Anyone looking to relax on calm waters, indulge in rich culture and explore inspired places will undoubtedly enjoy the trip of their dreams on an Italian river cruise. Whilst there are countless itineraries on offer for this style of travelling, below is an example of what we consider to be the perfect itinerary for a river cruise around Italy. |
Day 1 - Venice
Luxury should begin from the word go on the perfect Italian river cruise. Guests will be taken from beautiful Venice via private, chauffeured transfer to begin their adventure. With a glass of champagne in hand, guests will board their vessel and take some time to relax before setting sail in the afternoon. Once on the water, the boat will head down the Giudecca Canal, showcasing some of Venice’s best known historical landmarks: the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and the Punta della Dogana. From here, there should be ample time to explore St Mark’s Square before sitting down to indulge in a delicious meal and enjoying a wonderful evening on board.
Day 2 - Venice to San Pietro
There is no better way to experience Venice’s hidden gems than on a guided walking tour, and this is exactly what guests should expect from the ideal second day. Those interested in history and Venetian culture will enjoy visiting the likes of the Church of San Pietro di Castello, the gardens of the Biennale Exhibition of Modern Art and the Venetian Ships Pavilion. In the late afternoon, the cruise will continue to Pellestrina and along the Canal of the Orphans. Colourful fishing boats and ancient monasteries are just some of the wonderful sights to take in on this leg of the journey. Guests can enjoy a bicycle ride along the historic Istrian sea wall before heading back to their boat for another outstanding meal.
Day 3 - San Pietro to Taglio di Po
Art connoisseurs will revel in the activities of day three. After enjoying a delicious breakfast, the vessel will sail to Chioggia and guests will be taken to the Church of San Domenico. Here they will have the opportunity to admire Carpaccio’s final recorded artwork, St Paul, as well as other outstanding works of art by Tintoretto and Bassano. Once back on the boat, the cruise will head upriver to Taglio di Po. Here guests can enjoy a meal in Villa Ca’Zen, the 17th Century home where Lord Byron is known to have penned many of his best poems.
Day 4 - Taglio di Po to Zelo
Today the vessel will follow the Bianco canal to Adria where guests can enjoy a visit to the Archaeological Museum before settling for lunch on board. No trip to Italy is complete without some wine tasting, and this will certainly be on offer during a tour of the historic Bagnoli Estate. Here guests will be guided through the property’s Renaissance gardens, before tasting some of the best locally-grown vintage wines on offer. Once back on board the boat, the evening will commence in Zelo with another relaxing dinner.
Day 5 - Zelo to Governolo
An ideal morning in Zelo begins with a tour of Ferrara, a Renaissance city boasting beautiful palaces and castles. Guests will be able to visit the Cathedral of Ferrara and admire its intricate carvings, which many describe as an ‘illustrated Bible’. The canal cruise continues past wonderfully traditional villages before mooring in Governolo where guests will settle for the evening.
Day 6 - Governolo to Mantua
Last but not least, the cruise will arrive in the historic city of Mantua. Famed for its links to the poet Virgil and artists including Donatello, Mantua is the perfect spot for culture lovers. Guests will be free to explore some of the city’s best known spots, including the 14th Century Ducal Palace and its sprawling grounds. The perfect Italian river cruise culminates in a spectacular final meal on board the vessel. Day 7 - Mantua
Guests will enjoy a final breakfast on board before disembarking their boat. At this point, they will be taken by private transfer back to Venice. There is no doubt that an Italian river cruise provides something for everyone. The best way to ensure a memorable experience similar to the one above is to book through a reputable company.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury itineraries for an Italian river cruise, 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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