Cyclists have a variety of riding holidays to choose from that take in some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery in the Dolomites.
The professional riders taking part in the 100th Giro d’Italia, which finishes today, whizzed through the stunning Dolomites mountain range in the Alta Badia region.
But nobody will show them off – or make you feel more like a pro – than InGamba Tours, which runs an amazing riding programme for the 5-star La Perla Hotel in Corvara.
Everything about the hotel is charming, from the eccentric owners to the quirky decor and Michelin-starred food. It is like stepping into a small theatre.
And InGamba will quickly get you into the role of a pro cyclist.
In its Pinarello Lounge are thousands of pounds’ worth of carbon-fibre superbikes that are the same make and model as those ridden by Team Sky on the pro circuit.
It even has an F8 Dogma ridden by three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome.
No, you aren’t allowed to ride it but you can borrow your own for however long your legs last.
We shared the mountains with a group of retired Americans who were funny enough to take our minds off how steep the roads were.
Like us, they made no pretence of being brilliant cyclists but gave it their best shot.
And who wouldn’t in surroundings like this?
We even had a team van escorting us up the slopes, with snacks and a mechanic on hand.
How far you ride is up to you.
The tours can be more than 50 miles a day but you can always hop in the van for a rest.
However, the roads are so beautiful, you won’t want to miss a thing.
And there is always a massage at the end of the day to soothe tired limbs.
You might even learn a few things.
The team of guides and mechanics give expert advice along the way.
Former pro Eros Poli lent his expertise by leading our group for two days.
GO: ALTA BADIA
He is a regular on the tours and an absolute gent, patiently answering our silly questions and even sharing his recipe for “La Bomba”.
Think of it as a naughty energy drink for the last half hour of a tough day, when nearing the red line of exhaustion.
It consists of egg yolk, two spoons of sugar, coffee and generous measure of cognac.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova takes a day off to tour Italy's historic Colosseum
Italians live in their own world and cycling in the Alta Badia is like joining it on a temporary visa.
Imagine playing football at the Bernabeu, Old Trafford and the Azteca all in one day.
Never mind riding like a pro.
Just having fun in this location is a real pleasure?