Sunday, May 4, 2014

Il Montello

Today a visit to the World War 1 battlefield at Montello.  I left home at 6AM and rode down through Cordignano, Pianzano, San Fior di Sotto, across Ponte della Priula to Nervesa della Battaglia.  It was now around 9AM and the deserted roads began to fill with bikes.  Hundreds, probably thousands of bikes.  I rode up Strada Dorsale to Santa Maria della Vittoria, highest point in the Montello at 350 meters.  Miles of winding roads through forest, a perfect cool, clear day, the perfume of black elder trees in bloom, unbeatable riding.  From Santa Maria I descended on one of dozens of connecting roads (prese) from dorsal to perimeter.  These are quite steep and each would make a great climb itself.   I arrived at the Panoramica, which is the northern perimeter road along the Piave River.  More bikes here this morning than anywhere I've ridden except Stelvio from Prato or Sella Ronda.  The attraction: to the north the river, the prosecco hills, in the distance the mountains reaching from Monte Grappa to Monte Cavallo.  To the south beautiful forests and meadows of Il Montello.  In between, a wide smooth, undulating, curvy road full of bikes.

Back in Nervesa della Battaglia I headed home.  On impulse I deviated from the route at Fiume Monticano,  following it across a plain covered in vineyards and fields, luckily rejoining the route only 3 km out of the way.  

Must return to Il Montello (driving part way) and try climbing a few of the prese- there are dozens, some paved, some dirt, so the possibilities are endless.

Piave River at Nervesa della Battaglia

Rolling pastures along Strada Dorsale

Prosecco hills near Valdobbiadene, with Monte Cesen high above

Santa Maria della Vittoria

Monte Cavallo gruppo far to the northeast

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