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The Lakes & Great Climbs of Italy


Have you ever wanted to test yourself against the most famous mountains in Italy? Climbs like the Gavia, the Stelvio, and the Mortirolo have made cycling history and are the reason that most cycling aficionados consider the Giro d’Italia to be the world’s most beautiful race.

This part of Italy is home to some of the best roads anywhere in the world, many of which run straight up against the crystal clear waters of Lake Garda, Lake Idro and Lake Iseo. It’s also renowned for its food and wine, so there will be plenty to look forward to after each unforgettable day in the saddle.

We’ll take on all the famous ascents and also introduce you to some hidden gems, climbs that are reserved for those in the know. You’ll need your mountain legs for this trip, but don’t let the altitude intimidate you. We pride ourselves on having the best team of guides and mechanics in the business, so you can ride comfortably at your own pace, knowing that there will always be someone right beside you with encouragement and advice, whenever you need it.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • Custom Castelli × inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included

**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:


Finish Location:


Days Riding:


Group Size:

8 – 14

Total Distance:


Total Elevation:


Longest Day:

Day 3. Val Vestino – Lake Iseo. 92km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 3. Val Vestino – Lake Iseo. 2,208m


Day by Day Breakdown



Benvenuti in Italia! There's no such thing as a flat ride on this trip, but this route is a gentle introduction to the area, which should give you plenty of time to shake out those legs and make sure your bike is perfect. If something isn't quite right, this is the day to dial it in with your mechanic. From the east, the climb to the summit of Marciaga, overlooking Lake Garda, is relatively easy, and is followed by an exciting descent to the waterfront.


The largest lake in the country, Lake Garda is a perennial favorite of the rich and famous, who have flocked here since Roman times for the incredible views, calm waters and perfect climate. Our ride will begin with a rolling path at the beginning to the feet of the Lumini climb. A heart pounding descent to the lake.

Val Vestino – Lake Iseo

Our ride will start with a short 20 minute drive to Torri del Benaco and a ferry to the western side of Lake Garda before saying goodbye, and climbing over the ridge to the west. In all, there are three major climbs today and none of them are particularly easy. Our first and biggest climb and descent brings us to Lake Idro, the highest sub alpine lake in Trentino. The Araba Fenice Hotel, our destination for the evening on the eastern shore of Lake Iseo is the perfect place to relax.

Iseo Loop

According to poplar legend, Leonardo da Vinci stayed on the shores of Lake Iseo between 1499 and 1500. Some art critics argue that part of the background of his most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, portrays the mountains that surround the lake. Hopefully we'll find our own inspiration as we explore them by bike!

Passo Gavia

Today is a big day, as we climb one of the most legendary peaks in all of cycling. The famous photo of Andy Hampsten riding in ski goggles en route to his Giro d’Italia win in 1988 is a testament to the grinta required to tackle such a formidable climb. The entire ascent is 20km – not including the lead up to the base along the valley floor, which gains 700m before the real climb starts – and gains 1,350m, bringing us to an elevation of 2,620m at the summit, where we'll stop for a well-earned panino.

Passo dell'Umbrail & Passo dello Stelvio

This is our Queen Stage. It's less than 50 kilometers long – but comes with almost 3,000 meters of climbing. We'll have a 2km warm up through the center of Bormio before beginning our ascent of the infamous Passo dello Stelvio. On our first ascent from the west we actually don’t quite reach the summit, but take a left turn to Switzerland and the descent of Passo dell’Umbrail. Then it’s up again for the full ascent of the Stelvio from the east, 24km long and climbing 1,800m to the summit, the highest paved road in Italy.


This is our final morning together and after a leisurely breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye, or at least arrivederci, until we meet again. Transfers to the airport will be arranged by our hard-working crew but if you’re planning on staying a few extra days, let us know if we can help with reservations or a few recommendations. 

YOUR Guides

Eros Poli

The Champion

The night before Eros Poli took victory atop Mont Ventoux he couldn’t sleep. It was not like he was dreaming of victory or even had the slightest idea the next day's stage would change his life forever. It was just that it was hot. Unbearably, unsleepably hot in his less-than stellar French hotel. His roommate had taken his mattress off the bed and was sleeping on the small balcony outside their room. And the man who would shortly become known as Monsieur Ventoux was watching football, Italy vs. Brazil in the World Cup final, to be exact. Italy lost. The following morning as Eros dragged his weary, tired legs out of bed and down the stairs, as there was no lift, James Brown came into his head. “I feel good, I knew that I would now,” started to repeat over and over in his head. As it would the rest of the day. He felt good and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sérgio Paulinho

After an impressive pro career that started back in 2003, Sérgio Paulinho joined the inGamba team at the start of 2022 after his retirement. But we've known him for a long time, as not only did he race against our founder João Correia, but he was also a teammate of our star guide Manuel Cardoso back in the day. A two-time national champion in Portugal, Sérgio has also won stages at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, and in 2004, he won a silver medal in the road race at the Athens Olympics. So it's fair to say the man has pedigree! It isn't the racing victories that impress us most about Sérgio though, it's his personality, his friendly nature on and off the bike, and the fact that he's always ready with a smile. That said, if you find yourself running out of gas on a big climb, it certainly helps to have someone like him beside you!




Pinarello Dogma F


ZIPP Service Course SL




Speedplay (or your own)


Selle Italia


Zipp 303 S Carbon Tubeless


Vittoria Corsa


Elite Custom Race


Elite Corsa Team


Garmin Edge 1030