I just returned from nearly 10 days in Piedmont (Canelli and Monforte d’Alba) and Lake Como with a regular group of southern Californians that we haven’t seen since before The Rona. This was a custom tour, as we always do with these riders (and non-riders), and it was the first one for us in both locations. I can say with great confidence that Piedmont – or the area we were in anyway – is a wonderful place to ride a bike. It’s essentially endless hills carpeted with vines, and endless valleys filled with hazelnut orchards (your Nutella comes from here). The longest climb was around 10km, but the majority between 2km and 5km. Oh, and the views! Lots of great ridge riding with panoramas all around.
The food and wine was excellent, too, if perhaps a little overabundant. Nobody lost any weight on this tour.
Como, on the other hand, is not a place to base yourself to ride, unless you can handle traffic. There just aren’t enough roads to get you where you want to go (basically, far from Como), so you have to suck it up till then. There are some lovely roads nearby, though, so I won’t write it off totally. Como the city IS a keeper, however. Lots of restaurants, lots of shopping and lots of atmosphere to keep you busy for a few days. It’s also close to Milan, which helps with logistics.
Oh, and this tour was not without drama. 3 out of 15 clients got Covid while with us. We knew it had to happen and we were lucky that we had sensible people with us for this one. A few on-the-fly decisions and everyone managed to stay on the tour while not contaminating the rest. Symptoms were light, which helped, too.