The München-Venezia cycle route: Part 9 Treviso to Venezia

Published on:  | Last updated: 21 August 2019

GiraSile cycleway: boardwalk and sunken boats

GiraSile cycleway: boardwalk and sunken boats

At a glance

Distance

58 kms (main variant Treviso to Venezia). There are two variants via Jesolo these are 75 and 86 kilometres long

Difficulty/​Terrain

Flat/​easy

Traffic

22 kilometres of traffic-free cycleway followed by quiet roads

Surfaces

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.

Signs

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.

Sign for the München-Venezia cycle route on the River Sile

Sign for the München-Venezia cycle route on the River Sile

The final leg of the München-Venezia cycle route mainly follows the beautiful Girasile cycleway, and the Sile river, as it winds its way across the Veneto plain to Mestre. From Mestre, you can take the cycleway that leads over the causeway to Venezia itself.

As well as the main route, there are a couple of options if you want to head for the eastern shore of the Venetian lagoon.

Map and altitude profile

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Distances
Treviso to Quarto d'Altino 25 kms
Quarto d'Altino to Mestre 24 kms
Mestre to Venezia 10 kms

Variants

Variant: Treviso to the Lido di Venezia via Jesolo and Punta Sabbioni (longer route)
Treviso - Musile di Piave 44 kms
Musile di Piave - Jesolo 17 kms
Jesolo - Punta Sabbioni 24 kms
Variant: Treviso to the Lido di Venezia via Jesolo and Punta Sabbioni (shorter route)
Treviso - Quarto d'Altino 25 kms
Quarto d'Altino - Jesolo 27 kms
Jesolo - Punta Sabbioni 24 kms

Options

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 shorter route around the laguna from Quarto d'Altino to Punta Sabbioni. (72 kilometres)

  Map:  München-Venezia-variants-mapshow map in overlay    |  München-Venezia-variants-map  show map in new window   

The main route via Mestre is the shortest, and there's now a protected cycleway on the 3.8 kilometre-long causeway that links Venezia with the Mestre on the terra firma (mainland). But while taking the causeway to Venezia may seem like the obvious choice, the obvious choice isn't always the best one. The cycleway shares the causeway with the main road as well as the rail line and tramway. It's great that cyclists have the option of crossing in safety, but it's certainly not glamorous or romantic: check the Google Streetview images and make up your own mind.

The ban on bikes in most of the Venezia centro storico means that when you arrive you have only very limited options. (If you've come direct to this page and are thinking 'Ban? What ban?', you can read more here in the intro­duction to this guide (italy-cycling-guide.info: München-Venezia cycle route).

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.

Riverside cycleway in the centre of Treviso

Riverside cycleway in the centre of Treviso

Following the Sile river from 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 riverside by the Osteria al Dante, and 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 waterside 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, appeared 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.

Treviso: the GiraSile cycleway

Treviso: the GiraSile cycleway

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.

The GiraSile cycleway (part of the München-Venezia cycle route) near Roncade in the Veneto

The GiraSile cycleway (part of the München-Venezia cycle route) near Roncade in the Veneto

Musestre di Roncade to Mestre

At Musestre di Roncade you cross the river and head for Mestre via Quarto d'Altino. There's another parting of the ways here. There's a cyclist-pedes­trian bridge beside the road bridge, and on the other side there's a cycleway that continues following the river. If you want to go to Mestre then turn right and follow the cycle route on a stretch of road. If you want to go to Jesolo then go left on the riverside cycleway.

The route to Mestre 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 has some excellent two-way protected cycleways into the centre of town. However, it's important to note that there are several zone pedonali (pedes­trian zones) that are off-limits to cyclists. These zones are indicated by the no-bikes signs (a circular sign with a red border and a black bike symbol in the centre). I don't know whether the regula­tions allow you to push your bike in these zones. In the pedes­trian zones where bikes are allowed, you have to ride at walking pace (passo d 'uomo).

The streets affected by these changes include the Via Palazzolo and the Piazza Erminio Ferretto, which are part of the official route — or at least they used to be. My suggested route would be:

  • follow the Viale Garibaldi to the cross­roads with the Via Spalti where you turn left onto cycleway that runs along the Via Spalti and turns right into the Via Caneve and continues on the Via Fapani, passing a little park
  • continue on the Via Fapani the road is one-way, but there's a two-way cycleway
  • the Via Fapani comes to an end at a piazza with a COIN department store on the corner. In front of you, there's the start of a section of zona pedonale with no-bikes signs. It looks to me that the best option here is to go left, and go round to the other side of the COIN building and pick up the cycleway that starts on the Piazza 27 Ottobre. Look for the big 'Le Barche' signs. The cycleway then follows the Via Poerio;
  • cross over the road and follow the cycleway as it turns the corner into the Via Brenta Vecchia;
  • the cycleway on the Via Vecchia Brenta continues alongside the Via Cappuccina, with the tram tracks to your left;
  • continue on the Via Cappuccina for 600 metres to the traffic lights on the junction with the Via Bembo.

At the junction with the Via Bembo you have two options. If you are planning on heading for Venezia itself then the best option is to turn left here and pick up the cycleway that runs beside the road (more detail below). If you want to go to Mestre station, or south from Mestre, then turn right (the road is one-way, but the cycleway beside it is two-way) and then take the next left onto the Via Dante which takes you almost all of the way to the station.

Option to avoid the centre of Mestre

It's possible to avoid the centre of Mestre by turning off the route at Favaro Veneto. A cycleway runs alongside the Via Vallenari for five and a bit kilometres, skirting round Favaro Veneto, and eventually bringing you out onto the Via Torino from where you head for the Porto Marghera station and the cycleway over the causeway to Venezia itself. It's a very straight­forward option, once you've found the start of the cycleway.

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This option might also be worth consid­ering if you are heading for one of the campsites near Mestre.

Mestre to Venezia

There's now an excellent protected cycleway on the 3.8 kilometre-long causeway that links Venezia with the Mestre on the terra firma (mainland). The cycleway shares the causeway with the main road as well as the rail line and tramway. It's great that cyclists have the option of crossing in safety, but it's certainly not glamorous or romantic: check the Google Streetview images and make up you own mind.

The most straight­forward route from the centre of Mestre is to pick up the cycleway beside the Via Bembo which continues on the Via Genova and turns right into the Via Napoli. At the junction with the Via Torino, cross the road and turn right onto the cycleway that runs alongside the Via Torino.

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The ciclabile beside 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 use the underpass at the Porto Marghera station. There should be a canalina on the steps to allow cyclists to push bikes up and down the steps that lead to the underpass.

The most straight­forward route to the station is to turn right onto the Via Linghindal (look out for the stazione sign), and then left at the round­about, and follow the Via Ca' Marcello and Via Paganello to the station.

The cycleway takes you past a large car park on the Via Petroli and turns left at the round­about (Via dell'Idraulica). It then comes out beside the tramway and the main SR211. The road is off-limits to bikes — just in case you're tempted to climb over two sets of barriers to make a right turn.

The cycleway runs on the right-hand side of the causeway for 3.8 kilometres. If you're headed for the Tronchetto ferry terminal take the turning on the right when the cycleway comes to an end, otherwise, rejoin the road for the final stretch. The road continues on the Ponte della Libertà to the Piazzale di Roma 700 metres further on, passing the turning for the San Basilio ferry terminal.

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.

Bikes in Venezia

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, in the centro storico. 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.

Graphic by the Venezia city council showing behaviour that could lead to a fine.

#EnjoyRespectVenezia. Graphic by the Venezia city council showing behaviour that could lead to a fine. Source: comune.venezia.it: Forbidden behaviou

Continuing on from Mestre

If you are planning on continuing from Mestre, the cycleway to the station will take you under the station and then on into neigh­bouring Marghera. Heading south from here can be tricky: whatever you do stay off the SS309. The SS309 is a horrible road used as a short-cut by lorries heading for southern Italy.

You could improvise an inland route, heading south, that stays off the SS309, but really you'd be better off taking the island-hopping route on the islands on the eastern shore of the laguna.

Another option, is to go via Padova — which is well worth the detour. There's a great cycle route that follows the Naviglio del Brenta and takes you to Stra and from there into Padova. The naviglio is also known as the Riviera del Brenta because of the grand palazzi that the Venetian nobility built beside it. You could pick up this route by taking the cycle route that leads to Oriago, but I'd recommend heading for Malcontenta and the Villa Foscari (also called La Malcontenta), built by Antonio Palladio (en.wikipedia.org: Villa Foscari). Continuing from Padova follow the Bacchiglione river as it heads southeast to the coast just south of Chioggia. It's a beautiful, and very peaceful, riverside route, almost entirely on very quiet surfaced roads.

Venezia - approaching the piazza di San Marco by vaporetto

Venezia - approaching the piazza di San Marco by vaporetto

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs

The most expensive option is to stay in the historic centre of Venezia— 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:

Mestre | Venezia | Jesolo | Venezia Lido

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 are lots of hostels in Venezia, but the ban on bikes in Venezia rules these out. There are hostels in Padova and Chioggia.

Campsites

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:

At Mestre there are two sites that are convenient for both Venezia and the train station at Mestre, the Venezia Village and the Camping Rialto. The Rialto offers rental tents and chalets.

  Map of campsites along the route:  MV-campsites-map - show map in overlay    |  MV-campsites-map -   show map in new window   

Transport and services

Trains

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.

Planes

The route passes reasonably 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 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 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.

Venezia: bike-friendly traghetto routes and cycleways. Map by Giovanna Cicogna. From actv.avmspa.it: Venezia: servizi di mobilita' — Bicicletta

Bike shops on this section of the route

If you know of other bike shops, or you spot a mistake, please let me know.

  Map:  MV-bike-shops-map - show bike shops map in overlay    |    MV-bike-shops-map - show bike shops map in new window   

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).

Resources

Cycling-related websites

Tourist information websites

Treviso: cyclist on the the GiraSile cycleway - part of the München-Venezia cycle route

Treviso: cyclist on the the GiraSile cycleway - part of the München-Venezia cycle route

Articles in this series


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