Se il cammino è la meta del viaggio, allora meglio viaggiare pedalando

CYCLING FROM THE ADRIATIC SEA TOWARDS THE LIGURIAN SEA

Starting from the city of Chioggia on Italy’s east coast, known as the little Venice and for its beautiful waters of the Adriatic, we cycled westwards along famous ancient rivers including the longest river in Italy, the Po river and so forth.

A total of 700 km bicycle ride in 7 days.

 

You can find the GPX maps here 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Riding the width of a whole country!
  • A beautiful countryside and cycling along big river banks
  • Passing through breathtaking and historical city of Ferrara, Mantova, Peschiera and Brescia
  • Pedaling through the iconic Dome of Milan, Certosa of Pavia and its historical covered bridge
  • Crossing the valleys where the Alps meets the Apennines, arriving to the Riviera and the Ligurian sea.

 

 


OUR TRIP ITINERARY

 

DAY 1   CHIOGGIA – FERRARA  100,5 km

The original intention of our ride across Italy was to cycle along the Po river and other ancient rivers. Our adventure started from the beautiful town of Chioggia, the small Venice, full of canals and lying along a spur of sand on the shores of the Adriatic sea.

 

 

We headed from East – West, to avoid the sun in front of us. We visited cities of art, villages lost in the Po Valley and ride along ancient rivers, rich in history.

So we mounted our bicycle panniers and got ready to go for our initial ride going to Ferrara.

 

 

This is our arrival in Ferrara, the city of the Este (Italian ancient dynasty).

 

 

Extending to the Po River Delta, the Province of Ferrara offers sceneries of rare charm. The countryside is rather flat, surrounded by expansive plains and an abundance of canals. The geographic position of the Province’s rivers and canals makes it an important crossroads between the Adriatic Sea, northern Italy and Europe.

 

 

We arrived at 10 pm in Ferrara having departed 4 pm from Chioggia. It was a long and complicated day but besides the long night ride, we managed to reach our destination safely. We stayed at HOTEL NAZIONALE. The Staff were so kind to wait for our late arrival in the hotel. We highly recommend it! The location is in the heart of Ferrara. Very clean and tidy and we had a great breakfast too.

 

DAY 2   FERRARA TO MANTOVA  100,6 km 

Leaving Ferrara, on the right bank of the Po. Hopped into the ferry and then along the left bank, always of the Po, following the EuroVelo 8, which coincides with the Po cycle path, up to the confluence with Mincio river.

 

 

From there, we did the Mincio cycle path, part of the EuroVelo 7, up to Mantova. We met a lot of nice people along the way and in the coffee shop at Bar La Nave at Melara Po.

It was 46° C along the Po river, which was really hot !!! With this temperature we carried a lot of extra bottles of water with us. The idea of using wet socks on the water bottle helped maintain the freshness of the water.

 

 

So finally we arrived in Mantova, a city worth travelling a thousand miles!

 

 

We stayed at HOTEL DEI GONZAGA, with our room view in front of Piazza Sordello!

 

 

Very picturesque and very relaxing after a long day ride. We rode till here that far and we were not disappointed. Even our first glimpse of the city has been worth the trip.

In Mantova, there is almost too much to encompass with the eye: Arches are everywhere, left, right and overhead; narrow medieval passages that lead off suddenly to who-knows-where.

 

DAY 3   MANTOVA TO DESENZANO  71,6 km 

Goodbye Mantova, and see you soon !

On the road again…so we visited Mantova the next day and headed to our next destination, Desenzano.

This was our third stage of our ride from the Adriatic to the Ligurian Sea, along rivers of ancient lineage and visited cities with a thousand-year history. We toured Mantova and visited the Church of San Michele,

 

 

and the ancient Rotonda di San Lorenzo – enriched by the pleasant conversation with the Lady who guards it.

 

 

Then Piazza Sordello with the Palazzo Ducale and finally a quick tribute to the statue of Virgil.

Bye bye Mantova ….

 

 

We went up the EuroVelo 7 up to Peschiera in bloom!

 

 

and then up to the Rocca di Sirmione where unfortunately (shamefully) the cyclists are banned and rejected. What a pity! Not even a parking for bicycles! 

 

 

Sirmione is partly set on a peninsula that is stretched for about 4 km in the low Lake Garda, in the province of Brescia. It is famous for the unique charm of its old town centre, with its narrow and irregular alleys, for the Thermal Baths of Catullus, for the churches “Santa Maria Maggiore” and “San Pietro” in Mavino, for the ruin of the Roman Villa of the poet Catullus, known also as “Grotta di Catullo”. 

Arrival at the beautiful Desenzano from which we left the next day, leaving Lake Garda.

 

 

A good beer is what it takes to quench our thirst!

 

 

And some healthy salad to fill in our hungry stomachs!

 

 

We stayed at VILLA LILLA B&B. Again the staff are just great and accommodating. The hotel was beautifully decorated and with a nice garden around. It is a walking distance to the seaside port and all the local restaurants. We had an abundant and a hearty breakfast!

 

DAY 4     DESENZANO – CASSANO D’ADDA   114,6 km 

Crossing from East to West of Northern Italy from coast to coast, going along a little less the great rivers, but touching the city of the two cathedrals, Brescia, with its breathtaking historical center and countless Lombard villages, with a Manzonian taste.

 

 

The Province of Brescia is regarded as one of the most ancient and beautiful cities in Italy, its urban and architectural heritage manifest in its main squares: Piazza del Foro, Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Loggia and Piazza della Vittoria

 

 

We met two very nice Caravaggine, who immediately liked our cause and joined our Bicinviaggio channel (thanks with all our heart!). We arrived, as always, when it began to get dark in the banks of the Adda river, from where we started riding again to meet with the Marchesana canal.

We stayed at HOTEL JULIA an early 20th century villa surrounded by a park.

 

 

Hotel Julia was a perfect location close to the town center. An antique structure and very cozy. It gives you that feeling of the old times. Staff were very accommodating! After another day of long ride, it was always a pleasure to have a comfortable bed to lie on.

 

DAY 5   CASSANO D’ADDA – PAVIA  79,9 km 

Here we are at the fifth stage of our Italy coast to coast, along the Martesana and Pavese canals, from Cassano d’Adda to Pavia. The Cathedral of Milan surprises us every time.

 

 

But the Certosa of Pavia filled us with great wonder, with all those incredibly carved marble.

 

 

Arrival in Pavia, we will slept near the Covered Bridge (where we left another piece of our hearts), by Signora Angela of Residenza i Mille, who already knew us and made us feel at home every time.

 

 

DAY 6    PAVIA – ACQUI TERME  115,2 km 

Despite being a stage towards the Ligurian mountains, and thus meeting fewer cities of art, it remains a stage that will be carved in our heart – for the sympathy of the people we met and for the villages and the sweeping countryside of Pavia and Alessandria.The hot temperature was constantly following us but we continue to push our pedals and looked forward to our destination, Liguria!

 

 

We stayed at ALBERGO RONDÒ. It is located in the centre of the spa area and the renowned Acqui Terme. A garage parking for bicycles is available on site.

 

 

DAY 7 ACQUI TERME – LOANO 109,1

Seventh and last stage of our Italy coast to coast ride, with arrival to our city, Loano, on the Ligurian Riviera. Taking a trip to the end is satisfying, arriving home is even more. We dipped in the sea waters of Varigotti to give a cause to our ride towards the Ligurian sea. Our adventures do not end here of course. We, forever, will bring in our hearts so many images and emotions that we experienced pedalling after pedalling. We will remember the smiles of the friendly people we met, the village, the church, the bridges, the hills … when we think of a journey that we did on a bicycle, even after many years, closing our eyes, we could retrace it all with the mind. This happens to us, only when we travel by bicycle. See you soon!

 

Arrival in LOANO !!!!

 

 

 

 


 

Italy coast to coast

Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian sea