La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Photos
Day 3: Porto Levante to Ca' Zen
During the afternoon, we cruised inland from the Po Delta, heading for Taglio di Po.
Paola, our tour leader, stayed on deck for most of the afternoon, pointing out items of interest (such as herons and flamingos in the nature reserve along the river) and answering questions about what we were seeing.
Later in the afternoon, we moored along the river near Taglio di Po. Our van and car had followed La Bella Vita by road, and we'd be using them that evening for a dinner excursion on shore.
With Paola at the wheel of the van, we drove to Ca' Zen, a family-owned villa and country estate that now doubles as an agriturismo (a rural bed & breakfast) and a venue for weddings and other events. We were greeted by a clowder of cats on the patio. Inside, our hostesses--Irish-born Elaine Avanzo Westropp Bennett and her daughter Maria Adelaide (a law-school graduate and equestrienne) were waiting to greet us.
Inside, we admired the traditionally-furnished entrance hall.
Because the weather was iffy, we had Prosecco and appetizers in a parlor. (On
dry evenings, La Bella Vita guests are served drinks outdoors.)
Cheryl couldn't resist grabbing a snapshot of Ca' Zen's dogs, who had been banished to the family's private kitchen for the evening. (Three of the family's five dogs agreed to pose for this photo.)
A dinner of lasagne, organic chicken, and ice cream was served in Ca' Zen's spacious dining room.
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