Bike & Barge: Mantova to Venice – Ave Maria

Blending nature, culture and fine cuisine, this leisurely bike and barge tour along the waterways of the River Po offers more than just a taster of Northern Italy.

Depending on date, you will either travel aboard the Ave Maria from Mantova to Venice.  Prices based on 2 sharing a twin cabin aboard the Vita Pugna.

You will explore celebrated cities of art, one of Europe’s prime Nature Reserves and a wealth of tucked-away rural hamlets along the route, daily rides rewarded with authentic local dishes back on board.

From the glory of Venice, the lagoon leads us to colourful Chioggia.

We strongly recommend that you reserve your cabin early to avoid disappointment.

Calender 8 days

Difficulty: Moderate

From £2325.00 P/P

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Transfer to Mantova from your arrival point.

The mooring point is at Port Catena just a short walk from the centre of Mantova.

Take the time to explore one of northern Italy’s most beautiful cities. Mantova is filled with historical sites, a large part of the centre having been made a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008, including the sabionetta and ducal palaces.

Modern Mantova is still an Italian centre of art and culture with many modern art exhibitions, and still an important centre of opera.

Dinner is served on board the boat at 7pm.

Spend the day discovering more of the city and its surroundings, dominated by the famous Gonzaga family.

In the late afternoon we’ve organised a local guide who will show you the highlights of the city.

A short cruise along the Mincio takes us to Governolo where the river flows into the Po to form the largest inland basin in Italy.

We then cycle to Ostiglia (famed for its mediaeval fortress and floating windmill), and on to the village of Bergantino where we visit the charming Carousel and street Entertainment Museum.

We then proceed to Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco.

Cycle to historic Ferrara, known as the “city of bicycles”, which has a splendid centre enclosed by the city walls. A guided tour will show you its historic centre.

A bus transfer takes you to Adria, an important port of the classical era.

On board to Porto Viro where you start today’s ride in the maze of the Po delta close to the mouth of the River Adige.

Follow the Po-Brondolo waterway which links the river with the Venetian Lagoon.

Stay overnight in Chioggia, known as ‘Little Venice’.

We sail for a short time and then cycle to the village of Bergantino where we visit the charming Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum.

We reach the mediaeval fortress town of Ostiglia with its floating mill, and then on to Governolo Lock.

Rejoining the boat, we enjoy a lovely cruise into Mantova, arriving in the late afternoon. Mantova is sure to impress as one of the most beautiful Renaissance cities of northern Italy.

In the morning a local guide will lead a tour of Venice, and the rest of the day is then at your disposal to discover magnificence of Venice! After that you can just stroll around at leisure and make your own discoveries.

Our tour pack will include some suggested itineraries to get you started.

Breakfast on board and then more time in Venice if you have booked a late flight home. Return to the airport or stay for additional nights in Venice.

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Route overview

As flat as you can get! The cycle routes follow rivers and canals on tarmac cycle paths or minor roads. The Fissero/Bianco Canal which runs parallel to the River Po and which connects Mantova with the Adriatic will be your companion for much of the route.

Starting point of the cycling holiday: Mantova

What’s included

The Bike & Barge: Mantova to Venice cycling holiday includes the daily transfer of luggage to the next hotel and local support if required.

Subject to confirmation

  • 7 nights accommodation on a full board basis including breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Bike hire
  • Tour leader on board
  • Detailed route notes, roadbook & cycling maps (1 per room)
  • Harbour Fees
  • Emergency telephone number
  • Coffee and tea
  • Bed sheets, towels and courtesy kit
  • daily cabin cleaning
  • Visit to cheese factory and Gran Padano tasting
  • Visit of carousel and street entertainment museum
  • Boat excursion in Mincio Park Nature Reserve
  • Bus transfer Ferrara-Zelo / Ferrara-Adria


The barge Ave Maria is equipped with:

  • 4 Superior Double cabins above deck, approx. 11 m²;
  • 10 Standard Double cabins below deck, approx. 11 m²;
  • 3 bunk bed cabins (also available as Single cabins) below deck, approx. 7.5 m².

All cabins enjoy sizeable windows (the ones in the Superior cabins can also be partially opened), comfortable low beds, en-suite facilities, air conditioning and safety box. Bed/bunk size is 2.00 x 0.80 m. Most of the double beds can be separated into two single beds.

The air-conditioned living area measures 11 x 7.5 m and is divided into two parts:
the Restaurant (up to 33 seats) and the Lounge (up to 28 seats).

Extra features:

  • 2 Sundecks
  • Free hot drinks machine (including Italian ground coffee)
  • Free Wi-Fi in the common areas
  • Large 55” screen in the lounge for video
  • Dedicated bike storage (for approx. 40 hanging bikes)
  • Hair-dryers (limited number) available on request
  • Complimentary courtesy kit: soap, shower gel, shampoo, shower cap.

Not included

  • Flights to/from the start and finish
  • Evening meals (unless stated)
  • Local daily taxes (Payable at the hotel)
  • Helmets
  • Water Bottles
  • Travel Insurance
  • Bike Insurance (unless stated)
  • Welcome Meetings (unless stated)
  • Transfers (unless included)
Whats included

Check Availability

We have put together a fantastic selection of self-guided cycling holidays throughout Europe. All prices shown are per person and exclude flights.

Tip: To book, please select a day of the week on which the cycling holiday operates on. If the tour starts daily, you can pick any date. If there is a specific start date e.g. Saturday or Sunday only, please choose the day of departure from the list of dates.


Give us a call for bookings and enquires

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You’ll still find similar cycling holidays to the product range as previously displayed on Wheel2Wheel Holidays. However, if you cannot see what you are looking for, please contact us.

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