The Vicenza-Montagnana railway has had a fate similar to that of the Treviso-Ostiglia; constructed during the beginning of the 20th century and placed into service in 1911, it was largely destroyed by the bombings of the Second World War; it was put back into service after the war, but only the section between Vicenza and Noventa Vicentina, which finally was decommissioned in 1978.
Its conversion into a bike path was begun during the first years of the 2000 decade along the section between Vicenza and Longare; and then in 2012 the section as far as Noventa Vicentina was completed.
This now makes the total bike path 33 km/20 miles long and paved for its entire length; making this one of the longest continuously-paved bike paths of the Veneto.
To find the route is very simple; leave the train station at Vicenza and travel to the right up to the point where you cross over the train tracks, and from here take the raised street to the left as far as the monumental Arco delle Scalette [arch of the stairs], a design by the architect Andrea Palladio.
Immediately past the arch a kiosk with a route map marks the beginning of the “Vicenza-Longare” bike route (it now needs to be updated!). Once on the bike path it is virtually impossible to get lost; when you come to the statale [state road] the bike route crosses it and the path continues on the left side offering a fantastic view of the most famous of the Venetian villas, la Rotonda by Andrea Palladio; upon coming to Longare you cross the statale again and follow the bike path into the built-up part of the village.
This urban section ends at Via Europa where the bike path had ended until 2011; now by crossing the street you come to the new section of bike path that is completely paved and obviously in perfect condition. Once you come to Ponte di Mossano, without being able to distinguish, you will find yourself on a section of the Treviso-Ostiglia route as far as the former train station of Barbarano Vicentino. From this point the bike path continues as far as Noventa Vicentina. The new section ends at the point-of-entry into the town of Noventa, where you join up with a pre-existing bike path.
This, in turn, ends at the central Piazza IV Novembre, dominated by the monumental Villa Barbarigo, now used as the town hall.
From Noventa the cyclist can continue to Montagnana where there is a train station on the Mantova-Monselice line; or alternatively one can take the road to Este and then to Monselice where there is a station on the Venezia-Bologna line.
Along this bike route, in addition to the already mentioned la Rotonda and Villa Barbarigo, one can visit several other Venetian villas, in particular, before la Rotonda, there is a potential side trip to Villa Valmarana ai Nani, and at Poiana Maggiore, near Noventa, there is Villa Poiana, another work by Palladio.
Latest visit of this route: 9 December 2012