Cruising the Heart of Italy

Resort: Cruising the Heart of Italy
Operator: Travelsphere
Destination: Italy
Price From: Contact for latest offers

OverView

From Venice to Mantua, enjoy a unique cruise through the heart of three Italian regions. The region of Veneto opens its doors and invites you to discover Venice, famous Saint Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace, the official residence of Venetian dukes. Lombardy welcomes you next with its breathtaking and varied panoramas. You’ll visit unique cities such as romantic Mantua and Cremona, Claudio Monteverdi’s and Stradivarius’s birthplace. Your trip ends with the region of Emilia-Romagna and its traditional cuisine: do not miss out on a tour of Parma and Cremona complete with a tasting of authentic cheese and ham!

Highlights

Return flights from Heathrowwith Bristish Airways

6nights on board 4-star MS Michelangelo
17 meals:6 breakfasts,5 lunches,6 dinners and all drinks (excluding Champagne and selected wines)
All excursions included
Cruise Representativeand Local Guide
Overseas transfers and other transportation
Porterage
Captain’s welcome cocktail reception
Farewell gala dinner
Onboard evening entertainment

Itineraries

  • Day 1 UK/Venice
  • Fly to Venice today and embark your ship. Settle into your cabin before enjoying dinner and meeting the crew at a Captain's welcome cocktail reception.
  • Day 2 Venice
  • This morning, you have a choice of two inlcuded excursions. 

    On the Explorer Package, you'll discover Saint Mark's Square and its famous basilica, as well as take a tour inside Doge's Palace, the official residence of Venetian dukes and the seat of the government until 1797. The current palace dates back to the 14th century and is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. A trek to the top of the Golden Staircase brings you to massive works by Tintoretto and Veronese, and gives you access to the antechambers and a magnificent view from the balcony.

    On the Discovery Package, learn about Casanova. Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was born in Venice in 1725. Both his parents were actors, and he was the first of six children in the family. He entered the University of Padua at age twelve and graduated five years later with a degree in law. Over his lifetime, he was a lawyer, soldier, violinist, courtier, economist, philosopher, writer, and of course, a lover who got into sexual escapades resembling operatic plots. Your guide will fill you in on all the details of his titillating life, including a darker period where he was imprisoned in Doge's Palace and his daring escape. Even today, Casanova and his lusty  reputation remains a legend in itself. At the end of our tour, you can return to the boat at your own pace.

    This afternoon, join us in discovering the Venetian Lagoon and its islands. The Murano glassmakers retreated to the island of Murano to help keep their production techniques a secret. Burano instills a feeling of quiet and meditation as you walk along its docks lined with colorful homes. One of the most sought-out items on the island is handwoven lace that dates back to before the exploration of the New World. Enjoy a free evening to explore Venice on your own.

  • Day 3 Venice – Chioggia – Vicenza – Porto Viro – Rovigo
  • We'll cruise to Chioggia, the departure point for our excursion to Vicenza for a guided tour. Vicenza is the epitome of gorgeous Italian landscapes, art, food, and wine. The most beautiful buildings in the city are found around the Piazza dei Signori. Here, you can take in the gorgeous facade of the Teatro Olimpico, which opened in 1585 and contains the oldest standing stage set still in existence. The theatre was the final design by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and is one of the listed UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. As you enjoy your tour, the ship will cruise to Porto Viro. We'll return on board in Porto Viro and spend the afternoon cruising towards Rovigo.
  • Day 4 Rovigo – Torretta – Verona – Valdaro
  • This morning we will spend the morning cruising to Torretta. In the afternoon you have a choice of excursion, either on the explorer package tour where we visit Verona and its amphitheatre and head to Verona, the "City of Love" made famous by Shakespeare's legendary tragedy Romeo and Juliet. We'll get to see the outside of Juliet's House (Casa di Giulietta) and the balcony where she stood when Romeo declared his love. Verona encapsulates 2,000 years of history from an architectural, urban, and artistic point of view. The amphitheater, the historic symbol of the city, is a fantastic example of its longevity and influence. (If the amphitheater is closed and in July and August, we'll visit the magnificent Giusti Gardens.)Alternatively on our discovery package take a bike tour of Verona and visit the Giusti Gardens

    You'll be transfered by coach from Torretta to Verona, where numerous possibilities to explore the city await you. Often overshadowed by neighboring Venice, Verona possesses an impressive artistic heritage and many cultural diversions. What better way to explore the city than on two wheels? Glide along its streets and lanes lined with unique houses and romantic hideaways. You'll then visit the Giusti Gardens, one of the city's marvels. This magnificent Italian garden contains age-old trees, gargoyles, fountains, and grottoes with ancient inscriptions. After our tour, we'll return on board in Valdaro.

  • Day 5 Valdaro – Mantua
  • Our ship will begin to cruise early in the morning to Mantua.

    Join us on an optional excursion for both packages: A guided tour of Mantua, where the House of Gonzaga ruled for almost 400 years. Although Mantua is not well known, it is one of the most artistically rich and romantic cities in northern Italy. We'll visit the Palazzo Ducale di Mantova (Ducal Palace – closed on Mondays) which overlooks the city center. Built between the 14th and the 17th centuries by the noble House of Gonzaga, the property comprises many buildings such as the Castel di San Giorgio which was designed as a defensive structure aimed at protecting the heart of the town, and subsequently converted into the main residence of the Gonzaga family. We'll also visit the Camera degli Sposi ("bridal chamber"), known for its frescoes executed by Andrea Mantegna as a celebration of the Gonzaga family. We'll then reach the historic center of the city where you'll visit the Rotonda di San Lorenzo and the Basilica of Sant'Andrea. You're free to do as you please in the afternoon.

  • Day 6 Mantua – Cremona – Parma
  • Today joun us for an excursion to Cremona and Parma (including lunch). A stroll through the historical centre of Cremona reveals its hidden artistic and architectural treasures. Within the superb medieval square,we'll take in the immensity of the duomo and tower before visiting a violin-maker's workshop. We'll then head to Polesine Parmense and stop at Fratelli Spigaroli(3) to visit the cellars where they cure the famous Culatello ham and Parmigiana cheese. In the afternoon, we'll go to Parmalocated in the confines of the Lombardy and Emilie-Romagna Regionsto indulge in art, music history, and food! Parma is in one of Italy's most emblematic areas, and its castles and ancient churches inspire dreams of yesteryear. We'll visit the pink-marble Baptistery, which contains some amazing frescoes representing the life of Christ. The frescoes on the dome of the cathedral are also exceptional. Tonight is our festive gala evening.
  • Day 7 Mantua – Venice – UK
  • Enjoy breakfast on board this morning before disembarking  where you board your transfer to Venice.

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