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What self-respecting cyclist doesn’t dream of riding over the classic climbs in Italy, not to mention indulging in world-renowned Italian wines and culinary dishes once such memorable rides are over? The Garda Bike Hotel at Peschiera del Garda, on the southern tip of Lake Garda, provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Words: James Startt
Images: Garda Bike Hotel
The Verdolin family has a long history of working in the hotel service industry. But things changed when Nicola and his brother Alberto were bitten by the cycling bug. And now they ride daily with the hundreds of cyclists that stay at the Bike Hotel when they come to ride in northern Italy’s majestic Lake District. “A little over a decade ago we noticed more and more cyclists coming to our hotel,” Nicola said. “We started cycling with them and became passionate ourselves. Today, either Alberto or myself goes out daily with a group. It’s great!”
Clearly the brothers have used their first-hand knowledge to organize the hotel around cycling and the needs of cyclists. The service course is equipped with 40 bikes—including a fleet of Pinarello F8s—for those that prefer to rent bikes on location. The morning breakfast spread is nothing short of lavish. Purists will find lactose-free milk and gluten-free cereals, while those with more decadent tastes can drip a chocolate fondue over their fresh fruit dish. A mid-afternoon snack buffet awaits cyclists returning from their rides and the dinner menu is complete with Italian pasta, risotto, meat and fish dishes.
The hotel offers epic, fully supported rides to legendary Italian mountain passes, including the Gavia and Stelvio, or more leisurely journeys through the Lake District. “We simply love to ride,” Nicola said. “And it also keeps us in tune to the needs of cyclists. It’s our passion!” gardabikehotel.com
From issue 54. Buy it here.