to rise out of the river were used during the Venetian Republic to mill wheat and rice.
 Lunch: Free to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: On arrival in Mantova, surrender your bicycles and explore this historical enclave bordered on three sides by lakes. Mantova is known for its cultural history and abounds with historic piazzas, palaces, and great Renaissance structures.
 Dinner: Enjoy your farewell dinner at a local restaurant featuring regional cuisine.
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Poli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Departure
(Wednesday, September 18)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Group coach transfer to Verona Airport for flight departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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