Beginning with a full day to explore the magical city of Venice, the lagoon islands and the treasures of the Po River including San Pietro, Chioggia and the lakeside city of Mantua - all from the comfort of the 20-passenger La Bella Vita. On alternate weeks, the cruise operates in reverse, departing from Mantua and ending in Venice.
Explore some lesser-known gems of Venice, and sail past colourful lagoon islands and untamed beaches to Chioggia, an island town and Venice in miniature. Continue to Taglio di Po and enjoy a special dinner ashore hosted by the owners of the beautiful 17th-century Villa Ca'Zen, where Lord Byron wrote some of his best poetry.
Visit the Archaeological Museum in the ancient Etruscan town of Adria, enjoy a private wine tasting at the Bagnoli Estate and explore the Renaissance city of Ferrara, home to the Schifanoia Palace, renowned for its magnificent 15th-century frescoes. This cruise concludes in Mantua, home of the poet Virgil and artists Mantegna and Donatello.
La Bella Vita's decks provide an enviable vantage point for the beautiful scenery gliding by on this cruise. Stylish and spacious, she has 2 suites on the upper deck and 8 staterooms below, all en suite. Relax and enjoy excellent service, a 24-hour bar, fine food and wine and the guidance of an expert tour guide. There are bicycles available for passengers' use.
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Po River Itinerary
Day 1 - Venice
You will be picked up from Hotel Laguna Palace in Mestre or Piazzale Roma Square in Venice and transferred by bus 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 Madonna della Salute and the Punta della Dogana to our mooring outside the Naval Museum. Enjoy a stroll to St Mark's Square and a brief tour of the Doge's Palace before dinner on board.
Day 2 - San Pietro
Guided walking tour to Castello District, perhaps discovering some hidden parts of the city of Veniza: 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 separating 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. Dinner on board.
Day 3 - Taglio Di Po
After a stroll or cycle along the 18th-century Istrian sea wall in Pellestrina, we cruise to Chioggia, city of Goldoni's plays. Here we visit the picturesque town centre and colourful fish market. We also see the Cathedral and the Piazzetta Vigo before rejoining La Bella Vita at the Po Delta. Passing through a nature reserve with flamingos and occasional heron, snipe and other wetland wildfowl, we travel upriver to Taglio di Po for dinner ashore hosted by the owners at the beautiful 17th-century Villa Ca'Zen, a private stately home by the river where Lord Byron courted the Countess Giuccioli and wrote some of his best poetry.
Day 4 - Adria - Bosaro
This morning, we cruise to Adria, an ancient Etruscan town and visit the Archaeological Museum. After lunch on board, 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. Afternoon cruise to Bosaro. Dinner on board.
Day 5 - Governolo
Morning excursion with guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara, including the Schifanoia Palace, renowned for its magnificent 15th-century frescoes. We also admire the 14th-century Estense Castle with its moat, drawbridges, marble balconies and sumptuous apartments. We also see the cathedral facade with its sculpted images described as an Illustrated Bible. Return to the barge for an afternoon canal cruise past villages and farmsteads to Governolo for dinner on board.
Day 6 - Mantua
Our final cruise has a dramatic approach to Mantua, home of the poet Virgil, artists Mantegna and Donatello and captivating lakeside setting. Mantua displays extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, portrayed in the 14th-century 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.
Day 7 - Mantua
After breakfast, passengers disembark and can be dropped off Hotel Laguna Palace, Mestre Train Station or Piazzale Roma, Venice.
PLEASE NOTE: On alternate weeks the cruise runs in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.