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Off to Bella Italia, towards the warm south!

Sabine's travel story from Abano Terme
Sunset over the inviting Torreglia winery with old buildings and vines

Like every year, I'm taking my team members on tour trip with my girlfriends and we're really looking forward to a few relaxing and hopefully sunny days on our cycling holiday in Italy. What a wonderful time out to recharge our batteries before autumn sets in!

This year's destination is Hotel Aqua, which is the starting point of our daily bike rides during the "Abano Terme  - based in one hotel" tour.

Sunset over the inviting Torreglia winery with old buildings and vines

Genuine Italian hospitality

The welcome to our hotel is very heartfelt: from the boss Pia to the maids - everyone greets us with a nice smile and we immediately feel at home. Our rooms are on the 4th floor and have a great view of the Euganean Hills. There is a large, inviting indoor and outdoor thermal pool with a spacious sunbathing area. Mud treatments are also available to help guests relax.

The hotel restaurant called Aquolina is modern and elegantly decorated. Our dinner is a combination of a generous buffet and fine à la carte dishes: we start with the salad buffet, enjoy the delicious starters and main courses served to us and finish our meal with the rich dessert and cheese selection. As an alternative to the hotel restaurant, there is also a bistro where you can have burgers and other quick snacks.

Easy cycling tours & relaxing evenings

The tour starts on the day of arrival with a visit to Villa dei Vesconi. This sight is located about 20 km from the hotel and is one of the most impressive Venetian villas in the area. It is perched on a hill, nestled among the vines. We enjoy this wonderful view from a nice café.

Picturesque Villa dei Vescovi on a small hill covered with vines

Oh, beautiful Padua!

Our next tour takes us to the historic and beautiful city of Padua. Riding along the canals, we pass abandoned mansions and imposing villas on our way into the city. Here we leave our bikes and explore the city on foot. The Palazzo della Ragione is home to a large market selling fresh fruit and vegetables as well as local jewellery and clothing. We decide to go on a shopping spree and as we stroll around the market we admire the ancient buildings around the Palazzo.

An old building from the 16th century surrounded by a high fence and bushes

"Little Venice"

Today, the small lagoon town of Chioggia is on our agenda. The sun is shining in our faces and it already smells of seawater. We cannot possibly take enough photos of this place. We think the nickname "Little Venice" is well deserved, because that's exactly what Chioggia reminds us of, with all its little bridges and canals. After a creamy cappuccino, we take a quick break at Sottomarina, Chioggia's local beach. We sit on the sandy beach and look out over the deep blue Mediterranean. Our holiday mood is absolutely perfect.

The end is near...

Our last day of cycling takes us to Vicenza. Under sunny skies we cycle along the Bacchiglione river. Today's route is scenic and mostly on small gravel roads. We pass the monumental castle of St. Martin della Vaneza, surrounded by a small poplar forest. On the outskirts of the town we pass Villa La Rotonda. It was designed by the architect Andrea Palladio, whose buildings can be found all over the city. After all, a bit of culture is a must 😉.

Cyclist in front of the imposing castle of Saint Martin della Vaneza

Culinary highlights

Pizza, pasta and Aperol are a must! But we also have other Italian specialities on our plates: antipasti, caprese, bruschetta, risotto, seafood... We often find it difficult to decide when we look at the menu! To accompany the food, we celebrate with a good Pinot Grigio or Merlot. Buon appetito!

Seafood at the market in Chioggia

Conclusion of the trip

A relaxing cycling holiday with friends is the ultimate escape from everyday life! Especially when the weather in Austria is not so good. Italy's climate is ideal for cycling and culture, not only in the summer but also in the cooler months. And when the evening chill sets in, a hot pool at the hotel is the perfect way to unwind after the day's adventures.

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