Piemonte and Liguria: the best of Italian cycling

Story by Luca Gadotti

Nov / 18 / 2017

Ciao, I am Luca and I will be your guide on the Piemonte and Liguria tour. I live in Switzerland with my Scottish wife Patricia and few years ago I decided to get back into the Gran Fondo circuit to show her a bit of Italy.

I was born and raised in Piemonte so why not sign up for the Coppa Piemonte, a stunning challenge of six events throughout the season? I've done it a few times now and it’s a lovely experience: amazing rides, great food and even better wine!

By doing so I started to wonder, how about organising a tour in this area? Something for cyclists who love to ride their bikes in amazing landscapes and who also enjoy great food. This region can offer all of the above: we will be riding roads that have been touched many times by the Giro in areas where some of the most famous Italian wines are produced. We will see the high mountains as well as the sea in the nearby Liguria Region.

Once you arrive we might have time for a coffee ride to have a taste of what we will be doing the next day but for sure we will have plenty of time to meet the rest of the group over a nice Italian dinner. We will begin in the “Langhe e Roero” area of Piemonte - this is where one of the greatest Italian cyclists was born: Fausto Coppi. On our second day we will ride among the stunning rolling hills, possibly the very same roads Coppi used to train on. After spending all day in the vineyards, we will visit my friend Alfredo who runs the ‘Cantina Malabaila di Canale’. We will taste some of the locals reds and whites, but for sure my favourite: l’Arneis. The Malabaila started to produce wine back in 1362 and if we are lucky, Alfredo will let us visit one of the old cellars.

Above: The Piemonte vineyards

Now it's day three. I hope you enjoyed your dinner last night and it’s time to ride! Today there will be a little change of scenery, we will cross the Alpi Marittime and head down to the Ligurian Sea. This is an area I often visit; now it’s a nice weekend break but years ago it was where we came to train during the winter months. Liguria is close to the sea and has an amazing microclimate that allows nice warm rides all year round. So, after making our way to the other side of the alps, we will head down to the sea to end our ride in the beautiful little fishing village of Laigueglia. My wife and I come here a few times every year because she has fallen in love with the area as well… It's also the location for the season opener of Italian pro racing, ‘Il Trofeo Laigueglia’! In one of the little streets in the village centre, right next to the sea, there’s one of my favourite restaurant: ‘l’Andiu’ where we will have dinner. Nice ‘Vermentino’ white wine and sea food… I can’t wait.

Time to relax after a busy season. @saaal74 and @aswisswithapulse are spending a few days in Italy with their families. And maybe do a bit of scouting?

Une publication partagée par Grand Tours Project (@grandtoursproject) le

Here we are, last day... and a big climb. We have kept the epic ride for today. The ride profile is simple: up, and then down. Today is all about the ‘Colle Fauniera’. We will climb this giant that has featured several times in the Giro d’Italia. The top of the pass is at 2,511m and it’s going to be a great challenge for all of us! I’ve ridden it few times as it’s part of the ‘Gran Fondo la Fausto Coppi’ and you will breathe history of cycling on every single bend. At the top there is a memorial to Marco Pantani… cycling history has been written on this climb.


Above: The Colle Fauniera: big and beautiful

I’m working hard to bring you an amazing experience with three days of completely different riding... you will have a fantastic holiday and will come back with memories of rolling hills, sea and coastline, mountain passes and great meals with your new friends. You’ll leave thinking only one thing: I want to go back for more!

Luca


Do you want to join Luca in Piemonte and Liguria? Check the tour details and book your trip to cycling paradise!

Above: Luca racing the vineyards during the Coppa Piemonte