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From France to Istria, by bike

#1 Moncenisio – Torino

Start from the border between France and Italy (1974 mt.) and get down into Val di Susa, discovering Roman ruins and Benedictine abbeys. Piedmont Region is full of attractions, like the majestic palace of Stupinigi (UNESCO). Once in Turin, taste a good Barbera wine on the Po river banks.


#2 Torino – Novara

Piedmont gave birth to Cavour, a national hero famous for his political skills. Leaving Turin we will follow one of his achievements: the Cavour Canal, built in 1866. Extremely important for the rice fields, the canal leads you into an ecological area full of birds and animals. A little deviation to Vercelli, in order to intercept Via Francigena, and then you will reach Novara: find a restaurant and ask for Paniscia!


#3 Novara – Milano

Leave Novara, and head towards Lombardy Region. Cross Ticino River, the most ancient Regional Park of Italy. Turbigo is a crossroad for cycle-tourists, since Naviglio Grande and Villoresi Canal meet there. Follow the latter and discover beautiful villas like Villa Litta in Lainate, and Villa Arconati in Groane Park. You are now entering Milan from the EXPO 2015 area, till the very downtown: Leonardo’s Cenacolo is waiting for you, as well as Cotoletta alla Milanese (rigorously with bones!)


#4 Milano – Brescia

Naviglio Martesana was built in 1460 by Francesco Sforza: it is a magical waterway that leads you out of Milan, till river Adda. Head towards Treviglio and Romano, and discover the amazing paintings of their churches. Cross river Oglio (another beautiful cycleway) and get ready for a pleasant ride across Franciacorta vineyards. Finally, you will arrive in Brescia, the lioness. Don’t miss Santa Giulia neighborhood, with a Longobard Monastery (UNESCO)… and taste a slice of polenta.


#5 Brescia – Verona

Exit Brescia, and cross the Botticino marble territory. You are now approaching Garda Lake, one of the most inspiring landscapes in Italy: the poet  Catullo lived in Sirmione in the first century BC. Pass close to Desenzano, and head for San Martino della Battaglia, with an important memorial of Italian Independence war. Proceed till river Mincio, and be welcome in Veneto Region. Few miles and you will reach the fair Verona, set of Romeo and Juliet drama. Put on your smoking and go to the opera at L’Arena: Aida is our favourite one!


#6  Verona – Padova

Follow River Adige, southward: if you go north, you will follow our historical Ciclopista del Sole towards Austria. Head towards Soave vineyards, and the beautiful  Vicenza, birth-city of Palladio and modern theatres. Follow the river Bacchiglione, pass through pleasant hills with spas and thermal benefits, like Abano, and you will arrive in the savant Padua, one of the most ancient universities of Europe (est. 1222). Enjoy the sunset on Prato della valle with a flavoured Spritz to drink. Cheers!


#7  Padova – Treviso

Exit Padova and head Eastward. Follow different canals till river Brenta and the amazing Villa Pisani at Stra, a magnificent example of Venetian Villas.  Then you will reach Mestre, the urban development of Venice: la Serenissima is 9 km away, crossing the lagoon on Ponte della libertà. Mestre itself is a discovery, extremely bike friendly, with the contemporary M9 museum.  Proceed northward till river Sile, sweet and gentle, and get into Treviso. Trevisan, Pan & Tripe tells an old song… but in winter taste the famous chicory.


#8  Treviso – Pordenone

La Marca is the province of Treviso, you could explore it till river Piave, extremely honoured in Italy thanks to WWI battle. Cross the pleasant Oderzo, the ancient Opitergium, and take your time to visit Portobuffoléone of the cutest villages of AIDA. After a while, you will enter region Friuli Venezia Giulia: follow river Livenza till the entrance in Pordenone, one of the most sophisticated and punkest city in Italy. Enjoy the festival Pordenone Legge!


#9  Pordenone – Udine

Friuli is a land or rivers and rebels: head towards Casarsa della Delizia and take a while to homage the poet Pierpaolo Pasolini, buried there. Cross river Tagliamentowith its large bed, and proceed to Codroipo: you will encounter the impressive Villa Manin, famous for the Napoleon treaty of Campo Formio. Approach Udine, capital of Friuli and good beer: enjoy a fresh blonde in Piazza Libertà, together with a crunchy dish of Frico.


#10  Udine – Trieste

Leave Udine, direction South. After Manzano, a design furniture district, you will cross the walled Gradisca. Cross the river Isonzo, which was celebrated by the poet Giuseppe Ungaretti, and take your time to visit the Sacrario di Redipuglia, a moving monument dedicated to the Italian soldiers who died here in WWI. After the airport Ronchi dei Legionari, you will face a typical kind of mountains called Carso. Reach the seaside in Monfalcone, and get into Trieste on a panoramic road. Go to Molo Audace: AIDA ends here.


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