Arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel.
Famous for its innovative design and stylish flair, Milan is an Italian fashion mecca. Venture inside the city’s hulking Gothic cathedral, as well as its cathedral to capitalism, Europe’s oldest shopping arcade. Our Featured Excursion & Generations Excursion is pure genius—Da Vinci’s The Last Supper mural, the most famous religious painting in history. Milan’s financial and industrial center combines fashion & finance, opera & furniture design, telecom companies and trade fairs. It’s a modern global city whose roots sink deep into the history of Italy. Founded 2,500 years ago, Milan retains traces of every epoch, from Roman, medieval and Renaissance up to the current moment, and it boasts a dazzling bounty of artistic and cultural landmarks, which are yours to experience today.
Milan (Verona/Valpolicella), Transfer to Venice (Embark)
On this morning, you’ll check out of your hotel and head toward the Adriatic coast and magical Venice, but the day includes two delightful stops along the way. En route to Venice, you’ll stop in Verona—the literary hometown of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. One highlight is seeing Juliet’s famous balcony—yes, that balcony! Later, enjoy lunch at the historic Valpolicella wine estate owned by descendants of Dante, the great Italian poet who penned The Inferno.
Hoping to escape marauding Huns, Goths and Vandals in the fifth century, refugees built a little settlement they called Venice on tiny islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. By the 12th century, Venice was the wealthiest and most powerful city-state in Europe, controlling the Mediterranean and all European trade with the East. Its merchant-aristocrats lavished their wealth on palaces and churches, art and music, creating a city that is truly like no other. Now, seawater laps at the foot of thousand-year-old houses— and sometimes rises above the doorsteps—but the glorious palaces and romantic canals enchant visitors just as they have for centuries. On this day you will embark on your own personal voyage of discovery through this entrancing city. An expert guide will take you on a “secret” tour, showing you iconic sites, quiet lanes and secret spots normally reserved only for locals. Also, on deck today—a scenic cruise around the Venetian Lagoon.
The S.S. La Venezia sails from Venice and passes the Lido before docking in Chioggia at the southern end of the lagoon. On this journey you will cruise through the lagoon to see the colorful fishermen’s houses of Pellestrina and the huge ongoing flood-control project called MOSE (which is designed to protect Venice from rising seawater), arriving in Chioggia—sometimes called “Little Venice.” Join a local expert for a stroll around this picturesque fishing village, a popular place for artists. The seaside air and sweeping views are simply spectacular. Adventurous travelers can explore the sights with a bike tour around Lusenzo lagoon ending at Sottomarina’s beach.
Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara)
Today you face a tough decision: Do you spend a full day in Bologna, the culinary capital of Northern Italy, or visit UNESCO-designated Ferrara, a beautifully preserved Renaissance city? Let your passions be your guide today. If you have an appetite for pasta, head to Bologna—the heart of Italian culinary traditions—and learn how many pastas are made and shaped, even trying to shape some yourself! Then enjoy an authentic Italian pasta lunch prepared just for you. Or indulge your appetite for art with an excursion to Ferrara, an ancient center for the arts that once rivaled Medici Florence.
Porto Viro, Chioggia, Burano
Chioggia is such a delight that we’ll return there today to experience something completely different. You can visit the village’s bustling once-a-week market—a colorful and boisterous scene, and quintessentially Italian. IMPORTANT: We are obliged to comply with Italian Maritime Authorities who require that the ship is only manned by crew during the Adriatic Sea passage. Therefore, our guests must disembark the ship and partake in the featured excursions. We thank you for your cooperation.
Venice Islands (Torcello, Mazzorbo, Burano)
Venice is an island surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands, three of which you’ll visit today—Torcello, home to beautiful Byzantine mosaics; Mazzorbo, where you’ll taste a historic golden-hued wine; and Burano, famous for its lace-makers and houses painted in eye-popping colors.
Lovers of food and wine flock to Italy to immerse themselves in a true farm-to-table epicurean experience. If that sounds like you, you’ll love today’s walking tour to the famous fish and produce market next to the Rialto Bridge. Prefer a more visual feast? Join an art historian for a highlights tour of the Accademia gallery.
Disembark the ship. If your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your flight home.