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Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Avace W. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
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!
Boat: Ave Maria
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Sandy H. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Fabulous trip. Filled with adventure. Highlights included guide, staff, food and overall camaraderie developed with a great group of people!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Gorge M. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Menu and food prep. much better than other bike and barge/cruises we've been on.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Connie M. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Greg S. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Sandra B. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This was our 4th Bike & Barge trip with Tripsite. Our most recent was on the Vita Pugna from Mantova to Venice early May, 2019. We loved our first trip and didn't think it was possible, but somehow, they just keep getting better! Our guide, Hein, was knowledgeable, friendly, and personable. The staff was wonderful and the dinners were amazing! At each port, they shopped daily for fresh foods and wine, and served us the local specialties of the area. Each night before serving, they described the menu, explained how it was prepared, and paired it with a local wine recommendation.The cozy, comfortable barge accommodates 20 guests. Even though we represented 6 different countries, there were no differences at all. Everyone was enthusiastic, energetic, fun, friendly and helpful. The bikes were exceptional and made the rides smooth and comfortable. I usually struggle to keep up, but didn't have any problems this time. The bikes contributed to my ease, and the pace was ideal! The routes were well planned, the scenery was lovely, the designated stops were interesting, informative and great fun! Since the boats and owners, countries, food, scenery, cultures and customs are all different, we don't compare trips. We just embrace the differences and look forward to our next (5th) adventure with Tripsite. They're so great to work with and have always made every effort to accommodate their guests.
Boat: Vita Pugna
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Catherine P. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The entire trip was great. Have highly recommended it to others!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Berry B. 7 days ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Our guide (Sylvia) embellished every part of the day, the staff was very friendly, cooperative, accommodating and full of fun...great trip, thanks
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Jehiel from Tripsite 1 week ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Hi Barbara,We provide a map and written directions to the boat in your travel information. We also include the number of the captain and emergency contact just in case. Glad you still had a great time despite this issue!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Barbara C. 1 week ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The most memorable part of the trip was the gorgeous scenery around Lake Garda. I wish we could have spent more time there, but much of our time was wasted trying to find the boat. The directions definitely need improvement.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Teresa H. 1 week ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The food was absolutely delicious! We had a very entertaining, informative guide and the rest of the staff on the barge were great! I can’t say enough great things about our experience!!
Bolzano to Venice by Nancy A. 1 week ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This was our eighth cycling tour but our first self-guided. We thoroughly enjoyed cycling through the north of Italy along lovely bike trails away from the crush of other tourists. The guidebooks gave us plenty of suggestions for side trips and places to explore. Leaving Bolzano, the route took us up along a tree-shaded old railway path, with a clifftop castle on one side and a valley of orchards spread out on the other, all within sight of the snow-capped mountains; it was a perfect way to start our adventure.
Bolzano to Venice by Donna M. 1 week ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The overall experience was excellent! We selected a self-guided trip, and were thrilled to enjoy the countryside and magical villages at our own pace. The signage was a bit tricky to figure out at the start, but once we learned where to look, the directions were spot on.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Susan J. 2 weeks ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Just finished the Venice to Mantova about the Vita Pugna. This trip was amazing and exactly as advertised with easy cycling on flat roads. Normally I would have liked more miles but with a record breaking heat wave (topping at 44C one day) that week, the distances worked out well. The chefs Sylvia and Irene are hugely talented and every meal was a delight. I really can't praise the food enough! Fabio did an excellent job as guide and is extremely knowledgeable about the area and gave excellent advice. Eduardo the captain was also very personable and friendly, overall a super crew who obviously enjoyed working together. Our international group had a great time cycling together despite the heat. I hope to do this trip again someday.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Jehiel from Tripsite 1 month ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by POM 1 month ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
My husband and I have been on 12 European bike/boat tours. We love to see the world this way, and we are usually 100% satisfied and happy when we finish a trip. In April we took the Ave Maria tour from Venice to Mantova. The first two days we biked on busy highways next to large lorries, semis, and garbage trucks, one of which almost wiped me out. We were shocked at having to ride on these highways because here is the company description of this trip on this website..."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."The first two days of this trip were not on QUIET COUNTRY ROADS. They were on heavily traveled highways, and they were dangerous and certainly no fun! We will never travel with this company again because they were not truthful about the roads and paths. This was not a relaxing trip.On a good note...we had wonderful food on board. The chefs were amazing, and we looked forward to dinner every night.The Ave Maria advertises air conditioning. It is true they have it, but they don't turn it on very often, like it is off all night, every night. So most of us had to sleep with our doors wide open. Our rooms were like saunas, with no windows to open. For that reason, I would not recommend this boat, no matter what tour it was on.
Piedmont by Kenneth L. 2 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
We toured Barolo wine country. This is a prosperous part of Italy but the young women wore tattered blue jeans. We had great food and wine. The countryside is beautiful. There were some parts of the route that were on roads with big trucks and others on gravel or dirt (in our case muddy with rain) road. There were long uphill climbs with 16% grade, thank goodness for the excellent bicycles. It was a great experience that I recommend. We have done multiple trips with Tripsite and all have been wonderful.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Sue F. 2 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Our fabulous 2019 vacation was aboard the Vita Pugna (very clean and comfortable) biking from Mantova to Venice. We were well taken care of by Captain Edoardo, crew/chefs Silvia and Barbara (delicious meals and afternoon snacks plus breakfast!) and our wonderful guide Fabio. I can’t say enough about each one of them, the patience of Fabio is extraordinary. He went above and beyond to make sure each guest was comfortable cycling and informed of routes/plans throughout the week. At the end of the tour he went out of his way to assure that each person knew exactly how to get to their destination when departing the barge. The biking (the bikes were in great shape!) was fun/well organized, the food was outstanding, the landscape/pubs/villages/museum/cheese factory/cappuccino stops, etc. were wonderful. We loved the night walks and the walking tours by local guides. Tripsite provided second to none customer service through our booking process. They were quick to answer any questions/concerns I had, and I love the online chat feature! We are looking at another bike/barge for 2020 and after going through another company a couple of years ago, will only use Tripsite now. Kudos to all and thanks so much for making our 2019 vacation one for the books!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Jehiel from Tripsite 3 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
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!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Marilyn Walker 3 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Well-DoneWe rode the entire week independently of the 30-person group, which is our preference. We requested beforehand, and received promptly, the GPX files for each stage, which we downloaded to our Garmin bicycle computers together with relevant open source street maps. We used the GPS directions as our primary navigation, and referred to the jigsaw puzzle of a tour map and the turn-by-turn directions in puzzling moments. All three references agreed very well, which is a great comfort. Tour Guide Michela provided us a separate walk-through every evening, clarifying points of confusion and explaining where the main group would be. Several times we met the group for special sightseeing tours. Otherwise, we did our own thing, took rest stops at our own discretion and ate the picnic lunch at places of our own choosing.
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 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.
Cycling Umbria: A Gastronomy Bike Tour by Dave Munro 5 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Wow, the article so beautifully written makes me feel i was on the trip! Well done.
Cycling Umbria: A Gastronomy Bike Tour by Lisa Wares 5 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
What a wonderful adventure! Pedalling the countryside by day and enjoy the gastronomy by night! I had no idea these incredible tours existed! Thank you for this fantastic article! Where do I sign up!
Cycling Umbria: A Gastronomy Bike Tour by Claire Finlayson 5 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
What a beautifully written article - and great pictures, too.Very inspiring. Makes me want to do this trip!Thank you.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by David & Patsy A. 6 months ago Verified Reviewer 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.
Sicily - Mt Etna, Taormina, and the Ionian Sea by Margot S. 6 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The bike route for your trip to Sicily takes us through farms of the regions. Very interesting to see how so many tomatoes and eggplants grow in green houses.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Katherine G. 6 months ago Verified Reviewer 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.
Lake Garda and the Adige River Cycle route by Rosana S. 6 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The best trip i’ve ever done was through Danubio, from Passau to Vienna. It was perfect, the scenery, the route, the boat. It was my first time in a bike and tour trip. It was in 2016 and since then it,’s the only way i like to travel. A new world for me, I felt like a child recovering my childhood near from nature!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Sue H. 6 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Couldn't ask for more. We absolutely loved our bike/barge tour in Italy from Bolzano to Mantova to Venice in August on the Vita Pugna. The staff were fantastic and our guide Michela was amazing. We had a lot of fun, met some great people and visited some very beautiful places. The biking was not difficult. The food on the Barge was first class and plenty of it. Would absolutely recommend this trip. Can't think of the most memorable part of the trip it was all amazing. The first three days was challenging following the instructions, but we got there in the end. Was sorry to say goodbye to everyone.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Douglas Y. 6 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
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!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Wendy S. 6 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The most memorable part of our Mantova to Venice trip was visiting chioggia, the carnival museum and the cheese factory.
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