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Italian Gravel – up and down dirt roads in Veneto

Gravelo

Italian Gravel – up and down dirt roads in Veneto

Bike Touring Collection by guido gazzaniga

4

Tours

27:03 h

243 mi

6,650 ft

Veneto in north-east Italy has a rich cycling tradition. The first Italian winner of the Tour de France, Ottavio Bottecchia, was born here. This beautiful region is also the birthplace of more recent champions such as Argentin, Zandegù and Battaglin, to name a few. This is a land of great athletes. Some of Italy’s most famous cycling brands are also based in Veneto. All this history adds to the experience of discovering the region by bicycle. Plus, there’s no shortage of dirt and gravel roads that lead far away from any traffic.

This Collection is inspired by the smaller route of Veneto Gravel 2021, an event held since 2017 (venetogravel.it). At 400 kilometres (248 mi), this route is relatively short in comparison to the 700-kilometre (434 mi) ride. The great thing about these events is that everyone tackles it at their own pace. Some riders cycle it in one go, whilst others take it easy. For this Collection, we have divided the route into four stages, each around 100 kilometres (62 mi) long, starting and finishing in Piazzola sul Brenta. However, the route is circular so you can begin and end at any point. Use the complete Tour to plan your adventure conveniently for you.

This loop includes the very best sides of Veneto. From artistic cities such as Bassano, Feltre, and Treviso to the mountain vistas of the Belluno foothills, the sea at Jesolo and the Adriatic coast. This scenic beauty also has a rich historical legacy. On the route, you discover Roman ruins, monuments from the Serenissima era and remnants of the First World War. As you explore, you can tuck into fantastic Italian cuisine, from gnocchi with fioreta (a semi-liquid ricotta cheese) to baccalà mantecato, a cod spread, without forgetting an apero spritz.

A gravel bike is the best choice for this route. But, with a little care, you’ll also manage on a touring bike. The gravel sections are usually well-maintained and relatively smooth. In wet weather, you’ll need wider tyres with sufficient tread.

As rain is rather uncomfortable for cycling, I advise avoiding the winter period. The temperatures in the mountainous part of the route can be particularly harsh during the colder months. In summer on the plains, you may also find the scorching weather too hot for spending hours in the saddle. The best times to ride are spring and autumn.

If you want to follow the original route exactly, you should head to Piazzola sul Brenta. This is a lovely place, but the nearest train station is 20 kilometres (12 mi) away in Padua. Alternatively, you can use the complete Tour below to re-plan the route to start from a more practical place such as Treviso.You’ll easily be able to find a place to sleep as the suggested stage destinations offer varied accommodation ranging from luxurious hotels to cheap campsites. You can also split the individual stages and still finish in a town. As far as bikes are concerned, Veneto doesn’t disappoint. There are many cycling enthusiasts and plenty of places where you can meet people for a chat.

All you have to do is pack your bags, check your tyre pressure, and off you go.

On The Map

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Do it yourself

Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.

Veneto Gravel – full tour

243 mi

6,650 ft

6,650 ft

Last updated: May 23, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Piazzola sul Brenta to Feltre – Veneto Gravel

    Difficult
    07:02
    59.2 mi
    8.4 mph
    2,900 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The official departure is from Piazzola sul Brenta with a customary photo in front of Villa Contarini. Not even time to warm up and you will already find yourself along the banks of the Brenta, companion of much of today's pedaling. The route alternates asphalted sections with dirt sections that are

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  • Difficult
    05:23
    48.8 mi
    9.1 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Today a day almost entirely at high altitude awaits you, as the route winds for the most part between the peaks of the Venetian Pre-Alps. Have a hearty breakfast in Feltre (the strudel seems to be made especially for cyclists) and head east. Today is also the day of the first encounter with the Piave

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  • Difficult
    08:35
    78.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    975 ft
    1,450 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Today we go to the sea! With the Alps behind, the route heads south following the banks of the Meschio river first and then the Monticano river. The landscape opens up and the banks of the rivers offer fantastic dirt paths used in the past by beasts of burden to tow barges along these waterways.

    

    20 kilometers

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  • Difficult
    06:03
    56.9 mi
    9.4 mph
    475 ft
    400 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Leaving Jesolo, the route follows the shores of the Venice lagoon for the first few kilometers, and then folds back inwards. On clear days you can also glimpse the bell towers of the Serenissima in the distance. Your companion for this first part of the ride will be the Sile river which will escort you

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    243 mi
  • Duration
    27:03 h
  • Elevation
    6,650 ft

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