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Karen B.1 week ago
Ave Maria Mantova to Venice or Venice to MantovaItaly
Italy was beautiful, historical, and interesting. But what made this trip stand apart from others was the crew. Our guides were committed to giving us an amazing experience. Hugo shared his knowledgeable of Italian history, economics, culture, and the transitions taking place in their society today. He included interesting stops along the way, my favorite being the Museum of Fairground Rides. He made and shared videos of our daily rides and entertained us with his antics. Francesco was from Italy and helped us with its language and culture while also being the caregiver of our trip. The meals were delicious and the entire crew joined in to ensure our comfort, safety and entertainment throughout the week. This was my fourth bike and barge through Tripsite and all of the crews have been good. This one was exceptional!!
Nancy S.1 week ago
Most memorable part: Barge staff and bike guides
Susan E.1 week ago
The crew and food and boat comfort were all great. The ebikes were good quality but such a flat topography and not much riding each day made them unnecessary, save your money! Another tip…this is ALWAYS a group tour, no self guiding so you only move as fast/well as the slowest mover in the group. There were several inexperienced cyclists on our tour so unfortunately, we moved like snails.
Joellyn P.2 weeks ago
The crew was an exceptional team and demonstrated the camaraderie they tried to build within the guests. It was a fully led trip so that was important and made the experience so much more fun. Hugo was an informed and energetic leader supported by Francesco and a fabulous kitchen and boat navigation crew. Each day was packed with biking and walking activites, interesting sites, and lots of learning activities. In the end, though, it is the people you met along the way that make the difference.
Richard S.1 month ago
The trip was very enjoyable , the boat was excellent in every respect, the crew was superb, and the food was top notch. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, and I would recommend this tour. The bikes were great, the cycling routes themselves were not overly difficult and perhaps a bit lacking in scenery, but nevertheless enjoyable.
I also think that the tour leader Hein and his spouse added much to the enjoyment of the trip by all.
Barbara E.1 month ago
The bike-barge trip from Mantova to Venice was wonderful and a great way to see the country. Our tour guide was fantastic - very knowledgeable and attuned to the group. He spoke Italian and knew many of the people with whom he made arrangements for the stops. He was well versed on the route as well, and while there were exciting moments, he also ensured our safety including stopping traffic to allow the whole group to cross major thoroughfares. We had wonderful rides through a variety of terrains, learned about Italian culture and history, and had many interesting stops along the way. The country side and cities were equally thrilling. Food on the barge was exceptional. Our young chefs prepared the food with such care. All of the staff were exceptional in making sure our needs were met. A special surprise arranged by our tour guide, Hein, was to be able to go to the top floor of a building in Venice to oversee the city from on high. It was breathtaking. We got to know the other 28 guests and really enjoyed the entire experience.
Janet C.1 month ago
The dinners on the tour were terrific. The chefs were funny and creative. You certainly didn’t want to miss their daily descriptions and wine recommendations. I loved that many of the meals were vegetarian.
Kathryn D.1 month ago
Ave Maria Bolzano - Mantova - VeniceItaly
My husband and I loved biking through the mountains and valleys adorned with vineyards, rivers and numerous towns..The scenery was amazing!!One of the best parts of the trip was..... we were on safe bike-paths most of the way!!The food was excellent. Each day the Chef introduced and featured a new flavour of Italian Food pertinent to an area of Italy.Hein, was an awesome guide who had many surprises in-store for us each day. A FEW of the main attractions were: he would stop here and there along the way for history lessons, we visited a few castles, a clam farm and a cheese factory, plus we had chats about agriculture, and gave the bird enthusiasts time for bird watching. Hein, then concluded the week with a spectacular tour of Venice. The people aboard the "Ava Maria" were very friendly. It fun making new friends and we found we had bonded with many by the end of the week.I would highly recommend this bike-tour and was very sad when it ended!!
Liza R.7 months ago
It's hard to name a single thing as the trip was great. The crew was so friendly and had a great sense of humor, the food was great and our guide was wonderful. The group of passengers were so fun. The riding was flat and easy. The routes were fairly well planned. A few were on roads with traffic but it tured out ok. The change in direction of the barge three weeks before the start of the trip was a little challlenging considering we had travel plans made already. I do understand why that happened and it turned out ok. Due to a drop in reservations, they also combined two boats into one but chose to move everyone to the boat with a non working HVAC system. The rooms were hot and they wound up buying fans for the rooms which helped a lot. Despite all of this, it was a great week.
Cynthia A K.8 months ago
Scenery riding on the bike. Sunrise and sunset. The staff were amazing and the food delicious. The staff went above and beyond to handle special requests. Disappointed the AC didn’t work and the room was between 75-77 F at all times. The WiFi rarely worked. The staff did get fans for some of the rooms. With the rooms being so hot and no option to have laundry done other than in the sink, things took days to dry.Thirty people riding as one group is too many.
Ruth B.8 months ago
Overall, the scenery was pretty-perhaps a trip in the summer would have been more brilliant. I would suggest bringing your own helmet or the boat supply appropriate helmets.
Carrie H.2 years ago
Wonderful staff, great food, prompt assistance....overall just a wonderful trip!
Beverly V.3 years ago
Back on the boat with all of the new friends you had made during the bike ride watching photographs on the big screen of the day you had just experienced.Our guide, Michaela, made us a cohesive group from the very first night when she said that we must mix and mingle throughout the trip and meet everyone on the barge. She also challenged us to find a secret word somewhere during the day and record it on film
Tina C.3 years ago
I truly enjoyed this tour that included daily rides through the picturesque Italian countryside. Each day we biked through a variety of landscapes, stopping in small towns along the way for cappuccino breaks, lunch and local tours. The bike tour staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. The boat crew was equally as wonderful, preparing wonderful meals each evening and serving them with a smile. Everyone bent over backwards to make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As for suggestions, I think the last leg from Pellestrina Island to Venice could be improved. The morning was wasted in a small town that was not really open for business. Why not take an earlier Ferry to Lido and spend more time there before heading to Venice?
Rogan T.3 years ago
Most Memorable Part: Bike with friends.
Barbara E.3 years ago
It is difficult to choose just one memorable part of the trip. Each day was filled with a new exciting adventure! Even riding a bike in an unexpected downpour was a fun experience when shared with cycling comrades. Seeking out a delicious gelato in a town square was a favorite activity. Exploring and discovering Italy while biking and barging aboard the Ave Maria was a truly delightful experience. Our crew was very helpful and eager to show us how proud they were of their country and all it has to offer. Pumpkin tortellini eaten at an outdoor restaurant was such an enjoyable eating experience! Grazie Mille for a truly amazing cycling adventure!!
Donald B.3 years ago
Especially loved the area of the Dolomite Mountains, from Bolzano to Lake Gardia, for the beauty and then arriving in Venice. Trip was extremely well organized; wonderful crew, special tour guides in Mantova and Venice, good food...and bravo to Vivian and Sonya, excellent guidesThe cyclists really got along well so that was an added bonus.First trip that was guided for us and I was pleasantly surprised. Other trips were self-guided and so was the first part of the trip, from Bolzano to Mantova.Lack of toilets on the way...
Rachel F.3 years ago
The best part was the first three days self-guided tour near the Dolomites on our 10 day tour.
Ilene W.3 years ago
The Mantova to Venice bike and barge on the Ava Maria! The crew, the ship, the food and our guides were outstanding! Also all the guides we had in the cities and venues were fabulous!
Terry W.3 years ago
As professional as the staff were and as delicious the food, the most memorable part of the trip was interacting with fellow travelers. Since the boat can only berth around 40, I was able to get to know almost everyone and learn about their countries and personal histories.
Avace W.3 years ago
Guides were amazing. They worked hard to make sure all guests mingled with guests from other countries. Games played encouraged teams working together and finding new information about the villages we visited. Always extra surprises..like visiting the mussel fishermen, panoramic vista of Venice from rooftop. Training on how to use ferry system in Venice invaluable. I didn't think we could get a better tour than our 2018 trip, but this one exceeded all expectations. From snow in the mts. near Bolzano to swimming in the Adriatic, the differences in scenery was dramatic and thrilling. Bikes...so comfortable and fit perfectly. Didn't even need to wear my bike padding! Plenty of time to look around when we went thru villages. What can I say. This tour was the best!
Sandy H.3 years ago
Fabulous trip. Filled with adventure. Highlights included guide, staff, food and overall camaraderie developed with a great group of people!
Gorge M.3 years ago
Menu and food prep. much better than other bike and barge/cruises we've been on.
Connie M.3 years ago
The Venice to Mantua tour was excellent. We particularly enjoyed the stops for cultural and natural sites of interest. The food was wonderful and the staff very helpful.
Greg S.3 years ago
It is hard to specify just one thing. The barge was great, the food superb and the staff could not have been better. Even though the weather wasn't great, we had a wonderful time. We're looking forward to booking our next tour.
POM3 years ago
Jehiel from Tripsite • 3 years ago Tripsite Staff
Hi Pam, Thank you for sharing this feedback with us. We were quite surprised by your comments of highly trafficked highways or misleading description. I'm afraid you had a unique experience. The sections of the route that I believe you are referencing (leaving Chioggia, and then the crossing of two rivers (Adige and Brenta) on trafficked bridges) is protected by guard-rail. Tour Leaders always advise about this part, to proceed slowly, in a single line, and pushing the bike (2 min section). However, in your particular week, there was more traffic than usual, because many Italians had their Easter vacations (Easter and national Italian holiday). Apart from this, I can assure you that this cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily stages vary from 25 to 55 km – mostly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and canals, or quiet country roads. As for air condition on the Ave Maria - during spring/fall, there can be cold or warm days, so it can difficult to balance when temperatures vary a lot in the intermediate seasons, as do clients personal preferences. We are sorry to hear that the tour did not meet your expectations.
Marilyn Walker3 years ago
The bicycles were better than expected. We chose the e-bikes and count the expense as worth the money. The batteries were strong enough to carry us through Read More the 30-mile days with a couple of power dots left over. The seats were comfortable and the handlebars were especially comfortable to the wrist. The gears changed easily.
Needs ImprovementPlating the food before serving meant that a great deal was wasted. It would be more accommodating to serve family style, in bowls, so people can serve themselves what their appetite and inclination suggests.
The itinerary was generally okay, but we had to meet the boat or bus by appointment several times, which meant waiting around for hours at a time. Other bike-and-boat tours we went on were better organized to find the boat at the end of the day's ride.
UnsatisfactoryThe company is proud of their cooking, but the quality was badly degraded by the excessive use of salt. Even those people who were indifferent to their salt intake agreed it was "very salty". The taste of the food was ruined by the cook's excess. Upon tasting the first night's dinner, I required that they make special salt-free dinners for me. Two nights they "forgot" and spoiled the food. The cooks should learn to make their food unsalted and let the guests add that seasoning at table. It will improve the dining experience for everybody.
The internet service was the worst I've seen since dial-up telephone modems. People wanted simple access to email and to post photos on social media, but were continuously thwarted by irregular service and severe deterioration, which seemed to be deliberate. For example, the night we were in Zelo, they announced there was no wi-fi at all because of the remote location, which was fishy to begin with. Next morning, we decided to stay on the boat for the day, which allowed me to observe that within minutes of the big group rolling away, they switched the wi-fi back on for the rest of the day, until that evening when it went to pieces again. There is no excuse for such poor service in this day and age.
Hi Marilyn,Thanks for submitting this feedback. We will be sure to share your suggestions related to food with our local partner. As for the wifi, we mention on the boat page and in our travel information that the wifi, though free, is limited and based on usage. The boat uses a mobile hotspot - the speed is based on the usage of the guests and can be spotty. To guarantee reliable internet, we suggest purchasing an international phone plan or a personal hotspot while abroad.I hope that despite these inconveniences you enjoyed your trip!
David & Patsy A.3 years ago
We loved the scenery and it was such a relaxing bike ride we decided to go on our own rather than go with the group with the guide. The green arrow stickers saved us many times. Loved all the small villages on the way and stopped at a few every day for a cappuccino which was excellent. There was a few errors on the routes however we figured them out and pointed the errors to the guides when they occurred.
Katherine G.3 years ago