A warm welcome in Bolzano
As we set off we were looking forward to time away together, and away from daily life. On arrival we received a warm welcome from our station manager Andrea. Together with eight other cyclists we received detailed information about the coming days in the personal tour brief. We really felt like we were on holiday later that evening when we ate a South Tyrolean snack and a glass of Teroldego – a strong Trentino red wine. Our cycle tour could now begin.
The rainy weather could not dampen our desire to travel - we proved this during our second stage from Trento to Descenzano del Garda. Of course, we had packed bad weather clothing in our luggage so we set off well prepared on our bikes. Despite the rain, we did not want to miss out on the famous Galati of Italy and took part in an ice cream tasting! After completing a short climb before Mori, it was the perfect reward. In the afternoon, the descent followed.
We enjoyed the stunning views over Torbole and Lake Garda before we boarded the boat in Riva. After we crossed Lake Garda by boat, we soon arrived at our hotel in Desenzano del Garda. Of course, pizza and Italy belong together! And so for the first time on our break we had ‘Pizza Italiana’! That would not be the last time on our vacation!
Eurobike at Passo San Giovanni
Nice coincidence: at Passo San Giovanni we discovered a sign with many different stickers. To our surprise, we spotted a Eurobike sticker on it. We send out a big ‘thank you’ to the cycling fans that immortalised us here.
Sightseeing in Verona
In more pleasant weather on the third day we travelled from Desenzano del Garda to the district of Verona. We stopped at the restaurant ‘La Casetta’ for a delicious lunch. Well nourished, there were only a few kilometres to Verona, where we were able to check into our rooms despite our earlier arrival time. That was wonderful, because we had much more time to explore the city of Romeo and Juliet, and to buy souvenirs for my little ones at home. I found what I was looking for in the numerous stalls at ‘Piazza delle Erbe’. Coincidentally, we also discovered the fine pizzeria ‘Risotteria da Mario’ here. When we opened the menu we were amazed to find over 80 pizzas to choose from! Definitely another culinary highlight of our cycling holiday, and I would highly recommend it.
By sunrise to Vicenza
To enjoy a sunrise, we started the fourth day before dawn. We tried to capture the beautiful moment in pictures before we set off on our bikes again. A little later our route took us along the city wall in Soave and then through the hilly landscape to Monte Berici.
This stage demanded a little more effort than the last days, but we were rewarded with a magnificent view. When we arrived in Vicenza we enjoyed espresso and ice cream. No matter where you are in Italy, the coffee tastes excellent. Until evening set in we visited the many beautiful corners of Vicenza and watched the sun again as it set.
A real highlight: Padua
The stage from Vicenza to Padua is a relatively short 50 kilometres and was completed quickly. So we had plenty time again, which we used to visit the city of Padua. Padua is a beautiful city you cannot take your eyes off. The city centre, the imposing Basillica of St. Anthony or the Prato della Valle, with its more than 80 statures and a huge green area, is one of the largest inner-city squares in Europe. These are just some of the sights we will remember. Then we met Marco, our station manager in Venice.
Our destination – the city of love
Today was the final stage in our programme, because we had almost reached Venice. The closer we got to the ‘city of love’ the Venetian influences became more noticeable. We spotted more canals and the sea soon came into sight. By lunchtime we checked into our hotel in Mestre.
From these it was only a short tram ride into Venice. Through the beautiful, narrow streets we made our way over the Rialto Bridge to St Mark’s Square. A Grappa tasting was included in the trip and we celebrated finishing our 335-kilometre tip with the famous Italian grape brandy. To our delight there was also live music at St. Mark’s Square, where we enjoyed a glass of wine.
The next morning we took the train from Venice back to Bolzano. The beautiful Italian cities we had previously cycled through moved past us in reverse order as we chatted about the past few days. “Thank you very much for a really successful birthday present!” my father said casually. I can only agree unconditionally!
Maybe you have already come to this conclusion – the cycle tour from Bolzano to Venice was very special for my dad and me. A successful gift for us both. My dad wasn’t only impressed by the spectacular scenery. Everything we tasted was grown in the fields we passed: sparkling white wines, juicy peaches, sweet melons and even kiwis. The culinary delights definitely did not fall short. And who knows – maybe next year my dad will be happy with the connecting tour: the cycle tour from Venice to Florence!