20865
Italy
A Cycling Journey: Northern Italy From the Alps to Verona
Unravel the enchanting story of Northern Italy as you cycle from the Alps to Verona, learning about Roman monuments, traditional vineyards, ancient villages and authentic cuisine.
Program No. 20865RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
1,075
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12 days
11 nights
20 meals
10 B 0 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive, Transfer to San Valentino, Bicycle Fitting
San Valentino alla Muta
D
Hotel Stocker

Activity note: Biking distance: There will be no biking today which provides an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after your international flight. Please note that daily biking distances are approximate and may vary due to unforeseen circumstances; Motorcoach time: 2 hours

Morning: We proceed to San Valentino alla Muta by motorcoach. 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 1,300 acres of cultivated land.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during scheduled free time for informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Upon arrival in San Valentino, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and skill testing will take place. Please be aware that indicated motorcoach times as well as biking distances are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the Hotel Stocker dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or take a stroll. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

DAY
3
Safety Lecture, Glorenza, Lasa Marble, Silandro
Silandro
B,D
Parkhotel zur Linde

Activity note: Biking distance: 24 miles

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose from a buffet with meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, cereals, breads, juices and hot beverages.

Morning: After a hearty breakfast, we will present a lecture on safety, rules of the road, and the IBT Corner System. Our cycling begins at an altitude of nearly 5,000 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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Glorenza. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

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 320-foot high bell tower of the parish church, believed to be one of the highest in Tyrol.

Dinner: In the Parkhotel zur Linde dining room, enjoy a dinner buffet plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to spend time with new Road Scholar friends, relax, or go exploring on your own.

DAY
4
Laces, Apple Farming, Naturno, San Procolo Chapel, Merano
Merano
B,D
Hotel Siegler (Albergo alla Torre)

Activity note: Biking distance: 24 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We'll start the day with a visit regarding 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 microclimate 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.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Naturno.

Afternoon: In Naturno, we’ll visit San Procolo Chapel, home to magnificent 8th-century frescoes, the oldest in the German-speaking world. Our day culminates in the aristocratic spa town of Merano, famous for its picturesque promenades, towering cathedrals, and lush gardens.

Dinner: In the Hotel Siegler dining room, enjoy a choice of three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Merano Walking Tour, Bolzano
Bolzano
B,D
Hotel Scala (Hotel Stiegl)

Activity note: Biking distance: 23 miles; Walking distance: up to one mile, standing for up to two hours on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones.

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 via dei Portici, a corridor of arches supported by masonry columns, which connect piazza Duomo to piazza del Grano.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Merano. Be sure to sample some of the culinary delights of South Tyrol, like speck with dumplings or the local asparagus.

Afternoon: We pedal along the Adige River through acres of vineyards to Bolzano. The town feels and looks more German or Austrian than Italian, and German is the predominant language spoken. In the late afternoon, we arrive at our hotel in Bolzano.

Dinner: In the Hotel Scala dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
South Tyrol Archaeology Museum, Free Time
Bolzano
B,D
Hotel Scala (Hotel Stiegl)

Activity note: Biking distance: no biking; Walking distance: up to one mile, standing for up to two hours on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones.

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 5,300-year-old mummy, discovered in Alpine ice back in 1991. Visitors can see an exhibit showing the naturalistic reconstruction of Ötzi the Iceman using 3D images of his skull as well as X-ray and CT images, from two Dutch artists, Adrie and Alfons Kennis.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Bolzano.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Bolzano to do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Wander through the market squares, take the shuttle to Runkelstein Castle to view its spectacular wall paintings, or ride the levitating funicular from Bolzano to the mountain village of Colle for a panoramic view of Bolzano.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Mezzocorona Winery, Trento
Trento
B,D
Hotel America

Activity note: Biking distance: 43 miles

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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Mezzocorona.

Afternoon: Learn about the passion of the wine-making process during a visit to a unique production facility in the heart of wine country.

Dinner: In the Hotel America dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Modern Italy History & Economy Lecture, Free Time
Trento
B,D
Hotel America

Activity note: Biking distance: no biking; Walking distance: up to one mile, standing for up to two hours on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Learn about the history and economy of modern Italy during a lecture this morning. Explore Trento, whose Duomo was once the meeting ground for the Council of Trent. The remains of the town of Tridentum, complete with mosaic floors and a water heating system, remind us of ancient Roman art and innovation. We'll discover the rich artistic and historic heritage of this city's elegant Renaissance-style monuments and landmarks during a guided walk of the old city center.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Trento.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Trento. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. If you want to relax, seek out one of the local cafés to sip a glass of wine or cup of coffee while watching the locals.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Nomi, Loppio, Torbole sul Garda
Torbole sul Garda
B,D
Club Hotel La Vela

Activity note: Biking distance: 31 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

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: On your own to enjoy what you like in Loppio.

Afternoon: Our hotel is located on the northeast corner of the lake, known for its beaches, windsurfing, and sailing. Check-in at the hotel and then wander around the lakeside town of Torbole.

Dinner: In the Club Hotel La Vela dining room, enjoy a dinner buffet plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Lake Garda Ferry, Sirmione, Free Time
Peschiera
B,D
Hotel Puccini

Activity note: Ferry transfer: 4 hours; Biking distance: 7 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Start the day with a ferry transfer 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: On your own to enjoy what you like aboard the ferry.

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. Free Time. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Pescheria del Garda to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. 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: At a restaurant located in a former historic fort, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water and ¼ wine; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Borghetto, Free Time, Farewell Dinner
Mantova
B,D
Hotel Casa Poli

Activity note: Biking distance: 31 miles

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. On arrival in Mantova, surrender your bicycles, then head to lunch in the city.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Mantova.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Mantova. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. 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: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner in a local restaurant featuring a three-course set menu plus water and ¼ wine; other beverages are available for purchase. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 45 minutes

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Verona Villafranca Airport for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!