At the base of the Monte Grappa Massif, between Romano d’Ezzelino and the Piave, there is a very interesting area both from a cultural and a sporting point of view, with the Canova center of Possagno and the liveliness of the free flying sports associations. The gentle undulations of this area gather some of the most characteristic trattorias in the Veneto region and are very popular with bicycle lovers for the intertwining of narrow streets with little traffic passing through them.
The route can be divided into three smaller paths, being a long and difficult itinerary in total.
The itinerary begins at the Premier Cicli rental in San Zenone degli Ezzelini and extends west to Bassano del Grappa. The city dedicated to the Alpini, in fact, is rich in historical and architectural works. Click here to discover the historical monuments of the city. From here you move east to Romano D’Ezzelino.
The city lies at the foot of the Venetian pre-Alps, in a hilly position, at the entrance to the major arteries that branch off towards the plain, at the foot of Monte Grappa. Historically it is famous for having given birth to the “tyrant” medieval condottiere Ezzelino III da Romano (1149-1259), of Germanic origin. Flourishing for its industries, active in all the productive sectors, on its territory the signs of an illustrious past are still evident. Colle Bastìa, sung by the poet Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy (Paradiso, Canto IX, 25-28); the Valle Santa Felicita, where, since 1000, there were convents and a renowned market. In the area of Fellette there are still Roman cippi where the gratings were extended, and from the ground between Fellette and Sacred Heart, many finds of those distant times are reborn. All over the territory are scattered villas of Venetian nobles and Bassanese lords of the past centuries.
Continuing along the itinerary, at the foot of Monte Grappa, we pass between the territories of Semonzo and Borso, territories where sporting activities are free flight, climbing, cycling and trekking. Every year thousands of fans of these sports attend the slopes of Grappa giving a newfound vitality to this mountain that risked becoming a forgotten place. Even the huts contribute in a decisive way to positively characterize the territory of the Massif recalling in the summer many families and nature lovers. The production of local cheese along with the agritourism proposals are the flagship of Monte Grappa and is proof of the growing interest in this somewhat “introverted” mountain.
From Crespano we head towards Possagno, birthplace of the famous Antonio Canova, native artist of this city, dominated by the Canarian Neoclassical Temple. Inside you can admire the Canovian masterpieces: the Pietà in bronze, the marble self portrait, the plaster Metopes, the great Altarpiece of the main altar and the Tomb. To get to know the figure of the great artist, his works and the working method, it is a must to visit the Gipsoteca, inside which are the plaster casts that Canova used as a model for the marble sculptures. In Possagno you can also visit Canova’s house, where an exhibition of his collections was set up: paintings, engravings, drawings, some marbles and even the work tools and some clothes by the artist. Click here to learn about the artist’s history and his works.
From here you can decide to continue the route to the hills of Pederobba or you can decide to return to San Zenone down towards Castelcucco. If you decide to continue towards the right bank of the Piave, you will come across the town of Pederobba, guardian of many testimonies of the Great War. An example is the French Military Cemetery that we recommend to visit.
Leaving behind Pederobba we descend towards Onigo and then continue east towards Castelcucco proceeding for Fonte alto up to Return to San Zenone.
Starting point: Premier Cycles, Via G. Rossini 12, San Zenone degli Ezzelini