September 26th, 2017

April 16th to 21st, 2018

$1850 (5-day) / $2300 (8-day)

Difficulty: Beginner

To the beach outside of Rome!
To the beach outside of Rome!

Highlights

Italy is more than just pasta and wine. Come discover why brewers all over the world are looking to Italy for “the next big thing” in beer.

This tour takes place in northern Italy, starting in Milan and ending in Parma (5 day tour) or Rome (8 day tour). The region is flat and we will visit 5-8 breweries and share many great meals all served with amazing Italian hospitality.

  • All skill levels welcome. Ride between 20 and 40 miles each day, completely flat. For those on the 8-day version enjoy a rest day in the beautiful town of Parma.
  • Foodies rejoice: Imaging combining excellent beers with the best cappuccinos, the best ice cream, the finest pizza, pasta, Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, and famous Italian burgers!
  • On this tour we will visit 5 to 8 breweries, and receive a private tour at many of them. No two breweries or tours are alike! Beer tastings are typically generous, often paired with excellent local food, and are included in your trip fees!
  • Hotels, bike / bag rentals, breakfast, lunch, snacks, brewery tours + beer samples all included. Vehicle support included for groups at least 8. Everyone pays for their own dinner each evening.
  • Make new friends and visit a different brewery every day, as you explore the country at the perfect speed to soak in your surroundings.

Breweries

From Sours to Barrel-aged Stouts, IPA’s and Wheat Beers, this tour has something for everyone’s palette.

Typical breweries we visit on most tour include:

  • Birrificio Lambrate – Started in 1996 Lambrate is was one of the first craft breweries in Italy. This is a place where rock meets beer: The staff wears heavy metal shirts, bandana’s, Harley’s are parked everywhere. Welcome to the Italian craft beer scene!
  • Birrificio Brewfist – Legends in the Italian beer scene. We’ll visit both their production facility, as well as their modern “Terminal 1” tasting room. Some amazing food pairings tonight.
  • Del Ducato – One of the oldest and most famous craft brewers in Italy.
  • Toccalmatto – One of the younger breweries that became world famous in record time because their beers are so good.
  • Birrificio Panil – A small family owned brewery specialized in sours. A very special brewery, actually based on a winery where we are surrounded by grapes. Our visit includes a brewery visit, tasting and an early lunch, with lots of traditional Parma food, handmade by the family. (end of 5-day tour)
  • Tre Fontane Abbey Trappist – This abbey started a brewery in 2015. They also own a large eucalyptus forest, where they make all kinds of products using the eucalyptus, such as soap and shampoo. The eucalyptus is also added to the beer and gives it a really special and tasteful flavor.
Birrificio Lambrate
Birrificio Lambrate
  • For those of you on the 8-day tour we will feature extensive “beer-exploration” in Rome. Some of the excellent breweries, beer cafes, and restaurants we will visit include:  Bir rund Fud, Open Baladin, Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, and many more…
Fun times at the oldest bar in Rome.
Fun times at the oldest bar in Rome.

Total Mileage: 135 miles (5-day), 155 miles (8-day)

Itinerary / Stats

Locations and distances vary from tour to tour, but generally fall between these guidelines:

  • Day 1 – Meeting in Milano in the morning. After the brewery visit / lunch we put our luggage in the support van, and do a short train ride to Vidalengo. From there we do a 13 miles bike ride to get used to the lightweight titanium road bikes or hybrid bikes, and go to Crema, a very nice and very Italian small town.
  • Days 2 – A nice bike ride through the flat countryside of the Po delta, with lots of old agriculture. We end today’s ride in Piacenza, a mid sized town with a very nice beer bars like Luppolleria: a mix of beer bar and cultural center, with lots of poetry, music, etc. Great place!
  • Days 3 – A longer ride today through the beautiful Italian scenery. We will pass several nice really old villages and towns. The completely flat countryside makes it easy to enjoy the ride. Cremona, our destination for today, has one of the most beautiful town squares in the country, and there will be enough time today to wander around and explore the beauty of the town.
  • Day 4 – On this day the landscape feels like we are in Belgium, with similar vegetation, livestock, and even similar dykes as in West Flanders or Holland. Culture-wise, it is 100% Italian, with retired men having their daily meeting on the central square, espresso bars, gelaterias and pizzerias everywhere, cute little Fiats, and colourfully dressed guys on fancy Pinarello road bikes. Since we have arrived the Parma region we will combine the beers with the best Parma ham and cheese you have ever tasted!
  • Day 5 – The last day for the 5-day group will end at Birrificio Panil, a really special visit. This is where your bicycles will be collected and we can guide you to the train station nearby for the next leg of your trip. Another night in Parma for the rest of the group to relax.
  • Days 6 to 8 – The rest of the group will travel via train to Rome, where we will continue the next leg of the tour. Here we will have bikes available for day tours, a possible ride out to the sea, the Vatican, the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum, or whatever you like. Henk, your guide, will show you around town to all of the great beer cafes, and to some special restaurants. We will visit the famous Trappist Abbey Tre Fontane on the last day, which is a perfect ending point for the tour!

Markers show start + overnight hotel and B&B locations…

Photos from this tour

Tour FAQ's

What is included in trip cost?

  • Hotel and B&B accommodation. Typically 3 stars, and when possible nearby the brewery we visit each day. All rooms include a private bathroom.
  • Daily breakfast, daily lunches, and lots of snacks for each day.
  • All Italian tours are lead by Henk, Beercycling’s veteran guide. A 2nd Italian guide is available typically only for groups of eight or more.
  • Daily route planning, including daily itineraries of our agenda and options for where to eat / what to do in each town / maps / etc.
  • A multi-speed touring compatible bicycle, helmet, and lock. (More about the bikes in the section below)
  • Vehicle support for groups of 8 or more. For smaller groups you will receive two rear panniers to carry personal belongings.
  • Entrance fees to all brewery visits, including lots of free beer tastings!
  • Included luggage storage at our bike shop to hold extra belongings you do not wish to carry on the bikes. All luggage will be returned to you on the last day of the tour.
  • A welcome package which includes a T-Shirt plus other goodies.
  • Email / phone contact with your guides prior to the trip. You get to ask as many questions as you like directly to the people taking you on the tour.

What is not included?

  • Airfare to and from the trip.
  • Transportation to the trip meet-up location. (Although we do offer an airport pickup service)
  • Lodging before and after the trip.
  • Gratuities for Beercycling tour guides.
  • Personal items purchased during the trip.
  • Alcoholic Beverages. (Although lots of beer is included at each brewery)
  • Dinner is not included which allows you the opportunity to explore regional cuisine on your own, or with the group as you see fit. There will be options for both. Your guides are happy to give you recommendations.

Let's talk weather

Our #1 question… what is it “typically” like each summer?

Unfortunately, the weather and weather forecasts in Italy are unpredictable. In the summer it can very hot, which is why we plan our tours for Spring and Fall. It can be wet, and possibly cold though, so riders need to plan for any situation. The number one thing that will ensure you have a comfortable tour is a good rain jacket that you have tested is fully waterproof. We will be riding each day rain or shine.

Wind is normal in Italy. So even though the routes are flat we can occasionally get a strong headwind which will make the cycling more challenging.

Tell me more about the bikes

On our Italian tours we use “Giant” brand road bikes. They are 27 gears. The bikes do not have clip in pedals, but we can arrange them on request.

What about the bike paths / difficulty of riding?

The landscape is this region of Northern Italy is extremely flat which allows for easy pedaling. 99% flat. The roads are rural, expect a combination of farm roads along with an occasional bike lane on a lower Belgium has an extensive bicycle route system. A good majority of it is traffic-free and will take us through farms, small villages, and alongside streams. The road condition traffic highway. The roads are paved, with a small percentage of dirt paths. Our guides have all the routes planned out ahead of time in order to ensure everyone’s safety, minimize car traffic, and make the ride pleasurable.

The daily riding mileage averages out to be 30 miles (48 km) per day, longest day is 40 miles / 64 km. Expect about 4-5 hours a day on the bikes. (not including stops). Our pace along the rides greatly depends on the condition of our group but in general we will be traveling at a leisurely pace. For tours with two guides we can always split into two groups if necessary during the tour. Expect some stops for taking photos and breaks every 45-60 minutes.

I’m not a strong cyclist. What do I need to do to prepare for the ride?

Our longest day on the bikes will be about 40 miles (66 km). In order to properly train for this trip, you should be able to ride your bike at least this distance. While we strongly encourage everyone to train beyond this point if possible, at a minimum please complete a 40-mile / 66-km ride. And it’s also a good idea to practice being on your bicycle multiple days in a row to build your “saddle strength”. Also, keep in mind that we cannot control the elements. A possible windy, wet day will be much harder on the bicycles, so please take that into account with your training plan.

What are the maximum / minimum number of riders on this trip?

In order to keep the trip organized and give every rider individual attention, most trips will be limited to 14-16 people (including guides). The minimum for most tours is 5. We will notify you when the minimum has been met for your tour.

What if we don't have enough people to include vehicle support?

We will email the group once we confirm departure, and then again when we have enough to confirm the support vehicle. If we are not able to provide a support vehicle you will have the option to join us on a self-supported tour, or a full refund. We try to make these decisions at least 2 months prior to the start of a tour.

How do I reserve my spot?

Simply follow the link below to our registration page. You’ll need to fill in all of your information, including your 200 USD deposit (5-day) or 500 USD deposit (8-day) per person now. We will send you a link to pay the remaining balance, which we must receive no later than 4 weeks before the start of the tour.

What if I change my mind or change my travel plans. Can I get a refund?

We can issue a partial refund if necessary as follows:

  • 90 days or more before departure date = 100% refund minus bank / credit card feeds.
  • 60 to 89 days before departure date = You will incur a 50 USD cancellation fee plus bank / credit card feeds.
  • 45 to 59 days before departure date = Will will incur a 100 USD cancellation fee minus bank / credit card feeds.
  • Shorter than 45 days notice = We cannot issue a refund after this time due to lodging, bicycle, and tour reservations already being placed..

If I select a “shared room”, who will I be sharing with?

If you are traveling with another person, we will place you together in a room. (there are 2 people and 2 beds per room). If you are traveling by yourself (or with an odd number of people) then we will do our best to match you up with another rider on our tour of the same gender.

If you are in a room by yourself you will need to pay a single supplement fee.

We cannot currently offer a triple room discount as not all hotels offer triples.

What ages are allowed to attend?

21 and over.

What about drinking and driving? Isn’t it illegal to ride a bicycle intoxicated?

Yes, it is illegal to ride a bike intoxicated. And because Belgian beer can include a lot more alcohol then an average beer, the follow items are put in place for this tour:

  • When possible, our beer / brewery / biercafe visits will be at the end of the day.

  • There are several days where the brewery visit is mid-day. Riders will be expected to use moderation when drinking beers during the daily rides. There will be several occasions where we will stop for lunch and have a beer, however, this does not mean we will accept or tolerate over-drinking when additional riding is necessary.

  • On most occasions our riders tend to share beers with each other. This helps everyone a sample a larger variety of beers, limit their intake, and also save money. We encourage this method when possible.

  • All riders are required to sign a waiver at the beginning of the tour removing us from liability if over drinking cases any damage of any kind. This is non-negotiable.

  • Due to each rider’s size / weight / body type, we cannot easily put a hard limit on the amount of drinks one consumes before becoming intoxicated. Since we’re all adults everyone will need to make these decisions on their own. (Although our guides won’t hesitate to let you know if we think you’ve had too much)

Can I bring my own bike?

Yes, you are more than welcome to bring your own bike (and get a discount) with the following conditions:

  • In must be in good enough condition to support you and your equipment for the length of the tour.

  • If the tour is self supported it must have a rear-rack that can hold panniers, which you we can loan you for a small fee, or you can bring your own for an additional discount.

  • You also bring your own lock.

  • You bring your own spare tubes.

  • We have plenty of extra helmets if you need to borrow one.

  • Beercycling will not be liable for damages made to your personal bike on the trip, although we will help when possible with mechanical issues or questions.

  • Meeting the above conditions also means you qualify for the lower rate on our registration page.

Is English widely spoken in Italy?

There is a decent amount of English spoken in Italy. At breweries all of our tours will be in English. Our 2nd guide will be an local Italian, and will be available to help translation as needed.

What are the average prices for beer / food / etc in Italy?

  • Bottle of beer = 4 to 5 Euros at a cafe (rare and speciality beers will be more)

  • Dinner = Expect about 15 to 30 Euros for a good-sized quality meal.

  • Tipping is not obligatory as this is service is included in VAT (Value Added Tax) at all restaurants. That said, a small tip 5% or leaving behind extra change is appreciated.

What kind of food will be served?

  • Breakfasts – will mostly consist of a typical “continental style” which will vary, but you can expect: Bread / Jams, Cereal, Milk, Juice, Coffee, Fruit, Pastries, etc. Every hotel we use on our tours provides breakfast, so it is convenient to eat whenever you wish in the morning before our departure time.

  • Snacks – Along the ride the guides will carry snacks that can be shared by the entire group. These will include candy, energy bars, fruit, extra water, etc. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own snacks or buy them along the way as well.

  • Lunches – Will consist of either picnic lunches, or dining at bicycle-friendly cafes. For the picnic lunches we will have spreads of meat, cheeses, breads, fruit, chips, among others. There will always be a vegetarian option each day. Again, if you prefer to buy or carry your own lunch every day you are more than welcome to. If you have any special dietary restrictions please make a note of this on your registration form. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.

  • Dinner – Everyone is on their own for dinner each night. Some nights we will go as a group to a beer cafe / restaurant, but this is optional. Typical Italian cuisine you probably are already familiar with! But, burgers are becoming super trendy at most brewpubs, so it won’t be pizza and pasta every night.

What do I need to pack for the tour?

We recommend packing light. (More room to take beer home!) For self supported tours, the bags on the bikes are fairly large and should accommodate all necessary clothing for your tour. If you run out of room in your bags we can either help you mount another bag on the top of your rear rack, or place some equipment on one of the guides bikes if available. Please keep in mind that you will have use of a storage facility at the bike shop on Day #1 you can use and reclaim your items once the tour is over. Laundry facilities will also be available in the big cities, so you can also pack less clothing and do laundry half way. A typical packlist for this trip is as follows:

  • Lightweight shirts = 3 or 4

  • Underwear = 3 or 4 pairs

  • Socks = 3 or 4 pairs

  • Pants = 1 pair

  • Shorts = 1 pair (Padded cycling shorts are recommended if you haven’t spent much time on a bike seat)

  • Waterproof lightweight rain shell

  • Lightweight jacket

  • 1 pair of shoes for on the bike (cycling shoes or running/gym shoes is fine)

  • 1 pair of shoes for off the bike (hiking sandals or flip flops, or just skip this and use your on-bike shoes)

  • Sunglasses

  • Gloves (for cycling, should be lightweight)

  • Water bottles are included with bicycle rental (or you can bring a camelbak which can double for extra storage)

  • Camera + batteries + charger

  • Personal documents (passport, credit cards)

  • Hygiene products / Sunscreen / Chapstick

  • Bungee cord (to strap extra items to your bike rack)

  • A couple zip lock bags (helps on rainy days to extra waterproof your phone or other items)

  • We do not recommend carrying a laptop computer due to space constraints. Several hotels will have computers you can use, or if you have a smartphone you can connect it to WiFi in order to get internet access. Some past riders have brought small netbooks which squeeze in nicely with luggage.

What kind of ID / documentation / visas / vaccinations will I need?

Depending on the country you are traveling from, please consult your embassy for visa information prior to arrival. In general, one does not need a special visa to enter/exit Italy. Please remember to bring a passport to show identification when necessary along the trip. Sometimes hotels will ask for copies of your passport when we check in.

No special vaccinations are necessary for travel to Italy.

Do I need travel insurance?

It is not required, but it is recommended. This can be used for lost luggage, medical expenses, etc. Each person is on their own for this, we do not offer an insurance policy. Also check with your credit card company, sometimes they offer included travel insurance.

What if Beercycling needs to cancel the trip?

In the very unlikely event that we need to cancel a trip each person will be issued a 100% refund. We cannot, unfortunately, provide a refund for your other expenses like airfare. In all cases Beercycling has backup tour guides waiting should something happen to your primary guide.

Am I required to tip my guides?

Nope. But tipping is very much appreciated and helps ensure the ability of our guides to run more and more tours each year!

Any other questions?

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are happy to help answer even the silliest of questions!

Call Us

1.503.427.8253

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Pick your tour dates:

2017/09/26 10:00:00
2017/09/26 10:00:00

The 2018 tours are switching to 6-days, 5-nights. Updated itinerary will be posted here soon!

2018/04/16 10:00:00
+ Sep 26th to 30th, 2017
2017/09/26 10:00:00
+ Sept 26th to Oct 2nd, 2017
2017/09/26 10:00:00
+ April 16th to 21st, 2018

The 2018 tours are switching to 6-days, 5-nights. Updated itinerary will be posted here soon!

2018/04/16 10:00:00