Tourism on two wheels is a constantly growing trend. Soft, zero-impact tourism allows people to discover the territory in all its facets: so far in Italy, the most active on this front have been foreigners (around 34 million presences compared to 20 for Italians) with Germany and Austria in the lead. On the other hand, Veneto is arguably one of the top regions in Italy for this kind of tourism: first in terms of the number of cycle tourists and on the podium of those with the greatest number of kilometres of specialized cycling routes, over 6000 km.
Above all, the Veneto is home to some of the most important cycle routes in Europe, many of which follow the route of ancient Roman roads.
The cycle path that crosses Opendream, the Treviso-Ostiglia, runs along the route of the now disused railway of the same name. Recovered thanks to FIAB (Italian Environment and Cycling Federation) and the Green Tour project, it connects Veneto with Mantua and the Lombardy. The renovation work is still in progress: to date, about 56 km of the total 118 km have been completed, whilst the whole course is expected to be ready by the end of 2022. For Open Bike Fest, this section is particularly important: the permanent Opendream hub can be reached directly by bike along this route. There is also a historical curiosity about this route, which briefly follows part of the Via Claudia Augusta, a Roman road dating back to 47 A.D. linking Venice with Mertingen in Bavaria.
Another route that starts from Treviso and its historic center is the Sile Greenway, which follows the course of the homonymous river, the longest in Europe among those of resurgent origin. A cycle path that is also famous outside the Veneto region, it allows to reach the coastal area of Jesolo after crossing stretches of great beauty and significance. These include the Cimitero dei Burci, an archaeological site of boats used in the past by local shipowners, some Venetian villas and also the fields of radicchio, a product of excellence in the area, to be enjoyed with Prosecco during a pit-stop.
Other possibilities for cyclists include the VenTo cycle route, which covers the whole of northern Italy, about 700 km from Venice to Turin, including Milan. Or the very long Adriatic Cycle Route, which – also passing along the Venetian coast -, connects Trieste with Santa Maria di Leuca, the furthest point of the heel of Italy, Apulia.
Staying in this region, routes such as the Padova-Vicenza route, just over 30 km long, are within everyone’s reach. Padova is also at the centre of another cycle route, with a different and particular theme. We are talking about the Loreggia-Padova route, also known as the “Way of St. Anthony”: about 60 km that retrace the last journey made by the Saint Anthony, now patron saint of the city of Padua, on 13th June, 1231.
These are just some of the gems that Veneto offers: the land of the bike par excellence.