Last cycling day before going back home. There were ways to get quicker back if needed so I was in a good position for the start today in Arsiero. Only the Asiago plateau between me and Cismon del Grappa. So, went back to Cogollo del Cengolo (300m) to start out on the climb up to Asiago on the minor road variant starting here. It had been closed earlier, so was not sure if there would be any surprise here. There were not any signs saying anything about the road or where it went, so I was worried at the start.
The road looked fine though and eventually a car came down, so I was not alone. I am still a little confused about why it is so obscure. It is not much steeper than the main road and both roads are easy. This is by far the easiest way up to Asiago and the main road is the one most lorries takes (almost all maybe). Still a nice road to climb.
Eventually the road goes more straight up among the mountains and I was going to take the first proper turn-off from the road to the west. The main attraction for today was the first. I was going up the Piazzale Principe del Piemonte (Monte Cengio) (1289m) (an obvious pass without a pass name) and to continue a short way to Piazzale dei Granatieri (1263m) which is the end of that road and where one has some really fine views. Monte Summano is right across and the mountain I had thought about climbing yesterday (there is some gravel on that climb however).
An excerpt from the Tabacco map reproduced at the site shows the yellow road up here. When I went back, I noticed the paved road up the Val di Gievano (see the map) and thought maybe I could find a surprise pass sign there and that it would be a nice alternative road. It got steep and turned to concrete, but I could get up, but then it was unfortunately gravel over the top and no signs, but nice and even though the gravel could have been smoother, I was soon on asphalt again.
Stopped on the way down from ‘Ronchetto’ (1137m) to take this photo ahead. Asiago is out of the photo and not visible to the right.
I then fooled around taking the wrong roads twice (incredibly, despite looking at the map and knowing the general directions) around Treschč Conca (1050m) (village, but also the pass on the big road). I looked for a shop to find something to buy at, but there were no ordinary shops that I could see here, so continued hurriedly on to Asiago to try and reach it before shops would close for lunch, but it was a bit too long there and I instead stopped at big shop early on for something to eat.
I got into Asiago (had planned not to go into the city, but changed my mind) and the weather got less good. I wanted a coffee and there were places in the centre, but I was not happy with them and continued around a bit and eventually stopped by a bar called Alchemist and got coffee and even a Belgian beer later as it started to rain soon after I stopped there).
The changing weather and long stop made me a bit slow at first and guess I wanted it to dry up a little on the roads too, which it soon did. Eventually I got to Passo di Vezzena/Passo Vezéna (1416m) and I got more in the right mood again (I had a choice between two climbs up here, but had decided on the highest road from the pass).
Here is the walking pass sign. It was a long time since I was up at this pass now.
The main sign with some policemen and a woman there. Looking back here too – no good views to the north here.
The Strada dei Forti (1725m) is the highest paved road on the Asiago plateau and is of varied quality. First it goes via the old Forte Verle and the photo here I took on the way back.
The unnamed pass on the other side of the Cima Verle (but guess it is essentially the same as the Vezzena pass). The road descends and then goes around to the right where it starts to climb considerably through the woods.
Quite nice up here even with the lurching bad weather in the distance.
The road is fairly well built and the surface is occasionally also quite fine until one reaches the Veneto border (we are in Trentino once again now) at the end of the Valle Sparavieri. From there it is a rough road, like here, until one reaches the Rifugio Larici (1656m), which was the other climb I had wanted to do, but I should then have gone up from Pedescala (311m).
Time to go back again and no views at this location, but kind of sweet the road is nicely paved to the border even if there is nothing there.
This photo is from the last little climb on this road where there is also a paved turn-off for Malga Costa di Sopra (and guess the owner arrived there with his car while I was there).
This section below was the nicest. Then back over Passo di Vezzena and down to Monte Rovere, where I turned off once again (took a long time before I first took that road and still have not climbed it) over Monte Rovere/Spiazzo Alto (1261m) (also a pass). The Albergo Monte Rovere, run by a nice old lady when I stayed there once back in 2006, seemed to be closed now.
The weather stayed fine and lovely views again down this road into Valsugana. I tried to take a few photos in different places than upon my recent visit earlier here. Here overlooking the Lago di Caldonazzo just like last time though.
Looking back up on the road.
Here is one of the steepest and tightest sections.
Finally a nice view over Valsugana looking eastwards. I went straight up to Lévico Terme, where I initially started out going west thinking that maybe I could have time for one of the climbs I had planned for there, but that was if I had done the Monte Cengio climb the day before, which I did not and now had been delayed also by the weather, so I luckily realised there was no time for that climb now and turned around after maybe a hundred metres.
It seemed very boring just to go down the Valsugana though, so I looked on the map and decided I could at least do the Panoramica della Valsugana (856m) from Marter (418m) via Telve down to Castelnuovo (354m). I stopped before the turn-off down in Marter by a grocery to have a sandwich with Asiago cheese and a coca-cola as the last stop before the dinner in the evening.
Nice views across the valley on the scenic road.
I believe this road going up from here is one of the roads I had originally planned to visit already on my first day if I did not have any flats. I will have to revisit the area another time as there are many nice and interesting climbs around here still to discover.
The view from near the high point of the Panoramica della Valsugana.
A final view down where I was heading this evening. I tried to go down in a decent speed and decided to take the main road. There was very little traffic and the main road is allowed for cyclists down from just after Castelnuovo (even though some car drivers may think differently and therefore I might recommend the bike path down the valley for those wishing for a more relaxing (but perhaps more confusing) ride down the valley. I was back in Cismon del Grappa just before it started to get dark.
I washed and got something to eat. Very nice place the Albergo Alla Posta, but more of a shop/café with a restaurant room and some beds than an ordinary hotel. With that said, I could recommend it (nice people and a nice village too). In the evening I thought to go down to the restaurant by the main road again for a final ice cream, but it turned out to be closed down and then walked through the village main street to the only other evening open place, which is a bar, but they were nice too and even had Belgian beers, so the evening was all fine. On the way back the next day I got in time for the train, but it turned out that it was replaced at some hours with a bus service. Got help there from a nice lady and the bus driver was also nice and helpful. The train ride from Bassano to Mestre went also smoothly and had an ice cream while waiting for the connecting bus to the airport.