Published on: 13 January 2018 | Last updated: 19 May 2019
At a glance
47kms (main variant)
22 kilometres of traffic-free cycleway followed by quiet roads
The GiraSile cycleway is almost entirely aggregate. The cycleway is in good repair and the surfaces are in good condition. It would be do-able with a tourer with reasonable-sized tyres but it is best suited to trekking and mountain bikes.
Well signed. The signs are a combination of München-Venezia signs and Veneto I2/I4 regional signs. In places there are both signs side by side, while elsewhere the M-V signs fill in the gaps in the existing signage.
The final leg of the München-Venezia cycle route mainly follows the Girasile cycleway, and the Sile river, as it winds its way across the Veneto plain Venezia itself. There are some options depending on whether you want to end at Venezia, or on the eastern edge of the Venetian lagoon.
Map and altitude profile
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|Treviso - Quarto d'Altino||22 kms|
|Quarto d'Altino - Mestre||23 kms|
|Mestre centre - Venezia-Mestre station||2 kms|
|Treviso - San Donà di Piave||42 kms|
|San Donà di Piave - Jesolo||26 kms|
|Jesolo - Punta Sabbioni||26 kms|
|Treviso - Quarto d'Altino||22 kms|
|Quarto d'Altino - Jesolo||27 kms|
|Jesolo - Punta Sabbioni||23 kms|
There are three options for the final section:
- one follows the Girasile cycleway along the banks of the Sile river and then on to Mestre (56 kilometres)
- the second turns off the cycleway to head via Jesolo, and Cavallino -Treporti to Punta Sabbioni on the eastern shore of the Venetian lagoon (83 kilometres). Once you get to Punta Sabbioni you can take the number 14 traghetto to the Lido di Venezia.
- the third takes advantage of newly-opened stretches of cycleway beside the river Sile and the Taglio del Sile to offer a slightly more direct route around the laguna from Quarto d'Altino to Punta Sabbioni. (72 kilometres)
The main route via Mestre is the shortest, but while taking the causeway to Venezia may seem like the obvious choice, the obvious choice isn't always the best one: although there's now a cycleway beside the road it's still far from glamorous or romantic.
For my money the best way to see Venezia for the first time is on a boat coming into the city from the sea, so you really aren't missing out on anything if you opt for one of the variants. If you have few days, then I'd head for the eastern shore which would make a great base for visiting Venezia and the islands of the Venetian lagoon.
A compromise option would be to take the car ferry (service number 17) from the Tronchetto terminal (close to the end of the main route) to the Lido di Venezia. For more information see the transport and services section below.
Treviso to Musestre di Roncade
The route out of Treviso is a little tricky because of the one-way system around the Riviera Garibaldi. From what I could see, the best way is to follow the signs into the centre of town and then go through the cobbled vicolo that comes out on the waterside by the Osteria al Dante, then cross the road to the ciclabile by the river. Then, just before the bridge over the river, cross back over the road (there's a crossing) and take the cycleway along the arcade of trees. When you reach the (push-button controlled) crossing, that leads to the water-side turn right and cross the road and turn left. The ciclabile by the river seemed to stop at this point, but going straight on, following the river, seemed to be the easiest option here. Follow the waterside to the start of the Girasile cycleway – it starts just before the railway bridge (you should be able to see the twin circular blue signs about 50 metres away). There’s an I2/I4 sign although the Girasile is numbered E4).
The Girasile is just beautiful. The Girasile park authority and the local authorities in this area have invested a lot of money (€3.75 million) on new and upgraded sections of the cycleway as well as some bridges.
The stretch out of Treviso is popular with runners and walkers (at least it was on a Saturday morning). The cycleway out of Treviso is tarmac surfaced but this gives way to aggregate for most of the 22 kilometres. It is mainly dedicated traffic-free cycleway but there are some sections of quiet road that are restricted to residents (with a 15 kph limit). There's also a section of boardwalk where you have to get off and walk ('Cicli a Mano' signs).
There aren't a whole lot of places to eat and drink along the cycleway itself: the best bet is probably Casier sul Sile, about 6.5 kilometres out of Treviso, where there's a bar and a trattoria.
Musestre di Roncade to Mestre
At Musestre di Roncade you cross the river and head for Mestre via Quarto d'Altino. The route makes a detour to take advantage of two quiet bridges over the Zero and Dese rivers - passing close to the Marco Polo airport.
The final stretch into Mestre was surprisingly quiet. There are a couple of points where you have to go under the rail line and under a main road, but in both cases, the underpass has a separate ciclopedonale.
Mestre, seemed pretty bike-friendly, and coming into town you pick up a cycleway that takes you pretty much all the way to the station - although note that there is a pedestrian-only zone in the Piazza Erminio Ferretto.
Mestre to Venezia
When I rode this section of the route it stopped in Mestre. There's now a cycleway that takes you all the way to Venezia itself. The cycleway follows the Via Torino before going over the railway line and under the main road. It then continues to the causeway where the cycleway is on the right-hand side. The cycleway takes you over the causeway. If you are planning on getting a ferry from the Tronchetto of San Basilio piers then you need to turn right here, otherwise, rejoin the road for the final stretch (of almost 700 metres) over the Ponte della Libertà to the Piazzale di Roma. There are a limited number of bike spaces at the Bici Park on the Ponte della Libertà (see the transport and services section below). See the transport and services section for more information on ferries and bike parking.
Two steps forward … and one step back?
Update: the cycleway on the Via Torino leads to an underpass that takes you under the railway line and road, and on the other side you can pick up the cycleway across the bridge. Unfortunately, the access to the underpass has been closed because of the redevelopment of the station at Porto Marghera. Until the work is completed you need to turn left onto the Via Paganella, heading for the station, and then take the steps that lead to the underpass under the station. At the time of writing (April 2019) the RFI (the company that own the stations and tracks) was due to have installed a canalina on the steps to allow cyclists to push bikes up and down them.
This development follows pressure from the FIAB Mestre the local branch of the Federazione Italiana amici della Bicicletta. If you want to check for any further news on this, their website is the best place to look.
Venezia and bikes
In 2016, the Comune di Venezia extended the ban on cycling in the centro storico (historic centre) so that now you cannot either ride bikes, or push them. If you do, you risk a 100€ fine.
I haven't been able to find a formal definition of the centro storico, but it applies to most of the group of islands at the centre of the Laguna di Venezia. You can still ride to the Piazzale Roma on the main island, and also to the ferry terminals but no further than that. Google Maps and OpenStreetMap maps show the pedestrian-only areas of the city, and it's safest to regard all of these as off-limits — although there is an exception for the area in front of the Santa Lucia train station.
If you want to see it in black and white, see the city's website: comune.venezia.it: Forbidden Behaviour.
And if you want chapter and verse, the ban is in Articolo 28 of the Regolamento di polizia urbana (pdf) which says:
Nel Centro Storico di Venezia è vietata la circolazione dei velocipedi anche se condotti a mano
Note that at the time of writing the city council had just approved a new version of the regolamento.
The regulation provides an exception for residents of Venezia, and children under the age of ten in specific areas. It also gives the police power to impound bikes until the fine is paid.
I don't know how vigorously the ban is enforced, or your chances of not encountering someone from the local police. If you do decide to take the risk, be discreet and pay attention to the other #Enjoy-Respect-Venezia rules. Last year (2018) one unlucky cycle tourist was fined 350€ for a combination of offences.
Options and connections
If you're planning on continuing south there are a couple of options to consider. The first is the eurovelo 8 route that goes via Jesolo and then the islands on the eastern shore of the lagoon and then on to Chioggia on its southern tip. For more information see:
Another alternative is to follow the AdriaBike cycle route which takes you to Padova and then to Chioggia.
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs
The most expensive option is to stay in the historic centre of Venezia. This is quite probably the most expensive place to stay in the whole of Italy. You also have the problem of where to store your bike (although there is now a secure bike park at the Venezia Mestre train station). A more economical option may be to stay on the mainland in Mestre, or on one of the islands on the edge of the lagoon.
Find and book places to stay with Booking.com
Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:
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 are lots of hostels in Venezia, but the ban on bikes in Venezia rules these out. There are hostels in Padova and Chioggia.
There are loads of campsites within reach of Venezia — most are around Cavallino-Treporti, and the Lido di Jesolo. On the mainland, there are a couple of campsites just outside Mestre and another at Fusina further south.
My recommendations would be:
- the Agricamping Al Batéo at Punta Sabbioni
- the Camping San Nicolò at the Lido di Venezia
- the Camping Fusina further south at Fusina
Transport and services
Mestre station is one of the main stations on the Trenitalia network. There are also Eurocity services to Austria and Germany - although you may find it that it's best to get a treno regionale to Verona - the Eurocity services from Verona have more spaces for bikes.
The route passes fairly close to Venezia's Marco Polo airport. I haven't ridden to the airport, but my advice, for what it's worth, would be to head for the airport via Favaro Veneto and Tessera to minimise the amount of time you need to spend on the SS14. Although the SS14 doesn't look too awful (you can check it for yourself on Google Streetview) it's definitely a road to avoid if you can. There's no rail service to the airport itself (the nearest station is at Carpenedo, 6.5kms away).
Ferries from Venezia
From Venezia you can catch ferries to Croatia, Greece and other destinations in the eastern Mediterranean. There are three ferry terminals:
- the Venezia Terminal Passeggeri
- the San Basilio pier
- the Venice RO Port 'Motorways of the Sea' ferry terminal at Fusina
The San Basilio jetty and Venezia Terminal Passeggeri are a short distance apart in Venezia itself, while the ferry terminal at Fusina is 10 kilometres south of Venezia — so be sure to check which terminal the ship leaves from before you book or make other travel arrangements.
Reaching the three terminals is relatively straightforward, but it's worth checking the map first.
The cycleway from Mestre, which runs beside the SR11 road across the causeway that links Venezia with the mainland, brings you to the port area. You'll need to get information from your ferry operator on which of the terminal buildings you should head for. Don't follow the signs for the 'ferry-lido' as this takes you over a bridge to the Tronchetto ferry terminal.
To get to the San Basilio pier, you need to take the Calle Dietro ai Magazzini from the junction with the Ponte della Libertà.
Venice RO Port 'Motorways of the Sea' ferry terminal is at Fusina, about 10 kilometres south of Mestre. (Note that there are two ferry terminals at Fusina — the other just offers a passenger ferry to Venezia).
Getting the Venice RO Port is pretty straightforward, but if you don't do anything else be sure to stay off the SS309. This is on my list of The Most Horrible Roads in Italy. The route I would suggest is to take the cycleway that goes under the Mestre station, and then continue through Marghera heading for the village of Malcontenta, and then take the SP23 (Via Moranzani). A slightly longer, but possibly more scenic option is to follow the cycle route on the right bank of the Naviglio del Brenta and then cross back over and head for the ferry terminal.
At Malcontenta you definitely should make the short detour to see the Villa Foscari ('La Malcontenta') designed by the architect Andrea Palladio. If you don't have much time you can just admire it from the waterside, but it's worth the visit to see the frescoes in the reception rooms.
Boat and ferry services on the Laguna di Venezia
The Tronchetto to Lido di Venezia car ferry
Bikes are allowed onto the number 17 car ferry service that runs from the terminal on Tronchetto island to the Lido di Venezia. For more information about the 'Ferry Boat' service see: actv.avmspa.it: actv-ferry-boat. There's an ACTV ticket office on the Tronchetto.
The service runs every 50 minutes. I think that tickets cost €7.50 plus €1 for your bike. You should be able to download the pdf timetable from this page: muoversi.venezia.it: orari servizio di navigazione or from actv.avmspa.it: timetable download page.
Other boat services on the Laguna di Venezia
Apart from the number 17 ferry service, you can take bikes on only two of the ACTV vaporetti services on the Laguna di Venezia
- the number 14 (Punta Sabbioni to the Lido di Venezia)
- the number 11 (Lido di Venezia to Chioggia)
On Saturdays and public holidays the number 11 service between Pellestrina and Chioggia is reinforced by a dedicated service for cicloturisti. The boat can carry 40 bikes, and sails 6 times a day. There may be additional services on other days - download the timetable for details.
You can download the timetables as pdfs from actv.avmspa.it: timetable download page.
In addition to the ACTV services there are privately-run services from the Fusina ferry terminal (note this is separate from the Fusina port). On Saturdays, you can take their boat service from Fusina to Alberoni on the eastern edge of the lagoon. Note: you need to call reserve your place. For timetable and contact details go to terminalfusina.it.
Bike shops on this section of the route
- Mestre Bike Project | Breda Cicli | Voltan Arturo (7/9 Ramo Motta) | Bicimania (Via Torre Belfredo 124) | Samuel Zentilini (Viale San Marco 33/35) | Biesse Cicli
- Mirano (near Mestre): Scavezzon Biciclette
If you know of other bike shops, or you spot a mistake, please let me know.
Bike parking and luggage storage in Venezia
If you are planning to spend a few days in Venezia, the best option is to find accommodation in Mestre, or on one of the islands, that has somewhere to store your bike.
There's a Bici Park (bike parking facility) near Mestre station actv.avmspa.it: bicycle park Mestre Venezia. From the pictures I've seen, the Mestre facility looks pretty secure, or at least it's staffed, and the access is controlled. The cost is €0.5 per day. Note: you can't leave bikes overnight — the Bici Park closes at 19:00 and all bikes must be removed by 19:30.
In Venezia itself, there is parking for 25 bikes beside the Autorimessa Comunale (municipal car-park) at Ponte della Libertà (entry to the right of the vehicles entrance). The operators emphasise that it is not guarded or monitored by CCTV.
For luggage storage, there's a Deposito Bagagli (Left Luggage office) at Venezia Mestre station and also at Venezia Santa Lucia. Charges: (per item) €6 for the first 5 hours then €1 per hour for the next seven hours, and and €0.50 for every hour after the first twelve. For more information go to: grandistazioni.it: Venezia Mestre Left Luggage or veneziasantalucia.it: Left- Luggage.
Trasbagagli is a private company offering luggage handling and storage services around the city (including at the airport and ferry terminal). I don't know if they can store bikes (please let me know if you do know).
- veneto.eu has an excellent Bike Tourism section with information about the regional routes (en/fr/de/it/es/pt/pl/jp.
Tourist information websites
- the major tourist information site for the Veneto is veneto.eu (en/fr/de/it/es/pt/pl/jp)
- parcosile.it, the website for the parco naturale regionale, has a useful accommodation listing: parcosile.it: Where to Sleep
- turismovenezia.it (it/en/de) is the official website for the city of Venezia
- you can download a map of traghetti and ferry routes from muoversi.venezia.it: Maps, and download timetables for the individual lines from this page: muoversi.venezia.it: timetables.
Articles in this series
- München-Venezia Overview
- München-Venezia: 1: München to Achenkirch
- München-Venezia: 2: Achenkirch to Hall-in-Tirol
- München-Venezia: 3: Hall-in-Tirol to Brenner
- München-Venezia: 4: Brenner to Fortezza Franzensfeste
- München-Venezia: 5: the PusterTal (Fortezza Franzensfeste to Toblach)
- München-Venezia: 6: the Ciclabile delle Dolomiti
- München-Venezia: 7: the Via Alemagna (Sotto Castello di Cadore to the Lago di Santa Croce)
- München-Venezia: 8: the Lago di Santa Croce to Treviso
- München-Venezia: 9: Treviso to Venezia