Pearls of the Po & the Venetian Lagoon: Venice to Polesella

Pearls of the Po & the Venetian Lagoon: Venice to Polesella



This September, aboard the luxurious, newly renovated river vessel La Venezia, join the National Trust to cruise along the legendary Po River and the Venetian Lagoon, savoring la bella vita in northern Italy. Padua and Ravenna are towns that have inspired the likes of Shakespeare, yet their numerous historic treasures remain underexplored. On this spectacular river voyage, enjoy full access to the region’s abundance of medieval and Renaissance art and architecture.

Pricing from
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International River Voyages
Departure Dates
Sep 18, 2021 - Sep 26, 2021


The 130-passenger S.S. La Venezia, undergoing a complete design renovation that will be completed in early 2020, is filled with light and color. With design inspired by Venetian culture, S.S. La Venezia features six elegantly appointed suites; two dining venues, including an Italian kitchen on the upper deck; spa; library; lounge and bar.


An optional postlude to Asolo and the Palladian Villas is offered September 26–28, 2021.


Through April 15, 2021, when you make a new reservation for any 2021 trip, your payments to Arrangements Abroad will be 100% refundable until 60 days prior to departure.


Pearls of the Po map


  • day 1

    SEPTEMBER 18 - Depart for Venice on an overnight flight

  • day 2


    Arrive at Venice’s Marco Polo International Airport, where you will be transferred to La Venezia. This afternoon, take an optional walking tour through the Dorsoduro neighborhood, known for its local flavor and picturesque squares and canals. Alternatively, explore the city at your leisure. Unpack, relax, and enjoy your first evening aboard ship. D

  • day 3


    Visit one of Italy’s hidden gems—Vicenza—famous for Andrea Palladio’s UNESCO-listed villas in the countryside and the Teatro Olimpico, the Renaissance theater designed by the great architect. A tour of Palazzo Valmarana Braga, a masterpiece of the mature Palladio, precedes lunch. Then stroll through the historic city center to see the basilica that Palladio adapted to serve as the town hall; the palaces he built for the Vicenza aristocracy; and the Church of Santa Corona, with its masterpieces by Giovanni Bellini and Veronese. Before returning to Venice, take in private visits to two other Palladian villas—Villa Foscari (La Rotonda) and the nearby Villa Valmarana ai Nani, featuring frescoes by Tiepolo. Return to Venice and experience an exclusive, after-hours visit to Saint Mark’s Basilica, with its spellbinding, glittering mosaics. B,L,D

  • day 4


    Travel to Padua for a guided stroll through the Old Town, including visits to the Scrovegni Chapel, famous for its rich and elaborate frescoes by Giotto, and the Basilica of Saint Anthony, with its bronzes by Donatello. Later, take private guided visits to Villa Foscari (La Malcontenta) and Villa Widmann, two of the grand villas along the bucolic Brenta Canal, opened exclusively for us. Dock in the picturesque fishing village of Porto Viro. Enjoy a festive captain’s welcome reception and dinner this evening. B,L,R,D

  • day 5


    Disembark for a morning excursion to Ferrara, once a center for the arts ruled by the Este family. Meticulously designed by urban planner Biagio Rossetti, Ferrara was the first fully executed concept of an ideal city during the Renaissance. Explore the cobbled streets of the UNESCO-designated city center. See its grand palaces including the Palazzo dei Diamanti, whose façade is studded with marble blocks carved to resemble diamonds. Stroll through the ancient Jewish quarter, whose community has lived here continuously since the Middle Ages, and visit the newly opened Jewish Museum. Admire the 12th-century cathedral, which combines Romanesque and Gothic styles in its three-tiered pink and white marble façade. Return to the ship with lunch on board. You may opt to visit Bologna, the cultural center of the Emilia-Romagna region, and one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. Marvel at the works of Reni, Giotto, and Parmigianino at the National Gallery, and see the Basilica of San Petronio, a Baroque confection dating to the 14th century. A short walk will take us to the Palazzo Comunale, an impressive Renaissance building that is now the City Hall. After lunch featuring local specialties, participate in a pasta-making class, or spend the afternoon visiting the Church of San Petronio and San Giacomo Maggiore, with the important Costa frescoes in the Cappella Bentivoglio. B,L,D

  • day 6


    Get an in-depth look at the UNESCO-listed Byzantine and early Christian mosaics in Ravenna, capital of the Western Roman Empire from 402 to 476 A.D. Visit Sant’Apollinare in Classe, with its glorious 6th-century apse covered in brilliant mosaics. Then see the mausoleum of Galla Placidia and Theodoric the Great’s churches—San Vitale and Sant’Apollinare Nuovo—with their extraordinary mosaics. Rejoin the ship in Burano and later this evening opt to explore Burano with an evening walking tour. Dine al fresco as La Venezia is docked in Burano. B,L,D

  • day 7


    Continue your exploration of Burano’s brightly colored houses in the morning, and visit a historic lace-making atelier. Cross to the neighboring island of Mazzorbo, and wander through an estate devoted to making wine with indigenous Dorona grapes. After a tour of the vineyard, gather for a wine tasting. Sail the historic Venetian Lagoon, with its numerous tiny islands and picturesque fishing villages. On peaceful Torcello, admire Byzantine mosaics inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta with an art historian. Be on deck tonight as we sail
    into illuminated Venice. B,L,D

  • day 8


    Docked in Venice, take a tour led by an art expert to the Accademia, Venice’s grand museum housing masterworks by Tiepolo, Veronese, and Bellini. Explore Venice’s famous opera house, La Fenice, on a behind-the-scenes tour. End with an exploration of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum to view its fascinating modern art collection. Return for lunch on board and enjoy an afternoon at leisure, or join your guide at a bacaro (a casual wine bar) for the Venetian version of happy hour, known as ombra e cicchetti—a drink (usually prosecco) with a bite-sized dish. This evening, attend the captain’s farewell reception and dinner. B,L,R,D

  • day 9


    Disembark in Venice this morning and transfer to the airport for flights home.

Everything you need to know about the tour

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