Holiday on the Venetian Riviera? Get on your bike - Al Fresco Holidays

IT MAY seem an odd suggestion for those heading towards a region world-renowned for its canals but, if you’re heading for the Venetian Riviera next summer, you’ll be needing a bike.

We spent two days of our seven-day holiday to Pra Delle Torri, in the Venetian Riviera, riding bikes around the region.

Why? Because there is no better, safer, more fun way to see the lovely villages and towns of this beautiful part of the world than by using its unrivalled bicycle paths.

The whole family – my wife, yours truly and my three children – aged 14, 13 and seven – all got on its bikes for a unique view of this, Italy’s most famous stretch of northern coastline.

From Caorle, pretty much as far as the eye can see, the bike paths seem to carry on into the distant horizon. And these aren’t hurriedly ‘lined-off’ sections of the main highway as, quite often, they are in the UK.

Venice’s coastal roads have their own dedicated bicycle paths, completely separate from the main trunk. They’re well-planned, smooth, straight and reassuringly safe.

Safe enough for the adults to allow our 13-year-old son to take the lead and navigate our route from the front of our family cavalcade.

We took the kind of ride you could never undertake in the UK, unless you lived in the middle of nowhere – 50 miles from the nearest signs of civilisation.

We saw real Italian families, living in real Italian villages far from the beaten tourist track. We sampled real Italian food from real Venetians served in ages-old Venetian style.

None of the hidden culture we explored would have been anywhere near as much fun without the bike ride that preceded it. The kids adored the two days of riding we enjoyed as a family. And it wasn’t extortionate to hire the bikes from the dedicated bike hire shop on the Pra Delle Torri site.

Was there a down side? Not really. I was a little saddle sore on the third day but nothing that one or two genuine Italian ice creams and a carefully-curated bottle of vino couldn’t cure.

It is pretty much all we’ve talked about since coming home – our amazing Italian road trip, on bikes.

Job done.

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