Verona & the Maratona
Swoop and soar through epic passes
Experience dramatic mountain beauty and fairytale towns in the Italian Alps. Ride over exhilarating passes, climb among soaring spires and zoom downhill to charming hamlets surrounded by meadows of wildflowers on mountain routes made famous by the world’s greatest cyclists. These are the legendary climbs that have filled Giro history. Challenge your body while you explore a rich mixture of culture and celebrate a sense of accomplishment on this quest through the heart of the Dolomites.
The first natural monument in Italy protected by UNESCO, the Dolomites are a roller coaster of sensational rides between World War I sites and quaint villages. This tour offers a perfect blend of athletic challenge, for advanced cyclists who are ready to radically improve their cycling skills. Celebrate the joy and challenge of cycling with on the most important Italian “Gran Fondo”: the “Maratona dles Dolomites.” Feed off the energy of riding and racing side by side with 10,000 other cycling enthusiasts from around the World. Filled by a lottery with almost 50,000 applicants, this Gran Fondo is also among the most popular in Europe! It is also the most prestigious, non-competitive race/ride in Europe and this is your opportunity to participate.
- Best of mountain culture with gourmet dinners
- Discover the ancient city of Bolzano, capital of Sud Tyrol
- Stay in the great mountain village of Corvara
- Daily backdrop of soaring spires, waterfalls, and cool forests
- World War I battlefields and history
- Ride spectacular epic passes in the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Improve your cycling skills with downhill and climbing clinics
- Race for “Ciclismo Classico” on Italy’s main cycling amateur event
Day by Day
June 29: Verona
Meet at 12 pm for introductions at our hotel in Verona. We do a bike fitting, and a warm up ride along the beautiful Adige river, followed by a guided tour of the romantic city of Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet, and a special reunion, welcome dinner!
June 30: Verona to Riva del Garda
Our first full-day ride starts out rolling through the vineyards of Amarone and Valpolicella, crosses the Adige Valley and climbs over the backside of the famous Monte Baldo (4796 ft which provides well-earned views over the entire Lago di Garda. Then we have a long and exhilarating descent 3937 ft all the way to the lake. Riva Del Garda is at the northernmost point of the Lake. We’ll have time to explore this gem of a lakeside town.
July 1: Riva del Garda to Pinzolo
We climb out of the gorgeous lake valley towards the “Gruppo Brenta” the westernmost mountains of the Dolomite range. The morning climb is long but not too steep and provides some spectacular views of the lake and the tiny mountain villages. We pass Lago di Tenno before descending into a green valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. After a short but steep climb to Stenico, we enjoy a picnic overlooking the Sarca river. The rest of the day’s ride descends along a tiny road through a delightful river valley. As we approach Pinzolo, you will notice the characteristic mountain architecture taking influence from Austria and the north. In Pinzolo, we’ll enjoy a special dinner at a mountain hunting lodge.
July 2: Pinzolo to Bolzano
From Pinzolo we climb up through Madonna di Campiglio. Our first official mountain pass of the trip is Carlo Magno. We’ll stop for photo ops at the top before an amazing descent. At the base we begin our ride though the Valle di Sole, and climb again up to Cloz. Below you can see the Lago di Giustina, and ride along a lovely ridge covered with orchards of the prized Trentino apples through Fondo. After Fondo we climb up to top of the Passo Mendola. We will now pass into Sud Tirol, a region that was part of Austria until 1918. Descending into the lovely valley of Caldaro, you might think you are in the wine region of Austria. From Caldaro, we’ll follow the renowned system of bike paths.
July 3: Bolzano to Corvara
We leave Bolzano on the flat bike path, but the situation soon changes as we climb towards the Val di Tires and up to Passo di Pinei. After passing through several quaint alpine towns, we stop for lunch in Selva di Val Gardena, and then it’s another 6 miles until we start the climb to the second pass, Passo Gardena. Here we ride one of the passes from the race. A long, steep descent takes us to the little gem of a Sud Tyrolean town of Corvara.
July 4: Corvara Rest Day
The day before the Maratona we’ll have a day to rest up. We’ll visit the village, to see and even try out some of the latest technological developments in cycling all the while, “rubbing shoulders” with some of cycling’s most prominent figures. Opt to enjoy plenty of relaxation, or short hike in one of the Alps most beautiful settings. A dream for skiers, hikers, and cyclists, here you will discover, “the soul of the sport of cycling” and mountain sports, like nowhere else in the world. Every year, thousands arrive to the area for tomorrows race. For us it is Mecca!
July 5: The Big Day!
The Maratona starts at 6:30 am, there are 3 options: short, medium and long, ranging from 40 miles with 4 passes to 88 miles with 8 passes. Enjoy the scenery, the fabulous support, the special foods and the huge post event celebration. Meet people from around the world! By providing your cell phone number and email address, get instant results about your ride. You can learn more about the Maratona at www.maratona.it.
July 6: Arrivederci! Or Rest Day
After breakfast, around 9 am, we will provide one shuttle to the Bolzano train station (1.5 hrs) to catch your next connections, so please make your plans accordingly. Or, stay an extra night at Posta Zirm and explore beautiful Alta Badia! The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage site, have a look at what else it has to offer while your legs rest up! http://www.altabadia.org/ You may also continue the tour to Salzburg with Ciclismo Classico! Contact us for details and pricing. 800-866-7314
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
- Transfers from, during and to end of tour
On The Tour
- Advanced cycling clinics
- Entry to the Maratona dles Dolomiti and jersey from the organizers
- Bike rental equipped with odometer, map case, handlebar and seat bags and bike pump
Accommodations & Meals
- All Accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- 2 lunches
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
Hotel Leopardi is a 4-star hotel lies just next to the walls of the ancient city of Verona. The highly trained staff will provide for all your personal needs. In the large breakfast hall a rich American buffet is served, with a wide selection of organic products. Wi-Fi available in every room and public areas.
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Hotel Lac et du Parc
the 4-star Du Lac et du Parc has a magnificent natural scenario, deep inside a beautiful and lush natural environment and right on the shores of Lake Garda. Along with direct access to the beach, there are two pools to relax in the water or to regain new energy with swimming lessons and water aerobics.
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The Posta Zirm
The Posta Zirm Hotel welcomes you to an unique atmosphere that unites Ladin and Alpine tradition to the most up-to-date comforts. The Hotel was built in 1808 and since 1908 it has been run by the Kostner family. For generations they have been giving their guests personal care, guaranteeing maximum comfort with attention paid to every detail, making their stay relaxing and unforgettable.
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