Stage 5: Bassano del Grappa to Vicenza

Distance: 34.2km

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Speed: 22.7 km/h

Ascent: 40 metres

Total distance: 270.7 km

Total time: 14 hours 6 minutes

Wordle scores: Captain 4 Stoker 4

Word of the day: “Temporale” (tem-por-rah-lay) – storm / rainstorm / thunderstorm

The Captain writes:

As I stepped out of the shower, refreshed after a hot day on the bike, I looked out of the bathroom window to see water running in torrents down the adjacent street. Not much point in heading out to see the sights of Bassano just yet, then!

Il temporale

In fact the rain continued, on and off, all evening. We ate at Danieli, a restaurant recommended by our host Arianna, and initially chose to sit outside, under a large canopy. Soon afterwards, though, the rain returned and we, in company with all of our fellow diners, scuttled inside before we were completely soaked.

After dinner the rain had eased off, and before returning to our lodgings we wandered down through Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza della Libertà to the Brenta River, to see the famous covered bridge which has existed on this spot for centuries. I suspect it has been rebuilt a few times, but it was of an unusual and impressive design.

Back then to the apartment, and to sleep. Sadly the sleep was regularly interrupted by the loud shouting of those wandering through Piazza Garibaldi. We’d been forced to sleep with the windows open as the air-conditioning didn’t seem to work, so we heard every shout, until about 4am.

As a result we were pretty weary when we awoke. A hot shower helped somewhat. No matter, we were determined to see Bassano during non-rainy daylight hours, so we sallied forth back down to the river, admiring the sights along the way, before returning to Piazza Garibaldi where we headed up the Torre Civica di Bassano, climbing 213 steps to the top, where an open gallery provided all-round views of Bassano. It’s a very fine town, and we enjoyed our visit, despite the shouting!

Our tandem had been stored overnight in the passageway outside our room, so we carried it down the stairs, very carefully, and out of the front door, before re-fitting our panniers and pedalling away.

Just a short day today then, to allow us some time to see the Palladian splendours of Vicenza. Not only that, but the first few kilometres were gently downhill, and we were soon pedalling along at a cracking pace (usual disclaimer: by our standards!). To begin with we followed the path of the Brenta river before breaking away towards the south west.

Scenery-wise the journey was relatively uneventful – the flat terrain meant that we couldn’t really get extensive views of our surroundings. It was enjoyable to be moving so quickly though, especially after yesterday’s steep hills.

As we approached Vicenza we noticed large numbers of white birds in the surrounding fields, similar to small herons but with a sort of orange-brown longitudinal stripe on their heads. We’ve yet to identify them but we think they could be some type of egret?

As we reached the last couple of kilometres the architecture took a distinct turn for the better! We cycled past elegant colonnades and striking buildings, all of this preparing us for the sight of the Basilica Palladiana. Our apartment was a few metres away, just around the corner.

Having showered away the dust of the day we walked out and enjoyed a small lunch (not enough kilometres under our belt today for a large lunch!) and then wandered around, enjoying the remarkable architecture which surrounded us.

Eventually the weariness resulting from our short night took over, and, after acquiring the ingredients for tonight’s risotto at a nearby supermarket, we headed back to our lodgings.

Tomorrow our destination is Montagnana, via a challenging climb over the alpine outliers just south of Vicenza.

Here’s today’s route and a short video

Leave a Reply