Val di Sole cycleway Pista ciclabile della Val di Sole

Published on:  | Last updated: 9 September 2019

Cyclists on the Val di Sole cycleway near Pellizzano

Cyclists on the Val di Sole cycleway near Pellizzano

At a glance

Distance

34 kilometres

Difficulty/​terrain

Mainly easy but there are some short climbs.

Traffic

Almost entirely traffic-free except for a couple of short stretches through villages.

Surfaces

Entirely on paved cycleways or roads.

Signposting

Well signposted.

Public transport

There are several train stations along the eastern part of route; these are supple­mented by a bicibus service.

Notes

Distance: this guide isn't divided into daily stages, as people differ in how fast and how far they want to travel each day.

'Traffic-free': many cycle routes include sections with roads with restricted access for residents or people working on the adjoining land. You may, very occasionally, encounter an agricul­tural vehicle like a tractor pulling a trailer of hay, but most of the time there is no motorised traffic. They are often indis­tin­guishable from the cycleways that are legally set aside for the exclusive use of cyclists and pedes­trians.


Getting there and getting back

There's a train service from Trento to Mezzana, 12 kilometres from the start of the cycleway at Cogolo. There's a connecting bus service, although it doesn't run every day, and doesn't connect with every train.

Bikes on the Trentino Trasporti train to Mezzana

Bikes on the Trentino Trasporti train to Mezzana

Options

You can ride the route in either direction.

Many people ride the ciclabile as an out-and-back loop from one of the train stations on the route, for example, Mezzana or Dimaro.

The start of the cycleway is at Cogolo (1160m), but if you fancy something more challenging, you could climb by road to the lovely old village of Peio (altitude 1580m).

The official end of the cycleway is at Mostizzolo, but access to the station is a bit tricky, as it involves a left turn onto a main road and then a short section on the road. If you're planning on catching the train back, the most accessible altern­ative stations are at Croviana and Malè.

Cyclist on the Val di Sole cycleway climbing towards  Cogolo

Cyclist on the Val di Sole cycleway climbing towards Cogolo

Map and altitude profile

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Distances
Cogolo - Fucine di Ossana 6 kms
Fucine di Ossana - Pelizzano 3 kms
Pelizzano - Mezzana (train station) 3 kms
Mezzana - Dimaro 7 kms
Dimaro to Cavizzana 6 kms
Cavizzana to end 6 kms

About this table

The table doesn't neces­sarily show the distances from one city centre to the centre of the next town — if a route skirts around a town the distances are measured to the nearest point on the route from the centre.



In more detail

Cogolo to Fucine di Ossana

The route starts near to the resort-village of Cogolo. While you're in Cogolo, it's worth making a short detour to check out the frescoes on the village church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo.

Frescoes on the Chiesa di San Filippo e San Giacomo in Cogolo

Frescoes on the Chiesa di San Filippo e San Giacomo in Cogolo

You should be able to pick up a map of the cycle route from the tourist office on the Via Roma, in the same building as the municipio (council offices).

The access point for the cycleway is just as you come into Cogolo look for the signs for the pista ciclabile on your left-hand side as well as a sign for the Localita' Plaza. You go down a very short slope and over a bridge over the Torrent Nero river. After the bridge, there's a fairly sharp climb up the valley side for a half kilometre. Once you're at the top, it's a downhill cruise towards Fucine d'Ossana.

As you approach Fucine, look out for the castle (the Castel San Michele) on the hill on the heights of the river. The castle is open during the summer.

At Fucine there's a tricky crossing over the main SS42 road — you need to turn right and then ride the main road for a bit under 50 metres before turning left and into the village. The official route then turns left at the little square with a water fountain in front of the tourist office, but you might just as well continue straight on and cross over the river, and on then turn left, heading for the entrance to the Camping Cevedale.

Fucine di Ossana to Dimaro

From here, you stay on the right bank of the river (looking downriver) until you get to Dimaro.

The cycleway takes you past the campsite reception and bar, and under the yellow bridge that links the two halves of the campsite. You then follow the river for a short stretch, before turning inland, and passing the rafting centre (where there's a friendly bar).

After the rafting centre, the next stop is Pellizzano a couple of kilometres further on. As you come into the village make a sharp right just before you get to a bridge over the river.

Pellizzano is one of the few villages that the cycleway actually passes through, and it's a gem. The highlight is the church of Santa Maria della Natività, with its wood-shingled roof — on your left as you come into the pretty piazza in the village centre. Look for the painting of the Annunciation on the portico of the church, and the other frescos on its ceiling. These were painted by Simone Baschenis in 1530. Simone Baschenis was a member of a family of painters who worked on churches in this area for over two centuries. Inside the church are frescoes painted by two other members of the dynasty, Giovanni and Battista, 60 years before.

Fresco of the Annunciation on the façade of the Chiesa della Natività di Maria in Pellizzano

Fresco of the Annunciation on the façade of the Chiesa della Natività di Maria in Pellizzano

On your right, as you leave the village, is the BiciGrill Pellizzano. From here the cycleway continues on the right bank of the Noce to the Mezzana station 3.3 kilometres from Pellizzano. Mezzana itself is on the other side of the river and the main road.

The cycleway mainly keeps to the right bank of the river, passing three more stations. The most useful is probably the Daolasa station where there are a bar-cafe, and baby-changing facil­ities. A little further on, you cross the river and come to a picnic/​play area.

Just under 3 kilometres on from here you come into Dimaro, the largest town on the route. The town centre is to your right on the other side of a large round­about. The cycleway itself turns left to cross over the river and go past Dimaro's train station.

Cardboard custout of a waving farmer. Seen from the Val di Sole cycleway near Pellizzano

Cardboard custout of a waving farmer. Seen from the Val di Sole cycleway near Pellizzano

Cyclists on the Val di Sole cycleway near almazzago

Cyclists on the Val di Sole cycleway near Almazzago

Dimaro to Malè

From Dimaro the cycleway follows the left bank of the Torrente Noce with a two-kilometre stretch immedi­ately beside the river.

Monclassico

A bit under a kilometre and a half from Dimaro you come to a junction with the road. To the right, there's a bridge over the river, and to the left, the road leads to a level crossing, and on from there into Monclassico. The cycleway continues straight on, but Monclassico is worth a short detour to see its collection of over 50 meridiane (sundials).

The sundials are the work of a cultural associ­ation formed by villagers in 2002. Each year five artists are invited to create meridians in the village in collab­or­ation with the villagers and gnomonisti (sundial experts — the English word is gnomonist). Most of the sundials are murals on houses and other buildings. Each one also has a motto, my favourite is:

Si muove l’ombra al ritmo della vita. Il tempo è sinfonia, le ore sue note

(The shadow moves to the rhythm of life. Time is the symphony; the hours are its notes).

You can find a map and a picture gallery on the website the village's Associazione Le Meridiane (meridianemonclassico.it). There's also lots of inform­ation about the artists, and about gnomonica.

The cycleway continues, following the left bank of the river.

Croviana

Outside Croviana you come to a junction. The cycleway goes straight on, but if you want to visit the village, or go to the train station, the road to the left (the Via al Molin) leads to a bridge that takes you safely over the SS42. There's a direct route to the station from the bridge. On the other side of the bridge, there's also a picnic area and water fountain.

Cyclists on the Val di Sole cycleway near Croviana

Cyclists on the Val di Sole cycleway near Croviana

You could also make a short detour in the other direction. Heading to the right, the Via al Molin takes you over the river and to an old watermill (the name means 'way to the mill'). The mill has now been converted into a museum: the Mulino Museo dell'Ape (MMape) — the mill-museum of the bee (mmape.it). The museum was closed when I went past, but according to its website it is captioned throughout in English as well as Italian, and they also offer guided tours in English. It also gets top five-star reviews on TripAdvisor.

There's also a bar (the Paint Bar) a little way further along the river bank.

About 700 metres further on the cycleway goes under a bridge as it passes Malè. You can exit here if you want to go into the village, or go to the station. On the other side of the bridge is the Trentino Wild rafting centre/​adventure park which advertises a Bici-Grill with a workshop for bike repairs (as well as a bar-restaurant and accom­mod­ation).

The Torrent Noce seen from the Val di Sole cycleway near Piano

The Torrent Noce seen from the Val di Sole cycleway near Piano

Malè to Mostizzolo

Up to this point, the route has been pretty much an uninter­rupted cruise with a gentle downhill gradient. In the next section there's a lot more salis­cendo (up-and-down). The route also crosses back over the river and follows the right bank of the Torrente Noce.

Look out for the impressive Castel Caldes on the heights on the other side of the river. Built to control the trade through the Val di Sole, the castle was owned by the Thun family. In its tower there's a frescoed room called la prigione di Olinda. The legend is that the frescoes are the work of Marianna Elisabetta Thun who was imprisoned here by her father after having fallen in love with the court minstrel. According to the legend, she also died here.

From here the route takes you past the village of Cavizzana. The is the only village on this side of the river on this section of the route.

The cycleway is nearing the junction between the Val di Sole and Val di Non. The Val di Non is one of Italy's major apple-growing areas, and the woodland of the upper sections of the route gives way to fields planted with precisely laid-out lines of apple trees.

At about the 6 kilometres mark, there's a short sharp climb that takes you up to a road where you turn left, and the cycleway runs beside the road for a short way heading downhill before continuing on, following the signs for Mostizzolo. If you want to visit Cavizzana cross the road and head straight on.

The last six kilometres are pretty uneventful as the cycleway follows the wooded valley side on towards Mostizzolo.

The route comes to a pretty abrupt end at a junction with the SS43. If you want to go to the station at Mostizzolo, you need to turn left, cross over the river, and then left again at the junction with the SS42.

Alternatively, you could follow the SS42 as it climbs towards Fondo in the Alta Val di Non and on from there to the Südtirol. You could also turn right and take the SS43 to the pretty town of Cles. I wouldn't recommend taking the road on from Cles as traffic funnels into a narrow corridor near Mezzolombardo.

There's a bar-ristor­ante/pan­i­noteca (sandwich bar) on the corner on the other side of the bridge. It also has accom­mod­ation.

Apple plantations in the Val di Sole, seen from the Val di Sole cycleway near Cavizzana

Apple plant­a­tions in the Val di Sole, seen from the Val di Sole cycleway near Cavizzana

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs etc

This is a well-estab­lished tourist area, with several ski areas, so there are plenty of hotels and other accom­mod­ation available. Most of the tourist inform­ation websites on this section of the route have accom­mod­ation listings:

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.

Hostels

So far as I know, there are no hostels in the area.

Campsites

The campsites along the route are:

  • the Camping Val di Sole (near Cogolo)
  • the Camping Cevedale at Fucine di Ossana. Right on the cycleway.
  • the Agricampeggio ai Gaggi is between Pellizzano and Mezzana. Note that it is closed in May and October.
  • the Camping Dolomiti was hit by flooding and a massive mudslide at the end of October 2018. At the time of writing (early 2019), it is unclear when, or whether, it will reopen, so please check the website for more inform­ation.

Transport and services

Trains and buses

The Val di Sole cycleway is served by a combin­ation of trains and a bicibusservice. The trains terminate at Mezzana, and you can get a connecting bicibus from there to Peio at the start of the route — although many people go to Mezzana or one of the other stations, and ride a loop.

The trains are operated by the regional train company Trentino Trasporti. The normal trains have spaces for four bikes, but in summer there are special services that have spaces for 18 bikes. These run a couple of times a day in either direction. In addition to the trains from Trento, there are also trains that run from Mostizzolo, close to the end of the route, to Mezzana. During the summer there are four trains a day with a carriage that takes up to 60 bikes.

Access to the station at Mostizzolo is a bit tricky, as it involves a left turn onto a main road and then a short section on the road. If you're planning on catching the train back, the most accessible altern­ative stations are at Croviana and Malè.

Bike tickets cost 2€ (2018). So far as I know, you can't reserve bike spaces. If you're staying in the area, ask your accom­mod­ation provider about a Trentino Guest Card. These give you free transport during your stay.

Note that the Trentino Trasporti station is next door to the main station in Trento.

Trentino Trasporti train at Mezzana station

Trentino Trasporti train at Mezzana station

Bike shops and bike rental

Bike shops

Places to eat and drink

There are lots of drinking water fountains along the route.

Most of the villages in the valley are on the main road, and the cycleway bypasses them. Options for getting something to eat or drink on the route itself including:

  • Cogolo (kilometre 0): there are lots of places to eat and drink in the village
  • Fucine d'Ossana (kilometre 6): probably the best option is the bar at the Eurorafting rafting centre
  • Pellizzano (kilometre 9): there are a couple of bars on the main Piazza Santa Maria, as well as the Bicigrill on the way out of the village
  • Daolasa (kilometre 16): there's a bar beside the train station
  • Dimaro (kilometre 19): there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants in the centre of the village, but it means negoti­ating the round­about on the main road
  • Croviana (kilometre 23): there's a small bar (the Paint Bar) at the paintball centre on the other side of the river from the cycleway
  • Malè (kilometre 24): there ae several places to eat and drink in the village itself, which is relat­ively accessible from the cycleway (there's an underpass to take you under the main road)
  • Caldes (kilometre 27): there's a bar at the Trentino Wild rafting/​outdoor sports centre
  • Mostizzolo (kilometre 34): there's a bar-paninoteca close to the end of the cycleway

Guest Cards

If you're spending time in the region, it's worth checking out the Trentino Guest Card. The major benefits for cyclists are free use of the train and bicibus services, as well as free entry to many museums and other attrac­tions.

The card is available from parti­cip­ating accom­mod­ation providers (including hostels and campsites). For a list see: visittrentino.info: Guest Card: parti­cip­ating accom­mod­ation providers . You need to be staying for a minimum of two nights — but the website also suggests that you ask about the card even if you are only staying for a single night, as you can buy it for a very special price. If you're planning on doing a lot of sight­seeing, you can also buy the card for 40€ for a week.

There's a pdf map/​brochure if you want to find out more. There's also an app for Android/​iOS.

Most of the holiday areas in the region have a local Guest Card that offers similar benefits.

Resources

Tourist information websites

Cycling information

Transport information

The Val di Sole tourist office produces a useful leaflet showing the bike-friendly train services serving the Val di Sole together with linking bike-bus services to the Passo del Tonale and Val Rendena (Carisolo): valdisole.net: Find your bikebus & biketrain 

You can download a pdf copy of the timetables for the Trentino Trasporti trains from the train section of the company's website: trentinotrasporti.it: train.

The visittrentino.info regional tourist inform­ation website has a useful page on taking your bike on public transport in the region: visittrentino.info: cycling-and-public-transport. For inform­ation on taking your bike on Trentino Trasporti trains see: Trentino Trasporti: Transporting Bikes

Trentino Trasporti timetables

You can download a pdf copy of the timetables for the Trentino Trasporti trains from the train section of the company's website: trentinotrasporti.it: train.

Articles in this series

Signs on the Val di Sole cycleway near Almazzago

Signs on the Val di Sole cycleway near Almazzago


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