BIKE TOURING THE REPUBLIC OF VENICE | VENETO REGION
In the Veneto Region, the numerous bicycle paths allow cyclists to be in contact with art, culture, gastronomy and natural wonders travelling almost exclusively by bike.
The 'Veneto Venice and the Republic Circuit' itinerary is like an in-depth excursion to the Veneto's breathtaking landscapes: from lagoons and rivers, bucolic hills, countrysides, and cites of art. Each leg is brightened by the different specialties offered by the local cuisine and wine, which is essentially the highest tribute to culture and nature. Trace the old mainland borders of an Empire that lasted 1000 years and all but forgotten today.
Where You Are Riding:
Enjoy riding along bike paths and secondary roads, the last day is slightly rolling hills from Bassano del Grappa to Treviso.
Bicycle Tour Planning
Maps: The Italian Touring Club map Veneto Region has all the roads you would travel. Stopping at Tourist office you will find various local information. This route is projected to be signposted.
Getting To/From Ride: Venice Marco Polo Airport or Mestre Train station (start and finish)
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE BIKE RIDE
DAY 1 - Venice to Chioggia, Lido di Venezia Island Route - 32 km
The first day of riding is structured to be a shorter distance since you will want to take plenty of time to explore during this leg of your journey. If you are staying in Mestre you will want to cross the 'Liberty Bridge' to reach the ferry on Tronchetto. If you are staying in Venice just ride over to the ferry. Taking the ATCV boat over to Lido di Venezia you will get off near the church of San Nicolo, and start your ride toward the northern coast of the island following the E5 itinerary signs. The route is the same as the 'Venetian islands bike route.' On the Island of Lido di Venezia, some great stops include the Church of San Nicolò, the ancient monuments of the Jewish Cemetery. Back in the 10h century, expeditions against pirates started out from the waters lying in front of the former monastery, and on November 8, 1202 it was used for the departure of the Fourth Crusade. For the celebration of Festa della Sensa (Ascension of Crist), a traditional rite symbolizing Venice's union to the sea. Sposalizio del Mare, is still preformed today. The route continues along the Riviera heading towards the lagoon, then across Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, which intersects with all the main streets in the built-up area. You'll find yourself by the beach on Lungomare Marconi in no time, and some of the most prestigious buildings of the tourist area overlooks this seaside drive; the Gran Hotel des Bains, Casino, Palazzo della Mostra del Cinema, and the unique Moorish building of the Grand Hotel Excelsior.
Once out of the center you can ride up on the cycling/walking trail (if you are using a hybrid bike) behind the murazzi, a system of stone embankments set up to protect the island from coastal flooding. On days when the island is more crowded, the inner island route is preferable. this will bring you to the historical town of Malamocco, which has a typically Venetian feel about it, traveling through the call and campielli. After passing through that area, you will come to the Alberoni nature reserve, where you can catch another ferry the island of Pellestrina. After getting off at Santa Maria del Mare, proceed toward the port of San Pietro in Volta with its 18th century church surrounded by garden and fishing huts. Pedaling southward, you will come to Portosecco, where you might find women out making lace by hand in the old tradition. Then you arrive to the picturesque area of Pellestrina with residential building dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. If you are riding a mountain bike you can ride to the southern edge of the island, following the track around the tip of the island, seeing the ancient fort and the Cà Roman natural reserve. From Pellestrina you can take the ACTV water-buses to Chioggia, just a few kilometers away. (Overnight Chioggia)
DAY 2 Chioggia - Abano and Montegrotto Terme, The trail of salt and sugar - 63 kms
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the ancient Church of Sant'Andrea, and the medieval tower are the main sights in the picturesque historical town of Chioggia framed in by typical Venetian alleys and canals. Other must see spots are the colorful fish market, located between piazza and the Canale deli Vena. Aside from seafood, salt is still one of Chioggia's flourishing businesses and it has been since the expansion of the salt pans made it the Adriatic's salt capital many years ago. On this leg, you will make your way down the 'salt route' which goes from the lagoon to the Venetian cities. With the lagoon at your back, you will pass through stretches of farmland sectioned off by a number of artificial canals. In Correzzola, you will reach a 16th century structure of architectural; the Court Benedettina. In this area, the monks undertook great development projects building several farmsteads, which are still inhabited today, to support local agriculture and animal husbandry. The factory is still in operation, and the town has taken on the nickname of 'paese dell zuccero,' (sugar town). You will continue down the left bank of the canal, passing by the once fortified city of Bovolenta, which marks the confluence of waters flowing from Padua to the right, and the Euganean Hills to the left. The route veers off in the direction of the hills which appear on the horizon with their recognizable, pointy silhouettes. The many Venetian villas, of Pontemanco, bridges with impressive masonry, and the former abbey of Santo Stefano are all sights to be admired along the way and attest to the ancient roots of this waterway, now used as a bike path. The route ends in Battaglia Terme, a charming town in the Euganean Hills where an original muse preserves the memory of the navigation along the river. The thermal spas of Abano and Montegrotto Terme are less than 10 km away from here. (Overnight Abano)
DAY 3 Abano Terme - Padua - Vicenza, Between the Euganean and Berici Hills 53 km
If you have the time, enjoy the heated pools in Abano and Montegrotto, and then continue your journey toward Padua. Padua can be reached in about half an hour, via a pleasant bike path along the levee bordering the Battaglia Canal. This man-made canal is one of the oldest in Italy and has the peculiar quality of being dug into farmland. The scenery here also includes Venetian villas, such as the magnificent Villa Molin designed by an architect named Scamozzi. Near Bassanello, where the waters of the Bacchiglione River are divided into three distinct canals, you will follow the one that leads into the city. After having toured the historical city centre, you will have to backtrack along along the main waterway, in the direction of Vicenza. Padua is a city of religion, science, and art. It owes its fame to great figures throughout history; Saint Anthony, whose relics are housed in the Fransciscan style cathedral and worshiped by millions of pilgrims, Galileo Galilei, astrophysicist and professor at the old university, and Giotto, the master of all artists who adorned Padua's churches and buildings with their frescoes in the 15th century. Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel is a must see. The 40 km that separate Padua and Vicenza follow a pleasant route along the levees offering exciting views, first of the Euganean Hills and then the Berici Hills. the former are of volcanic origin, as demonstrated by the unmistakable cone shaped masses covered with woodlands, which rest atop gently sloping terrain with carefully cultivated vineyards. The latter hills, more compact and rounded off, are actually the petrified remnants of a coral reef. Once you have reached Longare, at the foot of the hills, you might want to take an detour towards the village of Costozza, which is adorned with gorgeous Venetian villas. A safe and easy bike path leads you to the Monte Berico Sanctuary, which looks out over the city along with two masterpieces by Andrea Palladio; Vila Capra Valmarana or 'La Rotonda' and the nearby Arco dell Scalette. (Overnight Vicenza)
DAY 4 Vicenza - Marostica - Bassano del Grappa, Meadows and resurgences 45 km
Between Vicenza and Bassano del Grappa, there is a lovely meandering trail offering a wealth of natural and artistic scenery. At the foot of the Asiago Plateau, bicycle tourists can ride around and explore lands that hide underground streams later emerging to create the freshwater springs near Dueville. The area of 'Bosco di Dueville', where the springs of the Bacchiglione Rver are located, is a protected area, some of the area's unique features inched Villa Monza, now housing the municipal offices, Villa da Porto Casarotto and the annexed aristocratic chapel, and villa Da Porto Pedrotti. Continuing along the route you will arrive to Sandrigo, and area that still displays several traces of the ancient agricultural traditions in many rural building that add character to the surrounding countryside, in addition to the impressive vials. Sandrigo has become well known for the traditional preparation of its baccalà all vicentina, a specialty dish made of dried, unsalted cod that is celebrated with a special festival every September. After Sandrigo you will ride to Marostica, which greets visitors with its protective walls and castles. This town has gained worldwide fame for he live chess game held in the beautiful Piazza deli Sacchi every tow years. Marostica's is also known for its local produce, one of the best known is its cherries. there is also a festival dedicated to these every year. This leg comes to an end in the town of Bassano del Grappa, a leading city in the province of Vicenza which never fails to surprise and enchant those who come to explore, with its unique architecture and landscape. Lying on the Brenta River at the foot of Monte Grappa, this city is known for its wooden bridge, which was designed by Palladio and has become a symbol of the Alpini military corps. It is a city to be appreciated, as you wander through the plazas and explore the walls of the Ezzelini Castle or visit the museums and admire the gorgeous view of the Brenta and the mountains from the famous bridge. A nice little glass of grappa at the end of the day will make the perfect reward after you have completed the fourth leg of your trip through the Veneto. (Overnight Bassano del Grappa)
DAY 5 Bassano del Grappa - Treviso, At the foothill of the Asolani Hills. 57 km
The fifth leg starts at the bottom of Monte Grappa. From Bassano, you ride over to San Zenone deli Ezzelini crossing into the province of Treviso. Hills, valleys, and flat-lands alternate creating a new landscape at every turn. On one of the hilltops stands a solitary tower, as the symbol of he town. This is all that remains of the castle once belonging to the powerful Ezzelini family. Flanking you on the left hand side of the roue are the Asolani Hills, where some of the top red and white wines are produced in these enchanting rural setting. Pedaling your way into the heart of the province, you will come to the refined and romantic town of Asolo, 'the icy of a hundred horizons,' which stands out with its fortress dominating the olive and cypress groves. After Asolo, you will find Maser, a village known for the Palladian villa by the same name, a 16th century structure. Once you reach Monteelluna, a bustling modern city, you find it worth your while to visit the Museum of Natural History and Archealogy and the Museo dell Scarpone, housed inside the 16th century villa Binetti-Zuccarea. the latter museum displays collections of the most significant examples from tow centuries' worth of history in mountain boot production. From Montebelluna, you will leave the city atmosphere behind you and in no time find yourself immersed in nature and history again. Crossing the base of the hill of Montello, just outside of Treviso, there are plenty of quick stops to enjoy along your ride. The last section of road passes through the province of Treviso in areas where history mixes with modern times. Some secondary roads quickly lead you to Treviso, the historical centre of which is enclosed by the original protective walls from the Renaissance period. (Overnight Treviso)
DAY 6 Treviso - Mestre, from the Sile River to the Venice Lagoon. 55 km
The last leg takes you out of the city of Treviso to the Sile River, and following its course, you will start your descent toward the Venetian Lagoon. The consistent flow of the Sile's water and moderate current ave always made this river navigable and easily used for water power, as you can note with the presence of the many mills. Along its bands, you will find a series of interesting places to visit, such as; Casier, a centre for trade since ancient times, Castle sul Sile, a strategic point control of traffic along the river and you can still see the 13th century tower built for that purpose by the Carraresi family. This is a great ride for foodies who want to try some of the local specialities of the area. This is the homeland of Radicchio Rosso di Treviso, also called 'spadone', which has been cultivated in Dosson using a special soaking technique since the mid 1800's. The 'Piave Wine Road' runs through parts of this section and there are plenty of vineyards to visit plus the elegant estates that once belonged to the Venetian Republic. Once you have reached Quarto d'Altino, you will be able to smell the scents of the lagoon carried by the breeze, and from here you will find signs towns the ancient road of Via Annia. Not fromthe modern cities centre you will find the archaeological ruins of a Roman city built as a port city. The city was demolished during the Barbaric invasions and the inhabitants took refuge in the lagoon area, which then led to the founding of Venice. The lagoon and the 'Serenissima Republic of Venezian' is your final stop on this route. (Overnight Venice)