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Tina C.7 months ago
Ave Maria Mantova to Venice or Venice to MantovaItaly
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?
Rachel F.10 months ago
Ave Maria Bolzano - Mantova - VeniceItaly
The best part was the first three days self-guided tour near the Dolomites on our 10 day tour.
Terry W.11 months 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.
Douglas Y.1 year 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!
Paula K.2 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 • 2 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!
Anne S.2 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.
Rochelle R.3 years ago
Most Memorable Part: Venice in the rain at midnight! Excellent food, great staff and guides.
Kristie J.3 years ago
Most memorable: The scenery in Venice, Lodi and Chiogga.
Judith S.4 years 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.
Patricia Leigh Trivette5 years ago
We should have trained more for endurance. The guides were wonderful and took such good care of us. The bicycles were amazingly comfortable. Beautiful dinners nightly. Thank you all.
Jennifer Scott5 years ago
Great guides made the trip for us. Allowing 2 bike groups with different strengths was the best way.
Katherine Graves5 years ago
We loved this trip! It was so fun for our family of four. Our two boys, ages 11 & 14, enjoyed biking and stopping off to swim in the ocean, trying new delicious food, and learning from our wonderful guide, Fabio. The boat was very nice and the crew were lovely.
We had record setting beat the week we were there and yet still had a fantastic trip. The rooms stayed reasonably cool with the AC-- that was a life saver to have available.
If I had to change anything, I'd probably like to have the boat docked closer to Venice proper so it would be more accessible on arrival and through the first couple days. We made it work-- all a good adventure. The scenery on the bike route was relaxing-- not terribly dramatic, but really nice for small town explorers, birders, and those who enjoy farmland/pastoral scenery. Pros: delicious food, easy cycling terrain, excellent City/town tours, comfortable rooms, great value, easy logistics when you don't have to move your stuff each day, meeting nice people from all over the world.Cons: weather was exceedingly hot in July (but would do it again anyway!)
Richard Hoffmann5 years ago
We had a fantastic time on the Ave Maria and we're lucky to have Hein as our guide.....great guy!
Jim Sapp5 years ago
Guide stopped to much for cappuccino, kept us bunched up, which was unsafe, had a sick person that should of been hospitalized. Want more milage not museums.