Monday, May 5, 2014

Aboard the Ave Maria

When we arrived at the Ave Maria for our bike and barge tour we were welcomed by the captain Bert (from Holland) and the young Italian cook, Marcelliano, and his helper Sylvia.  Then we met the tour leader Hein from Holland and his helper Marco, a tour guide in training from the Dolomites. Then there is the mechanic Luciano, a gorgeous Italian.

There were two women in the lounge but they were the only other passengers.  It turns out that a large group coming from the USA cancelled (I think because of a bankruptcy or something) so we are a very small group.  There are six passengers and six crew for our bike and barge tour.

This is actually a good thing for us because we can get a very customized experience.  We eat together with the crew at one table and are now like one big family. Yesterday we went on a short group tour of the Castello area of Venice and some of the hidden gems. This is a spiral staircase for the servants (!) at the back of a palazzo.

Today we began the actual cycling part of the tour.  Both Harry and I were very nervous about managing to keep up but it's a very leisurely tour and was a lot of fun.  We stop from time to time for snacks and walking around so it's not onerous at all.  We're back now from the main ride and we made over 30 km, which is probably a record for me.  It certainly helps that the bikes are excellent, the terrain is practically flat and there was no wind.

Now I'm off to meet with Marcelliano in the kitchen for Italian cooking class.


  1. If that's a servant's staircase, wow, the interior residential area must be exquisite!

  2. You're right William. Sadly we didn't get to see the actual residence.

  3. You go on the best holidays.
    I thought your friend were on this part of the trip too ?
    Again you are having more cooking classes. I remember your last trip you had some classes too.

    cheers parsnip


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