One of the best things about Italy (apart from pizza of course!) is that in a country smaller than California you'll find almost endless variety. You might only have a week or two to explore, but we believe it's best to immerse yourself fully in the culture of one area rather than rush manically from point-to-point seeing 'everything' yet experiencing nothing. Besides, once you have visited once you're likely to yearn to return year after year. So embrace a slower pace of travel and really discover Italy's landscapes one region at a time ...
1) Tuscany - Italy's most storied region ... Sandwiched between the Baroque splendour of Florence and the Ligurian Sea to the west, Tuscany has inspired generation after generation of artists and writers seeking to capture the essence of this iconic region. In Tuscany expect winding roads, Medieval hilltop villages and fascinating cities with bustling streets set against a backdrop of rolling hills, forests and the vineyards of Chianti.
2) Veneto, Lombardy & Trentino - Including cities with international pull like Venice and Verona. These three regions stretch from the Dolomite mountains in Italy's NE, to the turquoise waters and spa towns surrounding Lake Garda to the Prosecco vineyards, and finally across nature-rich wetlands to Venice and the Adriatic Sea. Hugely varied, our trips in these regions cover the lower slopes of the Brenta-Dolomites, easy-going riverside cycle routes and relaxed rides among the vineyards and olive groves that stretch down the Adriatic. Further east along the coast, as you approach the Slovenian border you can enjoy, largely flat, sea-side pedaling.
3) Puglia - Located in Italy's SE, and known as the "heel", Puglia is a timeless landscape of gently rolling inland plains surrounded by a coastline of rugged limestone and peppered with stunning white-sand beaches and rocky coves of azure waters. Punctuating the rural landscape are gleaming white-washed towns, and cities boasting Roman, Baroque and Byzantine architecture. Not only that, but local menus abound with the freshest of seafood!
4) Sicily - The inhabitants of Sicily also have a penchant for seafood, and for food in general, so make sure to miss out on the local specialties - cannoli, arancini and swordfish to name just a few! Located off the SW coast of Italy's "toe" this vibrant island makes for the perfect Italian escape. Discover a varied landscape of coastal plains, surprisingly lush valleys, olive groves, beaches and Baroque towns.
5) Amalfi Coast - The name inspires images of colourful towns clinging to steep cliff faces above the Mediterranean Sea. Just an hour south of Naples, Pompei and Mount Vesuvius this UNESCO-protected 50 km stretch of coastline on Italy's west coast is a jaw-dropping combination of steep mountains and woodland dropping into the sea. Dotted along the coastline are fishing towns painted in delightful shades of terracotta, pink, yellow, blue and pistachio. Escape the crowded towns for rural roads and spectacular sea-views.
6) Umbria - Known as Italy's green heart Umbria is a less touristed region than it's neighbour, Tuscany, to the west and is bound by the Apennine Mountains on it's eastern border. Renowned for it's cuisine from chocolate to foraged truffles and fine wines. Explore the rolling green landscape, lake-side villages and it's fortified hilltop capital Perguia.