Padua’s association with cycling is no accident. It is estimated that there are around 60,000 university students in the city, and at least half of them use bicycles to get around; and the same means of transport is used by at least 30% of the city’s inhabitants, who number around 212,000.
In the golden years of cycling, Padua was also home to two of the giants in bike production: Cesare Rizzato at Atala (whose over ten different makes included ‘Lygie’, ‘Maino’, ‘U.Dei’ and ‘Ceriz’) and Federico Torresini at Torpado.
It is also a well-known fact that thousands of cyclists visit Padua, both to see its cultural and artistic treasures and to enjoy its cycle routes. There are a large number of these, and they are suitable for all kinds of cyclists: the river circuit; the Euganean Hills circuit; the stretch of the St. Anthony Walk that runs along the Muson dei Sassi; the tour around the ‘walled cities’ of the area, which takes in Padua, Monselice and Este; the Rural Padua route along the course of the Bacchiglione; the itinerary from the Bacchiglione to the Brenta, which runs from Vicenza to Venezia; the Salt Road and the Sugar Road routes that run from Padua to Chioggia; the cycle route along the former Treviso-Ostiglia rail line, which allows you to cycle to Treviso in complete safety; the Via del Brenta, from Padua up to Trento; the Via degli Estensi, from Padua to Ferrara.
For our itinerary, let’s choose the Euganean Hills circuit. Starting from Padua (Bassanello), you ride along the Lungargine dei Barcari embankment that follows the course of the Battaglia Canal; after 5 kilometres, this brings you to Villa Molin (a masterpiece designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi) and after 8 kilometres to Castello del Catajo in Battaglia Terme. A further 8 kilometres along the canal brings you to Monselice and then Este (+10), Baone (+4) Cinto Euganeo (+2), Lozzo Atestino (+3), Vo’ Vecchio (+6) Bastia di Rovolon (+7), Cervarese Santa Croce (+5), Treponti di Teolo (+2). Here you can either choose to return to Padua, via Tencarola di Selvazzano (the shortest route), or continue via the Abbey of Praglia, Torreglia, Abano Terme and Montegrotto Terme, back to Villa Molin and along the Battaglia Canal embankment.
This magical route – which takes you through a landscape of hills, watercourses, villas and magnificent vegetation – gives you the feeling of cycling through an enchanted world. Don’t forget the usual equipment you need for a bike ride, plus a supply of water and a sandwich or two. Have a good trip!
Day trips suggestions here.