(E)Bike Trip from Padua to Pellestrina: Exploring the Waterways of the Veneto.

So here is the story. Italy, as we know it, woos you with its traditional charm, with “belle ragazzi”, with pizza & sunshine by the sea. However, to experience Italy on an ebike is new. So new in any case, that even all the other tourists shoot us jealous looks (not to mention the locals: On the occasion, our bike guide for the day Nicoletta happily exchanges her own bike for an ebike!).

My individual ebike cycling experience in Italy starts with a love affair with “N8 695” and lasts a full three days: In this time, my ebike and I go for more than 100 km along the waterways of the Veneto region. Beautiful, honestly. The landscape is a real pleasure, and lived more intensively on such an ebike: The powered bike with its three gauge tempo gear literally takes care of speed, while I have all the time to watch the landscape – and still follow the group. What we experience on our trip and who we have met on the way is what I would like to share with you today.


Chioggia & Pellestrina have one advantage: Venice is at your doorstep, yet you will find more peace and tranquility here.

At least, this is the impression I get once our ebike tour group arrives in the idyllic port town of Chioggia, at the Venetian lagoon, after a long journey from Austria and southern Germany. Venice is within your grasp, but hidden in the haze: We focus instead on the sunset and the relaxing evening ebike tour on the “island beach” Pellestrina. This island, to be reached by a small ferry service, is only about 10 miles long and half a mile in width! Just perfect to relax and soak up the local peaceful atmosphere. Again, our ebikes help to “propel us forward”, a happy cycling experience.

Mit dem Fährschiff gemütlich ablegen: Kaum in Chioggia angelangt, starten wir unseren ersten Ebike-Ausflug auf die winzige jedoch wunderschöne Insel Pellestrina.

Taking the ferry boat, we “hop over” from the cute little port town Chioggia to the island of Pellestrina for our first ebike tour into the sunset. Beautiful!


Hier gibt es tatsächlich nur einen Radweg, dem wir bereitwillig folgen ...

The island is so small there is only way to follow, literally …


Mein treuer Kumpane während der nächsten drei Tage: MEIN EBIKE höchstpersönlich. Ich liebe es. Sooo angenehm kann Radfahren sein - super!

My dear travelling companion for the next three days: MY EBIKE! I love it – it makes cycling all the easier and is such a welcome change to traditional cycling, I find. Fun!


Neben der fast schon meditativ wirkenden Fahrt entlang der vielen Strandkilometer beruhigt auch der Blick zur Seite, direkt in den Sonnenuntergang ...

Cycling along the beach is somewhat meditative, including this look to the right and into the setting sun … wow.


... und auch die Einheimischen sind ganz begeistert von uns & unseren Ebike-Rädern!

The local kids, too, love our ebikes as we pass!


Obligatorisches "Sonnenuntergang-Posing-Foto", hehe.

Of course, I had to try and take my picture with the sunset. “Elena, you are either all dark or you can see the sun…!” As you can see … the sun! Nice one.


The next morning, Chioggia gently wakes us up to bright sunlight, large colourful markets and the views of many more waterways running through the city. Almost like in Venice – only much smaller and also more laid-back, I think. Again, we grab our ebikes and explore the harbour, the historical places and houses, the extensive beach, the fish and street markets. As we try to process all the impressions, smells and melodic chitchat of the eagerly gesticulating Italians, we find we have to push our ebikes through the crowds eventually: Too big would be the danger to bump into someone, even for us multitasking and very observing women.

Vom Hotel Grande Italia aus geht es direkt zum ... Fischmarkt. Die meisten Menschen hier waren nämlich schon fleißig, und nicht so wie wir erst um 09.00 Uhr frühstücken ... Frischer Fisch in allen Farben, Formen & Größen wird hier feilgeboten.

From our Hotel Grande Italia, we take straight to the … fish market. Most other people around us have not been so lazy as to appear at the breakfast table at 09.00 a.m., but have been out fishing … Here is what they sell today.


Auch das ist Italien: Buntes Stadtbild auf dem Weg zum Markt am Morgen.

This, too, is Italy: Colours on display on our way out town.


Wenig später erkunden wir den weitläufigen Strand Chioggias, an dem sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch kaum Menschen tummeln ...

The beach of Chioggia, which has only few people visiting in the early hours of the morning …


... etwas weiter hinter dem Strand fängt die Stadt an: Erst durch Bau eines Piers versandete die Brandung allmählich, rückten die Häuser "näher ins Landesinnere" und wirken so etwas geschützter vor möglichen Sturmfluten.

… a little in from the beach is where the houses start, as we explore Chioggia on our ebikes: Thanks to building a dam out into the sea, a sandy beach could build therefore protecting the houses from possibly dangerous floods.


Auch das Hotel Venezia Terme in der Kleinstadt Abano Terme nahe den Euganeischen Hügeln begrüßt uns "radfreundlich" ...

The Hotel Terme Venezia in the small town Abano Terme, a healing spa town renowned for its fango mud therapy, also welcomes cyclists…


... hier ist unsere wissbegierige Reisegruppe definitiv gut aufgehoben: Mit Radführerin Nicoletta ergründen wir die zauberhafte Landschaft rund um Eugenischen Hügeln nahe der Stadt Padua.

… and here, around the Euganean hills, we have finally found our “ebike heaven”: A perfect place to cycle around and learn about the traditional landscape and its cultural significance over the past millennia.


The Euganean hills near Padua are such beautiful scenery, a fact the great poet Francesco Petrarca already knew to appreciate. Had he lived in the 21st century – he certainly would have possessed an ebike!

Did you know that the landscape around Padua is littered over and over with great cycling paths? Here, literally everyone rides a bike, and especially the cities of Padua & Abano Terme are kept very bicycle-friendly. Our ebikes make us king of the road: “You are HIGH again?!”, I shout over to Mario who is in our group, having to laugh. “Yeah sure, my goal is to empty the battery using the highest gear possible until the evening, what do you think?” Chuckling, I look after him as he dashes past on his powerful ebike. How good that Manfred Traunmüller, head of the Donau Touristik cycling tour operator, charges our ebikes every night for more fun. Manfred was practically “born on the wheel”, he is considered a pioneer of the famous Danube cycling trail and cycles many thousand kilometres each year, including at least 60 kilometers to work each day and back. Respect! I enjoy listening to him when he tells of the beginnings of cycling tourism, how he has argued for the reclassification of the tow routes along the Danube into cycling paths, and how he ultimately found Chioggia and Padua as a destination for his cycling and ebike trips.

“The landscape, the scenery, the culture, the nature: There is something for everyone here”, he mentions happily on the way from Abano Terme to Arqua Petrarca, the last home of the famous poet Francesco Petrarca. I can definitely see why. Should you think about where to go for a cycling trip in Europe, it is well worth listening to Manfred’s advice!

Es kann losgehen: Nicoletta sieht sich um, ob auch wirklich alle da sind - Radfahren mit historischem Landschaftserlebnis in Italien ist eine großartige Kombination.

Off we go: Our bike guide for the day, local Nicoletta who speaks perfect German to our group of international visitors, is there to welcome us. Combining a trip to the Veneto region with an ebike experience is a great way to explore a new area.


Vorbei an historischen Park- und Villenanlagen der "Patrizier Venetiens" ...

We ride past historic parks and mansions of the “Patrician” people in former Italian society …


... über Hügellandschaften, die wirken wie in der Toskana ...

… via hillsides that remind us of the famous Tuscany …


... gelangen wir entlang der Euganeischen Hügel schließlich bis Arqua Petrarca und dieser romantisch wirkenden Taverne.

… until finally the Euganean hills have us reach Arqua Petrarca and this romantic little tavern, where huge ice cream is served.!


Hier fand der berühmte Dichter Francesco Petrarca seine letzte Heimat- und Ruhestätte vor über 700 Jahren, das Haus ist noch original erhalten ...

Here, famous post Francesco Petrarca found his last home in this original house which is well over 700 years old …


Wir entdecken sogenannte Brustbeeren, eine endemische Obstsorte der Euganeischen Hügeln ...

We also explore an endemic fruit to this area here, a name I have never heard of before …


... und genießen unser Raderlebnis in vollen Zügen: Herrlich ist es, hier unterwegs zu sein.

… and really enjoy our ebike cycling experience: What a wonderful landscape to pass on our way back.


Die Rückkehr nach Abano Terme ...

Arriving back in Abano Terme, you can see the famous “waterways” of the Veneto region …


... quittieren mit einem "tiefen Seufzer", ähnlich wie diese Statue hier in Abano Terme, ob der vielen Eindrücke und Schönheiten dieses Landstriches.

… and we delight in our many impressions of the day, similar to this lady at the fountain who delights in watching her lover right across (another bronze statue) … !


From Abano Terme to Padua: Cycling along the Waterways of the Veneto with our ebikes.

“‘Canale di Venezia’: Now, how will you translate that?”, Manfred says to us on the last day of our ebike tour through Venetia, laughing. Channel is not equal to “Canale”, the “waterways of the Veneto” finally does it better in terms of expression. Along these beautiful waterways, we are led by the E2 circular trail of the Euganean hills all the way to Padua, the largest city within our residence in Abano Terme. Padua has well over 200,000 inhabitants, with over 60,000 students – a real hot spot in both historical and contemporary terms. Pretty young ladies stroll through the city, guys meander on Vespas through the traffic, and everywhere you can see the traces of many centuries of history. Our first stop is the famous Basilica di San Antonio, which comes to life thanks to the fascinating stories told by our city guide Rosanna. Here, masterful artists perpetuated work with scenes from the life of Jesus and the history of faith using decades of detailed work and care. In addition, believe it or not, the “lower jaw of the holy Pope John Paul II is exhibited here as a relic!” Very impressive …

Definitely though, we can recommend having a pizza in the restaurant Zairo in the centre of Padua: They have those tasty, wafer-thin pizzas, just as they should be. My conclusion is: Even riding an ebike burns (some) calories. And pizza & gelati in Italy are a must – if necessary, simply justify them as a cultural experience. 😉

Unterwegs nach Padua, finden wir unseren Radweg stets gut beschildert wieder.

Riding to Padua, we find the trail well-marked and easy to spot.


Noch ein Straßenschild, das ich "natürlich" fotografieren musste ...

Of course, I had to take THIS picture of a street sign in Italy …


... bis wir schließlich in Padua ankommen: Verträumte Stadtszene wie diese lösen Romantik pur aus.

… until finally we arrive in Padua: Romantic spots and views, such as this one, greet us upon arrival.


Mitten in Padua empfiehlt sich der Besuch der Basilika des heiligen San Antonio. Erkennt Ihr das "Gesicht" in der Außenfassade?

Right in the city centre of Padua, we stop at the famous Basilica di San Antonio. Can you spot a “face” here?


Nach all den Eindrücken und Fahrtkilometern mit dem Ebike lohnt der Besuch einer typischen, italienischen Pizzeria.

After all our kilometres spent cycling on an ebike and exploring the city of Padua, we have certainly earned this beautiful Italian pizza on the piazza di Padua.!


So sind wir für den Rückweg motiviert: Im Thermenhotel locken Schwimmbad und ein feines Abendessen zum Tagesausklang!

Motivated for the way back to Abano Terme, which has a pool and some good dinner waiting for us!


Danke für die vielen großartigen Eindrücke im Rahmen dieser Radreise nach Venetien: Es war schön, mit Euch unterwegs zu sein!

So here I say thank you to the whole group of eager cycling enthusiasts, and thanks to Manfred for having me join the (ebike) ride to the Veneto region in Italy – a beautiful trip, really!


Disclaimer: We have been invited by Donau Touristik to explore the waterways of the Veneto on our ebikes. All opinions are my own.

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