Italian culture in a lovely landscape
This unique tour that starts in the enchanting city of Mantova winds its way along the Mincio and Po river, penetrating into rural areas of the Italian countryside of the Po valley that are still uncontaminated, and ends in the warm of the Venetian Lagoon. This territory has been reclaimed from the marshes for many centuries now and is framed by green pine-woods, which offer protection for numerous species of animals. The work of man overlaps nature in a constant game of roles: reclaimed land alternates with natural canals, fishermen’s huts are camouflaged in the reeds, and bridges formed of boats reduce the distances between strips of sand. The cities of Mantova, Ferrara and Venice are the cultural highlights of this fantastic journey.
Itinerary: Mantova – Zelo – Adria – Ghioggia – Venice
Vita Pugna ( 21 passengers)
The Vita Pugna has been in use for many years as a passenger ship and sails since 2009 in Italy. Vita Pugna was originally a Dutch ship, 36 meters long and 5.4 meters wide. The ship has recently been adapted to modern comfort requirements. In the cozy lounge, where you can also enjoy your breakfast and dinner, you have a beautiful view.
The ship has a lounge / restaurant with air conditioning and a large sun deck, where you can sit cosily. There is free Wi-Fi , a free hot drinks machine (incl. Italian ground coffee) and a 42″ screen for video/internet in the living room.
There are 9 twin cabins and a triple one, accommodating up to 21 guests. Each double cabin with traditional portholes (which can be opened) is approx. 7/8 sq.m. big and has 2 low twin beds with en-suite facilities and air conditioning. Bed size is: 1.90/2 m x 0.75/0.80 m.
Ave Maria (34 – 36 passengers)
This Italian ship has started cruising in 2011. She has been totally rebuilt in order to meet the most challenging clients’ requests. Only the hull of the original 1970s sand digger sailing along the Po has remained and the boat is now brand new. It has been completely designed by a renowned Italian architectural firm. Its shapes, colours and materials have been chosen carefully in order to create a warm, sober and yet sophisticated atmosphere.
The air conditioned living room is divided into two areas: the restaurant and the lounge. There is free Wi-Fi. In the lounge there is a large 55″flat screen for video/internet and a free hot drinks machine (incl. Italian ground coffee). The barge has two sundecks and a dedicated bike parking.
The ship can accommodate max. 40 guests and has a total of 17 cabins; 10 standard twin cabins of approx. 11 sq.m. (3 of these can become triple cabins, with a bunk bed); 4 superior twin cabins of approx. 11 sq.m. (two of these cabins can become a triple or four bed cabin) and 3 bunk bed cabins of approx. 7,5 sq.m. (all can be sold as single cabin). All cabins have a large window, comfortable low beds, en-suite facilities and air conditioning.
Day 1 (Sat): Mantova
16.30 h Arrival in Mantova. The cabins are available from 16.30 h. The ship is moored at Porto Catena, just a short walk from the city-centre.
19.00 h The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled just before dinner-time.
19.30 h Dinner
Mantova is one of the most beautiful towns in Northern-Italy, where a lot of worldwide known artists left their masterpieces, thanks to the assignment of the famous Gonzaga family.
Day 2 (Sun): Mantova
Biketour:ca 40 km
8.00 h Breakfast
9.00 h Biketour around Mantova.
A day dedicated to the discovery of this little visited cultural gem, its three picturesque lakes formed by the Mincio, and its surrounding countryside. Mantova was once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family and now considered by many as Italy’s “Sleeping Beauty”. In the late afternoon a local guide will lead you through the most known highlights of the town.
19.00 h Dinner
Day 3 (Mon): Mantova – Governolo – Zelo
Biketour:ca 50 km
8.00 h During breakfast the ship will take us to Governolo, stronghold of the Mincio Pirates, where there is the biggest basin of Italy, built to control the Minico River.
9.00 h Here you take the bikes and start the ride, keeping on following the River Po, untill the village of Ostiglia, with the ruins of a medieval fortress.Subsequently you will visit the “Carousel and folk show museum” in Bergantino and enjoy a tasting session at a cheese factory. After a ride along the “Canal Bianco” you will finally reach Zelo, where the barge will moor for the night.
19.00 h Dinner
Day 4 (Tue): Zelo – Ferrara – Adria
Biketour:ca 50 km + 60 km by bus
8.00 h Breakfast
9.00 h After breakfast you will start cycling towards Ferrara. Once you have reached the town, which earned the name of “the city of bicycles” you will enchanted by the historical centre, still surrounded by the old city walls. From Ferrara a short bus transfer will bring you to Adria, anancient Greek port, famous for trading amber coming from the Baltic.
Day 5 (Wed): Adria – Arabella – Chioggia
Biketour: ca 40 km km
8.00 h Again we will sail during breakfast.
9.00 h The boat will bring you to Porto Viro, 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, pedalling in the heart of nature. You will pass Albarella, a private island of ancient traditions.
You will be suspended between water and land, as you will pedal between the Po Delta and the mouth of the River Adige. You follow then the Po-Brondolo Waterway, which links the river to the Venetian lagoon. You will stay overnight in Chioggia, famous as “the little Venice”. A visit to the fish market at dawn is an absolute ‘must’.
Day 6 (Thu): Chioggia-Venice
Biketour: ca 30 km
8.00 h This is the most spectacular part of the trip.The ship brings you to the Natural reserve of Ca’Roman, a sandy islet surrounded by pine-woods.
9.00 h Pedalling along the lagoon, you reach Pellestrina: from here, riding on the cycle path you reach the ferry landing stage. A short ferry boat ride takes you then up the Lido island, along the ‘Murazzi’, with a stop in Malamocco, the ancient harbour. The overnight is at the Island of Giudecca, not far from St. Mark’s square, with an amazing view of the lagoon.
19.00 h Dinner
Day 7 (Fri): Venice
9.00h Free day at disposal. After a wonderful awakening with a view on the lagoon, you have the wholeday at your disposal, to discover the magnificent historical centre of the capital of the “Repubblica Serenissima”, or its wonderful islands.
19.30 h Dinner
Day 8 (Sat): Venice
9.00 h After breakfast and the customary goodbyes, free time for individual visits of Venice, or return home, if you haven’t booked any extra night.
*All distances are approximate. The planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.
Included in the price
– 8 days / 7 nights
– 7 x breakfast
– 7 x dinner on board
– Packed lunches for bike trips
– Coffee and tea on board
– Tour guide
– Use of bed linen and towels
– Climate-controlled cabins (only Ave Maria)
– Detailed route description, maps and info pack
– Bus transfer Ferrara – Zelo / Ferrara-Adria
– Entrance fee and excursions mentioned in the program
– Reservation fee € 15,-
– Bike rental (incl. pannier and waterbottle) € 85,- per bike
– Helmet rental € 15,- per helmet
– Transfers to/from docking places in Mantova and Venice (Italy)
– Personal insurances
– Gratuities (at your discretion)
– Drinks and expenses on excursions (not mentioned under included)
Rent of a bicycle is optional: The price for these rental bikes is € 85,- per week.
The bikes on board have different frames sizes with 27-gears Shimano Deore. There are fully equipped with 1 side-bag, 1 water bottle, 1 map holder/front bag, 1 padlock per bike and 1 repair kit for each couple. Due to high transportation costs of the bikes in Venice and logistic issues it is strongly advised not to bring own bikes.
Level of difficulty
The trip is rated as level 1: easy.
These holidays are appropriate for anyone with good physical condition and basic cycling skills. On virtually flat terrain, with distances up to 50 kilometers. You spend about 4 hours on your bicycle.
Point of departure
This tour starts in Mantova or in Venice.
In Mantova you will find the ship in porto Catena, close to the city centre.
In Venice the ship is moored at Giudecca island.
You are expected aboard at 16.30 hours.
If you cannot arrive on time, will you please notify us by telephone or e-mail?
There is a good train connection between Mantova and Venice (ca. 150 minutes, € 15,00).
Tel Vita Pugna: +39 (0) 3388562512
Tel Ave Maria: +39 (0) 3771686753
Tel Office: +31 (0) 299313071
Please note: Tour operator for this tour is Zeppelin/Girolibero, Vicenza, Italy. Other conditions may apply to this tour.
Mooring in Venice at Giudecca island.
Venetië weergeven op een grotere kaart