Friuli Venezia Giulia

Chef Bike Tour

The Slavic and Austrian influences make this region unique compared to the rest of Italy.

Friuli Venezia Giulia (often shortened to Friuli) is a border region tucked between Slovenia and Austria where one will find the cultural imprints of all three countries. That imprint - as you'll discover on our culinary journey by bike - is very much present in the regional cuisine. Our guest chef (Mary Sue Milliken) will play an important role in understanding the local productions and the preparations that better tell the story of the territory.

Tour Dates

2021

  • September 6 – 12

Tour Details

  • Duration: 7-days
  • Ride Type: Road 
  • Difficulty: Recreational (1 of 3)
  • Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 30
  • Price: $4,595

Over the years, this region has been occupied by various European powers and as such has developed a unique language and culture. The political border shifted a number of times while the physical border of the Julian Alps stood still and a timeless subculture typical of the practical life of mountain regions developed. On the other hand, the Adriatic coast has been bustling with trading activities since Roman times. On our Chef Bike Tour of Friuli Venezia Giulia, we’ll see for ourselves both of these aspects with the Tagliamento River Valley and Collio wine production area in between. 

The first part of the tour will descend from Tarvisio along the Tagliamento River Valley via the Alpe-Adria bikeway. We take advantage of this great cycling infrastructure as much as possible (It’s very well known in Europe and one of the first long-haul rail-to-trail projects) and for the rest of the way, we’ll be on secondary country roads with many interesting and tasty stops. The riding is fairly easy on this tour and you have the possibility to rent an E-bike or to add some extra miles to top off your day.

We are fond of Friuli not just because it is cycling heaven, but also because it is a must-visit destination for gourmands and wine lovers and is finally being recognized as such. Some recipes and products might ring a bell (prosciutto di San Daniele, polenta served in many ways), but some others are unknown and surprisingly different than any other Italian preparations (frico, cjarsons).

While it is unlikely that the Friulian customs (including language) will remain intact, it’s not too late to experience this vanishing culture and on a Chef Bike Tour with Tourissimo you’ll do that by understanding the local traditions, landscape, agriculture, and, of course, by tasting and trying out the local dishes. 

Wineries in this area are settled on some of the most beautiful hills you will ever encounter. No one would argue that the best white wines in Italy come from here. One of the most iconic wine producers in all of Friuli is undoubtedly Livio Felluga. The history of his wines is deeply rooted in the land and people of Friuli. Back when quality wine “wasn’t a thing,” he set out to reinvent winemaking.

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – Tarvisio – Hike or 13 mls warm-up ride
DAY 2 – Tarvisio – Venzone – 38 miles – Flat
DAY 3 –  Venzone – Fagagna – 27 miles – Rolling
DAY 4 – Fagagna – Cormons – 41 miles – Flat and Rolling
DAY 5 – Collio loop – 25 miles – Rolling
DAY 6 – Cormons – Grado – 30 miles – Flat
DAY 7 – Transfer to the airport

* Request the full itinerary via the contact form below.

Highlights

  • Scenic Alpe-Adria bike path
  • Wine tasting at Bastianich Friulian winery
  • Cividale del Friuli (UNESCO World Heritage Sites), and Venzone (National monument)
  • Stunning cycling along rolling hills covered with vineyards and with the Julian Alps in the backdrop
  • Grado’s golden beaches
  • Palmanova and Aquileia
  • Regional food that combines Mediterranean and Mitteleuropean influences 
  • Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant with cooking demonstration

Inclusions

  • Bikes (choice road carbon or hybrid) 
  • Two professional tour guides throughout the program 
  • All accommodations in 3 and 4-star hotels, and one luxury golf and spa resort
  • All breakfasts, all lunches, and all dinners
  • Wine with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops
  • Wine tasting and visits to producers
  • Guided tour of Venzone
  • Hands-on cooking class 
  • Support vehicle during the tour and luggage transfer 
  • Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour 
  • All activities mentioned in the day-by-day description

There is a lot to experience and enjoy in this part of Italy. It is still an undiscovered treasure.

– Lidia B

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