This is my report about my experience with the cycle path from Peschiera del Garda to Mantova. I’ve always wanted to try it, and now that I have my new bike rack I could finally do it! The Peschiera Mantova clicle path runs along the river Mincio.
My husband and I drove to Peschiera on a Saturday morning and parked near the town centre and very close to the train station for 50 cents per hour (very cheap compared to the prices of Italian parking lots). You can see the parking in the map below (the red x).
From there we went by bike to the centre of the village. We got off the bike to carry it by hand along Via Roma. At the end of the street you pass under a door and cross the river. Then you have to go left. At some point you have to take a path on the left, which descends steeply along the river: the first 200 meters are really dangerous, full of loose stones. Then, fortunately, things change.
Peschiera Mantova by bike
The first hour was pleasant, the trail is partially shaded and runs along the river which has a beautiful colour. You can see rows of fishermen, ducks, swans.. a huge heron crossed the road flying right in front of me!
In an hour or so you arrive to Borghetto sul Mincio, a tiny and romantic village, but totally aimed at tourism. Sadly there is not even a public toilet and you have to order something in a bar to go to the bathroom. I would have gladly paid 1 € for a public toilet rather than buying something that I didn’t need.
After Borghetto the path is always in the sun, and the surrounding rural landscape becomes a bit monotonous, but nevertheless there are from time to time some beautiful views. We stopped to eat at Soave (Mantova) in a village bar (Bar Sport). They served us a huge and tasty toast at a really cheap price compared to the average city prices I am used to. The place was nice and relaxed in a decadent village (repainting the houses could help to make the town really pretty).
After lunch it took us another hour to reach Mantova. I expected to see the city and its beautiful monuments stand out over the lake but no, you can’t see them coming from here. Too bad. It’s still a pretty sight, quiet and pleasant, with green spaces, benches and even a nice bar along the lake. Before the bar, turn left and then right to arrive (along a paved bike path) to the train station of Mantova. From there we took the train (change at Verona Porta Nuova Station) to return to Peschiera del Garda. Unfortunately there is no lift at the Mantova station to reach the tracks. So my husband had to carry the bikes up and down the stairs. In Italy unfortunately things were done before there was any thought of people with bicycles, strollers, wheelchairs, etc.
The path is about 44 km long. We started in Peschiera at 11 am and arrived in Mantova at 3.50 pm (with a short stop in Borghetto and the lunch break in Soave). My final verdict and my suggestions are :
- Overall it was a quite positive experience. However, perhaps because I waited a long time to do it, I expected something more: more pleasant landscapes, more services along the way. I’ve never seen toilets nor fountains (but one), you always have to get away from the track and reach the nearest village (not far, sure, but …). I only saw a bike grill in Volta Mantovana but we didn’t stop because we had just stopped in Borghetto. But it looked nice!
- The track is almost all paved but in some strectches the pavement is old and a little bumpy.
- The stretch around Marengo has some ups and downs, that, even if small, were a bit annoying, especially because it was very hot!
- Those who are not trained may take only the stretch from Peschiera to Borghetto and come back. It’s probably the most beautiful part.
- It is better not to follow this track in warm days because after Borghetto the path is always exposed to the sun and it was very hot.
For further information, here you can find a beautiful and useful map www.turismo.mantova.it