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.
Every Wednesday: from April 20 - September 21, 2016
Aboard the Ave Maria: August 31, and
September 14, 2016.
Aboard the Vita Pugna: August 24,
September 7, and September 21, 2016
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 11, 2017.
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.
- 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
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.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice Boats + Barges
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 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.