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Boat/Barge: Ave Maria • REMOVE • About Ave Maria
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by David & Patsy A. 4 months ago • Permalink/Reply
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.
Boat: Ave Maria
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Katherine G. 4 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Despite the crowds and chaos in Trento on day one of our cycling (Bolzano to Trento) due to the Alpine Black Feather military reunion, it is now one of my favourite memories and stories that I share! I also really enjoyed seeing all the beautiful poppies, gardens and farmers fields. The route guides had some errors and you could tell that they were translated by someone who’s first language is not English but we usually managed to figure things out. We preferred to cycle independently from the group as people rode too slow for us and being clustered together we were concerned about all of us crashing into each other. We loved being able to rendezvous with our guides and the rest of the group for the Carrosel Museum visit, the cheese factory etc. The staff on the Ave Marie Barge were fabulous, they all worked together, even the Captain helped set the table. The food was excellent and the chef was a real character. The bikes were excellent, we were provided with a pannier and a box style bag for our handle bars. It wasn’t necessary to bring a small backpack as they like you to remove and carry the bags with you when you lock up your bike. It was a great vacation and we hope to do another cycling trip in the near future.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Patricia T. 5 months ago • Permalink/Reply
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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Carole H. 6 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Ave Maria barge was so very comfortable with wonderful staff & fabulous fresh locally sourced food, beautifully presented.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Casimira R. 7 months ago • Permalink/Reply
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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Bernadette G. 7 months ago • Permalink/Reply
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!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Danna J. 7 months ago • Permalink/Reply
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.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Nelson S. 7 months ago • Permalink/Reply
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.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by John B. 8 months ago • Permalink/Reply
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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Heather P. 10 months ago • Permalink/Reply
A thoroughly satisfying experience in all departments!The staff were welcoming and friendly, instructive and knowledgeable. I felt entirely safe in their hands.Accommodation has been well designed and thought out. I shared a cabin with a friend and it was easy to find our own space within a relatively confined space.The food was DELICIOUS! The meals exceeded expectations and were presented beautifully; the chefs having entertained us with their 'Two Ronnies' routine at the outset of each repast. I have made a batch of refreshing lemon and ginger cordial since my return, which is perfect for a hot summer day and reminds me of a very happy holiday.The bike was a delight to ride. I'm not a regular cyclist and I found the daily trips enjoyable and, with the regular stops, entirely within my capabilities. The one day off I had, sailing along the canal, added an extra dimension as it was so restful and enjoyable to watch the wildlife and the scenery glide by.The guided trips were enlightening and I now have a 'feel' for the part of Italy we traversed. From the start we felt like guests at a houseboat party. It was interesting to meet and enjoy meals with others from various countries and backgrounds.I shall be talking about this holiday for a long time thanks to you all.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Ann W. 11 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Best part: Riding through amazing scenery and picturesque villages in Northern Italy!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by David & Patsy 11 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part? The poppy fields along the bike ride was especially beautiful. Instructions need some updating.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Stewart J. 11 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Hein was a most engaging and entertaining guide/trip leader. The rides were well planned with interesting stops and sightseeing, beautiful scenery and it didn’t hurt that we had spectacular weather. Post ride relaxation and camaraderie on the deck was great as was the value priced bar for beer/wine! The evening dinners were wonderfully prepared meals, truly excellent and overall the trip was very affordable, an A plus value.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Elizabeth Dianne D. 12 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Montova was a really lovely spot and I liked the cycling around there. It might be easier in the towns if the cyclists all had either jerseys or pennies to identify the group so locals see we are all together which would prevent us from getting cut off or unable to pass.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Jeanne W. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
Most memorable part? All of it! Fantastic! Most memorable: Hein! And Marco! The whole staff! Loved every minute. Loved the e-bike too.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Patti S. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
I was so impressed with the level of service and detail on this trip. Completely exceeded all expectations from the guides and the rides to the food and the lodging. So much fun! It didn’t hurt that we had perfect weather. Hoping to do it again!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Karilene M. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
Every day was a new adventure, loved it all!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Ian S. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
Superb scenery, boat, bikes and guides. Delightful in every way.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Mary G. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part: Biking with Hans as a guide and the side trips we made.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Nelson N. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Piano player and entertainer was a highlight.....food was fabulous.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Prosper B. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
My most memorable part of these trips are always at the halfway mark when I realize they are almost over and I want them to go on and on forever. Italy is so beautiful and the ride to Montava is an extension of that beauty.
My suggestion is simple: Do it. Don't wait. Go on a big cruise ship when you are too old to walk, but as for now, if you're able to bike, you're able to bike tour. Touring is different than racing. Its relaxing and invigorating, spiritual and memorizing. Seeing Italy at ground level and at 11 mph is the only way to experience it, in my book.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Christine D. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Our guide, Hein, was the absolute best. Knew everything about history, culture, architecture, food... Had a great sense of humor. Best guide in 10 bike/barge trips.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Patricia K. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Everyday was fabulous. So difficult to pick any one memorable part when you experience Venice, Grana Padana tour and tasting, the oldest clock in the world, a lotus flower lake and charming friendly people and staff.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Myra B. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Friendly knowledgeable staff, delicious food, great bikes! It truly was the vacation of a lifetime, and we can't wait for the next one!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Barbara S. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Excellent dinners after cycling along some wonderful and varied routes. The tour guides were excellent and kept a great pace for all cyclists. Different activities and surprises along the routes almost every day. Highly recommend this trip. If you plan to travel in July, be prepared for hot weather.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Janet L. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We were glad that we did the independent bike ride starting in Bolzano 3 days before meeting up with everyone on the barge. The scenery and biking were incredible, especially on the alternate route. We did go solo the first day and got very lost 3 times! The next day we tagged along with others on the same trip. The directions could be more explicit ( Ex. It would be helpful to state directions that avoided questioning routes i.e. ""go this way, not that way""; caution - fork in road- bear right, but not up that 14% grade hill!) And what is a fly-over? (An overpass, we found out later) And what is considered a ""fountain""? (It's a small water spigot at a bikers rest stop). However, it was an adventure we won't forget. We learned we needed to have GPS through Google or another mapping/biking program. This would allow us to be more independent and ride self guided as biking with 28 or more people and 2 guides is slow going. The biking is on flat terrain, very easy. However, many days you bike around 30 miles, with many stops for breaks, tours, and sights. It was very warm in early June. Bring lip sunscreen and regular sunscreen! The Ave Maria is fantastic, our rooms were cozy but totally comfortable. The boat is in mint condition. Food is amazing! Our 2 chefs were top notch. Staff are fun and we really were lucky to have a great group of fellow travelers. Ronnie and Silvia were our guides and they were great. They were very patient, helpful and fun to be with. We had a competition one night, all the 5 groups from different countries did a skit. It was hilarious!! Also, arriving in Venice by boat at the end of the tour is the best way to go in our opinion. We stayed an extra day in Venice and took water buses to some of the islands. It was cooler there, we saw beautiful places and we used up our 3 day transit pass. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, we had an unforgettable, wonderful trip and are thinking of where to go on our next bike and barge adventure!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Doreen C. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The most memorable part was stopping for lunch in a vineyard!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Carol K. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The most memorable part was the chef and guides!!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Audrey L. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I returned May 9, 2017 from Italy from the best trip of my life. It started out from a conversation with a retired flight attendant a year ago and became a reality on April 29, 2017 when I had the great pleasure of boarding The Ave Maria from Mantua Italy to Venice Italy. From start to finish it was perfection. The boat was quite accommodating with our 3 bunk cabin, lovely dining room and sun deck to visit with our group of sixteen from Michigan, Nevada, Florida and Texas. The crew of 4 were fantastic and the food was superb. Everyday something different and delicious. The bike riding and touring through the countryside was phenomenal all because our guides Hein and Alain were exceptional. At age 64 I have enjoyed a lot of different destinations, but this trip by far exceeded every expectation I had and I would attribute it all to the fabulous crew and guides. Thank you so very much!
The most memorable part was the guides and crew of the ship - the customer service was OUTSTANDING!!!!!
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