Cruise Infographic by Bolsover Cruise Club
Italy is a country that has a lot to offer and its most famous – and popular – destinations are typically its cities. However, choosing between them can be difficult, which is why cruises are such a brilliant option.
What’s more, you can get some fantastic cruise deals that allow you to take in multiple Italian cities, along with other Mediterranean destinations. The following are five of the best cities to visit on a single trip – you can see them all on an itinerary with P&O.
Genoa may not be one of Italy’s most famous cities but it has an illustrious history – one that can be clearly discerned by walking down the famous Via Garibaldi – a street lined by some of the most opulent and impressive palaces you’re ever likely to see.
Known as the Palazzi dei Rolli, these buildings were designed as homes for the city’s most important families and many of them are still privately owned to this day. Such is the significance of these mansions, they have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Old Town of Genoa is a real delight to explore, with its maze of narrow alleys and streets home to all manner of historical landmarks and interesting architecture. However, the city is famous for more than just its heritage – it also has strong gastronomic traditions, most notably pesto was invented here.
Although it’s not on the coast, Florence can still be visited during a cruise as a day trip and it is certainly worth a little extra travelling to experience its charm. Its historic centre is also protected by UNESCO and boasts an incredible selection of Renaissance architecture, not to mention some of the world’s top artistic treasures in the likes of the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti.
It is this strong artistic heritage that draws in so many visitors year after year, with pieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Giotto and da Vinci, to name just a few, among those that you can uncover in its myriad galleries and churches.
Continuing the journey south, the next logical stop is Rome – a city that really needs no introduction. Famed for being the hub of the Roman empire, not to mention its strong ties to the Catholic church and the Vatican, Rome is a wonderfully vibrant city to explore.
Historical sites such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Mausoleum of Hadrian should not be missed, but neither should the religious properties of the Holy See. Of course, a trip to Rome isn’t just about sightseeing – it’s about soaking up the atmosphere in this thriving metropolis. Take the time to enjoy a coffee with the locals at one of the many pavement cafes, or indulge in delicious Italian cuisine at one of the top-quality restaurants before you return to your ship.
Naples is yet another popular Italian city that is perhaps best known for its cuisine – pizza, pasta Napolitana and Neapolitan ice cream are just a few of the dishes said to originate from this destination. Pizzerias can seemingly be found around every corner – make sure you grab a slice to enjoy while you’re sightseeing.
It too has a historic centre that, like all of our previous examples, is recognised by UNESCO. Stroll around the city’s bustling streets to discover some of its varied architectural styles – for instance, the churches of San Giorgio Maggiore and San Giovanni Maggiore still have features dating from the 4th and 5th centuries.
From Naples, there are numerous day trips you can go on, such as to visit the remains of Pompeii, to see the charming island of Capri, or to discover the charms of Sorrento.
Back in northern Italy – although this time on the eastern coast of the country – we come to Venice. This is possibly one of Italy’s most distinctive and recognisable cities, with its network of canals and connecting bridges making it incredibly picturesque.
Venice is, in fact, spread across more than 100 small islands – hence the reliance on waterways to move around – and boasts some beautiful and noteworthy landmarks, including St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. While it may be quite expensive, going on a gondola ride is a real must, especially if this is your first time visiting the city.