This week marks 10 years since we joined forces in life and business, and as we reflect on how much A’QTO Cycling has changed and grown over the past 10 years, we’re proud to share some of our journey with you.
When we met at the Alpine Classic cycling event in Bright, Victoria 10 years ago – Damian was selling cycling clothing and Nancy was helping the Feathertop Winery team serve beers and wine – we could not have even dreamt of what was to come. Who would have thought that a fleeting conversation about a desire to spend more time in Italy, a country and culture we both shared a deep passion for individually, would result in the life we are now living.
Over 10 years, the transformation from a niche cycling clothing brand founded by Damian to a boutique Italian cycling tour provider, has seen us take on every challenge, opportunity and risk laid out before us on our path – all the while making decisions that have felt right and have resulted in us achieving our vision of a life, home and business in Italy.
A’QTO has always strived to be much more than just an Italian cycling tour provider. Over the past 7 years, we’ve created a collection of the most immersive and authentic Italian cycling tours imaginable, and most importantly for us, we’ve created a sense of family with our tour guests and our Italian partners. Every detail of our tours is expertly and passionately curated to provide riders and their non-riding partners an experience that rates as one of life’s great adventures.
We feel proud of what we’ve fostered with our A’QTO family over the past two years, and we now look forward to recommencing our tours in Italy in 2022 – with the defining personal touch and attention to detail that we have come to be known for, and with the passion that sees us make the most of all of life’s experiences – in Italy and beyond.
The journey is just beginning.
The A’QTO Family
Creating a sense of family and community is important to both Damian and Nancy. That’s why on our tours, we aim to stay with family run accommodation providers with whom we host in-house, home cooked meals, and employ only ride guides and tour support staff who are Italian, and who stay with us for the full tour. Together we share stories and experiences, and immerse you into the local fabric and culture of the regions we tour.
Post-tour, guests join our Alumni and become active members of our inner circle with whom we continue to share the journey.
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Designed for Riders & Non-Riding Partners
This is because for us, life is about sharing the journey – whether that be with your partner, with a friend or with new-found friends you meet on tour. We design and personally deliver our tours to be inclusive and aim to create easy accessibility to a cycling adventure that is wrapped in the richest of Italian culinary and cultural experiences for riders and non-riders alike.
Respectful, Sustainable Travel
We care about the footprint we leave in Italy.
At A’QTO, we recognise that at the core of what we do are historic places, precious landscapes and an Italian people and culture whom we respect and value immensely. With this, our commitment is to explore different places and ways to enjoy the best of Italy and in doing so, contribute to the wellbeing of the families, businesses and communities we stay with and visit.
This is why we run small group tours, have a rider charter that sees us riding our bikes with respect for others on the road, hire local Italian staff, aim to stay in boutique, family run accommodation, honour local traditions and always eat and drink local.
Our ultimate goal is to ensure that our guests have an amazing experience that is etched in their memories and that together, we recognise and appreciate the value and diversity that fellow group members and our Italian partners bring – immersing and leaving each tour having given as much, and if not more, than we took away. For us, this is sustainable travel.