On horseback along the water
One day itinerary from Ostiglia to Mantova
The tour on horseback begins at the Arginino Piccolo farm near Ostiglia: go out from the farm, and, following the main embankment of the Po, you reach the high water bed. Then skirt the bank of the Po on the right, near the water.
The first isle you will see is Cirene, but it is reachable only by boat. A short way further, instead, opposite the village called Libiola, there is the Mafalda isle (about 20 hectares large), which is rich in poplar woods, banks covered with willows and beaches. On the isle there is also a game preserve of pheasants and hares. You can reach the Mafalda isle through a passage on the north.
Going on along the river, after one km or so you meet the isle di Sustinente o di Rodi, about 10 hectares large. You can reach it also directly from the Mafalda isle, by going through the bed of the Po, in the periods when the river is in low waters. Also in this case the entrance is on the north. Poplar-woods are cultivated on the isle.
Once you have visited the island, go back on the embankment and near Sustinente you can admire the splendid villa Guerrieri Gonzaga. Going on once more along the main embankment you will reach the mouths of the Mincio which flow into the Po and the locks of S. Leone and Governolo. Here, leave the Po and go on following the Mincio towards Mantova.
After a 4 hour trip, it is possible to have a stop at the San Leone farm at Governolo.
After having your lunch, go on once more on the main embankment till the bridge: here cross the river and continue on the left embankment of the Mincio, in direction of Mantua. In this area you enter the Parco del Mincio (Mincio Park), one of the most important wet lands in the north of Italy, characterized by different environments such as the morainal hills, the wet areas in the Riserva delle Valli del Mincio (Reserve of the Mincio Valleys) and the area of the lakes which surround Mantua. The stretch of the park allows you to see several species of local avifauna, and to admire the wild vegetation, mainly false acacias and willows.
After 15 km or so, you arrive at gates of Mantua, at Bosco Virgiliano. Passing under the railway, on the point where the Mincio becomes lake Inferiore, skirt the bank and you can see the breath-taking viewpoint of the Castello di San Giorgio. Then the route finishes at the Casa di Sparafucile. From here you can move to the centre and visit its various monuments, for example Palazzo Ducale, the Basilica di S. Andrea, Palazzo Te.