Bicycle routesBicycle routes mapThe Veneto by bicycleCiclovia Alpe Adria
Udine, Palmanova, Strassoldo, Cervignano
Udine-Cervignano 37 km - table, altimetry, mapAquileia, Grado and the Estuary of the Isonzo Flag

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This leg of the Alpe Adria bike route runs through the Friuli plain between Udine and Cervignano coming upon at least two places of great interest: Palmanova, one of the most famous fortified cities in the world, and the village of Strassoldo, less well-known, but very evocative with its two medieval castles.

It becomes immediately apparent that this isn’t a bike path like the one between Tarvisio and Resiutta, but simply a well-signed route with frequent route maps, and only for a small segment on a dedicated bike path; the remainder is on local roads with low traffic, and for a large section on dirt or gravel roads, something that may feel unwelcome and lengthen the duration of your trip. In any case, it is a route better suited for mountain bikes than for road bikes.

Point of departure is the FS train station at Udine; head to the right to the narrow bike lane that runs along Viale Europa Unità. Once you are at Piazzale Gabriele D’Annunzio, in front of the Porta [city gate] Aquileia, you will find on the right an underpass that goes below the train tracks and which has a bike lane on the left side.

From here on, just follow the arrows with the logos for CAAR (Ciclovia Alpe Adria Radweg) and FVG 1 (Friuli-Venezia Giulia 1 bike route); coming out of the underpass, follow the arrows and continue by riding on the sidewalk to the southern district of Udine, then to Pradamano on the SP 37; here there is an attractive bike lane on the right, that runs through the trees.

After Pradamano the CAAR arrows lead you onto a section of unpaved farm road; at the end of this section you will go past the small village of Lovaria, then another unpaved section as far as Pavia di Udine, then more dirt road until Persereano; from here the route is paved as far as the village of Merlana; just before Merlana a CAAR arrow would have you turn right onto another unpaved section, which, in my case, I avoided by going into Merlana and turning right towards Santa Maria la Longa, after which we continue towards Palmanova along SR 352.

Palmanova is one of the most famous fortified cities in the world, laid out in the characteristic shape of a nine-pointed star with three entry gates; you arrive by way of the Porta [city gate] Udine (from the northwest) next to an old aqueduct; take the time to stop and appreciate the external bastions of the fort, although the best view would be…from the sky. Entering the fort you reach the large piazza at the center of the star; from here we continue south passing by the imposing structure of the Arsenale [arsenal]; leave by the Porta Aquileia (south) and in a short distance, on the left, we come to a bike path which, once again, quickly becomes unpaved; this is the most broken up and difficult section with many potholes; in brief, it requires some attention. We then reach the village of Privano where we find a paved route that take us to Strassoldo.

Strassoldo is one of the most interesting medieval towns of Friuli. The fortified center is divided into two castles simply referred to as “di sopra” [upper] and “di sotto” [lower]. Notwithstanding the many changes and building alterations the village retains considerable charm.

After Strassoldo there are no more difficult stretches nor places of particular interest. Follow Via Julia Augusta and then a bike lane along SR 352 as far as Cervignano del Friuli where we can find a train station on the Venezia-Trieste line.

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