As a bonus, we decided to document our way back, as it is also part of the trip and it was full of adventures.
The initial plan
Before arriving to Italy our plan was to cycle to Codigoro to take the train to Bologna, as this is the nearest train station from Gorino.
After a couple of surprises and new insights on how Trenitalia works, we doubled-checked our route and discovered that the trains from Codigoro do not accept bikes, despite them being Regionale trains.
So we worked out a plan B: cycle across the Delta del Po to Adria instead.
We cycled along the Po di Gnocca, then the Po di Venezia on the South bank following the cycle paths indicated on our map; a specific paper-printed map of the Delta del Po Regional Park.
Most of them were well-paved countryside roads, along or near the Argine. However the path near the village of Taglio del Po was very dirty, with litter all along. Surprising in a national park… Also, earlier in the day we got a poorly-paved road where patches of grass created an irregular pattern of bumps and holes.
There is only one bridge to cross the river from Mazzorno Destro on the right bank to Bottrighe on the left bank: the Strada Statale 495. It is a long bridge not at all adapted to bikes: fast traffic including many lorries. As we had no choice, we went for it cycling as fast as we could – a very scary and quite dangerous experience.
Once we were on the other side of the bridge, there was no way to get off this main road and back on the cycle path (which we saw right there below the bridge but unreachable!). We were too tired and shaken to consider continuing on this fast-paced road to Adria. After taking a look at Google Maps in satellite view, we saw a solution: go through a farm.
We opened a gate to a corn field and cycled on the grass road along the main highway until the farm house hoping there wouldn’t be any aggressive dogs. After frightening a couple of chickens, we saw the exit to the farm and went across fields to the closest village of Bottrighe where we found a quieter safer road to Adria.
After our scary bridge crossing, we decided to avoid big bridges for a while. So we aimed for a smaller bridge to Adria. We took the B-Side version of the SS495 near the Cantiere Navale Vittoria.
We saw a pedestrian path on each side of the bridge and went for it. The entrance wasn’t very good so we pushed our bikes to the other side. But at the other side of the bridge the path ended without any possibility to regain the street or to continue walking. So we had to make a U turn and go back. As traffic was lighter here we ended up crossing by bike.
After eating lunch in Adria, we cycled to the station as a massive thunderstorm was brewing on the sky. 2 minutes after our arrival to the station, the sky became darker and menacing. Birds stopped flying as it was too hard due to the winds. The first tiny drops started to fall.
We climbed on the train and it started rolling under a heavy rain. Right at the moment the train conductor announced the first station, the train came to a halt in the middle of nowhere. A tree had fallen on the tracks. After more or less 1h, and thanks to the quick intervention of the local firemen, the train started rolling once more under a perfect blue sky. It looked like the storm was there just to make us lose our connection!
We arrived just in time for lunch in a charming little restaurant (Ofizial) at the end of Corso Emanuele that serve cheap and tasty menus.
Adria looks like a nice little town but we decided to go directly to the train station because of the imminent thunderstorm.
Some food for thought
- Some trains accept bikes (according to the Trenitalia site) but the trains are not always adapted (very high steps) even if the conductor helped.
- There is a bunch of cycle paths in the region and the park, but these paths are interrupted when crossing rivers. On bridges you need to join the regular and sometimes dangerous traffic.
- Given the emphasis the region is putting on the Delta Po bike circuit, it is a pity there are no more regional train lines accepting bikes. In our case, this would have allowed us to take the Codigoro train without going on the big roads to Adria.
You can follow all the routes we followed on: