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A wonderland of Renaissance art, a banquet of mouth-watering cuisine and a treasure trove of historic architecture, Italy is truly a feast for the senses. Nowhere does la bella vita quite like Italy, making it one of our favourite places to escape the everyday and find the extraordinary.
We sail to Italy between May and November on a number of ships in our award-winning fleet, including our brand-new Edge Class ships, Celebrity Edge® and Celebrity Apex℠. Onboard, you’ll discover a world of modern luxury, including two-tier villas with their own plunge pools and 29 delectable bars and restaurants. There’s never been a more refined way to explore the many gems of Italy’s coastline.
But in such a richly diverse country, where do you start? We’ve put together our top picks to help inspire your next Italian cruise.
Those who love city-living can’t miss vibrant, bustling Naples. Nestled in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius and dating back to the 2nd Millennium BC, every inch of the city drips with fascinating drama.
For instance, you’ll find masterpieces by Caravaggio in the Museo di Capodimonte, and Pompeiian frescoes in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Each piece of architecture has its own story to tell, some even dating from the time the city was settled by the Greeks before being conquered by the Romans.
And, of course, no one can leave Naples without indulging in a slice of pizza or two (Naples is the birthplace of pizza, after all). The city’s proximity to the coastline and its fertile volcanic soil mean it’s rich in fresh, flavourful ingredients. Taste them at their best in a hearty bowl of spaghetti alle vongole.
Coastal destinations don’t get much more idyllic than elegant Capri, an island perching in the Bay of Naples. This is the place to explore rugged cliff-sides, stroll around botanical gardens of wisteria outside stately villas and shop in refined jewellery boutiques.
This is an island that celebrates and is shaped by the sea, a relationship you can examine at the Blue Grotto, what is perhaps Capri’s most famous attraction. This sea cave, open to visitors during the summer, glows a vivid, iridescent blue thanks to the way sunlight filters through an underground cavity to spellbinding effect.
Spend a leisurely afternoon and evening in Capri by visiting the Villa San Michele di Axel Munthe, an exquisite building set upon the ruins of a Roman villa. Enjoy breath-taking views over the bay from gardens bursting with a kaleidoscope of flowers, and maybe even catch a classical music concert.
Portofino simply oozes charm, from the pastel houses lining the bay to the harbour with its turquoise water and scattering of super-yachts. Begin your time in this Italian Riviera village at the Piazzetta, the cobbled main square which overlooks the port. Here, you’ll find a wide choice of boutiques and seafood restaurants serving up that morning’s catch.
From the Piazette, make your way to Castello Brown. This formidable fortress dates back to the 16th century and offers sweeping vistas of the Liguarian Sea.
Delve even deeper into the history of Portofino at La Cervara, a former abbey occupying an atmospheric cliffside position. A designated Monument of Italy, the complex was founded 1361 by Benedictine monks. Walk among the classical Italian gardens and admire the 17th century marble fountain.
Welcome to Trieste, where neoclassical architecture enchants and vineyards undulate into the distance on a karst plateau. Thanks to its location, separated from the rest of the Italian Peninsula and enclosed by Slovenia,Trieste has an identity all of its own. You’ll find Slovenian and Austro-Hungarian influences everywhere, and especially in the Austrian Quarter. The grand Piazza Unità, the city’s main square is open to the sea and teems with Art Nouveau buildings and the impressive City Hall.
Summertime in Trieste explodes with festivals, from jazz to rock. Or, you might choose to visit one of the city’s famous literary cafes, mysterious hotspots for radicals and intelligentsia. We’d recommend Tommaseo, which is located close to the Piazza.
We will be staying overnight in Trieste on our upcoming 11-night Italy, Croatia and Montenegro sailing, meaning there’s even more time to immerse yourself in the many treasures that Trieste has to offer.
The diverse wonders of Italy are waiting for you. Start your Italian adventure by browsing all of our Mediterranean cruises now.
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