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A Foodie’s Tour of Italy

I grew up around the table. Weekly dinners at my grandmother’s were part of the family routine and while us kids were allowed to run off and play after the meal, the adults would linger for hours, retelling family stories, discussing world events, and enjoying one more glass of wine.

Words by Katherine Usher, Sales and Guest Services Manager
Dine at Tenuta San Pietro hotel in Italy on Trek Travel's Cinque Terre bike tour

Now as an adult, I treasure each moment spent at the table. Although the company changes–friends and family, old and new–there is always something special about lingering around the table.

Our new Cinque Terre vacation is a foodie’s dream, offering many unique culinary experiences and opportunities to gather around a table with new friends. This past September I had the privilege of being a guest on this trip, and while the riding and hiking are spectacular, my lasting memory is one of robust flavors that linger on your palate long after the table is cleared.
Stay in Lucca, Italy on Trek Travel's Cinque Terre cycling vacation
The trip starts in Tuscany, nestled in the hills above the sought-after town of Lucca. The grades of these “rollers” are no joke but the traditional Toscana cuisine that awaits is worth the ride. The first hotel of the trip, Tenuta San Pietro, boasts its own vineyard, olive grove, and vegetable garden and Chef Guido Lotti is not shy to craft a Mediterranean menu directly from the land.
Experience the meals of Chef Guido Lotti at Tenuta San Pietro on Trek Travel's Cinque Terre bike tour
As the trip moves toward Cinque Terre and the region of Liguria, you start to notice the cuisine change as drastically as the landscape. The menus of handmade pastas, garden fresh tomatoes and aromatic herbs now feature sardines, squid, anchovies, and whatever the sea is generous to provide that morning. Perhaps the taste I savored most, however, is the Italian Riviera’s renowned artisanal pesto.

The shared experiences of riding through the unspoiled countryside and hiking the rugged hills of Cinque Terre’s five historic villages are certainly highlights, but the time spent gathered around the table is truly something special. The flavors are memorable and even more unforgettable are the stories behind them. From the young up-and-coming chef in San Pietro who is willing to take risks with his menu, to the woman who learned how to roll pasta from her grandmother and would never dare to change her ways, the stories behind the meals bring the experience to life.
Eat fresh seafood on Trek Travel's Cinque Terre bike tour

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Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

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Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

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Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

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