Summer is cycling season in the Dolomites, and several outfitters offer seven- to ten-day tours from June through August; prices include accommodations (single rooms cost more) and most meals. The author rode with Carpenter/Phinney Bike Camp (June 26-July 3; $3,750; www.bikecamp.com), owned and operated by two of America's cycling legends. Ciclismo Classico has three trips led by Italian guides ($3,895 for ten days; www.ciclismoclassico.com), and if you don't want to ship your bike you can pedal one of their Bianchi Via Nirone 7s. The Ride Strong Dolomites tour (August 3-11; $3,190; www.ridestrongbiketours.com) is strictly BYOB (bring your own bike) and the rides emphasize climbing. From May through September the Italian Cycling Center, in the Venetian Pre-Alps, leads three daily rides of varying difficulty ($187 a day, including meals; $34 a day for bike rental; www.italiancycling.com).
Events and Races:
Large-scale cycling races are held throughout Italy during the summer. Two other notable events are the Granfondo Campagnolo, held June 17 in nearby Feltre ($56; www.granfondocampagnolo.it), and the Granfondo Coppi, held July 1 ($54; www.faustocoppi.net), which traces national biking hero Fausto Coppi's hometown roads in Piedmont.
In Milan the De Rosa family has been crafting frames for more than 50 years. Stop by their showroom or schedule an appointment for a custom fitting; they'll ship your bike to the U.S. in three to four weeks ($2,272 and up for a carbon fiber frame; www.derosanews.com). Giovanni Pinarello opened the Pinarello shop (www.pinarello.com) in Treviso in 1952 and still works there.
The Dolomites are a summertime playground for hikers, climbers, and mountain bikers. One must-do: a steep eight-hour hike to Sarlsattle (7,316 feet [2,230 meters]) in the middle of Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park (www.provincia.bz.it).
Where to Stay and Eat:
Most tours book hotels for their guests. Carpenter/ Phinney Bike Camp lodges in Corvara at Hotel La Perla ($182; www.hotel-laperla.it). Its restaurant boasts a coveted Michelin star.
Corvara is less than a four-hour drive from both Munich and Milan. Major airlines regularly fly to both from North America.
Read more about racing in the Maratona dles Dolomites >>
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