Italy is one of the countries travelers most look forward to visiting during a European cruise. And it’s no wonder why – with amazing historical sights, delicious food and wine, and gorgeous views, there is no shortage of things to look forward to doing and seeing during ports of call in Italy.
Cruising also makes it easy and relaxing to visit multiple areas of Italy all in one trip. Here is a breakdown of all the different Italian cruise ports of call you can visit on a Mediterranean cruise with Celebrity Cruises, and some itinerary inspiration for each.
Italy Ports of Call for Florence and Pisa
Florence and Pisa are located about 50 miles apart and are popular destinations to head to for cruisers sailing along the northwest coast of Italy. Florence is famous for its Renaissance past and the opulent architecture and famous works of art that can still be seen in the city. As for Pisa, you have likely heard of a certain crooked tower located there.
Location: Central Italy in the northern Tuscany region. The ports of Laspezia and Livorno are located on the west coast of Italy.
The Port: Your ship will dock in either Livorno or Laspezia. Livorno is 80 miles from Florence and Laspezia is 80 miles.
Top Sites to See: The Duomo and Michelangelo’s masterpiece David are must-sees in Florence while Pisa is famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: The Winds of Tuscany, which whisks you away high above the hills of Tuscany on a hot air balloon ride for amazing views.
Itineraries: See itineraries for Florence and Pisa cruises
Italy Port of Call for Bologna
Bologna is an excellent port of call for foodies. Known for exquisite cuisine and bustling markets selling all sorts of food items, Bologna is somewhere you’ll want to go to with some room in your stomach. Bologna is located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, which is often overlooked for its Tuscany neighbor to the west, but can definitely hold its own in terms of cuisine, history, and architecture.
Location: Central Italy, about 107 km northeast of Florence and 170 km southwest of Venice.
The Port: You’ll pull into port in the city of Ravenna, which also has historic sites to see if you want to stay closer to port. Shore excursions make it easy to travel to Bologna.
Top Sites to See: The Towers of Bologna, Fountain of Neptune, Piazza Maggiore
Dreamy Shore Excursion: Ferrari Museums – An Insight into the Ferrari World: the Ferrari Museums are located near Ravenna and Bologna, and are must-visit museums for any car lover.
Itineraries: Cruise itineraries that Sail to Bologna
Italy Port of Call for Rome
Rome is a major metropolis that has all the things a big city has like restaurants, bars, museums, and shops. Plus, Rome has the added bonus of being an ancient Roman city that still has remnants of that history all around it.
Location: Rome is located in the south central area of Italy.
The Port: The port gateway for Rome is the city of Civitavecchia. From Civitavecchia you can take a bus, train, or shore excursion to the city center of Rome.
Top Sites to See: So many! The Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and Trevi Fountain.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: Navigate Through Rome -- Enjoy a narrated guided drive through Rome followed by plenty of time to explore on your own so you can see exactly what you want while in port.
Itineraries: Cruises with Ports of Call in Civitavecchia to See Rome
Genoa Port of Call
Genoa is a central port for access to the Italian Riviera, including Portofino and Cinque Terre; you can even take a shore excursion to Milan for the day from the port of Genoa if that’s a dream city for you to see. Genoa is a bustling harbor city that has a long maritime past – it’s the port from which Christopher Columbus set sail to America.
Location: Genoa is located on the curving coastline of northwest Italy in the Liguria region.
The Port: Most cruise ships dock in Porto Antico, the old port that has been revitalized and is about a 20-minute walk to Genoa’s top sights.
Top Sites to See: Galata Museo del Mare for maritime history, Aquarium of Genoa for sea life, plus day trips to Portofino, Cinque Terre, and Milan.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: Cinque Terre, which escorts you to a few of of the five famous coastal towns that make up the Cinque Terre.
Itineraries: Click Here for Itineraries that Sail to Genoa
Portofino Port of Call
Portofino is a gorgeous waterfront town on the Italian Riviera. Portofino has pastel-colored architecture to wander around and is a thriving fishing village that makes it an ideal port of call for travelers who like to explore pretty harbors and feast on delicious seafood.
The Port: Portofino’s port is located on the Ligurian sea and ships will dock a short ways from the port and tender guests to it.
Top Sites to See: Portofino is home to Castello Brown, and impressive castle built in the 1500s. In the central area of Portofino you’ll come across the gorgeous Piazza Martiri Dell’Olivetta, Portofino’s main square that is bordered by water and fishing boats and has many shops and eateries along its perimeter. And no fishing village would be complete without a lighthouse and Faro di Portofino in Italy is a lovely one to see.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: Taste of Ligurian Riviera, which takes you a guided tour to some of the top sites along Italy’s Italian Riviera.
Itineraries: Cruise Itineraries that Sail to Portofino
Santa Margherita Port of Call
Like Portofino, Santa Margherita is located on the Italian Riviera and has gorgeous pastel-colored buildings lining the waterfront. At just four miles from Portofino, your ship won’t visit both ports, and Santa Margherita is an ideal port for travelers who like to get off the beaten path a bit more, but still enjoy quaint Italian coastal towns with plenty of things to do and see.
Location: On the Ligurian Sea coast in northern Italy.
The Port: Ships anchor off the coast and you’ll be tendered to town.
Top Sites to See:
Dreamy Shore Excursion: 3 Pearls of Paradise Coast, which takes you on a guided tour of Santa Margherita, Rapallo, and the Portofino Coast.
Itineraries: Click Here for Itineraries with Ports of Call in Santa Margherita
Naples Port of Call
A port of call in Naples is a great itinerary destination to have on your cruise due to the wide range in choices you have for how to spend your day in Naples. You can stay in Naples or head to the island of Capri or toward Mount Vesuvius to see the lost city of Pompeii or down the Amalfi coast.
Location: Naples is located along the southern west coast of Italy.
he Port: The port of Naples is located right near the downtown area of the city and it is easy to walk into the city, and is also close to the ferry station for boats crossing the sea to Capri.
Top Sites to See: In Capri, take the funicular to Capri Town to where its shopping boulevards and gardens are popular to see. In Pompeii you’ll see the ancient ruins of a Roman civilization frozen in ash and time when Mount Vesuvius erupted thousands of years ago. Amalfi’s most popular towns are Sorrento and Positano. In Naples you walk by historic squares and cathedrals, though your attention may be diverted searching for a perfect slice of Neapolitan pizza.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: The Bourbon Gallery and Pizza Tasting, which takes you a walking tour through Naples and teaches you about the art of Neapolitan pizza making.
Itineraries: Click Here for Cruises to Naples
Messina, Sicily Port of Call
Messina is an excellent introduction to Sicily, a region in Italy that is the largest island in the Mediterranean. Sicily has a culture all its own and you can experience it and the history Messina is known for while in port.
Location: Messina is on the northeast tip of Sicily, right across the Strait of Messina from the mainland of Italy.
The Port: Messina’s port is within walking distance to the city center.
Top Sites to See: Fountain of Orion and the Cathedral of Messina with its interesting astronomical clock.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: Taste of Sicily: Mt Etna and Taormina: Explore the beauty of Mt Etna and Taormina plus enjoy a visit to a mountain restaurant for some Sicilian delicacies.
Itineraries: Click Here for cruises that Sail to Messina
Catania, Sicily Port of Call
Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, and sits at the base of Mount Etna, an active volcano that has played a key part in Catania’s history. Catania offers both adventure and a cosmopolitan vibe. Hiking trails are located on Mount Etna, while the downtown area of Catania has pretty squares and interesting Baroque architecture.
Location: Sicily’s central eastern coast.
The Port: Catania’s port is located within walking distance to Catania’s central area.
Top Sites to See: Piazza el Duomo, which is home to both the Duomo di Catania (an intricate cathedral) and the Fountain of the Elephant, a statue made with lava rock. The other top site to see is hard to miss: Mount Etna, the largest volcano in the Mediterranean.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: Beautiful Taormina and Blue Grotto, which lets you explore the village of Taormina and its scenic bay plus see the nearby Blue Grotto sea cave.
Itineraries: Click Here for Itineraries that Sail to Catania
Venice Port of Call
This is one Italian cruise port that barely needs an introduction. Venice is known as the city built on water due to the fact that many of its buildings are built on wood pilings and surrounded by canals. You can explore Venice on foot or by those canals via romantic gondola rides.
Location: Venice is located on the northeast coast of Italy and borders the Adriatic Sea.
The Port: The port of Venice isn’t located right in the part of Venice people think about, aka, the part built on water, and you will need to take transportation to get to Venice’s tourism center. Your cruise will be able to provide this to make it easier for you through shore excursions.
Top Sites to See: St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, and the Grand Canal.
Dreamy Shore Excursion: Secret Venice Walking Tour, which will take you pass some of Venice’s most popular sites plus less known areas.
Itineraries: Click Here for cruise that Sail to Venice
Which port would you most like to visit? Make it happen by booking your dream Italian cruise on Celebrity Cruises today.