With the River Countess neatly moored on the Poh River, day four’s adventures see its occupants bussing it off to a spectacular fishing village by the sea and south of Venice: Chioggia.
If you’re going to go, do as we did and come on market day. The town is positively buzzing with tourists and locals who are drawn to the wares on offer, temporarily distracting them from taking in all the charm Chioggia has to offer.
And if your Italian holiday has plundered the contents of your purse, Chioggia’s an excellent place for bargains, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables and, as you’d expect of a cute Italian seaside down, it offers a phenomenal fish market too, with all manner of oceanic goodies.
It’s also got a mandatory canal down the middle that runs into the Adriatic and is crisscrossed by Venice-eque bridges.
Best of all Chioggia doesn’t come with Venice-esque prices, a can of the local birra cost this writer a mere 80 cents.
From Chioggia, it’s back on the River Countess and a stunning three-hour chug back to Venice for the night and a less-than-welcome return of Venice-esque prices.
No one’s complaining on-board – the ship’s interior is almost as beautiful as the view is.
The 130-passenger vessel is filled with light and colour, with luxe decor inspired by Venice and complimented by marble-lined bathrooms and relaxing shades of turquoise, cream and taupe.
Not to mention the breathtaking views of the Italian coast from each room.
If you want to see how a 1000-year-old town actually looked 1000 years ago then make sure the tiny island city of Torcello is on the itinerary.
About an hour’s boat ride from Venice, the stunningly maintained little Island is a splendid trip back in time and provides sensational photos for your Instagram friends all sans any threat of them being interrupted by a gauche pizza restaurant or, worse, a McDonalds.
A visit to Torcello’s church and the walk up its bell tower is worth the visit alone.
From Torcello, Uniworld’s extraordinary guides have us boating over to the neighbouring island of Mazzorbo, a breathtaking 15th-century vineyard and producer of Venice’s very own gift to the wine world – Dorona.
Dorona smells like sherry, looks like rosé and tastes like no other wine, and at 140 euros for 500mls, it’s also an expensive souvenir for any vino connoisseurs.
Leaving Mazzorbo, it’s a simple walk via a bridge to its connecting island, the little seaside village of Burano.
Burano is still in use as a thriving fishing village and its signature look is its dazzling brightly painted homes that come in all manner of blues, magentas and yellows. Apparently, it was so the local fisherman could find where they lived in the area’s heavy fogs set in.
Due to its super cuteness, Burano gets very touristy and if you’re looking to get your head in one of its quaint little ristorantes around lunch time be prepared to have to fight the maddening crowds for a table.