I3 - Seaside routes

Foto Matteo Danesin
I3 - Seaside routes
Route details Difficultyeasy Length250 Km Difference m Duration5 tappe Departure point Arrival point Recommended period

The long littoral area of Veneto is characterised by landscaped dominated by water: from scenes of the Po River Delta to the fishing valley, reaching the Venetian Lagoon.

The itinerary leaves from the historic centre of Rovigo, a city filled with accounts of a thriving past. From Rovigo, the itinerary heads towards Adria (province of Rovigo) and the Delta of the Po River.

From the Delta of the Po River the path climbs back up towards Chioggia (province of Venice), a town called "little Venice". The trail then reaches the coastal littoral stretch renowned for its long beaches of dolomitic sand and the green pinewood forests, a destination preferred by many tourists that every summer pack the campsites and hotels of Treporti, Cavallino, Jesolo. Eraclea Mare and Caorle.

After having admired the stunning Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Angel in Caorle, the itinerary sets off again towards the final stops, long cyclable paths that cross rustic landscapes, flourishing pinewood forests and lively city centres, finally ending once reaching the lighthouse in Bibione, at the mouth of the Tagliamento River.

The route follows a portion of the European cycle path Eurovelo 8, which proceeds along the Po river on one side and the coast of the Adriatic on the other. There are no dangers nor particular difficulties. Please note that the second stage is longer than the others. Numerous opportunities for navigation on the Delta of the Po and the lagoons of Venice, Caorle and Bibione. It is possible to lengthen the visit to the Po Delta by deviating on the excursion E3.

Stage 3.1 Rovigo-Adria - "From the city of roses to the Delta"

Rovigo, the capital of Polesine, is the best starting point for this itinerary suspended between the youngest lands in Italy and the waters of the river, the lagoon and the sea. After visiting the elegant historic centre where we can admire the towers of the medieval castle, the art gallery of Palazzo Roverella, the innovative Museum of the Great Rivers and the octagonal temple of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso called the Rotonda, we ride along the cycle path of the Adigetto canal.

Having crossed the Canalbianco, we pass Pontecchio Polesine, to then climb the mighty embankments, where the gaze sweeps ove rural landscape dotted with countless oratories.

We will then reach Crespino, with its large square dedicated to the myth of Phaethon. The landscape, rich with lush vegetation and a reference point for a rich bird fauna, accompanies us from Villanova Marchesana to Papozze.

Here, with the southward branching of the Po di Goro from the Po di Venezia, the Delta comes to life: the charming environment is ideal for nesting herons and marsh hawks. At this point we leave the top of the embankment to go ride along a country road toward the historic centre of Adria.

Having crossed the Canalbianco, the path plunges us into this city linked to trade from ancient times favoured by the river port on the Po di Adria, the access way to the Adriatic Sea. The important necropolises preserved in the renewed National Archaeological Museum document the role of the civilisations that preceded the arrival of the Roman Empire.

Lunghezza: 51 Km|Difficoltá:easy|

Stage 3.2 Adria-Rosolina Mare-Chioggia - "Via delle Valli"

The second stage of this amphibian itinerary  is a kind of immersion in the Natural Park of the Po Delta. We leave Adria behind by following the embankment of the Canalbianco, a watercourse still today frequented by commercial and tourist vessels, up to Porto Viro to climb the embankment of the Po River near the great navigation basin that connects the main branch of the river Po di Venezia with the Po di Levante.

In the town of Villaregia cultivated fields give way to fishing valleys. The route continues along a beautiful bicycle accessible road that passes near some pumping stations, a symbol of  the mechanical reclamation that started at the beginning of the twentieth century. The numerous pumping stations still ensure the hydraulic safety, allowing the drainage canals to pour the water into the sea. The path stops at Porto Levante where a boat + bike service allows us to pass to the other shore, near Albarella.

We take the Via delle Valli, a paved road that starts with the Valle Sagreda and the Valle Capitania. In these aquatic environments large colonies of pink flamingos can frequently be observed.

We have now reached the Adige. Before we cross it is possible to follow the water to the mouth, arriving at the beaches of Rosolina Mare and the considerable Botanical Garden of Porto Caleri. Once we have crossed the river we enter the Dogado, i.e. the land of the Doges. The landscape now changes with the Bosco Nordio forest, a precious relic of plane forest surrounded by expanses of fields where Chioggia radicchio is cultivated. The last bridge, over the Brenta, allows us to arrive in the city surrounded by the Lagoon of Lusenzo.

Lunghezza: 75 Km|Difficoltá:average|

Stage 3.3 Chioggia-Cavallino Treporti - "The crossing of the Lagoon"

The third stage begins in Chioggia and crosses the Venice lagoon from the bottom upwards along the strip of land of the islands of Pellestrina and the Lido of Venice. Chioggia, a city of art with a lively identity, is also a famous seaside resort. Having dismounted after the bridge over the lagoon we recommend a visit to the beach of Sottomarina and a stroll along the outer dyke up to the mouth of the port. Private and public services connect one island to another.

The first boarding point is located near the Vigo di Chioggia bridge on the Canale della Vena canal. After about half an hour of navigation we disembark at Pellestrina and follow the cycle path E5 "The Cycle Paths of the Islands". Having left the boat, if time permits, we may continue up to Ca' Roman, at the south end of the island, a site of naturalistic interest where a military fort stood in the nineteenth century. The path is formed on the Murazzi (seawalls) that protect the island from sea storms and is recommended only to expert cyclists.

Continuing north, we pass through the towns of Pellestrina, Portosecco and San Pietro in Volta.  At Santa Maria del Mare a ferry boat service ensures the connection with the nearby island of Lido

After the town of the Alberoni, we encounter Malamocco, a village of ancient houses built around a paved area overlooked by the church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Gothic Palazzo del Podestà . By bike, we proceed toward the pedestrian and bike path of the Murazzi up to the beaches of the Lido, equipped with particular coloured huts. As we cycle along the gaze is captured by the art nouveau buildings in the centre of the Lido while we are directed toward the boarding point of San Nicolò to board the ferry boat heading to Punta Sabbioni.

Once on dry land we recommend a short detour to visit Lio Piccolo, an ancient city nestled in the heart of the North Lagoon, in an area of extraordinary beauty.

Lunghezza: 24 Km|Difficoltá:easy|

Stage 3.4 Cavallino Treporti-Jesolo-Eraclea-Caorle - "Between the Sile and the Tagliamento"

The fourth stage sets off from Cavallino Treporti and extends over the roads that run alongside the lagoon, along the canals that formed the Venetian coastline, the ancient waterway linking Comacchio to Grado.

On the façade of the tollbooth an original headstone shows the toll amounts for each type of boat. Following the winding bends of the Sile we arrive at the Church of S. Giovanni Battista, the oldest of the Basso Piave, around which the historical centre of Jesolo develops.

From here the beaches are a few kilometres away to the south. The route continues toward the river Piave that opens into the sea at Cortellazzo. A characteristic pontoon bridge allows us to cross the river at a point where we will often also encounter the picturesque rocker fishing nets. We soon arrive to Eraclea Mare, another very popular beach in the summer due to the lush shady pinewood and the Laguna del Mort, a precious natural oasis.

In the town of Torre di Fine there is a monumental pumping station, testimony to the great reclamation work of these lands. Continuing to the right we cross a bridge that places us on the road toward Caorle.

Lunghezza: 45 Km|Difficoltá:easy|

Stage 3.5 Caorle-Portogruaro-Bibione - "Beyond the river and into the trees "

After arriving in Caorle we can’t miss a visit to the historical centre: the ancient eleventh century cathedral with the characteristic cylindrical bell tower in the Romanesque style, and the adjoining museum that preserves remarkable works of sacred art. A short distance away, along the seafront promenade embellished with original sculptured rocks, the charming Sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Angelo overlooks the sea.

Following the pleasant cycle path we arrive at Falconera where you can admire the characteristic fishermen's casoni (huts) and the lagoon of Caorle. These highly charming environments even inspired the writer Hemingway who set the novel "Beyond the river and into the trees” here. We resume riding in the direction of the Livenza river that we cross thanks to a characteristic bascule bridge.

After a few kilometres we suggest a stop at Ca' Corniani, a rural village centred around a big farm active that has been active since the end of the eighteenth century. At San Giorgio di Livenza we turn toward the east up to Marango, where the rivers Loncon and Lemene lead into the lagoon in the Bosco delle Lame woods.

We ride through Concordia Sagittaria, a town of Roman origin that preserves an extensive archaeological area and a magnificent cathedral and baptistery to reach Portogruaro, a city of art and wine.

Not to be missed is a visit to the National Concordiese Museum and a rest stop in a tavern in the town centre to taste the wines from Lison Pramaggiore. A possible variant is a nature trail: it runs along the lagoon of Caorle until the naturalistic beach of Valle Vecchia, which can also be reached with a private bike and boat service. The third path goes up to Bibione, one of the most famous beaches in Italy. This is the last destination of the itinerary suspended between the land and the waters of Veneto.

Lunghezza: 54 Km|Difficoltá:easy|