The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Cycling the Grand Tour
|$3,250, includes airfare from U.S.
The Route: Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto, Lombardy, Romany, Abruzzo: Why bike one when you can bike them all? Itineraries vary from 12 to 15 days and 300 to 700 miles; all promise your fill of purple artichoke and red poppy fields, as well as natural hot springs.
When to go: May through October
Travel advisory: Your outfitter should match your energy level. Eurobike and Experience Plus average 30 to 35 miles per day, while Cyclismo Classico riders reel off a brisk 45.
- Buying a snazzy cycling cap from 72-year-old Mario Conti, whose grandfather started the family's legendary Florence bike shop in 1920.
- Navigating the high-speed, hairpin descent from the town of Calasca after a lunch spent gustily imbibing the local red wine.