Sunday, August 31, 2014


Video of Ave Maria Barge on PO RIVER Italy


Never before has there been an Italy bike tour like this! You can relax on board the boat every evening instead of shuffling from hotel to hotel, and enjoy leisure sails while cycling through gorgeous Italian countrysides and villages during the day. Since 2009 this Mantova to Venice bike and boat tour has been one of our most popular tours. 
The tour starts in Mantova (Mantua) – beautifully surrounded by lakes. Its centro historico is not to be missed – dozens of fascinating piazzas, churches, monuments and courtyards! You will visit Castelguglielmo and via small villages and hamlets, you’ll make your way to Ferrara, known as the City of the Renaissance and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Other highlights include Adria, once an Etruscan city, and Porto Levante, a great port town with incredible seafood and fantastic views. You will enjoy the great wildlife of the Po Delta National Park and the coastal town of Chioggia, Venice in miniature with great medieval architecture and a famous fish market. Your cycling adventure ends in the great city-on-water, Venice. This city is a delight of lavish pallazi, elaborate bridges, quaint piazzas and magnificent churches all crammed into a maze of narrow streets and canals.  
*This tour is also available from Venice to Mantova.
Don't forget to check out our other Venice tours, Dolomites to VeniceVenetian HighlightsVenice to Poreč, and Bolzano - Mantova - Venice!

tour dates

Departures from Mantova
Ave Maria: August 16, August 30September 13, September 27, and October 11
Vita Pugna: August 9, August 23, September 6September 20, October 4, and October 18
Departures from Venice
Ave Maria: August 9August 23September 6, September 20, October 4October 18,and October 25 (only available as a charter)
Vita Pugna: August 16August 30September 13September 27, and October 11,October 25 (only available as a charter)
Departures from Mantova
Ave Maria: April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16, May 30, June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22, September 5, September 19, October 3, and October 17, 2015
Vita Pugna: April 11, April 25, May 9, May 23, June 6June 20, July 4, July 18August 1, August 15, August 29, September 12, September 26, and October 10, 2015
Departures from Venice
Ave Maria: April 11, April 25, May 9, May 23June 6, June 20, July 4, July 18, August 1, August 15, August 29, September 12, September 26, and October 10, 2015
Vita Pugna: April 18, May 2, May 16, May 30, June 13, June 27, July 11July 25, August 8, August 22, September 5, September 19, October 3, and October 17, 2015

skill level

Easy, guided bike tour in Italy with daily distances from 17 to 34 miles. The tour is entirely on level ground. Much of the pedaling is along rivers and canals on tarmac bicycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic. It is anticipated that the boat will sail some of the way during breakfast or evening meal to make getting out of the towns easier or to shorten the stages. During the weeks in which departures are from Venice to Mantova, the daily program needs to be read in reverse order.

where you’ll stay

On board the VITA PUGNA, a Comfort class ship or the brand new AVE MARIA, a Comfort Plus ship.

what’s included

  • 7 nights accommodations on board
  • Breakfasts, self-made packed lunches, and dinners
  • Aboard the Ave Maria, 3 course dinners
  • Detailed route descriptions & maps
  • Bus transfer: Ferrara-Zelo/Ferrara-Adria
  • Mid-week service of cabin cleaning and towel changes
  • Guided visits in Venice and Mantova
  • Visit of cheese factory + tasting of typical Grana Padano
  • Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
  • Information pack
  • Tour guide (One guide per departure)
  • 27-speed hybrid bicycle
  • Harbor charges

what’s not included

tourBike + Boat
length8 days
from890 Rates
Print Tour

tour boats

day-to-day itinerary

Mantova to Venice Map
DAY 1: Individual arrival in Mantova
DAY 2: Mantova,  25 mi. (40 km).
DAY 3: Mantova - Governolo - Zelo, 32 mi. (50 km)
DAY 4: Zelo - Ferrara - Adria, 31 mi. by bike + 38 mi. by bus (50 + 60 km).
DAY 5: Adria - Porto Viro - Chioggia,  25 mi. (40 km).
DAY 6: Chioggia - Venice, 19 mi. (30 km).
DAY 7: Venice, free day
DAY 8: Venice, departure following breakfast.
*All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.
DAY 1: Arrival in Mantova.
Your cabins will be available from 4:30 p.m. The boat is moored at Porto Catena, just a short walk from the city-center. The meeting with the tour guide and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, approximately 7 p.m.
Mantova is one of the most beautiful towns in Northern Italy as many worldwide know artists have left their masterpieces for us to enjoy, thanks to the famous Gonzaga family!
DAY 2: Mantova -round trip tour-25 mi. (40 km)
This entire day is dedicated to the discovery of this wonderful city and its surroundings, dominated by the wealth and influences left by the Gonzaga family, who owned the city for over 400 years.  Mantova was considered one of the most important cultural cities in the Renaissance and it still maintains a lot of the landscapes and the building that made it famous during that period. 
 DAY 3: Mantova - Governolo - Zelo, 32 mi. (50 km)
The boat will take you to Governolo from where you will start the daily ride into the maze of the Po Delta, an uncontaminated paradise between marshes and lagoons of the Po, pedaling in the heart of nature. The destination is the village of Ostiglia and the ruins of the medieval fortress.  Subsequently, you will visit the Carousel and Folk Show Museum in Bergantino and enjoy a tasting session at a cheese factory. Final destination is Zelo, a village on Canal Bianco.
DAY 4: Zelo - Ferrara - Adria, 31 mi. by bike + 38 mi. by bus (50 + 60 km) 
Following breakfast you will start cycling towards Ferrara. Once you have reached the town, which earned the name of "city of bicycles", you will be enchanted by the historical centre, still surrounded by the old city walls. You will enjoy a guided town tour. From Ferrara, a short bus transfer will bring you to Adria, an ancient Greek port, famous for trading amber coming from the Baltic.
DAY 5: Adria - Porto Viro - Chioggia,  25 mi. (40 km)
Upon arrival by boat to PortoViro, the cycle route begins.  You will be suspended between water and land, pedaling between the Po Delta and the mouth of the Adige River. Following the Po-Brondolo waterway, which links the river to the Venetia lagoon, the route ends in Chioggia, famous as "the little Venice". A visit to the fish market at dawn is an absolute must.
DAY 6: Chioggia - Venice, 19 mi. (30 km).
Today the ship will bring you to the Oasis of Ca’ Roman, a sandy islet surrounded by pine-woods. Pedaling along the lagoon, you will reach Pellestrina and from here, ride on the new bicycle path as far as the ferry landing stage. A short boat ride takes you back up the Lido Island, along the ‘Murazzi’, with a stop in Malamocco, the ancient harbor. Overnight is at the Island of Giudecca, not far from St. Mark's square, with an amazing view of the lagoon.
DAY 7: Venice, free day.
Free day in Venice at your disposal. After a wonderful awakening with a view of the lagoon, you have the whole day to your liking, to discover the magnificent historical center of the capital of the 'Republica Serenissima', or its wonderful islands. You will want to obtain an ACTV ticket to take advantage of exploring this intriguing city.
DAY 8: Venice
After breakfast and the customary goodbyes, free time for individual visits of Venice before returning home.
  1. Venice
  2. Venice, free day.
  3. Venice - Chioggia, 19 mi. (30 km)
  4. Chioggia - Porto Viro - Adria, 25 mi. (40 km)
  5. Adria - Ferrara - Zelo, 22 mi. by bike + 22 mi. by bus (35 km + 35 km)
  6. Zelo - Mantova, 31 mi. (50 km)
  7. Mantova, round trip tour, 25 mi. (40 km)
  8. Mantova, departure

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