Check into the MS Michelangelo from 6pm and settle into your cabin. Welcome cocktail and introduction to the crew. Dinner on board and evening at leisure.
After breakfast there is an optional tour of Venice, beginning in what is the historic centre of the town, the wonderful St Mark’s square. This is Venice’s only true piazza with an awe inspiring basilica, soaring campanile and magnificent Doge’s palace. Return on board for lunch before an afternoon optional excursion to visit the islands in the Lagoon. The first stop is at the beautiful island of Murano, home of Venice’s glassmaking industry since the 13th century. Visit to Burano, famous for its lacework which dates from the 16th century, and famous for its quayside houses painted in startlingly bright and contrasting colours. Dinner on board and moor for the night.
Breakfast on board and cruise to Chioggia, arriving late morning. Lunch on board and optional guided visit of Padua, the main location for Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Known as the town of St Anthony, Padua is also a pilgrimage town and full of artistic treasures. Visit the famous “Santo” Basilica dedicated to Saint Anthony and free time to explore the historic centre. Meanwhile the MS Michelangelo cruises to Taglio di Po. Back on board for dinner in Taglio di Po. If you choose not to do to the Padua excursion, a transfer will take you from Chioggia to Taglio Di Po with a stop in Adria, the city which gave its name to the Adriatic Sea. Moor for the night.
Cruise to Polesella, arriving late morning. Optional excursion to Bologna, an authentic medieval city which has been perfectly preserved and is famous today for its arcades or porticos, balconies, many churches and curved towers. Return to the ship in Polesella. Dinner and moor overnight.
Breakfast on board this morning before an optional excursion to discover Ferrara. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this Renaissance town is surrounded by a continuous wall almost 9km long which is one of the oldest and most impressive defensive systems of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Inside the walls are many palaces, churches and monasteries. Return to Polesella for lunch on board and in the afternoon there is an optional excursion by coach to Verona. This town has the largest collection of Roman remains and artefacts in northern Italy and of course was made famous by Shakespeare’s tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet. Those who have not booked the optional tour continue cruising on the Po, transfer to Chioggia and afternoon at leisure. Return to the boat. Moor overnight.