Event > From venice to Mantova by bike & boat: an easy cycling tour on board our boat ve Maria****

FROM VENICE TO MANTOVA BY BIKE & BOAT: AN EASY CYCLING TOUR ON BOARD OUR BOAT VE MARIA**** The bike & boat tour starts with a free day in Venice, before we set sail to explore the unique ecosystem of the lagoon and the Po, Italy's longest river. Pushing inland along the Po's waterways, plains and sleepy villages, we discover the magnificence of Ferrara and Mantova – one of Italy's gems.
 
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

1. Venice.
The cabins are available from 4.30 p.m. The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled at dinner-time, at 7 p.m.

 2. Venice.
In the morning a local guide will let you discover the capital of the ancient “Serenissima Republic of Venice”, which held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries. After that you have a lot of time to soak up its timeless beauty or explore its islands.

3. Venice–Chioggia (30 km).
Cruising out of Venice at a gentle pace, we start our bike and boat adventure on the Lido, the first of the two islands we explore today. Fashionable with the artists and aristocracy of 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 takes us to Pellestrina, where we cycle towards the Ca’ Roman nature reserve, past the fishermen’s cottages and boats. Here, where we rejoin the barge and sail to Chioggia – a bustling and colourful fishing harbour known as “Little Venice”.

 4. Chioggia–Porto Viro–Adria (40 km).
A morning stroll through Chioggia’s fish market is recommended and, time allowing, a visit up the millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. Our cycling resumes southbound, into the delta of the imposing Po. This unique wetland park is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a colony of flamingos. We overnight in Adria, an ancient Greek port once close to the shores of the sea which bears its name, also renowned for its Etruscan and Roman heritage.

5. Adria–Ferrara–Zelo (35 km by bike + 35 km by bus).
After a short cruise we saddle our bikes and, following the Po through farmland and hamlets, we reach Ferrara. Under its overlords, the Este family, this ancient City State attracted influential architects and artists for centuries. A private bus takes us back to our floating hotel in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.

6. Zelo–Mantua (50 km).
After a few km on our bikes, we reach the village of Bergantino where we visit the charming Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum. Following the river through Ostiglia (famed for its medieval fortress and floating mill) and on to Governolo Lock. Once a vital staging post for local navigation, this is where the River Mincio flows into the Po, creating the largest inland basin in Italy. Leaving the Po behind, we reach Mantua through a magnificent navigation in the afternoon.

 7. Mantua round tour (40 km).
An entire day dedicated to the discovery of this little visited cultural gem, its three picturesque “lakes” formed by the Mincio, and its surrounding countryside – once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family. In the late afternoon a local guide will lead you through the most known highlights of the town.

8. Mantua.
Departure after breakfast. Possibility to book extra nights. 

The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/ Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po and connects Mantua to the Adriatic Sea.
Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays. These decisions are taken by the boat’s captain. 

Route profile
This cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily stages vary from 30 to 55 km – most- ly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and canals, or quiet country roads. The boat is moored at night and typically sets sail after breakfast, meeting up with the bikes in the afternoon. Some parts of the itinerary are undertaken by boat, to allow easier access onto cycling paths.

BARGE DESCRIPTION
Capacity: 40 guests
Lengtht: 41 m
Width: 7.5 m
Draught: 1.05 m

Extra features
2 sundecks
Free hot drinks machine (including Italian ground coffee)
Free wi-fi with 2 computers
Large 55” screen in the lounge for video/internet
Dedicated bike storage (for approx. 40 hanging bikes)
Hair-dryers (limited number) available on request
 


FURTHER OPERATIONAL INFORMATION
USEFUL INFOS
This tour offers you the chance to pedal independently (thanks to a very detailed route description) or with the group, following the English speaking tour leader.

Departures from Venice:
11.04, 25.04, 9.05, 23.05, 6.06, 20.06, 4.07, 18.07, 1.08, 15.08, 29.08, 12.09, 26.09, 10.10.2015
Departures from Mantova:
4.04, 18.04, 2.05, 16.05, 30.05, 13.06, 27.06, 11.07, 25.07, 8.08, 22.08, 5.09, 19.09, 3.10, 17.10.2015

Price per person in a standard doule cabin (below deck): 990 €  value season

The price includes:
7 overnights, full board (breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
accompanying Tour Leader on board and on bike
sheets and towels
Girolibero Greens Cycling Guide + Maps (1:75:000) + Roadbook
bus transfer Ferrara- Adria
harbour charges
coffee, tea and other hot drinks on board
mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
guided visit in Venice and Mantova
visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum

Supplements:
200 € standard season
360 € high season
140 € superior cabin
300 € single cabin
70 € Girolibero bike
160 € Electro-bike
15 € Helmet

Reductions:
100 € bunk bed cabin
250 € 3rd adult in the cabin 
Children reductions:
90% 0-2 years
50% 3-5 years
30 % 6-8 years

CONTACTS:
www.girolibero.com
info@girolibero.com
+39 0444 330724
  
  • Isola della Certosa
    Venezia (VE)
  • Punta poli
    Chioggia (VE)
  • Località Amolaretta
    Adria (RO)
  • Via Oratorio
    Zelo (RO)

GIROLIBERO TOUR OPERATOR


Easy cycling holidays: we believe that cycling makes for a great holiday, and that a rewarding break requires a thirst for discovery, a pinch of initiative and the right dose of comfort. Bikes let you travel at an easy pace, whether along cycling tracks or quiet roads, keeping you in touch with nature and local cultures.
A holiday on the move, with everything organised for you: hotels, luggage transfer from hotel to hotel, detailed route description & maps, and support – 7 days a week. 
Company Contacts
Via Conforto da Costozza, 7
36100 - Vicenza (VI)
+390444323639 www.girolibero.com
Further information
We have been running cycling tours since 1998. Our first step was purchasing 24 bikes and 24 locks. Next came a trailer on loan from a theatre group, with which we toured Austria, Holland and Germany. After 4 years, our first bikes were sold off to a rental company in Berlin; by then, hopelessly hooked on Europe's bikeways, we decided to go for it and invest in new ones – bright orange this time, in honour of Holland, the homeland of cycling.

Our bright two-wheelers have come a long way since then, and we currently have 1,300 of them freewheeling out and about. Girolibero is now the principal Italian tour operator specialising in cycling holidays and offering over 200 itineraries worldwide in its brochure. We organise bike tours for thousands of Italians and we bring over to Italy just as many visitors to enjoy our cycling holidays.

Projects past and present:
1998
, a personal bet, a project for a lifetime: turning our passion into a fulfilling job. Well, we made it – and our mission now is to keep alive the passion that propelled us from the start, ensuring that the job is as enjoyable and rewarding for the most recent recruit, as it has been for us.
1999, after a long gestation, our first website went live featuring active holidays in Italy. Viewing it now brings tears of laughter and nostalgia to our eyes, but at the time we were absolutely convinced that the marketing of our product would remain within the realms of envelopes and stamps.
2002, “Peschiera-Mantova Bikeway”. There used to be a thousand different itineraries. After trying them all out, we settled for a single, ideal route, and were confident enough to print it on 100,000 leaflets [link]. Our chosen itinerary has now become the official one.
2003, we designed the Tour of the Venice Lands, our first pioneering tour in Italy: a 7-day discovery of the most beautiful towns of the Veneto, on two wheels. 24 clients travelled with us that year; the numbers now exceed 2,000. Our own itinerary has been published by Esterbauer (in their Bikeline series) and made official by the Veneto Regional Council. It is shortly due to be signposted.
2006, launch of the www.pedalitalia.it website, commissioned by the Tuscany Regional Council along with 8 other Italian regions. The aim was to create an online portal for all cycling-related publications, but the project has unfortunately ground to a halt. The site is still up and running, however, with some 60 useful pages of tips and tricks on cycling tours. (link).
2008, we ship the "Bike & Boat" formula over to Italy – quite literally. There were no suitable boats available here for this type of holiday, and we decided to buy and transport the Vita Pugna (link) barge over from Holland. Her voyage via the Rhine, Danube, Black Sea and Adriatic has been narrated in a Dutch book (link). Back in Italy, the memory we cherish most of that adventure is that look of trepidation on Captain Lambert's face: having survived high seas and fierce customs officials, he almost witnessed our Vita Pugna going under among the sandbanks of the Po di Pila.
2011, “Bike & Boat” in Italy, Phase 2. To Vita Pugna, an adorable baby sister. We acquired an old river dredger, gave it a complete refit to our own specification and, 15 months later, launched the Ave Maria (link): a brand new floating 4-star hotel, offering all mod cons. This was a bold move – not least a financial one, made possible thanks to Banca Etica (the Ethical Bank), the only institution prepared to believe in our project and believe in our travel philosophy: Slow is Good.
Expo Veneto schedule

Date of event

Click on the date of interest to add it to your favorites.

1 Date NOT available 1 Date available 1 Date of interest