Closer to the Sea: Tavagnacco to Palmanova - Alpe-Adria Tour 2018 - CycleBlaze

September 7, 2018

Closer to the Sea: Tavagnacco to Palmanova

Again Hotel Meditur doesn't disappoint us - the breakfast is top. A look outdoors - warm, cloudy, occasionally a few drops of misty rain. The Harleys are out there, too, saddled up and revving their motors. It's no longer far to the coast, approximately 75 km, a day's ride. But we leave it open how far we will cycle. We want to spend some time in Udine and in Palmanova, as well.

It's only 12 km to Udine, a city with a population of about 100,000. The path through Udine's suburbs is signposted and we are often directed on to sidewalks where bicycle symbols have been painted, all a bit improvised, it could be improved upon. Nevertheless, the effort is there to accommodate cyclists.

We only take a superficial look at what the historic center has to offer. We mainly hang around the Piazza della Libertà and take pictures. When we leave Udine, there is no dedicated bicycle path. The route weaves its way through fields and small towns, avoiding roads with traffic and often taking us on gravel paths. As we approach the coast we are gradually, imperceptibly losing elevation.

Soon we reach Palmanova. I had already seen Palmanova on the map and its unusual street pattern is intriguing. It is a concentric city with the form of a star, with three nine-sided ring roads intersecting in the main square. Here I quote what I find to be interesting information from WikipediaPalmanova is an example of a Renaissance planned town, a fortress city designed to defend against attacks from the Ottomans. Built according to humanist and military specifications, Palmanova was supposed to be inhabited by self-sustaining merchants, craftsmen, and farmers. However, despite the pristine conditions and elegant layout of the new city, no one chose to move there, and by 1622 Venice was forced to pardon criminals and offer them free building lots and materials if they would agree to settle the town.

We like it here and decide to stay the night. We don't want to reach the coast quite yet. This also gives us time to investigate the town a little more and later enjoy an aperol spritz on the Piazza Grande. The Italians are so cultivated, they serve all kinds of little snacks with your aperol, grissini wrapped in delicate paper-thin slices of prosciutto di San Daniele, things like that. We spend a long time over our aperols people watching, and then decide to call it a day.

The friendliest hotel
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Stop - I just reached 5000 km!
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5000 km since April 2017
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Charmaine RuppoltWonderful! Congratulations! I'm sure you've done LOTS more kilometers since then!
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5 months ago
Piazza della Libertà, Udine
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Piazza della Libertà, Udine
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The "Loggia del Lionello" (Piazza della Libertà), Udine
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Piazza della Libertà
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Looking back to the city gate as we leave Udine.
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Back roads on our way to Palmnova
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Fields of millet
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We are about to enter Palmanova. Its wide, low and strong ramparts were built to protect the city within the walls.
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A map of the historic park surrounding the town, showing walking and mountain bike paths
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Charmaine RuppoltLooks like an interesting way to explore - either by foot or bike!
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5 months ago
Palmanova's Piazza Grande
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The panorama shot shows about one third of the Piazza Grande.
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Scott AndersonSort of a surreal effect, like he’s frozen in action.
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4 years ago
We see some organized bicycle groups coming through.
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We finish the day enjoying our aperol spritz while watching life on the Piazza Grande.
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Scott AndersonBTW, I just came across the Bicycle Life forum you were probably referring to not long ago. Consider yourself an honorary member of the Hostile Actor’s Club. If you’re ever in the Pacific Northwest, do stop in for your complementary initiation beverage.
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4 years ago
Suzanne GibsonTo Scott AndersonThanks, Scott! That would be a great goal for a coffeeneuring ride, just a bit too far. Darn.
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4 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonWell, maybe we’ll be lucky and one of the group will roll through your part of the world some year. We’re a pretty mobile crowd, so you never know.
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4 years ago