Intended to renew the fame and splendour of the Venetian towns which have marked many of the papacies of the 20th century, the Popes’ road leads visitors through silent walks and meditations in the woods of Cadore and the Venetian plain, discovering the places of birth or retreat of several Popes who had special connections to the Veneto region.
The road is constituted of two paths which leave from the mountain areas of Cadore and Agordino to join up at Belluno. From here, the Popes’ road continues across the province of Treviso and arrives to Venice.
The first path starts from Lorenzago di Cadore and Pieve di Cadore, places loved by the Blessed Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and then leading towards Longarone and Belluno, the birthplace of Gregory XVI, born with name of Bartholomeo Alberto Cappellari, and here joins to the eastern path. The latter starts from Canale d’Agordo, birthplace of Albino Luciani (later Pope John Paul I), follows the Cordevole torrent through the Imperina valley, goes along the magnificent Carthusian monastery of Vedana, and finally returns to Belluno.
The Popes’ road then continues to the town of Mel and arrives at Vittorio Veneto, the diocese of Pope Pius X, where the mountains give way to the plains. Here you enter the province of Treviso and reach Riese Pio X, the birthplace of Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, latterly Pope Pius X, the most recent pontiff to be proclaimed a saint, in 1954.
The fifteen stages of the walk between the valleys of the rivers Piave and Cordevole lead to their natural destination: Venice, diocese of patriarch Angelo Roncalli who then became Pope under the name John XXIII.
The great manor can be seen from the road that connects Mel to Lentiai, on the left bank of the River Piave. The structure has mighty, crenellated walls dominated by a high tower and is home to events, educational tours and the famous Perdonanza Festival held every year in July.