Trento - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

October 4, 2018

Trento

Another short, easy ride lies ahead of us today - forty miles down the Adige following the Via Claudia Augusta cycleway, one of the most renowned cycle routes in Europe.  It’s another beautiful, sunny day, and warmer than it has been - the expected high is 75.  

We don’t leave the hotel until 11, partly because we’re in no rush, partly because I want some more time to wander around town with the camera, and partly because Rachael is getting a cold and wants to start the day slowly.  Hopefully it won’t develop into much of anything, and hopefully she won’t pass it on to me.  Good thing we’re not up in the mountains!

Both of us really loved Bolzano.   It’s beautiful, and the bike infrastructure is hard to believe. It feels exceedingly livable, warm, alive.  Like Trieste, it’s a place that I’d love to return to some day.  

Detail of the fountain in the duomo plaza
Heart 1 Comment 0
Gargoyle, the duomo
Heart 3 Comment 0
The duomo
Heart 1 Comment 0
Bolzano is bike crazy. Street after street looks like this.
Heart 3 Comment 0
This is what a town square should look like - a bike leaning against every tree.
Heart 3 Comment 3
Andrea BrownI like how they protected the trees, too. Are these bikes locked? If that is unnecessary in Bolzano, I think we should all move there.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Scott AndersonI’m not sure about locks - I think people don’t bother when they’re stopped nearby like this, and neither do we. They’re locked when people leave them unattended though.

You’re right, we could do much worse than starting over in Bolzano.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
I like the way the paint highlights the narrow buildings. I paced out the red one - ten feet wide.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Bolzano has a lovely market radiating off of the duomo plaza. Most patrons appear to arrive by bicycle or other non motorized vehicle.
Heart 4 Comment 0
I could have created an entire album of colorful building facades in Bolzano
Heart 2 Comment 0
I was impressed by her cycling technique, with one hand behind her to steady the load. Also by her color coordinated tennies.
Heart 4 Comment 0
We have a new favorite city to add to our return wish list.
Heart 3 Comment 0

Although I wasn’t aware of it yesterday, we were biking on the famous Via Claudia Augusta, the cycleway that runs from Salzburg to Venice.  We continue down it today to Trento, and also tomorrow until we leave it for the south shore of Lake Garda.  

I doubt that Rachael and I have ever ridden a better developed cycleway than we rode today.  Not counting the short distance getting into and out of the historical core of these two cities, the entire distance from Bolzano to Trento was on a dedicated bike path.  I might be forgetting something, but I don’t recall being on even a quiet street from the time we let town until we arrived tonight.  

And what a bike path it is - smooth, wide, excellent riding surface, and essentially level except for the occasional dips or rises to cross under or over a road.  And, the ride is gorgeous.  The route never strays far from the rushing Adige River, passing through mile after mile of apple plantations and vinyards in between dramatic valley walls and cliff faces. Much of the ride follows the top of a long dike protecting the orchards and bottom land from the river, so you glide along fifteen or twenty feet above the basin and enjoy continuous uninterrupted views.

Definitely a ride worth repeating some day.   

We were really astounded by how wonderful the Via Claudia Augusta is. The stretch yesterday from Bolzano to Merano was great, but it was even better today. Probably the most impressive cycle path we’ve ever ridden.
Heart 3 Comment 0
We draw a cheer from an apple picking crew.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The scenery is spectacular all the way from Bolzano to Trento. For much of the way, the valley floor is given over completely to apple cultivation and vinyards.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The route slowly drops with the river, but this is a flat, flat, flat ride. We had a total elevation gain of 600 feet in forty miles.
Heart 2 Comment 0
It’s a flat ride, but the views are mountainous. As good as it gets.
Heart 2 Comment 0
I liked the way that apple estates break through the surface of the sea of orchards, like an emerging submarine.
Heart 0 Comment 0
We stopped for lunch at about the halfway point, at one of the benches placed at regular intervals along the way.
Heart 0 Comment 0
While we ate lunch, we heard continuous cheerful whistling in the orchard behind us. We finally looked around and were surprised to see it was someone picking the orchard by hand, one of a crew of three.
Heart 1 Comment 0
These orchards go on for miles like this. Amazing to think that they’re harvested manually. That’s our whistling harvester in the near corner.
Heart 2 Comment 0
About ten miles north of Trento the valley narrows to a steep walled canyon. This is a very beautiful section, that reminded me of the gorge country in southern France.
Heart 2 Comment 0

We arrive in Trento around four, and fairly easily find our lodging - an apartment tucked into a tiny alley just off the duomo plaza.  No one is there when we arrive, so we give a phone call and our host walks over five minutes later.  She shows us around our spacious apartment, shows us the breakfast options for the morning and how to operate the coffee pot, and how to operate the washing machine.  Unfortunately she only mimicked how to turn on the gas range to boil the coffee, or else she might have noticed that there are no matches to light it.  In the morning we’ll be disappointed to start the day without coffee, but other than that it’s a great place.

As is Trento.  It’s not as immediately appealing as Bolzano - a bit grittier, a bit larger - but there’s plenty to see in its largely pedestrianized historical core.  Especially impressive are the fine fifteenth century palaces that line the main avenue, many of which are decorated with faded frescoe facades.

Outside our B&B (the Duomo B&B, a great place just off the duomo plaza), waiting for our host to arrive.
Heart 2 Comment 0
In Trento
Heart 3 Comment 0
In Trento
Heart 0 Comment 0
The fountain in duomo plaza
Heart 0 Comment 0
The historical core has many outstanding palaces, some of which are finely ornamented with weathered frescoes and low relief sculpture. I like this one - is she riding a unicycle?
Heart 1 Comment 0
Ornamentation atop a public water fountain
Heart 1 Comment 0
The original happy warrior
Heart 1 Comment 0
In Trento
Heart 1 Comment 0
Featured at Antico Pozzo, the restaurant recommended by our host: grilled trout with riced potatoes and vegetables.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The duomo fountain
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Ride stats today: 41 miles, 600’

Today's ride: 41 miles (66 km)
Total: 1,180 miles (1,899 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 3
Comment on this entry Comment 0