Mantua and the Mincio cycle path to Garda Lake
Mantua can be considered a city of water, a Venice in the hinterland of the Po Valley, a city in the form of a Palace. Water has always been a natural defence element, water as a guarantee of the fertility of these lands, of which the Gonzagas, the lords of the city to which they have always linked their name, have always made it a true artistic and architectural jewel.
Starting from the city, you can admire its beauties from the castle of San Giorgio, Palazzo Ducale, to Palazzo Te just to name a few, and then ready to choose a bike tour surrounded by nature, its parks, nature reserves, among its lakes, towards the Po. By following cycling itineraries within everyone’s reach, we have thought of different possibilities to explore the hinterland of this area and reach Lake Garda along the Mincio cycle path.
Day 1: Arrival in Mantua.
There are so many things to see in Mantua, you can easily go around by bike or on foot to discover its beautiful squares, enter the various historic buildings and visit its castle, if you are in the farmhouse you will be a bit out of town so it will be better to move by bike, otherwise the hotel is located in the city centre.
Itinerary 1: Mantua – Peschiera 44 km (one way only)
Starting from Mantua you will pass the nature reserves and the various parks that border the city, from the agriturismo you will start a little further on, always on the cycle path you will reach Borghetto (15 km from agriturismo/30 km from Mantua), in the province of Verona, a not-to-be-missed stage of the cycle path. One of the most beautiful villages in Italy, a small group of houses at the foot of the Visconti bridge on the banks of the Mincio river with its characteristic water mills (some of them still working!). Below you will notice a castle, the Scaliger castle of Valeggio sul Mincio. Valeggio is famous for the production of tortellini, a real speciality to try. The tower of the Scaliger castle is located inside the Parco Giardino Sigurta, a naturalistic park of 60 hectares that is really worth a visit. You can continue towards Peschiera del Garda for another 14 km, then there is the possibility to book your return by bus.
Itinerary 2: Suburbs of Mantua 20/25 km
The three lakes that embrace Mantua are a privileged place where you can admire the unmistakable monumental profile of the city. From the three lakes there are also numerous cycle paths to visit the territory:
in the periurban park of the city of Mantua there is a green route, which in several stretches follows part of the banks of the three lakes that the Mincio forms around the capital.
The stretch of Lake Mezzo is ring-shaped and runs along the two bridges of the city: from the Ponte dei Mulini bridge to the Cittadella gateway, it goes into the green area that houses the remains of one of the city’s fortifications and comes out, at the height of the green “di Sparafucile” tower along the San Giorgio bridge (soon a subway will avoid crossing it) from which there is a splendid view of the Renaissance profile of the Gonzaga city.
The other stretches continue on the right bank of Lake Inferiore towards the town or Lake Mezzo as far as Porta Mulina where you reach Lake Superiore. Here you can choose: on the left you go towards Belfiore (and from there you arrive to the village of Grazie), on the right it leads to bosco Fontana or bosco Bertone or you connect to Mantova-Peschiera.
Itinerary 3: Circular tour from Mantua 49 km
We follow the riverbank, where the river Mincio flows into the Po, the largest Italian river, to Govèrnolo, a riverside centre with a marina for mooring the numerous cruise ships, a historic tower with a clock, a Gothic bell tower and the characteristic navigation basins that govern the waters of the river, hence the name Govèrnolo. And then back on the other side of the river.