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. After exploring the enchanting Renaissance town of Mantua, considered Italy’s “sleeping beauty”, you gently wend your way along the majestic Po.
Through hamlets and into the surprising Ferrara, you reach the Po Delta, a unique wetland park which is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to several colonies of flamingos. The Po river flows eventually into the Venetian lagoon and your first stop will be Chioggia, known as “little Venice” and famous for its bustling fish market. At the end of the trip you’ll be welcomed by the wonderful Venice, a town that has lured passersby for centuries (and still does).
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 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 or simply to enjoy the cruise.
Easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for most people.
The tour is also suitable for children. If the child one day does not want to cycle, he/she can stay on the boat with one of the parents.
The trip exceeded our expectations and will hold wonderful memories for all of us. All your advice and direction made for smooth travelling and we had no troubles finding our way in Mantova or at the end of the trip in Venice! The Ave Maria boat was beautiful and quite modern. Our cabins were bigger then expected and very comfortable. The crew were exceptional – lots of fun, very helpful, knowledgable, good team players, very welcoming and friendly. There were 34 guests altogether – 17 from New Zealand (who were travelling together), 2 from Australia, 4 from Sweden, 2 Americans, 1 Swiss, 4 Germans, and the four of us. We all got along well. The bikes were great! Susanne and Linda Lee used the electric bikes and were able to ride every day without any problems. The weather was hot for the most part and we only had rain one afternoon for the last half hour as we were getting to the boat in Chioggia. The places that we docked at night were lovely and quiet and gave a unique perspective to viewing a town/city. The food was amazing!!! The chefs were very creative and introduced food from each region that we were in. Beautiful presentation and always fresh – impressive with the small number of staff and the number of people being fed.