If you envision a cruise in the Mediterranean, then Italy is sure to come to mind. Italy exists in the heart of the Mediterranean, and the country’s boot like shape could be an advertisement for the millions of people who step onto the cruise ships there each year. Its prime location makes Italy a great launching pad for a holiday. It is the gateway to the Mediterranean word. Italian cruises offer trips around the ports of Italy, as well as to islands like Corsica, Malta and Sardina. However, if you are in the mood for adventure and distant shores, then there are a variety of different destinations to choose from. The majority of cruises depart out of the port of Civitavecchia, which is about 70 km outside of Rome, but their final destinations vary considerably. From Morocco and northern Africa to Turkey and Greece, the cruise ships take advantage of the fact that the Mediterranean is a vast and expansive waterway and the link between different countries and continents. Whether you set off for foreign countries or cruise around the ports of Italy, the Mediterranean Sea will be crystal blue and the sunshine twinkling like a glass of Pinot Grigio.
The most difficult aspect of planning an Italian cruise is deciding where to go. If you have never been to Italy before, then exploring its coastal towns and ports is a good place to start. The Italian Riviera, otherwise known as the Lugurian Riviera, stretches from the Cote d’ Azur region of France to Capo Corvo. The city of Genoa is the focal point of the Italian Riviera, and many cruise lines operate out of this old fishing port. The Italian Riviera is different than the French Riviera. It is charming and rustic. Its hillside villages lack the glamour and polish of places like Cannes and Monaco. The sheer cliffs and sandy beaches are captivating, and you feel like you are lost in time and a million miles away from the clamour of Rome or Florence. Portofino, Lerici and Cinque Terre are some of the most popular destinations on the Italian Riviera.
After exploring the Italian Riviera the cruise ship heads south. Naples, Palermo and Sicily are all high-trafficked ports of call. However, the culmination and grand finale of any round trip cruise of Italy is Venice, and it only makes sense, as this enchanting city with the Grand Canal and 100 islands was once the Mediterranean’s most formidable shipping power. The vast wealth and cultural riches of its empire is seen today in the form of majestically faded palazzos, ornate churches, palaces and bridges. The tangled waterways and narrow canals are best navigated by gondolas or vaporettis.
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