5 of the Most Enthralling Italian Shore Excursions

Italy is a world-famous travel destination — so much so that for 5 years in a row, it ranked as the number 1 destination travelers wish to visit in Condé Nast Travelers Reader’s Choice Awards.

And it’s no surprise to us: between the beautiful colors of the scenery and villages, the rich history of arts and architecture, and of course the incredible food, what more could you want out of a vacation?

There are so many elements that make Italy a magical destination. And for that reason, we offer an array of Italian excursions for you to experience.

If you’re seeking culture, you’ll be enthralled by the many opportunities to see ancient architecture with knowledgeable guides. Art lover? Enjoy an epic garden of stone statues.

Grab your bucket list, because once you get a taste of these shore excursions, you’ll want to bump Italy up to your #1 travel destination.

Private Taormina and Catania

What words come to mind when you picture the perfect Italian excursion? If “culture” or “history” are the first words that pop into your head, you’ll want to add the Private Taormina and Catania Excursion to your vacation itinerary.

You’ll have the chance to view some of Italy’s best-kept secrets and shop for treasures to take home, too.

The journey begins in the mountainside resort town on the east coast of Siciliy called Taormina. Here, you’ll take a sight-seeing stroll around the town, where you’ll have the opportunity to view the culture and incredible architecture that define the area.

Next, it’s off to Catania. Catania is an ancient port in Sicily, founded all the way back in 729 BC and build upon the remains of volcanic eruptions. Parts of the volcanic remnants were even used as materials for the structures that make up the port.

You’ll visit the city’s main square, where you’ll take in breathtaking sights like the world-famous elephant fountain, or the Church of Santa’Agata.

Afterwards, you’ll have time to pop into the unique boutiques and find some special souvenirs to help you remember your adventure.

 

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Bomarzo’s Park of Monsters

Civitavecchia, a town on the cost Northwest of Rome, is a little-town treasure that over the years has been a cross section of many cultures. It’s packed full of astonishing sights, like thermal baths and ancient forts.

Perhaps one of the most astonishing of these wonders is Bomarzo’s Park of Monsters. Bomarzo’s Park of Monsters is a wonderland full of huge stones carved into eerie faces and monsters.

The sculpture garden was originally commissioned in 1552 by Prince Pier Francisco. It was meant to be a creative expression of grief after he was held ransom during the war, along with other personal heartbreaks after returning home.

While you explore the Bomarzo’s Park of Monsters for yourself, you’ll learn about each of the mythological creatures and the symbolism behind them. Afterwards you’ll move on to the nearby city of Viterbo, where you’ll visit the very hot springs that popes used to enjoy when they needed rejuvenation, starting in the 1400s.

End it all enjoying an authentic Italian lunch with a glass of wine, the perfect fuel for exploring more of Europe on your cruise.

 

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Have you ever visited the Parco dei Mostri (Garden of Monsters) of Bomarzo (Italy)? This garden was commissioned in 1552 by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini. The Prince had just been through a brutal war, had his friend killed, been held for ransom for years, and come home only to have his beloved wife die. Racked with grief, the Prince wanted to create a shocking “Villa of Wonders” and hired architect Pirro Ligorio to help him do so. Ligorio was a widely respected architect and artist and had previously completed the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Rome after the death of Michelangelo. The park is filed with bizarre and fascinating sculptures for which only the accompanying inscriptions provide any explanation. Perhaps the most frightening piece in the garden is an enormous head, mouth opened wide in a scream. The accompanying inscription reads “all reason departs.” Built during the Italian Renaissance, the garden layout bore little resemblance to the symmetry of other Renaissance gardens, and the art was made in a rough “Mannerist” style, a sort of 16th-century version of Surrealism. . . . #ancienthistory #monsters #park #garden #bomarzo #rome #Italy #renaissance #Italianparks #ancienruins #architecture #ancientarchitecture #archaeology #bizarreplaces

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Pompeii and Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi coast runs along the Southern peninsula of Italy. On one side is clear, blue water, and the other is towering cliffs packed with rows of stunning buildings that will transport you back in time.

For the Pompeii and Amalfi Coast excursion, you’ll get to experience the majestic coastline as well as the legendary history of the area.

The tour begins with a scenic drive to the coast where a guide will share all the must-know facts about the area. Soon, you’ll be at the gates of entry to world-renown Pompeii, the ancient city destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

In Pompeii, you’ll see where the old world meets the new as you witness rubble from the natural disaster contrasted by the breathtaking buildings that are still standing — like the House of the Tragic Poet, a Roman theater dating back to second century BC adorned with mosaics and engravings.

The Anti-Mafia Walking Tour in Palermo

Learn firsthand the damage that the mafia’s has done to the areas they’ve run, and meet people who have firsthand accounts of their impact on the Anti-Mafia Walking Tour.

The tour begins at Teatro Massimo in the Sicilian city of Palermo. The theatre is famous for being the location of the last scene of the iconic movie “The Godfather.” You’ll get a first-hand education about local grassroots efforts to end the mafia’s reign and how citizens are fighting back.

You’ll even get to have face-to-face conversations with some of the shop owners who persisted and bravely turned down the threats of the mafia.

Rejuvenate in the area’s oldest restaurant, Antica Focacceria San Francesco, famous for being one of the brave businesses who stood up to the ruthless mafia.

A Taste of Catania

If all this talk about authentic Italian food and wine has mad you hungry, then this shore excursion is definitely for you. Foodies and wine lovers won’t want to pass up a spot on the Taste of Catania excursion.

The Taste of Catania excursion is a tour of some of the best street food vendors on the planet. Experience melt-in-your-mouth breads, freshly cooked fish straight from the ocean, and other enticing new aromas sure to get your mouth watering.

While you indulge, your tour guide will share information with you not only on the dishes you’ll try, but on the history of the stunning city of Catania.

Reserve Your Spot Today

There’s a cruise, then there’s a cruise packed with unforgettable adventures. By booking shore excursions, you take your vacation to a whole new level.

Any excursion you choose will have delectable delights, sights you won’t forget, and to die for scenery.

We know what you’re thinking…what’s the catch? Luckily, there’s only one. Spots for these incredible journeys fill up quickly!

Sign up for your dream Italian shore excursion today >


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