Leading Specialists in European Barge Cruises

La Bella Vita

Luxury hotel barge italy

Overview

Bella Vita is a First Class category river boat.

This barge is perfect for: Couples, Families, Groups of friends, Wine appreciation, Historic interest, Charming Villages.

La Bella Vita is a stylish 20 passenger vessel with two upper-deck junior suites and eight staterooms, each with en-suite facilities. The dining room, bar and saloon areas are bright and spacious and the entire barge is air conditioned. Louvred doors open to the side decks to give a perfect viewing platform, whilst above is a huge sun deck with comfortable sun loungers. For those who wish to explore the area further there are bikes available on board and an expert tour guide to take guests on some fascinating excursions.

Delicious regional cuisine, fine Italian wines and the services of an attentive crew of seven will make this an unforgettable cruise.

The cruise begins in Venice and then continues on to beautiful, charming little islands in the Veneto Lagoon – and then inland on the River Po to Renaissance towns largely undiscovered by tourists.

Beginning with a lovely evening cruise through Venice, some of the highlights of the week include: walking in pretty town squares and visiting uncrowded churches with amazing frescoes and ceilings; touring the Naval museum; visiting the fishing village of Choggia and exploring the market with the chef; wine tasting in a family-owned vineyard; discovering the Renaissance towns of Ferrara and Mantua; and a dinner off the barge at a private villa.

Bella Vita is a delightful way to discover the Veneto region and can be added on to your stay in the Italian Lakes District and/or a few nights in Venice!

LA BELLA VITA AT A GLANCE:

20  GUESTS

2 UPPER DECK SUITES + 8 LOWER DECK STATEROOMS
All with en-suite bathrooms
Upper Deck suites: 135 sq. feet
Lower Deck staterooms: 103 sq. feet

7 CREW

140 FEET (42.7 METRES) LONG

10 BICYCLES

AIR CONDITIONING/CENTRAL HEATING

COMPUTER FOR GUESTS’ USE

LARGE SUNDECK, SPACIOUS SALON & SEPARATE DINING ROOM

AIR CONDITIONED MINIBUSES FOR EXCURSIONS

Itinerary

In 2020 we offer two cruise itineraries on La Bella Vita. One is the Classic Cruise itinerary and the other is a special departure Opera Cruise on 16th August, featuring various theatre visits and a performance of Verdi’s Nabucco at the stunning Roman Amphitheatre in Verona.

Classic Cruise Itinerary

Sunday, Day 1 Venice
Guests are met at the Hotel Laguna Palace in Mestre or Piazzale Roma in Venice and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to La Bella Vita for a Prosecco welcome. An afternoon cruise takes us along the Giudecca Canal past some of Venice’s most famous monuments: the Chiesa del Redentore, the impressive Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and the Punta della Dogana to our mooring outside the Naval Museum. Then time for a stroll to St Mark’s Square and a brief tour of the Doge’s Palace before dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Venice to San Pietro in Volta
Guided walking tour to Castello District, perhaps discovering some hidden parts of the city of Venice: the gardens of the Biennale Exhibition of Modern Arts, Palladio’s Church of San Pietro in Castello, the Naval Museum with a model of the Bucintoro (Doge’s Boat) and the Pavilion of Gondolas housing Peggy Guggenheim’s own vessel. Late afternoon cruise to Pellestrina which separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, along the Canal of the Orphans passing lagoon islands with their ancient monasteries, painted fishing boats and tiny churches. Time perhaps for a walk or cycle ride along the 18th century Istrian sea wall. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 San Pietro in Volta to Taglio di Po
After breakfast, we cruise to Chioggia, city of Goldoni’s plays. Here we visit the 18th century Church of San Domenico set on its own island, to see Carpaccio’s St Paul, his last recorded painting and other works of art by Tintoretto and Bassano. We also admire the Piazzetta Vigo and visit the colourful fish market. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy a short tour of Chioggia’s pretty canals in a traditional locally-built boat, before re-joining La Bella Vita at the Po Delta. Passing through a nature reserve with flamingos and occasional heron, snipe and other wildfowl, we travel upriver to Taglio di Po for dinner ashore hosted by the owners at the beautiful 17thC Villa Ca’Zen, a private stately home by the river where Lord Byron courted the Countess Giuccioli and wrote some of his best poetry.

Wednesday, Day 4 Taglio di Po to Bosaro
This morning we join the Bianco canal and cruise to Adria, an ancient Etruscan town where we  visit the Archaeological Museum. After lunch on board, we drive to the Bagnoli Estate to tour the Renaissance gardens and wine cellars of the 17thC Villa Widmann Borletti to enjoy a private tasting of their renowned estate-grown vintages. This winery has been supplying Venetian society for centuries. Afterwards, we rejoin la Bella Vita at Bosaro. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5 Bosaro to Governolo
Morning excursion with a guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara, including the Schifanoia Palace, renowned for its fabulous 15thC frescoes. We also admire the exterior of the Estense Castle and its moat and visit the magnificent cathedral with its façade of sculpted images described as an illustrated Bible. Return to the hotel barge moored in Zelo for an afternoon canal cruise past villages and farmsteads to Governoloolo and dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6 Governolo to Mantua
Our final cruise has a dramatic approach to Mantua, home of the poet Virgil, artists Mantegna and Donatello and a captivating lakeside setting. Mantua displays extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, portrayed in the 14thC Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica and theatre. The intricate frescoes, Gallery of Mirrors and exquisite Rivers Room and 12,000 paintings and sculptures all create a Grand Finale to our Italian Renaissance adventure. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 Mantua
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the Hotel Laguna Palace in Mestre or Piazzale Roma in Venice.

*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.

Cruise Itinerary Special Opera Cruise 16th August, 2020

A magical, musical, operatic cruise aboard La Bella Vita in Italy, the highlight of which is a visit to the Opera at the stunning Roman Amphitheatre in Verona on Wednesday August 19th to see Verdi’s Nabucco.

Detailed Itinerary Opera Cruise

Sunday, Day 1, Venice
Guests are met at the designated meeting point in Venice and transferred to La Bella Vita in Mantua for a Prosecco Welcome. Our late afternoon cruise takes us along the Giudecca Canal past some of Venice’s most famous monuments: the Chiesa del Redentore, the impressive Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and the Punta della Dogana to our mooring outside the Naval Museum. We then take a spectacular tour of the famous Doge’s Palace before a delightful first dinner courtesy of Chef Andrea. Perhaps an evening stroll in St Mark’s square before your first night on board.

Monday, Day 2, Venice to San Pietro in Volta
After breakfast we visit the magnificent Teatro La Fenice, where the premières of operas by composers such as Rossini and Verdi were performed, it was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1996, but after a complete refurbishment of its spectacular interior, the opera house re-opened in 2004. After lunch on board we cruise to Pellestrina where we have the chance to take a sunset stroll or cycle along the 18th century Istrian sea wall. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3, San Pietro in Volta to Taglio di Po
This morning we cruise to Chioggia, where we visit the picturesque town centre and colourful fish market, as well as taking a stroll through the beautiful Piazzetta Vigo and admiring the beautiful cathedral. Lunch on board is followed by a gorgeous afternoon cruise through a nature reserve where guests may spot the likes of flamingos, heron, snipe and other wildfowl. Our dinner this evening is hosted by a Countess at the beautiful 17th century Villa Ca’Zen, a private stately home where Lord Byron courted the Countess Giuccioli and wrote some of his best poetry.

Wednesday, Day 4, Taglio di Po to Zelo
This morning we drive to the Bagnoli Estate where we tour the Renaissance gardens and wine cellars of the 17th century Villa Widmann Borletti, for a private tasting of their renowned estate grown vintages. This winery has been supplying Venetian society for centuries. After the tasting we return to the barge and cruise downstream, entering the Po River and mooring at Levante. Then we head to Verona for a delicious al fresco dinner at a local restaurant, followed by the highlight of the week: Best seats in the house at the amazing Roman amphitheatre, Verona to see Verdi’s Nabucco.

Thursday, Day 5, Zelo to Governolo
Our morning cruise to Zelo takes us past some delightful villages, farmsteads and quintessential Italian countryside. After lunch on board we take a guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara, including the 14thC Estense Castle with its moat, drawbridges & marble balconies and the Palazzo Municipale where we can see the very pretty Camerino delle Duchesse. Yet another highlight is our visit to Teatro Comunale, a distinct opera house, opened in 1798 that is now a cultural hub for the present-day Ferrara. Dinner on board

Friday, Day 6, Governolo to Mantua
Our final cruise has a dramatic approach to Mantua, a Renaissance city with a captivating lakeside setting and home to Verdi’s opera Rigoletto. Mantua displays extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, portrayed in the 14th century Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica, intricate frescoes, the Gallery of Mirrors and the exquisite Rivers Room. We explore the city further, finding “Rigoletto’s House” near the cathedral, then finally, we visit the intimate Teatro Bibiena, a delightful baroque theatre with a bell-shaped interior that opened with a concert by a 13-year-old Mozart in 1770. A wonderful finale to our Italian opera adventure. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7, Mantua, Venice
After breakfast, disembark La Bella Vita and transfer to your drop-off point in Mestre or Venice.

Prices

2020 PRICES

AccommodationValueRegular
Stateroom per person€3,490.00€3,950.00
Junior Suite per person€4,250.00€4,790.00
Single Supplement€1,350.00€1,550.00
Charter Max. 10 pax.€55,000.00€61,500.00
Charter Max. 12 pax.€57,000.00€63,800.00
Charter Max. 14 pax.€59,000.00€66,100.00
Charter Max. 16 pax.€61,000.00€68,400.00
Charter Max. 18 pax.€63,000.00€70,700.00
Charter Max. 20 pax.€65,000.00€73,000.00

Note all our prices are in euros. Please ask us if you live in the USA and would like prices in US dollars. We convert to Australian dollars at current exchange rates on the day of payment of deposit/full payment.

Departure Dates 2020 (Sunday)Rate
March 29, April 5,12,19Val
April 26Reg
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31Reg
June 7, 14, 21, 28Reg
July 5, 12Reg
July 19, 26; August 2, 9, 16, 23Val
August 30; September 6, 13, 20, 27;Reg
Oct 4Reg
October 11, 18, 25Val

Inclusions: Local transfers to and from the hotel barge (transfers are between 15 minutes & 2 hours depending on the cruise direction), a luxury 6 night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef, an open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of 7 crew and use of barge facilities, which include bicycles.

Please note: La Bella Vita usually cruises on the Bianco Canal, however the Italian Waterways Authority occasionally advise that the cruise should operate on the River Po which runs parallel to the Bianco Canal.  The Waterways Authority give notice of any changes 1 day prior to sailing, therefore you would be informed on arrival by the Captain should this situation occur. Our excursions would operate as advertised and would not be affected.

Gallery Floorplan & Map

LA BELLA VITA FLOORPLAN

LA BELLA VITA CRUISE ROUTE

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Specials

Please see our Specials Page for current specials!

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