Venice to Mantua


Venice of course is a jewel in the crown of the Venetian lagoon and our route is a mixture of canal and river following the ancient trade routes used by the Romans and the early Mediterranean settlers before them. As well as the incredible delights of Venice itself, where the history goes back over 2000 years with some architecural features dating back even to the Byzantenial era, the additional opportunity afforded by hotel barge travel becomes obvious as we create our own schedule oblivious to the hustle and bustle of other visitors to Venice. 

Sunday, Day 1 Venice
Guests are met at Villa Laguna Hotel in Venice on Sunday at 5pm 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: the Stucky Mill, Chiesa del Redentore, the impressive Basilica della Madonna della Salute, the Punta della Dogana dividing the Giudecca Canal from the Grand Canal and the ancient Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio. Dinner 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.

Monday, Day 2 Venice to San Pietro
Guided tour to the centre of Venice, experiencing the unique atmosphere of this magical city and perhaps discovering some hidden parts of it: the gardens of the Biennale Exhibition of Modern Arts, the Church of San Pietro in Castello planned by Palladio, the impressive surrounding walls of the Arsenal with its magnificent Renaissance main gate and the Naval Museum hosting a model of the Bucintoro (Doge’s Boat) and the Pavilion of Gondolas housing Peggy Guggenheim’s own vessel.  After lunch, relax aboard or wander. In the late afternoon we cruise to Pellestrina, which separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. We leave St. Mark’s Basin and continue on the Canal of the Orphans passing several lagoon islands: San Sevolo, once a hospital for the Crusaders, San Lazzaro degli Armeni, an early 18th century Armenian monastery, San Clemente, a luxury hotel and poetical Poveglia. These islands sport brightly coloured houses, painted fishing boats and tiny churches. We moor in San Pietro in Volta for a Venetian aperitif in a typically local bacaro. Dinner aboard.

Tuesday, Day 3 San Pietro to Adria
Morning chance to stroll or cycle along the 18th century Istrian sea wall looking out over the mighty Adriatic or back to the Venetian lagoon. We cruise past wild beach dunes and pinewoods and may spot Kingfishers, Cuckoos, Little Terns and Kentish Plovers. Entering Chioggia, city of Goldoni’s plays with ancient origins dating back over 2000 years to Roman, Etruscan and Byzantine links, we visit the Piazzatta Vigo, Vigo bridge and 12th century Vigo column. At the Chiesa di San Domenico, set on its own island, we see Carpaccio’s St Paul, his last recorded painting together with works of art by Tintoretto and Bassano. Chioggia’s cathedral beckons with works by Tiepolo, Giovane, Piazzetta and Diziani. A visit to the colourful fresh fish market with your own Chef choosing tonight’s seafood delights, completes the picture.  After lunch we enter the Bianca Canal which follows the Po River and cruise the Po Delta towards Adria where we moor for the night. Dinner aboard.

Wednesday, Day 4 Adria to Bussari
Our day opens with a short walk to Adria’s Archaeological Museum. The Greeks, Etruscans, Gauls and Romans left a precious historical insight, with earlier artefacts dating back to the Iron Age. We stroll through ancient Adria and see the 6th century Basilica Santa Maria Assunta, the Opera House and Cathedral of Saints Pietro and Paolo. Afternoon cruise to Bussari and superb visit to the Manor House gardens and wine cellars of 17th century Villa Widmann-Borletti. For over 1000 years wine, balsamic vinegar, organic Carnaroli rice, grape seed oil and truffles have been farmed in the Dominio di Bagnoli estate, which has also been famed for its exclusive D.O.C. Friularo vintages since the 17th century. Concerts, opera and art exhibitions are regular features in this magnificent property. Dinner aboard.

Thursday, Day 5 Bussari to Trevenzuolo
Morning cruise to Canda. We offer a guided tour of Ferrara’s 14th century Estense Castle and Renaissance surroundings. This ancient ducal fortress with moat, drawbridges, unusual battlements and towers, houses marble balconies and sumptuous apartments. We see the Cathedral façade with its sculpted images, described as an Illustrated Bible. Ferrara has a lively commercial centre in what was originally the medieval Jewish Ghetto and over the centuries has absorbed a rich cultural life, with renowned artists, writers, musicians, scientists and intellectuals all leaving their mark We enjoy delicious local dishes during lunch ashore, with further time to wander Ferrara’s Renaissance-inspired setting and perhaps visit the university which was founded in 1391 by the Marquis of Este, before rejoining La Bella Vita and our evening dinner cruise to Trevenzuolo to the accompaniment of live piano music. Dinner aboard.  

Friday, Day 6 Trevenzuolo to Mantua
Our final cruise takes us to Mantua with its captivating lakeside setting.  Dramatically approached by water, this imposing city was home to the poet Virgil, artists Mantegna and Donatello and is the capital of Lombardy. Mantua has early Etruscan origins but today demonstrates extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, perhaps best portrayed in the 14th century Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica, theatre and some 500 rooms.  The sight of precious wooden ceilings, intricate frescoes, the Gallery of Mirrors and exquisite Rivers Room, some 12,000 paintings and sculptures, create an extraordinary Grand Finale to our Italian adventure. Captain’s Farewell Dinner aboard  

Saturday, Day 7 Mantua to Venice
After breakfast, passengers disembark for transfers to Venice or Verona airport or a local hotel.  

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

La Bella Vita
Year 2011 Rates in US Dollars
Charter 20 guests wholeboat
Charter 18 guests wholeboat
Charter 16 guests wholeboat
Charter 14 guests wholeboat
Charter 12 guests wholeboat
Suite  per person
Stateroom per person
Single supplement

Individual Bookings: Child 12 to 17 years traveling with an adult $300 reduction

Charter bookings: Child reduction of $300 applicable for all children aged 0-17 years.

April 3, 10, 17, 24 Regular
May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Regular
June 5, 12, 19, 26 Regular
July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Regular
Aug 7, 14, 21, 28 Regular
September 4, 11, 18, 25  Regular
October 2, 9, 16, 23   Regular
Meeting Point:
Villa Laguna Hotel in Venice on Sunday at 5pm and transferred to La Bella Vita

-        All cruises require a minimum of 2 passengers to guarantee departures.



Back to Barges