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From Venice to Mantua or reverse

  • From Venice to Mantua or reverse

Along the Po river

Self Guided
Guided Group
Touring Bike

8-days / 7 nights - 5 biking days
Guided group tour or Self-guided individual tour
Length 190 km / 115 miles
Grade of difficulty: Easy
Total vertical up: 20 m, terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved

Route: this cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily
stages vary from 25 to 55 km – mostly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and
canals, or quiet country roads. The barge 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 barge, to allow easier access onto cycling paths or
simply to enjoy the cruise.

This tour offers you a unique opportunity to experience by bike the North of Italy along the Po valley, following the course of the Po, the longest Italian river. You start with a full free day in Venice, before setting sail to explore the Venice lagoon and the bustling fish market of Chioggia. Cycling along waterways and through hamlets, you ride in the Po Delta, a unique wetland park which is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to several colonies of flamingos. Further on you’ll discover Adria, which gave the name to the Adriatic Sea, and Ferrara, the town of cyclists. Finally, you have the chance to discover the enchanting Renaissance town of Mantua, considered Italy’s “sleeping beauty”.


Day 1 - Venice

We welcome you aboard your new home-from-home from 4.30 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 savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia

Day 2 - Venice

After breakfast – and perhaps following a wander off the beaten track with your tour leader – we all meet up with our Venetian guide for a tour through the historic centre. 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. The guided tour will start from Piazza San Marco with a brief description of the monuments around it; then the walk continues towards the biggest “sestiere” of the city, Castello, up to Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo with its imposing gothic church and the Scuola Grande di San Marco (today city hospital). The guided tour ends at the Rialto Bridge; you have the afternoon free to enjoy the city at your own pace. (The programme may be subject to changes).

Day 3 - Venice – Pellestrina island (30 km)

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”.

Day 4 - Pellestrina island – Po Delta Nature Reserve – Adria (40 km)

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.

Day 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 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.

Day 6 - Zelo – Mantua (50 km)

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.

Day 7 - Mantua round tour (35 km)

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).

Day 8 - Mantua

Departure after breakfast.

Map and profile

Total length: 190/205 km
Total vertical up: 20 m
Terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved
Summary: this cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily
stages vary from 25 to 55 km – mostly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and
canals, or quiet country roads. The barge 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 a barge, to allow easier access onto cycling paths or
simply to enjoy the cruise.

Included/Not Included

-7 overnights
-Self-made packed lunch
-6 dinners
-Welcome drink
-Coffee and tea and other hot drinks on board
-Sheets and towels
-Courtesy kit
-Mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
-Bike helmet (to book in advance)
-App including maps, roadbook, points of interest and GPS tracks
-Digital tour information
-English speaking tour leader within an international group
-Second tour leader with a minimum of 22 people (only aboard Ave Maria)
-Guided visit in Mantua
-Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
-Visit of Amusement rides and Popular Entertainment Museum
-Visit of a historic glass factory on Murano island
-Some short walking tours
-Harbour charges
-Bus transfer Ferrara-Zelo / Ferrara-Adria

Not included
-1 dinner
-Beverages on board
-Museums, fees and extras in general
-Ticket for public transportation in Venice and lagoon (we suggest the ACTV 48hticket,
35 €)
-Venice Municipality Access Fee: it is expected to enter into force in summer 2023
(approx. 18-30 € to be paid on site)
-Everything not mentioned in the section “Included”

Date / Price

Season 1 | 6.04.2024
Season 2 | 20.04, 29.06, 13.07, 27.07, 10.08.2024
Season 3 | 4.05, 18.05, 1.06, 15.06, 19.10.2024
Season 4 | 24.08, 7.09, 21.09, 5.10.2024

Season 1 | 13.04.2024
Season 2 | 27.04, 6.07, 20.07, 3.08, 17.08.2024
Season 3 | 11.05, 25.05, 8.06, 22.06, 26.10.2024
Season 4 | 31.08, 14.09, 28.09, 12.10.2024

Price per person: below deck
1,200 € in a standard double cabin
1,550 € in single cabin
2,200 € in standard double cabin single use
900 € 3rd person in standard triple cabin
1,000 € in bunk bed cabin

Supplements per person
Season 2 | 20.04 - 27.04.2024 and 29.06- 17.08.2024
550 €

Season 3 | 4.05 - 22.06.2024 and 19.10 - 26.10.2024
700 €

Season 4 | 24.08 - 12.10.2024
850 €

250 € superior cabin (upper deck)
50 € special diet (gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan diets)

Bike renal
110 € Touring bike
270 € E-bike | limited availability
Insurance against theft and damage is included.
Own bicycles are not allowed on board.

Booking conditions

Booking conditions

Cancellation policy for individual bookings:
-20% up to 90 days prior to departure date
-40% from 89 to 45 days prior to departure date
-60% from 44 to 30 days prior to departure date
-90% from 29 to 7 days prior to departure date
-100% from 6 days prior to the departure date and no-show

Payment steps for charters:

  • 25% first deposit at the booking
  • 50% second deposit 90 days prior to departure date
  • 25% balance 30 days prior to departure date


City bikes are available in various sizes in unisex models. At the moment of booking, you can choose from the following bikes:
-Touring bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
-E-bike 9-gear Shimano

-aluminium frame
-rear rack
-comfort gel saddle www.selleroyal.com
-anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
-ergonomic bicycle grips
-Speed Lifter system

All rented adult bikes are equipped with:
-a cycle computer
-a Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
-a water bottle (0.75 l)
-a combination bike lock
-a helmet suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61 cm

Only for self-guided:
-front bar bag or 1 map holder
-repair kit per cabin: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers

From Venice to Mantua or reverseFrom Venice to Mantua or reverseFrom Venice to Mantua or reverse


If you want to cycle independently:
In order to cycle smoothly following our App, we suggest that you bring with you a
holder for your mobile phone to be fixed on the handlebar, as well as a power
bank (even if the App can be used offline, too).


From Venice to Mantua or reverse

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