Following the banks of rivers, canals and minor waterways you will enjoy enchanting views on the historical, artistical and natural heritage of Padua. .
Start point:Padova, Porte Contarine
Finish point:Padova, Porte Contarine
Total distance: 54 km
Duration:1 dayGrade of difficulty:medium
Suitable for:fit riders
This easy loop itinerary follows mainly the bank of rivers and is on greenways. From Porte Contarine (at the corner between via Giotto and Via Matteotti in Padua), a navigation lock from 1526 and ancient access point to the inland waterways of Padua, the cycling itinerary heads towards the Scrovegni Chapel, an art jewel which keeps the frescoes of Giotto.
The first canal that we come across is the Piovego, an artificial artery 11 km long that has for eight hundred years connected Padua to Venice by the Brenta Canal. This is historically the most important waterway in the Paduan area: in its urban stretch it laps against the Venetian wall. Going beyond the university area, one reaches the elegant Porta Ognissanti or del Portello. In the vicinity of the 18th century bridge we see the original stone steps that allow the boats to dock, today only used for tourist purposes.
Having left behind the Piovego Canal, one proceeds in a contrary direction to the water flow, firstly on the banks of the San Gregorio Canal and then, going beyond the navigation lock of Voltabarozzo to the Scaricatore Canal where the Paduans love to practice sport.
Reaching Bassanello it is interesting to observe the water flow: part of it enters into the city along the Tronco Maestro and part goes in a southern direction along the Battaglia Canal (Euganean Waterway).
The route proceeds along the Bacchiglione embankment, the river that feeds the Paduan canals. At the end of the straight stretch of the canal one reaches Limena a town where it is possible to admire some villas and the ancient hydraulic manufactures of th Colmelloni. So one continues on the Brenta river, site of natural interest for the presence of protected flowers and animals, in very beautiful surroundings.
In the neighbourhood of a centuries old oak one deviates onto a country road that leads to the entrance of the Certosa di Vigodarzere, an authentic Renaissance jewel. On the other bank, in the Municipality of Padua, the former church of S. Eufemia di Altichiero now hosts the Archaeological Museum of Paduan Waterways that can be reached with a brief detour. Going on the river course is straight and less captivating, but after a few kilometres it reaches Stra, a riverside town where celebrated Veneto villas are concentrated. The last stretch from Noventa to Padua returns along the Piovego Canal, where the beautiful Villa Giovanelli faces onto the last leg befor re-entering the city.