These days, when it comes to booking cycling holidays, you’re likely to be met with an abundance of call centres, confusing internet sites and corporations looking to improve their bottom line. The journey can become overwhelming, and suddenly, locking down a tailored getaway doesn’t seem worth the hassle.

Luckily, Australian pioneer for specialist Italian cycling tours – A’qto Cycling – is resetting the benchmarks, redefining what it means to embark on a challenging adventure.

The team behind these iconic cycling experiences in Italy are real, passionate people who have covered the undulating roads themselves. Spanning across the Italian Alps and the cobblestoned paths of the regional towns in Italy, they know what it means to experience this renowned country in all its glory.

Damian Hancock and Nancy De Losa founded A’qto Cycling to share their experiences. Along the way, they decided to keep booking numbers low and only invite true cycling enthusiasts and also their non riding partners to join them on their trails. The result? A truly remarkable journey that pushes personal boundaries and personal bests.

So, we’re getting to know the founders and what made them decide to lead cycling holidays halfway across the world, all across the remarkable landscapes of Italy.

Damian Hancock

Cycling has been a lifetime passion for Damian, and he is always looking for new experiences and new ways to test himself.

Damian’s journey began as a 12-year-old who was introduced to cycling by his father, who enjoyed riding with his friends a few times each week.

The focus on friendship on the bike, rather than achievements, was an experience that stuck with Damian to this very day.

But his love of cycling goes far beyond the traditional experience. Damian loves the culture, the history and all things vintage – all of which helped pave the path for A’qto Cycling.

Beyond this, Damian loves to get among the stories created on the road, ultimately sharing these like-minded journeys with enthusiasts just like him.

Years of experience in Italy means Damian has many stories and experiences to put forward. He wanted to take people on the same adventures that have shown him the many wonders of Italy.

Nancy De Losa

As the daughter of Italian parents – her mum originating from Napoli and her dad from Alicudi in the Aeolian Islands off Sicily – Nancy has always had a strong connection with the customs, cultures and cuisines of the region.

The dual citizen speaks fluent Italian and her experience lies in her hosting experience and communication skills.

While Damian brings the love of the bike to the A’qto experience, Nancy unlocks all of the great experiences Italy has to offer with the locals, the most luxurious pasta sauces, stories and wine.

She has travelled to Italy almost every year for the last 25 years and is always looking for new experiences to share with the A’qto touring groups.

The moments you will experience on tour, dinner parties and the connection to Italian culture is all due to Nancy’s connection to the land and its people. Beyond this, her ability to host and ensure all guests get the full experience is exceptional – something you won’t identify elsewhere.

Combining a love of riding with a love of cuisine

As well as being an avid cyclist, Damian is also an extremely talented cook, combining his two passions on the tours of Italy.

Damian looks forward to experiencing the rustic, regional cuisine in the little villages that dot the Italian countryside. Fortunately, part of A’qto Cycling’s mission is to not only share the riding experience but the culinary wonders as well.

Years of forging connections with the locals mean that Damian can offer fellow riders the authentic Italian experience. After a hard day in the saddle, there is nothing better than relaxing with the locals and enjoying the most exquisite Italian food washed down with locally produced wine.

Find out more about A’qto Cycling by getting in touch on 0411 543 433.