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  • River Countess, Uniworld River Countess, Uniworld
    River Countess, Uniworld
  • Verona, Italy Verona, Italy
    Verona, Italy
  • Sun Deck, River Countess, Uniworld Sun Deck, River Countess, Uniworld
    Sun Deck, River Countess, Uniworld
  • Lake Garda Lake Garda
    Lake Garda

Lake Garda, Verona and North Italy

12-day stay & cruise


Short description

Let a five-star river cruise and luxury hotel stays bring you between Northern Italy's floating-city gems and natural good looks

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  • Enjoy pre-cruise stays at vineyard-ringed Lake Garda and historic Verona
  • Ply the rivers and coast of Northern Italy to link Venice's floating beauty with the region's medieval towns
  • Exclusive: includes $100 on board spending money per person along with full board and hand-picked excursions

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Lake Garda
  • 2 Nights Verona
  • 2 Nights Venice
  • 1 Night Chioggia
  • 1 Night Polesella
  • 1 Night Taglio di Po
  • 1 Night Chioggia
  • 2 Nights Venice


Recommended for:
River cruise

A powerful maritime-republic history has brought great riches to Northern Italy. It's something that lives on in historic cities, fine gastronomy and such unique audacities as Venice – a floating city of marble palaces and heritage mansions. It's all linked together by an exceptional natural beauty, best exemplified by Lake Garda's ring of green hills, vineyards and idyllic villages. It's the site of your first stay before you move on to Verona's immaculately preserved Roman ruins and riverside charm and then your luxury river cruise. Let gourmet cooking courses, beach-side bike rides and historian-led museum visits bring to life medieval cities and rural islands alike.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Verona and Lake Garda

Fly direct to Verona with British Airways where you'll be met at the airport. Your private transfer will then bring you, skirting Lake Garda's southern shores, to the Grand Hotel Gardone – your home for the next two nights. Built in 1884, this historic gem sits right on the lakefront, commanding sunset views over the shimmering waters. Take it all in with Jacuzzi dips, cocktails in the piano bar and fine regional dining on the verandah or make use of the hotel's private motorboat launch to head out and explore. It's no surprise that it became something of a favourite among noblemen and Europe's intelligentsia. 

Day 2
Lake Garda

You'll have today at leisure to explore Lake Garda's myriad delights. Discover botanic gardens, tumbling Roman ruins and historic villas, including the eccentric Il Vittoriale degli Italiani whose tiered gardens are host to a whole battleship. In the south, you'll find a collection of beautifully set out vineyards. Taste your away through award-winning vintages on cellar tours or simply make the most of the region's sunny disposition on gentle strolls. For further ambling, consider the picturesque lake walks along the northern and southeastern shores or head up into the hills for an overview. However, a visit to the region isn't complete until you've enjoyed a cruise on the waters themselves. 

Meals: B

Day 3

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and enjoy a private transfer to Verona. You'll arrive at the luxurious Palazzo Victoria. Situated right in the city's historic centre, it's part of Verona's very tapestry with its basement host to Roman ruins and ceilings painted with medieval frescoes. It's the first museum you'll encounter, complete with indulgent cocktail lounge and a fine dining restaurant that combines traditional flavours with contemporary sensibilities. You'll have the afternoon at leisure; consider visiting Giardino Giusti whose sculpted gardens have inspired Renaissance sculptures and Goethe's scribbles.

Meals: B

Day 4

Today, after breakfast, you'll be treated to a walking tour of the city. Your private guide will bring to life the city's UNESCO-listed historic centre where architectural gems appear around every corner. Highlights include its mansion-ringed piazzas, battlement-lined 14th century bridges and, of course, the famous Arena di Verona, a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre where operas are still performed to this day. This being Italy, you also won't have far to walk to discover a fine church or two. The most impressive is the Basilica di Sant’Anastasia, whose vaulted ceilings took from the 13th to the 15th century to be fulling painted in giant, colourful frescoes.

Meals: B

Day 5

After checking out of your hotel, a private transfer will take you the short distance east to Venice. Here, you'll board your luxury river ship – the River Countess. Recently remodelled, it's all chandeliers and stylish elegance. All Staterooms feature handcrafted beds and marble bathrooms while upgrades mix in picture windows and balconies that make the most of your stunning rural views. Dinner today will set the tone for your trip; expect fine dining delights informed by your storied settings.

Meals: B D

Day 6

Featured excursions today:

  • Venice walking discovery tour
  • Murano glassmaking
  • An exclusive evening opening of St. Mark’s Basilica

Today, a collection of excursions will get to the very heart of this unique, floating city. Wind through Venice’s labyrinthine back lanes as you get an up-close view of the city’s residential heart as well as such legendary locations as the Doge’s Palace and the Rialto Bridge. You'll then be treated to a Murano glassmaking demonstration at the Arti Veneziane alla Giudecca Glass Factory, where a skilled glassmaker demonstrates the timeless art of turning liquid silica into priceless figures. It's a tradition that has brought great riches to the city. Lastly, cap the day off with an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience with an after-hours lighting ceremony inside St. Mark’s Basilica without the crowds. Return to the ship for a Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Note: It is not always possible to arrange after-hours visits to St. Mark’s Basilica. If religious functions or festivities are taking place in the evening, we will visit during regular hours.

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Chioggia (Padua)

Today you have a choice of excursions:

  • Padua walking discovery tour
  • Chioggia walking discovery tour 
  • Exclusive guided bike tour of Chioggia’s beaches

Admire the magnificent views of 'The Floating City’s' greatest sights, including the Grand Canal, as your ship departs Venice and sails the lagoon for Chioggia. Here, a walking tour will shed some light on this 'Little Venice', famous for its colourful canals and medieval churches. For those who want to travel further back in time, an exploration of one of the oldest cities in Northern Italy, Padua, is the perfect choice. This medieval walled city is home to Italy’s second-oldest university, established in 1222, with frescoes by Giotto in its Scrovegni Chapel and the vast 13th century Basilica of St. If you'd rather a more active day, you can cycle along the beaches of Chioggia.

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Polesella (Bologna or Ferrara)

Today you have a choice of excursions:   

  • Full day excursion to Bologna with exclusive pasta-making workshop and lunch 
  • Half day excursion to Ferrara with lunch onboard

Bologna is a food lover’s paradise with unmatched specialty stores and halls featuring locally made mortadella, handmade tortellini, luscious balsamic vinegar from nearby Modena, ham from Parma and great rounds of parmesan cheese. Participate in a pasta-making workshop and then enjoy lunch at one of Bologna’s most celebrated restaurants. Alternatively, for lovers of art, spend a half day in Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a hidden Renaissance treasure, with a long history of art founded on the sponsorship of the noble Renaissance family – d’Este. Don't miss out on its imposing medieval walls and giant palaces.

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Taglio di Po, Chioggia

Enjoy today's excursion to Chioggia market and a boat ride on the Chioggia Lagoon

There’s no better place to indulge in Italy’s famed frutti di mare than Chioggia. Your return to this colourful fishing village on the Venice Lagoon will see you stroll through its bustling fish market, with your guide pointing out its rich 'fruits of the sea'. A walk along the marina is equally instructive, taking in the traditional fishing vessels. Later, head to the Sun Deck of your luxury ship to take in views of two more Venice Lagoon isles: sleepy Pellestrina, and Lido, home to the prestigious Venice Film Festival.

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Venice Islands (Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello)

Today's full day tour will bring you between colourful Burano with its lace-making, the wines of Mazzorbo and Torcello with its Byzantine mosaics.

Spend the day exploring the Venice Lagoon and three of its entrancing islands. Stroll through Burano to admires its rainbow of brightly coloured homes, and visit a lace-making atelier. While on Mazzorbo, you'll be treated to a very special wine tasting from a salt-water-tolerant heirloom grape, Dorona, which has been planted here to yield a luscious golden wine. Before heading back to Venice, visit Torcello, home to spectacular Byzantine mosaics depicting the Last Judgment in the 7th century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta.

Meals: B L D

Day 11

Today you have a choice of excursions:

  • Venice walking tour
  • 'Venetian Painters at the Accademia' tour

Get a feel for daily life in Venice with a guided stroll through its laneway maze. You'll twist along backalleys to reveal hidden basilicas and secret piazzas before hopping over bridges to spy the shimmering beauty of the Grand Canal. You'll also pay a visit to the famed Rialto Market – the lifeblood for the city's famous restaurants. Alternatively, an art historian will take you on a private tour of the renowned Accademia Gallery. Track the city's influences from Venetian home-grown, back to Byzantine mosaics and the Gothic 14th century. Of course, the Renaissance is well represented in such names as Bellini and Tintoretto. 

Meals: B L D

Day 12

Disembark the ship and transfer to Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your flight home, arriving the same day.

Meals: B


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