The magnificent Po River, which winds 400 miles from its source in the Alps to the Adriatic, has nourished the people of Italy for thousands of years in both body and spirit. The Po Valley has produced some of Italy’s most notable cuisine, as well as spectacular art, architecture, and music.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International River Voyages
- Departure Dates
- May 9, 2020 - May 17, 2020
The 126-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.
OPTIONAL PRELUDE IN ASOLO & THE PALLADIAN VILLAS
May 7–10, 2020
Discover how the elegance of Andrea Palladio’s architecture, inspired by classical buildings and distinguished by a purity of form, found a home in the Veneto region, where he created some of his most beautiful villas. Using Asolo and the charming Villa Cipriani as a base, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Villa Foscari (La Malcontenta) along the magical Brenta Canal. Also discover the Villa Emo, whose walls are adorned by delightful paintings by Giovanni Battista Zelotti, and the Villa Barbaro, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Paolo Veronese’s most important frescoes are found. View another classicist’s work at the Gipsoteca Canoviana, a museum devoted to Canova’s plaster cast and scale models of some of the artist’s most famous sculptures.
Includes two nights at Hotel Villa Cipriani; two breakfasts, one lunch, and two dinners; sightseeing as noted
- day MAY 9
Depart for Venice on an overnight flight
- day MAY 10:
VENICE, ITALY / EMBARKATION
Arrive at Venice’s Marco Polo International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. Unpack, relax, and enjoy your first evening on the Venetian Lagoon.
- day May 11
VENICE / CHIOGGIA
Take a scenic cruise through the historic Venetian Lagoon to Chioggia, then choose among three options today. You may set out on a walking tour of Chioggia, a picturesque fishing village. Alternatively, travel to Padua for a guided stroll through the Old Town, including visits to the Scrovegni Chapel, Giotto’s masterpiece, famous for its rich and elaborate frescoes; the Church of the Eremitani; and the Basilica of St. Anthony, with its bronzes by Donatello. Finally, your third option is a guided visit of one of the grand villas along the bucolic Brenta Canal. Enjoy a special captain’s welcome reception and dinner this evening.
- day May 12
POLESELLA / FERRARA / BORETTO
Disembark this morning for an excursion to Ferrara, once a center for the arts ruled by the d’Este family. This beautiful Renaissance city rivaled Medici Florence, and at its center is the imposing Estense Castle, built in the 14th century by the d’Este. Walk the cobbled streets of the UNESCO-designated city center, full of grand palaces including the Palazzo dei Diamanti, whose façade is studded with marble blocks surfaced to resemble diamonds. Also admire the 12th-century cathedral, which combines Romanesque and Gothic styles in its three-tiered pink and white marble façade. Return to the ship in the afternoon.
- day May 13
BORETTO / PARMA
Today journey to Parma, which has existed since Roman times and is famous for producing two of Italy’s most iconic foods: parmigiana cheese and prosciutto. In the historical center, see the Romanesque Cathedral, decorated by painter Antonio da Correggio, and the octagonal Baptistry, considered one of the finest medieval buildings in Italy. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the famous Teatro Regio, one of the country’s most renowned opera houses, linked with great composers like Verdi and Rossini (pending confirmation). Stroll through vibrant Piazza Garibaldi, and step inside the Basilica di Santa Maria della Steccata to marvel at the work of Parmigianino. At the National Gallery, admire works by da Vinci, Allegri, and van Dyke. Return to the ship in the late afternoon.
- day MAY 14
BORETTO / MANTUA / POLESELLA
Step off the ship today to discover Mantua, called La Bella Addormentata, or Sleeping Beauty. The wealthy and powerful Gonzaga family created the stunning Palazzo Ducale, the largest residence in Italy after the Vatican. With more than 500 rooms, a basilica, courtyards, and gardens, the palace contains precious tapestries, masterpieces by Raphael, and spellbinding frescoes by Andrea Mantegna. A short distance away, explore Giulio Romano’s awe-inspiring masterpiece Palazzo Te, a fine example of mannerism in architecture. Inside, admire the painted “Hall of the Horses” and the “Chamber of the Giant.” Return to the ship in the late afternoon.
- day May 15
POLESELLA / RAVENNA / VENICE
Today 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. See the mausoleum of Galla Placidia and Theodoric the Great’s churches—San Vitale and Sant’Apollinaire Nuovo—with their extraordinary mosaics. Nearby visit Sant’Apollinare in Classe, with its glorious 6th-century apse covered in brilliant mosaics. This evening, S.S. La Venezia sails from Chioggia to Venice along the lidi (shores) dotted with picturesque fishing villages.
- day MAY 16:
Docked in Venice, today chose among three options to explore this beautiful city: take a tour led by an art historian of 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; or take a guided tour of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum to view its fascinating contemporary art collection. Return for lunch on board and enjoy a free afternoon. This evening, attend the captain’s farewell reception and dinner.
- day May 17
VENICE / RETURN
Disembark in Venice this morning and transfer to the airport for flights home.
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