Gondola ride in Venice, Veneto, Italy. Photo via Flickr:Moyan Brenn

Quiet bike path in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Photo via Flickr:Caspar Diederik
4.8/5 (30 ratings)

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.

    Highlights:

    • 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.

  • 2020

     

    Season 1: Departures from April 15 up to and including August 19, 2020

    Season 2: Departures from August 26  up to and including September 30, 2020

     Vita PugnaAve Maria
    Season 1 £ 1491 $ 3,305 1755 $ 2644 NOK 16526 kr 15255 $ 1,983 £ 1678 $ 3,720 1975 $ 2976 NOK 18598 kr 17167 $ 2,232
    Season 2 £ 1585 $ 3,512 1865 $ 2810 NOK 17562 kr 16211 $ 2,107 £ 1856 $ 4,115 2185 $ 3292 NOK 20575 kr 18993 $ 2,469
    SUPPLEMENTS 
    Single room/cabin £ 382 $ 848 450 $ 678 NOK 4238 kr 3912 $ 509 £ 340 $ 753 400 $ 603 NOK 3767 kr 3477 $ 452
    Superior cabin (boat portion) - £ 119 $ 264 140 $ 211 NOK 1318 kr 1217 $ 158
    Gluten-free or vegan diet request £ 42 $ 94 50 $ 75 NOK 471 kr 435 $ 57 £ 42 $ 94 50 $ 75 NOK 471 kr 435 $ 57
    REDUCTIONS  
    Bunk bed cabin (if booked by two people)- £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113
    Third-person in room/cabin (total discount to be shared) £ 263 $ 584 310 $ 467 NOK 2919 kr 2695 $ 350 £ 263 $ 584 310 $ 467 NOK 2919 kr 2695 $ 350

     

     

    extra options

    Electric bicycle rental: £ 149 $ 330 175 $ 264 NOK 1648 kr 1521 $ 198

    Extra nights (local taxes to be paid upon arrival):

    Bolzano, 3/4 star:
    Twin/double: £ 64 $ 141 75 $ 113 NOK 706 kr 652 $ 85 Single: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113

    Mestre 3/4 star:
    Twin/double: £ 59 $ 132 70 $ 105 NOK 659 kr 608 $ 79 Single: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113  

    *Venice3/4 star:
    Twin/double, from: £ 76 $ 170 90 $ 136 NOK 848 kr 782 $ 102 Single, from: £ 127 $ 283 150 $ 226 NOK 1413 kr 1304 $ 170  

    *In Venice, pricing depends on hotel, time of year, etc. 

    please note

    Only unisex hybrid touring bikes or electric bikes are available for this tour.

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Most people fly into and out of Venezia Marco Polo (VCE) located 275 km from Bolzano. Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport (INN) is another arrival airport option or Verona Villafranca Airport (VRN). Because the tour ends in Venice, VCE is the most convenient for onward travel home.

    Local Travel

    Venice Airport From Venezia Marco Polo Airport (VCE), you can take the Fly-Bus shuttle service going to Venezia Mestre train station. The shuttle leaves 3 times per hour from 6:06 AM to 11:40 PM. The shuttle takes about 17 minutes and a ticket costs ~€8. Visit www.atvo.it for details. From Venezia Mestre train station, you take a train to Bolzano (transfer time is about 2 and a half hours with a change in Verona Porta Nuova; ~€30 to 50 depending on the type of train). For further information on timetables and prices, please visit: http://www.trenitalia.com

    Climate

    In Italy, there are different types of climate. In Bolzano, the climate is semi-continental, in the Po River Valley, a mild continental climate dominates and Venice experiences a subtropical climate. One thing that each area has in common are hot summers. Please check local conditions before your arrival. A good website to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more weather-related facts isweatherbase.com. The average high/low temperatures in °F for the area is approx. March, 58/36°, April, 64/43°, May, 72/51°, June, 79/56°, July, 84/61°, August, 82/60°, September, 75/54°, and October, 64/44°.

    Remarks

    During the Bike and Barge portion of your tour from Mantua to Venice you will be accompanied by a tour leader. All tour leaders are carefully selected and rigorously trained. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. They are experienced enthusiastic travelers who have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, peoples, cultures and local food. Thanks to their knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course, they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice on how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix a flat tire. The tour leaders are AOC (Controlled Designation of Origin), and will help you explore the land and live an unforgettable experience. Please note that you will be part of an international group of people. However, your tour guide and crew members will always speak English.


Tour Dates

2020

Every Wednesday from April 15 to September 30, 2020

Season 1: April 15 - August 19, 2020
Season 2: August 26 - September 30, 2020


Ave Maria: April 22, May 6, May 20, June 3, June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12, August 26, September 9, and September 23, 2020
Vita Pugna: April 15, April 29, May 13, May 27, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, September 2, September 16, and September 30, 2020
 

Skill Level

Easy to moderate self-guided and guided bike and boat tour. From Bolzano to Mantova you will ride on cycle paths, 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 accommodations. Upon arrival in Mantova, you will board the comfort class vessel, Vita Pugna OR the premium Ave Maria (built during the winter of 2011), and begin your bike and boat tour to Venice, with 7 overnights spent on board.

What’s Included

  • 3 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast buffet (Bolzano, Trento and Peschiera/Desenzano)
  • 7 overnights on booked vessel with all meals ( breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
  • Coffee and tea and other hot drinks on board
  • Complimentary courtesy kit
  • Daily short cleaning and mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
  • Bike helmet
  • 27-speed unisex hybrid touring city bike with handlebar bag or map holder, cycle computer, one rear pannier, water cage and water bottle, one repair kit per room (spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, allen keys, and tire levers), one combination bike lock
  • Bike protection
  • 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

  • Helmet rental (suitable for circumfrences 54 - 61 cm)
  • Local hotel taxes (approx. €1-€4 per person, per night)
  • Museum entrance fees (other than mentioned), and extras in general
  • Lunches and dinners during the hotel portion of your tour
  • Beverages
  • Public transportation while in Venice (water taxi, etc.)
  • Gratuities
  • Everything not mentioned in the "what's included" section
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance

Extra Stay

Extra nights before and after your tour can easily be arranged. Just ask.

TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy–Moderate
Length11 days
From1755 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Bolzano - Mantova - Venice Map

2020

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, 27/44  mi. (45/70  km) Arrival on boat in Mantova.
Day 5: Mantova, round tour, 22 mi. (35 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 along side apple orchards, vineyards and through the villages of Ora, Egna, and Salorno. Along the river banks, you ride towards Trento. This city is not on the typical tourist's radar so take your time to take a look behind the splendid walls of its painted buildings. 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, 28-44 mi. (45-70 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, 22 mi. (35 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, you leave the "lakes" of Mantova and cruise through the lush wetlands that lead to the 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 on the sea but now connected by the  Canal Bianco (White Canal).  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 time 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 – and do not forget to savor a hot 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. Pellestrina is a tranquil fishing backwater, picturesque with its cottages, boats, and nets. A short island-hop by ferry will transfer you 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 historic center of the capital of the 'Republica Serenissima', or its wonderful islands.

DAY 11: Venice
Tour officially ends just after breakfast.

If you're looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news.

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Tour Reviews

  • Rogan T. 4 days ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most Memorable Part: Bike with friends.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Barbara E. 5 days ago     Verified Reviewer

    It is difficult to choose just one memorable part of the trip. Each day was filled with a new exciting adventure! Even riding a bike in an unexpected downpour was a fun experience when shared with cycling comrades. Seeking out a delicious gelato in a town square was a favorite activity. Exploring and discovering Italy while biking and barging aboard the Ave Maria was a truly delightful experience. Our crew was very helpful and eager to show us how proud they were of their country and all it has to offer. Pumpkin tortellini eaten at an outdoor restaurant was such an enjoyable eating experience! Grazie Mille for a truly amazing cycling adventure!!

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Donald B. 2 weeks ago     Verified Reviewer

    Especially loved the area of the Dolomite Mountains, from Bolzano to Lake Gardia, for the beauty and then arriving in Venice.
    Trip was extremely well organized; wonderful crew, special tour guides in Mantova and Venice, good food...and bravo to Vivian and Sonya, excellent guides
    The cyclists really got along well so that was an added bonus.
    First trip that was guided for us and I was pleasantly surprised. Other trips were self-guided and so was the first part of the trip, from Bolzano to Mantova.
    Lack of toilets on the way...

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Rachel F. 2 weeks ago     Verified Reviewer

    The best part was the first three days self-guided tour near the Dolomites on our 10 day tour.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Terry W. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    As professional as the staff were and as delicious the food, the most memorable part of the trip was interacting with fellow travelers. Since the boat can only berth around 40, I was able to get to know almost everyone and learn about their countries and personal histories.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Avace W. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    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

  • Sandy H. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    Fabulous trip. Filled with adventure. Highlights included guide, staff, food and overall camaraderie developed with a great group of people!

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Gorge M. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    Menu and food prep. much better than other bike and barge/cruises we've been on.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Barbara C. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    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.

    • Jehiel from Tripsite 2 months ago     Staff

      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!

  • David & Patsy A. 8 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    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

  • Katherine G. 8 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    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 Read more… 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.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Sue H. 8 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    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.

    Boat: Vita Pugna

  • Nancy B. 9 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most Memorable Part? Riding our bikes back to the barge in Venice in a rainstorm. The laughter and camaraderie was priceless.

    Boat: Vita Pugna

  • Nelson S. 11 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    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.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Paula K. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    We loved the varied scenery and warm and friendly Italian people.
    The hotel accommodations were very comfortable and more than adequate. We would have been satisfied with a less luxurious hotel in Trento. We would have liked to explore the town and find a different restaurant, but there was no time. That is one of the drawbacks of cycling so many miles between towns; not enough time to explore.
    The Ave Maria and the entire crew were first rate. We want to particularly thank our tirelessly helpful and fun-loving guides, Marinella and Stephania. In addition, the food was artfully created and inspired.
    Our one complaint is about the poorly written instructions on the 3-day, self-guided part of the trip, which sometimes caused stress. The instructions were not only terribly written, we also had different editions of instructions among our group of 12. The most exasperating time was at Riva del Garda when we cycled back and forth through the town at least 3 times, Read more… looking for the correct ferry dock, after asking and being misled several times.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    • Jehiel from Tripsite 12 months ago     Staff

      Hi Paula,
      We have shared your feedback with our local partner and they are reviewing the written instructions for the tour. I should also mention there are GPS tracks that can be requested for this tour, which definitely helps ease the stress of navigating on your own.
      Glad you had a great trip otherwise!

  • John B. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    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.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Anne S. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    We loved the beautiful, amazing mountain scenery (with very few hills) of the first three days. The written instructions, though, are of a badness difficult to describe. We rated the tour 4/5, and the lost star were because of the extremely poor instructions. If we hadn't had maps and stickers on sign posts, we wouldn't have been able to make it through. The frustration really distracted from the overall enjoyment of the trip - an English speaker with an accurate odometer really needs to rewrite the directions. For example, they talked about "crossing a railway" (or maybe a "railway bridge"), so we spent about 20 minutes trying to find a way to cross the railway - but really it meant to pass underneath an elevated railway crossing. Also, the symbol used to indicate a warning (I think of a turn easy to miss) is a hand pointing to the right. One not unnaturally assumes that this means a right turn. It does not.

    Otherwise the barge, scenery, Read more… activities, food, and guides are all exactly what we hoped for and have experienced on earlier trips. No problems with luggage transfers, and the hotels for the first part of the trip were all great.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • David & Patsy 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most Memorable Part? The poppy fields along the bike ride was especially beautiful. Instructions need some updating.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Ian S. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Superb scenery, boat, bikes and guides. Delightful in every way.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Nelson N. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Piano player and entertainer was a highlight.....food was fabulous.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Rosemary B. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most Memorable Parts: the swimming off the boat, out in the ocean after a hot bike ride, were amazing.
    The historical information from our tour guides was outstanding.
    The food was DELICIOUS.
    Sunsets out on the water were glorious

    Boat: Vita Pugna

  • Carmel M. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Every aspect of the trip made for a memorable experience. Having done both the hotel to hotel and the guided section gave us a truly great opportunity to see a part of Italy that is so varied in both history, culture, food and landscape.

    Boat: Vita Pugna

  • Janet L. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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 Read more… 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!

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Martha B. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Outstanding guide, great staff on boat, wonderful food. The beautiful scenery from Bolzano to Mantova was probably the most memorable. Really happy we took the additional 3 days before boarding the barge.

  • Christine W. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The scenery on the self guided from Bolzano to Mantua.
    The expert guide (Hein ), the food and the staff on the boat.
    They all went out of their way to make it a very pleasant experience.
    We could not have asked for a better crew.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Judith S. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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

  • Rosemary B. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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 Read more… 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.

    • Carla 3 years ago     Staff

      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!

  • Daniel G. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    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.

  • Joanne White 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This Bike and Barge tour was amazing, best holiday ever!

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Christopher Manning 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Route guides(arrows)could in some areas(particularly in the Bolzano to barge section when riders on their own) be more clearly marked and better positioned.
    Steph,our guide,and the boat crew combined to make this a special experience.

    Boat: Vita Pugna

  • Debbie 5 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We did the Bolzano to Mantova bicycle trip, what an awesome experience. We loved every moment of it. Thank you for the wonderful trip, the hotels were excellent, the road maps we could not have done without. The signs from Pescheria to Mantova were not as good as the beginning - less to follow but on the whole I trip that we can recommend. The Ava Maria - 5 star, with a crew led by captain Connie and tour guide Helmut, not to mention the excellent food. Well organised and worth every penny

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Jerry & Betsy Wilson 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Just completed this trip - we'll summarize by just saying "OUTSTANDING"! Enrico (our guide) couldn't have been better - surely gave us more info (and time!) than we expected. The boat's crew was outstanding too - food couldn't have been better! And we loved the cycling...even with (in spite of?) two days of rain. Our tandem bike was (surprisingly, for a rental tandem) easy to ride and control, even through some of the tight turns in the towns on the tour. Hard to find/fit tandems that are enjoyable to ride for both cyclists - Girolibero did their homework! We're already planning another tour for next year, and what a feast to choose from!

    J & B Wilson, 10/23/2013

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • E.R 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Great Trip! Directions were clear & detailed for the self-guided portion. Maps could have been better by showing North orientation.

    Guide on boat was fantastic! very knowledgeable and eager to please. Took us many places and gave us background info on things. Volunteered to take us on a tour of Venice and showed us how to use the water-bus system to get around on our own. Nicest boat and best guide I have had after many bike & barge trips.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Bolzano-Mantova-Venice 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We had great weather which helped make the trip so enjoyable. Heins, our guide, was fantastic.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Elizabeth Deerfield 8 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This was a well planned and orchestrated trip. The self guided part was easy to navigate and beautiful, lodging was great.

    The bike and Barge part was excellent. The guide, Hugo, was top notch along with a very great crew. The trip included so much, history, culture and fun. The barge was cozy, rooms good size and the food, excellent and nice variety. This was the best of 7 bike tours we have done.

    Boat: Ave Maria

  • Lynn Yetman 8 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Myself and 4 of my friends just completed the Balzano - Venice Bike Tour. This was our 7th cycle tour with Trip-Site and as with the previous 6 trips we were not disappointed. The cycling out of Balzano was probably the most beautiful of any cycling we have done. Coming down a mountain road to a spot overlooking Lake Garda was a spectacular site we will never forget.

    The Ava Maria has been beautifully re-furbished. The staterooms are roomy with plenty of storage. The dining room comfortabley seated our 28 fellow cyclists. The food was great and the wine reasonably priced. Our guides Flavio and Martina did a wonderful job and went out of their to be accomodating to our requests. The trail markers and directions from Balzano to Mantova could have been better. But, we were never actually lost, just misplaced from time to time. A great time was had by all.

    Boat: Ave Maria

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Bolzano - Mantova - Venice Boats + Barges

Ave Maria Photo

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 Photo

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.

PWPC