Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy. Photo via Flickr:Tambako the Jaguar

Hennie standing in "a little town in the tour" (she can't remember which one) on the Bolzano - Mantova - Venice Bike Tour.
4.9/5 (7 ratings)

Bolzano - Mantova - Venice

Italy Bike + Barge Tours

Cycle in Italy through the gorgeous countrysides and villages!

This bike and boat tour in Italy is a variation of the classic tour Mantova - Venice, combining a self-guided hotel tour and Bike & Boat tour. You will bike Veneto, Trentino-Alot, Lombardy, and Emilia-Romagna regions of Italy. During the initial stage of cycling, you will have 3 overnights in 3/4 star hotel accommodations. Upon arrival in Mantova, you will hop on board either the Ave Maria or the Vita Pugna and begin the boat tour in Venice, with 7 overnights spent on board.

This tour allows you to bike Bolzano, a crossroad of Austrian and Italian culture. You continue cycling in Trento, Peschiera del Garda (where you will stay overnight in hotels), but before reaching Peschiera you will enjoy a breathtaking ferry ride on the beautiful Lake Garda.

From Peschiera, you bike to Mantova where you will join your boat crew. Mantova (Mantua) is beautifully surrounded by lakes. Its centro historico is not to be missed – dozens of fascinating piazzas, churches, monuments and courtyards!

This Italy bike tour ends in the great city-on-water, Venice. Biking the surroundings of Venice is a once in a lifetime experience; it's lavish palazzi, elaborate bridges, quaint piazzas, and magnificent churches are all crammed into a maze of narrow streets and canals.

Tour Dates

2017 Dates:
Every Wednesday: from April 19 - September 27, 2017
Aboard the Ave Maria:  March 29, April 12, April 26, May 10, May 24, June 7, June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2, August 16, August 30, September 13, September 27, and October 11, 2017.
Aboard the Vita Pugna: April 5, April 19, May 3, May 17, May 31, June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9, August 23, September 6, September 20, and October 4, 2017.

Skill Level

Easy to moderate self-guided and guided bike and bike and boat tour. For the first 3 days of cycling, there are some moderate climbs to conquer. Cycling takes place on good asphalted roads and bike paths with little traffic. There are 9 days of cycling, with an average of 28 miles (44 km) of biking each day, however, on the first day there are 44 miles (70 km) of biking.

Where You’ll Stay

During the initial stage of cycling, you will have 3 overnights in 3/4 star hotel accomodations. Upon arrival in Mantova, you will hop on board the brand new Ave Maria (built during the winter of 2011), and begin the bike & boat tour to Venice, with 7 overnights spent on board.

What’s Included

  • For the hotel-to-hotel duration of trip:
  • 3 nights accommodations in a 3/4 star hotel
  • 3 x breakfast buffets
  • Information packet
  • Ferry cruise on Lake Garda
  • Luggage transportation
  • Route descriptions & maps (one set per booked room)
  • 27-speed unisex touring bicycle
  • For duration of barge/bike tour:
  • 7 nights on board
  • Breakfasts, self-made packed lunches and dinners (drinks are extra)
  • Detailed route descriptions & maps (one set per booked room)
  • Bus transfer: Ferrara-Zelo/Ferrara-Adria
  • Mid-week service of cabin cleaning and towel changes
  • Information pack
  • Tour guide
  • 27-speed unisex touring bicycle
  • Harbor fees

What’s Not Included

Extra Stay

Verbringen Sie vor Tourbeginn 1 oder 2 Zusatznächte in Bozen oder verlängern Sie in Venedig.

TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy–Moderate
Length11 days
From1365 Rates
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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Bolzano - Mantova - Venice Map

Day 1: Arrival in Bolzano
Day 2: Bolzano - Trento, 41/44 mi. (65/70 km)
Day 3: Trento - Desenzano/Peschiera , 29 mi. (50 km) + ferry ride
Day 4: Desenzano/Peschiera - Mantova, 27 mi. (45km) Arrival on boat in Mantova.
Day 5: Mantova, round tour, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 6: Mantova - Governolo - Zelo, 32 mi. (50 km)
Day 7: Zelo/Castelguglielmo - Ferrara - Adria, 32 mi. (50 km)
Day 8: Adria - Porto Viro - Chioggia , 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 9: Chioggia - Venice, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 10: Venice, free day
Day 11: Venice, departure following breakfast

*All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.

DAY 1: Arrival in Bolzano.
The bilingual capital city of the South Tyrol is a renowned commercial and tourist center which looks back on a rich history. Today the Italian and the Austrian cultures and ways of life join together. The historical center of Bolzano boasts an enchanting beauty.

DAY 2: Bolzano - Trento, 41/44 mi. (65/70km)
Cycling on bike paths you follow the Adige River beside apple orchards, vineyards and through the villages of Ora, Egna, and Salorno. Along the river banks, you ride towards Trento. This city hides itself from the hasty tourist, so take your time to take a look behind the splendid walls of its painted buildings. You will discover something really worth seeing. It is possible to shorten the route today by taking a train from several stations along the way

DAY 3: Trento - Desenzano/Peschiera, 29 mi. (50 km) + ferry ride.
Still cycling along the Adige, you reach Rovereto and Mori. From here you continueup on a gently rising slope westwards in the direction of Lake Garda (the largest in Italy). Before leaving for Riva you must absolutely enjoy the sight of the lake from above! By boat, you travel as far as Peschiera del Garda along the southern shore of the lake. The boat excursion alone is the worth the whole trip.

DAY 4: Desenzano/Peschiera  - Mantova, 44/28 mi. (70/45 km). Arrival on boat in Mantova.
Distance depends on where you begin your cycling. Today you will follow one of the most famous Italian bike paths, which runs parallel to the Mincio River. You will pass through the village of Borghetto, with its mills and Valeggio sul Mincio, famous for the huge botanic park “Sigurtà”.
The trip ends in Mantova, where your floating hotel for the next week is moored at Porto Catena, just a short walk from the city center. Your cabins will be available from 4 p.m. The meeting with the tour guide and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, approximately 7 p.m.
Mantova is one of the most beautiful towns in Northern Italy, where a lot of worldwide known artists left their masterpieces, thanks to the assignment of the famous Gonzaga family.

Day 5: Mantova, round tour, 25 mi. (40 km)
The entire day is dedicated to the discovery of this wonderful city and its surroundings dominated by the family of Gonzaga.

DAY 6: Mantova - Governolo - Zelo, 32 mi. (50 km).
The boat will take you to Governolo, stronghold of the Mincio Pirates. Here you find the biggest basin of Italy, built in order to control the Mincio River. Here, you’ll take your bikes and start riding, following the flow of the Po River. You can also visit the Carousel and Folk Show Museum in Bergantino. After a ride along the Canal Bianco, you will reach Zelo, where the barge will moor for the night.

DAY 7: Zelo/Castelguglielmo - Ferrara - Adria, 32 mi. (50 km) and 60 km by bus
Following breakfast, you will start cycling towards Ferrara. Once you have reached the town, which earned the name of "city of bicycles", you will be enchanted by the historical center, still surrounded by the old city walls. From Ferrara, a short bus transfer will bring you to Adria, an ancient Greek port, famous for trading amber coming from the Baltic.

DAY 8: Adria - Porto Viro - Chiogga , 25 mi. (40 km)
The boat will bring you to Porto Viro, from where you will start the daily ride into the maze of the Po Delta, an uncontaminated paradise between marshes and lagoons of the Po, pedaling in the heart of nature. You follow the Po-Brondolo waterway, which links the river to the Venetian lagoon. Overnight in Chioggia, which is also known as "the little Venice". A visit to the fish market at dawn is an absolute must.

DAY 9: Chioggia - Venice, 19 mi. (30 km)
Today the ship will bring you to the Oasis of Ca’ Roman, a sandy islet surrounded by pine-woods. Pedaling along the lagoon, you will reach Pellestrina and from here, ride on the new bicycle path as far as the ferry landing stage. A short boat ride takes you back up the Lido island, along the ‘Murazzi’, with a stop in Malamocco, the ancient harbor. Overnight is on the Island of Giudecca, not far from St. Mark's square, with an amazing view of the lagoon.

DAY 10: Venice, free day.
After a wonderful awakening with a view of the lagoon, there is the opportunity for a guided tour of the city center. After which, you have the whole day to your liking, to  continue your exploration of the magnificent historical center of the capital of the 'Republica Serenissima', or its wonderful islands.

DAY 11: Venice
After breakfast and the customary goodbyes, free time for individual visits of Venice before returning home.

If you're looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Customer Feedback

  • Martha B. 4 weeks ago

    Outstanding guide, great staff on boat, wonderful food. The beautiful scenery from Bolzano to Mantova was probably the most memorable. Really happy we took the additional 3 days before boarding the barge.

  • Christine W. 1 month ago

    The scenery on the self guided from Bolzano to Mantua.
    The expert guide (Hein ), the food and the staff on the boat.
    They all went out of their way to make it a very pleasant experience.
    We could not have asked for a better crew.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Judith S. 2 months ago

    The guide, Hein, was very knowledgeable, entertaining and helpful. A real asset to the trip.
    Food on the Ava Maria was the best! Loved the three days from Bolzano through the mountains.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Rosemary B. 2 months ago

    We took the 11 day cycle in Italy and loved it all.
    A few things I think need mentioning.
    We got lost. Just as one of your reviewers mentioned on the way to Lake Garda. We were doing great and very early to get the boat but at one of the deviations,we turned towards Verona and didn't realize it until half way to Verona. We had to keep looking at the map and book description and when we thought we knew and didn't look at what we were doing, we got lost. So took a train to Verona, lugged the very heavy bikes up the train station stairs, no elevator or escalators there!! Then had to hang the bikes up on hooks on the train. Then the train back up to where we would have been finishing our trip in the boat down Lake Garda. PUCCINCI hotel in Peschiera.I was very disappointed to have missed the ride on lake Garda. So the day that was supposed to be our short day, and we had done 45k before noon, and should have been there, we did over 80K.
    I felt that in order to do each days trip on the extra three days, we had to miss lots of towns and sights I wanted to visit. The hotel in Bolzano was very lovely and staff was great.
    The hotel in Trento, The Grand, was very very Grand. We just loved it.
    The gentleman that was at the front desk in............Peschiera was very helpful and was trying to give us many many things to do until he realized we didn't have the time in one evening, when getting up early to ride, to do too much.
    The hotel at the bottom of Lake Guarda, Hotel Peschiera we had a large bedroom.
    The breakfast room was in the basement and was quite crowded.
    We went for a swim and I asked at the desk about towels for the pool and the woman said to just take the room towels. When I asked for dry towels later for our room she told me they were $5.00 each!!! Never have heard of that ever before.
    Our barge was wonderful and as the times we have biked and barged before with other companies, we were very delighted with the delicious meals, friendly crew and outstanding tour guide Lecia. She was so much fun, very professional, had amazing skills in many languages and we all fell in love with her. The rides were so beautiful, just as we expected and the others on board with us were friendly and keen like us.

    • Rosemary B. 2 months ago

      Hi Rosemary! Thanks for submitting such detailed feedback. We are working with our local partner to make that part of the route more detailed. Glad you had a wonderful trip!

  • Daniel G. 2 months ago

    We did the 3-day self-guided tour from Bolzano to Lake Garda to Mantua first and that was a great adventure for us. The food and people we met on the boat was also a wonderful experience.

  • Joanne White 12 months ago

    This Bike and Barge tour was amazing, best holiday ever!

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Christopher Manning 1 year ago

    Route guides(arrows)could in some areas(particularly in the Bolzano to barge section when riders on their own) be more clearly marked and better positioned.
    Steph,our guide,and the boat crew combined to make this a special experience.

    Boat: Vita Pugna

  • Debbie 2 years ago

    We did the Bolzano to Mantova bicycle trip, what an awesome experience. We loved every moment of it. Thank you for the wonderful trip, the hotels were excellent, the road maps we could not have done without. The signs from Pescheria to Mantova were not as good as the beginning - less to follow but on the whole I trip that we can recommend. The Ava Maria - 5 star, with a crew led by captain Connie and tour guide Helmut, not to mention the excellent food. Well organised and worth every penny

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Jerry & Betsy Wilson 3 years ago

    Just completed this trip - we'll summarize by just saying "OUTSTANDING"! Enrico (our guide) couldn't have been better - surely gave us more info (and time!) than we expected. The boat's crew was outstanding too - food couldn't have been better! And we loved the cycling...even with (in spite of?) two days of rain. Our tandem bike was (surprisingly, for a rental tandem) easy to ride and control, even through some of the tight turns in the towns on the tour. Hard to find/fit tandems that are enjoyable to ride for both cyclists - Girolibero did their homework! We're already planning another tour for next year, and what a feast to choose from!

    J & B Wilson, 10/23/2013

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • E.R 3 years ago

    Great Trip! Directions were clear & detailed for the self-guided portion. Maps could have been better by showing North orientation.

    Guide on boat was fantastic! very knowledgeable and eager to please. Took us many places and gave us background info on things. Volunteered to take us on a tour of Venice and showed us how to use the water-bus system to get around on our own. Nicest boat and best guide I have had after many bike & barge trips.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Bolzano-Mantova-Venice 3 years ago

    We had great weather which helped make the trip so enjoyable. Heins, our guide, was fantastic.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Elizabeth Deerfield 5 years ago

    This was a well planned and orchestrated trip. The self guided part was easy to navigate and beautiful, lodging was great.

    The bike and Barge part was excellent. The guide, Hugo, was top notch along with a very great crew. The trip included so much, history, culture and fun. The barge was cozy, rooms good size and the food, excellent and nice variety. This was the best of 7 bike tours we have done.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Lynn Yetman 5 years ago

    Myself and 4 of my friends just completed the Balzano - Venice Bike Tour. This was our 7th cycle tour with Trip-Site and as with the previous 6 trips we were not disappointed. The cycling out of Balzano was probably the most beautiful of any cycling we have done. Coming down a mountain road to a spot overlooking Lake Garda was a spectacular site we will never forget.

    The Ava Maria has been beautifully re-furbished. The staterooms are roomy with plenty of storage. The dining room comfortabley seated our 28 fellow cyclists. The food was great and the wine reasonably priced. Our guides Flavio and Martina did a wonderful job and went out of their to be accomodating to our requests. The trail markers and directions from Balzano to Mantova could have been better. But, we were never actually lost, just misplaced from time to time. A great time was had by all.

    Boat: Ave Maria

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Bolzano - Mantova - Venice Boats + Barges

Ave Maria Photo

Ave Maria Italy Comfort Plus Class Boat The Ave Maria was launched in 2011. This Italian boat was totally rebuilt in order to meet even the highest expectations. The boat was completely redesigned by a renowned architectural firm. Its shapes, colors and materials were chosen carefully in order to create a warm, inviting and sophisticated atmosphere.

Vita Pugna Photo

Vita Pugna Italy Comfort Class Boat The Vita Pugna is a romantic Dutch barge which has been sailing since 2008. She has 21 guests cabins with comfortable low twin beds and en-suite facilities. They also offer the convenience of attractive, traditional portholes, which can be opened for fresh air. The corridor is air-conditioned. The sundeck has plenty of seating where you can enjoy the passing scenery.

PWPC