Italy has it all- mountains, beaches, rolling fields, incredible architecture, and let’s not forget the culinary scene- pasta, wine, gelato, pizza, all the good (carby) things!
It would be easy to spend years in Italy- you could see something new each day and never see the same thing twice. Between the museums and vineyards, it’s the perfect place to get lost.
These reasons make it so challenging to decide on locations when your heart’s desire is spending time in Italy. However, I recently experienced a way to have a small taste of lots of areas while short on time: a Cruise.
To celebrate a milestone birthday with my mom, we planned an Italian adventure.
Our cruise began in Venice, where we stayed a few nights prior. [Venice recommendations post coming soon!]
Since Venice has restricted cruise ships from entering its port, our ship docked overnight in Ravenna. On the 2nd day, we were able to explore this part of Italy. We took a transfer from Ravenna to Bologna, where we enjoyed a lunchtime cooking class. We made tortellini, tagliatelle (my favorite!) and tiramisu. I even ordered a pasta machine that evening because I was hooked!
Day 3: After departing Ravenna and finally setting sail, we had a full day at sea!
Day 4: Our fourth day (and arguable our favorite location) was a stop in Sicily. With so many incredible things to see, we decided to go for a transfer to Taormina, where we all fell in love with the quaint streets, flowers everywhere, and of course, the dramatic coastline!
Day 5: On our fifth day of cruisin’ we had our busiest day yet- ROME! There’s so much to see in Rome and with the Summer crowds, we knew it would be a major undertaking. This is why we booked a private driver to pick us up from the cruise port, drive up to Rome and show us all the incredible sights! We did not purchase any entry tickets, so we were perfectly fine with wandering, being pointed in a general direction, and seeing what we could. Plus, this gave us lots of time to pop in the shops, meet friends for a fabulous Italian lunch, and make a gelato stop- a requirement when in Rome!
Day 6: Pisa & beach day! The Italian Riviera is a beautiful place, and the perfect place a hot Summer day!
Day 7: The last full day of our cruise was a stop in Toulon, France. This is a great stop if you’re looking for a visit to Marseille or Nice. For us, it was time for a quiet day. We got off the boat for a few hours, had lunch and returned for an afternoon of pool time.
Day 8: Sadly, our cruise had to come to end. We disembarked in Barcelona, so we decided to stay an extra evening here.
This afternoon, we rented go cart type vehicles and explored Barcelona! We saw such fun places in a 2.5 hour drive, and decided Barcelona would be on our list for another trip.
Although a Mediterranean cruise is a great way to see several destinations, it does truly limit your time in each place. There were a lot of things we really wanted to do, but couldn’t because of time constraints. At the same time, it helped us see the places that are really our vibe, so we can focus on them in the future. Cruises are so convenient, because it limits the amount of times you need to pack/unpack, includes your food and beverages for most of your trip, and gives you lots of fun entertainment. As huge cruise fans, we had a great time!
Looking to take a Mediterranean or European cruise? I can help! Let’s chat about your plans!