1 Start in charming Treviso.
This trip starts in the charming capital province Treviso, a real hidden gem often overlooked and perhaps overshadowed by the neighbouring Venice. Rebuilt and restored after Second World War bombing, the town centre is a rambling maze of streets lined with arcaded walkways. The town is circled by a pretty wall and by waterways, which add to its very picturesque and elegant style. Those of us who have arranged our own flights should rendezvous at the central start hotel, although the more convenient option is to meet the group at the airport for the transfer. Land only clients can join at any time, but we do recommend arriving in the afternoon to meet the rest of the group and enjoy an orientation tour and first dinner together.
2 Cycle past cultivated fields and along the historic Montello hill, to the mediaeval town of Asolo, known as “the pearl of the province of Treviso".
After breakfast we cycle directly from our hotel, through the old town centre of Treviso and out of the city walls following a northwesterly route. For the first 20km we warm up by pedalling on some flat and easy back roads, past scenic cultivated fields, until reaching the town of Nervesa della Battaglia. From here we take a short climb to the Montello hill, one of the most popular cycling spots of the whole province and a place of great historic importance for being a key battlefield during the First World War. The landscape changes from here onwards becoming more verdant and picturesque. Most of the Montello is still covered by the luxuriant wood and oak forest, which was once the exclusive reserve for replenishing the wood supplies of the Venetian Republic's Arsenal. After a deserved lunch break we continue cycling west along a gentle undulating route called the ‘Panoramica' offering magnificent views of the valley of the River Piave and a first glimpse of the Prosecco Hills in the distance. Upon reaching Asolo, one of Italy's most beautiful hilltop mediaeval towns, we check in at our welcoming hotel located at the foothills of the town. A free shuttle is included to visit the village in the evening for dinner. Dominated by the Rocca, the symbol and pride of the town, we will walk through the historic centre, flanked by 15th century frescoed palaces and elegant archways.
3 Ride along quiet roads and picture-perfect hills to Bassano, famous for its excellent grappa and 13th century bridge.
This morning we set off on our bikes to explore the picturesque hilly area surrounding Asolo. Cycling from our hotel, we follow a picturesque northeasterly route which crosses pleasant rolling hills, with a constant view of the Prealps. This is one of the key local certified production areas of Prosecco and along the route we will get a view of some of the finest vineyard sites. They are interspersed with orchards, vegetable crops and wooded areas which we pedal through, with a constant alternating of ups and downs and a couple of short more demanding climbs, until reaching Possagno, birthplace of the sculptor Antonio Canova. The town is home to the temple he designed, which was completed in 1830. From this point onwards the route becomes easier as we descend towards the valley and cycle all the way to Bassano del Grappa, in the neighbouring province of Vicenza, across the plains, on quiet back roads passing through small villages and cultivated fields. Bassano takes its name from the nearby Monte Grappa, scene of epic battles during World War I. The historic centre is very pretty and compact therefore perfect to explore on foot. After leaving out bikes we will enjoy some free time to walk on the 13th century wooden covered bridge over the Brenta River, sample the famous local grappa liqueur, learn of the town's military history in the Museo degli Alpini or perhaps purchase some of the locally-produced ceramics. We return to Asolo in the afternoon by public bus (approx. 30 mins journey).
4 Ride though vine-covered hills along the panoramic Prosecco wine route, to Soligo; visit local producer for wine tasting.
After breakfast we leave Asolo to cycle one of the most beautiful routes of the trip and of the whole region. This first 15km are mostly flat and therefore perfect for warming up. When we get to Vidor we cross the River Piave via a scenic bridge and pedal towards the much quieter roads that wind around the heart of the Prosecco hills. The route gradually rises from here onwards, taking us through magnificent vineyards, the grapes of which produce Prosecco and Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze wines which have made this area famous throughout the world. Most of the winemakers are based right here, amongst the picture-perfect terraced steep hills which are arguably the prettiest of the whole Veneto region. A short but tough climb that takes us to Santo Stefano, a village standing at 305m above sea level and the highest point of the route. Here we stop for a pic-nic lunch in one of the most scenic spots surrounded by vineyards. We continue cycling through the breathtaking panorama and rolling hills for approx. 15km until we reach Soligo, our base for the next three nights. Later in the day, we will visit a local Prosecco producer where we will have the opportunity to sample different varieties of Prosecco during a guided wine-tasting (included).
5 Scenic circular ride along the picturesque shores of Revine Lakes; visit pretty villages en route.
Leaving the hotel on our bikes, we cycle on quiet back roads to Molinetto della Croda. Situated in a delightful spot, this old mill is a lovely example of 16th-century rustic architecture, partially built out of the rock. From here start a steady 4km climb to the enchanting village of Rolle, perched on a hill situated along the historic Prosecco wine route. The ascent is steep in places but we tackle it at our own pace with a the needed rest stops along the way. It was actually along these roads in the past few years that the Gran Fondo Pinarello took place, one of the most important and popular races of Italian amateur cycling. Continuing up for another 3km, we pedal surrounded by lush hills that, in some places, open up to offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and vineyards. From the village of Resera starts a rewarding descent all the way to the romantic shores of the Revine Lakes, where we stop for a picnic. The rest of ride is leisurely, as we cycle on flat cycle paths and roads back to Soligo, stopping en route for a visit to the charming villages of Cison di Valmarino and Follina, famous for its ancient Cistercian abbey.
6 Circular ride to Conegliano through lush vineyards, peaceful country lanes and historic castles.
Today's circular starts with an undulating route all the way to Conegliano, where we pedal along the historic Prosecco wine route surrounded by an explosion of natural colours, especially dramatic during the autumn season, and vast expanses of vine rows. The initial part of the route is full of ups and downs but also includes a spectacular 2km descent on a scenic hairpinned road, soon followed by a steep 1.3 km long ascent with an average gradient of 15% with peaks of 19%. Those not keen to face this challenge may opt to get off their bikes and walk it! We reach Conegliano in time for lunch and we take a well-deserved break to explore the town on foot. Overlooked by a castle, Conegliano's historic centre is intact, boasting wonderful 16th-century architecture with frescoed facades. This afternoon we continue cycling along a panoramic castle route west of Conegliano. After a short but steep climb we reach the fortified castle of San Salvatore, which was built in the 13th century but is still well preserved and inhabited to this day. Continuing up and then through a shaded forest trail we reach the castle of Collalto, built in the 1100s and badly damaged during the First World War. We take a final descent to Pieve di Soligo and get back to our hotel. This evening we celebrate this week's achievements with a group dinner in one of the best local restaurants in the area!
7 Train to Venice and free time for sightseeing; overnight in Mestre.
Today we leave the bikes behind and conclude the trip with a full day of free sightseeing in the enchanting city of Venice. After a short 20mins transfer by private bus and a 1hr train journey from Conegliano, we reach the heart of the 'Floating City', and start exploring the labyrinth of narrow streets, bridges and waterways the city is famous for. We will see famous sights including Doge's Palace, the Rialto Bridge and of course Piazza San Marco. After a day in the city we can enjoy a relaxed evening and perhaps a gondola ride before returning to our hotel in Mestre by train. We spend the last night in a hotel located within easy reach of Venice Mestre station.
8 End Venice (Mestre).
This trip ends in the morning of day 8.