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Ponte Vecchio

Bike and Boat Italy

Day One:

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 stroll into town and savour the historic centre at its most evocative: Benvenuti a Mantova!

Day Two:

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 Three:

Mantua – Zelo (50 km)
After breakfast, we set sail from the "lakes" of Mantua and cruise through the lush wetlands that lead to Governolo Lock, where Mantua's River Mincio flows into the Po. Here, we saddle up and follow the broad sweeps of the levee towards Ostiglia, renowned for its medieval fortress and fierce fighting in 1945, as the Allies drove Hitler's forces back.
Next: Bergantino, home of the distinctive Museum of Fairground Rides and its collection of street organs, all expertly restored (and thunderous!). This village is also in the heartland of Grana Padano – the arch-rival of Parmesan – and a visit to the local cheese factory, sampling some well seasoned Grana, is de rigueur. We catch up with our barge in Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.

Day Four:

Zelo – Ferrara – Adria (50 km by bike + 60 km by bus)
This morning we cross the Po and ride southwards through a patchwork of farmland, orchards and hamlets, as far as 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 then take us back to our floating hotel in Adria, an ancient Roman port once washed by 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 Five:

 Adria – Po Delta Nature Reserve –  Island Pellestrina (40 km)
After a short cruise, we cycle into the delta of the life-giving Po. This unique wetland is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to a sizeable colony of flamingos. Weather permitting, as we continue towards Chioggia, we can also enjoy a break at a fine-sand beach nearby for a dip in the Adriatic – not forgetting a hot savoury piadina! Chioggia is also known as “Little Venice”, a colourful fishing hub. The overnight takes palce on the Island Pellestrina, just in front of Chioggia.

Day Six:

Island Pellestrina  – Venice (30 km)

Venice beckons, but first another world altogether: Pellestrina, the first of two islands we traverse today – a humble and tranquil fishing backwater, picturesque as ever with its cottages, boats and nets. A short island-hop by ferry lands us on the Lido. 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. We will also visit a historic glass factory on Murano island, with a glassblowing demonstration by a master artisan. After rejoining our barge, an unrushed cruise in front of St Mark’s square takes us to our final destination. After dinner we can savour Venice at night, now free of the crowds and at her most romantic: Benvenuti a Venezia!

Day Seven:

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, her explorers reaching as far as China and Newfoundland. 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 tours 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 Eight:

Departure after breakfast


Vibrant Venice

Canals, gondolas, and the Rialto Bridge. You think you know what to expect from Venice, but it turns out that no photo, however digitally enhanced, can hold a candle to the real city.


Quaint Villages

Po River is Italy's longest river, rich in both history and legend as you'll learn along the way. Hit the trail and pass through small towns that create such incredible character.


Incredible Architecture

In every major, and most minor, city are wonderful churches, ruins, and other works of architecture. From Mantua to Venice you will see unforgettable feats of the renaissance.

Over 100 different species of trees are found here, as well as an enticing array of wildlife, including sloths, a nearly endless array of monkey and thousands of bird species.

Dossier Disclaimer:

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

What to Take

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying and handling your own luggage.

Bikes and accessories

Girolibero bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model:

  • Touring bike 27-gear Shimano Deore

  • E-bike 9-gear Shimano


  • aluminium frame

  • mudguard

  • rear rack

  • comfort gel saddle

  • anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres

  • ergonomic bicycle grips

  • Speed Lifter system

 All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

  • 1 cycle computer  

  • 1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag

  • 1 combination bike lock

  • 1 helmet suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61 cm

Only for self-guided:

  • 1 front bar bag per cabin

  • 1 repair kit per cabin: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers

 All our helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.

Important notes 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).

• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)


  • Helmet

  • Water bottle

  • Waist pack or small day pack


  • 2 pairs of riding shorts (we recommend padded shorts and that you try them out before your tour)

  • 2 riding jerseys (quick-dry)

  • 2 pairs of quick dry socks for cycling

  • Comfortable shoes for biking and walking

  • Riding gloves

  • 2-3 tee-shirts or casual shirts

  • Trousers or jeans

  • 1-2 pairs of casual socks for non-cycling activities

  • 3-5 pairs of underwear (quick-dry)

  • Cool-weather jacket or rain jacket

  • Extra layers and gloves for cooler season or climate (thin, thermal, water-resistant)

  • Bathing suit

  • Sandals


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Razor

  • Hairbrush

  • Shampoo

  • Deodorant

  • Hand sanitizer


  • Passport, wallet and ID

  • Health insurance card

  • Travel insurance card

  • Cash and/or credit cards

  • Camera (with spare battery)

  • Plastic bags (for dirty laundry, wet clothes)

  • Electronic chargers (for the camera, e-reader, cell phone)

  • Adaptors or converters

First aid kit

  • Insect repellent

  • Antiseptic cream or antibiotic ointment

  • Sunscreen

  • Band-aids and ‘Second Skin’ for blisters

  • Salve for chafing

  • Medications (in original bottles with your name on them)

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