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Published: March 25th 2014
During our Venice holiday, Ruth and Amy gave me a day off as an early birthday present, which I put to good use by attempting a climb of the famous Monte Grappa.
I rented a road bike from Veloce bike rental and the owner offered to join me for the climb as he had never done it before. We met in the scenic town of Bassano del Grappa and set off from there. The climb begins properly in Remano d'Ezzelino, about 2km north of Bassano. I hadn't trained much at all over the winter so I was a bit apprehensive about the climb but I surprised myself by setting off at a good pace. Maybe it was the nice bike he had supplied.
I had expected Gennaro to leave me behind but he was falling back at the first corner. This was a long 30km so after the first few kilometres we cycled at our own pace.
Unlike many of the Alpine climbs, the Grappa climb is open all year. The road was in good condition and was surprisingly quiet, with only 2 or 3 cars passing by all day.
The climb was long but never too
The first of many tornentes
steep. I passed through small villages which looked like they had closed up for the winter. At about 1000m altitude, after 15km, near to the village of Camposolagna, I finally found a cafe, Cafe Alloggio, that was open and stopped for a refuel.
Once above 1200m I reached the snow line. The final 7 or 8 km to the summit seemed to take forever but after coming so far I was in no mood to turn back.
Monte Grappa is famous all over Italy and at the top there is a mausoleum containing the remains of thousands of Italians who fought here in WW1. There is also a museum here but it was closed the day of my visit. From the top I had fantastic views over the Veneto and could see the Alps or Dolomites in the distance.
It took me over 3 hours to climb the 30km to the top but it was a much shorter trip back down. I ran into Gennaro again at Cafe Alloggio and we headed back to Bassano together. Ruth and Amy had seen all of Bassano by this stage so we went for a quick taste of grappa near
the famous bridge before returning to Venice.
This was my second big Italian summit, after Stelvio in 2011, and I can't wait to come back for more.
Tot: 2.463s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 36; qc: 128; dbt: 0.0935s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.7mb