Published on: 12 March 2013 | Last updated: 2 April 2017
As well as four national/international routes the Veneto has four regional routes that offer the possibility of putting together a tour within the region - or you could combine them with the long-distance routes.
In addition to the long-distance routes there are lots of cycleways and cycle routes that offer lost of possibilities for day-rides.
National and international routes
There are four major through routes in the Veneto region.
- The Ciclopista del Sole (part of eurovelo 7);
- The Ciclovia Tirrenica
- The Ciclovia del Po e delle Lagune (part of eurovelo 8)
- The Via Claudia Augusta
The Ciclopista del Sole
The Ciclopista del Sole is a major national route that goes from the border with Austria to Rome, via Firenze, and on from there to Sicilia (although the section south between Napoli and Sicilia has not yet been mapped). The Veneto section is called the Ciclabile della Valle dell'Adige Sole. The cycle route in the Veneto is predominantly on surfaced, traffic-free, cycleways. With the exception of a couple of small climbs and they are pretty much completely flat as well. The national route goes south to Peschiera del Garda (where you pick up the Ciclabile del Mincio to Mantova) while the Valle dell'Adige Sole continues to Verona.
Map of the Ciclopista del Sole and the Valle dell'Adige Sole cycleway to Verona:
Read more: The Ciclopista del Sole (eurovelo 7).
The Ciclovia Tirrenica
Some people make Verona their final destination - DeutscheBahn offer a bike-friendly train service to München (Munich) from Verona (see Getting to Italy by Train for timetable links). If you are continuing on from Verona there are a couple of options. The first is to take the Bicitalia Ciclovia Tirrenica (warning: site may be very slow to load). This cycle route goes from Verona to Mantova and then Parma before crossing the Apennines and reaching the coast of Toscana. It then follows the coast to Rome (but the final section has not yet been mapped).
Alternatively you can stay with the Adige river. Once you’ve made it through Verona, there’s a lovely asphalt cycleway along the right bank which leads for kilometre after kilometre along the river embankment to the border with the provincia of Rovigo. The bad news (at least for those with narrower tyres) is that from here on the going gets rougher - with about 75 percent of the route on unsurfaced roads. If the going does get too rough then of course there’s nothing to stop you crossing over and following the roads on the left bank. Read more: The Adige from the Mountains to the Sea.
The Ciclovia del Po e delle Lagune (part of eurovelo 8)
The other eurovelo route through the Veneto is the Ciclovia del Po e delle Lagune (The Po and Lagoons cycleway). The local name in the Veneto is the Ciclovia delle Isole (the Islands Cycleway). It follows the Po to the Adriatic coast, skirts round the eastern side of Venezia hopping between the islands of the Venetian lagoon before heading on into Friuli Venezia Giulia from where you can go north into Austria or east into Slovenia. Heading south this route connects with the river routes of the Po, the Adige and Brenta - or of course you can continue south to Ravenna. Read more: Islands and Lagoons of the Adriatic Coast.
New: I've just published a detailed guide to the route. Read more: eurovelo 8 in Italy
The Via Claudia Augusta
The Via Claudia Augusta is a popular international cycle route that starts at Donauwörth in southern Germany and comes into Italy at the Reschenpass and from there either to the Po or to Venezia. The Via Claudia Augusta meets the Ciclopista del Sole at Bozen (Bolzano) and the two routes continue together, following the Adige river, until the city of Trento. At Trento you have the choice of continuing along the Adige to Ostiglia on the Po, or heading for the Lago di Caldonazzo, where you pick up the Ciclabile del Valsugana (Valsugana cycleway also called the ciclabile del Brenta) which follows the Brenta river south through a dramatic gorge to Bassano del Grappa. If you are following the Via Claudia Augusta you turn off towards Feltre and Treviso, but ou could stick with the river and head down towards the Brenta riviera and along the passing some of the greatest of the villas of the Veneto.
New: I've just published a detailed guide to the route. Read more: Via Claudia Augusta: overview.
National and international routes overview map
In addition to the major through routes there are a number of local and regional routes developed by the Regione Veneto in collaboration with the local branches of the Italian cyclists organisation FIAB (Federazione Italiana della Bici). These are good-quality routes using a mixture of quiet roads and cycleways - highly recommended. The routes provide an essential alternative in an area where the main roads can get very busy. You can of course combine more than one route and do them in whichever direction you prefer. The veneto.to routes take in almost all the main towns of the area (Feltre is the major omission) so you can mix and match.
The Anello del Veneto
The Anello del Veneto (Veneto ring) is a 317-kilometre-long circular tour of the Veneto passing through Venezia, Treviso, Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza Padova and Chioggia. The route is mainly on quiet roads, or makes use of canal and riverside towpaths. If you wanted an accessible introduction to the cities of the Veneto this would be a great starting-point. The route is convenient for both the Treviso and Venezia Marco Polo airports.
Garda to Venezia
The Lago di Garda to Venezia route is a 191-kilometre tour that goes from the Lago di Garda to Venezia (or at least Mestre) via Verona, Vicenza and Padova. You could combine this tour with the Ciclopista del Sole or the Lakes of Lombardia routes.
A note on Venezia: Venezia is an attractive end point for a tour, but the road on the causeway into Venezia is very dull and bikes are banned within Venezia proper. I think the best bet is to head for the islands on the eastern edge of the lagoon and then take a vaporetto to the main island. The best way to first see the Piazza di San Marco is from the lagoon. Alternatively, you could follow the Brenta river to Mira and then take a boat from Fusina.
The Via del Mare
The Via del Mare is a 256-kilometre route starting in Rovigo and then following the Po to the coast and then husks the coastline skirting the eastern side of the Venetian lagoon and then continuing on towards Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.
Dolomiti - Venezia
The Dolomiti - Venezia a route starts from Cortina d’Ampezzo, and heading south passing through Belluno, Vittorio Veneto, Conegliano, Treviso, before reaching Venezia. Again you could combine this with an international route by following the Ciclabile delle Dolomiti on to Toblach (Dobbiaco) in the Südtirol.
Regional routes overview map
Local routes and cycleways
The region has been making a significant investment in cycleways. Perhaps the jewel in the crown is the Ciclabile delle Dolomiti (formerly the Lunga via Delle Dolomiti) - probably Italy's most scenic cycleway. This route follows the route of the old railway line of the Trenino delle Dolomiti connecting Calalzo in the Piave valley with Toblach (Dobbiaco) on the other side of the mountains (total distance 64kms). From Calalzo to Cortina the route is almost completely tarmac - with a short section before you get into Cortina. And then as you leave Cortina it simply stops - as if the money ran out. The route between Cortina and Toblach is very scenic but those with wider tyres are going to be much happier than those without them.
Anello della Donzella
The Anello della Donzella is a 70-kilometre circular route in the flatlands on the coast south of Chioggia, on the border with the Veneto. As you would expect, it's completely flat. I loved the peace and tranquillity of this area, but services are relatively limited. You could do this as a day-ride but you might need a car to get to the start of the ride.
This cycleway goes through the park/nature reserve on the banks of the river Sile. It follows the river for 35 kilometres from Treviso to the coast.
The Anello Cicloturistico del Grappa
This is a 108-kilometre circular signposted route on quiet roads between Bassano del Grappa and Feltre. It's a moderately challenging route but with no really big climbs. As well as the two main towns it also passes through Possagno del Grappa the home town of of the sculptor Canova. Canova's house has been turned into an excellent museum with an extraordinary collection of the plaster casts and models he made as preparation for the final sculptures.
For some reason the tourism promotion people seem to have forgotten about this route, but it's definitely there and definitely worth doing. It's also mapped on OpenStreetMap.
The Lunga Via delle Dolomiti (continuation)
From the end of the Lunga Via delle Dolomiti cycleway, at Calalzo di Cadore you can pick up another signed on-road route which leads down the Piave valley. Confusingly this is also called the Lunga Via delle Dolomiti. This is a signed route and the signs are still there but it also seems to have been forgotten. The route continues on from Calalzo along the old Via Allemania post road which provided the main link with Austria. Stretches of the old road follow the gorge cut by the Piave river, and is truly spectacular. It offers two options: on continues on to Feltre via the village of Cesiomaggiore - the 'village of cycling' where the streets are named after famous cyclists> There's an excellent cycling museum (Museo Storico della Bicicletta - it/en/de). If you're in the village at the weekend or a Wednesday, it's well worth a visit. The second option goes to Farra d'Alpago and the Lago di Santa Croce.
This route offers a way to fill the gap in the veneto.to Dolomiti-Venezia route.
The Ciclovia delle Isole
This is the section of the Via del Mare route between Chioggia and the Lido di Venezia which can be ridden as a day-ride. Veneto.to suggest ending the ride at the Lido and then catching the ferry to the Venezia Santa Lucia train station, but you could also retrace your steps (although you need to pay attention to ferry times). For more information, see Island-hopping on the Venetian Lagoon on this site.
Ciclabile del Mincio
The Ciclabile del Mincio is another section of a long-distance route that is also very popular as a day-ride. It follows the river Mincio from Peschiera del Garda to Mantova in Lombardia. It is traffic-free and well sign-posted. There are rail stations at either end.
Local cycle routes and cycleways overview map
Click on the route for further information. Links open in a new window. To switch between map and terrain view click 'Map' in the top right-hand corner, and then check/uncheck the 'Terrain' checkbox. Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.
National and international routes
Note: links to the Bicitalia website may be slow to load. Try using a different browser.
Regional and local routes
Although some sections of these routes are signposted, detailed roadbooks and guides are available to download from the website as well as gpx track files. They are also pretty well-mapped on OpenStreetMap digital maps. Route leaflets with maps are available from tourist information offices. Alternatively there’s a book that brings together all of the routes on the website - at 6 euros it’s very good value and probably the best resource for planning a tour in the area. The only downside is the weight.
The ciclabile Valle dell Adige
There's a video (11:38 min) about the Ciclabile Valle dell'Adige Sole. It's in Italian but it will give you a pretty good idea of what the cycleway is like. (Credit: Verona Report).
The Lunga via delle Dolomiti
A promotional video for the Lunga Via delle Dolomiti
The Ciclabile del Mincio
Girolibero are based in Vicenza and offer lots of tours in and around the area. Cycling in the Veneto I came across a lot of people doing their tours. (This is not a sponsored link, nor a recommendation).
Get in touch
Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.
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