Domed cathedral Florence Italy at dusk

Splendours of Italy

Explore masterpieces by some of Italy’s greatest artists—including Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Your All-Inclusive cruise/tour includes a stay onboard a luxurious floating hotel docked on Venice’s Grand Canal.

From the numerous back lanes of Venice and its picture-perfect islands to the charming “hidden gems” along the Po River, you will experience private wine tastings, exclusive insider-access tours, once-in-a-lifetime cultural encounters, and absolutely incredible Italian food—experiences you’ll remember for years to come.

"The best cruise I have ever been on and the best vacation I have ever had!!"

Carol - July 23, 2015 - Splendours of Italy

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Splendours of Italy

Ship: River Countess

2016 | 15 DAYS FROM MILAN TO ROME

Cities Include: Milan, Venice, Padua, Bologna or Ferrara, Verona, Florence, Rome

Featured Highlights: Chioggia walking tour, after-hours lighting ceremony at St. Mark’s Basilica, pasta-making workshop, “Do as the Locals Do” Venice walking tour, Accademia Gallery tour with art historian, “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour in Rome

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Available Departures: All dates except Jul 22, 29

Available Departures: Dates Here

Available Departures: Jul 29; Aug 5, 19, 26; Sep 2, 9; Oct 7, 14, 21, 28

Available Departures:

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Gems of Northern Italy

Ship: River Countess

2016 | 10 DAYS FROM MILAN TO VENICE

Cities Include: Milan, Venice, Padua, Bologna or Ferrara, Verona, Chioggia

Featured Highlights: Special after-hours lighting ceremony inside St. Mark’s Basilica, hands-on pasta-making workshop in Bologna, “Do as the Locals Do” Venice walking tour, Po Delta

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Available Departures: Dates Here

Available Departures: Apr 29; May 20; Jun 3, 17; Jul 15, 29; Aug 5, 19, 26; Oct 7

Available Departures: May 13; 17 Jun; 22 Jul; 5 Aug

Timeless Destinations in Italy

Milan

Venice

Florence

Rome

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An Up-Close View of One of the World’s Greatest Masterpieces

One of the highlights of Uniworld’s “Splendours of Italy” itinerary is an opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. Even more than 500 years after the painting was completed, this work of art remains one of the most analyzed and instantly recognizable images in history.

In 1495, Da Vinci was commissioned to paint a wall in the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Asked to create a portrait of Christ's last supper with his disciples, he chose to paint the very moment in which Christ announces the presence of a traitor amongst his disciples. Da Vinci managed to make the moment come alive with his depiction of each of the twelve disciples, demonstrating their personal reactions to the announcement through facial expressions and movement.

Unlike other paintings depicting the Last Supper, Da Vinci chose to place Judas with the rest of the disciples. In paintings by other artists, Judas is often found separated from the group, making his role as the deceiver obvious. Leonardo's inclusion of Judas with the other disciples is part of what makes the painting such a masterpiece, as it forces the viewer to carefully scan the painting and the face of each character in it.

As many Uniworld guests can attest, The Last Supper is one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, and seeing it firsthand is a “bucket list moment” for any patron of the arts.

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Exclusive After-Hours Visit inside St. Mark’s Basilica

Uniworld has arranged a rare after-hours visit inside St. Mark’s Basilica for our guests, away from the massive daytime crowds. It’s almost impossible not to gaze heavenward upon entering this splendid structure. High overhead, magnificent domes are sheathed in mosaics telling the story of the New Testament. Underfoot are intricate patterns made with tiny marble and mosaic tiles. Ahead is the famous altarpiece made by Byzantine artisans, who gilded it and decorated it with precious gems (some of which were subsequently stolen by Napoleon).

The basilica itself was completed in the 11th century and incorporates remnants of earlier churches. Gold glass-tile mosaics line the interior walls and cupolas, giving the church its nickname, the Church of Gold. It houses treasures collected by various Venetians over the centuries—such as the relics of St. Mark, patron saint of the city. Every successful Venetian voyager returned with something spectacular to decorate the basilica and the result is one of the most stunning sites in this beautiful and mesmerizing city.

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

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Walking Tour of Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance

Uniworld guests enjoy an up-close view of some of the city’s most glorious monuments, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Florence Baptistry, the Uffizi Gallery, the Piazza della Repubblica, and the Ponte Vecchio—lined with glittering jewelry shops—and Santa Croce, where Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and Rossini are buried.

Throughout our walking tour, guests can see buildings bearing the Medici family emblem—red balls on a gold shield—a sure sign that Medici money built it. In this city, one doesn’t need to enter a museum to see the work of major artists. Simply stroll along the Loggia dei Lanzi, a 14th-century arched gallery near the Palazzo Vecchio, to see statues dating to antiquity. Cross the Arno to see the Pitti Palace, home of the Medici, and the old merchant quarter.

Need a break from Renaissance architecture? Browse the chic boutiques lining Florence’s charming streets, and be sure to stop for a refreshing scoop of gelato. There’s no better way to appreciate this magnificent and historic city, than to wander its worn cobblestone streets on foot.

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Guided visit to Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

It takes far more than a single day to see all of the Vatican Museums—there are 14 individual museums located in 13 papal palaces, so the expertise of Uniworld’s local guide is invaluable when navigating this overwhelming bounty of cultural treasures.

Our fascinating and insightful tour encompasses the Sistine Chapel, with its spectacular ceiling frescoes by Michelangelo, and St. Peter’s Basilica—the largest church in Rome and one of the largest in the world—topped by an extraordinary dome designed by Michelangelo. For many of our guests, this visit to Vatican City is one of the highlights of their trip.

Uniworld guests also enjoy ample time to explore the Eternal City on their own. Castel Sant’Angelo is just a short walk away, and the Piazza Navona—the heart of baroque Rome—makes for a delightful stroll. Other enticing sites include Capitoline Hill, the famous Roman Forum, and the Baths of Caracalla. Or simply relax over a cup of espresso at a sidewalk café. When in Rome…

*Free Economy Air offer is based on economy class airfare from most major U.S. and Canadian cities and is valid for new bookings only. Free Economy Air offer is valid only for the following 2016 Splendours of Italy departure dates: 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6 and 5/13. Free Economy Air offer is subject to flight availability at time of booking. Air itineraries will be at the discretion of Uniworld and will be assigned at time of booking. Free Economy Air Offer requires full payment at time of booking. Air may be canceled within 24 hours of booking to receive a complete refund. Free Economy Air offer includes all airline fuel surcharges, government taxes, and fees. Free Economy Air offer is not combinable with Early-Booking Savings Offers, or any other promotional offers, except the River Heritage Club Member Savings. Other restrictions may apply. Uniworld reserves the right to withdraw or change offers at any time. For complete booking terms and conditions applicable to all Uniworld trips, please contact your travel agent or visit uniworld.com.

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