VICENZA TO BASSANO DEL GRAPPA BIKE TOUR | VENETO REGION
Excellent signposted route that takes you from Vicenza to the walled city of Marostica and onto Bassano del Grappa. The route is on secondary roads and well marked with directional signs.
BIKE TOURING VICENZA TO BASSANO DEL GRAPPA ROUTE NOTES
- DISTANCE: 45 km
- START POINT: Vicenza Train Station
- END POINT: Bassano del Grappa Train Station
- ELEVATION GAIN: 30 meters
- AVERAGE % GRADE: 1%
SECTION 1 VICENZA TO SANDRIGO
SECTION 2 SANDRIGO TO MAROSTICA
SECTION 3 MAROSTICA TO BASSANO DEL GRAPPA
TOWN OF ESTE IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE
In the suggestive landscape of the Euganean hills, Este was the main settlement of the ancient Veneti who lived here during the Iron Age. The city was at one time a major fortified city of the region, and it still has traces of the Este and Da Carrare families, who were rulers of this area. The town sites in the Province of Padova and is about 33 kms south of the city of Padova, on the southern point of the Euganei Hills.
Today, the walls that once protected the city are home to a lovely public garden and 'The National Atestino Museum' is housed in the adjacent Mocenigo Building, one of the most important in Italy for its pre-Roman collections. You can visit the ruins of the old Tower Bridge Fortress that was designed to defend the city in during early medieval times, while the Civic Tower of the Old Port was rebuilt around 1500.
The almost four centuries of Venetian rule can be seen in the beautiful buildings of the central Piazza (including the Town Hall, an elegant open gallery building, and the Scaliger family Building from the fourteenth century) and the beautiful villas. Among the many religious buildings, there is the Duomo of Saint Tecla that houses the mortal remains of Beatrice d'Este and the great altarpiece by Tiepolo that depicts Saint Tecla. The Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie with its peculiar Latin cross plan and the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, structured on a single nave and with a mosaic floor from the Roman period are worth visiting.
The town of Este was named after the Adige river, or Athesis in Latin, which ran in this territory until the year 589 when a devastating flood changed its course to a few kilometres southward.
The conquest of the Veneto by the Romans was a peaceful, the people of the Veneto joined forces with the Romans against the Gauls, and Este became a Roman colony. Este proved able to preserve its administrative independence until the end of the Roman Republic, while the centralization of the political power in the Roman Empire prevented the continuation of past magistratures. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the town of Este was wrecked by Attila's troops and came to a mere rural village.
The town rose again after the 10th century, when its feudal lord Azzo, who later became Azzo II d'Este, built a castle there. The Lords of Este, having received the title of marquis, initiated one of the most important Italian dynasties and moved their capital city to Ferrara (1239).
Conquered twice by Ezzelino da Romano, who had its castle pulled down (in 1238 and 1249), in the 14th century Este was disputed by the della Scala, the da Carrara and the Visconti Houses until it surrendered spontaneously to Venice in 1405. This marked the beginning of a long period of peace. Under the rule of Venice Este experienced a period of economic and demographic growth, which was unfortunately interrupted by the tragic plague of 1630.
The administrative reorganization by Napoleon and the rise of the middle class gave new thrust to the town governors, who promoted various initiatives of great interest as the establishment of the museum called Museo Nazionale Atestino and the opening of public schools. The development of Este continued also after it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, in 1866.
WHAT TO SEE IN ESTE
- Porte di Torre
- Porta Vecchia
- Town Hall
- Palazzetto of the Scaligeri
- Prince's Palace
- Abbey Cathedral of Santa Tecla
- Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie
- National Museum of Este
Today the town of Este is an important center of production of high-quality art pottery. Ceramic production has been continuous in this area, almost without interruption, from prehistorical times to the present.
TOWN OF MONSELICE IN THE PROVINCE OF PADOVA
Monselice is a small town sitting the lovely Eugenia Hills, about 24 km south of Padova. The lower part of the town hosts the remains of a medieval settlement that extended up to the Rocca (Fort), on the hill. Today, Monselice is a lively crossroads town between the local farming and industrial areas.
During Roman times, the small coned hills were known as Mons Silici (hill of Flint). On the eastern side of the hill is a trachyte quarry which once supplied the sone to pave St Mark's Square in Venice.
Its In 602 the Byzantine Castrum fell to the hands of the Lombard king, Agilulf, as reported by Paolo diacono in his Historia Longobardorum, the first written account of the area. Previously a neo-Aeneolithic (fourth-third millennium BC), Bronze Age (second millennium BC) and Roman settlement, under the Lombards and Franks, Monselice was a major military stronghold and administrative center controlling a vast territory including the Adige river and the euganean Hills (Colli Euganei).
It became a free city-state in the mid-12th century and in 1237 was taken by Ezzelino III da Romano, deputy of Emperor Frederick II of Swabia for the area around Venice. The Tyrant Ezzelino ordered extensive fortification works and used this area as his base from which to wage violent military campaigns against Padua, Este and nearby castles.
It was conquered in 1338 by the da Carrara noble family of Padua and, following an enervating siege lasting a full year, in 1405 it became part of the Serenissima Republic. The long and prosperous Venetian period saw the gradual decline of its military role and the flowering of local agriculture, industry ( quarrying and spinning) and commerce, thanks to extensive waterway transport. Stone quarrying in the hill of the Rocca and Mount Ricco marked the industrial growth of the town which reached its height in the 1700s. In 1722, a large load of trachyte from Monselice was used to pave Piazza San Marco in Venice.
WHAT TO SEE IN MONSELICE
- Piazza Mazzini
- Chiesa di San Paolo
- Antiquarium Longobardo
- Villa Nani-Mocenigo
- Villa along the Bisatto Canal
- Monte Ricco
WHERE TO SLEEP IN MONSELICE
- Cefri, via Orti 7/B, tel 041904595
WHERE TO EAT IN MONSELICE
- La Torre, Piazza Mazzini 14, tel 042973752
TOWN OF MONTAGNANA IN THE PADOVA PROVINCE
Montagnana is one of the most beautiful walled cities in Italy. The medieval city walls that extend for nearly 2 Km are preserved virtually intact and enclose the elegant city centre. It is located about 50 km from Padova.
Montagnana's strategic position favoured settlements, since the town is located along the regional road 10 Padana Inferiore, about 50 km from the towns of Padova, Verona, Vicenza, Mantova, and Ferrara, and 80 km from Venice. The area was already inhabited in the late Neolithic Age and , in Roman times, Montagnana was the ideal location to control the entire region. A military garrison was built to guard the bridge on the river Adige along the via Emilia Altinate (until it was destroyed in 589AD by a major flood.)
In the 10th century frequent and devastating raids by the Hungarians promoted the construction of a fortifications in Montagnana, centered around the San Zeno Castel. The small fortified village later became the feudal centre of Marquesses Este and participated int he struggle between the Papacy and the Empire. In the 12th century, the army of Ezzelino II da Romano, the Imperial viceroy of Frederick II, fought against the Guelph League of the Marquesses Este, who supported the Pope. In 1242 after been burnt down the city was conquered by Ezzelino, who stated to rebuilding the walls, raising the Mastio (a medieval tower) that still bears his name.
In 1275 Montagnana was included into the municipality of Padova. The portions of the brick walls near the two fortified gates date back to those times. During the 14th Century, except for a short period (1317-1337) under the Della Scala family, Montagnana was part of the seigneury of the Carrara family, rulers of Padova. In th 14th century the city became part of the Serenissima (Republic of Venice) the city had lost some of its strategic importance but location along trade routes attracted Veneto aristocrats who but several important villa.
WHAT TO SEE IN MONTAGNANA
- The City Walls
- Rocca degli Alberi
- Castello di S. Zeno
- Piazza Mazzini
SOAVE, VERONA PROVINCE
Soave is a lovely and historic small town near Verona that should be on every ones "to visit" list when traveling through the Veneto. A medieval walled city and one of the Touring Club Itailiano's "Comune Bandiera Arancione", Soave has a rich history and cultural tradition, and one of the best wine zones in Italy. Being off the main travel lines Soave is a great active vacation area for walking or biking.
Located at the foot of the Lessini Mountains and overlooks the valley where the river Tramigna flows. The enchanting Castle bordered by ancient wall and 24 towers is the symbol of the city. The tower stands as a testimony of ancient torture and imprisonment, but today it is a venue for events, festivals and historic events. From the castle you can enjoy a romantic landscape filled with gentle hills and vineyards. These landscapes that allow for leisurely walks are also filled with precious treasures of art and architecture, such as the Building of Justice with its loggia and the Scaliger Building, today's town hall. Passing the Building of Horses, tourists can not turn down a visit to the Church of San Giorgio. The ancient Cathedral often hosts concerts of sacred music, while the church of St. Mary of the Dominican fathers is now the City's Library.
Soave famous for its famous white wine. The garganega grapes of the vines that grow on the hills are used to make DOC and DOCG Soave and DOCG Recioto di Soave; these wines are very popular abroad. Wine Making traditions and historic events are celebrated together in May during the "Bianco di Soave Medieval Wine Fair".
Enter the walled city though Porta Verona and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Taste some wine or just stroll the main street and have a pastry or cafe. Then go for a walk or bike ride in the hills around the city.