I1 - From Lake Garda to Venice

M.Danesin Foto
I1 - From Lake Garda to Venice
Route details Difficultyeasy Length185 Km Difference m DurationPiù giorni Departure pointGarda Arrival pointVenice Recommended period

The itinerary, which extends from Lake Garda to Venice, offers a panoramic view of the rich history and tradition of the provinces of Verona, Vicenza, Padua and Venice.

Departing from Garda, a historical town on the lake, in the province of Verona, the path connects different cyclable courses along the natural paths of the Adige and Brenta rivers leading to the Venetian mainland. The cyclable path of the Adige River, which ends in Verona, is rich in examples of the Veronese Romanesque art, and crosses through the areas where the fine wines Bardolino and Valpolicella are produced.

On the stretch that connects to Vicenza, the splendid Palladian villas narrate the stories of ancient nobility. From here the bicycle path along the Berica Riviera leads to Padua, home of the innovative artists Giotto and Mantegna, and then re-departs towards Venice, retracing along the Brenta Riviera. It finally arrives in Mestre (Venice), where cyclists can replace bikes with public transportation and reach Venice.

The Bolzano - Lake Garda - Venice bicycle ride has established itself in recent years as one of the most sought after cycle tourism products in Europe.

The routes are mostly paved. There are some pleasant dirt stretches on the bank of the river Bacchiglione.

The proposed trip takes one week; we recommend that you take time to visit the lake and the many artistic cities. There is the possibility to extend the trip by following the excursions E2, E5, E6, E7.

Stage 1.1 Adige River -Verona - "The Via Claudia Augusta"

The cycle path of the Adige is the tourist route that connects Verona and Lake Garda with its network of cycle paths in Trentino Alto Adige. The path also has a strong historical and cultural value because it coincides with a long stretch of the Roman road Via Claudia Augusta.

The landscape of the Adige valley is characterised by majestic rock faces overhead and finely cultivated fields toward the bottom of the valley. Initially we will encounter expanses of apple orchards, then with the first Mediterranean notes, apples give way to vineyards, peach trees, olive trees and corn fields. Along the route we will encounter towns and historical villages that host artistic treasures and cultural and scientific museums.

Continuing in the direction of Verona you can admire the imposing bulk of Monte Baldo on the lakeside and the Valpolicella  area toward the Lessini mountains, land of prestigious wines such as Valpolicella, Amarone and Recioto. With the mountains behind us, we will come across the towns of Pescantina and Bussolengo, once important river ports.

We can get to Verona through the town of Chievo, where we begin our visit to the city famous worldwide for the Roman Arena, the temple of opera music, for the historical sites of the famous legend of love of Romeo and Juliet and the magnificent palaces of the Scaligera regime.

Lunghezza: 49 Km|Difficoltá:easy|

Stage 1.2 Lake Garda-Verona - "Crossing of the Riviera degli Olivi"

The picturesque wetland from Lake Garda is the geological result of the action of the glaciations on the mountains and hills.

The particularly mild climate and the succession of civilisations have concentrated an extraordinary wealth of beauty in this corner of Veneto:  an extremely high biodiversity, gastronomical products of excellence and many enchanting villages.

 Cyclists can book an original cruise from Riva del Garda to Peschiera del Garda or can choose between pleasant deviations that branch off from the bike path of the Adige River to reach the shores of the lake.

Having alighted at Peschiera del Garda we initially follow the course of the river Mincio on a cycle path up to Salionze where we turn off toward Verona following a well signposted cycle path. The path is particularly pleasant as it passes through the gentle morainic hills. In the second case it is possible to reach the lake following other signposted cycle paths that branch off from the bike path of the Adige.

In Rivoli Veronese, a town built at the foot of Monte Baldo, follow the signs to I1 through the Riviera degli Olivi up to the Camaldolese monastery of Bardolino, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the lake. We soon descend along the shore of the lake overlooking the towns of Garda and Bardolino. After having admired the treasures of art and tasted the excellent wines and precious oils turn back in the direction of Verona following the signs for Pastrengo and Calmasino.

Having returned to the Adige cycle path, ride to Verona in full safety by following the cycle tourism signs I1.

Lunghezza: 30 Km|Difficoltá:average|

Stage 1.3 Verona-Vicenza - "In the places of Romeo and Juliet"

The third stage begins from the house of Juliet and heads towards the south of the city, where the Adige river stretches along the plain with ample bends.

After about thirty kilometres we will reach Soave, a walled city with Longobard origins.

Surrounded by carefully cultivated vineyards to produce the prized Soave white wine, the town boasts the presence of numerous farms and vineyards and elegant inns where you can taste wines and typical products.

Once past Montebello two castles soar, one within walking distance from the other,  popularly known as the Juliet's castle, Castello della Bellaguardia and Romeo’s castle, Castello della villa. In these places the legend that inspired Shakespeare to write the famous tragedy took place. Vicenza is now near.

This section takes place along the roads that lead to Brendola at the feet of the Berici hills. The surrounding landscape is enriched with Venetian villas, prelude to the Palladian masterpieces preserved in the Berici capital.

The quiet road climbs up to about 200 meters. This effort will be rewarded by one of the most beautiful landscapes of the itinerary: the entrance to Vicenza from the top of Monte Berico. Near the famous Sanctuary you can see the whole of the city close around the Basilica Palladiana. Having  arrived in the historical centre the magic continues with the harmony of the proportions in the "contrà” (residential streets), squares, palaces, churches and the Teatro Olimpico theatre.

Lunghezza: 63 Km|Difficoltá:average|

Stage 1.4 Vicenza-Padua - "Along the Bacchiglione River"

Resume the ride along the cycle path of the Riviera Berica "Casarotto" and we will reach the Villa Capra Valmarana "La Rotonda” after a few kilometers, one of the masterpieces of Andrea Palladio who, from atop a hill, bids farewell to visitors from Vicenza and directs us toward Longare, at the feet of the Berici hills. The golden thread of the fourth stage is the Bacchiglione, a watercourse that was the main means of communication between Padua and Vicenza.

Within walking distance from the Castle Grimani Sorlini there is another villa, Fogazzaro Colbachini, worthy of a visit because it was the residence of the writer Antonio Fogazzaro and because it preserves an original collection of bells.

 When entering the territory of Padua, three rural villages light up the bike ride. The first is Santa Maria di Veggiano, where there are many notable rustic constructions immersed in a poetic agrarian landscape, then Cervarese Santa Croce, where near an ancient mill, a drawbridge allows us to cross the river and reach the castle of San Martino della Vanezza, which houses the Museum of the river Bacchiglione.

The path continues immersed in the greenery of the river until we arrive at the gates of Padua. We first enter the city along the Scaricatore canal, a watercourse much frequented by Paduans who love sport and then following the cycle paths we enter the large gathering place of the city: Prato della Valle, one of the largest monumental squares in Italy.

Lunghezza: 45 Km|Difficoltá:easy|

Stage 1.5 Padua-Venice - "The Riviera del Brenta"

To understand the authentic spirit that enlivens the city of Santo you have to walk among the stalls of the old fruit and vegetable market of Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta, enter the Palazzo del Bo, home to the ancient university, visit the Basilica of S. Antonio and do not forget to admire Giotto's frescoes in the Cappella degli Scrovegni chapel.

Setting off once more in the direction of Venice we cross the university district of Portello, with the monumental Porta Ognissanti gate, and proceed along the channel Piovego first, and then the Brenta River.

For many centuries these medieval water courses provided a means of communication between Padua and Venice, through the famous Riviera del Brenta.

The beauty of the Venetian architecture rests not only in the numerous noble buildings but also in the rustic houses that, despite having lost the original production functions, still maintain the solemn details of Venetian palaces: variety of chimneys, elaborate cornices and the arcades of the barns.

On our bikes we can travel the same routes and admire the same landscapes that astonished travellers in past centuries: the villa Pisani in Stra, the beautiful centre of Dolo and Villa Foscari, known as "La Malcontenta" at the height of Palladian architecture.

Just beyond this we arrive at Mestre; it is recommended to leave the bicycle at a guarded parking area at the station and reach Venice by train. One of the lagoon city’s peculiarities that make it unique in the world is the fact that it does not permit the use of a bicycle between the narrow lanes and squares.

Venice is the most rewarding conclusion for this architectonic and artistic trip.

Lunghezza: 40 Km|Difficoltá:easy|