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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

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

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 to Alimentari "Da Paolo" Via Roma 79 (100 mt after the municipal buiding) Tel. +39 0445 749013

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

logosvtSVT – Bus routes

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

www.svt.vi.it

Bus routes and timetables https://www.svt.vi.it/orari-percorsi/extraurbano
Telephone: Information office 848 800900 -  Contact Center (+39) 0444 223111


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

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.

21.6 Km

Details

Stage 2

percorso-CFR-tappa-1

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

25.3 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.

20.3 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.

16.7 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: May 2021

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

Full route

Stage One

Stage Two

Stage Three

Stage Four

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.

Tonezza del Cimone

Veduta dello Spitz, Tonezza del Cimone

Following the signs for Arsiero, the route continues on towards Tonezza del Cimone, renamed "Vena di Fonte Alta" in Piccolo mondo moderno (The Man of the World) and described movingly by Fogazzaro:

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 [...]

 

The village is described thus:

[…] there stands a small hotel not built by the spirits either of the mountains or of the air. The lower floor is nothing more than a rustic tavern, where, on Sundays, the wine is wont to ferment and overflow in song and rioting […] the all-pervading odour of pine-wood […] the creaking wooden stairs, the rooms above with their floors of deal […] a homely interior in which one is glad to feel oneself alive [...]

The Cammino Fogazzaro Roi ends near Villa Fogazzaro Roi, where Fogazzaro's daughter, Gina (the Marquess Giuseppe “Boso” Roi's grandmother) stayed. In the novel the villa is called Villino dei Faggi. Nearby is the start of the Sentiero Fogazzariano, opened in the summer of 2005 by Tonezza del Cimone Town Council.

And so concludes our itinerary. We hope that this literary trail, and its connections with Antonio Fogazzaro's characters and the places he loved, will bring the area alive and give you insight a new perspective on the extraordinary scenery through which it passes.

Villa Velo and Villa La Montanina

Leaving behind the hamlet of Seghe, we find the little town of Velo d'Astico, renamed Villascura by Fogazzaro in his novel Daniele Cortis, and indicated as such on the signpost along the road. Following the directions we come to Villa Velo, a landmark in this area, and re-christened Villa Cortis in the novel Daniele Cortis, home of the main character and evocatively described in the following excerpt:

Sky and mountain, all was black, from the Passo Grande, which carries on its lowest ledge the Villa Cortis, with its woods and fields, away to Monte Barco, and to the high, narrow gully, whence issues the Rovese torrent. At the top of the steps, against the whitish background of the house, a lighted door shone in the darkness. […] on his right, rising above him, were the branches of the dense wood which grows over the mountain and valley, and which covers peaks and ridges, streams and pools , with the terrors of its black shadows. The wonderful fountain in the garden made its voice heard, though it was invisible in the night [...]

Villa Velo - Velo d'Astico

Villa Velo, the magnificent historic residence of the Velo family, stands near the ancient castle of Velo and over the centuries it has been added to and altered. The oldest part is the huge three-floored main body that was built in the seventeenth century preserves elements of both Gothic and Renaissance styles. The section which links it to the beautifully crafted barchessa, or outhouses, was built by Girolamo di Velo in 1752 and displays interesting stuccoes and frescoes by G.B. Canal, a central staircase, and two serliana windows to the sides.
The chapel is finely decorated with sculptures from the school of Marinali. The villa is surrounded by a garden with a fountain and on the valley-facing side is a red marble column (brought back by Count Girolamo Egidio di Velo from the archaeological dig he conducted in the Baths of Caracalla in Rome), central to one of Elena's most compelling scenes in the novel:

[…] 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

Villa La Montanina di Velo d'Astico

Following the signs, a few hundred metres further up, is La Montanina, “Leila's villa” in the novel of the same name. Fogazzaro had it built in 1907, overseeing every detail of its design with the architect Mario Ceradini, and in keeping with the dictates of Liberty and Viennese Secessionist styles (steep-sloped roofs, trapezoidal pediments, and small-squared window panes). The writer watched over the building works as if it were his own child and christened the springs in the grounds Riderella and Modesta. The house was severely damaged by air raids in 1916 as the Austrian command was based there. It was then bought by Monseigneur Franceso Galloni and rebuilt and extended between 1927 and 1932 to become the centre for the Opera “Pro Oriente”, a charitable institution set up during the Fascist period. Earlier fragments of the older building include parts of a painting of the Magi, which are now mostly covered by an Annunciation, and a four-sided herm inscribed with the date 1907. The central salon has an enormous window overlooking the valley, framed by columns from Pompeii and two stately staircases. The nearby chapel is dedicated to Santa Maria dei Monti. Fogazzaro depicts the villa in this charming personification:

[…] it is so like one of those peasant women who come wearily down from the steeps of Priaforà, and pause to rest awhile upon the bundle of wood they have gathered in the forests. Or as one guest commented, 'A big house with a family of children'.

 

Villa Valmarana-Ciscato in Seghe di Velo d'Astico

Villa Valmarana is in Seghe, a small hamlet near Velo d'Astico between Piovene and Arsiero and renamed "Villa Carrè" by Fogazzaro in his novel Daniele Cortis. The villa is now owned by the Ciscato family and stands on the foundations of an older palazzo in an enchanting location overlooking the Astico valley. It has been renovated several times over the years, the most important being in 1843, then again in 1925 after it had been badly damaged during the war in 1916. The central body of the villa is Neo-classical while the loggia and portico date back to the eighteenth century and the “colombara”, a kind of dovecote, is attributed to the architect Caregaro-Negrin. The chapel, designed by Pizzoccaro in 1667 and dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, is described as a musical presence in Daniele Cortis:

The little chapel in the Villa Carrè hidden away in a corner of the garden between the railings and a group of firs, had apparently never ceased during the night of the 29th June from tinkling its bells.

Fogazzaro spent lengthy periods in this magnificent villa, which belonged to his in-laws, and which was the home of Elena Carrè, Daniele Cortis' cousin, in the novel of the same name.

Monuments in the centre of Vicenza

Basilica Palladiana - Vicenza

Descending from Monte Berico towards the centre of the city, the Cammino Fogazzaro Roi leads us towards Piazza dei Signori, adorned with many splendid masterpieces including the iconic landmark, the Basilica Palladiana.

Around 1450, the city felt it necessary to build a new public palazzo with a large room to host assemblies of the Consiglio dei Cinquecento (the Council of the Five Hundred, the city's governing body). Thirty years later a series of loggias were constructed around the building to provide additional space and shelter for the merchants who met in the main square. These were completed in 1494 to a design by Formenton, but approximately two years later the loggias on the west side collapsed, owing to inadequate foundations. In 1549, after lengthy consultations, Palladio's proposal was chosen and work began.

The Palladian loggias are a repetition of the same architectural element: the serliana window. A central arch is flanked by two rectangular openings framed by paired columns. Each bay appears to be the same size but they are in fact different; the architect cleverly adjusted the bay sizes to fit the existing structure, which was trapezoidal in shape, especially at the corners of the building, and the vertical lines of the columns continue upwards and through to the statues atop the upper balustrade.

In Piccolo mondo moderno (The Man of the World), Fogazzaro describes the loggias thus:

[…] he entered the deserted Piazza Maggiore opposite the spectral magnificence of the great, black loggias with their staring eyes, with which a glorious master of olden days has surrounded the decaying and blind creation of a still more ancient colleague […] 

Basilica Palladiana - Vicenza

Other details on the upper loggia evince Palladio's ingenuity. The columns are not aligned with the windows in the great hall, allowing light to pour in. If you observe the outer wall of the older building on the upper floor, you will notice that it seems to lean inwards: this can be explained by studying the building techniques. As the wall goes up it has to support less weight and requires less building material. However, saving on material in this way can give the idea of instability; so Palladio designed his loggias to stand perpendicular to the piazza but not aligned with the internal walls.

 
Palazzo Chiericati - Vicenza

Heading away from Piazza dei Signori, but before reaching corso Fogazzaro, a short detour from the Cammino Fogazzaro Roi, down corso Palladio, brings us to Piazza Matteotti. Here we can admire Palazzo Chiericati, a Palladian masterpiece and home of the Pinacoteca Civica (City Art Gallery) which received a precious bequest in 2009 from the Marquess Giuseppe Roi, Fogazzaro's great-grandson.

It may not be the most beautiful sixteenth-century palazzo, but it is certainly one of Palladio's most daring and superb creations. Begun in 1550, only the southern wing, from the basement to the roof, was initially completed. In a 1580 map of Vicenza, the Pianta Angelica, this portion of Palazzo Chiericati is shown hemmed in by the little houses huddled around it, although it had, by then, been made habitable with some opulently decorated rooms. Work resumed towards the end of the seventeenth century under the supervision of Borrella, who took a certain amount of licence, such as the addition of statues and vases, but was essentially faithful to Palladio's original design. After standing in disuse for a century the city council bought the palazzo in 1839 from the aristocratic Chiericati family, intending to use it to house the civic art collections. It was renovated by the architects Berti and Miglioranza and opened as a museum in 1855. The museum collections are still undergoing radical refurbishment which is expected to conclude between the end of 2012 and early 2013.

The location was of crucial importance in Palladio's design: the plot comprised both a clearing down towards the banks of the river Bacchiglione, and was a route into the noble part of the city with its corso and piazzas. This was Vicenza's front door, where the city officially welcomed its illustrious visitors with pomp and circumstance and so the palazzo had a dual role to play: it would be a place for people to congregate and also act as the propylea, or monumental gateway, to Via Maggiore, known today as corso Palladio, the city's decumanus. Dramatic chiaroscuro effect on the façade is created by flush and recessed walls and groups of half columns, bridging the transition from the shaded to the lighter areas, and preparing us for the rounded end arch which encloses the portico. The building plan is exquisitely simple, reminiscent of the villas where spaces flow seamlessly into one another with mathematical precision and perfect timing, and where the orchestrated play of solid and void on one façade is echoed in the one opposite. This gives rise to another distinctive feature of Palladian buildings: an imposing outer façade, indicating the family's standing, and a more subdued and intimate inner façade, as in the villa, which is reserved for the family.

For a comprehensive description of the Palazzo's interior and its collections please consult publications and catalogues by the Fondazione Roi, founded by Antonio Fogazzaro's great-grandson to develop and promote museum culture.

 
Teatro Olimpico - Vicenza

A short distance from Palazzo Chiericati, the Porta dell'Armamentario gateway leads into the courtyard of the Palazzo del Territorio, now a picturesque garden replete with sculptures. Worthy of note is the Doric loggetta, the palazzo's plain façade, which was rebuilt after air raid damage, and the façade of the Accademia Olimpica which adjoins the small apse of the stage of the Teatro Olimpico (Olympic Theatre).
The Odeo Olimpico, or music room, is the assembly room of the Accademia Olimpica, of which Antonio Fogazzaro was an eminent member and chairman. It was
built by Vincenzo Scamozzi and the frescoes are attributed to Franceso Maffei. The entrance to the theatre is Via the vestibule preceding the Odeo, known as the Antiodeo, and displayed on the walls are epigraphs commemorating some of the most prestigious members of the Academy, from Palladio to Trissino and Fogazzaro himself.
The Olympic Theatre, inspired by the ancient Roman theatres described in Vitruvius' writings, was commissioned by the Academy in 1580 and Palladio began working on its design but died the same year; his son Silla continued his father's work until Scamozzi took over in 1585.

Walking back up corso Palladio is the crossroads with Corso Fogazzaro, formerly known as contrà Carmini, and at number 111 can be seen the house where Fogazzaro was born.