Umberto Cena World's Greatest Guides
Raised in the northwest Piedmont, Umberto Cena began his cycling career as a six-year-old, going alone by bicycle to buy milk for his grandmother. He got his first used racing bike at age 13 and took his first cycling vacation, to the Netherlands, when he was 17. With a childhood spent so close to the Alps, it’s not surprising that Umberto also developed a passion for climbing, alpinism, and backcountry skiing. He also worked as a lifeguard and a gardener while studying at the University of Torino.
Umberto speaks five languages and is passionate about travel and exploring new cultures. Over the past decade he has trekked to Annapurna and Everest in Nepal and traveled through many other parts of Asia, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines. He has also biked through Morocco and recently spent three months on a road journey through South America, including Argentina, Bolivia, southern Peru, and Paraguay.
When not on the road or visiting his family back in Italy, Umberto currently splits his time between Vienna and the village of Tulln along the Danube west of the city. He works in a bicycle repair and rental shop with a view of Vienna’s famous giant Ferris wheel and enjoys taking advantage of the city’s many green spaces and endless bike paths, as well as exploring Austria’s many other lovely landscapes.
A guide for Ciclismo since 2010, Umberto leads trips to such diverse destinations as Austria, Croatia, Tuscany, Normandy, and Andalusia. He loves the combination of beautiful places and active exploration followed by a good rest at the end of each day, and says his goal is to enable his guests to experience new places with a “deep but natural immersion and a natural pace.”
In His Own Words
“My passion is traveling and sharing what I know about the world. I also love to read and take pictures. Traveling by bike is a wonderful way to get in touch with the place and the society you’re traveling through. It gives you the chance to speak to people, and to get around in an ecofriendly way.”
“I love to cycle as close as possible to nature. I love tours in southern Europe – Tuscany, Sardinia, Piedmont, Croatia, Spain – for the weather, for the ancient culture, for the food and the wine. The Alps are an amazing landscape for awesome cycling challenges.”
“I hope my guests will return home remembering the pleasure of feeling actively enriched in soul, in body, and – why not? – in taste. And with beautiful pictures in their eyes.”
"Umberto provided many insights into Normandy and cycling. Both men were courteous, kind, helpful, fun etc. One of my special memories was the luncheon they hand prepared for us in Pont L'Eveque."