Aboard Vita Pugna
from 960 €
8 days / 7 nights, boat Vita Pugna
Web code IT009
Guided / Self-guided
Price per person
960 € in double cabin, season1
SA 2.04, 16.04, 30.04, 14.05, 28.05, 11.06, 25.06, 9.07, 23.07, 6.08, 20.08, 3.09, 17.09, 1.10, 15.10.2022
Season 1: 2.04.2022
Season 2: 16.04 - 30.04.2022 and 9.07 - 20.08.2022
Season 3: 14.05 - 25.06.2022
Season 4: 3.09 - 15.10.2022
- 7 overnights
- Full board (breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
- Coffee and tea and other hot drinks on board
- Sheets and towels
- Courtesy kit
- Daily short cleaning and mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change
- Bike helmet
- App including maps, points of interest and GPS tracks
- Digital tour information
- English speaking tour leader within an international group
- Guided visit in Mantua and Venice
- Visit of a cheese factory with tasting of typical Grana Padano
- Visit of Carousel and Street Entertainment Museum
Visit of a historic glass factory on Murano island
- Harbour charges
- Bus transfer Ferrara-Adria
- Beverages on board
- Museums, fees and extras in general
- Ticket for public transportation in Venice and lagoon (we suggest the ACTV 48h-ticket, 30 €)
- Everything not included in the section “Included in the price”
Supplements per person
350 € single cabin
300 € season 2
350 € season 3
410 € season 4
50 € special diet (gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan diets)
The prices for the extra nights in Mantua, Mestre and Venice will be updated in 2021.
Girolibero rental bikes including insurance against theft and damage:
85 € Touring bike
220 € E-bike
300 € 3rd person in cabin
Good to know
This tour offers the chance to choose if pedalling alone or with the whole group, following the tour leader.
Day by Day
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!
2. 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)
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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!
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)
Departure 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.
Total Length: 205 km
Total vertical up: 20 m
Terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved
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.
Leisure cycling in mostly flat areas, with only a few short ups and downs. Little effort required, suitable for everyone.
How to get there
Mantua is connected with the following airports:
Verona: 45 km, Venice: 120 km, Treviso: 130 km, Bergamo: 150 km, Milan: 180 km.
For further information on timetables and prices you can consult the following website: www.trenitalia.com.
Accommodation and meals
The barge Vita Pugna is equipped with:
- 10 Standard Twin cabins (including one accommodating up to 3 guests) of 7/8 m2.
All cabins are air-conditioned and are equipped with comfortable low twin beds and en-suite facilities and safety box. They also offer the convenience of attractive, traditional portholes, which can be opened for fresh air. Bed size is 1,90/2 m x 0,75/0,80 m. In each cabin, at least under one of the two/three beds there is an empty space (about 40 cm heigh), where you can store your luggage.
There is a spacious air-conditioned lounge/restaurant with 5 tables, accommodating up to 23 guests.
- 1 sundeck
- Free hot drinks machine (including Italian ground coffee)
- Free wi-fi in the common area
- Large 42” screen in the lounge for video
- Dedicated bike storage
- Hair-dryers (limited number) available on request
- Complimentary courtesy kit
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
- rear rack
- comfort gel saddle www.selleroyal.com
- 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 water bottle (0.75 l)
- 1 combination bike lock
- 1 helmet suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61 cm
Only for self-guided:
- 1 front bar bag
- 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.
Before your arrival, you will receive an email from us with the digital information material. It contains:
1. Link to download the App including maps, points of interest and GPS tracks (you can use the App offline, too)
2. Link to download the tour information material in Pdf:
- Tour notes
- Final tour details
- Travel guide with valuable information about the history, artistic heritage, landscapes and places of interest of the areas you pass through during your tour. Plus: local events, fun facts, suggestions on how to make the best of an extended break along the route, and tips on local wining and dining.
By your side
At your arrival on Saturday at 6.30 p.m., just before dinner, you will meet the tour leader and the crew. Every evening after dinner the guide will present you the cycling program of the following day.
This tour offers the chance to choose if pedalling alone or with the whole group, following the tour leader. When booking the tour you need to specify which option is chosen.
If you want to cycle independently, you are free to do it by following the App we will provide you. In case of an emergency you can contact the tour leader over the phone. If you change your mind during the week and you want to join the guided tour, please inform the tour leader the evening before.
If you choose the guided option, the tour leader will be always present during breakfast and dinner and will cycle every day with you.
Our tour leaders are carefully selected and rigourously trained by Girolibero. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. They are experienced enthusiastic travelers who have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, peoples, cultures and local food. Thanks to their knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice on how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix a flat tyre. As we like to say, our tour leaders are AOC (Controlled Designation of Origin), and will help you explore the land and live an unforgettable experience.
For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us as follows:
- office +39 0444 1278430 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30
- Vita Pugna boat phone number every day 8:00-20:00. The number will be specified in the Final Tour Details.
14 Client reviews
Departure 07-14 September 2019
Online from 04 November 2019I just wanted to write a short thank you to all your team at Giro Libero. We did the Mantua to Venice aboard Vita Pugna starting on the 7th September, and thoroughly enjoyed it, and have and will in future highly recommended it to anyone who asks us how it went. The team, Stefania our guide, Silvia and Dany the chefs, and Eduardo the Captain were absolutely fantastic. We have previously done Amsterdam to Brugge by bike/barge and the three Baltic countries, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by biking, and all agreed the Mantua to Venice was the best yet. Stefania was superb, a real asset to your team. Nothing was too much trouble for her. When we are ready to book our next trip we will definitely research any other holidays you manage.
Once again, thank you 100 times for our splendid trip
Departure 05-12 October 2019
Online from 26 October 2019We were in Italy for 2 1/2 weeks, and the bike trip was the best part!
Departure 07-14 September 2019
Online from 19 September 2019A perfect holiday for anyone wanting a cycle tour without the constant re-packing!
Departure 01-08 June 2019
Online from 13 June 2019It was a great holiday for me. A great format and great food. I cannot praise our tour guide Silvia enough. She was more than excellent and made a major contribution to the success of the holiday.
Travelling alone can be difficult but the group were very friendly. It was gentle tourism. When 18 people arrive in a small village in Italy on bikes the locals are mildly amused to see you. When 5 cruise ships arrive in Venice. It is an invasion.
Bernard and Sheldon
Online from 03 June 2019My wife and I have just spent 8 days on the . Vita Pugna . It was a fantastic trip.You are very fortunate to have such great people working for you.The captain Samuele, the two lovely chefs Esther and Irene and a great guide Hien made this one of the best holidays that we have had.They could not do enough to make sure that we all had a great time.The food, the information,and happy atmosphere were first class.We were also fortunate that the other passengers were very friendly and all mixed well.We will certainly be recommending your boat and cycling tours to our friends.Thank you all once again.
Departure 18-25 May 2019
Online from 31 May 2019The team of Fabio, Silvia, Barbera, and Eduardo where fantastic. The food was remarkable and the attention by Fabio as our guide was exemplary.
Departure 20-27 April 2019
Online from 23 May 2019Barca, equipaggio e tour leader perfetti. Itinerario bello. Particolarmente bello l'arrivo a Venezia, prima attraversando in bici la deliziosa Pellestrina e poi passando in barca davanti Piazza S.Marco gremita di gente... e noi sul ponte a bere Spritz!!!!
Online from 16 August 2017Viaggio meraviglioso a bordo della bellissima e accogliente Vita Pugna. Lo consiglio a chiunque voglia riscoprire un territorio dalla bellezza tutta da scoprire. Un sincero grazie alla crew e alla guida Michela.
Online from 12 July 2017Hi Maddalena,
I've been meaning to email you about the trip, I haven't posted anything on-line but wanted to tell you as you were our first connect. The trip was fantastic. From my interactions with you to our guide, Bert, to the crew Sylvia, Samuele and captain Giovanni. The riding was the perfect amount of time and the food at the end of the day was superb! I have been highly recommending Girolibero to everyone! I will definitely consider doing another trip with you.
Thanks again and sorry for the delayed reply.
Online from 31 May 2017Biking itinerary: perfect for me. Just the right amount of biking. Interesting stops. My favourites were the Grana Padano cheese factory and the museum of fair rides.
Accommodation on the Vita Pugna: very comfortable. Best food I have ever had on a trip! Love the coffee machine!
Crew: Super. Helpful and personable.
The bikes: Excellent. Well maintained. Easy to adjust seat and handlebars.
Online from 16 May 2017We had a wonderful time on our bike/barge trip, Mantua to Venice. Can't wait to do another trip with Girolibero, with Tamara, maybe, that would be great, she was a terrific tour guide. I am already looking at the Paris to London trip for 2018 so a quick question first:
Is it available as a guided tour only in July and August?
Filby Edwin John & Diane
Online from 21 September 2016We just want to let you know that we really enjoyed our biking holiday aboard the Vita Pugna.
Tammy and the other barge staff made it a fun and rewarding experience.
We have lots of fond memories of the biking and would certainly recommend your company to others
Clare, South Africa
Online from 12 July 2016Hi - we recently completed a wonderful boat and bike trip from Mantova to Venice with Licia and your very competent crew on board Vita Pugna. amazing experience, fun, well organised and the most amazing food! (...) we will definitely recommend it to our South African friends and I would like to pass on your details to our travel agent if that is ok?
Cheryl, Rhode Island, Usa
Online from 04 July 2016
We had a fantastic time on our tour! Everything was great - we can't say enough about how wonderful girolibero is. We especially enjoyed our guides,and the food was awesome! My husband and I hope to do another tour next summer.