“La Strada del Vecchio Trenino” is a segment of the Asiago bike tours that follows a portion of the former Rocchette-Asiago railway. It’s an excellent route for those seeking a leisurely stroll or an easy mountain biking adventure. The old railway that once traversed the plateau has been repurposed into a splendid bicycle and pedestrian path. The route meanders through lush meadows and forests, continuously tracing the contours of the villages and steering clear of bustling roads.
The history of the Vaca Mora, the little train that connected the plateau with the plain
This particular route follows the trackbed of the former Schio-Rocchette-Asiago railway. The railway was narrow-gauge and featured a rack-and-pinion system to tackle the challenging ascent of the “Costo” section. It was an impressive feat of engineering, originally conceived in the mid-nineteenth century but not constructed until the early twentieth century. The railway remained in operation until the late 1950s, after having been inaugurated in 1910. The railway had a significant impact on the social and economic development of the Plateau, first with passenger transport and then with freight. After nearly fifty years of operation, it made its final run in June 1958.
Asiago bike tour – along the route of the old train
This bike path is ideal for all levels, including beginners and children, and covers four stations (Tresché Conca, Cesuna, Canove, and Asiago) for a total length of approximately 12 km. The route is surrounded by nature and allows for breathtaking views of the woods of Cesuna, which exude a magical atmosphere. Along the way, you’ll come across two tunnels, one measuring 384 meters and the other 186 meters in length, as well as old stations and railway toll booths.
The first stop is Canove di Roana, where you can visit the small but impressive Great War Museum. Outside the museum, you can snap a souvenir photo with the Vaca Mora, the cogwheel train locomotive that is now resting after years of honorable and strenuous service.
From here, the ascent begins through a fragrant fir forest that leads to the village of Cesuna, where the road becomes paved. At this point, it’s only a couple of kilometers to the final destination in Campiello, but you can first take a detour to the majestic Fort Corbin, which is just a few minutes from the bike path.
On the way, you’ll encounter a delightful surprise: a 350-meter-long illuminated tunnel that lights up with the help of a photocell that detects the presence of the cyclist just before entering. Once you reach Campiello, you can take a break and then leisurely make your way back to Asiago, enjoying the mostly downhill ride.
Asiago bike tour – stops along the route
- Asiago cheese tasting: The Asiago Consortium guarantees that only cheese meeting specific production criteria is labeled, recognized, and sold as Asiago. The most esteemed variety is Stravecchio, which is a Slow Food Presidium. You can allocate some time for a tasting at one of the many local producers.
- Great War Museum: Asiago was a major battleground during World War I, and the Great War Museum exhibits weaponry and personal belongings of soldiers, such as rosary wreaths, buttons, dog tags, pipes, watches, compasses, and postcards from soldiers to their loved ones.
- Asiago Astrophysical Observatory: Established by the University of Padua in 1942, the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory is situated atop a hill, at an altitude of 1040 meters. It features a telescope with a 122-centimeter diameter mirror, one of the most powerful in Europe.
- British Military Cemetery: One of five British cemeteries on the Asiago Plateau protected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the cemetery contains the remains of 1,024 fallen soldiers, including many British soldiers. You can take a moment of silence and reflection to remember the victims of the war.
- Lunch at Kubelek Shelter: There are numerous benches along the way where you can take a break and enjoy the view. The Kubelek Mountain Hut in Cesuna di Roana is positioned at an altitude of 1220 meters, offering a breathtaking view of the Plateau.
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