For those searching for the most relaxing way to experience this country’s unparalleled culture, a river cruise in Italy is the perfect choice. Whilst perhaps not the most obvious option for your next getaway, this unique sightseeing method combines the tranquil with the fascinating, and provides a charming atmosphere you’ll never forget. Once you’ve made the decision to opt for a river cruise in Italy, it’s time to consider which of the famous cities and breathtaking destinations you’ll explore. Chioggia is a popular choice, a favourite often referred to as ‘Italy’s other Venice’ - but without quite so many tourists. |
Location, Location, Location Found around 25km from its more famous sister, Venice, Chioggia (surprisingly pronounced ‘Kidodja’) lies in the Po River Delta, close to Padua. Located on two islands and separated by the ‘Channel Vena’, this water-enclosed town’s economy is based on a lucrative fishing trade that centres around its port.
Speaking of Chioggia’s fish trade, the town plays host to many famous fish markets, frequented by industry and domestic customers alike. Mercato Itico is the wholesale market that hums with activity throughout the day, with boat after boat docking to unload their fresh seafood bounty to be eagerly received by local restaurateurs and other sellers. If you are up and about early enough to see the Pescheria, the sea breams, sole, scallops, and sea bass on offer in the morning are sure to delight.
Life on the Water
The town and the water are inextricably linked in Chioggia, meaning that your river cruise in Italy is the perfect way to experience the unique atmosphere. If you want to spend even more time on boats, canal cruises are offered from a variety of destinations, traversing the Canal Vena and discovering the architectural delights and breathtaking views of the town. Spanning the waterways are nine world-famous bridges, including the striking Ponte Vigo located in the Piazetta Vigo, a favourite destination for visitors. Furthermore, the island town is connected to the mainland by a couple more stunning bridges, providing access to even more to explore on your river cruise in Italy.
A river cruise in Italy wouldn’t be complete without ticking off some of the major architectural triumphs so synonymous with this country, and Chioggia holds its own in this department. The Chiesa di San Domenico church is unique in that it resides on its own exclusive island, and it is the home of Vittore Carpaccio 16th century painting which attracts thousands of visitors each year. Bask in the history of the world’s oldest clock in the Clock Tower Museum, or the world’s oldest crucifix in Chioggia’s cathedral.
Chioggia may not be as famous as Venice, but it’s still a must-see destination when in the area. Be sure to book with a recommended and trusted cruise operator to ensure the very best experience, and you’ll never look back. Italy’s ‘other Venice’ needs to be seen from the water to be truly appreciated.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury itineraries for a river cruise in Italy, as well as barge holidays in other great destinations. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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