|Meet the SFIDA Cycling staff at Venice Marco Polo airport (VCE) or at the designated hotel.
We will transfer to our hotel near Cividale del Friuli, in the very heart of this prolific wine region where we will spend the first couple of nights of our trip.
After our orientation meeting, lunch, and build-up bikes we will head to the countryside and enjoy a short ride through the amazing landscapes.
Our ride will take us to cross the Italian-Slovenian borders a few times, showing us how interconnected this region has been through history. Scattered between the vineyard landscapes we will ride through places like Dobrovo Castle, Monte Calvario IWW monument, the intriguing place where the Gorizia wall was, and the Oslavia Sacrario Militare (IWW).
All with the backdrop of the wine-producing hills of the Brda and Oslavia vineyards.
Quite a busy day 1 ride!
Our host town:
Cividale del Friuli is situated on the river Natisone, which forms a picturesque ravine here. Formerly an important regional power, it is today a quiet, small-town that attracts tourists thanks to its medieval center. In June 2011 a part of the historical center of Cividale (the one belonging to the Lombards era) entered the UNESCO heritage list.
The town is surrounded by vineyards that produce distinctive local wines.
SFIDA tip: Pasticceria Gelateria Ducale claims to make the best Gubana cake in the area, with a recipe dating from the 1400s…we agree!
Today we will be riding on very narrow roads, typical Giro d’Italia roads. We start climbing up to the Santuario di Castelmonte, this is part of the Monte Spig climb. After we descent to San Leonardo, we will ride north to the start of the Sella del Jof.
After we reach the summit of the Sella del Jof, we will be riding on an undulating plateau area that kicks up again to reach the Bochetta di Sant’Antonio and the Madonnina del Monte Carnizza. From here is a nice descent to Faedis, this is the start of the last climb of the day, the Madonnina del Dom. From the top, it is 20km of descent and flat riding back to our hotel.
Time for wine tasting and a great dinner before we leave this part of Friuli.
HOTEL: Il Roncal Resort
Today we leave Friuli for a couple of days and ride into Slovenia via the Livek climb. We will descent to the historical town of Kobarid, here will visit a couple of interesting places: the St.Anthony Church and the Italian Cemetery, commemorating the IWW battle of the Caporetto in 1917.
Leaving Kobarid, we will ride by Napoleon’s bridge, destroyed and rebuild a few times in the last couple of centuries.
We will continue our ride towards the town of Bovec and the beautiful Soca Valley, before starting the climb up to Vrsic pass, one of the most iconic mountain passes in Slovenia.
From the top of Vrsic pass, there is no more climbing today, during our descent we will visit the famous wooden Russian Chapel, halfway down towards Kranjska Gora, our final destination.
Our host town:
The Alpine village of Kranjska Gora is the capital of the Julian Alps. This year-round tourist resort has a lively town center with nice cafes and restaurants, plus is surrounded by a good number of natural attractions, a great place to stay for a couple of nights!
After two days with a lot of climbing, today we will take it a bit easier. Riding mostly on secondary roads we will make our way to the scenic lake Bled, definitely one of the most photographed places in Slovenia.
We will ride around the lake, have lunch at a local restaurant and visit the famous Bled Castle.
In the afternoon we will make our way back to Kranjska Gora, so we can enjoy some time in the town center.
SFIDA tip: no visit to lake Bled can be completed without tasting the famous Bled cream cake…
In the last few years, Slovenia has become a powerhouse in the professional cycling world. When riding up some of their iconic climbs like the ones we have on today’s route, you can see why they have some of the finest Grand Tour riders at the moment.
Upon leaving our hotel in Kranjska Gora, it is 11km of solid climbing up the top of Vrsic pass. This is one of the most beautiful climbs in Slovenia, mainly because of its 24 cobbled switchbacks, definitely a stunning mountain pass!
From the top, we keep riding towards Bovec via the Soca Valley, so we can enjoy this magnificent ride in the opposite direction we rode a couple of days ago. After Bovec we start climbing up to Mangart Pass, but before we have a short stop to see Fort Kluze . This is a fortification with a lot of historical importance, as this road was connecting the Austro-Hungarian borders with Italy.
Mangart pass is one of the toughest but at the same time most scenic climbs in the Julian Alps, definitely a giant with everything one can expect: narrow roads, rocky clifts, tunnels, and incredible views once you reach the summit.
From the top, it will be a pleasant 25km ride, mostly downhill with a couple of kilometers up the Passo del Predil, in the Slovenian-Italian border.
Our last part of the ride has a good number of IWW historical places: Predel Fort, Artilleri base of Predil, and the Ossuary of Predil. Tarvisio is our final destination.
Our host town:
Tarvisio is in the northeastern part of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, between the Carnia and Julian Alps. This is definitely a crossroads town where Italy, Austria, and Slovenia meet, the languages and excellent cuisine are witnesses of this mixture. A place of ancient trade between the Alps and Venice, its roots are back to Roman times.
At SFIDA Cycling, we love riding in the Carnic Alps, this northern corner of Italy has some of the most “interesting” climbs one can imagine…
Don’t be deceived because we opted to ride the first 25km of today’s ride following the excellent Alpe-Adria cycle path.
The Alpe-Adria cycle path is an amazing bike ride connecting Salzburg in Austria with Grado in Italy, following the old train route used by the Austrians in the late 1800s to spend Summer in warmer weather. We will leave this path in the town of Pontebba, from here we will start climbing the Passo del Cason di Lanza. This is a big unknown climb that for sure won’t disappoint!
After a technical descent to Paularo, we start climbing up to Forcella de Lius, a short and steep climb. Our last climb is the Sella Valcalda in Ravascletto, the final destination for today.
Our host town:
Ravascletto is a tourist town in the heart of the Carnic Alps, in Winter is a ski resort and in Summer it offers many outdoor activities. For cycling, I won’t say it is a cycling paradise as probably some will differ with my opinion…to put it simply, within a 25km radius you have access to climbs like Zoncolan, Crostis, Tenchia, Forchia…all with above 10% average and long sections between 15-20%…
Today’s ride is definitely a classic one! at first sight, it looks like a very short ride…but the accumulated climbing says another thing.
Starting with a pleasant descent to Ovaro, soon we start seeing signs pointing to our first destination of the day, the famous Monte Zoncolan, this climb is pure Giro d’Italia history!
The Zoncolan was climbed for the first time during the Giro in 2003, since then it has been climbed 7 times including this years. Mostly from the Ovaro side, this quickly has become a “must climb” for the hardcore cycling aficionados.
Once we conquer the Zoncolan, we will descent back to Ovaro and head to Comeglians to tackle the second climb of the day, the mythic Monte Crostis. Never climbed during the Giro as the summit is to narrow to be a stage final. Then it is too dangerous to have it as passing through summit as the following 8km, named “Strada Panoramique Delle Vette”, is on gravel and not valid for racing through.
For our group, we will decide if we ride the Strada Delle Vette depending on weather, gravel condition, and our client’s skills.
SFIDA tip: At the Bar Pasticceria Alle Corriere in Comeglians, signora Lilly claims to make the best bignes (puffy cakes filled with cream) in Italy…
RIDE INFO: Day 7
64km / 3,050m
CLIMBS: Monte Zoncolan (from Ovaro, classic Giro side) 1,755m, Monte Crostis (from Comeglians) 1,982m.
HOTEL: La Perla Hotel
Today we are leaving the Carnic Alps behind, riding down to Ovaro and onto Villa Santina, where we will start the first climb of the day, the Sella Chianzutan followed by the SellaChiampon, these are not hard climbs but the roads are very narrow and technical.
Next is the Forcella di Monte Rest, used in the Giro 2020, this climb has multiple switchbacks on both sides and is one of the hidden gems of this part of Italy, a truly enjoyable climb.
After a technical descent, we arrive to flatter roads by the Lago di Tramonti and arrive in Maniago.
Our host town:
Maniago is also called “the city of the knife”, artisan cutlery has been produced here since medieval times. Maniago was under Venetian domination for a long period of time, this can be seen in its historical center, with places and monuments like the Cathedral of San Mauro Martyr and the ruins of the Castle of Maniago. Definitely a place worth visiting after our ride.
Today, most of our climbing is on the first half of the ride. After leaving Maniago, we climb the Forcella di Pala Barzana, another climb with a good number of switchbacks on a quiet road.
We will descent to Lago di Barcis before climbing up the ski resort of Piancavallo, this climb has been part of the Giro d’Italia route regularly in the last few years. Soon after descending
Piancavallo we will enter the Veneto region, we have decided that it is a great way to spend the last couple of nights in the Prosecco region.
The stunning location and features of our accommodation make it even more epic. After all, how many times one can sleep in a fully functional medieval castle?
Our host town:
Cison di Valmarino is one of the most charming small towns scattered around the Prosecco region. Inhabited since ancient times, Cison di Valmarion position between Vittorio Veneto and Follina, offers a calm place to base yourself and visit the surrounding area.
SFIDA tip: there’s a small ice cream shop in town that has been enjoyed by different groups of SFIDA clients…
Our last ride of the trip will take us first up to the Passo di San Boldo, this is a climb that is a pleasure and an experience to ride on: not too long, not too steep, with 5 tunnels on switchbacks, 18 switchbacks, and amazing history all in only 6 kilometers! definitely, one you will remember forever.
Passo di San Boldo was used since ancient times, but it was by the end of IWW, when the Austro-Hungarian army needed a way to retreat, that its construction close to what we know it now was finalized. It was completed between February and June 1918, so its name “road of 100 days” and most of the workers were Russian prisoners and women. It is incredible that 100 years later we ride our carbon frame bikes on these roads that had so much significance in the past.
To complete an amazing day on the bike, we will ride through some of the most iconic Prosecco small roads. This time of the year the grape harvest is about to start, so we need to be aware of tractors and small trucks on the roads. Our ride will include a stop in Valdobbiadene, Prosecco’s capital and one of the nicest towns in the area.
Prosecco wine region:
The Prosecco region has become a UNESCO world heritage site recently. This is one of the most extraordinary vineyards areas in the world, with hills stretching between the Venetian plains up to the foothills of the Dolomites.
It is one of the most popular wines of Italy, with different levels of quality, it can be drunk alone combined with many types of food, or mixed in cocktails like the Bellini or Spritz.
SFIDA tip: A trattoria in Cison di Valmarino serves the best homemade Prosecco we ever tried and the food…
After breakfast transfer by van to Venice airport (VCE). Expect to get there by 11:00, so plan your flights accordingly.
Alternatively, stay with us a couple of days more and ride the Monte Grappa once or twice…check with us.
TWIN room: $6,550 AUD
SINGLE Supplement: $950 AUD
Rental bike: $900 AUD
$1000 AUD when making the booking. Balance to be paid 30 days before the trip starts.
10 nights accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars
10 lunches with a mix of picnic and trattoria meals.
10 dinners, including wine.
Hotel extras: mini-bar, spa, massage.
Tips for the staff.
We will have ride leaders and at least one mechanic on our trip.
Our staff/client ratio is 1:4 staff.
Our passenger vans come fully equipped with all necessary to give the best support during the rides.
We carry gels, energy bars, powder mix, water, fruit, riding food, tools, pumps, spare tubes, and tires to make sure our first-class support helps you through the trip.
Professional first aid kit.
30 days before the trip starts – the return of deposit less $300 AUD cancellation fee.
Less than 30 days before the trip starts – no amount will be refunded. We will, however, try to credit as much as possible towards a future trip. This depends on the amount that we can get back from the hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
COVID-19 CANCELLATION POLICY:
If SFIDA Cycling must cancel the trip for Covid-19 reasons, a full refund of any money paid towards the trip.
If our client must cancel their assistance to any SFIDA Cycling trip for Covid-19 related issues, a full refund of any money paid towards the trip.