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Magazine

Veneto

The Veneto on two wheels: nature in the forefront

5 itineraries between sea, mountains, rivers and hills for a holiday of nature, sport and fine wine.

From the Dolomites to the Venice lagoon, from the Po Delta to the coast, taking in beaches, nature oases, hills and spas: the Veneto is the ideal setting for a greener than ever slow holiday. Not to mention the vineyards producing superb, world famous wines. Five cycling itineraries immersed in nature. Unique landscape scenarios which will also host stages of the Giro d'Italia.

1. The Dolomites - Venice

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A medium-difficulty itinerary embracing a great variety of natural landscapes, from the rocky Dolomites to the plains of the Venice Lagoon. The departure is from Cortina d'Ampezzo, the pearl of the Dolomites (UNESCO World Heritage Site), along the cycle route between woods and peaks descending through the Cadore mountain villages. We then reach Belluno, Conegliano and Vittorio Veneto, amidst the gentle hills around Treviso where Prosecco DOCG wine is made. We cross the River Piave and, skirting around the low peak of Mount Montello, we come to Treviso, a cultural centre of architectural interest. The final stretch flanks the River Sile as far as Mestre and Venice. The total distance is 250 km.

2. The way to the sea

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This easy route follows the long Venetian coast for 250 km, crossing natural areas such as the Po Delta, the fishing valleys, river estuaries, golden beaches and the Venice lagoon. Starting off from the historic centre of Rovigo, we cross the Po Delta Natural Park, between valleys and canals, as far as Chioggia. Then come the islands of Venice and the splendid beaches of Cavallino Treporti, Jesolo, Eraclea and Caorle, with the fishermen's island and the Sanctuary of Madonna dell'Angelo. The panorama changes with the rural landscapes and pine woods leading to the historic centres of Concordia Sagittaria and Portogruaro, terminating at the ancient Bibione lighthouse on the estuary of the River Tagliamento.

3. The Donzella Ring

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A 60-km route ideal for everyone unwinding through the Veneto Regional Park of the Po Delta and its exceptional, uncontaminated nature. Starting from Porto Tolle (also the point of arrival), we cycle along huge embankments and country roads, passing through fishing villages with typical single-storey delta houses and enormous fireplaces, fields planted with rice, cereals and vegetables, and valleys where mussels are farmed and sea bream, sea bass and eels are fished. The beach at Barricata and the Regional Land Reclamation Museum in Ca' Vendramin, housed in an old pumping station, merit a visit. Exploration of the Po Delta can continue along the coastal cycle route sea towards Porto Levante.

4. Euganean Hills Wine Route

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A route through the hills in the search for local flavours, characterized by volcanic land with a vocation for vineyards. Thousand-year-old monasteries, noble villas and Mediaeval cities such as Monselice, Este and Arquà Petrarca are also joined by wine cellars, taverns and farm holiday centres where you can stop and taste local wines, Euganei PDO extra virgin olive oil and Veneto Berico Euganeo PDO ham. We set off from the spas in Abano and Montegrotto, after revitalising mind and body in the spa waters and muds already known to the ancient Romans (as testified by remains in the Euganean Spa Archaeological Park). It is also worth visiting the monumental garden of Valsanzibio Villa Barbarigo, with its fountains, streams, water features and plant mazes.

5. Tour of Prosecco Hills

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A delightful trip from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene and their beautiful old town centres, as well as the irresistible perfume of superb local wines to be tasted along the way: the hill of Cartizze in the heart of the DOCG area where the excellent sparkling wine of the same name is made. The Cerletti Institute - the oldest School of Oenology in Italy founded in 1876 - is also nearby. The tour over these hills takes in villages, hermitages, country churches and noble villas. It is well-worth visiting Molinetto della Croda, a XVII century mill in Refrontolo set in the rock - and example of characteristic local rural architecture. Between summer and autumn, be sure to savour Combai PGI chestnuts, accompanied by a glass of new Prosecco and Verdiso wine.