Benvenuti nel sito ufficiale del Cammino Fogazzaro-Roi (CFR): 80Km di cammino lungo stradine argini e sentieri della provincia di Vicenza fra tesori di arte e natura nei luoghi narrati dal famoso romanziere.

  • Inaugurazione 2015 taglio del nastro
  • bacheca-montegalda
  • Montegalda Villa Gualdo
  • Montegalda Castello Montegalda
  • Campagne basso vicentino
  • Montegalda Villa Fogazzaro Roi Colbachini facciata
  • Ansa lungo il fiume Bacchiglione a Montegalda
  • Vicenza Villa Rotonda primaverile
  • Vicenza Villa Rotonda
  • Vicenza veduta Monte Berico
  • Vicenza Villa Valmarana Nani
  • Vicenza Villa Valmarana Nani particolare
  • Vicenza panorama
  • Vicenza panorama centro
  • Vicenza portici inferiori Monte Berico
  • Vicenza Campo Marzo OrnellaFrigo
  • Vicenza Piazza Signori aerea
  • Dueville argine Bacchiglione
  • Dueville Villa da Porto Pedrotti
  • Villaverla Villa Ghellini
  • Marano Vicentino sentiero
  • Santorso santuario da Oasi Rossi
  • Santorso Villa Rossi giardino
  • Piovene passaggio centro
  • Velo d Astico panorama da ex ferrovia
  • PonteDellaPria Arsiero
  • Tonezza paese
  • Tonezza capriolo
  • Tonezza Valle Ciliegi
  • Tonezza escursionisti
  • The CFR inauguration

    The Fogazzaro-Roi Trail was officially inaugurated on April 25 and 26, 2015. You can now request a Credenziale and start your journey.

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  • The CFR at the starting gate

    An information board in Montegalda marks the start of the Fogazzaro-Roi Trail, a thrilling 80km adventure following the rivers across the plains near Vicenza then climbing up towards Tonezza

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  • Villa Gualdo in Montegalda

    The Fogazzaro-Roi Trail starts near Villa Gualdo, home to Montegalda's town council
  • Montegalda Castle

    The Grimani-Sorlini Castle, symbol of the town, stands atop one of the seven hills of Montegalda
  • Countryside south of Vicenza

    The Fogazzaro Trail lures us away from the frenetic pace of everyday life, it encourages us to rediscover our own natural rhythms in complete freedom, to get back in touch with our roots and commune with nature
  • Villa Fogazzaro Roi Colbachini

    At the start of the CFR, in Montegalda, lies the villa which belonged to the famous writer's grandfather; the grounds display wonderful examples of English and Italian landscaped gardens

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  • Along the River Bacchiglione

    The Fogazzaro-Roi Trail initially follows the River Bacchiglione, seen here as it meanders between Montegalda and Longare
  • Villa Capra known as "La Rotonda"

    Andrea Palladio's signature villa lies on the route of the CFR and can be easily seen from the bike path along the Riviera Berica just before entering Vicenza 

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  • Villa Capra known as "La Rotonda"

    Andrea Palladio's signature villa lies on the route of the CFR and can be easily seen from the bike path along the Riviera Berica just before entering Vicenza

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  • View of Monte Berico

    The Sanctuary to the Madonna of Monte Berico can be seen from the bike path along the Riviera Berica, just outside Vicenza

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  • Villa Valmarana ai Nani

    Along a cobbled lane flanked by stout walls, the CFR takes in the Villa Valmarana ai Nani, where stunning frescoes by Tiepolo can be seen

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  • Villa Valmarana ai Nani

    The villa goes by the name “Ai Nani” (the dwarves) to differentiate it from other villas belonging to the same family. It owes this name to the stone statues of dwarves which once stood in the garden and are now lined up along the boundary wall

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  • View of Vicenza

    A small detour will bring you to the Sanctuary of Monte Berico and the nearby Piazzale della Vittoria with its breathtaking views of the city and its mountains

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  • Aerial view of Vicenza

    Enjoy the view of Vicenza from Piazzale della Vittoria: the Basilica stands out amidst the church towers

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  • The Arcades of Monte Berico

    The CFR passes through the Arcades of Monte Berico, a charming walk leading to the Sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna of Monte Berico

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  • Campo Marzo

    As we complete our descent from Monte Berico we head towards the centre of Vicenza, passing Campo Marzo, one of the city's largest parks

  • Piazza dei Signori and the historic city centre of Vicenza

    The CFR takes you through the centre of Vicenza where you can visit some of the city's greatest monuments and Antonio Fogazzaro's birthplace

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  • Along the riverbanks

    The CFR leaves Vicenza and continues through the countryside along the banks of the River Bacchiglione and the Timonchio, passing through the beautiful springs near Caldogno, Dueville, and Villaverla

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  • Villa da Porto Pedrotti

    In Vivaro di Dueville the CFR goes past Villa Da Porto, a Palladian villa dating back to 1552. There are other historical villas in the area

  • Villa Ghellini

    In the municipality of Villaverla you can stop to admire the most important work of Vicentine architect Antonio Pizzocaro

  • The CFR in Marano Vicentino

    After the springs, the CFR comes to Marano Vicentino, the first local council to open a detour route to welcome visitors to its town. We are at the halfway stage

  • The CFR in Santorso

    The sanctuary at the foot of Monte Summano dominates Santorso and here the CFR leaves the Vicenza plain to start its climb into the mountains

  • Villa Rossi in Santorso

    It is worth visiting the romantic park in Villa Rossi, built by the industrialist and politician Alessandro Rossi di Schio in the late nineteenth century. The entrance to the park lies along the CFR

  • The CFR in Piovene Rocchette

    This a charming part of the CFR through the winding, narrow streets in Piovene situated at the foot of Monte Summano, like Santorso

  • Along Piovene Rocchette-Arsiero bike path

    One of the most beautiful sections of the CFR runs along the old Rocchette-Arsiero railway line which is now an unpaved bike path, taming you through lush green scenery with breathtaking views of the lower Astico Valley and the surrounding mountains. The route continues as far as Velo d'Astico

  • Along the River Astico

    From Velo d'Astico to Barcarola the CFR runs along the River Astico, and crosses the wonderful natural pools near “Ponte della Pria” which are very popular during the hot summer months

  • The grand finale

    The last stage of the CFR stretches from Barcarola and climbs up to Tonezza at 1,000 metres, following the old road which is now closed to traffic. For the fitter amongst you, a steep path will cut out the numerous hairpin bends in the road

  • Chance meetings

    As you quietly walk the last section of the CFR you may well spy a deer grazing in the woods near Tonezza...or even in the gardens

  • Tonezza's charm

    Antonio Fogazzaro was bewitched by the natural beauty of Tonezza and this pleasant little spot still has the power to charm. There could not be a better final destination for the CFR. You can continue through the town centre along the Sentiero Fogazzariano and come back through the wonderful Valle dei ciliegi

  • Come and enjoy the CFR!

    Thanks to the generous support of its volunteers, the Associazione Cammini Veneti has created the CFR and now it's ready and waiting! We hope it will be enjoyed by many and look forward to meeting you. Happy walking!

The Stages of the Cammino Fogazzaro Roi

Explore the entire 80km trail which takes you from the countryside near Montegalda, south of Vicenza, along river banks and footpaths, through the city of Vicenza and then on past the stunning freshwater springs to reach the Valle dell'Astico, finally climbing 1000 metres to Tonezza del Cimone

Discover the trail

THE CFR ROUTE

Stage 1

Montegalda - Vicenza
(17km)

Stage 2

Vicenza - Marano Vicentino
(26km)

Stage 3

Marano Vicentino - Velo d'Astico
(21km)

Stage 4

Velo d'Astico - Tonezza del Cimone
(17km)

The CFR in short

  • What is the CFR and where is it situated?

    The Cammino Fogazzaro Roi is an 80km trail stretching from Montegalda to Tonezza in the province of Vicenza. It ascends around 1,000 metres, but most of the climb (around 80%) is in the section from Velo d'Astico to Tonezza del Cimone. The walk is mainly off-road, along paths, river embankments, dirt tracks, and minor roads. The route is waymarked with brown metal signs, red and white stickers, or red and white paint.
  • Why the CFR?

    The trail was devised by the Associazione Cammini Veneti to take in some of the most stunning countryside around Vicenza and especially those places described by the writer Antonio Fogazzaro, and with connections to his great-grandson, Giuseppe Roi, a man of immense culture and patron of the arts. Cammini Veneti's main aim is to create well-signed, long distance walks in the countryside and hills in our area, offering stunning scenery and cultural insights. While there are already many walking and hiking trails in the mountain areas, the hills and countryside remain relatively undiscovered and despite the unfortunate encroachment of built-up areas in recent years, there is still a wealth of beauty to be explored.
  • When can I walk the trail?

    You can walk the trail any time of year but the best times are probably in spring and autumn.
  • How can I do the trail?

    You can walk or cycle the trail; no special equipment is required (you will need walking boots, and maybe poles and a backpack) and there are plenty of services along the way (bars, restaurants, B&Bs, hotels and farmstays but there are no campsites).

The Credenziale

 credenziale fronte

The credenziale, or record of your walk, is issued by the Associazione Cammini Veneti to all those wishing to complete the route and enjoy the places celebrated by the Vicentino writer Antonio Fogazzaro and much-cherished by his great-grandson the Marquess Giuseppe Roi.

 

To obtain your credenziale please contact the Associazione Cammini Veneti:
www.camminiveneti.it - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or the Consorzio Vicenzaè: www.vicenzae.org- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or download and print it from here: pdfcredenzialeCFR.pdf1.28 MB

The sigilli


credenziale retro

The credenziale is stamped (the Italian word for stamp is sigillo) along the way at town halls, churches, inns and restaurants, and proves that the bearer has passed through the four stages of the trail. A certificate showing you have completed the walk can be requested in authorised locations in Tonezza.

Trail markings and maps

TRAIL MARKINGS

The entire route is waymarked:

segnavia metallico
  • brown metal signs
segnavia metallico deviazione comunale
  • brown metal signs (municipal deviations)
segnavia adesivo
  • red and white stickers with CFR written on them
segnavia vernice
  • handpainted, with CFR written on them

 

THE MAP

On this page you can browse the route map and download GPS tracks 

Transport information

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

logo FTVFTV – Bus routes

There are good bus services to all trail areas (check service availability from Monday-Saturday)

www.ftv.vi.it

Bus routes and timetables  www.ftv.vi.it/it/orari-percorsi/orari-del-servizio
Telephone: Information office (+39) 0444 223115


logoFSTRAINS

Connections from Vicenza to Dueville, Marano Vicentino and Schio (Vicenza-Schio line)

www.trenitalia.com


 

 

PRIVATE TRANSPORT

MOTORWAYS

A4 Milano-Venezia

For Vicenza: Exit at Vicenza EST


A31 Valdastico NORD (Vicenza - Piovene Rocchette)

For Caldogno, Dueville: exit at Dueville
For Villaverla, Thiene, Marano Vicentino, Santorso: exit at Thiene
For Piovene Rocchette, Cogollo del Cengio, Velo d'Astico, Arsiero, Valdastico, Tonezza: exit at Piovene Rocchette (end of motorway)


A31 Valdastico SUD (Vicenza - Badia Polesine)

For Longare, Montegalda: exit at Longare-Montegaldella


 

 

SHUTTLE SERVICE

N.C.C. Service di Giampaolo Carollo
Dueville (Vicenza)
Telephone: (+39) 333 2750869
website: www.nccservice.eu


 

Accommodations and Restaurants

Please note: the following is an incomplete and provisional list. A fully updated list will be published shortly. The service is currently being rolled out.

MONTEGALDA

Agriturismo Brunello "Il Palazzone"
Via Roi 51
(+39) 0444 737253 - 0444 735224 - 335 7634817
www.agriturismobrunello.com

Agriturismo "Villa Feriani"
Via Borgo 16 (Colzè di Montegalda)
(+39) 0444 636039
www.agriturismovillaferiani.it

Agriturismo"Fattoria Grimana"
Via Zocco 101
(+39) 0444 636638
www.agriturismofattoriagrimana.it

B&B "Relais Marta"
Via Borgo 107 (Colzè di Montegalda)
(+39) 0444 634238 - 347 4108678
www.relaismarta.it


VICENZA

Agriturismo "San Michele"
Strada della Pergoletta 118
(+39) 349 7362249
www.agrismichele.it

Ostello della Gioventù (Youth Hostel)
Viale Giuriolo 7
(+39) 0444 540222
www.ostellovicenza.com

Albergo "Due Mori"
Contrà Do Rode 24
(+39) 0444 321886
www.albergoduemori.it

Albergo "San Raffaele"
Viale X Giugno 10
(+39) 0444 545767
www.albergosanraffaele.it

Palazzo Regaù
Contrà XX Settembre 35
(+39) 0444 502045 - 348 7813947
www.bbpalazzoregau.it


B&B Portico Rosso
Contrà San Rocco 28
(+39) 0444 323826
www.porticorosso.it


DUEVILLE

Agriturismo "Cà del Bosco"
Via Bosco 42, Villaverla
(+39) 0445 855702 - 349 2453261
www.agriturismoalloggiocadelbosco.it


MARANO VICENTINO

Agriturismo "La Meridiana"
Via Cà Bosco 29
(+39) 0445 621398
www.lameridianaagriturismo.it

B&B "Villa Irma"
Via Vittorio Veneto 57
(+39) 0445 622855 - 349 5605600
www.villa-irma.it

B&B "Dai Carbonari"
Via Zanella 1
(+39) 346 7571289
www.daicarbonari.it


SANTORSO

Oasi Rossi (seasonal opening)
Via Salzena
(+39) 0445 540104 
www.oasirossi.it 


PIOVENE ROCCHETTE

Panificio Da Enzo
Via Libertà 74 – (next to the town hall)
(+39) 0445 550346
please visit the Facebook page


VELO D'ASTICO

Agriturismo Villa Gianfranco
Via Canova 17 (locality Lago)
(+39) 0445 742180
www.villagianfranco.it


VALDASTICO

Albergo Trattoria "Da Nando"
Via Barcarola 37
(+39) 0445 740251
please visit the facebook page 


TONEZZA DEL CIMONE

Albergo Bar Ristorante "Al Ciclamino"
Contrà Campana 9
(+39) 0445 749071 - 338 9960187
www.alciclamino.com

Hotel Ristorante "Trentino"
Contrà Fontana 156
(+39) 0445 749039
information on the website www.tonezza.com

B&B "Il Canto del Gallo"
Via Villanova e Campo 2
(+39) 348 6161074
www.ilcantodelgallo.it  www.ilcantodelgallotonezza.it

The Stages of the Cammino

Route map

Open map to full screen

Elevation profile

altimetria del percorso

Compare the four stages

Stage

percorso-CFR-tappa-1

  • Starting point
  • Arrivo
  • Municipalities
  • Technical details

Lenght

Stage 1

percorso-CFR-tappa-1

  • Montegalda
  • Vicenza
  • Montegalda
    Longare
    Vicenza
  • Easy. Almost completely flat.

17 Km

Details

Stage 2

percorso-CFR-tappa-1

  • Vicenza
  • Marano Vicentino
  • Caldogno
    Dueville
    Villaverla
    Malo
    Marano Vicentino
  • Easy. Completely flat.

26 Km

Details

Stage 3

percorso-CFR-tappa-1

  • Marano Vicentino
  • Velo d'Astico
  • Marano Vicentino
    Schio
    Santorso
    Piovene Rocchette
    Velo d'Astico
  • Easy. Some climbs and descents.

21 Km

Details

Stage 4

percorso-CFR-tappa-1

  • Velo d'Astico
  • Tonezza del Cimone
  • Velo d'Astico
    Arsiero
    Tonezza del Cimone
  • Hard. 700m ellevation towards the end.

17 Km

Details

 

 

GPS tracks to navigate and view in Google Earth

DISCLAIMER

GPS tracks, maps and route descriptions may contain errors due to the instrumentation used. Route conditions may change over time due to overgrowth, snowfalls, subsidence, roadworks, etc. All information contained in maps, GPS tracks, and roadbooks should be taken as approximate, as for any topographic map. Great care should especially be taken with tracks in bad weather or when visibilty is reduced. Routes may also pass through private property or potentially dangerous stretches of road, where traffic is heavy or there may be a danger of accidents happening (exposed sections in the mountains or canals with no barrier protection, etc.). The Associazione Cammini Veneti urges those using the tracks, maps and roadbooks to use the information carefully and not to be over-reliant on GPS tools. The Associazione Cammini Veneti declines all responsibility with regard to the use of GPS tracks downloaded from this site.

GPS tracks last updated: April 2015

Always check you have the most recently updated GPS tracks before setting out on the Cammino Fogazzaro Roi.

The rivers along the Cammino

Ponte Novo sul fiume Bacchiglione - Vicenza

Long stretches of the Cammino Fogazzaro-Roi follow the course of the River Bacchiglione and other rivers that flow from the foothills of the Alps to the northern Vicenza plains.

From Montegalda to Vicenza, the route follows the slow, deep-running course of the Bacchiglione across the flat countryside. To the north of Vicenza the river becomes more shallow, its riverbed more gravelly, and its currents picking up pace though it is still well-contained behind embankments. The source of the river is near Dueville where a series of resurgence streams merge to form the Bacchiglioncello, as it is known at this point, and the river then travels 119 km, flowing into the Adriatic Sea near Chioggia, where it shares its bed with the River Brenta.

Near the springs, just downstream from its source, other tributaries from the Alpine foothills join the Bacchiglione. The Timonchio is the largest of these and originates in the valleys that lie between Mount Summano and Mount Novegno. As it descends it receives the River Leogra, which carries large volumes of water in times of heavy rain and whose source is in the Val Leogra at the foot of Monte Pasubio and the pass at Pian delle Fugazze. The River Orolo, which collects water from the eastern slopes of the Lessini mountains between Schio and Isola Vicentina, is also known for its peak discharges and joins the Bacchiglione just north of Vicenza. The same is true of the River Igna which descends from the hills of Bregonze at the mouth of the River Astico valley, below the southern edge of the Asiago Highland Plateau.

 
Zona delle risorgive - Dueville

While the spring waters ensure that the Bacchiglione has a constant and relatively abundant volume of water, its tributaries provide little water for most of the year except during periods of heavy rainfall raising its discharge which can sometimes lead to severe flooding. This was the recent case in November 2010 and the effects of the flood can still be seen. Other major flooding in the past 130 years occurred in September 1882, May 1905, October 1907, May 1926 and November 1966.

Other tributaries feed the Bacchiglione along the section of the route between Montegalda and Vicenza. Just outside the city, at the beginning of the Riviera Berica, there is the confluence with the Retrone, another resurgence river which runs through the city and whose source is to the west between Sovizzo and Creazzo, itself the result of the confluence of two rivers, the Onte and the Valdiezza

Near Longare the Bacchiglione meets the Tésina, a resurgence river whose source is upstream of Sandrigo. This receives the waters of two rivers: the Làverda, from the southern slopes of the Asiago Highland Plateau between Lugo Vicentino and Breganze, and the Astico, which is its main tributary and whose source is in the Trentino region. 

Torrente Astico

Its catchment area extends across the foothills between Monte Pasubio and the Asiago Highland Plateau, including the Val Posina and Val d'Assa which plunges deep into the western section of the plateau.
Between Piovene Rocchette and Pedescala, passing through Velo d'Astico and Arsiero, the Cammino follows the River Astico before leaving the valley to climb up on the right side towards Tonezza, final destination of the route.

The River Bacchiglione flows wide and deep just downstream of Vicenza and this, coupled with abundant reserves of water, meant that the river was an important waterway from the Middle Ages onwards, transporting goods and people to the major coastal ports and mainland cities, such as Padua. The river also provided energy for the development of local industry and artisan workshops.

There were many mills along the river, (some of them were floating mills) which made navigation difficult, especially where major industries existed, as water would be diverted to operate the mills. The creation of a series of locks enabled water levels to be raised or lowered and helped overcome this problem.
One of these locks was built in Debba in 1583 and it can still be seen today. Commonly known in Italian as a “vaso”, it was ellipsoid in shape, 18.15m long and 5.02m wide, with a rise of 5.02m and could carry small to medium-sized vessels. It was still operating in the early twentieth century and in 1905 an expansion project was drawn up to enable larger vessels to pass through, but it was never implemented as river traffic was beginning to dwindle. The barges used were called burchi and they were towed by the alzana, a wooden mast on the vessel attached to two tow-ropes (reste) pulled by draft animals such as horses or oxen along the tow-paths, known as "restare".

A larger lock was built in 1870 in Perarolo di Colzè and can still be seen today along the route of the Cammino.

Over the centuries, river navigation was of crucial economic importance and was often the cause of fierce dispute between cities and peoples along the river for control and use of the waterways. Such was the case in 1143, when a dam was constructed to divert the course of the River Bacchiglione to the Bisatto canal, during the war between Vicenza and Padua.
The Vicentini dug, or rather widened, this canal, so as to drain its waters into the Riviera near Este, thereby leaving the Paduans without any water supplies and no means of powering their mills or navigation. The Vicentini repeatedly used this technique in their struggles with the city of Padua, and armed clashes took place near Longare, presumably just downstream from the town near the start of the Bisatto canal.

As the river flows across the plains, the hedges and trees along its banks provide the ideal habitat for a wide range of animal species, particularly birds. During breeding season, the most common of these are the Moorhen, the Mallard, the Common Kingfisher, the Turtle-dove, the Cuckoo, the White wagtail, the Grey wagtail, the Nightingale, the Blackbird, Cetti's warbler, the Blackcap, the Great tit, the Common chaffinch, the European serin, the European greenfinch, the Golden oriole, and the Magpie. Some of these can be seen all year round while other migratory species only appear during the breeding season or in winter. Recent seasons have seen species who winter in these environments, such as the Wren, the Dunnock and the Robin.

Compared to the comparative environmental monotony of the surrounding countryside, the river, its banks and wetland areas, are a rich source of biodiversity and a vital environmental asset.

Antonio Fogazzaro

Reading Fogazzaro's novels and walking can help cultivate a sensitivity towards our surroundings, we will be able to admire the landscape as it tells its story, we will explore and rediscover its forms, we will learn not to remain indifferent, but rather, to stand in awe, and people will be drawn to an experience which is both invigorating and culturally enriching. As we succumb to the influences of literature and the landscape, our eye will be more perceptive to Beauty.

Antonio Fogazzaro

Antonio Fogazzaro was born in Vicenza in 1842 into a wealthy family who was actively involved in the struggle against the Austrian Empire. He was taught by the poet Don Giacomo Zanella, an eminent literary figure in Vicenza. In 1864, he graduated in Law at Turin and then lived in Milan where he practised as a lawyer. He married Margherita Valmarana in 1866 and three years later he moved back to Vicenza to dedicate himself to his literary career. He was a member of the Congregazione della Carità (a state-run charitable association) and of the Provincial Board of Education, and he held political positions as a local councillor and Italian senator. He was the chief Arbitrator for the Banca Popolare di Vicenza and was Chairman of the Società del Quartetto and the Accademia Olimpica.

Following his short poem Miranda and his collection of verse entitled Valsolda, his first novel, Malombra was published in 1881. However he found fame and success with his later novels, Daniele Cortis (1885), Il mistero del poeta (The Mystery of the Poet, 1888), Piccolo mondo antico (The Little World of the Past, 1896), Piccolo mondo moderno (The Man of the World, 1901). His last two novels, Il santo (The Saint, 1905), and Leila (1910), were banned by the church and put on the Index.

We can begin to build a portrait of Fogazzaro with two powerful pictures. The first is as “Cavaliere dello Spirito” (Knight of the Spirit), as he is depicted in letters to Matilde Serao, describing Fogazzaro as a writer who dealt with issues such as the crisis of the family, the need for reform in the Catholic Church, and the relation between faith, science, eros, and morality. The second is how Giovanni Papini described him, a deep-sea diver, plumbing the murky, monster-filled depths that is the human soul, given that Fogazzaro is most concerned to describe the complexities and ambiguities of the modern soul. To these pictures can be added that of the gentleman writer, a man accustomed to living in elegantly furnished, aristocratic villas, wealthy, unencumbered by the cares of a practical life, skilled in the art of observing things and souls, with a graceful hint of poetry.

 

My vision of the world is different from the one my fellow artists see, different from the real world. I do not see the great men that others see, but I see great women that nobody knows about. In all souls I see reflected the glow of an unknown light, a sovereign idea. I neither sell, nor break my spectacles, but rather I keep them, I have them gold-plated as a reminder of the warm and generous fire in my heart when it was deluded, but happily so, into thinking that I could use them to penetrate the universe, to glean from it, as my own idea of art told me, phantoms of eternal souls or living shadows of beings, as a reminder of some faithful, burning spirit.

And again Fogazzaro wrote about himself and his experience as a writer:

My books are drawn in part from other books, in part from the truth in things, and in part from the depths of my own soul; because my soul, too, is a sky filled with shadows and stars which rise and set and rise again without rest, and therein lies an abyss so deep that not even the inner eye can penetrate it.

Here, Fogazzaro provides us with the sources for his works: other authors' books, the “truth” in his surroundings, his experience, and contemporary religious and political characters, but especially the “truth” in his exploration of feelings and our destiny as humans. Fogazzaro explores his own soul, fraught by the tensions between virtue and passion, but also driven by Christian evolutionary theory, by his own political commitment and by spiritual pantheism.

Other aspects of Fogazzaro's personality can be gleaned from the comments of another writer from Vicenza: in an article written in 1942, Guido Piovene cleverly draws remarkable analogies between Fogazzaro's character and the contours of his landscape:

He shied away from things which were too well-defined, from the harsh lines of residential areas; Vicenza and its surrounding landscape, so softly nuanced, so fleeting and elusive, made up of so many individual elements which nevertheless defied an overall definition, was perfectly suited to his temperament. The landscape is a collage where the languor of Venice or blessed skies across the plains, laden with the scent of the sea, perhaps even the East, lie within close range of the crested Dolomites and the vast valleys beneath them. All this pleased Fogazzaro, it suited his uncertain spirit, always aspiring to something higher, swaying between a host of often conflicting fantasies, and for each of them he would seek out the soothing embrace of both the meadows,and the woods, and the mountains. Yet he also enjoyed life in the villas, as nowhere else had the art of sojourning in villas reached such unparalleled levels of perfection. One of the most frequently occurring landscape images in his art is the joy that could be felt before a bare peak, sheer rock, soaring upwards like a cry renting the silence, yet bursting forth from the lush greenery, the sensual and blossoming life in the woods and meadows. One might say that he disdained the conquered heights of the mountains preferring to view them from below, when they still appeared to him as something to aspire to, a fairytale, a fantastical place, in a sense the ideal of an unfulfilled spiritual life.

In Fogazzaro's novels the landscape is not a static element but behaves as though it were alive, underlining the shifting feelings of the characters, it makes its entrance like an “actor” and reacts with “prompts”.

We can add further colour to the portrait of the novelist with fragments relating to Fogazzaro the “geographer” and  “botanist”. These aspects may well draw readers to his novels as Fogazzaro was not only a careful observer of the human soul, but a lover of Nature.

From the great slopes of our mountains to our poetic sea shores, nature has lavished on us so many scenes of incomparable beauty that we may imagine any kind of scene set there, from the most grim to the most hilarious! […] only a very few observe our natural surroundings.

Fogazzaro was a “geographer” and “botanist” because he expressed that love for the landscape, for plants and flowers, which is bound to everyday experience and charged with memories. The places he described were not merely a backdrop but places he knew and loved, a collection of clearly identifiable places in Montegalda, Vicenza and Val d'Astico, and like all good geographers he measured space in a very simple way – by walking. It is a recurring theme in his novels and the moment when the characters reveal their deepest emotions, be it curiosity, fear, enthusiasm or even passion.

Fogazzaro the geographer discovers that “little” world of serenity embedded in his native land, not by means of a quiet life, but through familiar gestures, through sacrifice and pain. However, his little world is riven by the anxiety of the soul and the precarious nature of human relationships.

Fogazzaro's originality lies in his interpretation: in his novels the landscape is not cold and impersonal but a living being who is transformed and alive, it interacts with the anguished events surrounding the characters, it is both mirror and interlocutor, it conveys messages and approval, it is the confidante of the hidden truths in the characters' souls. Lovingly, Fogazzaro re-evokes the places of his trembling and suffering soul, his refined gaze lingers there tenderly, and the reader is invited to inhabit this space and partake in his “little” world. However, while the city is a place of mystery and solitude in this world, the ideal place to live is the countryside where one can aspire to live peacefully, sheltered from all care and worry in an enchanted place (suited, as Piovene said, to Fogazzaro's “uncertain” soul “aspirating to something higher”).
There is still another element to help discover Fogazzaro's soul and his geography, and this is nature. The author uses the same sentiments to bring his characters to life as he does to bring nature to life. Its evocative presence takes on a multitude of forms – voices, sound, light, shade – its world comes alive, unleashing a transformation where it becomes, to all intents and purposes, an extension of the characters' state of mind.
There is a cast of voices and sounds acting on that blurred area that lies between the soul and the senses: they come from the mountains in moments of solitude or meditation, the sounds of the lake accompany grave or mysterious thoughts, the river rumbles its presence, the rain cries, and the wind moans in anxiety or symbolises the purity of the landscape; but also a well-tended garden, the flowers, chastely pure or sensuously intoxicating and certain types of trees add a climate of intimacy and mirror the characters' inner world.

For those interested in reading Fogazzaro's novels and discovering the connections between his works and the places they are set in the Vicenza area, there follow selected excerpts from Daniele Cortis, Piccolo mondo moderno (The Man of the World) and Leila, which show how the characters' moods are mirrored in the landscape.


Daniele Cortis

Elena, "pale and perplexed", is walking alone in the grounds of Villa Cortis, which is actually Villa Velo in Velo d'Astico. There is a subdued, fleeting atmosphere in the woods. The shadows have a physical presence, shrouding the woman's thoughts and disorienting her. Like real actors they nudge her towards the message, “the poem of life and shadow”, testament to a sublime and other-worldly love: “In winter, and in summer, from near and from far, as long as I live, and beyond that again”. The intertwined branches of the acacias and the clasped hands on the base of the column are symbols of a desire which is, as yet, unfulfilled.

She saw the wall surrounding the French garden, and above it the gleaming fountain and the dark-wooded sides of the hills. With pale and sad countenance she went up to the little grass lawn in front of the house, passed through the court-yard, and turning off by the garden railings, disappeared in the wood. She lost herself in the mystery of the shadows which cast around their silent invitation, and which in a short time became thick and dense, lying darkly over the paths that wind in and out among them. Within those woods are hills and valleys perpetually shaded; lakes, ponds, and glades girt round by overshadowing trees, and there may be heard, too, the voices of invisible springs. The branches of the lofty trees, growing around the garden gate, by their waving and murmuring in the wind, suggest a poem of shadow and of life, and give one a foretaste of its magnificence.
She descended into the valley which opened on her left immediately after this turning, a narrow valley through which a stream covered with water-lilies trickled; the grass grew thickly over the path, and overhead the branches of the acacias on either side mingled, and cast a golden green shadow. Thence she mounted to a quiet opening in the hills, and there, among the trees on a grassy plateau, stood a column of ancient marble, brought from the baths of Caracalla to this other solitude, and bearing on its base two clasped hands carved in relief, and the following words: 
                                                                HYEME ET AESTATE ET PROPE ET PROCUL USQUE DUM VIVAM ET ULTRA
Elena reappeared half-an-hour later still paler. She closed the garden gate behind her, leaning her head against it for a last look at the dear flowers, and to say to them, “Shall I ever see you again?” The trees could not hear her, they were too high, but they still swayed and murmured in the wind, offering her the poem of life and shadow, the sweet day-dreams of love.

The river announces its presence through sound as Daniele returns to Villascura, in reality Velo d'Astico, in his carriage. He is weary and his thoughts race ahead like the river currents themselves.

He felt ill at ease, and disturbed; disgusted with himself, with politics, with his obstinate enemies and his stupid friends, with the anger he showed to some and the toleration he showed to the others. Italy! Yes, but if he did not succeed to-day, he would to-morrow. It was his destiny, and his determination; but what he would not give for one day of love! To forget everything for one day, to contemn the world, and to unite her the most beautiful to him the most powerful! Visions of intense happiness passed before him. From the road which, passing straight through the plane trees, on the border of an immense plateau watered by the blue streams from the Alps, the eyes of Cortis greedily sought the shadowy clouds which hung on the edge of the mountains. He could see Elena and himself hidden in a house amongst those deserted wilds. Now he felt her arms, fresh and gentle as those streams, encircling him.

In this scene, natural elements, including the mountains, bear witness with their presence, they dominate the scene, sealing a solemn promise:

Her mind is already yours; she shall be yours in the next world. Now that she is going, do you go forth also, tempered by sadness; go forth, fight, suffer, be amongst men, a noble instrument of truth and justice; the stars, the mountains, the grave old fir-trees, all bore witness to his answer, and heard him say, – 'Yes, it shall be so!' 

Fogazzaro shows his passion for botany as he describes certain types of plants which are typically found where his novels are set. Fir trees are a recurring theme in Daniele Cortis, providing a backdrop as the two main characters stroll together, but also symbolising sadness and strength as they relate with the human state of mind. The firs dominate the landscape as Daniele walks with Elena in "Villa Carrè", namely Villa Valmarana Ciscato in Seghe di Velo d'Astico:

They reached in silence an open space , whence one path ran to the right, across the fields, towards Villascura and Cortis's house; another sloped away to the left towards the torrent of Rovese, opposite to the naked, overhanging boulders of Monte Barco; and a third ran straight to the three tall firs, which overlooked the valley, from the edge of a steep declivity. He went straight on towards the fir-trees.

And a little further on:

At length they reached the firs, which were groaning overhead, blown about by the wind, and which showered down large drops of rain.

However, the “old, sad fir-tree” symbolises Elena's destiny, as she is pressurised by her husband:

The porch formed a sort of telescope, and away beyond the fir-trees the sky showed a pale greenish hue, while it was turquoise over the plain. Elena went out without any umbrella, walking up to the old fir-tree with drooping branches, which has now disappeared, having yielded, after centuries, to a storm, as if to verify the sad dream of its young mistress whom it never saw again. Elena laid her hand for a moment on its huge, faithful trunk, and turned away.


Piccolo mondo moderno [The Man of the World]

Piero has the moral weakness typical of Fogazzaro's male characters, but he is destined to be called to his vocation. Jeanne is a temptress, troubled and sceptical. The reader is left feeling that perhaps she is sincere in her behaviour, seeking the elevation of the soul rather than mere perversion. They are at once attracted and repulsed by their love for each other. Here again, natural elements intervene and interact with the characters. For example, in the grounds of Villa Fogazzaro Roi Colbachini ("Villa Flores" in Piccolo mondo moderno) in Montegalda, when Don Giuseppe, Piero Maironi's confessor, meets Piero's mother-in-law, the “sorrowing and weary” Marchesa Scremin, the garden is protagonist, the ideal place for their silent communication:

A grouping of clear notes around the calm movement of a slow melody, neither gay nor sad, would alone have the power to express that intangible inward something that escapes the poet when he seeks to describe the slow progress of Don Giuseppe and the Marchesa among the grasses swaying in the wind beneath the flickering shadows of the silvery clouds, among the bushes the whispering of whose leaves was interrupted by the sad, persistent notes and soaring runs of nightingales. The couple exchanged hardly a word, and therefore only music could describe this silence so full of meaning, this not unconscious communing of their souls, a communing expressive of mutual pity; the Marchesa reflecting how the old priest, cherishing a gentle, poetic hope, had prepared these beautiful surroundings for his dear ones, now, alas, all descended to the grave; Don Giuseppe reflecting upon the kindness of this sorrowing, weary woman, who, to please him, was exhibiting such an interest in his garden; the hearts of both were soothed, meanwhile, by that most lasting of earth's pleasures, a calm appreciation of the beautiful.

And then there are the flowers: in the moonlit garden of "Villa Diedo", namely Villa Valmarana ai Nani in Vicenza, the restless roses sway seductively, intensely mirroring Piero's quivering passion. They echo the young man, leading Jeanne towards temptation as she stands clothed in the same white as the terrace, a symbol of purity, igniting forbidden desires:

Jeanne was standing behind the balustrade, a small, white cape thrown over her shoulders. “This is good of you!” she said in answer to his respectful salutation. Hat in hand, Piero went up to the terrace with a smile upon his face that was too much like the smile of the woman who was advancing to meet him. It was indeed magnificent in the moonlight, this white marble terrace, jutting out from the first floor of the villa with its flight of broad steps leading down into the garden, its balustrade which the creeping roses had taken by storm and hidden beneath a tangled glory of dense foliage and great flesh-coloured eyes, long branches swaying in the vagrant breezes of the night. It was magnificent with its surrounding circle of beauty, sweeping from the dark and humble plains on the North to the radiant brightness in the sky above the lighted city. “Why not stay here?” Piero said in an undertone as if the innocent words might betray to some inquisitive ear his longing for an hour of delight in that solitary and enchanted spot among the restless roses, which rustled a voluptuous invitation.

And again the roses in "Villa Diedo" (Villa Valmarana ai Nani in Vicenza), murmuring voices alternating between torment and passion:

Only a thin, silver rim of the moon reddish globe was still shining when they once more ascended the dark terrace. In the restless air, the swaying of the roses, indistinctly heard, sounded like the voices of desire and pain. The sprays seen but indistinctly, waving from side to side, seemed like the arms of staggering blind men. As he leaned forward to turn the reclining-chair towards the west, where the moon was setting, Piero brushed Jeanne's shoulder with his lips.

Then we come to Vena di Fonte Alta, which is, in fact, Tonezza del Cimone. The fog acts to isolate Jeanne from the earthly world, nudging her gently into a world of purity. It resonates with her heart-felt desire for a life together with Piero, but it also forebodes that their union will only be a spiritual one.

A veil had fallen on the emerald of the fields; the shadows of the trees had vanished in the diffused light of the sun that was concealed; the dense fog that had come smoking up from the valleys was invading all the upper hollows of Vena and the tops of the forests, deadening the sound of the scattered cow-bells in the pastures, enveloping and darkening the slopes of Picco Astore. It seemed to Jeanne that a damp white cloak was descending upon the soft fields, was enwrapping Piero and herself in its woolly folds, was cutting them off from the world of human anxieties, from the past and from the present, and filling them with a sweet sense that they were souls of another planet. She realized that an hour of supreme importance was approaching, that there hung in the balance not only her own fate and happiness – what did they matter, after all? – but the happiness also of the man she loved, the man who was being led astray by fatal dreams. Timidly she passed her hand through his arm, whispering: “Do you mind?” And although his “No” had a cold ring she pressed her lovely form to his side. “Dearest!” she murmured.

After this decisive moment, the inebriating fog again returns, but then lifts to reveal the soaring mountains centre stage, and these very mountains seem to confirm Jeanne's foreboding that earthly love for Piero will be impossible:

And slowly, very slowly, the young man's face did indeed approach hers, which was composing itself slowly, very slowly, and was lifting itself gravely towards the meeting. Then their two souls that had risen to their lips uttered a thing so wonderful that when their lips parted at last, their eyes could not bear each other's gaze. It was not the first time Piero and Jeanne had met in that unspoken thought, but they had always met with hostility. Now it was no longer so. Now the woman knew that there was one repugnant way of binding her lover for ever; the man knew that there was one sweet way of riveting his chains for ever, and he saw that her resistance was shaken. Both, at once attracted and repulsed, trembled with emotion. Meanwhile an unpleasant wind had sprung up and was blowing the fog into their faces. Jeanne and Piero started towards Rio Freddo, she leading the way in silence, conscious of his eyes fixed upon her, and turning her head to smile at him when that gaze became so piercing she could not bear it. Little by little the fog lifted, and on the left there loomed, black and towering, the tragic Picco Astòre.

We conclude this series of images with the mountains: Vena di Fonte Alta is in fact Tonezza del Cimone, “five hours from the city, two hours of train and three by carriage; it lay one thousand metres above the level of the sea, and offered the attractions of pine-forests, beech-groves solitude and quiet”. Fogazzaro first describes it almost as an animal, but then softens and and we sense a loving familiarity with the place.

The spur that bears Vena di Fonte Alta stretches forward from the base of Picco Astore, its twin horns facing the great stone quarry of Villascura. Towering above the abyss that encircles them, the pine forests and beech groves of Vena wave against a background of sky, spotted here and there with pale emerald, where the fields press them asunder and overflow, and dotted with red and white where small houses are huddled together in groups. He who contemplates them from the top of the sloping and soaring Picco Astore, or of the lofty, cloud-capped mountains of Val di Rovese and of Val di Posina, may not realize their delicate and exquisite poetry. But the wayfarer who threads their winding depths asks himself if, when the world was young, this was not the scene of the short loves of sad spirits of the hills and of gay spirits of the air; if the earth, in obedience to their varying moods, did not transform itself around them again and again, now forming shady marriage-beds or leafy couches for reposeful contemplation, now surrounding them with scenes of melancholy or of mirth, of great thought or of merry jest; which changes ceasing when the lovers suddenly vanished, the earth retained for evermore the form it had last assumed. Every object bears the impress of a sentiment.

As his wife's health worsens, Piero leaves Vena and the panorama rushes past. The landscape is described in all its aspects, it holds so many secrets, and Piero dwells on his thoughts, examining his conscience as the old horse trots rhythmically, arousing forebodings and dreary expectations.

Down, down into the darkness he went behind the slow-trotting, jaded horse, perched on the crazy cart beside a mute companion. Above him the woods, the pastures with their paths, the thickets, the fountains that knew so much of his secret, and Picco Astore itself were vanishing for ever. Down, down beneath the glistening stars, now following a bare slope, now passing black groups of narrow cabins. Above him the house where Jeanne, all unconscious, lay sleeping is vanishing for ever. Down, down behind the jaded, slow-trotting horse, through a grove of sleeping beeches, the vanguard of a few firs that are awake and watching, and along the curving brink of precipices. Down, down with the haunting horror of the betrayal he, in his selfishness, had been planning. Down, down from the cold winds of the heights into an atmosphere that grew ever more stifling, with the vision of his whole sad life.


Leila

This is Fogazzaro's last novel, set in Velo d'Astico. The main character, Massimo (based on his friend and follower Tommaso Gallarati Scotti) has traits of incoherence and restlessness, while Leila (based on his friend Agnes Blanck) although young, shows signs of pride and repressed sensuality. Leila is not only proud but also courageous, resourceful and two-sided: she sometimes appears like an impenetrable Sphinx while at other times she is a sweet defenceless creature. However she turns out to be the only character in Fogazzaro's novels who symbolises, as a future bride, the Catholic ideal of family.

From Elena's silent sacrifice, to Daniele and Piero's mission and Leila's announcement of marriage as a continuation of life, Fogazzaro never fails to engage his reader on a journey which is marked by anguish, pain and sacrifice, and yet is always striving higher towards a more noble destiny, towards a greater Good.

In Leila, when Massimo's train arrives in Velo d'Astico from Milan, he is restored by the view of the mountains:

The delicately arched brow of Torraro divided the space that yawned between Priaforà and Caviogio, whose black and might outlines swept downwards majestically, like the flowing robes of giant monarchs. His thirsting soul found comfort in the brooding peace of the scene.

The mountains heighten Massimo's heady state caused by love:

Leila had suddenly sat down at the piano and played Schumann's “Aveu”. He had followed the music with keen delight, gazing upwards through the opening in the gallery at a slender, dolomitic peak, swathed in the blue mists like the tremulous outline of a dream. And now, within the little church, he was trying to recall that indescribable moment, that sweet music, and the mountain peak, cleaving the blue ether like a shaft of passion shot skyward.

Leila is attracted by the voice of the stream near La Montanina (Fogazzaro's villa in Velo d'Astico) as, in a moment of night-time folly, the young woman sinks into the water as if to cleanse herself of her thoughts about Massimo.

She turned left, knowing of a path that led from the avenue to some acacia-trees by the rivulet, the same rivulet that splashes and sings farther on. She found the path and paused among the acacias on the bank of the stream, which she could hear but not see. Instinctively she began to undress herself, at the invitation of that soft voice, then, awaking to a sense of her actions, she dipped her hand in the water. It was cold. All the better; it would do her the more good. And she went on undressing, never heeding where she flung her garments, removing them all except the last. She put her foot into the running water and shivered. She tested the bottom – pebbles beneath a couple of feet of water. She put her other foot in and, her heart gripped by the chill, let herself sink slowly into the water with closed eyes and parted lips, uttering little sighs the while. The water covered her with icy caresses and rippled gently about her neck and heaving bosom. Other sweet voices sounded in the air. Leila opened her eyes and raised herself in amazement. She seemed clothed in light, which shone upon the trembling waters and wrapped the bank and her clothes lying beneath the swaying, whispering trees in a silver radiance. It was the rising of the moon, a mysterious awakening of all things in the dead of night. Flowers were raining from the acacias upon the stream and its banks. The girl pressed her folded arms against her breast, and, under the gathering moonlight, amidst the odours of the woods and the rain of the flowers, some indefinable emotion filled her heart with welling tears, which fell hot and silent into the quivering water. Presently she climbed the bank, dressed herself as best she could, and then, with throbbing heart, fled back along the same path, like a castaway who suddenly finds himself safe.

The trees prompt her tyrannically but then tenderly comfort Leila's troubled thoughts:

Through the open verandah she passed into the garden, trying to fix her mind on Don Aurelio's flight. But the very trees she passed seemed to be reminding her of those thoughts from which she shrank. She began walking faster to escape their silent scrutiny, but on the up-hill road, where she was obliged to go more slowly, the great, spreading chestnut-trees renewed the tyranny and hung over her in compassionate lament, murmuring: "Poor girl! You refused Massimo's love when others said yes. Now that Signor Marcello also refuses, you no longer have the strength, you would say yes but there is no one to ask you any more, poor, poor, poor girl!"

Then comes the wind: it accompanies Leila as she anxiously reads Massimo's letter to Donna Fedele and thrills to learn that the young man has spoken of her with great feeling:

Leaving the road, Leila climbed upwards on her left among the blossoming rhododendrons. She seated herself there, the only living figure in this great windy desert, and began mechanically to pick the flowers on each side of her. She heaped them in her lap and held them in her hands, and for a long time let her eyes and thoughts rest quietly upon them. Then, with as much composure as she could muster, she brought out the letter, restrained her desire to glance through it in search of her own name, and proceeded to read it slowly from beginning to end. A cloud came in front of her eyes, and she felt herself as a helpless atom in the presence of a compelling fate. Leila turned once again to Massimo's passionate words, reading and kissing them again and again. At last she put away the letter with a long sigh of contentment. As one who had finally reached the end of a long and arduous journey. A tremendous sense of physical well-being seized her; and she stood up and stretched out her arms as if to embrace a wonderful new world that had been given her. She embraced the cold wind as it blew against her face, she embraced the wild mountain scenery before her, their slopes glowing pink in the setting sun, and she embraced the swaying rhododendrons around her.

And finally the flowers: the petals and the scent of the flowers in the garden at La Montanina have tenderly beguile Leila with their words:

Leila had filled her room for the night with roses, honeysuckle and acacia. It was a weakness of hers. She had as many flowers as possible brought to her room, and she delighted in the strongest scents. That night she had a sea of flowers. She stuck several bunches of acacia between the bed-head and the wall, and a bunch of roses between the wall and a holy picture. She loved to lie in bed and feel the petals falling on her face. She put out the light, turned upon her side, indulging her consciousness of fragrance as if she were listening to some caressing language.

Stage Four Velo d'Astico - Tonezza del Cimone (Km 17)

Route description

Starting from the old Velo d'Astico railway station, which is now the Gran Passo Restaurant, continue along the old railway line as far as the old railway station in Arsiero; after the station go up a small ramp on the right and take a U-turn, continuing along Via Stazione, the road runs along the boundary of Villino delle Rose; go past the gate and the path becomes gravelly and begins to descend; at the main road, near the supermarket DiPiù, continue down towards the right along the tarmacked road against the flow of traffic. At the main road cross over the Posina bridge with Siderforgerossi to your left and at the roundabout by the pizzeria turn left onto Via Europa and continue as far as the bridge (Vecchio Ponte Schiri); cross the bridge and then cross the main road on the pedestrian crossing bearing left and following the signposts and the vie dell'Astico, a narrow route which goes past some houses and then immediately past the old Schiro quarry on the right; keep to the road (mostly tarmacked unfortunately) as far as the bridge Ponte Pria; go past the bridge on your left and follow the road on the right, going past the old Torri Medioevali (Medieval Towers) until the footbridge at Barcarola; cross the river Astico and the main road and then take the old Tonezza road, which is just over 6km and has 24 bends; the road begins to climb and after 300m, just before the signpost for Tonezza, take the path to the left and continue through to Contrà Suggi; go past it on the right and you come out again on the main road and following it to the left you reach the bend; leave the main road and follow the road marked Contrà Pierini; when you come to the pink house, go up the lane; keep to the right as far as Contrà Campana going past the restaurant “Il Cacciatore”; at the next restaurant, “Il Ciclamino”, turn left and take the narrow path which runs between two roads; when you come out turn right following directions for Villanova with the agriturismo “Il Canto del Gallo” on your right; after 200m take the path on your right and follow the waymarkings along the path until you reach “Villino dei Faggi”.

 

Route information

Starting point
Velo D'Astico old railway station (Gran Passo Restaurant)
Parking
Large car park near the restaurant along the railway line
Motorway
Exit Piovene-Chiuppano follow directions for Trento 9km
Main roads
SP350 from Thiene to Piovene turn left for Velo D'Astico, from the town centre turn right downhill, 1k later you will find the old railway line
SP350 Valdastico from Trento: 1 km after Arsiero on the descent take the main road to the right; at the roundabout go straight on and take the next turning on the right; drive uphill 700m and you will see the old station
When
All year round. Be careful when crossing the roads or when travelling along them for short stretches. There may be snow in winter, especially the last section
Technical details
Easy. The first part slopes gently uphill as far as Barcarola with a climb near the Torri Medioevali (Medieval towers)
Hard climb from Barcarola to Tonezza: 700m elevation especially the last partFondo
Terrain
Dirt track along old railway line Velo-Piovene and partway along the River Astico
Path along the River Astico and the last part in Tonezza
Tarmac on the old 24-bend Tonezza road and the stretch from Campana to Tonezza
Time
  • pace 4 kmph > 4 hours 45 minutes
  • pace 6 kmph > 3 hours 20 minutes
  • pace 8 kmph > 2 hours 25 minutes
  • pace 18 kmph > 1 hour 10 minutes by bike
Road crossings
  • SP350 Arsiero near the Villino delle Rose. Warning: heavy traffic
  • SP350 Barcarola after the footbridge across the river Astico. Warning: heavy traffic
  • old Tonezza road is closed to all traffic except residents. Watch out for cyclists as they come down
  • main Tonezza road 400m after bend number 24 the path for Contrà Suggi. Open to traffic with no signposting of bike-pedestrian path
  • main Tonezza road 200m after leaving the Suggi path at the fork in the road for Pierini. Open to traffic with no signposting of bike-pedestrian path
  • Contrà Campana to Tonezza when leaving the Pierini path at the beginning of the Fogazzaro path
  • centre of Tonezza from Villino dei Faggi to the square
  • special care should be taken on all road junctions. Always follow the highway code and above all use common sense

Route map

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Elevation profile

altimetria del percorso

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Stage Three Marano - Velo d'Astico (Km 21)

Route description

Start in Marano where the road forks in Via Braglio, bear left and on the flyover turn right towards the embankment along the Timonchio, at the junction with Via Pasubio, a dual carriageway, turn left over the bridge and immediately right back onto the embankment, at the junction with the main road SP122 continue along the embankment on the same side and after 300m, at the junction with Via Prole turn right; continue straight on until Via Venezia and turn left, after 200m turn right onto Via Milano and after another 200m turn left and then right shortly after onto the dirt track; go on approximately 1km as far as the tarmacked road Via Nazario Sauro, continue as far as the crossroads with Via Stazione, turn left over the level crossing and 50m later turn right into Via Molette; after 400m take a sharp left into a side road and continue until you come to Via Capitello, which is normally very busy; go straight on following the dirt track and just past a farm on the right, turn left; after 50m be careful as a sharp bend to the right brings you onto the new bike-pedestrian path which crosses over the new road below and leads into contrà Vanzi; not far ahead is the crossroads with Via Machiavelli, turn left by an old farmhouse; after 100m look carefully as the entrance to the bike-pedestrian path on the right is half-hidden; go through four crossroads in the Schio business park and at Campo Romano cross over Via Dell'Industria just before the traffic lights; be very careful here as there are no signs on the road and it is a highly dangerous crossing; continue along the road and after 30m turn right onto Via Campo Romano; continue until the new hospital and turn left into Via Campagna which initially runs parallel to the bike-pedestrian path leading to the hospital; straight on through the fields along the dirt track as far as the Chiappin farm; turn left into Via dei Prati where the dirt track eventually becomes tarmacked; continue for more than 1km and just past the new cemetery on the right, turn right at the crossroads into Via Prasamarin; after 400m leave the main road and turn right at the wooden bridge, continue through the underpass and go on past the schools; keep to the right and go up towards the bike-pedestrian path which leads to the playing fields; continue along the narrow cycle path until the pedestrian roundabout; look to your left and you will see an entrance in the walls surrounding Villa Rossi; go through and there is a wide-stepped dirt track which climbs to come out on Via Alessandro Rossi; continue right past Villa Rossi, downhill into Via Lesina and straight on at the crossroads into Via San Carlo, past the little church of the same name; after a short climb the road drops down and watch out for the turning on the left, 500m ahead, down into Via S. Vito; continue down, going straight on through all the crossroads in the area of Grumello di Piovene Rocchette; there is a big roundabout at the end, stay on the pavement to the left and go straight on; after 300m you will see Centro Expert on your right on the other side of the road; turn left here and after 100m turn right into Via del Monte and then straight ahead onto Via Libertà; continue straight on uphill against the flow of traffic and when you reach the little square turn left to climb up into Via delle Fonti; at the end of this short stretch you will reach the car park for the Birreria Vecchia; keeping this to your left continue straight on up the paved steps through the renovated houses as far as the big fountain; cross over Via dell'Angelo into Via Castel Manduca and continue downhill; go under a portico and into an open space; turn left into Via Preare, a dirt track which climbs first and then drops; at the junction with the main road keep to the pavement on the left and not long after cross over the route for the bike-pedestrian path and then cross over again; follow the route of the old railway line, shown on a noticeboard, which descends immediately into a tunnel; stay on the path for 5 km until you reach the old Velo d'Astico station, which is now the Gran Passo Restaurant.

 

Route information

Starting point
Marano Vicentino at the bridge in Via Braglio
Parking
There is a small car park before the embankment
Parking in the centre of town, 1 km away
Motorway
Exit Thiene follow signs for Marano 2.5 km
Main roads
SP1 from Thiene
SP46 from Schio-Malo
Once in the town centre head south to Via Braglio
When
All year round. Be careful at road crossings and stretches along main roads
Technical details
Easy. Gentle climb as far as Piovene Rocchette
The hardest climb begins just outside town: Via dell'Ospizio (cyclists will have to get off and walk)
Gentle descent as far as the “Patronato”
Another climb up to the former lime works
Some gentle gradients along the old railway line
Terrain
Unpaved-grass tracks along the embankment from Marano-Timonchio Farm
Asphalt from Timonchio to Garziere and the crossing at Piovene
Paving stones Via Ospizio Piovene
Dirt track Garziere-Piovene and the old railway line Piovene-Velo
Time
  • pace 4 kmph > 4hours 45 minutes
  • pace 6 kmph > 3hours 20 minutes
  • pace 8 kmph > 2hours 25 minutes
  • pace 18 kmph > 1hour 10 minutes by bike
 Road crossings
  • Viale Europa in Marano
  • level crossing in Marano
  • Via Capitello di Sopra Marano-Schio
  • several crossings on bike path through Schio business park
  • Via Dell'Industria warning heavy traffic (Campo Romano)
  • Via Garziere by the new hospital warning heavy traffic
  • short section (80m) against flow of traffic Via Garziere
  • main road near Garziere (after the villa)
  • main road SP349 Piovene near Pilastri (near motorway flyover)
  • main road SP349 again near Piovene
  • Via Libertà: route is signposted in yellow (against flow of traffic)
  • Via Rossi Piovene, two crossings, beginning of bike-pedestrian path
  • Three crossings of minor roads along the bike-pedestrian path
  • Special care should be taken on all road junctions. Always follow the highway code and above all use common sense

Route map

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Elevation profile

altimetria del percorso

Image gallery

  • From the great slopes of our mountains to our poetic sea shores, nature has lavished on us so many scenes of incomparable beauty that we may imagine any kind of scene set there, from the most grim to the most hilarious! […] only a very few observe our natural surroundings.

    Antonio Fogazzaro
  • The delicately arched brow of Torraro divided the space that yawned between Priaforà and Caviogio, whose black and might outlines swept downwards majestically, like the flowing robes of giant monarchs. His thirsting soul found comfort in the brooding peace of the scene.

    Antonio Fogazzaro
    from his novel Leila
  • They reached in silence an open space, whence one path ran to the right, across the fields, towards Villascura and Cortis's house; another sloped away to the left towards the torrent of Rovese, opposite to the naked, overhanging boulders of Monte Barco; and a third ran straight to the three tall firs, which overlooked the valley, from the edge of a steep declivity. He went straight on towards the fir-trees.

    Antonio Fogazzaro
    from his novel Daniele Cortis
  • Only a thin, silver rim of the moon reddish globe was still shining when they once more ascended the dark terrace. In the restless air, the swaying of the roses, indistinctly heard, sounded like the voices of desire and pain. The sprays seen but indistinctly, waving from side to side, seemed like the arms of staggering blind men.

    Antonio Fogazzaro
    from his novel Piccolo mondo moderno (The Man of the World)
  • The spur that bears Vena di Fonte Alta stretches forward from the base of Picco Astore, its twin horns facing the great stone quarry of Villascura. Towering above the abyss that encircles them, the pine forests and beech groves of Vena wave against a background of sky, spotted here and there with pale emerald, where the fields press them asunder and overflow, and dotted with red and white where small houses are huddled together in groups.

    Antonio Fogazzaro
    from his novel Piccolo mondo moderno (The Man of the World)
  • My books are drawn in part from other books, in part from the truth in things, and in part from the depths of my own soul; because my soul, too, is a sky filled with shadows and stars which rise and set and rise again without rest, and therein lies an abyss so deep that not even the inner eye can penetrate it.

    Antonio Fogazzaro

The CFR Route

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