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La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Photos

From: La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Review

Day 3: Porto Levante to Ca' Zen

Map of Po Delta

During the afternoon, we cruised inland from the Po Delta, heading for Taglio di Po.

Paola Salvato

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.

LA BELLA VITA berth on Po River

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.

Ca' Zen

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.

Entrance hall at Ca' Zen

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.)

Dogs at Ca' Zen

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.)

Dinner at Ca' Zen

A dinner of lasagne, organic chicken, and ice cream was served in Ca' Zen's spacious dining room.

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