When you think of a cruise, you might not immediately consider a hotel barge – but with a vibrant mix of luxurious accommodation, friendly faces, a buzzing spirit and delectable menus, it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. In particular, the landscape and geography of Italy’s winding waterways make hotel barging in Italy a perfect way to explore the country, and when doing so, the cities of Venice and Mantua are not to be missed.
Many Italian river cruises have selected Venice and Mantua as premium destinations to visit when hotel barging in Italy due to their charming atmosphere, breathtaking architecture and vibrant culture. Your voyage will take you between the two unmissable jewels of Italian civilization, where you can truly appreciate the awe-inspiring history and idyllic lifestyle on display.
Venice is a city like no other. With no vehicular traffic, the spirit of the place is truly inimitable. Divided into six neighborhoods (sestieri), each with their own distinct personality, the sestiere of San Marco sits nestled in the middle, boasting the attractions and views for which the city is so revered. Hotel barging in Italy offers the chance to experience Venice the way it was intended – from the water.
It’s not hard to see why Venice is one of the most famous docks on a barge holiday in Italy. Winding through the magical alleys and bustling thoroughfares, emerging onto the spectacular Grand Canal, you won’t know where to look first to drink in this unique location. With bucket-list locations including Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale and the Bridge of Sighs, the very best of Byzantine, Venetian Gothic and Renaissance influences are all on show for you in Venice.
Another stop popular with companies running hotel barging in Italy is Mantua, in the Italian region of Lombardy. Surrounded on three sides by artificial lakes, Mantua is an education in history – from its Etruscan beginnings, through to its occupation in Roman times and its blooming cultural scene during the Renaissance. With enchanting streets and impressive piazzas, Mantua is not to be missed from the splendor of your river cruise.
Mantuan highlights include its various imposing palaces, including Palazzo Te, built to facilitate the illicit trysts of Federico II Gonzaga, and Palazzo Ducale, the Gonzaga family home. The three lakes surrounding Mantua were built as a defence system in the 12th century, but to today’s visitor hotel barging in Italy, they offer serene walks and gorgeous views. Finally, the energetic piazzas make one feel like a local, surveying the markets for the best deals and engaging with the friendly people of Mantua.
When selecting your next getaway, consider hotel barging in Italy as the perfect medium through which to immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Venice, and the vibrant Mantuan way of life. Traverse the cultures spanning Roman, Etruscan, Istrian, Byzantine and Renaissance times, and note how they have influenced the amazing societies that have emerged. Floating along the water, you’ll be able to truly appreciate the life and customs of these Italian attractions – an experience you will surely treasure forever.