Published on : Thursday, May 2, 2019
European Waterways announced the return of its popular “Opera Cruise” as part of the company’s enhanced itinerary for the La Bella Vita hotel barge. This first-class vessel is the largest in its fleet with a capacity of up to 20 guests and the only one to visits three of Italy’s most iconic Renaissance cities. A free gondola ride is included in this year’s cruise. The company is also offering 20% off charter prices on a wide selection of departure dates throughout the 2019 season, for savings of up to $14,880. Special offers cannot be combined and other restrictions may apply.
An Operatic Adventure
This year, the Opera Cruise begins on August 10 in Venice. Guests will be privately transferred to the Arena Museo Opera in Verona, where they can stroll among the fascinating displays of this musical art form, before dining in the charming courtyard restaurant. They will then be driven to the ancient Roman amphitheater of Arena di Verona, where they will be rewarded with top-tiered seats for an alfresco performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” – the timeless, “heart-wrenching” tale of love and loss. After overnighting at a 4-star hotel, they’ll embark on a unique cruise whose guided excursions will immerse them in the many cultures that have influenced this prominent region of Italy over the centuries. Highlights include a guided tour of the world-famous Gran Teatro La Fenice, where Rossini and Verdi premiered their operas, and a visit to Rigoletto’s House, the very setting for Verdi’s opera of the same name.
Opera Cruises can also be booked in July and August, subject to availability, and a supplement applies.
Venice and the Po Delta
“Venice was the center of power and wealth during the Italian Renaissance. Its most influential families built magnificent palaces and attracted history’s greatest artists,” noted Derek Banks, managing director for European Waterways. “La Bella Vita cruises explore the extraordinary architecture, art and music that sprung from this unique period of human history.”
After behind-the-scenes tours of the museums and churches of Venice, guests depart to the fishing port of Chioggia, home to Venice’s original Etruscan settlers, which later came under Roman rule. The next day, passing through the Po Delta Regional Park, guests will be treated to sights of flamingos, heron, snipe and other wild birds that make this UNESCO World Heritage site their home. The cruise continues upriver to the town of Taglio di Po, where guests will dine ashore at the stately 17th century Villa of Ca’Zen, accompanied by the Countess herself.
Ferrara and Mantua
La Bella Vita’s itinerary includes a stop at the ancient Etruscan town of Adria, where guests visit the Renaissance gardens of the 17th century Village Widmann Borletti, tour its wine cellar and receive a private tasting. Guests subsequently visit Ferrara, a city rich in medieval architecture that also played a prominent role in the Renaissance, with many of its artists making their homes here. The medieval Estense Castle – complete with a moat and drawbridge as well as a Renaissance garden – is also on the agenda.
A highpoint of the cruise is the city of Mantua, home to some of the best examples of neo-classical and baroque architecture in the world. Its monumental 14th century Ducal Palace was a grand residence to lords, marquises and dukes throughout its colorful history. Today it is a museum that houses gardens, a basilica and theater, a Gallery of Mirrors, thousands of sculptures, and countless frescoes.
“A cruise aboard La Bella Vita is the perfect way to discover the true heart of Italy and its Renaissance influence. The vessel’s ten to 20-person capacity is also ideal for special interest groups who wish to indulge in a spot of golf, or perhaps some exclusive Italian wine tastings,” said Banks. “And with the 20% off on charters, there’s never been a better time to get the gang together!”
Tags: European Waterways