I have been wanting to do it for a long time. So one Saturday morning my husband and I left for Treviso by car to go through this cycle path along the Sile river. But it turned out to be somewhat different from what I had imagined.
Sile river by bike – my experience
We decided to start at 3 km south of the centre of Treviso to take advantage of a free parking that I had seen online (along via Alzaia, Treviso).
From there you are already on the track so it is pretty simple to begin the trip along the Sile river.
This particular place is very charming and romantic and you can see swans and ducks in the water but also dozing along the track (be careful). The first stretch of road runs along the old district in which once lived boatmen and millers.
We encountered the first difficulty along via Tappi, just after the hydroelectric plant (which is on the left, on the other side of the river). There was no sign on the main road indicating to turn left at the curve so we continued until we realized that something was wrong. With Google Maps (Thank you for existing!) on my husband’s smartphone and the cycle path map on my smartphone, we wasted some time in making comparisons and understanding what the correct path was. We went back to the curve and we noticed the signs (5 meters away from the main road, towards the inside of the path, basically visible only when you have already turned left!).
Here you walk (you have to go down from the bike for a weight matter) on a wooden boardwalk and you can admire a boat cemetery. These boats were abandoned here in 1975 by the owners as a protest when river transport was ceased. It is really suggestive to see these abandoned boats, by now become just some sort of wood skeletons.
Shortly after the boats cemetery you reach the pretty village of Casier. From there we decided to continue through the countryside up to Casale sul Sile. That path was mostly pleasant except at one point when you have to go up an overpass whit no separate lane for cyclists. After that point, the cycle path separates from the main road and in 7 km you reach Casale sul Sile.
We stopped for lunch in a small resting area with benches along the river, right behind the church. From there, you can see through the trees on the left of the church the Carrarese Tower, part of a medieval defensive system.
After lunch we returned to Treviso. This time we went along the Sile river (the path starts just behind the church).
Unfortunately, even along this path there are some short stretches along the main road without a dedicated lane. The worst point was another overpass where also the instructions to follow were scarce and unclear. We were proceeding along the road and we arrived at the overpass. We started going up when I spotted quite by chance, on the other side of the road, a sign indicating to go left. No sign was on our part of the road.
We were doubtful and puzzled. Was that sign right? Was it only right for cyclist coming from that direction? We decided to cross the overpass (with double solid line and poor visibility) and loose time again to consult the pdf map and Google Maps under a hot sun and getting nervous. How can you put a sign just on one side of the road in the middle of an overpass??? They should indicate better the path to follow BEFORE the overpass so the bikes can cross the street in a safer point.
Anyway from there on we (almost) had no other difficulties except in Lughignano when we found the path closed with the sign “No access to unauthorized personnel” and no indication explaining how to rejoin the path (again smartphone and map).
In conclusion, these inaccuracies costed us moments of discomfort and ruined our experience. Otherwise it would have been a pleasant trip. I hope the municipality can solve these issues soon. Another thing I didn’t like was to meet several industrial buildings along the way. Of course towards the river you see water, trees, birds and some beautiful Venetian villas (we also met a funny turtle or tortoise – I do not know, you can see it in the pic – along the path). But on the other side you often spot factories. I thought the path was more amid the unspoilt vegetation.
Along the way we saw a couple of fountains, benches now and then (enough), no toilets (you must stop at a bar in the towns along the way). The flooring is mixed (stretches of asphalt alternate with stretches of gravel). In a couple of points there are many holes or roots of trees that obstruct the way. Following the river there are many shady areas but I recommend avoiding the hottest hours of the day.
When we arrived at our car, we had travelled about 31 km along the Sile river. We stopped for a drink before going home at a nice place a few steps from the parking lot. The place, called Makallé, is actually a restaurant and wine bar. We just needed to rehydrate and we ordered only a soda and a coke. The place was pleasant, with outdoor tables, beach umbrellas and view of the river. The toilet was modern and clean.http://www.parcosile.it/Eindex.php
For further information about the cycle path visit the official site. I recommend you to download the map and the GPS from there: parcosile.it