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Biking Vacation Lake Garda to Venice: Cycling Italy’s Veneto ​

Activity Level: Easy / Moderate  |  Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 mi  |  Daily Biking: 2 – 5 hr
Air package plus
10 days from only
Price includes roundtrip airfare.
Land only
7 days from only
Pre-trip Extension:
Verona · 2 nights $295

Post-trip Extension:
Venice · 2 nights $395
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Detailed Itinerary

Please note: For those traveling in 2015, your itinerary may vary slightly from what is presented below. 

Day 1 - Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Verona

Depart the U.S. for Italy. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Day 2 - Arrive in Verona

You arrive at the airport in Verona, Italy, where a VBT representative will meet you and help you transfer (approximately 30 minutes) to your centrally located hotel in Verona. The rest of the day is free to discover and dine on your own using your VBT City Information included in your Final Travel Booklet as a guide.

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please have airport staff page our driver with your last name so they may be notified of your delay. You may also contact our One Call travel assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service. Our drivers are only able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands after which you would be responsible for your own transfer. 

Verona is a pedestrian-friendly city. Easy strolling allows you to enjoy the city's large, quiet, pedestrian-only streets and plazas, the gentle flow of the river Adige and the city's attractive and fashionable population. The entire city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a favorite for history buffs and shoppers alike. Its most famous monument, the Arena—so well preserved, it is used today for unforgettable opera and theater performances—is the third-largest amphitheater in the world. During your  stay, you might visit the purported houses of Juliet and her famed, fictional suitor, Romeo. Their sad story made famous by William Shakespeare was set here. Explore the Palace of Reason, the lively medieval squares of Piazza Brà and Piazza delle Erbe, or the fine art gallery housed in the Castelvecchio fortress.

If you are visiting from mid-June to the end of August, don't miss the opera performances in the Roman Arena, a very short walk from our hotel. A little tip: local opera lovers say the best seats (particularly for acoustics) are the very affordable “Unreserved Stone Steps in Sectors D or E (Gradinata D or E).” You can buy these right before the performance at the ticket office or—best—in advance online at www.arena.it/en-US/HOMEen.html. An open-air opera in the Arena is an unforgettable experience.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you fly in earlier than the scheduled program dates, transportation from the airport will be at your own expense.

Day 3 - Meet Trip Leaders / Warm-up ride / Welcome reception

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your fellow travelers and Trip Leaders at 12:00 pm at our hotel in Verona (Hotel Giberti, via Giberti 7, Verona; Tel: +39 045 800 6900). They will give a short overview of the day ahead and provide tips for lunch on your own in the city. Please be ready in your biking clothes before we meet again after lunch. 

If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled later than 12:00 pm, or if you are delayed, please contact the hotel, and they will pass your message along to your VBT Trip Leaders. In the event of delays, please see the section “For Travel-Related Emergencies.” VBT highly recommends flying to Italy at least one day before the tour begins. This allows you to rest and recover from jet lag before you begin sightseeing and cycling.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Extension guests: Meet your fellow travelers and Trip Leaders at 12:00 pm at our hotel in Verona. Please be ready in your biking clothes for a safety clinic and warm-up ride. Our Trip Leaders will give a short overview of the day ahead and provide tips for lunch on your own near the hotel. Check out is 11:00 am; you may store your luggage at the reception desk. Luggage will be picked up later and transferred to the next hotel.

Our group gathers again at 1:30 pm. After a safety clinic, we will cycle country roads and riverside bike paths to the delightful lake village of Lazise and our luxurious hotel on Lake Garda. This evening, we get acquainted over a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

Day 4 - Peschiera / Borghetto / Monzambano

Our morning route leaves the shore and rises through scenic vineyards and fields, offering picturesque views of Lake Garda. From Peschiera, we follow a scenic bike path along the river Mincio en route to Monzambano, where we ride over the low hills of southern Garda. We make a stop in Lombardy to have lunch at a local winery, where we can savor specially prepared local specialties and taste some of the wines for which the area is so well known.

In the afternoon, we pedal to the village of Borghetto, acclaimed as one of the “100 quaintest villages of Italy” by the Italian guidebook “I Borghi più Belli d'Italia.” And after a short visit we follow an easy bike path back to Peschiera. From there you can opt to shuttle or continue all the way to our hotel.

Back at the hotel, you might indulge in the outdoor swimming pool, the wellness center, explore the gardens, or take a stroll in town.

Dinner tonight is on your own. You'll find many options in Lazise, where memorable restaurants line the lakefront.

Day 5 - The Berici Hills

This morning a shuttle takes us in the heart of the Berici Hills, a group of high limestone hills southwest of Vicenza. Interspersed among the hills are thick forests, rolling vineyards, and high cliffs dotted with caves once inhabited by prehistoric man—including the San Bernardino caves, where Neanderthals found refuge more than 200,000 years ago. The romantic Palladian villas of the 16th century also adorn this beautiful landscape.

We set off on the Wine Route of the Berici Hills, following a rolling course through picturesque villages dotted with elegant villas. Some of these have been converted into working farms, while others are fine restored mansions, preserved as unique examples of Italy's cultural heritage.
One of the beautiful villas that we encounter on our way is the setting of our picnic lunch and oil tasting. The villa was originally the home of the Italian scholar and explorer Antonio Pigafetta, the very first one to complete the circumnavigation of the world between 1519 and 1522 during the expedition with the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. It is today still inhabited by a countess. Partly built with the local Nanto stone, and decorated with fine frescoes, it is one of the finest examples in style and magnificence of local villas.

Later we arrive at our elegant hotel, Villa Michelangelo, set in a private manicured garden with sweeping views of the Berici Hills. Perhaps you'll take a refreshing dip in the large swimming pool surrounded by olive trees before indulging in the refined cuisine at the hotel restaurant tonight.

Day 6 - Vicenza and the Villas of Andrea Palladio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rolling hills and an easy bike path along the Bacchiglione River take us today to Vicenza and its many treasures. Lunch is on your own in Vicenza, a bike-friendly city that you will love for its small size and bustling heart. Our local guide meets us at the beautiful Piazza dei Signori to show us some of the most beautiful buildings by Andrea Palladio, a 16th-century architect who became famous as the first person to recognize villas as an economical, healthy and beautiful place to live and work. This concept was ahead of its time, and the villas he created have earned recognition from UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Our tour starts at the superb Basilica and continues to the Olympic Theater, one of the last of Palladio's works and one of the only three Renaissance theaters still remaining in Europe.

Later, take time to relax in our hotel library and elegant common rooms, before taking a short shuttle tonight to our dinner venue: a working country farm where olive and wine, cereals, fruit and vegetables are grown on 13 hectares (32 acres) of land, extensively covered with chestnut and oak trees. We'll enjoy a cooking class by chef Davide Pauletto before our dinner there.

Day 7 - Marostica / Bassano del Grappa

Today we leave Vicenza to cycle on easy, flat country roads past farms and rural areas in the northern part of the Veneto region. Our destination is Bassano del Grappa, a lively and historic city in the foothills of Mount Grappa.

We pause briefly for lunch en route in Marostica, a medieval walled town whose very unique square was designed as a chessboard.

Then continue cycling to Bassano, walking over the symbol of the city: it's “Ponte Vecchio”—a covered wooden bridge designed by Palladio. As we pass by the historic Grapperia Nardini distillery, located here since 1779, we know we are at today's finish line.

Settle into our centrally located hotel, and enjoy time to stroll this beautiful little city. Later, visit the Poli Grappa Museum to taste grappa and learn about this popular Italian distillate.

Dinner is on your own tonight; you'll find plenty of options in the city.

Day 8 - Valsugana biking path

We start the day with a shuttle to approximately 1,300 feet (396 meters) up the verdant mountains of the Trentino region to Lake Caldonazzo. From there a scenic route, mostly a paved biking path along the Brenta River, takes us back to our hotel in Bassano. As we descend along the valley, admire an ever-shifting landscape of apple trees, vineyards and narrow gorges and canyons. Picturesque villages like Borgo Valsugana on our way invite us to take a refreshing break. 

Back in Bassano tonight, we have time for a last stroll before our festive farewell dinner in a local restaurant on the river banks.

Day 9 - Transfer to Venice / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: your tour ends this morning after breakfast. You can take a taxi on your own to the Bassano train station to return to Verona. A taxi ride to the train station only takes a few minutes and costs approximately 10 euro/$14 USD. If you prefer, you can travel with the rest of the group to the Venice docks. Our private motor coach will drop you off at the Venice docks on the mainland. You will be arriving at approximately 10:00 am. If you wish to continue into Venice proper, you will need to take one of the following modes of private or public transportation:
ALILAGUNA hydrofoil to St. Mark's Square takes 1 hour and the ticket costs 15 euro. The stop is next to the private water taxi stop.

  • Public Bus #5 from the bus terminal (a 10 minute walk from our coach drop off point). Ticket costs 6 euro and the ride takes 30 minutes. Or take a private ATVO bus that takes about 20 minutes and leaves from the bus terminal as well. All the buses stop at Piazzale Roma, very close to the Santa Lucia railway station.
  • Luggage carts are available from our coach drop off point to help you carry your luggage. You can use 1 euro coins or USD quarters. The airport is located at the Venice docks.  

VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, we say goodbye to our Trip Leaders and board our private motorcoach to Venice. We will arrive by bus at the Venice airport docks, one of only two city gates accessible to car traffic. There, a local guide will welcome us and help us board a private water taxi that will take us to our centrally located hotel. Be prepared to carry your luggage for a very short way. You will arrive at the hotel at approximately 11:15 am. At the hotel, the guide will be available to answer your questions and help you prepare to explore the city on own. She will also offer an optional city walk, the cost of which will be shared among those participating. You have the rest of the day to explore Venice.

Day 10 - Depart for U.S.

Early this morning*, transfer to Venice airport for your flight back to the U.S. Be prepared for an early transfer by private motorboat to the Venice airport docks. VBT recommends that you check the transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” the night before your flight. The transfer is prearranged and prepaid by VBT**.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

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