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Carrie H.2 years ago
Ave Maria Bolzano - Mantova - VeniceItaly
Wonderful staff, great food, prompt assistance....overall just a wonderful trip!
Beverly V.2 years ago
Ave Maria Mantova to Venice or Venice to MantovaItaly
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.2 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.2 years ago
Most Memorable Part: Bike with friends.
Barbara E.2 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.2 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.2 years ago
The best part was the first three days self-guided tour near the Dolomites on our 10 day tour.
Ilene W.2 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.2 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.2 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.2 years ago
Fabulous trip. Filled with adventure. Highlights included guide, staff, food and overall camaraderie developed with a great group of people!
Gorge M.2 years ago
Menu and food prep. much better than other bike and barge/cruises we've been on.
Connie M.2 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.2 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.
POM2 years ago
Jehiel from Tripsite • 2 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 Walker2 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
Douglas Y.3 years ago
Our bike and barge from Venice was fantastic. The villages were quaint and the opportunity to swim in the Adriatic Sea was a great way to cool down and relax. Our trip aboard the Ave Maria was wonderful. Captain Connie, Enrico, Giuliano, Silvia and Helmut made our trip to be quite memorable! Giuliano and Silvia made fabulous gourmet dinners for us. Our only complaint would be that there were periods of riding on dikes/floodbanks but all the stops along the way were very interesting and full of character. The visit to a Grana Padano cheese plant was followed by a wine and cheese picnic and our ending destination, Mantua was beautifully surrounded by 3 lakes. We would definitely recommend this trip!
Patricia T.3 years ago
I remember the day on a slightly "tricky" route into Chioggia. When we could bike into the town and rest our bikes for the first look-around -- what an enchanting place in such good company. We knew there would be another gourmet dinner that evening on the barge. Looking forward to another trip through Tripsite.
Carole H.3 years ago
Ave Maria barge was so very comfortable with wonderful staff & fabulous fresh locally sourced food, beautifully presented.
Casimira R.3 years ago
Our guides were amazing made sure no one was left behind. I wish there would have been transportation for us from the train station to the boat. Other than that the trip was amazing and I would highly recommend this.
Bernadette G.3 years ago
This trip was the perfect balance for experiencing Italy as well as being physically active. The most memorable part of the trip was being with a group of like-minded active and curious people!
Danna J.3 years ago
The knowledge about the country that our guide, Hein, provided at sporadic times. He was very astute to stop on a hillock for a small respite when there was no “cafe” in sight. Great information.
Nelson S.3 years ago
Great trip....tour guides outstanding ,more than outstanding....the food was fabulous and all staff were wonderful....first 3 days of self guided biking were well worthwhile.....stay hydrated if it is warm as cramping can occur.
Paula K.3 years ago
We loved the varied scenery and warm and friendly Italian people. The hotel accommodations were very comfortable and more than adequate. We would have been satisfied with a less luxurious hotel in Trento. We would have liked to explore the town and find a different restaurant, but there was no time. That is one of the drawbacks of cycling so many miles between towns; not enough time to explore. The Ave Maria and the entire crew were first rate. We want to particularly thank our tirelessly helpful and fun-loving guides, Marinella and Stephania. In addition, the food was artfully created and inspired. Our one complaint is about the poorly written instructions on the 3-day, self-guided part of the trip, which sometimes caused stress. The instructions were not only terribly written, we also had different editions of instructions among our group of 12. The most exasperating time was at Riva del Garda when we cycled back and forth through the town at least 3 times, looking for the correct ferry dock, after asking and being misled several times.
Jehiel from Tripsite • 3 years ago Tripsite Staff
Hi Paula,We have shared your feedback with our local partner and they are reviewing the written instructions for the tour. I should also mention there are GPS tracks that can be requested for this tour, which definitely helps ease the stress of navigating on your own. Glad you had a great trip otherwise!
John B.3 years ago
We started out in Bolzano, going from Hotel to hotel the first three nights, and then on the barge for seven more. The scenery of the hotel to hotel was spectacular! The Ave Maria was a fantastic boat, the crew was great and very accommodating. The only negative is- I wish we could have spent more time in each town we went past. But with only ten days, squeezing anything else like more time is impossible.
Anne S.3 years ago
We loved the beautiful, amazing mountain scenery (with very few hills) of the first three days. The written instructions, though, are of a badness difficult to describe. We rated the tour 4/5, and the lost star were because of the extremely poor instructions. If we hadn't had maps and stickers on sign posts, we wouldn't have been able to make it through. The frustration really distracted from the overall enjoyment of the trip - an English speaker with an accurate odometer really needs to rewrite the directions. For example, they talked about "crossing a railway" (or maybe a "railway bridge"), so we spent about 20 minutes trying to find a way to cross the railway - but really it meant to pass underneath an elevated railway crossing. Also, the symbol used to indicate a warning (I think of a turn easy to miss) is a hand pointing to the right. One not unnaturally assumes that this means a right turn. It does not.
Otherwise the barge, scenery, activities, food, and guides are all exactly what we hoped for and have experienced on earlier trips. No problems with luggage transfers, and the hotels for the first part of the trip were all great.
Heather P.3 years ago
Ann W.3 years ago
Best part: Riding through amazing scenery and picturesque villages in Northern Italy!