An Outing in Italy W&L Outing Club's latest international trip took 15 cyclists on a bike tour through Italy.
The Outing Club at Washington and Lee University is one of the busiest and most popular clubs on campus, but the fun and adventure don’t stop when classes end. During school breaks, the club has offered trips to such places as Costa Rica, Belize, Kilimanjaro, Ecuador, Peru and Slovenia.
This year, from May 26-June 4, W&L Director of Outdoor Education and Recreation James Dick led a group of students, alumni and parents on a bike trip across Italy, from the Dolomites to Venice. The group of 15 cyclists took in some of Italy’s most breathtaking scenery as they pushed themselves from village to village on the 10-day trek.
The group included nine women from the Class of 2018 who wanted to treat themselves to a post-Commencement vacation. “Two girls talked to James about the bike trip and it seemed like a great option,” said Hayley Price ’18. “Quickly more and more people signed up because it combined sightseeing, constant activity and time to explore a new country.”
The tour began in Niederdorf/Toblack, then took cyclists through the Hohlenstein Valley to Cortina d’Ampezzo, where they took a day off to do a via ferrata (Italian for “iron way”), which is a protected climbing trail through the mountains that requires wearing a harness and helmet and tying into cables or ropes for the most tricky stretches. For the remainder of the trip, they traveled quiet side roads through the villages of Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Feltre, Bassano del Grappa, Asolo and Treviso, ending the tour in Venice.
Throughout the trip, the group enjoyed stunning views of Italian villages and countryside, including glacier-fed lakes and wine country. They stopped for luncheon picnics of meats, cheeses and other delectable local fare, and treated themselves to gelato and cappuccinos, as well as restaurant meals, after long, exhausting days of riding.
“We had a couple long days where people were gassed at the end. You are out on a bike for six to seven hours, stopping and taking pics and eating snacks,” Dick said.
On the final night, in Venice, the group dined together one last time and raised a glass to new and old friends, and new adventures.
“I saw a new country in a way I never had before,” Price said. “Biking through Italy allowed me to meet more local people, see smaller towns and go to more authentic places. I would recommend anyone to travel this way because you can experience the country outside of the tourist destinations.”
Click here for more information about the W&L Outing Club.
Thanks to James Dick and trip members for sharing a few of their photos: