Bolzano - Mantova - Venice
Italy Bike + Barge Tours
Cycle and bike and boat in Italy through the gorgeous countrysides and villages!
This bike and boat tour in Italy is a variation of the classic tour Mantova - Venice, combining a Self-Guided Hotel to Hotel tour and a Bike and Boat tour. You will bike through Veneto, Trentino-Alot, Lombardy, and the Emilia-Romagna regions of Italy. During the initial stage of cycling, you will have 3 overnights in 3 and 4 star hotels. Upon arrival in Mantova, you will hop on board either the Ave Maria or the Vita Pugna, and begin the boat tour in Venice, with 7 overnights spent on board.
- Bolzano, crossroads between the Mediterranean and central Europe
- Ferry ride across Lake Garda
- River Mincio cycling path
- Combination of hotel to hotel and boat accommodations
- Ancient Greek port of Adria
- The great wildlife of the Po Delta National Park
- Coastal town of Chioggia, known as Venice in miniature with great medieval architecture and a famous fish market
- Combination of hotel and boat accommodations
- Mantova, with its centro historico
- Venice, city on the water
This Italy bike tour ends in the great city-on-water, Venice. Biking the surroundings of Venice is a once in a lifetime experience; it's lavish palazzi, elaborate bridges, quaint piazzas, and magnificent churches are all crammed into a maze of narrow streets and canals.
Are you only looking for a bike and boat experience? Check out our Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova tour.
Standard Season: April 10 to August 14, 2019.
High Season: August 28 to September 11, 2019.
Vita Pugna Ave Maria Standard Season £ 1449 $ 2,919 € 1690 $ 2569 NOK 16055 kr 14820 $ 1,927 £ 1629 $ 3,282 € 1900 $ 2888 NOK 18050 kr 16662 $ 2,166 High Season £ 1534 $ 3,092 € 1790 $ 2721 NOK 17005 kr 15697 $ 2,041 £ 1800 $ 3,627 € 2100 $ 3192 NOK 19950 kr 18415 $ 2,394 SUPPLEMENTS Single £ 334 $ 674 € 390 $ 593 NOK 3705 kr 3420 $ 445 £ 334 $ 674 € 390 $ 593 NOK 3705 kr 3420 $ 445 Superior cabin (boat portion) - £ 120 $ 242 € 140 $ 213 NOK 1330 kr 1228 $ 160 Gluten free or vegan diet request £ 43 $ 86 € 50 $ 76 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57 £ 43 $ 86 € 50 $ 76 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57 REDUCTIONS Bunk bed cabin (if booked by two people) - £ 86 $ 173 € 100 $ 152 NOK 950 kr 877 $ 114 Third person in room/cabin (total discount) £ 266 $ 535 € 310 $ 471 NOK 2945 kr 2718 $ 353 £ 266 $ 535 € 310 $ 471 NOK 2945 kr 2718 $ 353
Electric bicycle rental: £ 150 $ 302 € 175 $ 266 NOK 1663 kr 1535 $ 200
Extra nights (local taxes to be paid upon arrival):
Bolzano, 3/4 star: £ 64 $ 130 € 75 $ 114 NOK 713 kr 658 $ 86 per person/night Single room: £ 86 $ 173 € 100 $ 152 NOK 950 kr 877 $ 114
Mestre 3/4 star: £ 56 $ 112 € 65 $ 99 NOK 618 kr 570 $ 74 per person/night Single room: £ 73 $ 147 € 85 $ 129 NOK 808 kr 745 $ 97
*Venice, 3/4 star: From £ 77 $ 155 € 90 $ 137 NOK 855 kr 789 $ 103 Single room: From £ 129 $ 259 € 150 $ 228 NOK 1425 kr 1315 $ 171
*In Venice, pricing depends on hotel, time of year, etc.
Only unisex hybrid touring bikes or electric bikes are available for this tour.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
† Currency exchange rate set 90 days before travel.
Ideally, fly to Innsbruck and out of Venice. You can also fly into and out of Venice Marco Polo International Airport.
The most economical is to take the bus or taxi to the nearest train station, then the train to Bolzano. From there, a short walk or taxi ride to your first hotel.
The average high/low temperature in °F for the area is approx. 58/36 for Mar, 64/43 Apr, 72/51 May, 79/56 Jun, 84/61 Jul, 82/60 Aug, 75/54 Sep and 64/44 Oct.
Please note that you will be part of an international group of people. However, your tour guide and crew members will always speak English. Racing, electric, or tandem bike available upon request.
Every Wendesday from April 10 to August 28, 2019
Ave Maria: April 10, April 24, May 8, May 22, June 5, June 19, July 3, July 17, July 31, August 14, and August 28, 2019
Vita Pugna: May 1, May 15, May 29, June 12, June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, September 4, and September 18, 2019
Easy to moderate self-guided and guided bike and boat tour. From Bolzano to Mantova you will ride on cycle lanes, part of which run along the banks of the Adige River. Towards Lake Garda there is a bit more challenging climb to face. From Mantova to Venice you will pedal along rivers and canals on tarmac cycle paths or roads with little traffic. There are 9 days of cycling, with an average of 28 miles (44 km) of biking each day, however, on the first day there are 44 miles (70 km) of biking. The majority of the route is flat, but again, there are a few climbs!
Where You’ll Stay
During the initial stage of cycling, you will have 3 overnights in 3/4 star hotel accomodations. Upon arrival in Mantova, you will hop on board the classic Vita Pugna OR the Ave Maria (built during the winter of 2011), and begin the bike & boat tour to Venice, with 7 overnights spent on board.
- 3 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast buffet (in Bolzano, Trento and Peschiera/Desenzano)
- 7 overnights on board booked vessel with all meals ( breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
- Coffee and tea and other hot drinks on board
- Sheets and towels
- Complimentary courtesy kit
- Daily short cleaning and mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
- Bike helmet
- 27 speed hybrid touring city bike
- Welcome briefing in English
- Travel Guide, Maps, Roadbook
- English speaking tour leader within an international group (only for the bike and barge portion)
- Luggage transfer each day and onto ship
- Guided visit in Venice and Mantua
- Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
- Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
- Harbor charges
- 4-hour ferry cruise on Lake Garda
- Bus transfer Ferrara-Adria
- Hotline service
What’s Not Included
- Local hotel taxes (approx. €1-€4 per person, per night)
- Museum entrance fees (other than mentioned), and extras in general
- Drinks while on board
- Public transportation while in Venice (water taxi, etc.)
- Bicycle Protection
- Travel Insurance
- Everything not mentioned in the "what's included" section
Extra nights before and after your tour can easily be arranged. Just ask.
Day 1: Arrival in Bolzano
Day 2: Bolzano - Trento, 41/44 mi. (65/70 km)
Day 3: Trento - Desenzano/Peschiera , 29 mi. (50 km) + ferry ride
Day 4: Desenzano/Peschiera - Mantova, 27 mi. (45 km) Arrival on boat in Mantova.
Day 5: Mantova, round tour, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 6: Mantova - Zelo, 32 mi. (50 km)
Day 7: Zelo - Ferrara - Adria, 32 mi. (50 km) + 60 km by bus
Day 8: Adria - Po Delta Nature Reserve - Pellestrina Island , 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 9: Pellestrina Island - Venice, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 10: Venice, free day
Day 11: 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, safe navigation, etc.
DAY 1: Arrival in Bolzano
The bilingual capital city of the South Tyrol is a renowned commercial and tourist center which looks back on a rich history. Today the Italian and the Austrian cultures and ways of life join together. The historical center of Bolzano boasts an enchanting beauty.
DAY 2: Bolzano - Trento, 41/44 mi. (65/70 km)
Cycling on bike paths you follow the Adige River beside apple orchards, vineyards and through the villages of Ora, Egna, and Salorno. Along the river banks, you ride towards Trento. This city hides itself from the hasty tourist, so take your time to take a look behind the splendid walls of its painted buildings. You will discover something really worth seeing. It is possible to shorten the route today by taking a train from several stations along the way
DAY 3: Trento - Desenzano/Peschiera, 29 mi. (50 km) + ferry ride
Still cycling along the Adige, you reach Rovereto and Mori. From here you continue up on a gently rising slope westwards in the direction of Lake Garda (the largest in Italy). Before leaving for Riva you absolutely must enjoy the sight of the lake from above! By boat, you travel as far as Peschiera del Garda along the southern shore of the lake. The boat excursion alone is the worth the whole trip.
DAY 4: Desenzano/Peschiera - Mantova, 44/28 mi. (70/45 km). Arrival on boat in Mantova
Distance depends on where you begin your cycling. Today you will follow one of the most famous Italian bike paths, which runs parallel to the Mincio River. You will pass through the village of Borghetto, with its mills and Valeggio sul Mincio, famous for the huge botanical park “Sigurtà”.
The trip ends in Mantova, where your floating hotel, your boat, for the next week is moored at Porto Catena, just a short walk from the city center. Your cabins will be available from 4 p.m. The meeting with the tour guide and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, approximately 6:30 p.m.
Mantova is one of the most beautiful towns in Northern Italy, where a lot of worldwide known artists left their masterpieces, thanks to the wealth of the famous Gonzaga family who commissioned works of art.
Day 5: Mantova, round tour, 25 mi. (40 km)
Founded in 2000 BC, Mantova was once an Etruscan village and is now capital of the province with the same name. Surrounded on three sides by man-made lakes created in the 12th century, this world-famous city, known in English as Mantua, showcases art, architecture and history. Mantova is known for its beautiful palaces,
DAY 6: Mantova - Zelo, 32 mi. (50 km)
After breakfast, on board, you navigate from the "lakes" of Mantova and cruise through the lush wetlands that lead to Governolo Lock, where Mantova's Mincio River flows into the Po. From here, by bike, you follow the broad sweeps of the levee towards Ostiglia, renowned for its medieval fortress and fierce fighting in 1945, as the Allies drove Hitler's forces back.
Next: Bergantino, home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and its collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). This village is also in the heartland of Grana Padano, the arch-rival of Parmesan. A visit to the local cheese factory, sampling some well seasoned Grana, is a must do. You meet the barge in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.
DAY 7: Zelo - Ferrara - Adria, 32 mi. (50 km) and 60 km by bus
This morning you will cross the Po and ride southwards through a patchwork of farmland, orchards and hamlets, as far as Ferrara. Under its ruling family, the Este, this city state attracted architects, artists, and scholars for centuries, pioneering town planning principles that have been emulated worldwide ever since. To this day, Ferrara University ranks among the best, and the town is dubbed the ''Cycling Capital of Italy".
A private bus and trailer then transfers you to the boat in Adria, an ancient Roman port once washed by the sea which bears its name. Adria is also renowned for its Etruscan and Greek heritage. An after-dinner passeggiata into town for a well-earned grappa or gelato is strongly advised.
DAY 8: Adria - Po Delta Nature Reserve - Pellestrina Island, 25 mi. (40 km)
After a short ride on board, you cycle into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a sizeable colony of flamingos. Weather permitting, as you continue towards Chioggia, you can also enjoy a stop at a beach and a dip in the Adriatic – not forgetting a hot savoury piadina! Chioggia is also known as "Little Venice", a colorful fishing hub. The overnight takes place on the island of Pellestrina, just in front of Chioggia.
DAY 9: Pellestrina Island - Venice, 19 mi. (30 km)
Venice beckons, but first another world altogether: Pellestrina, the first of two islands you traverse today – a humble and tranquil fishing backwater, picturesque as ever with its cottages, boats and nets. A short island-hop by ferry transfers to Lido. Fashionable in high society ever since the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. After rejoining the barge, you will enjoy a leisure cruise in front of St Mark’s square to the final destination. After dinner you can savor Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia!
DAY 10: Venice, free day
After a wonderful awakening with a view of the lagoon, there is the opportunity for a guided tour of the city center. You then have the whole day to your liking, to continue your exploration of the magnificent historical center of the capital of the 'Republica Serenissima', or its wonderful islands.
DAY 11: Venice
Tour officially ends just after breakfast.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice Boats + Barges
Ave Maria Italy Premium Class Boat The Ave Maria was launched in 2011. This Italian boat was totally rebuilt in order to meet even the highest expectations. The boat was completely redesigned by a renowned architectural firm. Its shapes, colors and materials were chosen carefully in order to create a warm, inviting and sophisticated atmosphere.
Vita Pugna Italy Comfort Class Boat The Vita Pugna is a romantic Dutch barge which has been sailing since 2008. She has 21 guests cabins with comfortable low twin beds and en-suite facilities. They also offer the convenience of attractive, traditional portholes, which can be opened for fresh air. The sundeck has plenty of seating where you can enjoy the passing scenery.