Venice - Mantua, MS Ave Maria
In the poplane from Venice to Mantua
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Guided Group Tour
- Minimumnumber of Participants: 12 People
Arrival to Venice
We welcome you aboard your new home-from-home from 5 p.m. onwards, and then regroup for the introductory briefing – at 6.30 – with your tour leader, skipper and crew, along with a first refreshing aperitivo. After dinner we can stroll into town and savour the historic centre at its most evocative: Benvenuti a Venice!
Veniceapprox. 35 km
Following a wander off the beaten track with your tour leader you have the day free to enjoy the city at your own pace. Christened La Serenissima ("The Most Serene"), the Venetian Republic held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries – both as a military power and a beacon of culture.
Leaving Venice behind after a gentle cruise in front of St Mark’s square, our first stop will be on Murano island, where we will visit a historic glass factory, with a glassblowing demonstration by a master artisan. Then our cycling adventure starts on the Lido, the first of two islands we traverse today. 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. A short island-hop by ferry takes us into another world: Pellestrina, where we ride past the picturesque cottages and boats of this humble fishing backwater. We rejoin our barge just in front of Chioggia – a bustling and colourful fishing hub known as “Little Venice”.
We open the day with a stroll through Chioggia, followed perhaps by a visit up the millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. Weather permitting, we can also bask in the sun at a fine-sand beach nearby: a dip in the Adriatic, a hot savoury piadina – and you are well and truly local! Then onwards into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a colony of flamingos. We moor for the night in Adria, a key Roman port, once washed by the waters of 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 in order.
After a short cruise we saddle our bikes and, following the Po through farmland and hamlets, we reach 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 take us back to our floating hotel in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.
This morning we head for the village of Bergantino, home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and its collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). But first things first: we are in the heartland of Grana Padano – the arch-rival of Parmesan – and after visiting the local cheese factory,
we enjoy a degustazione of sharp and seasoned Grana, washed down with a glass of Valpolicella.
After our customary picnic lunch, we leave Bergantino and follow the river to Ostiglia, famed for its medieval fortress and the fierce fighting that took place here in 1945, as the Allies and partisans drove Hitler's forces back. We ride on and rejoin our barge at Governolo Lock, where Mantua's River Mincio flows into the
Po. Veering north, we cruise through the lush wetlands that finally emerge into the glorious "lakes" of Mantua.
A day dedicated to the discovery of this cultural gem, its three picturesque “lakes” formed by the river Mincio and the surrounding countryside. This afternoon we meet our Mantuan guide for a walking tour across the historic centre: starting from Piazza Sordello with its magnificent cathedral and Palazzo Ducale, we will walk through the city centre up to Piazza delle Erbe. Here we will admire the Clock Tower, the Rotonda di S. Lorenzo (the oldest church in town) and the Cathedral of St. Andrew, a jewel of Renaissance art and architecture. We will learn why Mantua, once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family, is now considered by many as Italy’s “Sleeping Beauty”. (The programme may be subject to changes).
Departure after breakfast.
Leisure cycling in mostly flat areas, with only a few short ups and downs. Little effort required, suitable for everyone
| Season 1 |
| Season 2 |
27.04.2024 | 06.07.2024 | 20.07.2024 | 03.08.2024 | 17.08.2024 |
| Season 3 |
11.05.2024 | 25.05.2024 | 08.06.2024 | 22.06.2024 | 26.10.2024 |
| Season 4 |
31.08.2024 | 14.09.2024 | 28.09.2024 | 12.10.2024 |
|Bike & boat Venice to Mantua, 8 , MS Ave Maria, 8 days, IT-ABSMA-08G|
|Base price|| |
|Surcharge 2-bed-cabin single use||1,000.00||1,000.00||1,000.00||1,000.00|
|Surcharge 2-bed-cabin superior||250.00||250.00||250.00||250.00|
- Program as mentioned in the tour course
- 7 overnights in cabins with shower/toilet/air-condition in the booked cabin category
- Full board: 7x breakfast, 6x small lunch or lunch package for your bike tour, 7x three course dinner
- coffee and tea on board
- Daily cleaning of cabins
- Change of towels and bed linen if required
- Daily bike tour briefing
- Habour fees
- Guided visit in Venice and Mantua
- Visit of a cheese factory with tasting
- Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
- Visit of a historic glass factory on Murano island
- Bus transfer Ferrara-Zelo / Ferrara-Adria
- Travel Guide, Maps, Roadbook
- English speaking tour guide within an international group
Arrival / Parking / Departure:
- Unguarded parking spaces free of charge near the harbour
- Guarded parking space also near the harbour approx. € 10,-/day. reservation under firstname.lastname@example.org in advance necessary.
MS Ave Maria
Built in 1970, the MS Ave Maria offers space for a maximum of 40 bike and boat enthusiasts. Look forward to the familiar atmosphere on board this exclusive mid-range ship.