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River Countess River Countess
A stunning, award-winning boutique cruise ship
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Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy

Venice to Venice | 8 Days
Date Range: Jul 2014 - Nov 2014Ship: River Countess

Venice to Venice | 8 Days

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Program offerings are subject to change.
Day 1:
Venice (embark) MotorcoachEmbark/Disembark
Arrive at Venice Marco Polo International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship. After you’ve settled into your floating hotel, consider jumping right into Venetian culture with a private boat ride to a nearby arts center where you’ll see the fine arts of glassblowing and lace-making on display. (D)
Day 2:
Venice UNESCOUniworld Exclusive
FEATURED EXCURSIONS:  Walking discovery of Venice and exclusive special evening opening of St. Mark’s Basilica

Venice, which was founded in the sixth century, controlled all European trade with the East during the Middle Ages. Local guides will lead you through hidden alleys where tourists rarely go to the Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace, which is brimming with artistic treasures. The tour concludes at Rialto Bridge; stay in the city and explore on your own, or return to the ship. Cap off your day with a most memorable experience: an exclusive, crowd-free visit to spectacular St. Mark’s Basilica. In the evening enjoy a Captains Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, WD) 

Note: It is not always possible to arrange after-hour visits to St. Mark’s Basilica. If religious functions or festivities are taking place in the evening, we will visit during regular hours.
Day 3:
Venice, Chioggia (Padua), Taglio di Po, Polesella Motorcoach
FEATURED EXCURSION: Half-day excursion to Padua

Enjoy magnificent farewell views of “The Floating City’s” grandest sites as your ship departs Venice for Chioggia. In the afternoon, you will be driven to the Medieval walled city of Padua, one of Italy’s oldest towns and home to one of the oldest universities in the world. Here, many notable scholars sought academic freedom, including Galileo and Copernicus, and two of Italy’s most famous writers, Dante and Petrarch, were students. Join your local guide on a walking tour of Padua through ancient arcades and porticos to Palazzo della Ragione, Padua’s historic city center, and then visit the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Later in the evening, reboard your ship and sail to Polesella. (BB, L, D)
Day 4:
Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara) UNESCOChoice Is YoursUniworld ExclusiveMotorcoachDining Out
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of full-day excursion to Bologna with exclusive pasta-making workshop with lunch or half-day excursion to Ferrara with lunch

Spend the whole day in Bologna, called la grassa, meaning bountiful. Its portico-lined streets are home to the oldest university in Europe. But does it really 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, parmesan cheese, and perhaps the best tortellini in the world, all on lavish display in the amazing food markets. Join a pasta-making workshop and learn how to create your own fabulous pasta. Or spend a half day in Ferrara, one of Italy’s best-kept secrets, where you’ll discover how the city became an artistic hub for the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, and Petrarch, among others. (B, L, D)
Day 5:
Polesella, Taglio di Po (Ravenna or Po Delta Area), Chioggia, Venice Choice Is YoursMotorcoachDining OutUNESCO
FEATURED EXCURSION: Choice of full-day excursion to Ravenna OR half-day excursion to Po Delta Area with lunch

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’Apollinare 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 and enjoy an artisinal foods tasting, or enjoy the morning at leisure onboard your floating hotel as your ship sails from Polesella to Taglio di Po. Today, you’ll visit the Po Delta Area, which is located south of Venice on the Northern Adriatic Sea. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind as you take in the beauty of the Po Delta Nature Reserve with 2 million trees of 150 different species. Be treated to a delicious seafood lunch. Later in the afternoon, reboard your ship in Chioggia and sail to Venice. (BB, L, D)
Day 6:
Venice (Verona) UNESCOMotorcoach
FEATURED EXCURSION: Full-day excursion to Verona, city of Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare endowed Verona with enduring fame when he wrote of two star-crossed lovers, but Verona has been an important city in Northern Italy for 2,000 years. Though Juliette and her Romeo are Verona’s best-known pair, Verona’s best-known landmark is the pink-marble-sheathed Roman arena, where many of today’s famous composers, musicians, and opera singers still perform. Savor the magic of Verona and get swept away in its romance. (BB, D)
Day 7:
Venice Choice Is YoursUniworld ExclusiveInsider
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Venice walking tour or visit a local arts center

See Venice like a local during a walking tour of the Dorsoduro district and the Rialto, the city’s historic core. Visit the markets and indulge in a Venetian aperitivo. Or, if you didn’t join the arts center visit on day one, you can do so today. See master glassblowers and lace makers, arts for which Venice is renowned. During the afternoon, sail through the scenic Venice Lagoon. In the evening enjoy a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. (BB, L, FD)
Day 8:
Venice (disembark) Embark/DisembarkMotorcoach
Transfer to Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your flight home.
(CB/BB)
Note: Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary.  Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.
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