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Cycling around the historic and artistic beauties of the Veneto

Many cycling itineraries reveal the beauties of the Veneto, passing through cities of art and mountain & lakeside villages: here are five taking in art, history and traditions.

From cities of art to characteristic villages, from sea to lake, from historic villas to mountain traditions - the Veneto offers so many cycling itineraries for tourists complete with stop-offs to savour renowned local wines. Here are five not-to-be-missed, easy and extremely interesting routes. A delightful setting that will even welcome stages of the Giro d'Italia.

 

1. Circuit around the Veneto

 

Cycling through the valleys - Veneto

Cycling through the valleys. Photo by: Regione del Veneto

A complete, very varied and easy itinerary (305 km) around the region, starting and ending in Venice for enchanting explorations while wandering between streets, bridges, canals and historic buildings. From Venice, the "Ciclovia delle Isole" cycle route unwinds between the sea and the lagoon as far the characteristic town of Chioggia, and then turns towards Padua and the ancient spas in Abano and Montegrotto. Stops-offs include Vicenza, with its historic centre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and Treviso, the capital of red chicory and Prosecco, with nearby Asolo (included in the list of Italy's most beautiful villages), and Montebelluna, at the feet of Montello. We return to the lagoon along the GiraSile riverside cycle path.

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2. From Garda to Venice

 

Cycling around Lake Garda - Veneto

Cycling around Lake Garda. Photo by: Regione del Veneto

This itinerary sets off from the shores of Lake Garda and follows a special cycle route through the main cities of the region and their local areas: Verona, Vicenza, Padua and Venice - authentic treasures of art, architecture and history to be explored in all their magnificence. Starting off from the town of Garda reflected in the lake, we cycle along the Adige, Bacchiglione and Brenta riversides, crossing the homelands of the excellent Bardolino, Valpolicella and Soave wines before reaching Venice along the Riviera del Brenta. The 185 km itinerary is suitable for everyone.

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3. Palladian landscapes

 

Villa Almerico Capra, also knwon as

Villa Almerico Capra, also knwon as "La Rotonda", Vicenza

Art and nature come together in this gentle cycling itinerary in the Vicenza area (only 30 km), revealing wonderful rural landscapes dotted with renowned Palladian villas. Leaving the elegant suburbs of Vicenza cycling along the Riviera Berica, we reach the relaxing countryside at the feet of the Berici Hills and thence one villa after another. Among all of them, absolutely don't miss Villa Capra Valmarana, known as La Rotonda, with its view of the Sanctuary of Monte Berico in the distance, and Villa Pojana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The route continues to Lake Fimon or else crosses the countryside between the Berici Hills and the Euganean Hills, before returning to Vicenza.

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4. Grappa and chess: from Bassano to Marostica

 

Ponte degli Alpini, Bassano del Grappa - Veneto

Ponte degli Alpini, Bassano del Grappa

The many itineraries of the Ciclovia del Brenta cycling network along the Vicenza banks of the River Brenta and across the entire province especially include the one between the cities of art of Marostica and Bassano del Grappa, embracing Mediaeval atmospheres and sites of the Great War. Marostica is surrounded by imposing ancient walls and is well known for its traditional "live" game of chess played in the town square, held every two years on the second weekend of September. Bassano boasts the famous Ponte degli Alpini by Palladio, to be admired even while sipping a glass of the famous local “graspa”. The route is entirely in the countryside, mainly flat and consequently suitable for everyone.

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5. Circuit of the Euganean Hills

 

Santuario delle Sette Chiese, Monselice - Veneto

Santuario delle Sette Chiese, Monselice

An easy, 63-km circuit around the soft outlines of the Euganean Hills Regional Park, from Este to Abano Terme. The historic villas set in fairy-tale gardens, castles, abbeys and ancient villages also include Monselice with its Jubilee Sanctuary of the Seven Churches promenade on Mount Rocca, Vo' Vecchio with its rural atmosphere of times gone by, Este with its XIV century castle and the nearby Geo-Palaeontological Museum of the Euganean Hills. The route also crosses Euganean vineyards, where red and fragrant Moscato Fior d'Arancio wines are made, as far as the spas in Abano and Montegrotto for a regenerating break.

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For more itineraries, see: Bike Tourism in Veneto