A route of great landscape and artistic interest, signed as cycle-friendly although in truth it barely deserves this attribute; the automobile traffic is anything but light, and in the area of Mira very heavy; a route that definitely is not very relaxing for the rider who must always be one´s guard.
The starting point could be Venice or Padua; starting from the Padua train station take Largo Viale Tommaseo on the left, which then becomes Via Venezia; continue straight until the road reduces to one lane as it climbs on the embankment of the Piovego Canal; take the towpath of the canal on the left bank and ride for about 3 km which at first is paved and then becomes gravel (in good condition) to Noventa Padovana where it passes in front of the villa Giovanelli (N.B. as of 2008 the towpath is interrupted and one is directed to a detour through an industrial area; March 2010: the towpath continues to be interrupted). At Noventa you take the bridge over the canal and continue on the right bank, asphalt for just over a kilometer, then gravel (in poor condition with many holes).
The embankment road leads us directly to Stra, where you can take a bridge on the left and arrive directly in front of Villa Foscarini-Rossi; from here take the road on the right side of the Brenta Canal and soon you find yourself in front of the Villa Pisani, the largest and one of the most famous of the Venetian villas.
Continue along the road that runs along the right side of the canal, signed by yellow bicycle signs, in reality rather cryptic, indicating only the number of the route, as though the rider would know the difference between route 1 and 2 ...; the route described here is largely No. 1.
As I said earlier, this is not a real bicycle route, traffic is lower than the state highway that follows along other parts of the canal, but the traffic is constant and the rider must be very careful, especially where the road becomes more constricted.
The road continues along the Brenta Canal through the towns of Dolo, Mira and Oriago; at Mira it is convenient to make a short detour to visit the “barchessa” of Villa Valmarana. [See previous page for definition of “barchessa”. RB]
Finally, after Oriago the road ends up at the extremely busy Via Romea; you just need to get across that road to get onto the road for la Malcontenta where, on the left is Villa Foscari, one of the masterpieces of Palladio. From here you can take a side-trip to Fusina, where there is an ACTV boat dock with connections to Venice; on a clear day, you will have a beautiful view of the lagoon and Venice.
[ACTV - Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano - operates the vaporetti and other lagoon ferries. RB]
Once past la Malcontenta one ends up on Viale Fratelli Bandiera which by crossing the city of Marghera takes one directly to Venice by way of the state highway; immediately after an overpass there is a bike path on the right that runs along the state highway all the way to the buildings of Venezia Fiere [Venice fairgrounds]. You should take the road that runs along the harbor and which rejoins the main road a few hundred meters before the Ponte della Libertá [Liberty Bridge - 4 km long] which is flanked by a narrow bike lane, riding which will get you to Venice (Piazzale Roma or to Tronchetto where you can catch a ferry for the Lido).
The route may of course be done in the opposite direction from Venice. From Stra you can also find the route Padova-Monselice following local roads for Saonara, Legnaro, Casalserugo, Masera.