21 Ultimate Gifts: Tour de Force

    Recognizing that every motorcycle enthusiast should see Europe from the saddle of a bike at least once in his or her lifetime, Lotus Tours presents a way to take this ride in grand style with its Best of Europe—the Ducati Way gift. The tour begins in April 2004 with a day of readiness lessons at Keith Code’s Superbike School at the Laguna Seca racetrack in Monterey, Calif. There, you will sharpen your handling and cornering skills in preparation for the main event, which is scheduled for June 2 through June 16. You and three guests will fly first-class from New York to Bologna, Italy, and pay a visit to the Ducati factory, where you will enjoy a private tour, lunch with Ducati executives and superbike racers, and choose four new motorcycles from among three models: a Multi-strada, a Ducati 999, and a Ducati ST4s ABS. You will also receive Nolan helmets and Bates custom leather riding outfits, complete with boots and gloves. In addition, Lotus will supply shirts, denim jackets, and other clothing embroidered with a special trip logo of your design.

    On June 6, you will enjoy VIP access to the Mugello Grand Prix motorcycle race as the guests of Ducati. Following the race, you will begin an 11-day ride through the Apennine Mountains and the Maritime Alps, winding through Bologna, Florence, Chianti, San Gimignano, Lucca, and Portofino, as well as Monaco and destinations on the French Riviera. Two Lotus guides, one on a motorcycle and the other riding in the luggage van, will lead you on your 2,000-mile journey. Along the way, you and your guests will savor fine food and wine and enjoy winery tours, sight-seeing side trips, and overnight stays at five-star hotels, including Hotel La Collegiata, a renovated 16th-century former Franciscan convent that overlooks the walled city of San Gimignano, and Château de Trigance, a medieval hilltop fortress in Provence. Upon your return home, you will receive three additional Ducati treasures from the collection of Guy Webster: a silver-and-red 1965 250 Diana Mark III with just 20 miles on it, a black-and-gold 1978 900 Supersport, and an original 1979 500SL Pantah that is silver and blue with red accents.

    Price: $304,000

    Contact: Lotus Tours, 312.951.0031, info@lotustours.com

    Air transportation to and from Monterey, Calif., and lodging during the Superbike School session is included with the gift. Transportation to and from New York is not included. The cost of shipping the four new Ducatis home from Europe is included, but the cost of shipping the three vintage bikes is not.

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