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Itinerary

Sun. Sept. 22 Arrive Venice • (BB – Buffet Breakfast; Transfer to ship (D) • L – Lunch; D – Dinner)

Monday September 23 • Venice

Featured Excursions: Walking tour of historic Venice and Grand Canal cruise and exclusive, special evening opening of St. Mark’s Basilica.

Venice, founded in the sixth century, rose up on 118 islands in a lagoon of the Adriatic Sea. It became a great political power that controlled all European trade with the East throughout the Middle Ages, and its citizens lavished their wealth on their home town. You’ll stand in Piazza San Marco,  where every view has been re-created by painters through the ages, and be awed by 11th-century San Mark’s Basilica, adorned inside and out with treasures Venetian traders brought back from their voyages. The Doge’s Palace, reflects the wealth and the security of Venice’s rulers—it contained both the Doge’s private quarters and the council chambers where the elite 1,000 met to make major political decisions. It is full of artistic treasures, including Tintoretto’s wall-sized Paradise.

The exquisite Bridge of Sighs connects the palace with the prisons—which may be how it got its name. See the city as voyagers have always seen it, from the water, as you cruise along the Grand Canal, lined with palaces that reflect the history of the city—Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque—and spanned by famous bridges. Conclude your first day in Venice with a feast for the senses at the Captain’s Welcome Gala. (B, L, Captain’s Welcome Gala)

Tuesday September 24 • Venice – Padua

Featured Excursion: Full-day excursion to Padua, one of the oldest cities in Italy. Visit the Scrovegni Chapel where you’ll see the astonishing and moving frescoes painted by Giotto around 1300. Giotto was not the only artist to shine here; Mantegna and Donatello also gave Padua extraordinary artistic treasures. Your walking tour will take you from the Basilica del Santo to Cafè Pedrocchi, which writers, poets, and artists have frequented. (BB, D)

Wednesday September 25 • Serravalle (Ravenna)

Featured Excursion: Full-day excursion to Ravenna with Brisighella artisanal foods tasting. Ravenna, a vital seaport and Italian capital of the Byzantine Empire, is celebrated for the fifth- and sixth-century mosaics that adorn its churches. You will see the UNESCO-designated Basilica di Sant’Appolinare and the mausoleum of Galla Placidia; the buildings are sheathed in spectacular mosaics. Spend the afternoon rambling through the lovely historic downtown on your own, or discover the delicious results of Italy’s “Slow Food” movement in the Medieval village of Brisighella with an idyllic lunch at an olive oil mill. (BB, L, D)

Thursday September 26 • Polesella (Verona)

Featured Excursion: Full-day excursion to Verona City, the city endowed with fame by Shakespeare when he wrote of two local star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Verona’s wealth comes from its role as a center of trade; today it hosts Italy’s biggest wine fair. You’ll see architectural treasures ranging from an ancient Roman amphitheater still in use to Medieval palaces and the Piazza d’Erbe, with its 14th-century fountain. (BB, D)

Friday September 27 • Polesella (Bologna)

Featured Excursion: Full-day excursion to Bologna, the culinary capital of Northern Italy. Spend the whole day in Bologna.- does it have the best food in Northern Italy? You be the judge. There’s more to the city than Bolognese sauce, that’s for sure—there’s Parma ham, Parmegiano (parmesan), and perhaps the best tortellini in the world, all on lavish display at Bologna’s amazing food markets. Join in on a pasta workshop and discover how to make your own fabulous pasta. (BB, L, D

Saturday September 28  • Venice

Explore Venice at your leisure. Take a vaporetto to Murano for the world-renowned glass studios. Of course, you must take a gondola ride! Go to the Gallerie dell’Accademia for the greatest collection of Italian masters in one place; you’ll find Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Veronese, Canaletto, and Guardi, to name only a few. Lounge beside the Grand Canal with an aperitivo. Take time to see some of the quiet back lanes where tourists rarely go and get a sense of daily life in the enchanted city. (BB, L, Captain’s Farewell Dinner)

Sunday September 29 • Venice (disembark)

Optional Tuscany extension available Sept.29 – Oct. 3

 

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