Few landscapes in Europe match the beauty of the jagged limestone Dolomites. The route starts with incredible views of Trentino's dramatic mountains, cycling on relatively easy roads and tracks along the Adige River. On reaching the northern shore of Lake Garda, the views of one of the most famous Italian lakes is unforgettable. A ferry cruise on the lake gives us the opportunity to take in these wonderful vistas before continuing the ride through the beautiful cities of Verona, Padova and finally the canals and waterways of Venice.
The trip starts in Trento, province ofTrentino-Alto Adige nestled in the Adige River Valley. A cosmopolitan city and a centre for industry, education, science and finance, Trento is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous cities in Italy boasting an atmospheric historic centre adorned by well preserved Medieval and Renaissance buildings. The group usually arrives in the evening and after check in there may betime to go into town before we have our evening meal and trip briefing.
After breakfast, we take a short train ride (40 mins) to Bolzano,the capital city of the South Tyrol surrounded by the region's powerful peaks. In 2012 Bolzano was voted the city with the best quality of life in the whole of Italy. We have the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the bikes whilst taking a short tour around the historic centre. From here we will cycle south along the Adige River, following quiet undulating roads, with an overall ascent of approximately 300m. Cycling through orchards and vineyards, we pass Lake Caldaro and the lovely villages of Ora, Egna and Salorno. This area is well known for its wine production, which accounts for three-quarters of the production of the entire South Tyrol. We arrive back in Trento late afternoon and spend a second night at our central hotel.
We continue along the Adige until we reach Rovereto and Mori. From here, we head west towards the northern shores of Lake Gard. After some short ascents, we cycle down to Torbole and then onto the elegant resort of Riva del Garda, offeringplenty of bars and restaurants along the lake shore and a lovely beach. Later in the afternoon wetake the ferry to the southern end of the lake, leaving Trentino and heading towards the Veneto region. The cruise on the lake gives us the opportunity to enjoy the splendid landscape and relax before we reachour final destination of the day, Desenzano, where we take a short walk from the ferry port to reach our hotel for the night.
Cycling mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths today, we make our way to the legendary city of Verona. Located on the river Adige, Verona is arguably the most beautiful city in Veneto. Its famous arena is one of the many Roman monuments we can discover there. Other places of interest are the Basilica San Zeno and of course Juliet's house and the famous balcony!
After a flat start, we reach the hillier region of Monti Berici. There are a couple of more challenging climbs on todays route as we cycle over the undulating terrain, but we are rewarded with fantastic views of our destination for the day: Vicenza. The old city centre is a jewel of Renaissance architecture: private palaces, public buildings and the Basilica are testaments to the work of one of Italy's most renowned architects: Andrea Palladio. A visit to the best ice-cream parlour in Vicenza is a great reward after today's ride!
Today we have the opportunity to take in some of the greenest and most stunning views of the Veneto countryside. .Leaving Vicenza, we cycle past beautiful Palladian villas. En route, time and availability permitting, the leader might arrange to have lunch in a family-run winery. We continue along the Bacchiglione River, on relatively quiet and flat roads, to the fascinating city of Padova, famous for the Scrovegni Chapel, painted by Giotto, and the Prato della Valle, one of the biggest squares in Europe.
This morning we transfer to Venice by train (approx. 30mins). Once in the heart of the 'Floating City', we can explore the labyrinth of narrow streets, bridges and waterways. We will see famous sights including Doges Palace, the Rialto Bridge and of course Piazza San Marco. After exploring the city we can enjoy a relaxed evening and perhaps a gondola ride before returning to our hotel in Mestre by train.
After breakfast the trip ends in Mestre.
- Cycle through stunning Dolomite scenery
- Relax on a boat trip across Lake Garda
- Discover the fascinating cities of Verona
- Padova and Venice