Venice and its islands

Once is not customary, in Venice, the boat of the CroisiEurope company does not sail often. The Michelangelo serves above all as a floating hotel for the privileged visit of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It's so much nicer to stay on a boat than on land, even if the cabin is quite small.

Latest edition : 25 October 2016

Croisi Europe boat at the quaysideThe Michelangelo awaits us

A word of advice: ask for a cabin with a view of the lagoon! Seated comfortably on your bed, you will enjoy a spectacle that you will never tire of. Vaporettos go by at all hours, small boats taking families (and the dog) out for a ride, water taxis and, in the morning and at sunset, gigantic cruise ships that hide - momentarily - the sun and the view of bell towers and domes of churches.

Seven bridges further

St. Mark's Square is just seven bridges away. In Venice, you can count the distances in bridges! Just behind the Michelangelo, a vaporetto stop (Il Jardino) allows you to embark to explore a large part of the lakeside city. As you stop, lose yourself in the alleys to lead to pretty squares, discover magnificent palaces, unearth art galleries, gondola workshops and little bistros that are not tourist traps.

If so, we can find it without too much trouble. Just watch out for the small gathering of natives outside sipping a spritz, biting into a take-out pizza. We are therefore far from the prices displayed in the famous cafes of St. Mark's Square: € 6 for an espresso, € 11 for a cappuccino or a Spritz.

Pharaonic project and traffic jam of gondolas

Venice is a living open-air museum. Impossible to see everything. So rather than marathon and run museum to museum, church to church, and risk a culture overdose, come back another time. Come on, we even let ourselves be tempted by a gondola ride: at 80 € for 6 people, it's an unforgettable moment that we can treat ourselves to. But not on a Sunday or when one of these gigantic liners arrives: the bottling of gondolas guaranteed without a hint of romance!

But the Michelangelo nevertheless casts off the moorings in order to cross the lagoon and admire some of the countless islands: San Michele, Murano, Burano…. Without forgetting this pharaonic project, “Mose” (Moses): a system of movable dikes supposed to protect Venice from high tides, the aqua alta so picturesque for tourists, a nightmare for the Venetians.

From autumn 2017 the destructive waves arriving from Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia should be stopped by steel doors, as the Michelangelo is too big to dock, we will return aboard a smaller boat to visit Murano and Burano. But enough words. Embark on a short journey in pictures to discover the Serenissima.


In Murano, the boat stops right in front of a glass workshop. About fifteen glass factories still practice this art, seven are large enough to accommodate tourists. At the time, the master glassmakers were truly prisoners on the island: they did not have to leave Murano in order to preserve the secrets of the making.

Either way, the blowing demonstration is interesting, but we still have a bit of the impression of being in a tourist factory. Quickly, we have to get out of the workshop (and go into the sales store) because another group is already waiting.
So, we prefer to stroll in the small streets, admire the nods to the glass art that we find everywhere, visit the church with its beautiful mosaics on the ground, give in to the temptation of a good Italian ice cream.


Burano can be recognized from afar thanks to its tilting bell tower. The amplitude is about 2 meters, but nothing breaks because everything is "flexible". The stroll in the alleys is a delight: the facades of the fishermen's houses are dazzling with variegated colors. According to legend, the bright colors allowed fishermen to find their home in heavy fog - or when they had drunk a little too much…. Despite the many souvenir shops, there is still one or the other lace workshop (Burano was famous for the needlework of its inhabitants), popular piety is displayed without false modesty.


Chioggia is much less touristy! Large fishing port, the Michelangelo can dock there. What a contrast with the other islands which drain so many people! Many cafes invite you to sit among the locals, the small stalls offer the fruit of the morning peach, vegetables already cut for the minestrone. In the venerable cathedral, the sacristan gladly explains the peculiarities of the crucifix. If Venice is a museum and a tourist magnet, Chioggia is a place of work and life.


An unmissable excursion leads (by bus) to Padua, the city of Saint Anthony, one of the most important in the Veneto. Where in Roman times there was a theater, today the largest square in Europe is spread out. The statues that stand all around tell the story of the life of the Republic. Among the famous inhabitants of the city, there was a certain Galliléi.
Further on, passing a small wall, we leave Italy to enter…. Vatican! It is because the Basilica which shelters the tomb of Saint Anthony, is in papal country.
The walk continues, through the streets, passing by beautiful squares, in front of magnificent palaces. Half a day is obviously not enough to see everything. It's like for La Sérénissime: you have to come back!

This cruise is offered by CroisEurope, the European leader in river cruises. Between 500 and 700 € depending on the season (excluding transport), full board, drinks included; extra excursions.