Today we continue our stroll down Valsugana (the Sugana Valley) to Primilano. This will be a longer stage (25 KM), but somewhat shorter than the guidebook stage which carries on to Cismon del Grappa (32 KM).
Remarkably, when we step outside in Borgo Valsugana, the sun is beaming down. Yesterday had some sun, but there were still many clouds about and the sun was limited to brief appearances through the vents in a larger grey tapestry. Today, however, the sky overhead is blue; only a few puffy white clouds cling to the high mountain peaks. This is going to be more like the Italy I was expecting for this trip.
|Campanile, Borgo Valsugana|
Once again we will spend most of our day on the bike path. The path we have been following began in Pergine and it continues as far as Bassano del Grappa. In other words, it will be with us for most of our trip through Valsugana.
As we stepped along, the Brenta river grew larger. No longer would an Olympic athlete be able to jump across it. Wider, deeper, and faster. Yesterday the river slowly chuckled along at a walking pace. I was able to keep up with a pair of Mallard ducks rafting down the watercourse. Today the river easily outpaced me, and the water broke in fast-moving rapids over barely submerged rocks.
A couple of kilometers out of town we passed signs for a BiciGrill (Bike Grill). We have seen a couple of BiciGrills in our walks along the bike paths. They are essentially truck stops for bicyclists, a place to use the restroom, get a drink or something to eat. You could, with all due respect to C. W. McCall, label them “The old home fill ‘er up and keep on biking cafe.”
Since we were still flush with enthusiasm for the day’s walk, we did not pull in for an espresso.
Onward down a narrow valley between vast green mountains. Everything was green today: grass in the pastures, fresh spring leaves on the trees, the glacier water of the Brenta, the pine and chestnut trees covering the lower slopes of the limestone mountain. It was as if we had stumbled into a Picasso painting crafted during his green period.
The hours slowed by. The temperature rose as the sun strengthened. Our only significant problem was that we encountered a “road closed” sign on part of the route. We were able to get around this, however, by hopping across the river on a bridge and picking up the bike path.
Around 1:00, footsore and sunburned, we pulled into a BiciGrill for a break and a little sustenance. Mary picked an interesting menu item: toast. It came in two sizes (piccolo and grande). I think she had the grande. It turned out to be a toasted cheese sandwich.
|At the BiciGrill|
I was very excited when I saw that the BiciGrill offered a porchetta sandwich. I was first introduced to porchetta in Florence. To prepare the dish in Michelangelo’s city, they debone a small pig and then roast the carcass whole. The cook then cuts slabs of roast pork off the carcass and slips it between buns with a variety of condiments.
It was a disappointment, therefore, when I discovered that the BiciGrill version was nothing more than a toasted bun stuffed with a few thin slices of lunch meat ham. No condiments, vegetables, nothing. It wasn’t my favorite. The prosecco was nice, however.
Back on the road for the final kilometers into town. The bike path also had a closure so we were forced up onto a main road. As we walked out of Pianello, I saw a sign that made my heart leap: we were officially leaving the province on Trentino and entering the Veneto, the province in which I hope to settle someday.
|Entering the Veneto|
It was a happy moment.
The road was lightly traveled by cars and brought us expeditiously to our overnight stop, Primilano, which seems to be little more than a roadside hotel and a train station.
Today’s Distance: 25KM
Total Distance: 259.46 KM