BARGE AND BIKE IN NORTHERN ITALY

8 day Escorted Tour Our most popular cycling tour in Italy is our bike and barge tour along the Po River and its canal system to the magical city of Venice. We cycle through unspoilt rural Italian countryside, ending in the warm embrace of the Venetian lagoon. This territory has been reclaimed from the marshes […]

8 day Escorted Tour

Our most popular cycling tour in Italy is our bike and barge tour along the Po River and its canal system to the magical city of Venice. We cycle through unspoilt rural Italian countryside, ending in the warm embrace 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.
We now offer two ships to choose from, our traditional Dutch barge the Vita Pugna, and our new, larger ship, the Ave Maria.
Each alternate week our ships change direction, ie. Venice to Mantova.

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Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Mantova

Bicycles are available from 11a.m. at the boat, which is moored
at Porto Catena, just a short walk from the centre. 

Day 2

Mantova–Castelguglielmo (38km)

The boat takes us to Governolo, stronghold of the Mincio Pirates: here, you take your bikes and start our ride. We cycle towards San Benedetto Po, home of an ancient monastery. We continue following the Po River as far as Revere, summer residence of the Gonzaga dynasty.
The last stretch of road brings us to the harbour of Ostiglia on the Fissero/ Bianco canal, where you reboard the boat. A short stretch of navigation brings us to Castelguglielmo, where you will moor for the night (overnight in Revere if the level of the Po is suitable).

Day 3

Castelguglielmo–Ferrara– Adria (55km)

Departure for Ferrara: the historic centre is still surrounded by the old city walls. The great number of cycle paths and the widespread use of bikes have earned Ferrara the name of “the city of bicycles”. At the end of the day, on board Vita Pugna, you reach Adria: the pearl of the Polesine, an ancient Greek port, famous for trading amber coming from the Baltic, which gave its
name to the sea it faced (overnight in Ferrara if the level of the Po is suitable). 

Day 4

Adria–Porto Levante (48km)

We go deep into the maze of the Delta, an uncontaminated paradise between the marshes and lagoons of the Po, pedalling
in the heart of nature. The destination today is Porto Levante, a small marine village of ancient traditions.

Day 5

Porto Levante–Chioggia (34km)

Vita Pugna leaves us on the other bank of the Po di Levante. We are approaching Albarella, suspended between water and land, as you pedal between the Delta and the mouth of the River Adige. From Cavanella d’Adige, the farthermost border between the provinces of Rovigo and Venice, you then follow the Po-Brondolo
Waterway, which links the river to the Venetian lagoon. We will stay overnight in “Little Venice” and a visit to the fish market at dawn is an absolute ‘must’. 

Day 6

Chioggia–Venice (28km)

Vita Pugna brings us to the Oasis of Ca’ Roman, a sandy islet surrounded by pine-woods. Pedalling along the lagoon, you reach Pellestrina: from here, you ride on the new cycle path as far as the ferry landing stage. A short boat ride takes us back up the Lido, along the ‘Murazzi’, with a stop in Malamocco, the ancient harbour. Overnight in the Venetian lagoon. 

Day 7

Venice – Brenta Canal – Venice (38km)

Optional touring day today where you may visit Venice, or cycle to some of the reknown Palladian Villa’s surrounding the city. 

Day 8

Venice

After breakfast, with a view of the lagoon and the customary goodbyes, free time for individual visits to Venice, or return home.

SHIP OPTIONS

You have the option of our traditional Dutch barge the “VITA PUGNA”, or our brand new purpose built river cruiser the “AVE MARIA”. Click on the names for further details.

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BICYCLES
Different frame sizes of unisex bikes with 27-gears Shimano Deore will be available on board. They are fully equipped with 1x side-bag, 1 water bottle, 1 map holder/front bag, 1 padlock per bike and 1 repair kit per couple.

GUIDED or SELF GUIDED TOURING OPTIONS
This tour offers the chance to pedal alone, or with the whole group following the tour leader. You may choose each day which you prefer. Each client can take advantage of very detailed route descriptions and maps supplied onboard.
Touring option must be specified at time of reservation.

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NAVIGATION ON RIVERS AND CANALS

The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po and connects Mantova to the Adriatic Sea. A few weeks in the year, when the waters of the Po are favourable, the barge will be allowed to navigate along the Po River itself. This means that the some
of the overnight stays will be modified. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistical obstacles can modify some of the daily stretches or embarkation points.
These decisions are taken by the boat’s captain.

 

Rating: Easy to Moderate
A level route with a few very small hills. You cycle only on asphalt paths and almost car-free side roads. You do not need to be a very experienced cyclist but a reasonable level of fitness is helpful. Suitable for families, seniors and novice cyclists.
Airport / Transfers
The nearest airports are Verona and Venice. Regular train service is available from both airports to Mantova and Venice.

 

Schedule & Price

DATES
VITA PUGNA

from Venice: 26.04, 10.05, 24.05, 7.06, 21.06, 5.07, 19.07, 2.08, 16.08,
30.08, 13.09, 27.09, 11.10.2014.
from Mantova: 19.04, 3.05, 17.05, 31.05, 14.06, 28.06, 12.07, 26.07,
9.08, 23.08, 6.09, 20.09, 4.10, 18.10.2014.

AVE MARIA

from Venice: 5.04, 19.04, 3.05, 17.05, 31.05, 14.06, 28.06, 12.07, 26.07,
9.08, 23.08, 6.09, 20.09, 4.10, 18.10.2014.
from Mantova: 29.03, 12.04, 26.04, 10.05, 24.05, 7.06, 21.06, 5.07,
19.07, 2.08, 16.08, 30.08, 13.09, 27.09, 11.10.2014.

 

There are 3 seasons as follows:

Value: March 29th to April 26th; October 18th
Middle: July 5th to August 23rd; October 4th & 11th
High: May 3rd to June 28th; August 30th to September 27th

 

All prices are per person based on double occupancy.

VITA PUGNA – value season CAD $1380
VITA PUGNA – middle season $1595
VITA PUGNA – high season $1650
Single cabin surcharge $490
Mantova departure surcharge $95
AVE MARIA standard cabin lower deck – value season $1760
AVE MARIA standard cabin lower deck – middle season $1990
AVE MARIA standard cabin lower deck – high season $2100
Superior cabin on upper deck surcharge $180
double cabin lower deck with bunk beds reduction -$140
Single cabin surchargE $480
Mantova departure surcharge $95
Surcharge for e-bike $130

 

This tour includes:
* 7 nights aboard ship in a double cabin. All cabins with private WC and shower
* 7 breakfasts , 7 packed lunches, and 7 dinners
* Quality 27 speed hybrid bike with panniers
* Tour leader onboard who assists with the days routes, cycles along with the group, provides travel tips for the journey and tourist information about places of interest
* Biking maps with indicated routes and detailed route descriptions
* Bus transfer Ferrara–Adria, Ferrara-Zelo
guided visit in Venice and Mantova, visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano, visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum.
*Half week service of cabin, cleaning, and towel change* Harbour charges 

NOT INCLUDED:

Beverages on board
One ferry-boat stage in Pellestrina
Entry to museums etc. and everything which is not mentioned above.