Published on: 24 February 2017 | Last updated: 29 April 2017
At a glance
A mixture of quiet roads and sections of traffic-free cycleway
Mostly surfaced, but some sections on aggregate cycleways
Map and altitude profile
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|Treviso - Quarto d’Altino||32 kms|
|Quarto d’Altino - Altino||8 kms|
|Altino - Punta Sabbioni||48 kms|
|Altino - Mestre (via Quarto d’Altino)||30 kms|
The Girasile cycleway
The Via Claudia follows the Girasile cycleway along the banks of the river Sile to Casier before turning off at Caberlotto and taking the road the rest of the way to Quarto d'Altino. You now have the option of continuing the cycleway to Quarto d'Altino. The Girasile option is beautiful and traffic-free, but it's a bit longer as the river meanders towards the coast. It's also unsurfaced and the aggregate is fairly coarse, so it's not particularly road-bike friendly.
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.
A little further on from Casier the Via Claudia crosses the river to Cendon and from there continues by road.This connection is dependent on a ferry boat across the river. If there isn't a ferry then you'll need to continue on the Girasile cycleway until it crosses the river near Casale sul Sile. Or you could simply carry on to Quarto d'Altino on the Girasile.
The Via Claudia ends at Altino, eight kilometres from modern-day Quarto d’Altino. You leave Quarto d'Altino by the appropriately-named Via Claudia Augusta and then pick up the Percorso della Memoria — an aggregate-surfaced cycleway/footpath beside the river Zeno. You can also get to Altino by road.
At Altino you can see the remains of the old roman city of Altinum. This was where the old roman road started. Altinum was once a a thriving port city that ranked in importance alongside Ravenna and Aquileia (Venezia was established later by people fleeing to the islands for protection from invaders). Like Aquileia the city was sacked by the the army of Attila in 452. The city seems to have recovered after the invasion, but successive waves of invaders from the north lead to the important church institutions relocating to the safety of the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Depopulation meant that there were fewer people able to maintain the drainage systems and bit by bit the surrounding area returned to marshland. You can visit the modern museum which was opened in September 2015: Museo Archeologico Nazionale Altino (or MANA for short) and see a section of the old roman city street.
Getting to Venezia
Quarto d'Altino is about 22 kilometres from Mestre which is in turn another 8 kilometres from Venezia. The most direct option from Altino is to follow the SS14. However this is the main road to and from Venezia Marco Polo airport so it's not an ideal choice. An alternative is to go back to Quarto d'Altino and than pick up the cycle route that leads from there to Mestre. This route is now the last leg of the München-Venezia cycle route (see München-Venezia: Part 4). (I have included a gpx track and maps for this option in the downloads for the Via Claudia). As a compromise between the two you could take the SS14 over the river Dese and then turn right at the next turning (the Via Paliaga) and then right again onto the Via Litomarino and from there follow the cycle route into Mestre. The cycle route continues south through Mestre and on to Fusina and the Brenta Riviera.
The alternative option is to head for Jesolo on the northern end of the Venetian lagoon, and then follow the edge of the lagoon to the Lido di Venezia or Punta Sabbioni and then take a vaporetto into Venezia itself.
You can of course continue on from the end of the tour. If you end at Altino you can follow the coastline north into Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and on from there to Trieste, following the Islands and Lagoons route of the of the Adriatic Coast route. Alternatively you can follow it south, skirting round the laguna di Venezia to connect with the river Po cycleway.
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs
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 several hostels in Venezia itself but getting to them with a bike could be a problem as bikes are banned from Venezia itself as well as from the traghetti to the main islands.
There are lots of campsites around Venezia.
Transport and services
If you are planning to return by train, DeutscheBahn operate a train service to München (Munich) with a dedicated carriage for bikes. This only applies to departures from Verona - the departures from Venezia only have two spaces per train. For more information see Getting to Italy by train.
Bike shops on this section of the route
- Preganziol: Brunello Loris (Strada Terraglio 405)
- Mestre: Bike Project | Breda Cicli | Voltan Arturo (7/9 Ramo Motta) | Bicimania (Via Torre Belfredo 124) | Samuel Zentilini (Viale San Marco 33/35)
- Mirano (near Mestre): Scavezzon Biciclette
If you know of other bike shops, or you spot a mistake, please let me know.
The route has its own dedicated website viaclaudia.org (de/it/en)with information about accommodation and points of interest along the route as well as shuttle services to take you to the top of the major passes. There’s also a very useful interactive map
General tourist information
Articles in this series
- The Via Claudia in Germany and Austria: Overview
- Via Claudia Part 1: Donauwörth to Landsberg Am Lech
- Via Claudia Part 2: Landsberg am Lech to Füssen
- Via Claudia Part 3: Füssen to Imst
- Via Claudia Part 4: Along the valley of the Inn
- The Via Claudia in Italy: Overview
- Via Claudia Part 5: The Vinschgau
- Via Claudia Part 6: Algund to Trento
- Via Claudia Part 7: Trento to the Lago di Caldonazzo
- Via Claudia 8: San Cristoforo al Lago to Feltre via the Valsugana
- Via Claudia Part 9: the Valsugana cycleway to Bassano del Grappa
- Via Claudia Part 10: San Cristoforo al Lago to Feltre via the Passo Croce d’Aune
- Via Claudia Part 11: Feltre to Treviso
- Via Claudia Part 12: Treviso to Altino (and Venezia
- Via Claudia Part 13: Trento to Verona and Ostiglia