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Country: Italy • REMOVE
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Judith S. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
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.
Boat: Ave Maria
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Carla 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Hi Rosemary! Thanks for submitting such detailed feedback. We are working with our local partner to make that part of the route more detailed. Glad you had a wonderful trip!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Rosemary B. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We took the 11 day cycle in Italy and loved it all.A few things I think need mentioning.We got lost. Just as one of your reviewers mentioned on the way to Lake Garda. We were doing great and very early to get the boat but at one of the deviations,we turned towards Verona and didn't realize it until half way to Verona. We had to keep looking at the map and book description and when we thought we knew and didn't look at what we were doing, we got lost. So took a train to Verona, lugged the very heavy bikes up the train station stairs, no elevator or escalators there!! Then had to hang the bikes up on hooks on the train. Then the train back up to where we would have been finishing our trip in the boat down Lake Garda. PUCCINCI hotel in Peschiera.I was very disappointed to have missed the ride on lake Garda. So the day that was supposed to be our short day, and we had done 45k before noon, and should have been there, we did over 80K.I felt that in order to do each days trip on the extra three days, we had to miss lots of towns and sights I wanted to visit. The hotel in Bolzano was very lovely and staff was great.The hotel in Trento, The Grand, was very very Grand. We just loved it.The gentleman that was at the front desk in............Peschiera was very helpful and was trying to give us many many things to do until he realized we didn't have the time in one evening, when getting up early to ride, to do too much.The hotel at the bottom of Lake Guarda, Hotel Peschiera we had a large bedroom.The breakfast room was in the basement and was quite crowded.We went for a swim and I asked at the desk about towels for the pool and the woman said to just take the room towels. When I asked for dry towels later for our room she told me they were $5.00 each!!! Never have heard of that ever before.Our barge was wonderful and as the times we have biked and barged before with other companies, we were very delighted with the delicious meals, friendly crew and outstanding tour guide Lecia. She was so much fun, very professional, had amazing skills in many languages and we all fell in love with her. The rides were so beautiful, just as we expected and the others on board with us were friendly and keen like us.
Around Venice by Marvin R. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The breathtaking scenery, cities wine and food of Veneto were the most memorable parts.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Kristy M. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The staff on the Ave Maria was fantastic. They made sure we got everything we needed. I liked the way even the captain of the boat helped serve and clean up. They really worked as a team and worked very hard! The food was awesome and I really enjoyed the stops we made and the tours we had. Great trip!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Karen K. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Bike guides (Michaela & Ronnie) and boat staff ( Erica, Juliano, Enrico and Luciano) were all exceptional. Their care, expertise and concern throughout the trip was what made it exceptional.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Nancy H. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The Tour Leader Hein was amazing and showed us a wonderful experience. The cycling was spectacular and the food so exciting and very innovative. The bikes were heavier than I am used to but they were appropriate for the terrain. Everyone was helpful -- fabulous staff. I've already recommended it to my friends. I would do it again, but only if Hein were the Leader.
Florence to Rome - Guided Tour by Igor Y. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The trip was superbly put together logistically. Excellent guide. Great accommodations.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Diane D. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Everything was great. I really enjoyed our guides, Tammy and Ronnie. The staff on the boat were great. Our bikes were top notch. The tour and countryside were scenic. I loved biking on the sea wall. I thought the other bikers were friendly and easy to get along with.
Venice to Florence by Mary C. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This tour was a lovely way to experience the quiet county roads and villages of Italy.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Kathleen W. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The most awesome trip and staff! The barge was clean and well equipped. The staff was stellar, the meals great, the guided bike rides the best. No room for improvement and I hope to do another Bike and Barge on the Merlin. I especially enjoyed the bike routes, touring small villages along the way, and the guide Lia who was well informed about the area and Germany in general.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Blaine N. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The boat, staff and food were all exceptional. A quality operation for sure. Having the owner Pierpaulo stop in for a visit and having dinner together was a nice touch. We booked this trip for a group of riders with a wide range of abilities and it worked very well for all.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Jehiel 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Hello Joanne!Glad you had a great time! The tour is 8-days in length and in the Day-to-day itinerary you will notice five days of biking. We try to make this very clear discussing the riding as well as listing the daily mileage.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Joanne B. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
It was all enjoyable. Food was amazing. Staff were very accommodating. Rooms were spacious and clean.Only negative was it said it was a 7-day bike trip and only rode bikes 5 of the 7 days. Falsely advertised.
Innsbruck to Bolzano by Philip S. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Loved the route through small towns & vineyards in Sud Tyrol.Guide book could be improved with maps incorporated.
Countries: Austria, Italy
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Glenn P. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The whole experience was very memorable. The changing scenery, the background info provided etc. was great. The quality of the barge added to the overall enjoyment. One of the highlights was watching how well the crew worked together and genuinely seemed to be having fun. It was a very unique experience that surpassed my expectations. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip to anyone.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Judi H. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This is my first bike and barge experience and will definitely not be my last. Although others in reviews said the Vita Pugna was "tired". I saw it as wonderfull vintage barge, with a crew that loved it and showed their care for it in their care for us. The food was outstanding and any hopes I had of losing weight on the trip were quickly dashed with each evenings meal.We joined a large group of Kiwis onboard, with 2 Brits and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.One thing that would have made the trip even better would be a different pillow; the one I had was too high and too hard for my taste and left me with a stiff neck in the morning.
The most memorable part of this trip was riding through kilometers of apple orchards on a beautifully paved bike trail.
Innsbruck to Bolzano by Phil & Kim 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
What an awesome bike trip!!Well organized, incredible scenery, great hotels, mild/moderate difficulty.Recommend to anyone in reasonable fitness level.
Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago by Jehiel 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Hi David,Since our return from this trip, changes have been made to the difficulty rating as well as the tour page and travel documents to better represent the tour. We are also working with our local partner to make improvements based on your input. Thanks for sharing this feedback. It was very nice meeting you and Susan!
Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago by David M. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
My grades given to this trip show my displeasure with several items encountered while on our trip. First, the pickup at the airport was bungled by "Pepe" our guide. He did not have a sign for us to recognize the tour! It was a miracle he finally found us. The boat was laid out well, the crew was very pleasant, however none of the 3 crew members spoke fluent english (necessary for the Americans, Canadians, Dutch, and German passengers). My major complaint was regarding the cabin Air Conditioning. The captain only turned on the AC from 6PM to Midnight. In August, the temperature was in the mid 80's - too hot to sleep in an enclosed cabin after midnight! I would discourage any potential guest not to take this trip unless the captain changes his AC rules and provides cooling throughout the night!The food was OK with little variation from day to day but the last "onshore meal" at a local restaurant was inedible!! Skip the restaurant meal and eat onboard (not a current option) or give the guests an upscale restaurant or eliminate the meal altogether and each guest is on their own for the last supper.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Earl D. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I loved the small villages. The international mixture of the group made for excellent discussion among the group. Food on the barge was excellent!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Daniel G. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We did the 3-day self-guided tour from Bolzano to Lake Garda to Mantua first and that was a great adventure for us. The food and people we met on the boat was also a wonderful experience.
Hello Ross,Thanks for sharing this feedback. As a result, we have changed the rating and recommended the ebike option less experienced riders. We have also been in contact with our local partner to ensure the itenerary is presented in full and is followed. I had a great time meeting you and Donna on this trip and hope to help you plan your next one!
Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago by Ross D. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The Aeolian Archipelago Trip was sold as easy/moderate and as a result there were several people that probably should not have been there. As a consequence the guide was indecisive most days how to deal with the itinerary and as a consequence kept adjusting and shortening the rides. As for my wife and I we traveled all the way from Canada to enjoy the boat, scenery and riding as a total experience.
Because of the constant changing of the daily itinerary and shortened rides we became somewhat dissatisfied with the total experience.
Tripsite Traveler: Cheri Emahiser by Sally Snyder 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Enjoyed your blog. I am leaving today for a trip around Lake Constance. Our group of 6 will pedal for 12 days, allowing time for stops and getting lost....Will return to Portland in October.Thanks!
Thank you so much for your feedback. Due to the route of the boat, it is difficult to shorten the biking portion and still meet back up with the boat. However, you are always welcome to stay aboard the boat if you you find the weather unsatisfactory. Glad you had a great trip despite the hot weather!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by D. Green 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This was a fabulous trip all around! The group was friendly, and guides were helpful and knowledgeable! Dinners were delicious and varied, stronger than expected for this type of trip. We really enjoyed being able to purchase wine on board the ship, also. The riding was varied, and we really appreciated that our guides made sure to schedule a mid-morning break for coffee/water/toilet. What a great way to get a sense of this part of Italy - from small villages and farm fields to Venice - just spectacular!One suggestion for improvement: for riding in really hot weather, it would be great if there could be a little more flexibility. We rode during a heat spell (40 degrees Centigrade one day). It was difficult to shift schedules or shorten our rides due to logistics, and this created some health issues.
Dolomites to Venice by M. Sciulli 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The trip itself was amazing! Spectacular scenery and just the right amount of cycling every day. We loved the fact that it was self-guided so we could go at our own pace. The description of easy to moderate was accurate, but I know it would have been much harder had we not had electric bikes. I have 2 specific complaints: First, the quality of the hotels was not up to par. A friend described one as exactly like his dorm room in college...small, smelly, run down, not properly air-conditioned, out of the way, and generally unsatisfactory. Secondly, the directions and the maps need to be updated. More than once we found ourselves at a dead-end or could not find a turn we were supposed to take. We wasted a lot to time going back and forth trying to find the supposed route. Thankfully we speak Italian, so we could stop and ask locals for directions. At other times we just ended up relying on the GPS on our phone to find a proper route. Overall, if these two things were improved this would be a perfect trip. I highly recommend the trip.
Umbria Road Bike Tour by L. Klinker 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We loved the entire cycling experience! Our stay in Umbertide was especially memorable- the hotel was amazing and the restaurant was some of the best food we ate in Italy!
Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064