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Peschiera - Mantova Cycle Route: along Mincio river by bicycle

Most cycleways are suitable for anyone: from the little and inexperienced ones to bike veterans. Peschiera - Mantova Cycle path, also known with the name of Mincio Cycle route is not an exception. For almost 50 kilometers it flanks the river Mincio running flat in the heathlands of Lombardy. I must tell you the truth: Peschiera - Mantova Cycle Route is a cycling route among the simplest I have ever traveled in my life... have you ever been there?

Map

Looking for the old railway...

Perhaps not everyone knows that between 1934 and 1967 the cyclists were not reflected in the waters of the Mincio river but the trains that connected Lake Garda to the city of Mantua. The railtrail single track crossed the landscape of the plain full of tourists and travelers, but also of workers and onlookers ... but as often happens, the train became obsolete soon and the section abandoned and disarmed to make room, years later, for one of the most famous cycle paths in Italy.

Cycling Mincio Cycle Route

 
Mincio Cycle Route, which crosses a part of the Po Valley meandering till the city of Mantua, starts from the province of Verona and more precisely from the touristic resort of Peschiera del Garda overlooking the lake with the same name. ciclabile mincio peschiera del gardaAfter overstepping one of the gates of Peschiera del Garda you go for a few tens of meters on the left and then cross going down some gardens and start cycling along the real Mincio Cycle Path, the river born a few seconds earlier out of Lake Garda.
The first part of the Peschiera - Mantova cycleway skirts the venician fortified wall of Peschiera become an UNESCO heritage in 2017 
Peschiera - Mantova Cycle Route is part of the itinerary number 7 of the Eurovelo cycling routes, that from North Cape, after more than 7000 km, arrives to the island of Malta. Running flat, the cycle path reaches in a few kilometers Dolci, Ponti sul Mincio and Mozambano, located in the Mincio Park.Ciclabile del MincioThe territory of Mozambano, even though you wouldn't say, is mainly hilly thanks to the morainic hills that characterize it. A visit to the medieval castle is not to be missed. From the village of Mozambano you can extend the route deviating to Castellaro Lagusello, one of the most beautiful villages of Italy, dominated by the manor house of the X-XI century.Pedalando sul MincioIn Castellaro Lagusello there is also one of the 111 stilt house sites of the Alps protected by UNESCO. The itinerary continues cycling regularly to the south continuing to go beyond the border between Veneto and Lombardy, between the province of Verona and Mantua. Valeggio sul Mincio, known for its tasty tortellini (the recipe seems to date back to the fourteenth century), appears on the left almost to guard the cycle path from above. Close to the village the cycle path crosses one of the most characteristic places along the route: Borghetto. Enlisted among the most beautiful villages in Italy, Borghetto boasts some mills, a picturesque bridge from where you have maybe the best views on the small village and an ancient story about the Lombards. Along the banks of the river Mincio it isn’t difficult to spot, especially in spring, some aquatic birds like Eurasian coots, mallards and common moorhens. Keep your camera ready and, who knows, maybe you’ll be able to capture some beautiful moments! Viaggiando lungo il Mincio
Entering definitely the territory of Mantua you’ll notice that each village has its own castle or its structural peculiarities, this is right the reason why I suggest that you cycle slowly to enjoy this day along the Mincio Cycle Path in full harmony with what surrounds you.
Probably, before arriving in Mantua, you’ll also be able to bump into a funny coypu, a sort of beaver with a wharf-rat tail. Coypus are not endemic of Italy but were introduced on our territory because of their fur. Nowadays they’re not hunted anymore and coypus have completely occupied the wetlands of the Po Valley and other areas in Italy damaging the territory.
 

Mantua... finally!

The triumphant arrival in Mantua, UNESCO heritage ste, takes place pedaling between the three city lakes along a very scenic bridge. The skyline of the city will immediately win you over as well as the many places of interest in Mantua: from the San Lorenzo monument to the Clock Tower, from the Tea Palace to the Captain's one, from the most famous Palazzo Ducale to Casa Mantegna without mentioning all the churches and the historic homes of the city. Don't forget to take a walk in Piazza Broletto and to taste the local cold cuts, the capunsei, the pumpkin tortelli and, if you still have a hole in your stomach, a pot of braised meat or stew.mincio cycle path

When to go and why

Peschiera - Mantova Cycle Route stretches entirely in the lowland offering landscapes very different from those of the Adige Cycle Path or of the Valsugana Cycle Path. The ideal periods to discover this corner of Italy is spring and the fall when temperatures are milder, moisture doesn't make you choke when pedaling and cycle-tourists pedaling along the Mincio are fewer. Another peculiarity of spring is that of granting the possibility to spot some newborn chicks swimming in an awkward way on the water, a good opportunity for practicing birdwatching!
In summer the Po Valley is a real oven and the moisture rate makes the journey difficult. In addition, due to the high number of visitors of Lake Garda, you may run into bike traffic jams. In autumn the lowland is often subject to the fog and, if you love horror movies or you aren’t interested in visiting villages and castles stand out in the sky from a smoky blanket, travel along Mincio cycle path at this time could turn out to be an unique, evocative experience! Ciclisti sul Mincio
 

What to see along the Peschiera – Mantova Cycle Path

Between the provinces of Verona and Mantua, Mincio cycle path connects Peschiera to Mantua in about 50 km but, along the original itinerary, you meet other deviations connecting to nearby villages or leading to Mantua through alternative ways, maybe passing through many interesting places to visit!
 Pedalare ciclabile del Mincio

To sleep... and eat!

To sleep along the Mincio cycle path I chose the Ostello del Mincio which is a cheap lodge divided in private rooms or dorms directly overlooking the river. In my opinion this place really deserves a visit also because from here you can start to go exploring the river with a canoe or by boat. A bed in the dorm is 20 € per person but if you are an affiliate of the AIG you spend 17€ a night. To have further information have a look at the official website!
To eat something typical you cannot miss a stop in Valeggio sul Mincio for tortellini, maybe after visiting the beautiful Borghetto.
 
You find further information on the area of the Mincio cycle path having a look on the tourist website of Lombardia region. Enjoy your pedaling between Veneto and Lombardia!!!

  • Peschiera del Garda: it’s one of the many starting points of the Mincio cycle path (it depends, after all, on point of views!!!). Stretching on Lake Garda, Peschiera boasts many fortifications, a beautiful historical center (often invaded by the Germans!) and some Roman excavations. Its proximity to theme parks like Gardaland, makes it a very sought-after destination!
  • Mozambano: it’s maybe the first real resort in the province of Mantua you meet along the cycle path. It boasts a beautiful castle of the XI century and a picturesque skyline.
  • Volta Mantovana: reachable with a deviation of 4,5 km from the original itinerary, Volta Mantovana is known because of its castle dating back, like that of Mozambano, to the XI century and the Gonzaga-Guerrieri Palace. From the Peschiera - Mantova Cycle Path the cycle section of the Corridoio Morenico Basso detaches connecting Castiglione delle Stiviere to Pozzolo and passing right through Volta Mantovana.
  • Valeggio sul Mincio: it’s one of the last villages in the province of Verona. Dominated by the Scaligero Castle (very suggestive and very much visited!), Valeggio sul Mincio is known especially for Villa Sigurtà and, from a gastronomic point of view, its excellent tortellini. If you pass from here, you can’t forget to plan a stop right here!
  • Rivalta sul Mincio:this small village in the province of Mantua used to live on fishing. Today it’s possible to stroll towards the Mincio passing through the ancient, picturesque fishermen village. From Rivalta you can set off for various canoeing or boat excursions along the course of the river Mincio to explore a part of the park and devote yourself to birdwatching. In Rivalta it’s possible to stop and sleep at the hostel paying really little!
  • Mantova:since 2008, with nearby Sabbioneta, it’s been a World Heritage Site because of its many monuments and architectural, cultural peculiarities left by the Gonzaga. A visit of Mantua requires a couple of days but it’s really worth it. Don’t miss the Duomo, the Rotonda di San Lorenzo and the Watch Tower in Piazza delle Erbe, the Ducal Palace and the other many civil buildings scattered in the historic center. Also the two bridges of Mantua, the squares and alleys..
  • The most beautiful periods for cycling along the Peschiera - Mantova cycle route are autumn and spring
  • To return to Peschiera del Garda you can take advantage of regional trains with bicycle transport between Mantua and Verona and between Verona and Peschiera del Garda.
  • Don't just go along the classic cycle path: discover the surroundings on the cycle and deviation alternatives
  • To sleep along the Mincio cycle path I chose the Ostello del Mincio which is an economic structure divided into private rooms or dormitories and is located directly overlooking the river. In my opinion the place is really worth a visit also because from here you can leave to explore the river in canoe or boat . Bed in dormitory € 20 per person but if you are affiliated with AIG you spend € 17 a night. There are also other alternatives such as apartments on airbnb discounted if you are not registered yet. Along the cycleway you can also find a good place to camp freely (from sunset to sunrise)
  • Along the cycle route there are parking areas for the camper, camping and accommodation facilities of every level.
  • Peschiera del Garda is quite expensive ... if you want to eat something typical dishes at a good price, choose one of the taverns or trattorias along the cycle route
  • Taste the tortellini di Valeggio, the pumpkin tortelli or a risotto in Mantua and the many cold cuts served with gnocco fritto or Chisœla
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Vero

ITA - Correva l'anno 1983 quando ha sorriso per la prima volta alla luce del sole estivo. Da sempre col pallino per l'avventura, ha avuto la fortuna di girare l'Europa e l'Italia con i genitori e poi, per la maturità, si è regalata un viaggio in 2 cavalli da Milano verso la Russia. Al momento giusto ha mollato il lavoro senza alcun rimpianto per volare in Nuova Zelanda dove ha viaggiato per cinque mesi in solitaria. Nel 2007 ha provato per la prima volta l'esperienza di un viaggio in bici e, da quel momento, non ne ha potuto più fare a meno... così, dopo alcune brevi esperienze in Europa, nel 2010 è partita con Leo per un lungo viaggio in bicicletta nel Sud Est asiatico, la prima vera grande avventura insieme! All'Asia sono seguite le Ande, il Marocco, il Sudafrica-Lesotho e #noplansjourney. Se non è in viaggio, vive sul lago d'Iseo! Carpediem e buone pedalate!

EN - It was 1983 when he smiled for the first time in the summer sunlight. Always with a passion for adventure, she had the good fortune to travel around Europe and Italy with her parents and then, for maturity, she took a trip in 2 horses from Milan to Russia. At the right moment he quit his job with no regrets to fly to New Zealand where he traveled for five months alone. In 2007 she tried the experience of a bike trip for the first time and, from that moment on, she couldn't do without it ... so, after some short experiences in Europe, in 2010 she left with Leo for a long cycling trip in South East Asia, the first real great adventure together! Asia was followed by the Andes, Morocco, South Africa-Lesotho and #noplansjourney. If he's not traveling, he lives on Lake Iseo! Carpediem and have good rides!

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