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Barge Luxury River Cruise: Explore the Italian Renaissance from Venice to Mantua

7 days small group tour

Our Tours


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    Barge Luxury River Cruise:

    Explore the Italian Renaissance

    from Venice to Mantua 7 days small group

    Enjoy a truly unique experience on board of La Bella Vita, cruising from the Lagoon of Venice to the Lakes surrounding the city of Mantua. Discover the elegance of the Italian Renaissance visiting the ducal cities of the Po Valley and their imposing palaces, strolling in their fascinating squares, walking or biking along the banks. Seven days of emotion, six night on board of a luxury all-inclusive hotel barge! La Bella Vita is a stylish 20-passengers vessel that has been totally refurbished in 2010 to high standards to offer comfortable, fully air-conditioned accommodation. The Vessel has 2 upper-deck suites and 8 staterooms, a bright and spacious dining room and a bar area with books, games and a piano. A huge sun deck above with comfortable sun loungers will offer you the perfect view of the beautiful landscapes during the trip and the possibility to immerse yourself both in the nature and in the culture of this extraordinary experience.


    Day 1:  Venice
    Guests are met at the designated pick up point in Venice on Sunday at 1.30pm and transferred to La Bella Vita. A Prosecco welcome gives you a chance to meet the crew, followed by a late afternoon cruise along the Giudecca Canal were we admire some of the most famous monuments of Venice. Visit of the Doge’s Palace and inner aboard, followed perhaps by an evening stroll to the magnificent St Mark’s square. We moor overnight in the Riva Sette Martiri by the Naval Museum.

    Day 2: Venice to Lido to San Pietro in Volta.
    Guided walking tour in Castello District, experiencing the unique atmosphere of this magical city and perhaps discovering some hidden parts of it. Visit of the Palladian Church of St. Peter and of the Navy Museum After lunch, relax aboard or wander. In the late afternoon we cruise along the Lido to Pellestrina, for a special walk or bike tour at sunset. Dinner and overnight aboard.

    Day 3: San Pietro in Volta to Taglia di Po.
    Morning chance to stroll or cycle along the 18th century Istrian sea wall of Pellestrina looking out over the mighty Adriatic or back to the Venetian lagoon. We cruise to the very ancient city of Chioggia for a visit to the city centre admiring the Cathedral, Piazzetta Vigo and to the colourful fresh fish market.Transfer to Porto Levante before cruising on the River Po Passing through a nature reserve with flocks of flamingos and other wildlife, 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 Countes Giuccioli and wrote some of his best poetry. Overnight on board.

    Day 4: Taglio di Po to Zelo.
    Morning cruise leaving the Po River and entering the Canal Bianco to Adria for a walk to the city centre and the free visit of the Archeological Museum.After lunch, we visit the magnificient Renaissance gardens and wine cellars of 17thC Villa Widmann-Borletti for a private tasting of their renown estate grown vintages. This winery has been supplying Venetian society for centuries. Return to the barge, navigation to Zelo and … are you ready for a surprise on board?

    Day 5: Zelo to Governolo
    Morning excursion with guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara, including a view of the 14thC Estense Castle with its moat, drawbridges, marble balconies and the visit of Schifanoia Palace with its fabulous 15thC frescoes. We also see the cathedral façade with its sculpted images described as an illustrated Bible. Return to the barge for an afternoon canal cruise past villages and farmsteads from Zelo to Governolo for dinner and overnight aboard.

    Day 6: Governolo to Mantua
    Our final cruise takes us to Mantua with its captivating lakeside setting and visit to the 14th century Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica, theatre and some 500 rooms. Lunch on board and free evening in the city of the Gonzaga’s Family. Captain’s Farewell Dinner aboard.

    Day 7: Mantua to Venice
    After breakfast passengers disembark for the transfer to Venice

    Hightlights and Technical Information
    • Tour of historic Venice, including hidden gardens, The Naval Museum and the Pavilion of Gondolas
    • Cruise on the Canal of the Orphans past picturesque lagoon islands
    • Tour of Chioggia with its Roman, Etruscan and Byzantine history. Wonder at works of art by Carpaccio, Tintoretto, Tiepolo and Bassano
    • Visit Chioggia’s colourful fish market with your chef
    • Tour of ancient Adria, including the archaeological museum, 6thC basilica, opera house and cathedral
    • Private visit to the wine cellars of Villa Widmann-Borletti, renowned for its Friularo vintages since the 17thC
    • Tour of the 14thC Schifanoia Palace in Ferrara
    • Visit to the Ducal Palace in Mantua, with its 15 gardens, 500 rooms and 12,000 paintings and sculptures
    Technical information:

    Sheep Information : 140 Feet Long; 3 Decks; 20 Passengers; 7 Crew; 8 Staterooms; 2 Suites; Air Conditioned; Centrally Heated; Rooftop Sundeck; 10 Touring Bikes; Air Conditioned Minibus

    Payment : deposit of  25% per person within 7 days of confirmation and balance 60 days before departing from Australia

    Dates, Inclusions, Cost , Supplements

    2020 Price per person in AUD$

    MonthDatesStateroomSuiteSingle Supplemet
    April05; 12; 19A$5585A$6800A$2160
    May03; 10; 17; 24; 31A$6320A$7670A$2480
    June07; 14; 21; 28A$6320A$7670A$2480
    July05; 12A$6320A$7670A$2480
    July19; 26A$5585A$6800A$2160
    August02; 09; 23A$5585A$6800A$2160
    August16 (opera cruise)A$6450A$7665A$3050
    September06; 13; 20; 27A$6320A$7670A$2480
    October11; 18; 25A$5585A$6800A$2160

    Note that 16 August is an Opera Cruise, inquiry within for more information

    What is included:
    • Transfer to the barge from the meeting point on Sunday,
    • 6 night cruise,
    • all meals on board catered by the on board Master Chef,
    • 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,
    • use of barge facilities, which includes 10 bicycles,
    • transfer back to the drop off point the following Saturday morning
    Not included:
    • Flights
    • Arrival and Departure transfers
    • Other meals and drinks
    • Hotel tourist taxes (where required)
    • Insurance and everything not listed as “Included”
    Accommodation and Meals

    Regional Specialities: Spaghetti alla corbanara, Parmigiana, Sarde in Saor, Risotto Tastasale e Radicchio, Gnocchi al Ragù, Pesce alla Veneziana,
    Wine Cellar: Barolo, Soave Classico, Bardolino, Prosecco, Ribolla giallo, Nero d’Avola

    Cheese Board: Gorgonzola, Mozzarella di Bufala, Pecorino, Taleggio, Provolone, Grana Padano

    Price from: A$5,585.00


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