Thursday, December 8, 2011

Castelli di Caneva e Cordignano

Cold, clear day perfect for a ride. There were hundreds of cyclists on the road, the confluence of splendid weather and an Italian holiday, la festa dell'immacolato concezione. I tried keeping up with a small gruppo of cyclists that passed me, but after a kilometer or so they motored away and I couldn't hang on. Meno male, I needed to save energy for the climb ahead anyway.

Below Sarone I turned right and climbed up to the junction for Il Cansiglio. I went straight at the junction toward Castello di Caneva and then descended to Caneva. From here I took the back way to Villa di Villa, and began the climb up to Castello di Cordignano. The section after the castle has the steepest gradient, approaching 20%, then you descend to Rugolo. Here you join the wonderful cliffside road to Montaner, Osigo and Fregona. The views of olive orchards and prosecco vines on one side, and the steep escarpment of Il Cansiglio on the other are spectacular.

At Fregona I decide to return the way I'd come, instead of descending to Cappella Maggiore as usual. When I returned to Montaner I followed an impulse to try the back road down to Sarmede. I had expected a rough, narrow road but it was quite nice with lots of smooth, sweeping curves. I'll have to climb it in the opposite direction soon- has some very steep sections to surmount.

From Sarmede I continued on the main road along the plain through Caneva and home. Really nice ride- hope to have more like this in coming months.

Ruin of 11th-century Castello di Cordignano 

Montaner, with Col Visentin (1763m) in background

Osigo, backed by escarpment of Il Cansiglio

Looking back at Montaner from descent to Sarmede

View across olive orchards and prosecco vineyards toward Osigo

Steepest stretch above Castello di Cordignano

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