Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: Part 6 Udine to Grado

Published on:  | Last updated: 10 March 2018

Cyclists on the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg (FVG1) cycleway on the causeway to Grado

the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg (FVG1) cycleway on the causeway to Grado

At a glance

Distance

55 kms

Difficulty/​Terrain

Easy —very gently downhill

Traffic

Quiet roads and traffic-free cycleways

Surface

Mainly tarmac but there is a signi­ficant proportion of unsur­faced road

Signs

Well signed from Cervignano

Map and altitude profile

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Distances
Udine - Palmanova 23kms
Palmanova - Cervignano del Friuli 10.5kms
Cervignano del Friuli- Aquileia 6kms
Aquileia - Grado 11kms

Route description

Udine - Palmanova - Aquileia

The FVG1 continues south from the Piazza della Libertà along the Via Aquileia to the Porta Aquileia gate in the old city walls. From here you cross the Piazzale Gabriele d'Annunzio. Follow the pedes­trian-cyclist route to the other side of the Piazzale almost directly opposite the Porta Aquileia. Cross the road and take the underpass (the Viale Palmanova) that goes under the rail line and comes out onto the via Cernaia where you turn left and then right onto the Via Pradamano which you follow out of Udine.

The section between Udine and Cervignano mainly follows quiet roads - with a signi­ficant proportion on unsur­faced strade bianche 'white roads'. It takes you through several attractive country villages.

Sign for the FVG1/Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg

Sign for the FVG1/​Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg

The next town after Udine is Palmanova. A cycleway alongside the SR352 takes you into the town through the Porta Udine and then along the Borgo Udine to the hexagonal Piazza Grande.

Palmanova's distinctive feature is its star-shaped defensive walls and within them the hexagonal street plan around the hexagonal Piazza Grande. As you'd expect there are elegant bars and cafes where you can enjoy a meal or a drink admiring the square.

Aerial view of Palmanova

Heading out of Palmanova you take the Borgo Aquileia which leads you to the Porta Aquileia - the route makes a sharp left turn, and a small detour which gives you a view of the gates and city rules walls.

There's then an unsur­faced roadside cycleway that alongside the SS 352 then alongside and under the A4 autostrada coming out onto the SP65. Take the next right onto the Via della Chiesa which takes you to Strassoldo. Look out for the signs for the Borgo Rurale which is almost directly in front of you when you come out onto the main road. This is one of the nicest corners of the region - truly a little gem. A village with two 18th century manor houses (the Castello di Sotto and the Castello di Sopra). If you want to know more, there's a guide on the website of the ProLoco Strassoldo: visitare Strassoldo. If you get the chance, be sure to see the 14th-century frescoes in the little church of Santa Maria In Vineis. You could (although I suspect it won't be cheap) stay the night in the Castello di Sopra.

Strassoldo

Strassoldo

From Strassoldo the route takes you to the SR352 and a cycleway that runs beside the road into Cervignano del Friuli. The cycleway ends as you come into the town runs out coming into the town itself. The signs also seemed to disappear, but you basically follow the strada regionale through the town and then pick up the next section of cycleway a little further on. From Cervignano the FVG1 follows the course of the old Cervignano-Aquileia-Belvedere rail line. The cycleway is continuous all the way although you need to cross the road and then cross back again (both crossings have push button-controlled lights). There are also a couple of points where you cross over roads - the cycleway's designers have installed rumble strips as a reminder to take care.

Cyclists on the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg (FVG1) cycleway as it passes Aquileia

Cyclists on the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg (FVG1) cycleway as it passes Aquileia

Aquileia

Aquileia was once one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire until it was destroyed by Attila the Hun. Most of the ancient city remains buried, but the cycleway passes right by the old forum. The old port area is also well worth a look. Aquileia's star sight is the Basilica (cathedral). The original cathedral was burnt down by Attila's army, but fortu­nately, the mosaic floor survived, remaining buried and undis­covered until the nineteenth century. It's free to visit the cathedral, but it's worth putting your hand in your pocket for the admission for the basilica's two crypts: the cripta degli affreschi with its frescoes that date back to the 9th century, and the cripta degli scavi where you can see the remains of the original basilica. Look out for the mosaic of the struggle between the cock and the tortoise (which for the early Christians symbolised light and darkness).

Aquileia mosaics (detail)

Aquileia mosaics (detail)

From Aquileia it's an easy cruise along the cycleway to Grado. The cycleway runs alongside the main road and over the causeway that links Grado with the mainland. The cycleway finishes just before you get to Grado so there's a short stretch over the bridge into Grado itself.

Grado is an attractive place, with a small centro storico that's worth seeking out. It's mainly a tourist destin­ation, but there are still plenty of fishing boats operating out of the harbour. Grado is a pretty bike-friendly - although the popularity of cycling in and around the resort means that the comune has put up quite a few no-cycling signs.

Grado (Friuli-Venezia-Giulia)

Grado (Friuli-Venezia-Giulia)

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs

In Palmanova there's a hotel right on the Piazza Grande (the Hotel Ai Dogi) which scores a9.4 out of 10 on booking.com so if Hotel ai Dogi on Booking.com — so if you fancy indulging yourself for a reasonable price this may be a good choice.

Aquileia is small but has a hotel, the Hotel Patriarchi

There are lots and lots of hotels in Grado.

Find and book places to stay with Booking.com

Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:
Palmanova | Aquileia | Cervignano del Friuli | Grado

About these links

If you use these links to book accom­mod­ation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.

I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirm­ation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accom­mod­ation.

I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the oppor­tunity to let me know if there’s a problem.

Many properties offer free cancel­lation but it’s a good idea to check the condi­tions as these vary from property to property.

Hostels

There's a hostel in Aquileia, the Ostello Domus Augusta which also has reasonably-priced single and double rooms (and triples and quadruples for that matter)

Campsites

My favourite campsite on the route is the Camping Aquileia is a lovely site and offers a special reduced rate for 'bikers'

As you head towards Grado you have the option of the Camping Isola del Paradiso or the Camping Belvedere Pineta

  Map:  CAAR-campsites-map-show campsites map in overlay    |    CAAR-campsites-map-show campsites map in new window   

Transport and services

The most useful station along the way is Cervignano-Aquileia-Grado in Cervignano; it offers direct trains to Udine as well as Trieste and Venezia. See the overview article for more inform­ation.

Buses

According to the website of the SAF regional bus company (af.ud.it: Biciclette)

Sugli autobus di linea di TPL extraurbani è possibile il trasporto gratuito di 1 bicicletta per passeggero, esclusi i tandem, fino al limite massimo consentito dalle capacità delle bagagliere. 

A tal fine, è neces­sario informarsi in anticipo sulla possib­ilità di trasporto (fax 0432.602777 e-mail info@saf.ud.it), indicando un recapito mittente anche telefonico, per la conferma che potrà essere data anche nella giornata del viaggio.

My trans­lation:

Passengers can transport bicycles, excluding tandems, on the extra-urban bus services free of charge. One bike per person, and subject to the amount of available space in the luggage compartment. You must contact the SAF in advance (telephone: +39 0432 602 777, email: info@saf.ud.it), giving your address and a contact phone number. You may only receive the confirm­ation on the day of travel.

Bike shops

I haven't been able to find any bike shops on this section of the route after Udine. The nearest bike shop is in Turriaco near Cervignano del Friuli. There are also several bike shops in Monfalcone or nearby Staranzano and Ronchi dei Legionari.

  Map:  CAAR-bike-shops-mapshow bike shops map in overlay    |    CAAR-bike-shops-mapshow bike shops map in new window   

Resources

Tourist information websites

  • turismofvg.it (it/​en/​de) is the main tourist inform­ation website for the Friuli Venezia Giulia region

Cycling-related websites

Articles in this series


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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