Our honeymoon cruise took us to two ports in Italy–Venice and Bari.
Venice was a very popular port for people joining and leaving the cruise–I would say the majority of passengers actually began and ended there. We had looked at doing the same but flying in and out of Italy was nearly twice the cost of Turkey and we also wanted to spend our second week of non-cruising in some places we had never been.
I think we made the right choice in visiting Turkey and Romania the second week instead of Italy, but I would love to take my husband back to Italy another time. He loved Venice, but much like our stop in Croatia, we felt both our Italian visits were much too short.
In Venice, my husband was nearly in heaven because we were able to ride on several different boats.
Venice: Glass Blowing and Gondolas
First, we got off our cruise ship directly onto another boat–the only port where we did this. Most of the time we disembarked onto land.
We took that smaller boat to San Marco where we got off and onto another smaller boat to ride out to the island of Murano to a glass blowing operation.
After our time on the island, we rode a boat back to San Marco where we disembarked, walked through the main square and wound through some alleys until we came to a Gondola station and boarded a gondola with another couple for a ride through the canals. Afterward we had a few minutes to purchase some gifts before catching a boat back to our ship.
Here’s a glimpse of some of what we saw in Venice, Italy.
Matera and Bari: The Sassi Caves
Our experience in Bari was quite different. We actually didn’t spend any time in Bari, opting instead for a bus ride out to Matera where we saw the Sassi Caves.
This was one of my least favorite excursions because the bus rides were so long we basically had to run through the stop in order to see anything before having to board and get back to the ship in time to depart. The city of Matera looked fascinating–there were little cafes and shops and a castle, etc. that were a blur as we rushed to see the caves.
I would be interested in seeing both Bari and Matera again.