Italiaoutdoors, a provider of small-group, personalized recreational vacations in Northeastern Italy, recently announced their 2012 “Chefs on Bikes” tour, a guided cultural and cycling exploration of the culture, foods and wines of Northeastern Italy.
Scheduled for June 24-30, 2012, the 7-day/6-night tour invites cyclists to learn from the culinary expertise of Chef Kathy Bechtel. With a route covering 20-35 miles per day, the tour travels through the Veneto at the foot of the Dolomite mountains and along the shores of the Adriatic Sea.
“Chefs on Bikes” follows one of the former trade routes that distributed spices and goods from the East throughout Western Europe, meandering through flat farmland, by 16th and 17th-century villas, around volcanic hills, and into the foothills of the Pre-Alps. Days begin with gentle, scenic bike rides, followed by a culinary exploration with cooking lessons and wine tastings led by Chef Bechtel. Accommodations are in elegant four-star villa hotels in Mira, Vicenza and Asolo.
Highlights of the trip are:
- A ride along the Brenta River, touring Palladian estates and the summer villas of the Venetian aristocracy
- A visit to Vicenza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city most closely associated with Andrea Palladio, noted Venetian architect of the 16th century
- Rides through the picturesque Berici Hills (Colli Berici) Wine Zone
- A visit to the medieval walled cities of Treviso, Castelfranco, and Cittadella
- Two nights in Asolo, a striking hilltop village with winding streets and a graceful piazza overlooking the valley
- A visit to Villa Cipriani, with a Bellini reception in the garden
- Six nights at opulent villas and hotels
- Two hands-on cooking classes, one with local chefs, and one with Chef and Italiaoutdoors Culinary Director Kathy Bechtel
- Daily wine tastings of Prosecco and the best of regional Veneto wines
- Tastings of regional culinary specialties at local trattorias featuring olive oils, risotto, polenta, Venetian frutti di mare, and spicy pasta dishes