The Radicchio Route: a tasteful route to take by bike

The Radicchio Route: an opportunity to cycle a tasteful itinerary, pedalling along a gastronomic route in the typical Treviso radicchio production area. But that’s not all: an opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural, historical and cultural value of the Veneto region and discover its riches.

START: Treviso

FINISH: Castelfranco Veneto


LENGTH: 127 km

TIME: 3-4 hours by bike




The gastronomic itinerary of the Radicchio Route connects Treviso to Castelfranco Veneto, passing through various locations and points of interest.

  1. It starts from the historic centre of Treviso and, following the course of the river Sile, crosses Quinto di Treviso. We continue on to the Mulino Cervara Nature Oasis, a marshy nature reserve covering 25 hectares and hosted by the Regional Natural Park of the Sile River.
  2. The route continues through clearings and poplar groves, reaching Morgano and then Badoere.
    Here, bordered by the 18th-century arches of the Rotonda, is the market for agricultural and craft products
  3. The itinerary then leads to Levada, a fraction of Piombino Dese, where Villa Marcello is located: a symbol of Palladian art and one of the best examples of Villa Veneta.
  4. The route continues northwards through fields and vegetable gardens that are coloured red in autumn with radicchio. We reach Fanzolo, where the Villa Emo stands: another majestic representation of Andrea Palladio’s art.
  5. We then continue westwards into an area of important landscape value: the road alignments of the ancient Roman centuriazione are still visible, where over time agriculture has led to plots enclosed by hedges, vines and trees.
    This leads to Castello di Godego, home to Villa Priuli and Villa Martini.

The itinerary leads to the final stop: Castelfranco Veneto, a village surrounded by 930-metre-long walls with six original towers.

What to see and do along the Radicchio Route

The Radicchio Route is full of things to do and see. The must-do activities, as they encapsulate the heart and meaning of the course, are:

  • Visiting and witnessing the production of the local speciality

In the hinterland of the Marca trevigiana there are numerous companies that allow you to see the entire production cycle of Radicchio trevigiano: how it is harvested, processed by hand and then packaged.

  • Treat yourself to a tasting
    There is the opportunity to taste local specialities and take part in buffets on the farms, to discover the true flavour of Radicchio di Treviso PGI. Many proposals in this regard are offered by the Associazione della Strada del Radicchio Rosso di Treviso e Variegato di Castelfranco: a consortium of producers, trade operators, traders, restaurateurs and public bodies.

Among the things to see along the way, however, you cannot miss:

  • The Naturalistic Oasis of Mulino Cervara (Santa Cristina of Quinto di Treviso)
    Located in the Regional Natural Park of the River Sile, a few kilometres from Treviso, is this reserve of great natural interest. It is precisely for this reason that it has been classified as a Site of Community Interest (S.I.C.): the Oasis, enclosed between the courses of the Sile river and the Piòvega torrent, offers refuge to wildlife and spontaneous flora. In this backdrop, a 14th-century mill still turns its wooden wheel, driven by river water.
  • Villa Marcello (Levada)
    The characteristic Veneto villa in Palladian style has 16th-century origins, with extensions and decorations dating back to the 18th century. Its interior is adorned with frescoes, paintings and precious furnishings, while its exterior consists of 9 hectares of historic garden, dotted with statues and ancient trees. The whole is in itself immersed in the green Venetian countryside. The building is also of great historical interest: in the years of the Great War it housed various Italian commands, as well as King Victor Emmanuel III during the Battle of the Solstice (1918).
  • Villa Emo (Fanzolo).
    Here is one of Palladio’s most famous Venetian villas. Built in the 16th century, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1996. The harmonious architecture is surrounded by a large garden, and stands on the border between the wide Po Valley and the foothills of the Feltre Pre-Alps. It is distinguished by two long columned barchesse, which frame the villa, and a long paved pathway of square stones, leading to the entrance. With its elegant and essential exterior, Villa Emo houses important frescoes by Giovanni Battista Zelotti inside.
  • Villa Priuli (Castello di Godego).
    The villa is of great value for the spatial and harmonic relationships of its architecture.
    It is home to a Cultural Centre, the Municipal Library and a Civic Museum.
    The latter, rich in archaeological finds, tells about the evolution of civilisation in the area. In addition, the villa is decorated inside with a vast cycle of frescoes by Paolo Piazza di Castelfranco, a 17th-century painter.
  • Castelfranco Veneto.
    This charming village, the final destination, is also worth a visit. The first thing that strikes you are the impressive walls, from which the Tower of the Dead, among others, rises, all surrounded by a moat and a verdant meadow. Further into the historical centre is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and San Liberale, a treasure trove of works of art: attributed to Palma il Giovane, Paolo Piazza, Giovanni Battista Ponchini and Giuseppe Bernardi.

The best known and most attractive is Giorgione’s Altarpiece: a 16th-century oil painting that captures the viewer in a strong emotional involvement.
Then there is the Casa Giorgione Museum (Casa Pellizzari), which breathes an ancient air and preserves precious objects and architectural reconstructions that tell the story of Giorgione’s life. The visit is pleasant throughout the historical centre, in the squares and along the walls.

Useful information and curiosities

It is good to conclude with some useful information and curiosities about radicchio and its Road, so as to give more value to the experience and live it consciously.

  • The route is practicable for everyone, even the less experienced: there are no particular difficulties, tiring gradients or daunting terrain. In fact, it is also frequented by families and children.

    The Radicchio Road is also accessible all year round, also because it has several shaded areas or useful shelters.

  • The route is signposted, indicating the itinerary to be followed. They are combined with information signs in the vicinity of natural, cultural and environmental points of interest.

    Of course, individual and associated wineries are also highlighted, as well as typical food and craft products.

  • The project that originated the Radicchio Route has a well-defined objective: the territorial and enogastronomic promotion of the Veneto region, in which Radicchio from Treviso is the undisputed protagonist. Given its centrality, here is some information and trivia about it.

    To be authentic, Radicchio trevigiano IGP must come from the typical area between the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Venice. Moreover, it must be obtained according to the traditional forcing and bleaching technique.

    The latter, which made possible the transformation of the bitter chicory into prized radicchio, is believed to be attributable to a precise historical fact: the nurseryman Francesco Van De Borre, tending an English garden in the Treviso Villa Palazzi, is said to have imported the technique from Belgium.

    In any case, the authentic Radicchio trevigiano is recognisable by characteristics such as: elongated shape, compact leaves, presence of a root part.
    The leaves are wine-red in colour, with a thick, white dorsal rib.

  • Another curiosity: Radicchio Rosso di Treviso and Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco were the first vegetables in Europe to be awarded the European Union’s PGI quality mark.
  • The Radicchio Road can be travelled independently or with the support of guides For those who prefer to rely on the latter, the special Association of the Road of Red Radicchio of Treviso and Variegated Radicchio of Castelfranco offers tourist itineraries, as well as delicious recipes.

In the municipality of Scorzé (province of Venice), the fraction Rio San Martino is home to the annual and important Radicchio Festival. The place is populated with food and wine stands, exhibitions-markets of early and late Radicchio di Treviso, music concerts of various kinds, themed dinners, and a variety of shows.