Arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport, where you will be transferred to your hotel.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Milan city tour with visit to Da Vinci’s The Last Supper Milan, known the world over for its high-end fashion and dazzling bounty of artistic landmarks, provides the perfect starting point for your Italian adventure. Admire the grand Gothic Duomo in the heart of the city center and then come face-to-face with Leonardo da Vinci’s magnificent fresco, The Last Supper, housed at the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent.
Milan, Verona (Valpolicella), Venice
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Verona, “City of Romeo and Juliet,” and exclusive Valpolicella wine estate lunch En route to Venice, stop in Verona—home to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. From Verona, journey on to an exclusive wine tasting and multicourse lunch at the Serego Alighieri estate, which belongs to descendants of Dante Alighieri, one of Italy’s most famous poets. Once in magical Venice, board the River Countess where you’ll begin your exploration of the “Queen of the Adriatic.”
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Venice walking discovery tour, Murano glassmaking, a time-honored Venetian tradition, and exclusive evening opening of St. Mark’s Basilica Wind through Venice’s labyrinthine back lanes as you get an up-close view of the city’s residential heart as well as such legendary locations as the Doge’s Palace and the Rialto Bridge. Be treated to a Murano glassmaking demonstration at Arti Veneziane alla Giudecca Glass Factory, where a skilled glassmaker demonstrates the timeless art of turning liquid silica into priceless figures. Cap the day off with an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience at an after-hours lighting ceremony inside St. Mark’s Basilica without the crowds. Return to the ship for a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. Note: It is not always possible to arrange after-hours visits to St. Mark’s Basilica. If religious functions or festivities are taking place in the evening, we will visit during regular hours.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Padua walking discovery tour OR Chioggia walking discovery tour OR exclusive guided “Go Active” bike tour of Chioggia’s beaches Admire the magnificent views of “The Floating City’s” greatest sights, including the Grand Canal, as your ship departs Venice and sails the lagoon for Chioggia. For those who wish to travel further back in time, an exploration of one of the oldest cities in Northern Italy, Padua, is the perfect choice. This medieval walled city is home to Italy’s second-oldest university, established in 1222, with frescoes by Giotto in its Scrovegni Chapel and the vast 13th-century Basilica of St. Anthony, a pilgrimage site. Or if you prefer to discover Chioggia, often referred to as “Little Venice,” you can do so with a discovery tour; for those who wish for a more active day, you can bicycle along the beaches of Chioggia.
Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full day excursion to Bologna with exclusive pasta-making workshop with lunch OR half day excursion to Ferrara with lunch onboard Bologna is a food lover’s paradise with unmatched specialty food stores and halls featuring locally made mortadella, handmade tortellini, luscious balsamic vinegar from nearby Modena, ham from Parma and great rounds of Parmesan cheese. Participate in a pasta-making workshop and then enjoy lunch at one of Bologna’s most celebrated restaurants. For lovers of art, spend a half day in Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hidden Renaissance treasure, with a long history of art founded on the sponsorship of the noble Renaissance family of d’Este.
Taglio di Po, Chioggia, Venice
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Chioggia market visit and boat ride on the Chioggia Lagoon There’s no better place to indulge in Italy’s famed frutti di mare than Chioggia, a colorful fishing village on the Venice Lagoon. Stroll through the town’s bustling fish market with a guide. Later, head to the Sun deck of your luxury ship to take in views of two more Venice Lagoon isles: sleepy Pellestrina, and Lido, home to the prestigious Venice Film Festival.
Venice Islands (Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello), Venice
Full day “The Magical Islands of Venice”—colorful Burano with lace-making, peaceful Mazzorbo with wine tasting and Torcello with its Byzantine mosaics Spend the day exploring the Venice Lagoon and three of its entrancing islands. Stroll through Burano with its rainbow of colorful homes, and visit a lace-making atelier. While on Mazzorbo, be treated to a very special wine tasting from a salt-water-tolerant heirloom grape, Dorona, which has been planted here to yield a luscious golden wine. Before heading back to Venice, visit Torcello, home to spectacular Byzantine mosaics depicting the Last Judgment in the seventh-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Venice walking tour OR “Venetian Painters at the Accademia” tour with art historian guide Get a feel for daily life in Venice with a guided stroll through the bustling Rialto Market, or tour the renowned Accademia Gallery with an art historian. Celebrate your last night onboard at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Venice (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your flight home.