Cruising Venice by barge

We all know that Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world, so it seems appropriate that it will soon be home to a new hotel barge.

The stylish 20-passenger La Bella Vita that has been newly refitted to very high standards. This latest addition to the European Waterways‘ fleet offers a unique cruise itinerary that spans the Venetian Lagoon and the River Po Valley to the Renaissance city of Mantua.

The vessel has are two upper-deck suites and eight cabin staterooms, each with en-suite facilities. The dining room, bar and saloon areas are bight and spacious and the entire barge is air conditioned. Louvered doors open to the side decks to give a perfect viewing platform, whilst above is a huge sun deck with comfortable sun loungers. For those who wish to explore the area further there are bikes available on board and an expert tour guide to recommend the best routes to take.

No cruise of Italy would be complete without delicious regional cuisine, fine Italian wines and cheeses.  Classic meals to be served on board include Fegato alla Veneziana, Baccala Mantecato, La Polenta, Sarde in Saor and Risotto al Prezzemolo.

Each cruise will last seven days and will sail the Venice Lagoon before entering the Bianco Canal and sailing to Mantua, where passengers disembark and the boat will complete the reverse trip.  

Highlights of this cruise are: A tour of historical 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, 6th century basilica, opera house and cathedral; Private visit to the wine cellars of Villa Widmann-Borletti, renowned for its Friularo vintages since the 17th century;  Visit to the Ducal Place in Mantua, with its 15 gardens, 500 rooms and its 12,000 paintings and sculptures.

The cruise ends at the picture-postcard perfect city of Mantua, surrounded by lakes and which in 2008, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its medieval and Renaissance planning and architecture.

This cruise promises to be the perfect panacea for those who enjoy Italian Renaissance culture, food and wine, and don’t mind touring at a relaxed pace.

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