In the footsteps of Italy’s new cycle path, hidden between the Dolomites and Lake Garda

After covering most of the distance – around 80 km – on our first day, we allowed ourselves time to linger over breakfast at the four-star Grand Hotel Terme di Comano and cover the last 30 kilometers at a more leisurely pace. The landscape has changed radically after crossing the last pass, at an altitude of 750 m. Vines began to appear on the hillsides, each rocky promontory seemed to be topped by a castle, and there were olive trees, arranged in messy orchards by the side of the road. “This section reminds me of Tuscany,” said Ferrari, and in the 12th-century hilltop village of Canale di Tenno, where barrel-vaulted buildings littered the cobbled streets, I could see what he meant. Squint, and you could almost have been in Montepulciano or Montalcino – only there were a lot less tourists.

The final descent to the resort town of Riva del Garda seemed almost indecently quick. 600m of hard-gained altitude flew in the space of ten kilometers in freewheeling, and before we knew it we were pedaling along the promenade, with baroque palaces painted in pastel on one side and the triangles neon windsurfing sails on the other.

Our final destination was the Leon d’Oro, a restaurant that has been in the same family since 1939. Grandma Salavneschi sat outside as we rode our bikes, greeting her customers and enjoying the late September sunshine. Lunch – a antipasti lake fish tartare, followed by bigoi (a local specialty translated on the menu as “big spaghetti”), washed down with a nosiola from a neighboring vineyard – was very Well. So good, in fact, that despite being drunk, that was all I could do to stop myself from ordering the same thing again.

Essential

Getting There

Fly to Verona, take the main train to Trento, then change to a regional train to the DOGA departure point: Malè station in Val di Sole. Both can be booked through the TrenItalia app or trenitalia.com

Navigation

GPX details and detailed route information are available on the DOGA website: doga-cycling.it. For more information about the region, visit visittrentino.info.

To guide

If you prefer to walk it with a guide, they can be booked through Guide Alpine Trentino: guidealpinetrentino.it

Where to stay

Standard double rooms in low season (from September 9) at the Grand Hotel Terme di Comano.

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