Testimonianze Pt. 1

Evidence of the Veneto's love and esteem of cycling can be found everywhere...


(left) Cesiomaggiore lies at the foot of the Dolomites. It's known for its excellent agricultural products and hosts a potato festival each August. It also holds Cammina con i Gufi (Walk with the Owls), a delightful summer nightime excursion.


(below) This charming clock/sculpture greets you at the entrance to the museum. It is one of seven bicycle clocks created by Francesco Morosin, an artisan in his 80's.


"Cesiomaggiore, the town of cycling"...where else would you find the intersection of contrada Fausto Coppi and contrada Gino Bartali? The late Sergio Sanvido, cyclist, frame-builder, collector, and restorer, and the creator and curator of the town's cycling museum, was the man behind this concept. The money for all the signage (and there are contrade--i.e. neighborhoods--named for other famous cycling personages as well, including Fabio Casartelli) came from his own pocket.


The museum, named in honor of professional Toni Bevilacqua, houses over 170 bicycles, including ones ridden by the legendary Fausto and Gino, as well as modern champions such as Moser, Saronni, and Pantani. You'll also see bicycles equipped for performing the tasks of various trades, such as knife sharpening and coffee grinding, and bicycles designed for use by the Bersaglieri troops. Also on display are components, beautiful head tube badges, jerseys, books, magazines, photos, paintings, videos, and other mementos: The visiting hours are listed on the website.

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Cycling monument in Conegliano

"Montello Cycling Park...slow down"

Attention! "Sport cycling itinerary." The small sticker on the left of the triangle reads, "Siate gentili con i ciclisti"--"Be kind to cyclists." Mirco Zangirolami of Monselice wrote to tell me that he is the cyclist who placed the sticker. He sure was surprised to find this photo!


The "" is a local favorite. It's on the parcours of many races, including numerous stages of the Giro d'Italia in recent years. It's named for an old restaurant at its summit, currently owned by the founder's grandson, Gaetano Lunardon, a cycling enthusiast who serves as the chef for the national team and is very involved and influential in cycling affairs. Giro memorabilia can be viewed in the lobby, and the new cycling chapel is just across the road (see photos on following page).


A monument in Treviso at Ponte della Pria,
not far from the Pinarello store


a monument at a traffic circle near the velodrome in Bassano del Grappa

(left) Romano Cornale, owner of the popular beer hall and Bavarian restaurant which bears his name, created this charming "Cyclist's Fountain" for the use of two-wheeled passers-by, be they customers or not. "Cyclists are the kind of people we like to have in this valley," he said. "They're not troublemakers and are genuine and wholesome people, who have good values and set the right example for our children."
He also purchased a wheelchair for the use of handbike customers.
The Brenta River Bikeway passes right in front of his establishment and Romano patrols a section of it each day on his motorcycle, checking for signs of landslide or rockfall danger. His passion is piloting his antique motorcycle and Fiat in historic events and rallyes.


No entry...bicycles excepted


A little shrine "In memory of deceased cyclists." The smaller sign on the left states that a mass in their memory is celebrated one day each May in the church of Castelnuovo di Teolo, in the Euganean Hills.


In the center of Vidor is this "Cyclist's Fountain" dedicated to the memory of Ottavio Bottecchia, a great champion born in the Veneto (Colle Umberto, Treviso province), winner of both Giro and Tour, who was found injured and dying at the side of the road, next to his bicycle. (Read more about Bottecchia here)


Near Mel, a monument to "Mariano Mambrini, medical doctor and cyclist," who died in a racing accident. I once met a woman from that area who told me that her late doctor was a cyclist--she sure was surprised when I asked if his name was Dr. Mambrini. You could say that the monument serves its purpose.


(above) A sculpture on a hillside in Castelcies, Cavaso del Tomba.

(left) A cheerful sculpture at a school in San Vendemiano, which hosted stages of both the Giro and the Giro Femminile. (It is no longer there).

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