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Ciclismo Classico:   ciclismoclassico.com

Took the 11-day Bike Across Italy. Simply a fabulous trip. A good friend had said that the difference between Ciclismo Classico Classico and other tour companies in Italy was the quality of the tour leaders. They were right. Marcello Bonini and Henrick Murphy were excellent guides and companions. Marcello was simply Italian to the core. He loved his country in all its aspects, and made every effort to expose his "regazzi" (us) to all its charms. He was also a superb cyclist and obviously enjoyed "going off the front" with some of us when the opportunity presented itself. But neither he nor Henrick ever lost sight of the importance of the group and the group experience, so we all had a marvelous time. Henrik, on the other hand, loved Italy as only someone from the misty Northern Isles could and shared that perspective, which was not always the same as Marcello's. Also an excellent cyclist, he too made sure that everyone in the group felt completely at ease and comfortable with one another - M. Wilmar, San Francisco, CA

I've taken four Ciclismo Classico tours, each one a delight. The guides are very experienced both in the culture/geopraphy of the area and in cycling technique and maintenance. The hotels are always terrific and the food is fantastic. With Ciclismo, you get more than a riding vacation - you get a true cultural experience, making some lifelong friends along the way. I highly recommend giving Ciclismo Classico. - Amy C., Houston, TX

You can find out if you go with ciclismo classico on their Sardina Blue trip rated athletic beginner. You will need as your guides Simone, Andrea and Christina. I'm not sure, however, that it will ever be repeated in quite the same manner as the trip ended with a very authentic (and good) dinner at Simone's mother's house. She has a very sharp wit (one knows where Simone got his from) but she would need the patience of Job to do it again with such a bunch of cyclist expressing their true pleasure throughout the meal. While our singing may not have been up to the truly extraordinary singing of the Sardinian quartet we heard, we certainly tried. We were also treated to three meals (and a cooking lesson) with Roberto Petza-Michelin rated chef, who came to us for two of them and we rode to his restaurant for one of them. Each meal was a true culina! - Bill Z., Milton, MA

First, the trips are lovely and many of the tour-leaders are good to excellent. Although the best leader we knew has left the company recently. The real gripe here is the double standard of how the business is run. To wit, a couple summers ago Ciclismo cancelled a CONFIRMED trip only four weeks before, forcing my parents to rebook flights if they wanted to join another trip. Ciclismo did not compensate at least my parents for the rebooking of the flight (to a different city). Again, the trips themselves were fine, and this is why parents tolerated this business practice which they otherwise would not have - Ellis Family, Brookline, MA

My husband and I chose Ciclismo back in 1998 because of its Italy focus. We have been on 14 tours, one every year, since then. The Arlington based staff is friendly and helpful, the tours are well chosen and well run. Though Ciclismo has expanded its horizons to include more of the world, we have stayed with the Italy tours and can't praise the mostly native Italian guides enough. Not only are they knowledgeable about everything Italian, expert bike handlers and mechanics, they are without exception, interesting and fun people to spend time with. We are currently planning tour number 15. - Connie W., Columbus, OH

We went on the Charming Pousadas of the Alentejo in December 2012 with PortugalBike, run by Jose and Cristina. We thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful country-side, the mystical pousadas and Jose/Cristina's hospitality. Cristina and Jose are energetic, thoughtful, and interesting tour leaders whose enthusiasm about Portuguese culture was contagious. The itinerary was also very well planned and reasonably priced. Overall a very worthwhile trip! - Jennifer H.., New York, NY

I went to Portugal, a country that I am very familiar with. The guides were excellent but not that knowledgeable of the history of the regions. Culture is defined in this context essentially as eating and drinking, although thankfully there were two guided tours. Also, IMHO, the hotels - and their meals - are way too oppulent for an activity such as cycling, and the cost is therefore too high. Great routes, too many breaks to eat along the way. - Koons, Arlington, MA

We have just returned from our 5th trip in Italy with Ciclismo Classico.  You couldn't ask for a better overall experience than CC offers.  Our guides were fantastic: their insights into the culture, language, food, wine and history of Italy make travelling with CC a truly memorable experience. - Susie S., Golden, CO

Every year we take a trip with Ciclismo Classico.  They just seem to keep getting better and better.  The guides know so much about Italy that you'll end up learning a lot ... whether you want to or not! - C. Brenly, Columbus, OH 

The accommodations were stunning. Having travelled with B&R, Backroads and CC, I'd say that Ciclismo Classico hotels are almost as good as that of Butterfield and Robinson. We'll be going back next year for a tour that combines hiking and biking. No one else offers such a variety of types of trips in Italy... - C. & W.  Johnson, Dallas, TX 

We are a family of four, kids aged 10 and 13, and we just returned from the 8 day  Tuscan Fantasy tour.    Our 3 guides did everything in their power to make our trip safe and enjoyable and to make us love Italy.  The other riders were very friendly, the accommodations were beautiful and the routes great.  They made all of the kids on the trip feel successful -- no matter how long they rode in the sag -- adults too! - Randy S., Seattle, WA

This was our 2nd bike trip to Europe. I selected Ciclismo due to the fantastic support they offered BEFORE we left for Italy! They were very patient to answer all my questions about taking our own bike on the trip, and arranged for the careful transport after. The guides are top rate and almost tripped over themselves to make our trip. -   Ellen B, Centennial, CO  

First time biker. First time bike trip.  Excellent Adventure.  Tour guides were articulate, knowledgable, very helpful...no burn out on trip.  Great everything. Boston Office Staff very very helpful with pre/post accomodations and reassurances regarding trip. - Deborah O. Ann Arbor, MI

I would not recommend this company- we were constantly rushed,had to always stay in a group, guides were both sick,( one was on antibiotics) pace was way too fast and bikes were sub standard and not maintained. - Fast Benjy, Boston, MA

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