La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Photos
Day 1: Venice (moored at Riva di San Biagio)
The view from our mooring was spectacular. This photo shows San Giorgio Maggiore on the left and an Alilaguna airport boat arriving at a waterbus stop near La Bella Vita, with the Campanile di San Marco and the Grand Canal in the background.
Here, a fisheye shot from the side deck of La Bella Vita makes the island church of San Giorgio Maggiore look farther away than it was.
As soon as La Bella Vita was tied up, we stepped off the barge and onto the Riva di San Biagio.
The waterfront promenade was alive with activity--and with dogs.
While we watched from shore, a megaship--MSC Fantasia--cruised through St. Mark's Basin on its way to the Adriatic.
Later, following an afternoon walk in the Castello district, La Bella Vita's
tour leader--Paola Salvato--took us to the Bacarando Ai Corazzieri for drinks
and a classic Venetian appetizer of baccalà on toast.
It began to rain as we returned to La Bella Vita. Right after this photo was taken, Captain Rudy saw us coming and came running toward us with umbrellas.
Back on the barge, we retreated to our stateroom, where Cheryl took this impressionistic rainy-day snapshot through the window. You can see the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, an ambulance, and a waterproofed Venetian in an open boat.
We soon finished unpacking and went upstairs, where the dining room had been prepared for dinner.
In one corner of the dining room, a refrigerator case offered natural and fizzy mineral water, beer, wine, and soft drinks. A self-serve espresso machine and electric kettle were nearby.
The adjacent saloon, or lounge, was equipped with leather sofas, a small library and games collection, and a bar where our hostess, Ivana Veic, performed barista duties with a selection of wines, spirits, mixed drinks, and an espresso machine.
Later, after dinner, we went ashore for a long walk in Venice's quiet back streets. Captain Rudy Toninato and Roger Pagnin, the ship's engineer, waited until we got back to haul up the gangway for the night.
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