Cycling holiday to discover Friuli Venezia Giulia, from Cividale to Gradisca to explore the Collio.
The starting point for this bike tour is Cividale del Friuli/the surrounding area. Cividale is a medieval town that preserves millenary traditions; the first Lombard duchy in Italy, since 2011 a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it will take you on a journey through treasures of great beauty, revealing magical places that retain the charm of ancient legends. From here you will cycle to Gradisca, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, which preserves many memories of the First World War. Inside the ancient walls, like a jewel, Gradisca preserves its castle. A comfortable itinerary based on just two locations, to discover the enchanted Collio region, uncontaminated nature, wine-making and historical evidence.
Day 1: Individual arrival in Cividale del Friuli/the surrounding area
Individual arrival at the first hotel in Cividale/the surrounding area. Its historical centre can be visited entirely on foot: you will be able to admire Piazza del Duomo with the Cathedral, the Lombard Temple and, not far away, the Celtic Hypogeum; but do not miss the symbol of the city, the famous Devil’s Bridge, built in the 15th century to join the banks of the Natisone River, a point from which you can observe a magnificent panorama of the surrounding plateau and a place shrouded in legends linked to its construction.
Day 2: Cividale: Udine circular tour (about 30 km or a variant about 60 km long)
For this first cycling stage you can choose between a shorter and a longer variant. The first will take you to Prepotto, a small picturesque village in the Collio between Udine and Trieste and close to the Slovenian border. The longer route will take you to Udine, a university town where traditions are deeply rooted, but at the same time open to innovation.
Day 3: Cividale: circular tour of Slovenia and Brda (approx. 45 km or approx. 65 km)
Today’s stage will take you across the Slovenian border to Brda, one of Europe’s most beautiful regions, surrounded by the emerald waters of the River Isonzo, the Friulian plain and Mount Sabotino; Brda is a meeting place for various cultures, famous for its wine-making tradition, castles and white churches; as a borderland it has been fought over for centuries by kings, emperors and tyrants, and as a result today every corner here has something to tell!
Day 4: Cividale: tour of the castles of the Collio (approx. 40 km or 45 km)
The Collio, an area of production of fine wines which – among the first in Italy – has been awarded the Denomination of Controlled Origin, is not only famous for its vineyards: in the succession of gentle hills you will discover small villages where you will want to be taken back in time. Today you will encounter the castles of the Collio, including the Rocca Bernarda, a 15th century fortress located in the heart of a large park in the hills. On these hills, thanks to the passion of Gaetano Perusini, the indigenous white grape variety Picolit, now known throughout the world, was born.
Day 5: Cividale – Cormons – Gradisca (about 35 km; variant about 45 km via Gorizia)
Today you leave Cividale and cycle to Cormons, the cultural and economic centre of the Collio; enjoy a short break in the central square of the town. The route then continues to Gradisca, a small town near the Slovenian border. The Palazzo dei Provveditori in the centre of the historic town houses the regional wine shop.
Day 6: Gradisca: Aquileia circular tour (approx. 45 km or approx. 75 km)
By bike you will reach what was once the largest city of the Roman Empire: Aquileia with its immense archaeological area and the Patriarchal Basilica is a precious treasure trove of art and history. You will discover the mysteries of the Roman city also known as the “Second Rome”: the ruins of the city, ancient temples and dwellings. Do not miss the medieval cathedral with its early Christian mosaic.
Day 7: Gradisca: circular tour Trieste (approx. 40 km)
With the last stage of your journey you will arrive in Trieste. After the first part of the route, in which you will be accompanied by the Karst, you will reach the shores of the Adriatic. Before you reach the capital of this region, stop to visit the castle of Miramare, high above the sea. Trieste will then be waiting for you: an ancient merchant and port city, beautiful and cultured, a cosmopolitan city where cultures, languages, traditions and religions intertwine. Enjoy the experience of a break in one of the famous literary cafés before returning to Gradisca (train from Trieste to Sagrado, then by bike, ticket included).
Day 8: Gradisca, individual departure
Individual departure or possibility to extend the stay.