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Across the high Italian plains – bikepacking the Asiago Loop

Tristan Bogaard

Across the high Italian plains – bikepacking the Asiago Loop

Bike Touring Collection by tristanbogaard

7

Tours

21:46 h

146 mi

16,825 ft

In the first week of July this year, Belén (@belletoscan) and I cycled a route that had been on our list for a while: the Asiago Loop. The route has been created to promote tourism in the region, which is often overlooked by visitors. The lack of tourists here is surprising as the Asiago plateau is breathtaking.

During the Loop, you cycle on a mix of gravel roads, singletracks and cart tracks along limestone cliffs and Italian alpine pastures. The route is split into two parts; the southern section is flatter, passing through forests and agricultural landscapes, while the northern leg is more elevated.

We caught the train in Milan and changed a few times to reach Thiene, a small village at the foot of the Asiago plateau. The route officially starts in Asiago, but it was more convenient for us to arrive in Thiene by train. We did some shopping at the supermarket before hopping on our bikes and cycling towards Asiago.

We recommend dividing the Asiago Loop into six days. This is more than the itinerary on sites like bikepacking.com, but in our opinion, these are determined by fanatical bikepackers who make many miles a day. If you prefer to take it easy, allow a few more days to complete the loop. We had quite a bit of luggage with us, such as photo and video equipment, and stopped several times to make recordings.

Water is limited along the plateau; there are no streams and hardly any water points. As a cyclist, you’re dependent on refugios, restaurants and farmers to refuel. Make sure you take plenty of water with you. Combined with rough roads and steep hills (lots of hike-a-bike!), this is a real challenge.

We've made the route a bit more accessible by including more paved roads and fewer rough logging roads at the start. You can use the same wild camping spots as us by following our start and endpoints. Of course, leave no trace. You can find the original route via the following link: komoot.nl/tour/528754331.

Finally, in the first Tour description, you find the first video of the series I made about the Asiago Loop. It gives a glimpse of our journey, how we arranged our days and how intensely we enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings of the Asiago Loop. Enjoy!

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • 02:10
    21.2 mi
    9.8 mph
    4,375 ft
    550 ft

    Our first day on a bike trip in 2021, what a treat! We started our ride in Thiene, straight from the train station, and cycled by Lidl to stock up on food for the trip as it was going to be rather difficult to find vegan friendly cuisine. Filled to the brim we cycled up the many switchbacks to enter …

  • 03:29
    23.1 mi
    6.6 mph
    1,600 ft
    2,300 ft

    Starting out the day with this gorgeous view really boosted us into the Asiago adventure! In the morning we followed the southern ridge of the plateau, along Monte Cucco, Monte Cavalletto and Cima Ekar to name a few.

    We cycled over a mix of good gravel, some asphalt, forest trails and, as a first time, logger tracks. Those were chosen …

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  • 01:54
    6.44 mi
    3.4 mph
    1,800 ft
    25 ft

    Day three of our Asiago Loop ride didn't go as smoothly as planned due to a rainstorm that came in at around 2pm and stopped our progress for the day. We started in the morning with the track that's in the official route and had some trouble with fallen trees on the trail, and quite some hike-a-biking due to the …

  • 04:21
    23.7 mi
    5.5 mph
    2,600 ft
    3,425 ft

    Day four was a treat after the slightly depressing rain storm that happened on our third day out on the Asiago Loop. The day started with a fully blue sky and lots of sunshine, allowing us to dry all our stuff as soon as we found the first large flat, dry space. It's a big parking lot by a Rifugio …

  • 03:30
    16.8 mi
    4.8 mph
    2,900 ft
    1,100 ft

    Day five of the Asiago Loop started smoothly, crossing the Kyrgyzstan-like meadows we'd camped nearby during the night and meeting the cute calves that roam the grass here. Since camping isn't quite tolerated as in other places, we always packed up early during this trip and left no trace so to not be a nuisance.

    That means we need to …

  • 05:38
    37.3 mi
    6.6 mph
    3,450 ft
    5,675 ft

    Day six of the Asiago Loop was a huge pleasure since we finally got to descend most of what we'd climbed in the previous days! We'd been creating video and capturing photos for days, but took it a bit easier this morning to make distance and try to make it to the Granatiera path at the end of the day. …

  • 00:44
    17.4 mi
    23.7 mph
    125 ft
    3,900 ft

    It's done! Today we finished the Asiago Loop route from bikepacking.com. It was much harder than expected, but we can definitely recommend it to those who wish to challenge themselves and see a more rural and unknown side from Italy.

    In the morning we took it easy over breakfast, emptying some of the leftover food we had left, cooking some …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    146 mi
  • Duration
    21:46 h
  • Elevation
    16,825 ft

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Across the high Italian plains – bikepacking the Asiago Loop

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