LA BELLA VITA, a 20-passenger first class river barge, cruises between Venice and Mantua, Italy

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LA BELLA VITA Cruise Stops

LA BELLA VITA is a stylish 20 passenger river cruiser that was refitted in 2010 to give passengers an exciting barge cruise from Venice to Mantua through Venetian lagoons and the Po River Valley. The two upper-deck junior suites and eight staterooms each have en-suite facilities. The dining room, bar and salon are bright, comfortable and spacious. The side decks allow for viewing the passing countryside, and a huge sun deck offers comfortable sun loungers. Bicycles are on board for those wishing to explore, and the tour guide is happy to provide bike routes. Delicious regional cuisine, fine Italian wines and the services of an attentive crew of seven make this a unique and unforgettable barge cruise.

Cruise Highlights

  • 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
  • Dinner ashore at the 17thC stately home Villa Ca’Zen
  • Private visit to the gardens and wine cellars of Villa Widmann-Borletti
  • Tour of the 14thC Estense Castle in Ferrara
  • Visit to the Ducal Palace and gardens in Mantua

Cruise Features

Video to welcome you aboard

Owner Operated: Yes - Captain Rudy Toninato and Family
Number of Passengers: 20
Category: First Class
Cabin Bookings: Yes
Charter Bookings: Yes
Cruising Region: Venice to Mantua, along the River Po delta
Length of Cruise: 6 nights - Sunday to Saturday
Cruising Season: March - October
Theme Cruises: Family, Groups
Meeting Location: Hotel Laguna Palace in Mestre near Venice or Piazzale Roma in Venice




Cruise Rates 2023

Sunday to Saturday (6 nights)

2023 Value Season Departures
March 26-April 1
April 2-8, 9-15, 16-22, 23-29
July 16-22, 23-29, 30-August 5
August 6-12, 13-19, 20-26
October 8-14, 15-21, 22-28

2023 Value Season Cabin Rates
Stateroom per person $  4,550
Junior Suite per person
$  5,550
Single supplement

$  1,800
2023 Value Season Charter Rates
10 passengers $71,500
12 passengers $73,900
14 passengers $76,300
16 passengers
18 passengers
20 passengers


2023 Regular Season Departures
April 30-May 6
May 7-13, 14-20, 21-27, 28-June 3
June 4-10, 11-17, 18-24, 25-July 1
July 2-8, 9-15
August 27-September 2
September 3-9, 10-17, 18-23, 24-30
October 1-7

2023 Regular Season Cabin Rates 
Stateroom per person $  5,050
Junior Suite per person
$  6,150
Single supplement

$  2,000
2023 Regular Season Charter Rates  
10 passengers $80,000
12 passengers $82,800
14 passengers $85,600
16 passengers
18 passengers
20 passengers


Included in Cruise Price

  • Transportation between designated meeting point near Venice and the barge
  • Six nights accommodation in private stateroom with ensuite bath
  • All meals, wine and drinks on board
  • Open bar
  • Daily escorted excursions by air-conditioned van
  • All barge amenities including bicycles, music system, piano, library, etc.

Not Included in Cruise Price

  • Air or other transportation to the meeting location
  • Trip cancellation or medical insurance (available when booking)
  • Personal expenses
  • A discretionary gratuity for the crew (suggested 5-10% of the cruise price)


Passengers: 20
Category: First Class
Crew: 7
Barge Size: 140 ft long; 3 decks
Cabins: 10
Cabin Size: 2 upper deck junior suites at 137 sq feet including bathroom, 8 lower deck staterooms at 107 sq feet including bathroom
Accommodations:2 upper deck twin or double suites and 8 lower deck twin or double staterooms, including bathroom
Heat & Air: Central heat and air with individual cabin controls


  • Hairdryers
  • Toiletries
  • Library
  • Games
  • Piano
  • Bicycles
  • Large sundeck with 4 tables, 20 chairs (12 of which recline), 2 sun loungers and a large sun shade canopy.
  • Minivans with A/C
  • Email Access: Computer with internet access available
  • TV/DVD/CD: CD Sound System
  • Electricity: 220V

Theme Cruises

Family, Biking, Groups

Video to welcome you aboard
La Bella Vita double stateroom
La Bella Vita suite
La Bella Vita ensuite bathrooms
La Bella Vita ensuite bathrooms


Cruising on LA BELLA VITA

Venice and the River Po
Venice to Mantua (or reverse)

Sunday - Transfer to Barge in Venice

Guests are met at the designated meeting point on Sunday afternoon and transferred to La Bella Vita for a Prosecco welcome. A late 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. Then time for a stroll to St Mark’s Square and a brief tour of the Doge’s Palace before dinner on board.

Monday - Venice to San Pietro in Volta
Guided walking tour to Castello District, perhaps discovering some hidden parts of the city of Venice: the gardens of the Biennale Exhibition of Modern Arts, Palladio’s Church of San Pietro in Castello, the Naval Museum with a model of the Bucintoro (Doge’s Boat) and the Pavilion of Gondolas housing Peggy Guggenheim’s own vessel. Late afternoon 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. Dinner on board.

Tuesday - San Pietro in Volta to 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.

Wednesday - Taglio di Po to 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.

Thursday - Bosaro to Trevenzuolo
Morning excursion with guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara, including the 14th century Estense Castle with its moat, drawbridges, marble balconies and sumptuous apartments, and the Schifanoia Palace with its fabulous 15th century frescoes. We also see the cathedral façade with its sculpted images described as an illustrated Bible. Return to the hotel barge for an afternoon canal cruise past villages and farmsteads to Trevenzuolo and dinner on board.

Friday - Trevenzuolo to Mantua
Our final cruise has a dramatic approach to Mantua, home of the poet Virgil, artists Mantegna and Donatello and a captivating lakeside setting. Mantua displays extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, portrayed in the 14th century Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica and theatre. The intricate frescoes, Gallery of Mirrors and exquisite Rivers Room and 12,000 paintings and sculptures all create a Grand Finale to our Italian Renaissance adventure. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday - 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. The itinerary is in reverse direction on alternate weeks.

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