Opera Cruise in Italy aboard La Bella Vita
For the opera lovers among you, taking a special Opera Cruises aboard La Bella Vita in Italy is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience. Before your cruise from Venice to Mantua begins, visit Verona to see the fascinating Arena Muse Opera, a wonderful museum devoted to the history of opera, followed by dinner in the delightful courtyard restaurant.
Then the real highlight as you take your top-priced front stalls seats to enjoy a performance of one of the best-known operas, Puccini's Madame Butterfly (best seats in the house), in the magnificent setting of the Roman amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona. At the end of a memorable evening, you are transferred back to your hotel in Verona, where next day, there will be a guided tour of this, one of the Veneto's most charming cities, before joining La Bella Vita in Venice.
During the 6-night cruise, there are visits to some wonderful baroque theatres, such as the Gran Teatro La Fenice, where the premieres of operas by composers such as Rossini and Verdi were performed, and the intimate Teatro Bibiena in Mantua, with its bell-shaped interior that opened with a concert by a 13-year-old Mozart in 1770.
Then cruise across the Venetian Lagoon past its colourful islands and on through the Po Valley - visits to the famous fish market in Chioggia, the Schifanoia Palace in Ferrara and the stunning Ducal Palace in Mantua, as well as wine tastings and dinner in a private stately home where Lord Byron wrote some of his best poetry.
This 8 day adventure is a wonderful combination for what Italy is famous for - wonderful food and wine, Renaissance architecture and of course - opera!
La Bella Vita is a stylish twenty-passenger vessel offering comfortable, air-conditioned accommodation in two upper deck junior suites and eight lower deck staterooms, all with en suite facilities. There is a bright, spacious dining room and bar area and louvre doors open to the side to give a perfect view. Above, there is a huge sun deck with comfortable loungers to relax on and watch the world drift by.
Day 1: Venice You are met at the designated meeting point in Mestre or Venice on Saturday afternoon and transferred to their four star hotel in Verona. Early evening, we drive to Verona for a visit to the fascinating Arena Muse Opera, a wonderful museum in the magnificent setting of Palazzo Forti and devoted to the history of opera. There, we also have dinner in the delightful courtyard restaurant, before making our way to the nearby Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheatre built in 30 A.D. where we watch a performance of Pucini's Madam Butterfly from our top-priced front stalls seats. At the end of a memorable evening, we drive back to the hotel in Verona.
Day 2: Venice After breakfast in the hotel, we drive to Venice to board La Bella Vita for a Prosecco Welcome. After lunch, an afternoon cruise takes us along the Giudecca Canal past some of Venice's most famous monuments: the Chiesa del Redentore, the impressive Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and the Punta della Dogana to our mooring outside the Naval Museum. There is time for a stroll to St Mark's Square and a brief tour of the Doge's Palace before dinner on board.
Day 3: Venice > San Pietro, Volta This morning, a guided tour of the magnificent opera house, the Gran Teatro La Fenice, where the premieres of operas by composers such as Rossini and Verdi were performed. It was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1996, but after a complete refurbishment of its spectacular interior, the opera house re-opened in 2004. After lunch back on board, we cruise to Pellestrina which separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, along the Canal of the Orphans, passing lagoon islands with their ancient monasteries, painted fishing boats and tiny churches. Enjoy a walk at sunset before dinner on board.
Day 4: San Pietro, Volta > Taglio di Po After a stroll or cycle along the 18th century Istrian sea wall in Pellestrina, we cruise to Chioggia, city of Goldoni's plays. Here we visit the picturesque town centre and colourful fish market. We also see the Cathedral and the Piazzetta Vigo before cruising on to the River Po delta. Passing through a nature reserve with flamingos and occasional heron, snipe and other wildfowl, we travel upriver to Taglio di Po for dinner ashore hosted by the owners at the beautiful 17th century Villa Ca'Zen, a private stately home by the river where Lord Byron courted the Countess Giuccioli and wrote some of his best poetry.
Day 5: Taglio di Po > Bosaro This morning we cruise to Adria, an ancient Etruscan town and visit the Archaeological Museum. After lunch on board, we drive to the Bagnoli Estate where we tour the Renaissance gardens and wine cellars of the 17th century Villa Widmann Borletti, for a private tasting of their renowned estate grown vintages. This winery has been supplying Venetian society for centuries. Afternoon cruise to Bosaro. Dinner on board.
Day 6: Bosaro > Trevenzuolo Morning excursion with a guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara. Here, we tour the Teatro Communale, built in the late 18th century and boasting a majestic 5-tiered auditorium. We also visit the Camerino delle Duchesse, a truly delightful private room in the Ducal Palace decorated in the 16th century for Eleonora and Lucrezia d'Este. We see the 14th century Estense Castle with its moat, drawbridges and marble balconies, the fabulous 15th century frescoes in the Schifanoia Palace and the cathedral facade with its sculpted images described as an illustrated Bible. Return to the hotel barge for an afternoon cruise past villages and farmsteads to Trevenzuolo and dinner on board.
Day 7: Trevenzuolo > Mantua Our final cruise has a dramatic approach to Mantua, a Renaissance city with a captivating lakeside setting and home to Verdi's opera Rigoletto. Mantua displays extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, portrayed in the 14th century Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica, intricate frescoes, the Gallery of Mirrors and the exquisite Rivers Room. We explore the city further, finding Rigoletto's House near the cathedral, then finally, we visit the intimate Teatro Bibiena, a delightful baroque theatre with a bell-shaped interior that opened with a concert by a 13-year-old Mozart in 1770. A wonderful finale to our Italian Italian opera adventure. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 8: Mantua After breakfast, disembark La Bella Vita and transfer to the designated drop-off point.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change
• All transfers to and from Venice • 1 night 4 star hotel Verona with breakfast • Dinner on the Saturday evening at the Opera Museum in Verona • Evening at opera in the Roman amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona to watch Pucini's Madam Butterfly from the best seats in the house. • A 6 night cruise which includes: • All meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef • Open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and all wines served throughout the cruise • Excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary • Use of boat facilities which includes bicycles
Pricing (per person) $NZD
August 19 (7 nights)
2017 August 19 (7 nights)
Booking conditions Please enquire for 10 Passenger Charters.
We now accept charter bookings with a minimum of just 10 passengers (previously 12). Please enquire for pricing.
Please enquire for 10 Passenger Charters. We now accept charter bookings with a minimum of just 10 passengers (previously 12). Please enquire for pricing.