All You Need to Know About Our River Cruises in Italy

Italy seems to have it all. Culture beyond comparison, cuisine that is famous worldwide, wonderful fine wines, and infinite sightseeing opportunities… the list goes on and on! There are so many cities and activities from which to choose that it can seem daunting at first – after all, you want to make sure you are going to experience the perfect holiday.

River Cruises in Italy

How We Can Help

We are firm believers that a river cruise in Italy is the best way to get to know this country. We have carefully crafted our holidays to ensure you have the chance to visit multiple cities and experience a wide range of activities on a single journey. Not only that, we have also come up with several itineraries geared towards a wide range of interests (while still sneaking in some variety – after all, a golf holiday is great, but some history peppered in around rounds can only make it better).

Let us help you experience the magic of Italy. River cruises with us will give you a taste of all the flavours this European nation has to offer, whether in that is literally (the food and wine are out of this world) or figuratively (the history here is rich and extensive).

Read on to learn more about our favourite hotel barge and our top four personalised itineraries – from operatic overtones to family-friendly fun, we guarantee you will find the ideal river cruise in Italy for you.

Our Top Highlights of a River Cruise in Italy

  • Explore the wine cellars of Villa Widmann-Borletti during a private visit
  • Discover Etruscan, Byzantine and Roman history on a tour of Chioggia
  • Have dinner in Villa Ca’Zen, a seventeenth-century stately home
  • Visit the Doge’s Palace in Venice or the Ducal Palace in Mantua
  • Take a tour of the Pavilion of Gondolas, the Naval Museum and historic Venice
  • Travel the Canal of the Orphans and drink in the views of the picturesque lagoon islands

Get in touch with our expert team for more of the top spots we visit on our river cruises in Italy.

Villa Ca'Zen - River Cruises in Italy

A River Cruise in Italy on La Bella Vita

You are lazily floating down a waterway. As you sit by the on-deck pool sipping a glass of Prosecco, you can see the beautiful Italian landscape on either side of you. The warm Mediterranean sun is gently shining down on you and warming your already tanned skin. You know you are on a river cruise in Italy – but it feels like you are in paradise.

We know that is what river cruises in Italy should be about: style, comfort, relaxation and the finer things in life. You can find all this and more on one of our favourite hotel barges, La Bella Vita. True to its name, you will live a beautiful life while aboard this vessel. The interior is modern and typically Italian, which you can see through the use of vibrant colours, and the atmosphere is tranquil and serene. What more could you want?

We will tell you! On board you will find features such as…

  • Eight lower deck staterooms and two upper deck junior suites, all complete with en suite facilities and air conditioning
  • An experienced crew of up to ten people (including the hosts/hostesses, the chef, the captain and a tour guide)
  • Attentive service from the above
  • An open bar
  • A large dining room with a louvre door
  • Delicious, gourmet Italian meals prepared by the chef, and fine wines to accompany the food
  • An enormous sun deck with loungers and a canopy
  • Bicycles
  • An on-deck spa pool

LBV - Deck Plan - River Cruises in Italy

We felt that every aspect of this holiday was really first rate. The journey was efficiently organised, the boat was more than comfortable, the food and drink were excellent and the staff could not have been more pleasant. The journey was excellent value for money and we would not hesitate to recommend the company in the highest possible terms.

Michael O'Neill

River Cruises in Italy for… Italophiles

If you’ve got a passion for Italy, river cruises around this beautiful country are sure to be right down your waterway. If you’re looking for an introduction, including a closer look at the historical and fascinating cities of Venice, Mantua and Ferrara (among many, many others), we recommend hopping aboard our classic cruise. Learn about the deep, rich and entrancing history and culture of this nation as you visit some of the country’s most famous sites and monuments, sample its delicious traditional meals and fall even more in love with Italia. This voyage is truly the perfect overview.

Some of our handpicked highlights are…

  • Discovering hidden gems on a walking tour of the Castello District
  • Travelling through a nature reserve to spot the local wildlife
  • Exploring the private home where Lord Byron wrote some of his most famous poetry
  • Visiting the Archaeological Museum in Adria, an ancient Etruscan town
  • Gazing upon the architecture of the Castello Estense

Read our full itinerary here.


Fantastic and memorable trip! Exceptional service and the food was thoughtful and incredible every day; the wine pairings were also very nice. Overall, our experience on the boat was amazing. We’ll never forget how special this trip made our anniversary!

Ms Judith Greycloud

River Cruises in Italy for… Golfers

Keen golfers have been to Portugal, Spain and Scotland… but what about Italy? River cruises here can present you with the opportunities to experience a putting paradise. As you travel through this gorgeous country along its waterways, you will have the opportunity to play rounds at four of the very best golf clubs. However, that is not all. You will also absorb the history and culture of the cities in which these greens reside, from Mantua to Venice – the perfect excursions to break up the perfect golf holiday.

Prepare to play at the following golf clubs (all are 18 holes and par 72):

  • Verona
  • Frassanelle
  • Albarella
  • Venezia

Read our full itinerary here.

Italy Golf Course - River Cruises in Italy

A week of unending charm. The crew and tour staff went out of their way to be accommodating. They were always cheerful and friendly. The ample meals were tasty and expertly prepared and presented. The extras (specifically the excellent wine and the Captain’s night) both added to the unending charm of the voyage.

Mr Ben Moise

River Cruises in Italy for… Wine Lovers

If you are a wine lover, we are sure you perked up when you read ‘fine wines and an open bar’ earlier in this piece. Luckily, we share your passion for vino, which is why we have put together a voyage dedicated to this delicious drink. From the glasses of reds and whites served with our meals to excursions to various vineyards, we are sure we can quench your thirst – after all, this country is known for its incredible selection of wines.

Experience tastings at the following places:

  • Orto, a lovely wine estate
  • Villa Widmann Borletti, a gorgeous manor from the seventeenth century
  • Soave, a beautiful medieval town
  • Aboard La Bella Vita!

Read our full itinerary here.

River Cruises in Italy- Borletti

Our voyage on La Bella Vita was wonderful: Andrea’s food, the wine selection, the charm of the ever-helpful and friendly crew and especially Laura’s organisation of the daily programme. I liked the one big table setup which facilitated making friends. Nothing could be faulted – I would give them 10 stars if I could.

Ms Helen Leckie

River Cruises in Italy for… Families

When families choose to go on holiday in Italy, river cruises should be on their list. Our traditional itinerary is already great for adults, but we have come up with a fantastic way to make it child friendly so that the whole family can experience the wonders of this country by hotel barge. To make your holiday down the Italian waterways perfect for all ages, choose up to four of the excursions listed below… and you can add them to our classic voyage for no extra cost!

Make your fun family friendly by:

  • Playing in the Gardaland Amusement Park
  • Exploring the Venice Natural History Museum
  • Visiting the Valcorba Animal Park
  • Swimming and cycling
  • Attending a Disney-themed opera on board La Belle Vita
  • Trying a Venetian mask-making workshop
  • Hopping aboard a boat ride in Chioggia
  • Taking a tour of St Mark’s Bell Tower and Cathedral

Learn more here.

Water Amusement Park - River Cruises in Italy

A 50th anniversary that all the family will remember forever. European Waterways go the extra mile on everything they do. This was a family trip with three generations on board and everyone without exception all said the week on the barge was the BEST.

John & Wendy Slade

River Cruises in Italy for… Opera Enthusiasts

The luxury of a river cruise in Italy goes hand-in-hand with the elegance of the opera… and we are more than happy to expose you to both. On this specially crafted expedition, those with a love for this type of music will be well-catered for. Join us as we journey down the Italian waterways, visiting everything from magnificent opera houses and theatres to other culturally infused sites. We will even take in a show or two so you can hear the operatic beauty for yourself.

We will see the following opera venues:

  • Arena di Verona
  • Gran Teatro La Fenice
  • Teatro Communale
  • Teatro Bibiena

Read our full itinerary here.

Arena di Verona - River Cruises in Italy

A dream trip. The trip was wonderful. All the staff operated with great enthusiasm, good humour and attention to detail. There were some delightful touches, like slowing the boat down so we could feed a family of goats on the banks of the River Po, and the opera evening was hilarious. My whole family could not have enjoyed the experience more.

Mr Michael McInerney

Intrigued by a River Cruise in Italy?

Whether you are a keen golfer, an opera enthusiast, part of a family, a wine lover or just someone who has a soft spot for Italy, river cruises with European Waterways are a fantastic, unique and informative way to experience all this beautiful country has to offer its visitors. No matter what your ideal holiday is, our expert and dedicated team are here to help you make the Italian adventure of your dreams come true.

Get in touch with us so we can help you handcraft the getaway you have always wanted.

Whether you want a solo golf trip, to show your kids this country for the first time or to sip wine with your partner of 40 years, there is something for everyone on a river cruise in Italy. Embark on the voyage of a lifetime as you fill your senses with the beautiful sights, delicious foods and wonderful sounds of this magnificent country. We guarantee it will be a holiday you will never forget.

Contact us with any questions, comments or concerns – or, of course, if you are ready to book!

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