Ciclismo Classico

"Pedal Your Passion."

Website: https://ciclismoclassico.com/

Then and Now

Vacationing and touring in Italy – by bicycle – was a new concept in 1989 when Ciclismo Classico burst onto the scene to become the first company in the world to specialize in Italian bicycle touring. Leading this charge was Lauren Hefferon who established another world-first: a woman-owned bike tour company.

Today she likens the Ciclismo Classico experience to that of a fine kitchen that develops and delivers award-winning recipes. In the Ciclismo Classico mix are Italy itself (and today a host of other countries); terrain-specific cuisine, wines and beers; a dollop of language immersion plus appreciation of art and music wherever a tour should go. On the Ciclismo Menu are daily rides that blend seamlessly with history and culture on routes scoring high in natural aesthetics while suited to individual riding abilities. Orchestrating the Menu are guides local to one or more of Italy’s 20 regions and whose missions are to imbue the passion and zest for life that mark Italians. These guides have ridden -- even raced -- thousands of miles in their adventurous lives. In special mini-clinics and lessons, they share with guests the fine points of shifting, braking, posture, climbing, descending, cadence and more. With an average of 10 years and 100+ guided trips under their Ciclismo belts, they’re delighted to share stories with guests before all bed down in, variously, a rustic cottage, a castle, a five-star villa or boutique property, each reflecting the character and essence of the region.

Since Ciclismo Classico began 30 years ago, it has introduced physically active and culturally curious travelers to more new destinations in Italy than any other active travel company. The quintessential Italian mode of travel has been the bike. This tradition continues to be the best vehicle for discovering Italy’s natural and cultural gifts, allowing guests to become Italian in style and spirit as they devour the beauty that is Italy.

Tours

Generally ranging in duration from 6 to 12 days, trips are organized by ability level: easy, athletic beginner, intermediate and advanced. They all are designed so that guests can cycle at their own pace, enjoying the surroundings, stopping for pictures, and re-grouping at designated rest stops and evening lodgings. More on the levels.

Tour Types and Styles

There is literally something for every taste, ability and interest with Ciclismo Classico. Types of Tours and Styles include:

  • Trips for Beginners - Perfect for the cycling newbie who already enjoys being active, or anyone who just wants to take it easy.
  • Trips for Families - These tours let your entire clan of all ages bike, kayak, cook, horseback ride and more while staying in cozy villas and beautiful B&Bs.
  • Trips for Solo Travelers - By yourself but not alone! Whether single or traveling without your other half, enjoy the group experience affordably and solo.
  • Custom and Private Trips – The Ciclismo experience, crafted and designed – YOUR way.
  • Food & Wine – These trips come complete with a delicious mix of meals, treats and liquid delights to satisfy the simplest or most discerning taste.
  • Top Guide Tours – A series of select trips led by Ciclismo’s most experienced and most popular guides.
  • Giro del Gelato - Trips in Sicily, Southern Amalfi and Bike Across Southern Italy offer the absolute BEST gelato in the world! Be rewarded with all-you-can-eat!
  • Dedicated Hiking Trips – For those new to active travel up to experienced climbers searching for spectacular peaks, these hiking routes touch the soul.
  • Epic Adventures – Trips that deserve honorable mention for their grandeur, heights, heroic nature, size and scope and once-in-a-lifetime appeal.
  • Photography and Wildlife Adventures – Allow guests to expand photo skills and to journey to the remote realms where the most elusive and captivating creatures roam.
  • Reunions and Special Events – Whatever the occasion – college reunion, retirement kickoff or a bachelor party on two wheels, this company fashions trips to the special interests of diverse groups.

Hiking Adventures have been a natural evolution and area of growth for Ciclismo Classico. “We don’t just pedal, we also let the feet do the walking, too!” Designed for beginners on up to experienced trekkers, on foot, at one’s own pace, there are delights to be seen around every bend in the trail. Two signature hiking trips offered include:

  • Amalfi Stroll – for adventurous beginners. Experience breathtaking scenery as you travel from dramatic clifftop towns, through hidden fishing inlets, and along some of the most beautiful coastlines imaginable.
  • Cinque Terre Hiking – for athletic beginners. Capture an era of past Italian life as you ascend ancient footpaths to an untouched quintet of pastel fishing villages perched on cliffs high above the Ligurian Sea.

Tour Destinations

As the name might imply, Italy is home and closest to the heart of Ciclismo Classico and no other active travel company covers it so thoroughly and passionately. But don’t let the name fool you, the company has exported its award-winning style and brand to these other international adventure travel hot spots:

  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Morocco
  • France
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Ecuador
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Tanzania
  • United States
  • Iceland
  • Peru

 

Children ages 6 to 16 are accommodated on scheduled family departures. There is no minimum age on custom and private trips.

Bikes are intrinsic to every cycling itinerary. Bianchi bikes, the legendary blue steed that made Fausto Coppi the “champion of champions” and Marco Pantani the king of the hill, is the model of choice. Stylish, a little racy and quintessentially Italian, all bikes are custom-built for Ciclismo Classico. Standard bike rental is included on all tours. Gaining in popularity yearly, E-Bikes are often requested to help take the sweat out of inclines and hills. For couples, tandems are available upon request as well as kiddie trailers for families. More on bikes and bike fitting.

Events

  • Annual (since 1996) Ciclismo Classico Jingle Ride: Lauren dresses up as a reindeer and leads the pack for a holiday-themed ride through Boston.
  • The world’s first Bicycle Travel Film Festival (since 2009) packs the house with pedalers at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA and in these additional locations: North Shore and Northampton, MA, southern Connecticut, and Portland, ME.

Accolades

  • Outside Magazine travel awards in 2014 (2x), 2007, 2004
  • National Geographic Traveler 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2015, 2013, 2011, 2008 and Best Adventure Travel Company in 2009
  • Boston Business Journal Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in 2012  

Affiliations

  • Adventure Conservation
  • Adventure Travel Trade Association
  • Bianchi
  • Bikes Belong
  • Garmin
  • Mass Bike Coalition
  • Pedal Chic
  • Social Venture Network
  • Trusted Adventures

Travel Agents have been key to the vitality and growth of Ciclismo Classico over its lifetime. Agents and professional travel planners receive all the support needed as well as commissions of 15% to 20% for fully orchestrated bookings.

Backstory and Evolution

Lauren Hefferon was still a kid herself back in 1979 when she led a dozen teens from Maine to Boston on what would be her first bicycle tour. Decades later she and her Ciclismo Classico team have led thousands of cycling guests around Italy, elsewhere in Europe and in South America.

Her journey as a youthful, already passionate cyclist led her to Cornell University where she became a licensed bicycle tour guide for the Cornell University Wilderness Reflections program. Her deep love for travel on two wheels really started with a six-week camping/bicycle tour from Rome to London with a group of 14 teens. It’s where Lauren claims to have gotten her “Wheels.” At that time, she was also cooking up a storm over campfires after long days in the bicycle saddle. Her cookbook, Cycle Food, a Guide to Satisfying your Innertube, introduces her love of sharing food, a theme that resonates in her personal and professional life. By 1983 and after a six-week solo European journey by bicycle, Lauren identified three passions: biking, food and Italy, where she lived until 1986.

Now hooked on bicycle tour guiding, by 1989 she was putting her company, Ciclismo Classico, on the map with a journey called Bike Across Italy that still today passes through her grandmother’s hometown in the Le Marche Region of Central Italy. She expanded the number of itineraries throughout her beloved Italy, creating a new trend in bicycle travel by joining forces with celebrity chefs to encourage foodies onto two wheels.

By 2005 she heeded the call of loyal alums who wanted to travel to other countries – but only with Ciclismo Classico. France was a first foray outside of Italy. Today the company conducts bicycle, hiking/walking, multi-sport and photography tours throughout Europe, in the UK, South America, Tanzania, Iceland and the US. 

Fast forward to 2019 and the 30th anniversary of Ciclismo Classico.  Lauren’s pioneering work continues to create joy for travelers in Italy by introducing them to her love of biking.  Her three children all biked with her before birth.  And, yes, they now take their school breaks on bicycles.

For details on the company and for itineraries please see the website and digital brochure. Or receive their newsletter at: https://ciclismoclassico.com/newsletter-signup/.

Contact Information

Founder/Director       Lauren Hefferon
Email                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone                 617.640.4837

Email                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Telephone                 800.866.7314 US & Canada

Outside US               1.781.646.3377

Address                    Ciclismo Classico
                                30 Marathon St, Arlington, MA 02474
                                (Near Minuteman Bikeway)

Website                    www.CiclismoClassico.com

Social Media              facebook.com/CiclismoClassico 
                                instagram.com/CiclismoClassico
                                https://twitter.com/CiclismoClassicotours
                                https://www.youtube.com/user/CiclismoClassico

Media Contact:       Widness & Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 
 
 
 
 

Ciclismo Classico Cites Four Bike Trips in La Bella Italia That Burn Up the Road, Gelato and Carbs

ARLINGTON, MA, March 20, 2019 –The calories are climbing. But who’s counting? You are climbing, too, on a bike somewhere in Italy, burning up the road, gelato and pasta carbs as leisurely as you can.

Food -- and the pursuit thereof -- is a passion of Ciclismo Classico, the first company to launch small group guided bicycle tours in Italy 30 years ago.

Lauren Hefferon, founder and owner, recently asked her Ciclismo Classico guides in Italy about the gustatory delights guests can anticipate. Here are inner foodie-inspired sketches of specialties in four distinct regions.

Puglia, Basilicata, Campania, and Calabria

Pedaling Sea to Sea across the Italian peninsula is the scenery and gelato-driven Bike Across Southern Italy, part of the Giro del Gelato series, a six-day immersion (from $5,995 per person) in everything beautiful. The 2019 departures are Aug 27-Sep 7 and Sep 24-Oct 5. A tour of Matera, the famous city of stone, may be hard-pressed to compete with the fact that guests enjoy unlimited gelato (ice cream) daily, sampling flavors from some of the best artigianale gelateria (shops/stands offering artisanal ice cream). There are also demonstrations on how to create gelato and granita, a semi-frozen dessert usually made of fruits.

Cycling (an average of 39 miles daily) from Fano to Porto Ercole, the real Mediterranean diet emerges: pastas including tube-shaped paccheri, vermicelliwith anchovies and wild fennel, linguine with lemon, spaghetti with clams and a 20th century creation, scialatielli; veggies; olive oil; fresh seafood; buffalo mozzarella, eggplant parmigiana and pizza! Also included:

  •       The constant perfume of orange and eucalyptus
  •       Amazing guided visits of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites
  •       “Old World” hospitality from Italian natives
  •       Breathtaking rides along the cliffs of the Cilento Coast
  •       Sampling freshly-made Mozzarella and fresh peperoncini

Guide Frank Yantorno treats his guests to a cooking class where wife and husband together show how to prepare their fresh produce. These may include home-made scialatielle (a short and thick version of linguini), a pretzel-shaped fried pizza and le fritte, (French fries) over which home-produced honey and rosemary are drizzled. For details see https://ciclismoclassico.com/tours/bike-across-southern-italy/

Sicily

Tastes turn to love and gelato come spring. Enrico Pizzorni, guide, says Sicily (and southern Italy) have the best gelaterie (ice cream shops) in the world. Gelato was birthed here when Romans stored snow from Mt. Etna in caves to be delivered it to the rich who in turn mixed in fruits and honey, creating sorbet. Today suitedbusiness men enjoy gelato or granita in a brioche (a cool morning sandwich) on their way to work. Whipped cream, pistachios, almonds, ricotta, honey and lemon can also be folded in. Other infusions include rosemary, onion of Giarratana, Moscato (wine) and Aztec chocolate with hot pepper. On the Aeolian Islands flavors vary by season: watermelon, fig, prickly pear and peach.

Focacce, pizze, calzoni, pidoni, scacce, arancini, and panelle are among the salty or sweet snacks villages display. In Palazzolo Acreide, a tiny village the Greeks founded some 2500 years ago, is Corsino that serves state-of-the-art sweet pastries highlighting their locally treasured almonds and ricotta.

Guests bike some 28 miles a day on the 2019 nine-day La Bella Sicilia, from $5,695 per person: April 21-29, My 5-13, May 20-28, Sept. 15-23, Sept. 29-Oct 7, Oct. 13-21, Oct. 27-Nov. 4 and Nov. 10-18. For details see https://ciclismoclassico.com/tours/la-bella-sicilia/.

Puglia

The charms that lie in Italy’s boot until recently have been largely ignored. But Ciclismo Classico has a soft spot in its heart for La Bella Puglia, a nine-day tour from $5,395 per person. Departures in 2019 are April 26-May 4, May 25-June 2, June 7-15, Sept. 6-14, Sept. 20-28, Oct. 4-12 and Nov. 2-10. Guests bike on average 39 miles a day exploring fertile valleys, the cone-shaped dwellings (trulli), cave dwellings (sassi) and villages perched on steep limestone hills. See: https://ciclismoclassico.com/tours/la-bella-puglia/

For guide Henrick Murphy this is a journey of the senses through orange groves and eucalyptus trees, sampling freshly made mozzarella and fresh pepperoncini and imbibing what he calls a “cycle-food bomb” of fava bean puree with cicoria (chicory) at a farm in Alberobello. A guest favorite is cime di rape (turnip tops) with orecchiette (little ears pasta).

In Puglia peasant traditions are still intact. The cuisine reflects roots born of necessity and sometimes scarcity. Seafood, olive oil, artichokes and dense bread are plentiful, as is the ubiquitous orecchiette with tomato sauce. One town is famous for its capocollo, a traditional dry-cured neck of pork, typically sliced very thin.

Piedmont

This region of the northern Apennines is a favorite of both Enrico and Henrick. Enrico’s passion forgelato is satisfied here with what he calls “killer fresh, fruit-based gelati. He can’t get enough of a hazelnuttorrone (nougat) made from a secret recipe.

Added Henrick, “On the last day on our Piedmont: Barolo & Truffles trip we stop in to meet with honey producer Giuseppe Pitarresi who has been producing honey and various other related organic products since 1990. We are lucky enough to visit the hives and afterwards have a taste of il Re (the King) of energy boosters -- honey!” We’re zooming up those hills after that!”

The per person rate for this eight-day immersion into the food and wine of the Piedmont is from $5,195. Departure dates still available in 2019 are August 23-30, Sept. 20-27 and Oct. 4-11. Guests cycle an average of 35 miles daily, enroute enjoying:

  •       Sumptuous dinners at Enoclub in Alba and Schiavia in Acqui Terme;
  •       Introductions to vineyard-laden hillsides of world-famous local wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera with private wine tastings with local hosts and sommeliers;
  •       A meet-up with a truffle hunter and his dog for a lecture on truffles.

The Piedmont is considered Italy’s greatest single wine region. Piemontese cuisine blends northern Italian and French influences. Truffles and mushrooms are seasonal key players. Come autumn cyclists may sample Tartufo Bianco (white truffle) at Fiere del Tartufo (International Truffle Fair) in Alba, Moncalvo and Acqui Terme.

La cucina Piemontese is a mosaic of more than a thousand recipes from the diverse areas and tiny valleys. Two foodie experiences include cucina casalinga, dishes made over generations at home. Young people are creating locande (inns)that serve authentic dishes with a slick, innovative presentation. See: https://ciclismoclassico.com/tours/piedmont-barolo-truffles/

For more food and wine themed tours from Ciclismo Classico see: https://ciclismoclassico.com/collections/food-wine-tours/

For a full listing of trips in Italy and across the globe with additional information, detailed itineraries, trip availability and reservations please contact Ciclismo Classico by phone: 800.866.7314 (US & Canada) or 781.646.3377 (outside of North America), or visit online: https://ciclismoclassico.com/.

About Ciclismo Classico

Small group sightseeing through Italy by bike was a new concept in 1989 when Ciclismo Classico burst onto the scene to become the first company in the world to specialize in active cycle tours of Italy. Leading this charge was Lauren Hefferon who established another world-first: a woman-owned bike tour company.

This company’s rallying cry then and now is “Pedal Your Passion!” Tours are led by native-born guides who on average have each served Ciclismo Classico clients in excess of 10 years. Daily rides are carefully blended with a variety of cultural and culinary experiences and served up as the Ciclismo Menu that includes musical evenings, language lessons, wine and beer tastings, personalized cycling clinics, cooking demonstrations and opportunities for spontaneous discovery and cross-cultural interaction. Guests are carefully matched with a tour style and pedaling pace perfect for them, then outfitted with a quintessentially Italian, high-performance Bianchi bike. Having now expanded beyond Italy to represent tour destinations worldwide, Ciclismo also offers hiking itineraries, private and custom trip planning, photo tours and the ease of touring by electric bike. Recognized by media icons such as National Geographic Traveler and Outside Magazine, Ciclismo Classico is widely considered to be one of the premier active travel companies in the world.

# # #

Media Contact:

Widness & Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Ciclismo Classico on Social Media:

facebook.com/CiclismoClassico

instagram.com/CiclismoClassico

https://twitter.com/CiclismoClassicotours

https://www.youtube.com/user/CiclismoClassico

Ciclismo Classico Introduces E-Bikes to Epic Bike Tours in Italy

ARLINGTON, MA, Mar. 6, 2019 – Thanks to the growth of electric bikes (e-bikes), Ciclismo Classico is opening up tours that until now were accessible only to advanced cyclists.

The company that 30 years ago pioneered bicycle tours in Italy, this year is bringing e-bikes to it series of Epic Bike Tours, so designated because of the varied terrain and distances covered. And as an incentive to try them out, Ciclismo Classico is offering a 30 percent savings on Bianchi e-bike rentals during the 2019 season.

“Some of our guests have looked longingly at the itineraries of our Epic series. The introduction of e-bikes means that intermediate and even biking novices can enjoy these grand adventures,” said Lauren Hefferon, Ciclismo’s founder and director.

For more on e-bikes please see: https://ciclismoclassico.com/blog/5-reasons-an-e-bike-tour-is-perfect-for-you/

One example of a Ciclismo Classico Epic Tour is a 12-day Bike Across Southern Italy that explores interior and coastal regions from Italy’s heel to its toe. This region is new to many travelers. Departures in 2019 are Aug. 27-Sept. 7 and Sept. 24-Oct. 5. This sea-to-sea itinerary begins its east-west trajectory from the Adriatic, enroute encompassing several UNESCO World Heritage sites. The first embraces a region sprinkled with over 1,000 dwellings known as trulli. Think of ice cream cones, all painted white, and pointing to the sky. The next UNESCO World Heritage Site is Matera where long-ago people created dwellings and some 155 cave churches collectively known as sassi. Today these caves are elegant guest accommodations. This City of Stone was recently awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2019 by the Commission of the European Union.

A World Wildlife Foundation-protected forest of pine and eucalyptus contrasts with steep, bare hills of calcareous (chalky) rock rising from a river valley and flanked by groves of ancient olive trees. This region known as Basilicata is the southern flank of the Apennines that forms Italy’s north-to-south spine. This predictably hilly course continues on to the Tyrrhenian Sea, with stops enroute for lunches prepared by agriturismo hosts and mountain-style hospitality offered up by one of Italy’s most important chefs who represents La Cucina Lucane. This is a style of cooking unique to this region that historically has relied on wits and luck to put food on its tables. While e-bikes and stamina make this terrain accessible to today’s bicycle enthusiasts, there are people still alive today who recall when Carlo Levi, a physician, came to live in their midst. He blew the whistle to the Italian government about the subsistence living sustained here. His book, Christ Stopped at Eboli, may still rankle a proud people whom he treated for diseases spread by nutritional deficiencies and living like primitives in caves.

As guests pedal along what’s known as “the other Amalfi Coast,” they are now south of Naples and beginning the climb to the base of the Cima Coppi, the most challenging climb of the tour. (The Italians themselves prefer the stretches of beach below to the more famous and tourist beaches farther north.) A steep climb out of Maratea, the “town with 44 churches,” leads to Pollino National Park in Calabria and a demonstration of how to make mozzarella. The maestro of an important school of hotel and restaurant management oversees a dinner prepared with all local and traditional ingredients and spiced with Calabrese song and dance. These hills were once settled by Albanians who fled from the Turks over 500 years ago. Many of these communities maintain their own language and traditional dress.  

Ciclismo Classico also offers additional Epic Tours in Italy now available to riders of all ability levels thanks to e-bikes. These are 

  • Bike Across Italy is an 11-day coast-to-coast tour from $5,995 per person, double, that explores Italy’s culture across its interior, passing through Le Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany. Departures in 2019 are May 11-21, May 23-June 2, June 20-30, July 18-28, Aug. 22-Sept. 1, Sept. 5-15, Sept. 19-20 and Oct. 3-13.
  • Cinque Terre & Tuscany pairs Tuscany with the Ligurian coast for 11 days at a per person double rate from $6,495. The departure date in 2019 is Sept. 12-22.
  • Majestic Dolomites is a seven-day itinerary from $4,295 per person double. Departure dates in 2019 are July 21-27, Aug. 18-24 and Aug. 25-31.
  • Epic Italy is a 15-day itinerary offering the world’s most comprehensive pedaling portrait of La Bella Italia. The per person double rate is from $6,995. The 2019 departure date is Aug. 25-Sept. 8. The tour begins in the Po Delta between Venice and Bologna descends the Apennine Mountains into the Emilia-Romagna and on to Florence and Tuscany, traverses the rugged terrain of Le Marche and Abruzzo, skirts Rome while staying in the interior of the region known as Lazio, home to the Sibillini, Italy’s central chain of the Apennine range.   

For additional information, detailed itineraries, trip availability and reservations please contact Ciclismo Classico by phone: 800.866.7314 (US & Canada) or 781.646.3377 (outside of North America), or visit the newly enhanced website at: https://ciclismoclassico.com/.

About Ciclismo Classico

Small group sightseeing through Italy by bike was a new concept in 1989 when Ciclismo Classico burst onto the scene to become the first company in the world to specialize in active cycle tours of Italy. Leading this charge was Lauren Hefferon who established another world-first: a woman-owned bike tour company.

This company’s rallying cry then and now is “Pedal Your Passion!” Tours are led by native-born guides who on average have each served Ciclismo Classico clients in excess of 10 years. Daily rides are carefully blended with a variety of cultural and culinary experiences and served up as the Ciclismo Menu that includes musical evenings, language lessons, wine and beer tastings, personalized cycling clinics, cooking demonstrations and opportunities for spontaneous discovery and cross-cultural interaction. Guests are carefully matched with a tour style and pedaling pace perfect for them, then outfitted with a quintessentially Italian, high-performance Bianchi bike. Having now expanded beyond Italy to represent tour destinations worldwide, Ciclismo also offers hiking itineraries, private and custom trip planning, photo tours and the ease of touring by electric bike. Recognized by media icons such as National Geographic Traveler and Outside Magazine, Ciclismo Classico is widely considered to be one of the premier active travel companies in the world.

# # #

Media Contact:

Widness & Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Ciclismo Classico on Social Media:

facebook.com/CiclismoClassico

instagram.com/CiclismoClassico

https://twitter.com/CiclismoClassicotours

https://www.youtube.com/user/CiclismoClassico

Expert Ciclismo Classico Guides Create Exclusive Line of Immersive "Top Guide" Bike Tours

ARLINGTON, MA, Jan. 23, 2019 – The company that launched small group guided bicycle tours in Italy 30 years ago, today empowers its seasoned guides by inviting them to design and curate dream itineraries for its guests.

As a result of input from its guides, Ciclismo Classico created its Top Guide Tours series. At the same time, this portfolio of new trips for 2019 serves its repeat clients who always ask to travel with their favorite guides in a new and exciting location.

“As far as I know, Ciclismo Classico is the only bicycle tour company that encourages this kind of trip development,” says Lauren Hefferon, founder and owner. “Anyone who has been on a tour with Ciclismo Classico knows our guides put heart and soul into every tour they lead. And isn’t that what life is all about anyway?”

Via Francigena, a new 10-day Top Guide Tour for intermediate riders, is led by Guide Sandro Draghi. The route follows the footsteps of ancient (think 990) pilgrims, merchants, clergyman and soldiers traveling between northern Europe, Rome and Jerusalem. They traveled on foot and on mules and horses, but rarely by cart. Via Francigena was not constructed to connect places of great importance and distance; rather it’s a series of local paths and trails linking mountain passes, bridges, ferry boats and villages. The spiritual energy that abides along this route reaches a crescendo on Easter weekend as cyclists ride into Rome and straight to St. Peter’s Square. The itinerary covers 301 miles from Lucca to Rome. The 2019 departure is April 12. The per person double rate of $5,795 ($800 single supplement) includes:

·         use of a gravel bike;

·         group shuttle at the end of the tour and van support as needed;

·         three cultural visits with local guides;

·         two tastings of local specialties;

·         all accommodations with breakfasts;

·         some lunches (three) and dinners (seven);

·         services of Top Guide Sandro Draghi throughout.

Sandro Draghi graduated with honors in biology. He helped found a game and wildlife management office before becoming a Nature Tour Guide and engaging in agritourism, studying wines (he’s a certified sommelier), olive oils and affiliating with the Slow Food Association. In 2007 he entered what he calls his “two-wheel” period. The rest is history.

Among the guides’ creations is a new-for-2019 30th anniversary commemorative tour, Tuscany and the Enchanting Island of Elba, with Guide Marcello Bonini. This nine-day adventure for intermediate cyclists recreates an inaugural itinerary by introducing Tuscany’s Chianti region. Enroute to Sienna guests visit Il Borro, a former medieval hamlet now Family Bergamo’s high-end resort. Volterra offers an important museum and archeological sites reflecting Etruscan, Roman and medieval influences. One of Tuscany’s best-preserved medieval cities follows, San Gimignano. The Etruscans appear again on the itinerary on a 38-mile loop of the Island of Elba. (Think Napoleon who was exiled here.) 

A former competitive triathlete, Guide Bonini has worked as a personal trainer, masseur, cycling consultant, teacher and sommelier. He sings his heart out when cycling downhill. “I hope my guests bring home two things; the scent of the Italian lifestyle – a mix of musical cheerfulness, slow wellbeing and self-irony – and the passion for cycling,” he says.

The itinerary covers up to 368 miles. Departures in 2019 are June 8, June 22 and Oct. 12. Exclusive to all guests of Ciclismo Top Guide tours is a Ciclismo Classico gift kit of shorts and jersey, a wine kitty and Top Guide perks along the way. The per person double rate of $5,695 ($800 single supplement) includes:

·         carbon bike rental equipped with Garmin Edge GPS;

·         services of Marcello Bonini throughout;

·         fees associated with activities included in the itinerary.

·         two each wine tastings and cultural visits with local guides;

·         a visit to an olive oil producer;

·         all-you-can-eat gelato;

·         all accommodations with breakfasts;

·         lunches (four) and dinners (six).

Other destinations (and the guide(s) that created the itinerary) for the 2019 Top Guide Tour Series include:

·         11-day Bike Across Spain created by Alessandro Allegro for advanced riders;

·         9-day Colorado High Country created by Dana Geraghty and Frank Yantorno for intermediate/advanced riders;

·         9-day Bike Across Morocco created by Umberto Cena for intermediate riders;

·         7-day Franconia: Classical Germany created by Enrico Pizzorni for athletic beginner riders;

·         11-day Munich to Verona created by Dana Geraghty and Frank Yantornofor intermediate riders;

·         9-day Croatia: The Dalmatian Coast created bySergio Porcellotti for intermediate riders.

For more details please see https://www.ciclismoclassico.com/travel-types/top-guide-tours/

For additional information, detailed itineraries, trip availability and reservations please contact Ciclismo Classico by phone: 800.866.7314 (US & Canada) or 781.646.3377 (outside of North America), or visit online: https://ciclismoclassico.com/.

About Ciclismo Classico

Small group sightseeing through Italy by bike was a new concept in 1989 when Ciclismo Classico burst onto the scene to become the first company in the world to specialize in active cycle tours of Italy. Leading this charge was Lauren Hefferon who established another world-first: a woman-owned bike tour company.

This company’s rallying cry then and now is “Pedal Your Passion!” Tours are led by native-born guides who on average have each served Ciclismo Classico clients in excess of 10 years. Daily rides are carefully blended with a variety of cultural and culinary experiences and served up as the Ciclismo Menu that includes musical evenings, language lessons, wine and beer tastings, personalized cycling clinics, cooking demonstrations and opportunities for spontaneous discovery and cross-cultural interaction. Guests are carefully matched with a tour style and pedaling pace perfect for them, then outfitted with a quintessentially Italian, high-performance Bianchi bike. Having now expanded beyond Italy to represent tour destinations worldwide, Ciclismo also offers hiking itineraries, private and custom trip planning, photo tours and the ease of touring by electric bike. Recognized by media icons such as National Geographic Traveler and Outside Magazine, Ciclismo Classico is widely considered to be one of the premier active travel companies in the world.

# # #

Media Contact:

Widness & Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Ciclismo Classico on Social Media:

facebook.com/CiclismoClassico

instagram.com/CiclismoClassico

https://twitter.com/ciclismotours

https://www.youtube.com/user/CiclismoClassico

Celebrating 30 Years of Bike Touring, Ciclismo Classico Inspires Inquisitive Travelers To Pedal with Passion Across Italy and the World

ARLINGTON, MA, Jan. 7, 2019 –This year marks a significant milestone for the first woman-owned cycle tour company in the world. In 1989, Lauren Hefferon blazed new trails and founded Ciclismo Classico, the first company to specialize in immersive small group bike tours of Italy.

Throughout 2019, Ciclismo Classico will celebrate 30 years of inspired, passionate travel, offering dozens of active vacation itineraries in its core country, Italy, and elsewhere throughout Europe and around the world.

“Pedal Your Passion” has been Ciclismo’s rallying cry for the past three decades. Today, two bicycle adventures best epitomize the company’s deep love and appreciation for all things Italian. One itinerary, Bike Across Italy, has become Ciclismo Classico’s signature tour. Another, La Bella Puglia Mini, represents the company’s quest to enhance its menu of delicious Italian stories.

In 1989, Hefferon created Bike Across Italy, a tour that still today passes through her grandmother’s hometown in the Le Marche Region of Central Italy. Designed for intermediate cyclists who can bike on average 35 miles a day, the route ventures over rolling terrain for a total of 346 miles from Pesaro on the Adriatic to Porto Ercole on the Mediterranean. Over 11 days guests cycle through four regions (Le Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany) celebrated for their rich history, distinctive local cuisines and stunning panoramas.

“This tour synthesizes legend and history by letting guests imbibe carefully curated touchstones along an east-west trajectory around and over hills and mountains. Our routes are ancient and well-worn, as is Italy herself. We let geography and populations past and present tell her story through our beloved guides,” she said.

Some of this tour’s spectacles even lie underground. These are Italy’s largest cave system and ancient Etruscan settlements under mounds of earth. Other treasures -- amphitheaters, Roman gates and the Temple of Minerva -- await on hill tops paved with medieval cobblestones. Guests cycle on Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman road over the Apennines, an 870-mile range of mountains that create Italy’s spine from the Ligurian Alps south through the boot. Visits to such cities as Urbino disclose echoes of ducal import contained within their walls. In Assisi St. Francis shares his wisdom before a visit to one of the best-known family wineries in Umbria. On the Tyrrhenian Sea comes a stop at Italy’s most important bird sanctuary, Tombolo di Feniglia. Among the charms that distinguish Ciclismo Classico tours are including such little-known touches as Bevagna that since medieval days has plied the craft of making fine paper or swimming in a lake created from a volcano once familiar to Etruscans.

The 2019 trip dates are: May 11-21, June 6-16, July 18-28, Sept 5-15 and 19-29, and Oct 3-13. The per person double rate of $5,995 (single supplement $1,000) includes; carbon bike rental equipped with a Garmin Edge GPS, informative, English-speaking, Italian-born tour leaders throughout, shuttles, sag-wagon support, wine tasting, walking tours of Assisi and Urbino and a visit to a private underground cave in Orvieto, cooking demonstration with a master chef, visit to Frasassi grottoes and paper maker in Bevagna, all accommodations and breakfasts and some lunches and dinners. See: https://ciclismoclassico.com/trips/bike-tour-italy/

For bicycle tour newbies, La Bella Puglia Mini over six days and 157 miles (daily average 31 miles) introduces a region popular with foodies but still relatively uncrowded with tourists. Greeks, Normans and Arabs have all added their influence here. Today oils from ancient olive trees and crispy white wines from acres of vines compliment handmade orecchiette, bruschetta covered with juicy tomatoes, roasted red peppers and grilled calamari – all paired with warm hospitality that’s sometimes lost in other countries.

This itinerary is south on the Adriatic, beginning in Otranto. Its complicated history showcased in architecture makes it one of Puglia’s most sought-after towns. The itinerary weaves north to Lecce, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where guests are accommodated in a building in existence since 1400.

Moving away from the coast cyclists explore an enological gem, Salice Salentino, a region that gives its name to a red wine. In Alberobello, trulli, clusters of conical dwellings, are surrounded by gnarled olive trees. Moving into Basilicata introduces Matera, another UNESCO World Heritage Site which was recently awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2019 by the Commission of the European Union. This City of Stone is renowned for its sassi (cave dwellings), where medieval monks created individual cells, tiny chapels and even spacious churches. Matera’s 155 cave churches range from primitive to exquisite. Guests overnight in the now-opulent cave dwellings. The circular town of Locorotondo, known for its white wine, Serra, overlooks Valle d’Itria before guests cycle to journey’s end in the whitewashed town of Ostuni, Città Bianca, reminiscent of Greece.

There are seven departures scheduled in in spring and fall 2019 beginning on 4/28, 5/10, 6/07, 9/06, 9/20, 10/94 and 10/18. The per person double rate of $3,795 ($600 single supplement) includes; bike rental and GPS, bilingual guides, all needed shuttles, van support, guided walking tour of Lecce, wine tasting, all accommodations and breakfasts, and some lunches and dinners. See: https://ciclismoclassico.com/trips/le-bella-pugilia-bike-tour/

For additional information, detailed itineraries, trip availability and reservations please contact Ciclismo Classico by phone: 800.866.7314 (US & Canada) or 781.646.3377 (outside of North America), or visit online: https://ciclismoclassico.com/.

About Ciclismo Classico

Small group sightseeing through Italy by bike was a new concept in 1989 when Ciclismo Classico burst onto the scene to become the first company in the world to specialize in active cycle tours of Italy. Leading this charge was Lauren Hefferon who established another world-first: a woman-owned bike tour company.

This company’s rallying cry then and now is “Pedal Your Passion!” Tours are led by native-born guides who on average have each served Ciclismo Classico clients in excess of 10 years. Daily rides are carefully blended with a variety of cultural and culinary experiences and served up as the Ciclismo Menu that includes musical evenings, language lessons, wine and beer tastings, personalized cycling clinics, cooking demonstrations and opportunities for spontaneous discovery and cross-cultural interaction. Guests are carefully matched with a tour style and pedaling pace perfect for them, then outfitted with a quintessentially Italian, high-performance Bianchi bike. Having now expanded beyond Italy to represent tour destinations worldwide, Ciclismo also offers hiking itineraries, private and custom trip planning, photo tours and the ease of touring by electric bike. Recognized by media icons such as National Geographic Traveler and Outside Magazine, Ciclismo Classico is widely considered to be one of the premier active travel companies in the world.

# # #

For media inquiries, interviews, press trips and photos contact Widness & Wiggins PR:

Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Follow Ciclismo Classico on Social Media:

facebook.com/CiclismoClassico

instagram.com/CiclismoClassico

https://twitter.com/ciclismotours

https://www.youtube.com/user/CiclismoClassico