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Stage 20

Alpago > Bassano del Grappa

A corner of paradise

Le Giro affronte ses derniers sommets avec une étape qui devrait s’avérer décisive pour de nombreux coureurs à la veille de l’arrivée finale. Ce sera donc la bataille.
The Giro faces the climbs for the last time, in what could prove to be a tempting stage for many riders in search of a result that has not come so far. It will be a battle.
Nothing like the atmosphere of peace and relaxation that prevails on the Alpago Plateau, where the stage will start. This is the gateway to the Belluno Dolomites, an area dotted with small villages rich in history, made even more special by the large lake of Santa Croce, a well-equipped realm for water sports, and the Cansiglio Forest. The ancient Dogi Forest represents one of the most important environmental resources in the Veneto region and, back in the day, used to be a fundamental resource for the Venetian Republic for the production of oars. Today, it is a corner of paradise where visitors can lose themselves in the various trails practising mountain biking or trekking.

The memories of Monte Grappa

Shortly after hitting the road, the peloton will cross Vittorio Veneto, which has become part of the collective memory of Italians because of its involvement in one of the most dramatic moments of the Great War (by the way, the Museo della Battaglia is one of the most interesting of those dedicated to that conflict), but which is also worth visiting for the beauty of Piazza Flaminio, the 15th-century Loggia di Serravalle and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in the 13th century but boasting a neoclassical appearance due to reconstruction in the 18th century. The journey continues past the extensive Prosecco DOCG vineyards to Possagno, the hometown of Antonio Canova, the greatest exponent of Neoclassicism: here, we immerse ourselves in great beauty, visiting the solemn Gipsoteca - which houses the original models of his sculptures, terracotta sketches, drawings and paintings - his birthplace and the Tempio Canoviano, the most shining example of the Maestro's architectural flair.
The double ascent to Monte Grappa gives visitors the opportunity to learn about another dramatic page of the First World War. The stop at the military memorial built on the summit of the mountain and where 23,000 fallen soldiers of both sides rest imposes heartfelt reflections that are as relevant as ever.

Breathe art in Bassano

Quite different is the atmosphere in Bassano del Grappa, the town of arrival. Surrounded by hills, it is a charming medieval town in the Vicenza area. Strolling through the historic centre means diving into art: the streets of the centre are adorned with the works of authors such as Palladio, Canova, Jacopo Da Ponte, Marinali and Dall'Acqua. The city's landmark, however, is the Ponte Vecchio (or Ponte degli Alpini) - built to a design by Palladio that a recent restoration has returned to its original splendour. Visits to Palazzo Sturm, home to the Remondini Ceramics Museum and Printing Museum, and to the mighty Ezzelini Castle tell of the history and industriousness of the people of Bassano.

I know them all!