I know. You think you know Venice. You have been there before and did your gondola ride. I am here to tell you that there is an undiscovered Venice along with the Venetian Islands that you have never seen. I was surprised too! I have been to Venice numerous times for both work and fun but never experienced the lagoons and islands in this way before.
I sailed on the stunning Uniworld River Cruise SS La Venezia last month. I was not sure what to expect as it is very different than most river cruise sailings. The newly renovated ship and crew were perfection. From the cruise manager, Ricardo, to the saboring of the champagne by Silviu, the crew was there for our every need. The ship embraced the ornate designs of Venice along with multiple dining options onboard. We enjoyed dinner in their very own pizza kitchen on top of the ship, a wine and food pairing in a private dining room plus the amazing food in the main dining room. They even have a panini bar available for those in-between snacks.
The most fascinating part of this journey was the exclusive behind-the-scenes tours that only Uniworld can offer. The second day, we experienced two amazing and special tours. Our first was a before opening hours tour of Doge’s Palace. We were the only people in the entire palace! And to top it off, that evening, we had an after-hours private tour of St. Marks Basilica. They guided us into this landmark church through the dark to be seated for what was going to be the lighting of the cathedral. It was stunning and so special. It was an experience that I will never forget.
I know many people have taken a gondola ride but has anyone actually learned about the craft of making a gondola? We visited one of very few gondola-making businesses where we learned the tradition of making these beautiful boats by hand. Once learning that, I could not wait to go on a gondola ride again with a whole new respect for the trade.
Our other days were filled with a visit to Burano where Uniworld is the only river cruise company that has a dock to stay overnight! We were able to experience the lace demonstration then have time on our own to explore or even have dinner in Burano. We were fortunate enough to get a reservation at Al Gatto Nero, a Michelin star restaurant where I had the best spaghetti and clams ever! We also visited Murano for a glass blowing demonstration, Bologna for a pasta-making demonstration, Chioggia for a local market festival and sailed through the Venetian lagoons.
This area of Italy is rich with history and culture. Uniworld SS La Venezia was able to capture it in an unforgettable way.
If you book this trip through me, you will receive an additional $200 per person onboard credit.