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Palmanova: the perfect place to start your visit discovering the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia Palmanova: the perfect place to start your visit discovering the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia

Whether you like to ride your bike on the road or off-road, the fortified city of Palmanova is the perfect starting place of your cycling holiday in the Friulian region. Different road pass through Palmanova: they connect the Northern Europe, the Latin world and the East.

By choosing Palmanova you will stay in the old town centre of one of the most beautiful fortresses of Italy under UNESCO protection. All around it you can reach, for example, the lagoon of Grado and its sea, the surrounding countryside, the vineyard hills on the Italo-Slovene borderland or the Carnic and Julian Prealps.
 
Wherever you will make a stop, you will find many bars to taste typical dishes from the Friulian cooking. The most famous ones are Frico with Polenta, the dry-cured ham of San Daniele, bean and barley soup, the Carnic Cjarsons, the bushmeat, the tripe and, obviously, the Tiramisù.
By choosing Palmanova you will stay in the old town centre of one of the most beautiful fortresses of Italy under UNESCO protection. All around it you can reach, for example, the lagoon of Grado and its sea, the surrounding countryside, the vineyard hills on the Italo-Slovene borderland or the Carnic and Julian Prealps.
 
Wherever you will make a stop, you will find many bars to taste typical dishes from the Friulian cooking. The most famous ones are Frico with Polenta, the dry-cured ham of San Daniele, bean and barley soup, the Carnic Cjarsons, the bushmeat, the tripe and, obviously, the Tiramisù.
What about the wines: the Friulian region is one of the richest in Doc and Docg areas. Among hills and lowlands grow wine grapes such as Ramandolo, Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Friulano and other extraordinary wine products that are well-known all over the world.
Moreover, you have certainly heard about the Alpe Adria Cycle Route: the Italian part stretches from Coccau, on the border with Austria, to Grado, on the Adriatic coast. On the bike trail there is Palmanova too!
Here are some information about the distances of variuous destinations from Palmanova:
- Collio, a famous region for its wines, and Slovenia are distant almost 20-30 kilometres;
- Grado is reachable riding along the Cycle Route for 30 kilometres;
- Within 30 kilometres you can visit also Strassoldo, Aquileia, Udine, Villa Manin di Passariano, Cividale del Friuli…

The city of Palmanova The city of Palmanova

The city-fortress of Palmanova is a UNESCO heritage. It was built in 1593 by the Republic of Venice as a military stronghold.
 With its plan in the shape of a nine pointed star, Palmanova is a Renaissance city and also an example of military architecture, which shows to the visitor the technical developments of fortifications in the modern era. 
Three monumental gateways allow the access into the city. Porta Aquileia was erected in 1598 and in the beginning it was named Marittima. It is covered by Istrian stone and it is the most refined, because during the Serenissima Repubblic of Venice that was the official entrance for prestigious visitors. The gateway leads toward the sea and into the Latin world.
 Porta Udine was built between 1604 and 1605. It has a statuesque aspect for the use of ashlar. On both sides there are two columns with two pinnacles on the top of them. Furthermore you can admire two wheels, which were necessary for the raising of the drawbridge. The gateway leads to the mountain and toward Northern Europe.
 Porta Cividale was built between 1604 and 1605. You will come across it from the East. The facade is covered by unrefined ashlar with white and grey stone. Due to its watchtowers, that are connected by the baluster, this gateway has a more serious aspect than the other two. It leads to the East toward Cividale, Slovenia and the Collio. 
 In the historic civic museum of Palmanova you can deeply understand the concept that sustains the complex urban structure and the fortification system of the city. Whereas in the historic military museum are collected relics and documents regarding the Corps and the Units, that came in succession in Palmanova from 1593 until the Second World War. From here starts the itinerary on the fortified system that surrounds the city through curtains, knights, loggias, bastions, falsabraghe (external lower city walls), moats, ravelins and lunettes.
 All the inner ways leads to Piazza Grande, an open-air hexagonal space on which the cathedral of the XVII century dominates: a respected example of the Venetian architecture in the region of Friuli. 

How to reach Palmanova from the Alpe Adria cycle route How to reach Palmanova from the Alpe Adria cycle route

 You can arrive in Palmanova by bike or by motorway, train or bus.
 A preferential way, that we suggest to amateur cyclists, is the Alpe Adria Cycle Route. It is considered the cycling backbone of Friuli Venezia Giulia: it starts in Salzburg and ends in Grado, on the Adriatic.
 In Italy the starting point is Coccau (Tarvisio). From here the road is almost 175 kilometres long, that means 2 or 3 days by trekking, gravel or e-bike. 
 The Alpe Adria route twists and turns mostly on asphalt, on devoted, ordinary and secondary roads. It is well signaled and even local transfers are possible: by bus and by regional trains, which are equipped for bicycle carriage
Some tracks of the cycle route are part of old abandoned railways, that have been reconverted to natural ancient itineraries. The route can be subdivided into three stages.
TARVISIO-VENZONE
Length: 60 km
Time: 4 ore
Maximum altitude: 339 m
Difficulty: low
VENZONE-UDINE
Length: 55 km
Time: 4 ore
Maximum altitude: 217 m
Difficulty: medium
UDINE-GRADO
Lenght: 59 km
Time: 4 ore
Maximum altitude: 61 m
Difficulty: low
The city of Palmanova is on the road to Grado, on the last track. Porta Udine is the doorway of the fortress.

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