Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ciclovia Alpe Adria

Ciclovia Alpe Adria is a bikeway running from Salzburg, Austria to Grado on the Adriatico.  I decided to ride the lower section of it today.  I planned on starting at Palmanova (a Renaissance fortress) but when I arrived it was raining so I continued further south until it was dry.   From Terzo d'Aquileia I rode down the smooth bike path to Aquileia, a Roman provincial capital from 2nd century AD.  Took a few pictures of the Roman forum  and the civil basilica  (a government meeting hall, later converted to a Christian church).  It has some of the best Roman pavement mosaics anywhere, but today I stayed outside.

From Aquileia the ciclovia continues south to the lagoon, a body of water between the mainland and the barrier island Grado.  The causeway across the lagoon has 2 smooth bike lanes separated from the busy highway, truly wonderful.  Once I arrived on the island I headed for the historic quarter.  There are archaeological digs here, including a late-Roman Christian church with sarcophagi.  Many working fishing boats were parked along the canals.

I headed back and soon regained Terzo d'Acquileia.  I'll try to return here this Spring with MTB to visit some of the birding areas along the Marano lagoon.      

Ruins of forum, center of town life.  The sculpted faces
were part of shrines to Roman gods

Some partially restored columns

Close up of original capitals

Entrance to basilica

Roman columns on the basilica grounds

The interior from the entrance: the pavementi are a must-see 

Romanesque campanile beside basilica 

Octagonal baptistry on left 

From the causeway bike path looking toward Trieste

The church at Grado

Another angle

Ruins of early Christian church at Grado;
 the rounded apse foundation

Unearthed sarcophagi: note the Celtic cross on right

Curious house dating from the early period

Looking east along Adriatico coast

The view west toward Lignano

This place reminded me of the French Quarter

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