I4 - From the Dolomites to Venice

I4 - From the Dolomites to Venice
Route details Difficultyaverage Length250 Km Difference m Duration5 tappe Departure point Arrival point Recommended period

From the angular landscapes of the Dolomites to the long stretching views of the lagoon, the panorama you encounter during this striking itinerary gently changes while passing across the soft Alpine foothills of the Treviso area.

The itinerary leaves from Belluno, exploring one of the most varied regions of the Peninsula. From the cyclable paths, among the forests and trails, to the paths that connect one location to another, the network of courses in this zone makes travelling by bike very easy. Upon leaving Belluno, the itinerary then descends along the course of the Piave River towards Cansiglio, from here the fertile Alpago region is reached. The whole course is dotted with small villages with delicious culinary traditions, best paired with local wine.

The Fadalto pass leads to Vittorio Veneto (province of Treviso) and to the Battle Museum, which collects numerous relics from the Great War. Getting back on the road, which enchants with its glimpses into the rural world, the next stop is Conegliano with is beautiful medieval castle. Across Susegana and Montebelluna, the city of Treviso is reached, a cultural centre with precious architectural wonders connected to the Venetian mainland by a breathtaking itinerary along the Sile River.

One week is the recommended time for enjoying the numerous natural and artistic beauties of the territories crossed. The path does not feature significant climbs. Pay attention to traffic in short sections near the cities. The unpaved cycling paths in the woods and along the river Sile are pleasant. We must note the enogastronomic varieties: from alpine flavours to the tastes of the Mediterranean.

Stage 4.1 Cortina d'Ampezzo-Pieve di Cadore - "La lunga via delle Dolomiti"

This itinerary offers a journey that spans from the conifer woods typical of the nordic countries to holm oak woods, spread throughout the Mediterranean area.

The starting point of the itinerary is the Passo Cimabanche mountain pass, a natural watershed between the valleys of Ampezzo and Pusteria, and in the first portion follows the path of "Lunga via delle Dolomiti” cycleway, formed along the former railway line of the Dolomites built during the first world war and decommissioned in1964. The slopes of the path are constant and easily surmounted; the surface is partly dirt and partly paved.

Near Cortina d'Ampezzo the path is also frequented by numerous pedestrians: care is therefore recommended. Having left the famous Ampezzo valley behind us, the trail follows the Boite stream southwards, to San Vito di Cadore, where the massive Monte Antelao faces the unmistakable Monte Pelmo.

At Borca di Cadore the path departs further from the Boite stream, which is lost within the valley. The new cycle bridges and old tunnels allow us to ride safely through the picturesque Cadore towns of Vodo, Venas, Valle and Tai.

In Pieve di Cadore we recommend arriving in time to enjoy a stop of artistic interest; in addition to the house where Tiziano Vecellio, famous renaissance painter, was born the village preserves a considerable number of buildings of historical interest, an archaeological area of Roman origin, a remarkable archidiaconal church and two museums: one on the history of the Magnificent Community of Cadore and one on eyeglasses.

We resume riding to Calalzo di Cadore. At the end of the visit we ride again and easily reach the picturesque village of Calalzo di Cadore, nestled on the shores of the Lago di Centro Cadore lake.

Lunghezza: 48 Km|Difficoltá:easy|

Stage 4.2 Pieve di Cadore-Belluno - "Along the river Piave"

It is the river Piave that guides the visitor along the second leg of the Dolomites - Venice journey, a descending path, welcomed by the bubbling of the waters and refreshed by Cadore forests. We depart from Pieve di Cadore, the town of eyeglasses that overlooks the placid waters of the Lago di Centro Cadore lake.

We ride safely thanks to a new bike path that swiftly leads us to the village of Perarolo di Cadore. At this point the Boite stream flows into the river Piave; the landscape all around is untouched.

At Ospitale di Cadore we pass in front of the entrance of the reserve of Val Montina and gaze reaches the top of Monte Duranno.

Thanks to a beautiful bike path suspended over the river we cross the narrow gorge that precedes the town of Castellavazzo, where it is possible to make a stop to visit the interesting Museum of the Zattieri (Raftsmen) of Piave. The rich exhibition halls present the trades related to the forest and to the river and unveil the secret that allows the city of Venice to float on the lagoon.

After a few kilometres the landscape changes radically, the valley widens and houses the town of Longarone on an exposed slope. The modern architecture on the one hand and the wall of the Vajont Dam on the other remind us of the sad tragedy unleashed by the landslide of Monte Toc.

Returning to the cycle path that follows the river Piave we arrive at Soverzene to then turn off toward Ponte Nelle Alpi in the direction of the capital Belluno, the shining city that is the finish line of this beautiful stage.

Lunghezza: 46 Km|Difficoltá:average|

Stage 4.3 Belluno-Vittorio Veneto - "At the foot of the Cansiglio"

Belluno is located in the green basin of Val Belluna, between the foothills of the Alps and the dolomite peaks of the Schiara range. Bright light, clean air and absolute peace and quiet characterise the atmosphere of this people-friendly city.

Having passed through Piave at a point with some traffic problems, we take the embankment of the Cellina canal, right up to the shores of the Lago di Santa Croce lake. The whole territory of the Alpago is reflected in  the largest lake in the Belluno area. An area with deeply rooted traditions that also includes the ancient forest of Cansiglio, governed by the Republic of Venice to collect timber for the Arsenal.

Near Farra d'Alpago, after a last glance to the peaks of the Dolomites, we get back on the saddle to tackle the longest descent of the journey that unfolds along the Val Lapisina.

The road of the old SS Alemagna has little traffic and passes under the tall viaducts of the highway. Downwards we meet two picturesque stretches of water: the Lago Morto and Lago del Restello lakes.

It is worth stopping at a picnic area by Lago del Restello to closely observe the medieval tower of San Floriano, placed to defend the village of Serravalle, the finish line of our third stage.   

Lunghezza: 44 Km|Difficoltá:average|

Stage 4.4 Vittorio Veneto-Treviso - "Through the hills of Prosecco"

Sitting at the foot of the Alpine foothills of Treviso, Vittorio Veneto is the union of two ancient villages, Ceneda and Serravalle, rich with historical and artistic memories; its recent history is linked to the Great War which saw its epilogue in these places; all testimonies are preserved in the Cenedese Museum and in the Museum of the Battle.

Do not miss the monumental staircase that begins near the Duomo di Serravalle and leads to the Sanctuary of Santa Augusta and the bike path that runs along the river Meschio.

We descend southward and encounter Conegliano, synonymous with good drink, with the vines that adorn its green hills. The landscape is dominated by the castle, now the seat of the Civic Museum, rich in ancient vestiges of medieval times; Conegliano is also known because Giovan Battista Cima was born here, a painter with a mysterious life and exquisite art, as demonstrated by the Altarpiece stored in the Sala dei Battuti of the cathedral. Having passed through Conegliano we  leave Susegana and the Castle of San Salvatore on the right, from where the Counts of Collalto dominated the surrounding fief.

Along the route the view of the expanses of the Veneto countryside makes way for soft alternation of hills at a certain point.

Montello is the last hill that runs along the right of the path until our arrival in Montebelluna; from here it is possible to descend in the direction of Treviso.

Having reached the monumental Porta San Tomaso, we enter the historic centre and we head toward Piazza dei Signori where we can breathe in the sparkling atmosphere of the capital of the brand "Gioiosa et Amorosa".  

Lunghezza: 56 Km|Difficoltá:easy|

Stage 4.5 Treviso-Venice- "Between the Sile and the Piave"

From Treviso we reach the Venetian Lagoon following a river path that offers double value: historical and naturalistic interest.

Canals and irrigation ditches innervate the historic centre enclosed between the renaissance walls. For this reason it is necessary to make some artistic stops before resuming our journey: the cathedral with the Annunciation by Titian, Piazza dei Signori, the Palazzo dei Trecento and the Casa dei Carraresi, home exhibitions and shows.

On the outskirts of the city a path on walkways allows us to visit the Cimitero dei Burci archaeological site where the large vessels of the last century used for commercial transport lie sunken. At Casier, you may notice the huge banks that accompany the large bend on which the main river port of the Sile once lay.

At Casale sul Sile we can see the tall crenellated bell tower and a medieval tower, which testifies to a fortified station to control the waterway.

In Quarto d'Altino, we should make a detour along the ancient route of the Via Claudia Augusta Altinate road to visit the archaeological museum that exhibits numerous finds of the Roman town Altinum. For the return to Venice tourists are free to choose whether to follow the path on land towards Mestre or that on water continuing the course of the Sile, to the open sea, passing by Caposile, Jesolo and Treporti (Treviso - Treporti 68 km).

Lunghezza: 43 Km|Difficoltá:easy|