The beauty and many cultural attractions of Italy are within your reach as you cruise on the Po River and Venice Lagoon. The longest river in Italy, the Po empties into the Adriatic Sea. On the way it leads us to the jewel of the Adriatic: Venice. Come with us as we explore one of the most romantic cities in the world!
The Doges Palace: a celebration of the glory days of Venice
Strolling the lagoon island of Venice, one can't help feeling cut off from the rest of the world, as no cars and very few motorized vehicles can be seen. One means of transport between different parts of the other is by vaporetto, small boats which can easily sail the narrow canals and fit under the bridges. Otherwise, Venice is best explored on foot - the best way to lose yourself in a city that has remained unchanged for centuries. The sundeck of CroisiEurope's MS Michelangelo offers beautiful views sailing the peaceful waters of this island city, alongside St. Mark's Square, the heart of the city and Venice's main attraction.
The Doges Palace, situated right next to it along the quay, is one of the most breathtaking sights standing out among the city's many bridges, dotted all along by tall, colourful buildings, typical of Venetian Rennaisance architecture. The front of the Palace is stunning, majestic and unique in every way. It has two levels of white arches supporting polished walls looking out to the sea and St. Marks Square. The same arches also decorate the internal courtyard in an even brighter white than outside. Once inside the courtyard, you can discover its Basilica, and the Giants Staircase, which was orginally the entrance to the palace and is decorated with statues of Mars and Neptune, dating from the XVIth century. The Doges Palace is made up of a combination of marble and stone, celebrating Venice's golden age - the Renaissance. The Golden Staircase is yet another reminder of Venice's period of exuberance, magnified by ornaments and paintings by the most illustrious masters of the time. It is no mystery that the Doges Palace is still the pride of Italy.
Connecting the Doges Palace to the prison is the famous Bridge of Sighs, named after the last sigh of condemned souls about to be executed when they see their families for the last time. One of the symbols of Venice, it remains the most visited attraction of the island city.
A tour of Venice on a gondola
Touring Venice on a gondola is a unique opportunity to travel on the narrow waterways intersecting the city. You sail past the colourful buildings as if strolling the streets of a normal city... but Venice is no ordinary city. The gondoliers are highly skilled at manoeuvering down the narrow canals, and it is amazing how two gondolas manage to squeeze past each other, side by side. Gondolas are at least 10 metres long and powered by the strength of the arms of one man. As you sail past the ancient palaces, you’ll lose count of the number of bridges.
When you leave the narrow canals, you sail the Grand Canal under the Rialto Bridge, one of four bridges spanning the Venetian canal and the oldest of them all. The most beautful bridge in Venice, the Rialto was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo. The Rialto Bridge and its banks seem bustling in comparison to the quiet canals. The setting is stunning, with hotels and luxurious palaces making this place one of the most popular parts of the Eternal City.
The Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) is one of four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge on the canal and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo.
Find out more about CroisiEurope Venice River Cruises.