Friday, January 28, 2011

Italy Cruises Top 10 Ports of Call and Italy Cruise Shore Excursions

Italy cruises from Rome and Venice cruise around Italy to the Eastern Mediterranean with ports of call in Athens, Croatia, the Dalmatian Coast, Greek Isles, Turkey and even Egypt and Israel are often on the Eastern Mediterranean Italy cruise Itinerary. Italy cruises also cruise around the Western Mediterranean to France, Spain, Morocco, including ports of call in Barcelona, Valenica, Mallorca, the Italian Riviera , the French Riviera, the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, and North Africa.

When considering a cruise from Rome or a cruise from Venice one should consider the shore excursions that each Italy cruise itinerary offers.  Cruising around Italy to the Eastern and Western Mediterranean is a delight and all the Mediterranean ports on a Italy cruise offer wonderful historic sights, culture and food. And many port cities are on the cutting edge of modern and contemporary design, all of which offers the Italy cruise tour traveler no shortage of history-themed and contemporary -themed shore excursions to choose from when on an Italy cruise.

Western civilization flourished on the shores of the Mediterranean so the ports of call on a Italy cruise are ports that have been welcoming visitors for thousands of years. It is lots of fun to arrive in the various Mediterranean ports because it affords a view of the city just like when the earliest cultures sailed around the Mediterranean trading spices, wine, herbs, and more.

We suggest that before or after an Italy cruise you do either an Italy pre cruise tour or Italy post cruise tour, or if your Italy cruise itinerary is a cruise from Rome to Venice or a cruise from Venice to Rome why not do both an Italy pre cruise tour and Italy post cruise tour in each city.

Below are our favorite ports of call for big ship Italy cruise itinerary. Smaller ships will fit into ports along the Dalmatian Coast, Italian Riviera and French Riviera that big ships will not.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Rome
A Rome pre cruise or Rome post cruise tour may be ranked top of the list of Mediterranean shore excursions. And as such, we suggest two nights or ideally four nights in Rome to get a taste of the eternal city.  There is so much to see and do in Rome that two nights will provide a nice overview and four nights will give you enough time to walk around the city taking in most of the sights. Of course, a lifetime in Rome may not be sufficient time for some Italy travelers but a Rome pre cruise tour or Rome post cruise tour is the next best thing to a lifetime in Rome.  After this Rome pre cruise tour and Rome post cruise tour you may want to plan a Italy vacation in the future. Or if you have time plan to spend a week or more in Rome - you'll never got bored in Rome.

When in Rome we suggest staying around the Piazza Navona and Campo de Fiori area in Rome's centro storico.  In this area you'll have access to Rome's fabulous sights including Piazza Navona, which is the center of Rome's centro storico and a must visit. With fountains by Bernini, caffes surrounding the piazza and some of Rome's most famous streets off of this piazza you will love this area. From Piazza Navona you may stroll less than 5 minutes to visit the Pantheon.  And from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona it is a 5 minute stroll to Campo de' Fiori. This golden triangle of Rome's centro storico is full of action. Around here there are plenty of place ot enjoy an espresso, a gelato, a pizza or a traditional Roman lunch or dinner. For shopping and restaurants a nice street to explore is Via del Governo Vecchio.

For a serene retreat, stroll the 148-acre Villa Borghese gardens, the second-largest public park in Rome. You’ll see sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, well-tended gardens and tranquil lakes. Within the park is the Galleria Borghese, an art museum featuring the works of Bernini, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Tiziano Vecelli (Titian) and Raphael.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Venice

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain and spice trade) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi. There is nor shortage of things to do in Venice for a few days during your Italy cruise and you may consider a stay in Venice on a Italy pre cruise tour or Italy post cruise tour.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Naples Italy Italy Cruise Shore Excursion
A Italy cruise to Naples offers so much that if the cruise ship is in Naples for one day you must choose between the sights and natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast and Capri, visiting Pompeii, or exploring the hustle and bustle of Naples.  Regardless of the itinerary you choose you will not be disappointed around Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfui Coast thus we rank it #1 on our list of top Italy cruise shore excursions.

When visiting Naples and Amalfi Coast consider the following shore excursions:
  • Naples Archaeology Museum 
  • Spaccanapoli and Via Gregoria Armena
  • Pompeii
  • Capri
  • Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Naples shore excursion secret tip: visit the ancient mansions in Stabiae for an authentic look at how the ancient Roman plutocrats lived.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Athens, Greece Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

This ancient city can be noisy and full of traffic congestion and provides too much hustle and bustle for some. Escape it all with a pleasing stroll up to the Acropolis, which offers a spectacular view over the city and the Mediterranean. Archaeological remains there include the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the Temple of Athena Nike.

 Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Barcelona, Spain Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

The architect Antoni Gaudi left his mark across Barcelona. His most famous work is the enormous yet unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882. Art lovers can also explore the whimsical Park Güell, a garden complex with architectural elements designed by Gaudi. Check out the multicolored mosaic dragon fountain at the main entrance. He also built Casa Milà, a residential building with an amorphous shape based on an art style called biomorphism. 

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Istanbul, Turkey Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

Istanbul is also a megacity, as well as the cultural, economic, and financial center of Turkey. It is the largest city in Turkey and 5th largest city proper in the world with a population of 12.8 million, also making it the largest metropolitan city proper in Europe and the second largest metropolitan area in Europe by population. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on both the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents. During its long history, Istanbul had previously served as the capital of the Roman Empire (330–c.395), Byzantine Empire (c.395–1204 & 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Thereafter, the new Republic of Turkey, moved their capital to Ankara during the Turkish War of Independence.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Alexandria, Egypt Italy Cruise Shore Excursion

In ancient times, Alexandria was one of the most famous cities in the world. It was founded around a small pharaonic town c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It remained Egypt's capital for nearly a thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (Fustat was later absorbed into Cairo). Alexandria was known because of its Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its library (the largest library in the ancient world); and the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Greek Isles

The Greek Islands are a collection of over 6,000 islands and islets that belong to Greece. Only 227 of the islands are inhabited, and only 78 of those have more than 100 inhabitants.  The largest Greek island by area is Crete, located at the southern edge of the Aegean Sea. The second largest island is Euboea, which is separated from the mainland by the 60m-wide Euripus Strait, and is administered as part of the central Greece periphery. After the third and fourth largest Greek Islands, Lesbos and Rhodes, the rest of the islands are two-thirds of the area of Rhodes, or smaller.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Dubrovnik Croatia

The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, also known as the fifth Maritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice), it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Although demilitarised in the 1970s with the intent of forever protecting it from war devastation, in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for 7 months and heavily damaged by shelling.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Messina Sicily

Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle, from the Greek meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbor (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). A comune of its province, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, is to this day called 'Scaletta Zanclea'. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honor of the Greek city Messene. The city was sacked in 397 BC by the Carthaginians and then reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse.

Italy Cruise Top 10 Port of Call - Izmir Turkey

The city is one of the oldest settlements of the Mediterranean basin, dating to 7000 B.C.  The Greek settlement in Old Smyrna is attested by the presence of pottery dating from about 1000 BC onwards and the most ancient ruins preserved to our day date back to 725-700 BC.

To find the best Italy travel deals visit

Thinking of visiting Southern Italy.  Visit Italian Tourism Amalfi Coast vacation packages for the lowest prices on Amalfi Coast holidays.

For more about Italy vacations visit - if you prefer independent Italy vacations click here.  For guided Italy tours click here. Italian Tourism also offers Italy cruise tours, which include a cruise from Italy and an Italy land tour all in one low price.

For a cruise around Italy click here be sure to visit Rome cruise 2014 and Venice cruise 2014.  Italian Tourism Italy pre cruise tours and Italy post cruise tours include Italy port transfers and hotels at greatly reduced rates so you may travel around Italy before or after your Italy cruise.

Italy Cruise guarantees the lowest rate on all cruises from Italy and shore excursions during your Italy cruiseItaly cruise will always beat or meet the best rates, even beating the prices cruise lines rates if you shop direct. And we offer friendly service by an Italy cruise expert to guide you on a Italy cruise.  So before you buy direct, shop around then contact Italy Cruise for your next cruise from Italy.

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At January 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM , Blogger tess said...

I definitely recommend doing a pre and post tour on a Rome to Venice cruise.

Cruise Bug

At January 30, 2011 at 2:17 AM , Blogger VICKYFF said...

Scarves Scarves
Next year will be better this year, a slight malaise and fatigue

At March 19, 2011 at 4:00 AM , Blogger Mitja Goole said...


Wow! What's a great site, the pictures are very beautiful. Italy cruises emphasizes a destination-intensive, floating-hotel experience with top-notch food and superior service. Thanks...

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At October 26, 2012 at 6:06 AM , Blogger iffatali said...

The desire to become a journalist came really because I very much like living abroad, and like to travel, and wanted to be paid for it.
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At February 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM , Blogger Jake Alexander said...

Thank you for sharing this post. I found it very helpful and informative. I am going to Italy this summer and can hardly contain my excitement. I have been researching tourist attractions and Villas In Tuscany where I can stay. I can't wait to drink some great wine and eat some delicious food.


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