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A Classic Cruise in Italy

7 days with European Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
Sunday, Day 1 Mantua
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. Then we stroll through the historic city centre and visit the magnificent 14thC Ducal Palace, before perhaps a short cruise around the lakes surrounding the city, before dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Mantua to Governolo
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Mantua. This imposing city was home to the poet Virgil, artists Mantegna and Donatello and under the Lordship of the powerful Gonzaga Family. Mantua has early Etruscan origins but today is a centre of extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture. We have a guided tour of the city squares, the Cathedral and the Baptistery, and then enjoy lunch back on La Bella Vita and an afternoon cruise through the Mincio Natural Park to Governolo. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Governoloolo to Bosaro
A morning cruise along the Bianco Canal to Zelo past villages and farmsteads to our mooring at Bosaro. This afternoon we take 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 14thC Estense Castle and its moat and visit the magnificent cathedral with its façade of sculpted images described as an illustrated Bible. Afterwards, we rejoin La Bella Vita at Bosaro. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 Bosaro to Taglio di Po
This morning 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. We return to La Bella Vita for lunch, then an afternoon cruise downstream along the Bianco Canal to enter the River Po and arrive at our peaceful mooring place at Taglio di Po. This evening we have dinner ashore at the beautiful 17thC Villa Ca’Zen, a private riverside stately home, where we are hosted by the longstanding family owners. It was here that Lord Byron courted the Countess Guccioli and, whilst a guest at the Villa, wrote some of his best poetry.

Thursday, Day 5 Chioggia to San Pietro in Volta
A morning cruise to Porto Levante, passing through a nature reserve with flamingos and occasional heron, snipe and other wildfowl, before visiting Chioggia. 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 see 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. After lunch back on board, we cruise through the lagoon past rustic fishing huts on stilts and the island of Pellestrina, to San Pietro in Volta. Perhaps time to stroll or cycle along the 18thC Istrian sea wall. Dinner on board. 

Friday, Day 6 San Pietro in Volta to Venice
This morning we cruise to Venice, passing several lagoon islands including San Servolo, once a hospital for the Crusaders and San Lazzaro degli Armeni, an early 18thC Armenian monastery. These islands sport brightly coloured houses, painted fishing boats and tiny churches. After mooring on the waterfront outside the Naval Museum not far from St Mark’s Square, we have lunch on board. In the afternoon, there is a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace, the magnificent palace that was the seat of the government of Venice for centuries and the home of the Doges. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board and perhaps a final evening stroll to St Mark’s Square.

Saturday, Day 7 Venice
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the Hotel Laguna Palace in Mestre or Piazzale Roma in Venice. 
Tour Map
All This Included
  • Local transfer to and from the barge
  • 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 4 crew and use of barge facilities, which includes bicycles and spa pool
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard La Bella Vita
  • This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
  • On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction. 
  • Some cruises may be on the River Po, depending on the water level. 
  • The designated meeting and drop off point is Venice. Other options are available for charter groups.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.

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