Leading Specialists in European Barge Cruises

Opera Cruises

For the opera lovers amongst you, taking one of our special Opera Cruises aboard La Bella Vita in Italy is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience.

The real highlight as you take your top-priced front stalls seats to enjoy a performance of one of the best-known operas, such as Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, in the magnificent setting of the Roman amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona. You will also visit the fascinating Arena Muse Opera, a wonderful museum devoted to the history of opera, followed by dinner in the delightful courtyard restaurant.

During our opera cruises, there are visits to some wonderful baroque theatres, such as the Gran Teatro La Fenice, where the premières of operas by composers such as Rossini and Verdi were performed, and the intimate Teatro Bibiena in Mantua, with its bell-shaped interior that opened with a concert by a 13-year-old Mozart in 1770.

And, of course, there is a lot more to see as you cruise across the Venetian Lagoon past its colourful islands and on through the Po Valley – visits to the famous fish market in Chioggia, the Schifanoia Palace in Ferrara and the stunning Ducal Palace in Mantua, as well as wine tastings and dinner in a private stately home where Lord Byron wrote some of his best poetry.

This 6 night adventure is a wonderful combination for what Italy is famous for – wonderful food and wine, Renaissance architecture and of course – opera!

So get your group together and take advantage of excellent incentives for group organisers/club presidents and on certain departures, discounts for all charter guests! 

Opera Cruises are available on a number of departures, subject to ticket availability. Opera cruise includes premium seat tickets at the magnificent Roman amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona.

Available dates and performances in 2020 below:

 July 5 – Cavalleria Rusticana – Charter Only
July 12 – Nabucco – Charter Only
August 2 – Aida – Charter Only
August 9 – Aida – Charter Only
August 16 – Nabucco  – Available to Book on a Cabin Basis
August 23 – Turandot – Charter Only

*Supplement Applies on all Opera Cruises

Opera Cruise Itinerary


Sunday, Day 1 Venice
Guests are met at the designated meeting point in Venice and transferred to La Bella Vita 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 MuseumWe 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 a night at the opera at the magnificent Roman amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona.

 

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

 

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.


Watch this video and whet your appetite for La Bella Vita!