My thanks to Kathy Bechtel of Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine (www.italiaoutdoorsfoodandwine.com) for writing in with a story from one of her trips. Italiaoutdoors Food and Wine specializes in active vacations complemented by a focus on food, wine, culture and history.
Veneto: The Best of Italy - Cycling, Food and Wine
Bassano was located right on the front line in both World Wars. During the first World War, terrible battles ensued on neighboring Monte Grappa, where the Italian army regrouped after their devastating loss at Caporetto and made a heroic last stand against the Austrians. At the top of the mountain lie the remains of over 12,000 Italian troops and over 10,000 Austrian and Hungarian troops who lost their lives during this battle. In 1928, the name was changed to Bassano del Grappa, in memory of the soldiers killed. Hemingway fans may recall the role this town played in his novel A Farewell to Arms.
Cyclists who want a real challenge can take a detour and visit the summit of Monte Grappa, also a route known to fans of the Giro d’Italia. Here, there are numerous options for the ascent that we can guide you to, from one that reaches a 10% grade max to as much as 20%. Those who wish to stay on flatter terrain can take their time on a more circuitous route, and spend some time in Bassano visiting the beautiful Ponte degli Alpini - the lovely pontoon bridge designed by famed architect Palladio. All of our riders can meet up in Bassano to enjoy a wonderful lunch, followed by a tasting of the local grappas at Poli.
We can end our travels here in Bassano, with the afternoon to explore, or continue on to Marostica, or even Vicenza. This area supplies so many different ride options, we are never at a loss to find the perfect route or routes for a group! And with foods from the fish of the Adriatic to the mountain cuisine of the Dolomites, and over 30 different wine regions to explore, this is probably the most versatile and fascinating region in all of Italy."
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Kathy also writes a blog, Italian Food, Wine and Travel, at www.chefbikeski.com
Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome.
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