Thu, April 19: Depart on your overnight flights to Milan, Italy.
Fri, April 20: Milan. Arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport, and transfer to a hotel in the heart of the city. Known the world over for its high-end fashion and dazzling bounty of artistic landmarks, Milan provides the perfect starting point for your Italian adventure.
Sat, April 21: Milan. Set out on an exclusive tour of the city, and it is so easy to see the highlights of the neighborhood on a short walk with a local guide. Tour the ravishing interior of gothic Il Duomo, the magnificent cathedral begun in the 14th century and finished 500 years later. Stroll under the triumphal arch into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and through the 19th century glass covered arcade as you learn about the history of this oldest shopping mall in Europe. Emerge in Piazza della Scala, home to the internationally celebrated opera house and Milan’s city hall, which happens to be a stunning Renaissance palace. Then, culminate the tour at Santa Maria delle Grazie, where a modest adjoining building houses a sight you will never forget— DaVinci’s work, The Last Supper. (B,L,D)
Sun, April 22: Milan, Verona, Venice. En route to Venice today, stop in Verona—home to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, and see the famous balcony. From Verona, journey on to an exclusive wine tasting and multicourse lunch at the Serego Alighieri estate, which belongs to descendants of Dante; the great Italian poet who penned The Inferno. Once in magical Venice, board the River Countess. Unpack, relax and enjoy your first evening on the Venetian Lagoon. (B,L,D)
Mon, April 23: Venice. 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. Continue your discovery tour by sailing the lagoon. 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. (B,L,D)
Tue, April 24: Chioggia. Admire the magnificent views of “The Floating City’s” greatest sights, including the Grand Canal, as the ship departs Venice and sails the lagoon for Chioggia. Your included excursion today could be one of three options. 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 guided walking tour—stopping at Piazza Vigo with its famous white marble bridge that links to San Domenico, a church standing on its own little island. For those who wish for a more active day, meet a local bike guide dockside for a scenic ride along the lagoon and the beaches of Chioggia. (B,L,D)
Wed, April 25: Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara). Polesella is the launching pad for tours to Bologna and Ferrara—the difficult task today will be choosing which one! Either spend a full day in Bologna, 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. Or, 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. (B,L,D)
Thu, April 26: Taglio Di Po, Chioggia. The ship will dock in Taglio Di Po in order to return to nearby Chioggia, where there’s no better place to indulge in Italy’s famed frutti di mare. Take your pick; a guided stroll through the town’s bustling fish market or a small boat ride to a casone (fisherman's hut on stilts in the middle of the lagoon) to experience how local fisherman harvest mussels. Following the tours, there will be time to peruse the inviting shops and sidewalk cafes on the Corso Del Popolo, Chioggia’s main boulevard. (B,L,D)
Fri, April 27: Venice Islands (Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello). 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 Assunta. (B,D)
Sat, April 28: Venice. 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. (B,L,D)
Sun, April 29: Venice. Disembark the ship and transfer to Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your flight home. (B)
Old World elegance and sophistication blend in perfect harmony with modern amenities and comforts on your floating boutique hotel. Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options. Highlights: elegantly appointed staterooms, all with water views (some with balconies), with generous built-in closets, infotainment center with flat-screen TV and complimentary movie and entertainment options, hair dryer, L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, backlit magnifying mirror, bathrobes and slippers. • specialty coffee and tea bar • all meals on ship (with open seating) • restaurant • 4 lounges (one with full-service bar, one with library) • wireless Internet in all public areas • sun deck with life-sized chess and shuffleboard • fitness room • sauna • massage room • gift boutique • elevator • free laundry service • use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks (first-come, first served).