Frequently Asked Questions
There are a lot of tour companies out there.
What makes you different?
Two things: Passion and Value.
Passion — We chose the name CycleItalia because we believe the best place on earth to be a cyclist or cycling enthusiast is Italy. No other country comes close. We’re not just passionate about Italian cycling, we’re passionate about everything Italian, including the food, wine, culture and lifestyle.
Each summer we share our passion for “la dolce vita in bicicletta” with you, either on our guided tours or by helping you produce your own “Fai da Te” self-guided adventure. Heather and Larry are not only the owners of CycleItalia, they personally guide every tour. We know Italy better than most Italians. You’re treated as “friends of friends” everywhere you go, enjoying the benefits of long-term relationships that are just not possible on tours staffed by hired guides, no matter how professional or courteous.
Value — Heather and Larry also personally research, design and create every CycleItalia itinerary, mapping each route kilometer by kilometer while visiting the lodgings and eating places. With almost 3 decades of bike touring experience we know what avid cyclists dream of and how to please them. We have no outside staff, sales people, research directors or photographers. No fancy printed brochures. The money we don’t spend on these things allows us to put much more value into your vacation compared to others. We believe in any honest “apples-to-apples” comparison, our vacations prove to be an unbeatable value and our clients agree, responding each year with the highest ratings for price-quality-value on our evaluation surveys. Read more about our value…
One more thing — NO TIPPING! We’re the owners and as such accept no gratuities. Check the “fine print” of our competitors, many of them expect you to hand over 10% of your tour price in cash to the staff at your tour’s end. This adds hundreds of dollars to the price of your vacation, probably more than you’d spend to rent a bike from us!
Does CycleItalia supply bicycles?
We’ll always believe the best bicycle for our challenging itineraries is your own personal roadracing or sport-touring machine (no tandems, hybrids or recumbents, please) and since all of our guided tours feature major airport transportation at both ends of your tour, bringing your own bicycle is fairly simple, just pack it up and check it as luggage on your flight.
We also realize for growing numbers of you, packing and bringing your own bicycle to Italy can be inconvenient for a variety of reasons. To make things more convenient we now offer a Bike Rental Program for all guided tours. Rental bikes can also be provided for self-guided tours through our subcontractors, contact us for details.
We maintain a small fleet of Italian bicycles; our “Classic” model features a stable steel frame and fork and Campagnolo triple drivetrain while our “Standard” model offers aluminum/carbon construction with Campagnolo “compact drive” components. More details can be found by clicking on BICYCLES.
What is your “typical” client like?
CycleItalia clients are serious recreational cyclists desiring the “ultimate Italian experience.” They want more than challenging rides, they share the philosophy of “pedala forte, mangia bene” (ride hard, eat well) that is the essence of Italian cycling. You need not be fast or supremely fit to enjoy our vacations; attitude, proper gearing, and our support vehicles will enable most any cycling enthusiast to enjoy their experience. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded traveling companions with a passion for cycling and ‘la dolce vita’ that exists only in la Bella Italia!
Can you describe a typical day?
A buffet breakfast starts around 8 am and continues until 10. Most of our guests start their rides around 9:30 with the plan to complete the first 50 kms before lunch. After a leisurely pranzo we’re back on the road around 2 pm, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the second 50 kilometers before arriving at our night’s lodging. The van usually arrives by 4 pm so you can check in, wash your cycling gear and still have time for a dip in the pool or a stroll around the town before our nightly briefing. On days when we return to the same hotel, you can depart and return at any time, though we generally follow the same schedule. Dinner usually begins at 7-8 pm depending on the region. We delight in sampling antipasto, first and second plates along with dessert, all accompanied by wines chosen to complement the dishes. Most of us are in bed dreaming of the next day’s challenges by 11 pm or midnight.
We’d like to do some sightseeing before or after the trip, can you help us?
Our headquarter hotels will gladly store your boxed bike either before or after your CycleItalia adventure. We’re happy to share our experience and help you plan additional activities.
Will my “significant other” enjoy your trips if he/she isn’t a cyclist?
Yes, since we most often spend two nights in each hotel, you and your spouse can sleep in, enjoy a leisurely day sightseeing the area, or just relax. On transfer days, non-cyclists can ride with the luggage van, enjoy an authentic local pranzo, and arrive at our evening’s destination just as the town awakens from its midday slumber. Call us for suggestions on vacations for non-cycling spouses.
What’s included? *
- Major airport pickup and drop-off.
(airport shuttle schedule included in Confirmation Packet)
- Storage of your bicycle travel case.
- Hotel accommodations from arrival through departure.
- Daily “cyclists” breakfast, welcome, farewell and hotel arrival dinners, including regional wine selections (see tour details).
- Private transportation for you, your bike and your luggage.
- Bilingual tour guide and professional mechanic.
- Carefully-researched cycling routes with typed route directions, elevation profiles, points of interest and color coded maps.
- Luggage and support vehicles – with a seat available for each guest.
- CycleItalia jersey and custom socks.
- “La Dolce Vita in Bicicletta”
* Guided Tours Only
What’s NOT included?
- Lunch each day. You’re always welcome to join us at pranzo at midday. We usually divide the check equally among the diners.
- Dinners on open nights. As with lunch you’re always welcome to join us or venture off on your own for a quiet cena. We’re happy to make recommendations for the most authentic cooking and regional wines.
- Bike Rental
- Items of personal nature. Laundry, telephone, hotel minibar charges, etc.
Post your question on CycleItalia’s Facebook page.