River and coastal cruises in Italy

Cruising in Venice, River and coastal cruises, Italy, Italy (Photo Public Domain)
Cruising in Venice

Cruising the Po River or sailing around the boot in Italy

The original highways of Europe were its rivers—haven't you ever wondered why nearly all its great cities and even many small towns are sited on a major river or a bay on the coast?

For centuries before the invention of leisure travel, the standard way for someone to fulfill their wanderlust was to sign on aboard an ocean-going vessel and sail the seas as a member of the crew (somehow, the scurvy and rampant piracy were left out of the brochures).

These days, it's come full circle and Europe's ancient, watery routes of commerce—its rivers and canals, its bustling sea ports—share their thoroughfares with pleasure craft.

River cruising and coastal cruising offer a unique way to see the countryside and the shore at a relaxing pace. Also: you only have to unpack once, yet get to visit lots of cities and small towns. 

There are actually three kinds of cruises in Italy.

On the larger rivers, (typically the Po) you generally sail in larger river ships (Think: those Viking River Cruises commercials).

For smaller rivers and canals, you can take a guided barge tour on a smaller vessel. 

To visit a greater variety of destinstions across Italy, you can take a coastal cruise that stops at ports all along the boot-like silhouette of Italy.

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