The longest river in Italy is the Po, which flows eastward across the northern part of the country. This waterway starts in the Alps and travels 400 miles to the Adriatic Sea near Venice. The force of the Po’s water powers hydroelectric stations and cools various power plants nearby.
Although all of the cities mentioned are included in a River Cruise along the Po, not all of them are located on the banks of the river, but you will be able to visit them all via other forms of transports.
Here are five cities we recommend you visit while on one of our Po River Cruises.
The city of Venice is situated on a lagoon close to the mouth of the River Po. It’s spread out over 118 islands, split up by canals, yet interconnected by 400 bridges. Tourists can catch regular shuttle buses to transport them from the port to Piazzale Roma. A one-of-a-kind experience we highly recommend is to walk across the Constitution Bridge, a glass walkway that allows you to see what’s underneath.
You should also visit Piazza San Marco, located in the heart of the city, as it’s the largest square in Venice. You can only get to it via water transport, but that’s all part of the fun. The various attractions within the square include The Doge's Palace, St Mark's Basilica and many museums that provide tourists with plenty of information on the city’s history.
Padua is said to be one of the oldest cities in the north of Italy. It’s best-known for being the setting for Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and holds a wide selection of medieval markets. One of the main attractions you should pay a visit to is the Basilica di San Antonio, a religious site that holds the tomb of Saint Anthony. This significant church has a mix of Romanesque, Byzantine and Gothic architecture that’ll take your breath away.
You may also wish to visit the Scrovegni Chapel, a small church with murals of The Life of Christ and The Life of the Virgin on the interior walls, completed by Giotto. Plus, there’s the 90,000-square-metre piazza, Prato Della Valle, which hosts regular markets, festivals and live performances.
Polesella is home to the Palazzo Grimani, a 16th-century residence allocated to the famous Italian architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. This building was destroyed during the 19th century but has since been restored and the remains will allow you to imagine how important this Venetian family were to Italy.
Another place that showcases Polesella’s rich heritage is Villa Armellini, a 16th-century hunting lodge where portraits of the late Francesco Armellini can still be seen. In the 1700s, Mattia Bortoloni painted biblical scenes and motifs on the walls upstairs, which you definitely shouldn’t miss. Don’t forget Villa Morosini, though, a beautiful venue with spectacular sculptures, paintings and marble works.
Ferrara is a significant Italian Renaissance city as it showcases a wide range of culture, art and history. One monument that expresses Ferrara’s rich heritage is the Estense Castle, located in the centre of the city. This medieval fortification consists of four corner towers and Renaissance styled architecture that symbolises the power of the Este family and represents the city.
Another monument to seek out in Ferrara is the Diamanti Palace, known for its facade covered with 8,000 pink and white diamonds. Tourists can experience an exhibition of art from some of the most famous artists in the world, including Picasso and Monet. However if, after visiting the Diamanti Palace, you still want to witness some more art, you can take a look inside the National Picture Gallery, where Ferrarese paintings can be seen.
The City of Verona is in the Veneto region and is the third largest city in the north-east of Italy. It’s best-known for its annual operas and shows held inside the 1st-century, Roman-built amphitheatre. This theatre is one of the best-preserved ancient structures in the world and can seat around 15,000 people during its four to six shows a year. A memorable part of any opera in this amphitheatre is when candles get distributed out to the audience during sunset and the arena is lit-up.
William Shakespeare’s plays The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet were set here and still, to this day, inspire tourists to visit Juliet’s Balcony at Casa di Giulietta, where you too can stand on the balcony.
If you wish to book a Po River Cruise with us, then contact us via our website or call 0800 028 4272.
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