Eroica California Brings World Spotlight To Paso Robles

You’ll only need a few minutes in the Paso Robles Downtown Park to see that Eroica California is so much more than just a cycling event. Most of us probably remember when the Tour of California professional race finished in Downtown, the fast finish, and subsequently quick exit by the cyclists and supporters as they moved on to the next location. For Eroica California, it’s all about soaking up the Paso Robles atmosphere and enjoying every moment of the weekend.

If there’s truly one thing that stands out the most about Eroica California, it would have to be the cultural collection from all over the world that is brought together in Paso Robles for this one weekend each year. Even though the event is built around celebrating the simplicity of bicycle equipment from before 1987, it’s really the culture inspired from Tuscany that helps create a full weekend experience for cyclists and non-cyclists alike.

Eroica California gets its roots from the original Tuscan Eroica event that goes back 21 years and is held in Gaiole in Chianti. Those familiar with the region could tell you it shares many similarities with Paso Robles, from the wine to the cuisine, to the gorgeous grassy, rolling hills. In fact, it’s the connection between the two Eroica events that have officially brought Paso Robles and Gaiole in Chianti together as sister cities. During the Eroica weekend Cenicero, Spain will be added as a third sister city in a ceremony where mayors from all three cities will be in attendance.

One of the weekend’s highlights will surely be the Saturday evening dinner prepared by an all-star culinary team that includes Michelin star chef Vincenzo Guarino from Chianti, who’s coming to Paso Robles just for the event, and well-known Los Angeles-based chef Sal Marino of Marino Ristorante. Marco and Saro Rizzo from Cafe Roma SLO will also be assisting in the meal preparations, creating a collaboration between the California and Italian chefs to deliver a Tuscan meal experience paired with local wine and beer selections. Tickets to the dinner, and a coinciding auction that directly benefits Hospice of SLO County, are available to anyone who wants to be a part of such a remarkable opportunity. Toscana Promozione Turistica can be credited with lining up such a chef as Guarino, and they will be in Paso Robles to share information on Tuscany.

As the cyclists depart Paso Robles Downtown Park early Sunday morning on one of four routes through the wine country and out to the coast, the festival will be open to those who want to enjoy music in the park and visit with local vendors. For more information visit