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Bike and Barge in Italy the "Dutch Way": Mantova to Venice
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Bike and Barge in Italy the "Dutch Way": Mantova to Venice

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 24 people
Destination(s): Italy  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Barging  
Season: April - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1190 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1985 US Dollar (USD)

The tour is entirely on flat terrain and the daily cycling stages vary from 28 km to 55 km. Much of the pedaling is along rivers and canals on tarmac cycle paths or roads with a low volume of car traffic. It is envisaged that the boat will sail some of the way during breakfast or evening meal to make getting out of the towns easier or to shorten the stages. During the weeks in which departures are from Venice to Mantova, the “daily program” needs to be read in reverse order. This tour can be done guided or self-guided, for the same price. Passengers may elect to ride the barge all day if they wish. When booking your tour let Margie know if you wish standard bicycle or some electro bikes are available.

The itinerary winds its way along the Mincio and the Po, penetrating into rural areas of the Italian countryside that are still uncontaminated, and ends in the warm embrace of the Venetian Lagoon. This territory has been reclaimed from the marshes for many centuries now and is framed by green pine-woods, which offer protection for numerous species of animals. The work of man overlaps nature in a constant game of roles: reclaimed land alternates with natural canals, fishermen’s huts are camouflaged in the reeds, and bridges formed of boats reduce the distances between strips of sand.

Available Tour Dates:
- Comfort barge Vita Pugna dates tour starts and ends on Sunday.
- Comfort deluxe barge Ave Maria makes this same tour Saturday to Saturday. Contact Margie at 4 Winds for Ave Maria schedule and pricing. Ave Maria is a "new" comfort deluxe barge- same tour routing.
- From Mantova to Venice on Vita Pugna:
* April 29 (low season)
* May 13,27
* June 10, 24
* July 8,22
* August 5, 19
* September 2, 16, 30
* October 14,
- From Venice to Mantova on Vita Pugna
* May 6, 20
* June 3, 17
* July 1,15,29
* August 12, 26
* September 9,23
* October 7, 21 (low season)
Saturdays are start and end dates for the Ave Maria.
April and October tours are low season priced.
Tour Itinerary for either vessel(subject to necessary changes at discretion of captain):
- Comfort Deluxe barge Ave Maria tours are Saturday to Saturday. Ave Maria has three cabin selections, lower deck standard double, upper deck double superior and lower deck bunk bedded cabin.
- Comfort barge Vita Pugna tours are Sunday to Sunday.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1 or Day 8: Mantova. Bicycles are available from 11 a.m. at the boat, which is moored at Porto Catena, just a short walk from the center. If your tour ends in Mantova you bid farewell after breakfast. From Mantova you can continue on to all points in Italy.

Day 2 or Day 7: Mantova – Castelguglielmo (38 km). The boat takes us to Governolo, stronghold of the Mincio Pirates: here, you take our bikes and start our ride. We cycle towards San Benedetto Po, home of an ancient monastery. We continue following the Po as far as Revere, summer residence of the Gonzaga dynasty. The last stretch of road brings us to the harbor of Ostiglia on the Fissero/Bianco canal, where you board the boat. A short stretch of navigation brings us to Castelguglielmo. Overnight: Revere if the level of the Po is suitable.

Day 3 or Day 6: Castelguglielmo – Ferrara – Adria (55 km). Departure for Ferrara, which is the historic center, still surrounded by the old city walls. The great number of cycle paths and the widespread use of bikes have earned Ferrara the name of “the city of bicycles”. At the end of the day, on board Vita Pugna, you reach Adria - the pearl of the Polesine, an ancient Greek port, famous for trading amber coming from the Baltic, which gave its name to the sea it faced. Overnight: Ferrara if the level of the Po is suitable.

Day 4 or Day 5: Adria – Porto Levante (48 km). We go deep into the maze of the Delta, an uncontaminated paradise between the marshes and lagoons of the Po, pedaling in the heart of nature. The destination today is Porto Levante, a small marine village of ancient traditions.

Day 5 or Day 4: Porto Levante – Chioggia (34 km). The Vita Pugna leaves us on the other bank of the Po di Levante. We are approaching Albarella, suspended between water and land, as you pedal between the Delta and the mouth of the River Adige. From Cavanella d’Adige, the farthermost border between the provinces of Rovigo and Venice, you then follow the Po-Brondolo Waterway, which links the river to the Venetian lagoon. We will stay overnight in “Little Venice” and a visit to the fish market at dawn is an absolute "must".

Day 6 or Day 3: Chioggia – Venice (28 km). The Vita Pugna brings us to the Oasis of Ca’ Roman, a sandy islet surrounded by pine-woods. Pedaling along the lagoon, you reach Pellestrina: from here, you ride on the new cycle path as far as the ferry landing stage. A short boat ride takes us back up the Lido, along the ‘Murazzi’, with a stop in Malamocco, the ancient harbor. Overnight in the Venetian lagoon.

Day 7 or Day 2: Venice – Riviera del Brenta – Venice (45 km). After a wonderful awakening with a view on the lagoon, you will head towards Padova riding along the Brenta canal. This is a very famous area thanks to its wonderful Venetian villas. We will then go back to Venice, for the last overnight stay.

Day 8 or Day 1: Venice. After breakfast and the customary goodbyes, free time for individual visits of Venice, or return home.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Prices (2012):
- $1535 pp/dbl on NEW comfort deluxe barge Ave Maria lower deck. $1310.00 pp/dbl on comfort barge Vita Pugna. Book Now!
- Early Bird discount when paid in full at time of booking - until further notice.
- $400 supplement for a single cabin
- $90 bike rental standard bike, $220 for electro-bike (must reserve).
- Price for a 3rd person in a triple cabin discounted.

Price Includes:
- 7 overnights on board barge with breakfast
- Packed lunches and dinners (meal drinks provided except alcoholic beverages which may be purchased)
- Luggage transport
- Sheets and towels
- Information pack, road book
- Bicycle tour leader

Price Excludes:
- Helmet - recommend bringing your own
- Tickets for public transport to and from barge dock location museums not specified above and other not specified above extras
- Crew Gratuity
- Travel Insurance see web site for link to Access America Insurance.

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