Voyage à Breganze

Of course the following mainly concern a trip on a motorcycle, and preferabily on a Laverda in order to savour all the charm and the atmosphere, so special to the Veneto...

No matter that the bike would come by the road, by train or on a trailer, the most important is that the discovery of this country is done on 2 wheels!

Before all, some generalities about the trip itself:

The campgroungs are quite rare in Veneto, located only around the big cities (not really close to Breganze) or near the most touristical places like Venice or the Asiago altiplano. The closest campground is at Vicenza.
The main type of lodging is then hotels, there are quite pretty good ones at Breganze and in the close area.

The weather is typically cold and wet in winter, hot and thundery in summer. In spite of a frequent sunshine, it is not so rare to meet some showers and storms in summer, with strong winds and sometimes hailstorms.

One can divide the trip in two main parts:

* The Breganze area which can be considered as a pilgrimage to the Laverda history.
* The rides toward the most touristic and scenic places in the Veneto.


1- Breganze :

1-1 : The historical Laverda places:
Fortunately, it is still possible to have an idea of the two old places where the Laverda factories were located.

The oldest one, located in downtown which had stopped its activities in 1973, will be easily found thanks to the advices of the local population who knows very well the old building. With some imagination, one will be able to "feel" the atmosphere of the old factory...

The second factory is located near the entrance south of the city, in the industrial area, close to the Laverda-New Holland agricultural factory. One can easily see the front side of the old factory at the corner of the main road coming to Bassano del Grappa (S46) and the road coming to Mirabella.
All the area was used for the motorcycle factory, even the public roads where the bikes were tested!
Unfortunately, some recent work destroyed the main part of the old buildings and also the test track.

Two Laverda parts specialists are still in the area:

- Ricardo ORO : Entering in the village by the south, Ricardo's store is on the left on main street. Most parts available, included SFC replicas.

- Giuseppe ANDRIGHETTO : In direction of Mirabella (south) then turn left toward the small village of Maragnole. Giuseppe's store is on the right in the village. Not really easy to find, however anybody in the village can help.

The central square of Breganze is not directly an historic place regarding Laverda, however it was very often used for meetings of all local or foreign motorcyclists. It is not then unusual, while you are drinking one of these famous Cappuccino at the Caffè Centrale, that local people comes to contemplate your bike and speak about an era when almost each family had a member working at the Laverda factory.

Savouring a "ristretto" or a cappuccino at the "Caffè Centrale" on the central square of Breganze is a must for any Laverdist coming to Breganze!

1-2 : Lodging:

As previously said, no real possibility of camping around Breganze. Hotels are the way to go and they generarly provide a great stay.

Amongst all the good places:

- Hôtel " Il Torresan " at Breganze: Got its name from the small typical and very local pidgeons ("Torresani") lodging in the old towers usually located in most of the antique villages around. It was the hotel and restaurant where the official visitors of the Laverda factory were invited by the Laverda family. Apart this historical aspect, this is an old and beautiful house located in a small park, the stay is nice and comfortable, and the bikes can be parked safely in the garden.
The restaurant is famous.
To find the hotel, take the small street coming north from the central square of Breganze, the hotel is at 1/2 mile.

- Hôtel Pedrocchi at San Giorgio di Perlena (2 miles from Breganze) : A place of choice for a nice stay. Tel: 0445.851194, fax: 0445.851366.
The view from the bedrooms is very nice on the Asiago altipiano and on the Veneto, the food is famous and typical, and even the bikes can be parked in the owner's garage! All the family (3 generations!) is working to make of your stay an unforgettable experience. Don't forget to drink a "Prosecco" (local white wine) on the frontside after a long ride!
The hotel is easy to find at downtown village.

1-3 : Restaurants:

Apart the adresses above, many restaurants can be found at Breganze, most around the central square.

A very good adress at reasonable prices: Trattoria dei Tanti, on the road coming to Sarcedo, at about 0.8 mile from downtown of Breganze. From the central square of Breganze, take the main street coming south, turn right to the traffic light. The trattoria is on the left in an old building. Typical meals, BBQ for dinner.

The local specialty at Breganze is the Torresani, small wild pidgeon.

1-4 : Various:

Winery of Breganze (cantina sociale San Bartolomeo), downtown: The Breganze wine is an official brand.

2- The rides:

The Veneto offers many great rides, some of them will be unforgettable thanks to the special charm of the country...

The indicated mileages are all from Breganze. Map: Michelin #562.

* Road Marostica - Bassano del Grappa (About 15 miles, East) : Allows to avoid the traffic on the large S46 road. Scenic road through the wineries. Marostica is a very nice medieval city, surrounded by ramparts. The scenic central square, where shops, "gelaterie" (italian ice-creams) and restaurants can be found, is famous for the chess tournament which is organized each even year, during the 2nd week of September. The chess pieces are real men in medieval dresses. The most famousplayers come from all around the world.
Bassano del Grappa is a charming medieval city built on the Brenta river. The visit is interesting around downtown and near the old bridge.

* Climb the Monte Grappa (About 35 miles, East-NE) : From Bassano del Grappa. Not only a very beautiful and scenic mountain road, this is also a sort of pilgrimage as it was often used by the factory to test the bikes, notably in the 50s when the 5 first prototypes of the first Laverda motorcycle (the 75cc) had been tested. The very sinuous road goes to the summit at 1775 meters of altitude. Small mountain refuge (food and drinks) at the summit.

* Road to Lusiana (About 10 miles, North) : North from San Giorgio di Perlena. Very nice small mountain road climbing to Lusiana, scenic views.

* Museum of ceramic à Nove (6 miles, East) : Ceramic is an old tradition in the country.

* Altipiano of Asiago (60 miles tour, North) : Scenic mountain roads, perfectly maintained. The tour begins at Breganze, comes to Thiene then take the road #S349 to Asiago (warning, speed cameras!). Then the road is #72 to Turcio and the small village of Laverda. Cheese factory and historical places (First WW) at Asiago.

* Tour in the Dolomites (about 180 miles, North) : All the splendour of the Dolomites! The tour comes from Bassano del Grappa then takes the #R50 road to San Martino di Castrozza and the Rolle Pass, then comes back by the Cadino valley and the Mangheri Pass at 2047 meters of altitude.

* Venice (60 miles, South-East) : Not really the best option to go to Venice on a motorbike due to problems of parking at the entrance of the city (Parkings affiliated to the Automobile club of Italia are better), however taking the long bridge joining the old city is a great experience and a good way to take pictures!
To visit Venice, there is a far better option: Let the bike at the train station of Preganziol, between Treviso and Mestre, and take the train to Venice. Free parking, cheap train ticket, Venice station ideally located at the entrance of the city.
Another option is to go to Fusina (good campground there) on the West side of the lagoon. One can let the bike in a safe place (public parkings or campground), let the helmets and jackets in the tent, and take a boat to Venice (several cruises per day).
The land surrounding the campground is not really beautiful (just after an industrial zone) but the campground itself is nice, shadowed and the boat arrives near the center of Venice, not where all the tourists usually arrive...

* Chioggia (70 miles, South-East) : Chioggia is just like Venice one century ago! The channels are still used by the fishmen and the sellers of fruits and vegetables, one can still go to downtown with a motorcycle, there are much less tourists compared to Venice, etc... And of course, everybody will ask you: "How did you do to bring your bike in Venice??..." Excellent for the pictures... Let us note that the famous pictures of the 1000 Laverda, shown in the factory brochure in 1974 (see below) had been taken at Chioggia...

* Road of the Venitian Villas (coming back from Venice or Chioggia for example) : There are many of these luxurious villas in the Veneto (in fact some small italian castles), designed by the famous architect Palladio, decorated by Veronese, they were the summer residence of the rich merchants of Venice.
Most of these villas can be seen along the road #R11 between Mestre and Padova. One of the most interesting and beautiful is the Villa Emo, located at Fanzolo, between Treviso and Bassano del Grappa. Many others everywhere in Veneto, even around Breganze, like between Breganze and San Giorgio di Perlena, at Fara Vincentina between Breganze and Thiene, etc...

Bon voyage!


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