Cabins are available from 4.30 PM. The meeting with the tour leader and the crew is scheduled at 7 PM
2. Mantua tour (40 km)
Today is dedicated to the discovery of this little visited cultural gem with its three picturesque “lakes” formed by the Mincio, and its surrounding countryside. Once a City State ruled by the Gonzaga family, Mantua is now considered by many as Italy’s “Sleeping Beauty”. In the late afternoon a local guide will lead the group through the highlights of the town.
3. Mantua – Governolo – Zelo (50 km by bike)
A short cruise along the lush banks of the Mincio takes us to Governolo, where the Mincio flows into the Po and forms the largest inland basin in Italy. At Governolo Lock, once a vital staging post for local navigation, we saddle our bikes and follow the Po through Ostiglia (famed for its medieval fortress and floating mill) and on to the village of Bergantino. Here we visit the charming Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum (entrance included). Finally, we reach Zelo, a sleepy village on the Canal Bianco, the waterway which runs parallel to the Po.
4. Zelo – Ferrara – Adria (50 km by bike + 60 km by bus)
After breakfast we continue our bike and boat adventure cycling towards Ferrara, another key City State of ancient Italy. We visit this historic town and discover its little touched centre which is still surrounded by the original city walls. From Ferrara a short transfer by private coach takes us to Adria. Once close to the shores of the sea which bears its name, Adria was an ancient Greek port famous for trading Baltic amber. Its remarkable museum also bears witness to its Etruscan, Roman and Venetian heritage.
5. Adria – Porto Viro – Chioggia (40 km)
An exhilarating day of discovery alternating sailing and cycling starts with a short cruise to our drop-off point at Porto Viro and the exploration of the Po’s delta. This unique wetland park is the prime reserve in Europe for herons and home to several colonies of flamingos. At the mouth of the River Adige, which flows fast and cool from the Dolomites we follow the Po-Brondolo waterway and reach the Venetian lagoon. Our overnight stop is the bustling and colourful fishing port of Chioggia, known as “Little Venice”.
6. Chioggia – Venice (30 km)
A morning visit to the fish market is recommended and, time allowing, we also climb up Chioggia’s millennial clock tower – the oldest in the world – for some breathtaking views. We then enjoy some island hopping in the lagoon itself by bike and boat, starting with our barge dropping us off on Pellestrina (home to the Ca’ Roman nature reserve); and continuing by public ferry for the short crossing to the Lido island. Celebrated by Thomas Mann (Death in Venice) and particularly fashionable with the artists and aristocracy of the Belle Époque, the Lido di Venezia is now home to the International Venice Film Festival and its galaxy of stars. Finally, our floating hotel takes us to our marina in Venice, for the culmination of our bike and boat holiday.
In the morning a local guide will let you discover the capital of the ancient “Serenissima Republic of Venice”, which held sway over much of the Mediterranean (and beyond) for centuries. After that you have a lot of time to soak up its timeless beauty or explore its islands.
Depart after breakfast .
The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Fissero/ Bianco canal, which runs parallel to the Po and connects Mantua to the Adriatic Sea. Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the boat’s captain.