By Bike from Innsbruck to Italy with Girolibero

Bike Culture & Tips

By Bike from Innsbruck to Italy with Girolibero
Juillet 2019

The capital of Austrian Tyrol, Innsbruck was one of the warmest communities we visited on our european Support Cyclists On The Road tour, not to mention the most fun. For two days the Van was literally attacked by cyclists, and indeed in Innsbruck there are plenty of cyclists! And we can see why – this elegant town with its golden roof is the point of arrival and departure for some of the most beautiful cycling routes in Austria.

Today we recommend a splendid cycle route connecting Innsbruck to Italy that combines a visit to the historic center of this Austrian town with its traditional cafes that was once the summer residence of the Austrian imperial family with the beautiful destinations of Verona and Venice.

From Innsbruck to Italy by bike: the stages not to be missed

You may use a combination of several routes to cycle from Innsbruck to Venice, starting with the Eurovelo 7, the “Sun Route” which takes in parts of the Valle d’Isarco and the Valle dell'Adige cycling paths. After Lake Garda, the cycle path continues on the I1, one of the classic choices for cycling the Veneto. But what are the stops along the way you don’t want to miss? Here are our tips.

Bressanone: 1000 anni di storia

One of the oldest cites in South Tyrol, a walk through this elegant and well-kept town will astound you with how well it has aged. Park your bike and visit the baroque Duomo, take a walk to the White Tower, and if you have time, we suggest you visit the original Museum of Pharmacy or the Diocesan Museum which houses paintings, Viennese ceramics and 5,000 nativity scenes!


Piazza Walther is a good place to start a “circular” walk. On the northern side of the square, the open-air tables and chairs of the town hotel tempt you to have a cappuccino and croissant while you leaf through various newspapers, while on the southern portion of the square there is the cathedral with its magnificent stone tower.
The tourist office can be found right in the southeastern corner, and near the square there is the former Dominican monastery that contains one of Bolzano’s treasures, the Johanneskapelle (St John’s Chapel) with its Gothic, Giotto-esque frescoes.

The entire old town is a pedestrian zone, so a stroll from the Waltherplatz is worth your while: start towards the north over the Kornplatz into the nearby Laubengasse, past the splendid Merkantilgebäude (Trade Court) over to the Obstplatz fruit market, whose colourful bustle fired Goethe with enthusiasm more than two centuries ago.

If you have enough time, you should also visit the “Ötzi-Museum” in the Museumstrasse, then you can walk back to the Waltherplatz via Dr Streiter-Gasse with the marble slabs of the old fish market, the Bindergasse with its historical inns (pop into the Weisses Rössl if you can) and the Rathausplatz with its magnificent town hall building.


They did a great job placing the cycle path near the best part of Trento – the old town. Leave the cycle track along the Adige, walk along Via Verdi and you’re at the cathedral in an instant. The Romanesque cathedral is a must see. Then walk through the cathedral square with the Bishop’s Palace, past Neptune’s fountain and along Via Belenzani, the city’s showpiece street. At the northern end (parts of the university are on your left) turn right onto Via Roma.

At the town’s tourist office, Via Manci starts with Palazzo del Diavolo (literally “the devil’s palace”), so called because legend has it that the builder signed a pact with the devil so that he could build the house in just one night. (It actually took a year to build, but that was still incredibly quick for the time.) Continue to the Castello del Buonconsiglio, then back through Via Suffragio and its medieval porticoes which were once the German merchant and artisan quarters. You should definitely pop into one of the many cafés!

Lake Garda

If you come from the Adige River valley to the east and cross over the low San Giovanni pass, you will be amazed by the view of Lake Garda just like other famous travellers who stopped in awe at this Italian destination. Your gaze will be met by cypress and palm, silvery olive trees and steep, white chalk cliffs, all in the middle a deep-blue lake so large it could almost be mistaken for a sea whose distant shores merge with the light and haze.

Lake Garda is the largest lake south of the Alps, and, at 346 metres, also the deepest. The 148-kilometer Gardesana road that rings the lake is full of tunnels and vantage points providing breathtaking views.


After Venice, Verona is the city that most fires the enthusiasm of travellers to Italy with the wealth of artistic monuments, perfectly preserved medieval city centre with its magnificent churches in different architectural styles, monumental bridges over the Adige River which winds its way in broad loops through the city. The little streets and squares are paved in marble, as well are the palaces and monuments.

The mighty Roman Arena and the Roman Theatre and ring of city walls leave an indelible mark on any visitor. Not only are the individual monuments impressive, but the city as a whole impresses as the embodiment of a city republic, one whose churches and squares stand protected by powerful battlement walls nestled against the foothills.


This section of the cycle route runs through the suburbs of Verona and along the unsurfaced raised bank of the Adige for a short distance and continues through rolling countryside covered in fields, olive groves and vineyards at the foot of the Monti Lessini before continuing on to the Berici hills behind Vicenza.

Vicenza is first and foremost the city of Palladio, the great Renaissance architect whose studies and revolutionary achievements have had a lasting influence on world architecture. It is no wonder that this city with a population of 116,000 has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994. Alongside the works of Palladio, Vicenza has a host of further treasures from the Middle Ages and the Gothic period. The old city centre with its thriving business life, elegant shops and popular cafés is a real gem.

The largest European thermal district

Cycling out of Vicenza, along the cycle path of the river Bacchiglione, you can admire the Palladian masterpiece Villa La Rotonda. Then, past the hamlet of Montegalda, you will head towards the Euganean Hills, where you can relax in the largest European thermal district: Abano and Montegrotto Terme are waiting for you!


The wealth of art treasures and things to see in Venice and the surrounding area means that even the most comprehensive guide could offer only a rough sketch of the town.

Our tip: take a vaporetto to Saint Mark’s Square. The number 1 vaporetto stops at all the boat stops, which is fun but takes ages, so we suggest you catch the number 2 vaporetto, which only makes a few stops takes about half an hour to get to Saint Mark’s Square. During the journey along the s-shaped, 3.8-kilometre canal you will sail past the most beautiful palazzi and come across all sorts of traffic, including barges transporting vegetables, removal-van barges, barges lugging building materials and, every so often, a stylish pleasure boat or one of the smart looking water taxis. Even the police get around by boat.

On Saint Mark’s Square, dubbed by Napoleon “Europe’s drawing room”, the finest buildings lined up before us: the Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the campanile. You are literally spoiled for choice: art lovers can go to the Doge’s Palace and wander through the museum, and visiting the magnificent church with its gold mosaics is free.
Travellers keen to take in a breathtaking view of the city can take the lift up to the top of the campanile, look down on Venice and scout for the neighbouring islands and the island strip of the Lido. On clear days you can see as far as the mountains in the northwest.

A small snack (cicheto) of hard boiled egg, sardines, cooked octopus, polenta and squid, washed down with a glass of wine, tastes best in the small bars, or bacari, in the little side streets.

If you can't wait for the planning and want to pedal it now, all you have to do is discover Girolibero's proposals for an easy cycling holiday between Innsbruck and Venice right now.

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