Cinghiale has a long tradition of riding in the high mountains of Northern Italy. Andy raced over most of the passes there, and we love to return to take in the glory of the challenging terrain. Over the last several years, as the Dolomites and Alps have become much more crowded, we’ve been searching for different ways to experience Northern Italy while still sneaking in some of the iconic climbs. This year we have planned a route that brings us in contact with beautiful mountain settings, but will avoid the car choked “must see” beauty spots. For the riders who love classic Giro d’Italia climbs, but are also looking to explore quieter parts of Italy, this is will be a great adventure.
Your legs will be challenged with consistent stages of 100k to 120k. Some of you may want to add on passes as we transfer between our 4 locations. Are you Passo Giau curious? We can take you there. Or if you prefer a rest day during the week we have some fine options to offer.
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“North to South” is our choice of sights. North nearly to Austria where we haven’t been, and ending south in the marvelous city of Vicenza at the end of the Dolomites. History is our route finder; we will ride up the Tre Cime di Lavaredo climb where Eddy Merckx became a legend, over the Passo Brocon where Charley Gaul escaped in the 1956 Giro in the worst weather the race had ever experienced, and over the Colle d’Aune pass where Tullio Campagnolo had a crisis changing his wheel that lead to the quick release being imagined. And, in slightly more recent cycling lore, to the Vetriolo climb where Andy won a Giro time trial stage in 1988.
Our riding areas start in Brunico at the northern most point in Italy. Our three rides there will be a warm up afternoon ride after a bus transfer from Verona airport, then a 90k ride with a gradual climb through a national park to within a kilometer of Austria, and another ride up a gradual valley to the base of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which is the antithesis of gradual.
Our first transfer ride departs Brunico through pastures and fields and into forests as we head south through the Alto Adige region. Our highest point is the Passo Val Parola, which marks our leaving old Austria and entering old Italy in the Veneto. The Giau pass is an option at this point. We have a long descent through Agordo to a quiet climb up into the Bellunesi Dolomiti Park to our family run Chalet hotel that screams relax. The Dolomites will tower over us but there is be very little traffic, tourists, or fuss in this part of rural Italy.
Our next ride will be a loop over the Passo Croce d’Aune where the Campagnolo legacy was born. Our ride along the foothills and back into the park will be a thrilling and peaceful tour.
6 days into the trip will set us on a transfer to Levico Terme. The highlight will be the Passo Brocon, which is an obscure delight to ride today, but was just after the Passo Rolle midway through Charley Gaul’s 240k stage in atrocious weather in the ’56 Giro. Let’s leave epic to the kids—we’ll ride through quiet forests over our first 60k to find a flat bike path into Levico Terme.
Levico Terme is where Andy defended his maglia rosa successfully in the final week of the 1988 Giro. Fortunately, for all, we will keep riding toward alpine lakes as he tells a few stragglers about his time trial tactics.
Our transfer ride out of the mountains will start with a goodbye to gravity, and then down through the foothills to arrive in central Vicenza. Vicenza is stunning small city, and it has the Campagnolo factory. We will visit the factory in the morning of the our last day, and have time to see the city in the afternoon. The Hampsten clan was able to visit the factory when Campy staged a party there during a Giro finish 5 years ago. It is to die for. No really, even if your taste does not include Campy logos, it is a fascinating visit.
We don’t sugarcoat the fact that this is some stiff riding—experienced riders only, please. Our routes will tackle some of the longest and toughest climbs in the world with very technical descents. That means fun for those experienced enough for the challenge—come fit and prepared and you’ll do just fine in good company.
The trip is not well suited for non-riders because we are on our bikes for most of the day. However we have had non-riding guests come who had a great time. Write us if you are interested and we will discuss your interests and see if this would be a good trip for you.
These northern Italian routes offer long, demanding climbs and blissful descents, through forested passes with towering limestone crags looming over the dozens of switchbacks we pedal. Culturally we will experience old-school Austria/Italy in mountain villages that thrive on winter and summer tourism.
Expect quiet, striking mountain roads of Sud-Tyrol; classic limestone crags of the Dolomites and plenty of passes to keep us occupied: Tre Cime di Lavarello, Passo Val Parola, Giau, Falzarego, Brocon, Passo Croce d’Aune, Vetriolo, and others…
We’ll wrap the tour with a fantastic tour of the Campagnolo Factory in Vicenza.
Book flights to/from Verona Valerio Catullo Int. Airport (VRN)
This tour will begin in Verona at the West Point Airport Hotel.
We will begin the tour on the morning of Sunday, August 29 at 9:00 am at the West Point Airport Hotel with transport from Verona to our first location of Brunico. We recommend arriving in Italy on August 28th or before.
You are responsible for accommodation in Verona, either at the West Point Airport hotel or a hotel of your choice, prior to August 29. Please be ready for transport in the lobby of Hotel West Point at 9:00 a.m. on August 29.
We will finish the tour in Vicenza on the morning of Sept 7 with transport to the Verona airport. Flights home/continuing travel should be scheduled for Sept 7th.
We will provide transportation to the Verona Valerio Catullo Int. Airport (VRN) airport or a local train station the morning of Sept. 7th.
Write to us if you have ideas or questions about traveling in Italy before or after the tour.