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By mountain bike along the embankments

towards San Martino Castle


An easy itinerary that goes through the typical countryside of Veneto, marked by the flowing of one of its most important rivers: the Bacchiglione.

Please note that the route is completely flat, except for some short slopes which go up and down-hill on the embankments. Except for some short paved stretches, the route is mainly a dirt road, so it is advisable to use suitable tires.

This route is fascinating in all seasons: the flourishing nature in spring, the contrasting colors in summer and autumn, the magic atmospheres of the mists and hoarfrost in winter, the seasonal floods of the river which submerge the flood plains, transforming them into a big lake with more or less turbulent waters.

The Map
Total length: From Tencarola: 10 Km / from Abano Terme: 15 Km
Duration: 2 Hours   Total drop: 0 m
Download the map in pdf format »

Starting from Abano

We can reach Tencarola avoiding the main road. We go through the San Lorenzo district and cover Sartorio street which leads to the embankment road near Tencarola. From this point, after 600 meters, we can reach the Tencarola bridge.

Starting from the square of Tencarola's parish church, we will cover Argine Sinistro street across the trail which runs under the bridge, and then go up-hill on the embankment, to the top of the bridge. On the left you will see the Bacchiglione river which meanders across its flood plain. After about 2,5 km you will reach the bridge of Selvazzano, going up-hill the river course. At this point you will cross the street (not the bridge!) and go back to the dirt road on the left riverbank of the Bacchiglione.

As in the previous stretch, the embankments enclose both a large flood plain, which we'll keep on the left in our route, and the river which gets rarely close to the embankments with its bends. On the right there are cultivated fields as far as the eye can see. In this stretch we will pass by Villa Ca’ Foretti, a typical manor house of the Veneto region (16th century); at the entrance of the villa which looks onto the river there is a tree-lined avenue, in flood plain soil, which leads to a little tree-lined hill near the river, with a capital on its summit.

After 3,5 km, this new stretch leads to Creola's Bridge. You will cross the river by covering the bridge and the paved road in the short stretch within the flood plain (this stretch of road is closed in case of floods, because it is submerged in water) and then go up-hill on the embankment to the other riverbank; when you get to the riverbank, the right one, you'll turn left and cover again the trail at the top of the embankment. In this trail there could be high grass (it could be muddy in autumn/winter) but it is not very long and, after a couple of kilometers, it becomes again a firm dirt road until the not-too-far Molini street. This short stretch of road (200 m) is paved and there are cars, so you have to be careful! From this point you can already see the profile of San Martino Castle's tower, our final destination. We can continue on the paved road at the top of the embankment, which is now a non-motorized area, until we reach the Strada Provinciale which leads to Fossona; at the next crossroads (60 m) we turn right and reach the Castle.

The structure is situated within the tree-lined flood plain; there is a dike close to the castle's walls, which represents the remains of an ancient bend of the river: in the Middle Ages the river lapped against the walled building, which stood in a strategic point just to control the fluvial trades. Now the flood plain is a public park with benches, picnic facilities, a fountain if you want to refresh yourself or to fill your bike flasks.

The castle is available for visits and houses the museum of the Bacchiglione river: starting from 1995, every June a historical reconstruction of the Palio dello Sparviero is organized, with people in medieval costumes, shows and banquets in a scenery which covers the whole area of the park.

On the way back

On the way back, if you want to try out another route, you can come back to Abano through a short stretch (1 km) on the Scapacchiò Strada Provinciale towards Saccolongo, until you reach the bicycle path which flanks the street towards Feriole. At the stop-light, the crossroads with the Strada dei Colli, we cross the street and go down Vergani street, which goes into the countryside as a dirt road and then turns into Monterosso, near Villa Bembiana park. From this point we take again the bicycle path along Appia Monterosso street, which leads to Abano city centre.

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