“Life was meant for good friends and great adventures”
At A’QTO, that’s what we believe and live by every day.
We specialise in creating magical Italian cycling, food and wine adventures.
From weekend escapes in some of Australia’s most beautiful cycling regions, to 7-9 day tours to iconic cycling events and the most spectacular cycling destinations in Italy, we specialise in providing you with an authentic Italian experience that takes you behind the tourist curtain, and with a level of detail you won’t find elsewhere – from the rides and bikes, to the food and wine, and to the accommodation and cultural experience – the magic of the experience is all in the detail.
The 8 Top Reasons To Travel With Us:
1. Challenge and Reward
An Italian Adventure with A’QTO is all about the challenge, both physical and mental, and the reward, both delicious and well earned.
Work and play. Ascend and descend. Hot and cool. Fast and slow.
It is the contradiction of the experiences that elevate them to be more than they could ever be on their own.
The challenge of climbing some of Italy’s biggest mountains that make up the Giro or traversing the continually rolling hills of Piemonte, are then matched with the well earned reward of a long lunch on a Tuscan terrace or an utterly unique and rustic dinner in a well hidden, family run osteria with hospitality that you long for.
Let us share with you the magic and spirit of Italy.
2. Groups of 12
Both on and off the bike, we value comfort and safety, and the relationships that develop in smaller groups.
We believe that being able to sit around one table post-ride to share beautiful food, wine and conversation is important. Nancy grew up in an Italian family and believes 12 is about the right number for an inclusive experience for all. It’s where great conversation, laughter and friendship happens.
3. One guide for every 4-5 riders
When you go away on a cycling tour, it’s hard to know where you’ll sit in comparison to others. To give everyone a great experience at their level, we believe one guide for every 4-5 riders is the right ratio. It’s even better when one of those guides is an Italian local who knows the area exceptionally well, and supports Damian who gets to understands our guest rider needs extremely well. It’s a high guide:rider ratio when you compare it to other cycling tour companies, but we believe it’s what creates part of our difference.
4. Off the beaten path
Whether it’s the regions we select, the blend of daily rides we design, or the mix of experiences that come together to form a week long tour, our focus is always on striving to create something different. It’s really easy in Italy to enjoy a great ride, or have a good pizza or pasta with a good glass of wine, but to experience something different, unexpected, and totally enjoyable, takes travelling with people who have trusted relationships and a sense of adventure in everything they do.
For us, that sense of adventure guides us to create an awesome ride, really interesting and magnificent gastronomic experiences, and through our relationships, be aware of what’s possible. It’s about going the extra mile, riding the extra few km’s or taking the extra time to always enjoy a better, more rewarding experience that nearly always is ‘off the beaten path’.
5. A very local experience
From the carefully selected ride routes, accommodation styles and their locations, to the incredible attention to detail that goes into providing a varied, interesting and authentic food and wine experience, your journey will be truly local.
That’s because we work very closely with our ride partners, accommodation hosts and restaurants we visit. Together, we design ride routes, create menus and select wines with the restaurants we trial, re-test and trust, and include home cooked meals at our villas and farmhouses, where you can join in the visit to the market, the picking from the organic vegetable garden or the cooking (as much or as little as you like!) – because there’s nothing quite like being part of the local fabric of life in Italy, which is so often expressed through food and wine, and the sharing of conversation around the one table.
6. Inclusive of riders and non-riding partners
We appreciate that a cycling tour to Italy is often part of a longer 4-5 week holiday to Europe with partners. That’s why we’ve created a standard with our tours where non-riding partners are always welcome, but more than that, they get to enjoy a tailored non-riding program, hosted by Nancy.
From sightseeing to city tours, cooking classes and market tours, hiking, walking and enjoying outdoor experiences in nature, to whatever it is that our non-riding partners are interested in, we design the non-riding partner tour specifically for them.
Riders and non-riding partners share all breakfasts, dinners and long lunch experiences, making it an inclusive and shared experience for all.
7. You’re covered on the bike
While you’re on the bike, you don’t need to think about a thing. We’ve got you covered with:
1.Exceptional bikes that you are able to hire from our partners, Formigli and Stelbel. You’ll receive a highly spec’ed machine that will deliver performance and comfort beyond your expectation, ensuring that you feel great and safe on the road.
2.Our high guide:rider ratio. Whatever your ability, you’re never left on your own, whether it’s at the front and not knowing which turn to take, or at the back if you’re just taking it easy that day.
3.The broom wagon: We have van support on all rides, with spares and tools, that stays behind the group to help with mechanicals and pick up people who might have had enough for the the day. This is also the perfect place to keep your “day pack” of extra kit.
4.Well thought through rides, with options for a lighter or longer day, depending on your desire.
5.Everything you need for the ride will be within your reach at a moment’s notice.
8. The Australian / Italian Connection
A’QTO is Australian owned and operated and so we understand the level of service and detail our Australian guests expect, while also being Italian, living in Italy for many months of the year, and having a strong Italian sensibility and deep appreciation for quality. Together, we deliver the ideal mix.
For guests who enjoy the comfort of knowing they’ll be looked after on tour, both on and off the bike, and are looking for the most authentic experience, A’QTO delivers at every level.