FORT COLLINS, CO, June 20, 2013 â ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours, in 1972 the first North American tour company to offer bike tours in Europe (http://www.
experienceplus.com/), is the expert when it comes to why biking in the autumn in Italy and France can be an over-the-top experience.
âEvery September and October for 40 years now, our tour leaders compete to guide our France and Italy tours. It's our favorite time, after the crowds have gone,â said Maria Elena Price, co-director of ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours. âThey have their own special reasons why these months on a bike are special.â Following are five perfect enticements ranging from first-press olive oil to a late dip in the Mediterranean:
1) Sourcing highly coveted first-press olive oil at an olive mill in Provence (Best of Provence Plus! the Luberon and Aix-en-Provence Sept. 20-30 and Oct. 4-14 at $4550 per person double)
2) Dining off of farm-to-table fall harvest bounty again in Provence where dinner one evening features Chef Erick Videl who prepares recipes from Roman times using local ingredients sourced at a farmer's market in Arles
On Italy's Emilia Romagna Culinary tour (Sept. 16-26 at $4295 per person double), The ExperiencePlus! family farm near Brisighella sources local produce to prepare all of the ingredients for a picnic buffet in a building that is a converted pig barn, (at one time it had up to 600 pigs) surrounded by 27 acres of vineyards, sugar beets, alfalfa and peach orchards. Since 1999 the farm has served as the headquarters of European tours, with offices, bike mechanic shop, sleeping quarters for tour leaders and a garage where 300 bikes reside when not being deployed all over Europe.
3) Dipping in the Mediterranean sans crowds in Puglia's now quiet beach towns (Oct. 12-22 at $4250 per person double) and in Sardinia (Sept. 27-Oct. 7 at $4750 per person double) where for two nights guests lodge almost at water's edge. Between swims in Puglia, guests find an abundance of ripe fruits and nuts on the side of the roads providing a smorgasbord of walnuts, figs, almonds, apples, and citrus fruits. The second harvest plantings of fennel are also starting to come in.
4) Sipping a highly prized local wine in a little-known Provence village where a small wine merchant shop under the castle in Lourmarin sells local wines from the massif/valley, mountain and urban regions. Visitors can enjoy tastings of these highly prized wines. On a coastal tour of olive-filled Tuscany (Sept. 28-Oct. 7 and Oct. 12-21, $4095 per person double), Montebelli Agriturismo, a hotel/vineyard/farm, opens for dinner where tour guests sample the fruits of their winemaking labors with an aperitivo on property.
5) Sampling wild game as close to its source as possible at a shepherd's barbeque on Sardinia where fresh meats are paired with cannonau wine. The tradition is to break off pieces of internationally regarded pane carasau, the flat, crisp bread eaten by shepherds when away tending their flocks for long periods of time.
The company's country coordinator in Italy, Bea Tassinari says, âPerhaps my favorite meal on the Bicycling Sicily tour is a special lunch at a small restaurant/museum in Caltabellotta that is called: M.A.T.E.S. (Museo delle Antiche Tradizioni Enogastronomiche Siciliane or Museum of Antique Enogastronomic Sicilian Traditions). It is a very small, family-run restaurant inside a museum that displays a few instruments and tools used by local farmers. Typically when I call to make reservations the grandma answers the phone. The menu is a wonderful mix of local specialties including, primosale cheese (literally âfirst saltâ which is the first stage of Pecorino cheese), caponata siciliana, ricotta, olives, breaded thistles, and lardo di maiale nero dei Nebrodi (lard of the typical black pork of Nebrodi) and that's just SOME of the antipasti! The meal ends with cannolo siciliano â everyone's favorite with flaky pastry and a creamy filling that melts in your mouth.â
For more information on ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours, please call 800-685-4565, 970-484-8489, or email email@example.com.
About ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours
No North American company has been running European cycling tours longer than ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours (http://www.experienceplus.com/). Launched in Italy in 1972 the Colorado-based company now offers global cycling tours immersed in local character to 20 countries on five continents. ExperiencePlus! cultural cycling programs engage tour leaders who are expert cyclists and trained cultural interpreters, guiding guests on innovative routes and immersing them in off-the-beaten-path experiences. Tours in 2013 go to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, India, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam among others.
For more information visit: http://www.experienceplus.com/ or call 1.800.685.4565.
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