Published on: 6 February 2018 | Last updated: 22 December 2019
At a glance
Easy —very gently downhill
Quiet roads and traffic-free cycleways
Mainly tarmac but there is a significant proportion of unsurfaced road
Well signed from Cervignano
Map and altitude profile
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|Udine - Palmanova||23kms|
|Palmanova - Cervignano del Friuli||10.5kms|
|Cervignano del Friuli- Aquileia||6kms|
|Aquileia - Grado||11kms|
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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)
My favourite campsite on the route is the Camping Aquileia is a lovely site and offers a special reduced rate for ‘bikers’
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org), indicando un recapito mittente anche telefonico, per la conferma che potrà essere data anche nella giornata del viaggio.
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: email@example.com), giving your address and a contact phone number. You may only receive the confirmation on the day of travel.
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.
Tourist information websites
- turismofvg.it (it/en/de) is the main tourist information website for the Friuli Venezia Giulia region
- alpe-adria-radweg.com (it/en/de) is the official website for the route. There’s also a useful app that was updated for 2018
- ciclovia-alpeadria-radweg.eu (it/en/de) is the website of the maintained by Mario Saccomano for the Friends of the Alpe Adria Cycling Route. It’s definitely worth checking out before you travel for news about the Italian section of the route
- pistaciclabilealpeadria.it is the website produced by the cooperativa who run the Stazione di Chiusaforte bar-ristorante. They have recently published a pocket guide to the Italian section of the Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg (it/en) — for more information to (pistaciclabilealpeadria.it: guidebook)
- turismofvg.it (it/en/de) has a section dedicated to cycling: turismofvg.it: Bike including information about the Ciclovia Alpe Adria Radweg: turismofvg.it: Alpe-Adria cycle track
Articles in this series
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg Overview
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: 1: Salzburg to Werfen
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg:2: Werfen to Böckstein
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: 3 Mallnitz to Villach and Tarvisio
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: 4: Tarvisio to Venzone
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: 5: Venzone to Udine
- Ciclovia Alpe-Adria Radweg: 6: Udine to Grado