Opera enthusiasts are some of the most devoted custodians of this high art. They are besotted with the music, drama, and, most especially, the historic venues in which many legendary performances were given. Many of these iconic structures are located in the birthplace of modern opera: ITALY. Up until now, travelers interested in Italian opera had few options to combine the pleasures of both of a land and water experience. This is about to change with two “Opera Themed Cruises” on the 20-passenger barge LA BELLA VITA, departing from Venice.
Offering a pre-cruise opera performance at the Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheater built in the first century, with a six night cruise through Italy’s Po River Valley, this seven day adventure is a once-in-a-lifetime combination of music, history, and culture. The July 11-18 sailing features a performance of Puccini’s “Tosca,” while guests on the September 5-12 sailing will enjoy Verdi’s “Nabucco.”
Once on board La Bella Vita, guests are treated to guided excursions and private tours sure to thrill even the most fervent of opera lovers. This includes a visit to the Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice where the premières of operas by composers such as Rossini and Verdi were performed, as well as the intimate Teatro Bibiena in Mantua, with its bell-shaped interior that opened with a concert by the 13-year-old Mozart in 1770. Informal on-board concerts featuring exclusive performances given by local musicians complete this week of total operatic immersion.
La Bella Vita is a stylish twenty-passenger vessel offering comfortable, fully air-conditioned accommodation. She has two upper deck junior suites and eight lower deck staterooms, all offering en-suite facilities, and a bright, spacious dining room and bar area where guests indulge in gourmet Italian fare. Above, there is a huge sun deck with comfortable loungers to relax with a drink and a good book, or just watch the world go by. La Bella Vita’s passengers also enjoy a visit to a fishing village in the Veneto, the waterway surrounding Venice; dinner at a mansion where Lord Byron composed some of his most famous poetry; and wine tasting at a 17th century chateau.
The barge cruise is operated like a ‘house party” in which everything is included except for optional gratuity: all meals, wine, open bar, chauffeured and guided sightseeing, and TLC by the friendly Italian crew. The per person price double occupancy, for the seven night package, begins at $5,140. Included is the pre-cruise opera excursion which consists of one night in a four-star hotel in Padua, tour of an opera museum, dinner and opera performance in Verona, and the six night cruise on the barge La Bella Vita between Venice and Mantua.
Contact me here for an appointment to plan this extraordinary trip!