Explore Venice, its lagoon and islands and splendors of the Po Valley aboard the MS Michelangelo.
Venice is unique, amazingly beautiful and casts its spell over all those who visit. The first sight of the Grand Canal from the water affects the emotions like nowhere else. No matter how many times you visit Venice, that first glimpse of every trip is something special.
The Serene Republic is a wonderful place no matter when you visit but we have chosen mid-May for our cruise as the temperatures will be comfortable yet the crowds of summer won’t have yet descended on the city. Standing on the Rialto Bridge and looking down the Grand Canal as the sunlight reflects off the subtle coloured palaces, or on the water front looking across to the enchanting Santa Maria della Salute, bathed in that special Venetian light are moments are what make Venice so very special.
In addition to our time in Venice we will sail across the Lagoon to the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello, enter the Po River Delta and cruise the River Po for visits to the Renaissance cities of Ferrara and Verona. There will also be time to relax aboard our first class river vessel as she sails the waters of La Serenissima and beyond.
Venice & Beyond itinerary:
Day 1 - LONDON GATWICK OR MANCHESTER TO VENICE.
Fly by scheduled direct flight from London Gatwick or indirect flight from Manchester. On arrival transfer to the Michelangelo. This evening enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner.
Day 2 - VENICE, MURANO, BURANO AND TORCELLO.
After breakfast on board there will be an optional tour to St.Mark’s Square which was the political and religious centre of the city when La Serenissima ruled an empire. Return to the vessel for lunch and this afternoon we will see the three most beautiful islands of the lagoon where you can explore a fascinating aspect of Venice which is quickly disappearing: the handicrafts of the glas sblowers, lace makers and textile specialists. Enjoy a scenic motor-launch ride passing many of the 40 picturesque islands that surround the Venetian Lagoon and reach Murano, renowned since 1291 for its glass manufacture. Here you will witness masters of this delicate craft atwork, during a visit to a leading factory. Continue to Burano, a tiny island dotted with brightly painted houses. Its fame is due to the traditional lace making, an art still practised by many of the local women. There will be time to wander and browse in the little shops of this cheerful fishing village of the lagoon.Nextwe arrive at Torcello, once themost populated of the early lagoon communities but nowadays the most peaceful.Wewill take a pleasant stroll to the square to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assumpta, built in the 7th century.
Day 3 - CHIOGGIA & TAGLIO DI PO.
This morning we take a leisurely cruise to Chioggia. The landscape in Chioggia is fascinating, with spectacular views across the lagoon and its lively city centre. You have free time to take a walk along the promenade, the perfect way to experience the atmosphere and admire some of themost important monuments of this glorious city. After lunch on board we will drive to the city of Padua, the city of Saint Anthony. The Basilica, built immediately after his death, attracts thousands of pilgrims every year fromall over the world. Afterwards we will take a walk through the historical centre to the university and the oldest botanical garden in Europe.We return to our vessel for dinner as our floating hotel cruises gently to Taglio di Po.
Day 4 - POLESELLA & VERONA.
Cruise to Polesella during breakfast, where we arrive late morning. After lunch on board, we set off by coach on our optional excursion to Verona. Our expert local guides will accompany us on a walking tour to discover the most beautiful monuments of the town.
Day 5 - FERRARA & BOLOGNA.
Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Renaissance town of Ferrara is surrounded by a continuous wall almost 9km long which is one of the oldest and most impressive defensive systems of the Middle Ages. It makes use of all the defence techniques used in the 1400s and 1500s: city gates, bastions, large towers, gun slots and embrasures. Inside the walls we find many palaces, churches and monasteries. We return to Polesella for lunch on board and then set off by coach for our optional excursion to Bologna which is home to the oldest university in the western world. We sail back to Venice this evening during dinner.
Day 6 - VENICE.
We arrive back in Venice this morning and embark on a walking tour to discover the hidden corners of the city. You may well have visited the Serene Republic before but our tour of hidden Venice will include the Arsenale, a colossal shipyard of the Serenissima Republic; the San Giorgio dei Greci church and its secret courtyard; Campo Santa Maria Formosa, one of the city’s largest square’s and perhaps the most Venetian place in town and Marco Polo’s House, before we reach the famous Rialto bridge.
Day 7 - VENICE TO LONDON GATWICK OR MANCHESTER.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for the scheduled direct flight to London Gatwick or indirect flight to Manchester
The MS Michelangelo is a spacious vessel accommodating up to 140 passengers in well-appointed cabins. She has recently been refurbished (January 2011), making her one of the finest vessels on the Venetian waterways. Air conditioned throughout, the vessel is bright and airy, and beautifully furnished.
All cabins measure 13 square metres and have en-suite facilities. There is a large window, individually controlled air conditioning, satellite TV, radio, safety deposit box and a hairdryer.
Spread over three decks, the onboard facilities include a delightful restaurant which accommodates all guests in one sitting. Breakfast is buffet style and lunch and dinner is served to your table; cuisine is a selection of regional specialties and international dishes. The lounge is a pleasant space for relaxation with large panoramic windows, a large TV and bar area. On the large, spacious Sun Deck you will find comfortable deck furniture and a swimming pool.