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La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Photos

From: La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Review

Day 6: Mantua (Lakes)

Mantua excursion boats

Our next destination was the lakefront, where we'd seen excursion boats during the drive into Mantua. Two companies operate boats on the Mantua lakes: Motonavi Andes Negrini and Navi Andes.

Navi Andes boat on Mantua city lake

As we approached the Lago di Mezzo on foot, we saw the newest Navi Andes boat, Andes 2000, arriving at the pier.

Top deck of Andes 2000

We boarded the boat and followed our local tour guide (shown here) to the top deck, where other tourists--mostly Italians, including school groups--soon joined us.

Map of Mantua lakes

Officer of Navi Andes in Mantua

Our guide showed us a map of the lakes as they looked in Renaissance times, and an officer of Andes 2000 visited with us for a while.

View from Lago Inferiore, Mantua

Our voyage--which lasted about an hour--took us into the Lago Inferiore, where we enjoyed a view of the Palazzo Ducale and two boats of a rival excursion company.

Channel between Lago Inferiore and La Valazza, Mantua

A channel led to another lake, La Vallazza, which fed into the Mincio and Po rivers.

Heron on Lago Inferiore, Mantua

La Vallazza had the look of a nature preserve. The lake had water lilies, rushes, trees, and wildlife such as this heron.

Boat race on Lago Inferiore, Mantua

When we returned to the Lago Inferiore, we passed a kayak race.

La Bella Vita at Governolo

La Bella Vita Captain's Farewell Dinner table

A while later, we were back at our own boat, La Bella Vita, where the dining-room table had been set for the Captain's Farewell Dinner.

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