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Mantua-Governolo (Lower Mincio - Po)

An evocative journey along the banks of the Mincio River

By bike         Great Interest: Panorama Great Interest: Hystory 

This bike itinerary winds within the Mincio Park: it mainly runs along the water (along lake shores near the city, along the lower Mincio River, through Vallazza Nature Reserve) on bike trails and, for some short stretches, on road.
It does not present any particular difficulty: it is entirely level or with very low-gradient slopes. The trail is mostly paved, with some stretches on dirt roads, and little shaded outside of towns. Some road crossings and urban stretches require particular attention.

Land between Mincio and Po along the way
Land between Mincio and Po along the way
(photo by: Parco del Mincio)

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Departing from Mantua train station, turn left on the cycling lane along Via Pitentino. Go down the slope and turn right to cycle along the whole path surrounding the city of Mantua, bordering Lago di Mezzo and Lago Inferiore (middle and lower lake) until the inlet of Porto Catena.
Go left along Via Trieste and, near the pedestrian crossing, turn left on Via Mario Cardone. Then go up the embankment, turn right and, immediately after the parking lot, turn left on the dirt road and follow Vicolo Maestro until it intersects Via Diga Masetti. Cross the road and make a very short stretch on Via Lodovico Ariosto, take the dirt road on the left and enter the Baden Powell Public Gardens.
Cross the gardens and take the subway under Via Brennero, keep right and follow Strada Bosco Virgiliano, a long tree-lined boulevard. Turn left before the traffic light to take viale Learco Guerra. After the sport area go straight on. The road turns to gravel and goes up the Mincio embankment, with a view on the Vallazza Nature Reserve. At the end of the road, go down the embankment and take a narrow dirt path on the left. The path crosses an area, which is characterized by thick, spontaneous wetland vegetation, and by the moats around the Napoleonic fortress of Pietole. Prolonged rainfall, and the consequent rise of lake water level, may make this path partly impassable. It is better in this case not to take via Learco Guerra, but to cross instead Via Parma and then Via Visi at the traffic lights, and take the cycling lane on the left, which runs parallel the provincial route SPexSS62, going towards Cerese di Virgilio.
Immediately after the hotel, turn left and take Strada del Corriere (the first part of the road is paved, then it turns to gravel). Near the Fortress of Pietole, the road connects with the main itinerary. Follow the riverside towards Pietole Vecchia (Andes) and go past the small tourist port on your left. Then turn right and follow the municipal road until the crossing: cross the road (going right you would reach Corte Virgiliana, going left you would get to the village of Pietole Nuova) and take Via Argine Fossetta. After the picnic area and playground (with indications for the Archaeological Park - EuroVelo 7), the road is reserved for bikes. Go straight on along the bike trail towards Bagnolo San Vito. The trail runs along the Fossetta and Fossato Gherardo canals, borders the Forcello Archaeological Park (set up around an important Etruscan settlement, whose site can be visited) and the village of San Biagio. In Bagnolo San Vito, go straight on at the crossing with Via Roma and follow the cycling lane along the canal, until the intersection with via Gradaro; or you can turn right, go along Via Roma, cross the provincial route SPexSS413, turn left and then right, take the fenced cycling lane along the provincial route SP54, and reach the village of San Giacomo Po, where you can go up the Po River embankment (ciclovia 2s). As an alternative you can turn left at the intersection with Via Gradaro and go towards the pumping station of Travata; there you turn right and follow the dirt path on the Mincio River embankment. Or you can take Via Gradara itself, go straight on the paved road until the Mincio River embankment, and there you meet the path coming from the pumping station.
Follow the river embankment towards Governolo, cross very carefully the provincial route SP33 and go straight on Via Bevilacqua, always keeping the Mincio River on your left.
At the crossroads, you can turn left to access Governolo (you will easily recognize the silhouette of its square tower), cross the bridge over the main branch of the Mincio River and, after a double curve, cross a second bridge over the ship canal (the boat lift can be observed).
Otherwise you can go straight on at the crossroads and follow the Mincio River right bank, which makes a wide bow and, after about 2 km, becomes the Po River left bank. You thus reach the village of Correggio Micheli.
As a last alternative, you can turn right at the crossroads, turn immediately right again, and follow via Ontano, a small and winding road formed by the Mincio River sediment, until Correggio Micheli. From there, go always straight on along the Po River left bank, pass under the bridge of S. Benedetto Po, and reach San Giacomo Po, where you intersect the itinerary coming from Bagnolo S. Vito. This is a good way to make a loop and go back to Mantua. Otherwise you can continue your trip, always on the Po River banks, and reach Borgoforte, then Sabbioneta, then the territories of Cremona and Parma... until Turin.

We wish to remind you that visits to Forcello Archaeological Park and the fortress of Pietole must be booked in advance at Pro Loco in Bagnolo San Vito and at the Municipality of Virgilio respectively.
Please contact Pro Loco for visits to the Museum of River Professions in Governolo di Roncoferraro and Bagnolo San Vito, too.
More info
Archaeological sites
Archaeological sites
TRAD Sito archeologico non visitabile
Architectural features
Architectural features
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