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Area with nicest countryside--Assisi, Veneto or Emilia?

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My husband and I are still (we've had lots of different ideas we've been tossing around and discarding) trying to plan a 1st half of October trip. We know we want to do a cycle tour that is relatively easy for seniors. We'd originally thought Puglia, and then we considered Croatia. Now we've kind of backed off those ideas and have found a few intriguing tours in other areas run by small, independent operators rather than the larger mega-size companies that seem to dominate self-guided cycling tours in Europe. I am looking at three different possibilities and would like some feedback on how interesting the areas themselves are. Or, if you think overall it is better choice, tell me to take another look at Puglia.

We are not looking for major tourist sites and don't need to do what everyone else seems to do. Lesser visited areas are fine if they are quality and meet our needs. What we are looking for is interesting scenery with some small, charming towns to visit while we bike during the day. If there are a couple nice tourist sites we could visit, that would be a bonus but not critical. What we are more looking for is overall ambiance of the area. We prefer lots of cute small towns over just riding in the agricultural fields, and we prefer smaller towns rather than having to cycle into major cities that have lots of traffic and congestion.

We are also (I think) planning to spend at least a week in Liguria on this trip.Obviously, some of these areas more easily fit into that itinerary than others, but that is not our prime concern. We've been to Venice several times and really like it. It might be a possibility again for a few days. Finding the right area to bike in is what we are really focusing on right now, and then we'll work on the rest of the trip.

Here are the three very different ideas (the asterisk is by the place we'd be staying overnight.):

Umbria--
"This is cycling over quiet country roads among the sunny, colourful fields with a beautiful backdrop of hills covered with silver-green olive groves and fertile vineyards. This not-too-heavy cycle tour will lead you to lively, medieval villages and towns of the green valley 'Valle Umbra' like Assisi, Spello, Foligno, Spoleto, Bevagna and Perugia and because of the shorter daily distances you will have enough time to visit them." The roundtrip tour is Assisi*, Spello, Foligno, Casco dell'acqua*, Spoleto*, Bevagna*, Torgiano*, Viole, and back to Assisi*.

http://www.ecologicotours.it/valle_umbra_leisure.htm


Emilia--
"The castles of Piacenza and Parma. A cycle holiday through the provinces of Piacenza and Parma, two fascinating areas with beautiful castles. You will make acquaintance of the culture, the exceptional wines of the Colli Piacentini and amazing gastronomy. You cycle on winding roads along tranquil hamlets, through the flat land of Parmesan and valleys with beautiful nature. You can choose to cycle the last couple of days across hills with breathtaking views." The roundtrip tour is Rivergaro*, Cirte Maggiore, option to see Cremora, Villanova, San Pietro in Cerro*, Polesine Parmense*, Fontevivo*, Busseto, Soragna, San Secondo Parmense, Fontanellato, Castell'Arquato*, Lugagnano, Carpaneto Piacentino*, and back to Rivergaro*.

https://onderweegsinitalie.nl/eng/tour/cycling-holiday-italy-emilia-8-days-deluxe/


Veneto--
"Cycling through the heart of Veneto, along beautiful mansions and authentic Castle towns. You will visit the two impressive cities Padova and Vicenza, where you can admire beautiful buildings and art treasures. Enjoy the natural beauty and of the lovely Euganean Hills, which as wooded pyramids rising out of the plain."This roundtrip tour is Pionbino Dese* (20k west of Treviso), Noale, Padua*, Conselve, Monselice, Este*, MontagnanaAltaura, Noventa Vicentina, Vincenza*, Zugliano, Marostica*, Bassano di Grappa, and back to Piombino Dese*.

https://onderweegsinitalie.nl/eng/tour/cycling-holiday-italy-venice-8-days-round-trip/


If anyone has any insights or knows these areas or can comment or make comparisons for me, I'd really appreciate it. I know many of yo u have probably visited these area and know them well.

Thanks much.

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