Leg No1: from Mantua to San Benedetto Po (23.9 KM)

The Via Matildica starts in Mantua, a World Heritage city, and continues through the landscapes of the Po as it winds its way through the Po Valley. It finally reaches San Benedetto and the splendid Polirone Abbey.

Leg description

The first leg of the Via Matildica starts in Mantua, a UNESCO World Heritage city. The out-of-town route starts in the southern part of the city, in the area of Palazzo Te and the football stadium, which can be easily reached by public transport or on foot.

The gpx track on the map starts at Palazzo Te and continues along a pedestrian path, passing the football stadium and then crossing the railway level crossing just near the signs indicating the start and end of the Municipality of Mantua. Here, turn left into Viale Learco Guerra and continue straight ahead, passing alongside the rugby stadium. The road here is unpaved until you get to the barrier marking the boundary of the area of the old fort of Pietole. Turn left onto the short stretch of path that descends to the banks of the Mincio river and bypasses the fort, until you find the unpaved road that leads to Pietole Vecchia, the birthplace of Virgil.

At Pietole Vecchia (Andes in Latin) you leave the Mincio riverbank, turn right and go straight ahead, passing alongside the small public park (where there is a fountain) on the left and continuing along Via Argine Fossetta.

Continue along the small country road that then becomes the cycle/pedestrian path alongside the canal that first runs alongside San Biagio and then Bagnolo S. Vito. At the end of Bagnolo, cross the canal via a wooden pedestrian bridge and turn right to reach the small Via Levatella, which you will follow for about 1 km until you reach the crossroads with Via Canova. Here, turn right until you reach the provincial road. Cross the road with caution and proceed along the Po embankment towards the San Benedetto bridge.


MARCH 2023 UPDATE: the San Benedetto bridge is still undergoing an important renovation that is in full swing. The bridge is partially open in its pedestrian passage only on the right side (coming from Mantua) and presents some important safety obstacles in particular in the approach with a very busy road and without pedestrian space for about 700 meters.

The recommended alternative, to avoid crossing the bridge on foot and the associated uncertainties, is to take the public transport service at Bagnolo S.Vito (Apam line 31a) which takes you to San Benedetto Po in half an hour. Stops in Piazza Diaz (in front of the school) or at Ponte Travetti, just 200 meters from the Via Matildica and run every hour.

No problem for crossing by bike.


After crossing the bridge at San Benedetto, turn right to reach the road heading up the embankment and follow it to the left in the direction of San Benedetto, whose unmistakable silhouette can be seen after about 5 km.

Useful information

Rest areas (water and food): you will cross a built-up area with plenty of shops and public establishments to find supplies. In addition, in the city of Mantua, you can find grocery stores or café bars in San Biagio, Bagnolo San Vito or San Benedetto Po.

Access to public transport: easy access to public transport along the entire route. There are several public transport bus stops (to and from Mantua) in the localities of San Biagio, Bagnolo San Vito and San Benedetto Po and along the provincial roads that connect them. San Benedetto Po can also be reached by the Suzzara-Ferrara railway line, from which you can also travel to Luzzara and Guastalla, by changing at Suzzara.

Pharmacies: there are pharmacies in Pietole, San Biagio, Bagnolo San Vito and San Benedetto Po

Where stay

In Mantua, the starting point, the accommodation offer is wide and can satisfy all the different needs and budgets available, both for single travellers, couples, small groups or large groups.

You can consult the booking portals to search for availability for the period you have chosen, even directly on Booking.

In San Benedetto Po, the arrival stage, the offer is obviously less, but it has some structures of the highest quality:

  • B&B Polirone, Via Ferri 115, San Benedetto Po, tel. 348-9228396 – 0376-622165 –www.polirone.eu
  • A Casa dell’Antiquario, Via Battisti 10, San Benedetto Po 0376-614680 o 347-4985547 – www.bebacasadellantiquario.it
  • B&B Letizia, Via Ferri 106, San Benedetto Po, tel. 3484224660


  • Il tempo dei sogni – Via Bardelle 104/D, San Benedetto Po – tel. 0376615557 o 3381117994
  • Agriturismo Ca’ del Vento – Strada Schiappa 24 – tel. 347.8845256 – Sito
  • Corte Bertoia – strada Bertoia 4, – tel. 0376.612012 o 328.4161038 – Sito
Along the stage it is also possible to find hotels and B&Bs in Bagnolo San Vito, San Biagio and Pietole.

What to visit