April 10, 2012 | By Jacqui Matthews
My husband and I are avid cyclists, so when we get the time to take a vacation, we love to slow down and see the countryside from our bikes. We have taken several guided trips in Europe, but this past October we decided to try our first self-guided trip. We went with two other couples who share our love of food, wine and cycling. Our expedition company supplied the bikes, road maps, detailed routes, and best of all, someone to come to our hotel every morning, pick up our bags and deliver them to our next hotel!
We all met in the small town of Alba which is most famous for the white truffles of Alba.
We stayed at a lovely, small Virtuoso property, the Villa d’Amelia for three days before
starting our bike trip. We explored the village and went to the famous Truffle Festival.
After a few days of eating truffles and pasta it was time to get on the bikes! We met our local representative, Lorenzo, in the small town of Montforte d’Alba. He had our bikes (which had been fitted for each of us), detailed maps of the routes and
lots of helpful information. After a short ride to the nearby town of Barolo to make sure
everything worked, we were on our own! We had six days of biking through some of the most beautiful countryside in Italy. The vineyards were glowing with fall colors and we
could stop whenever we wanted to bask in the beauty. We only got lost a couple of times
which certainly added to the adventure of the trip.
Each night we stayed in a different small hotel or agriturismo. All breakfasts are included in
the price of the trip and some dinners. We were thrilled to stay in our agriturismo up above
the town of Acqui Terme, where we had a delicious dinner of local specialties homemade
by our host, Clara. The biking was tough – Piedmonte is very hilly! The trip ended up in
a beautiful small village on the coast of Liguria, Camogli. We spent two days relaxing at
our hotel, the Cenobio dei Dogi, hiking along the coast and enjoying warm, sunny fall
days. From Camogli we took the train to Milan for our flights back to the US. What an incredible trip!