The Ultimate Guide to Italian Cruise Ports

The Ultimate Guide to Italian Cruise Ports

Any long time reader of the blog will know that I love cruising and perhaps my favorite place to cruise is Italy! It really has something for everyone from history, food and culture to beaches. It is also great if you are cruising with small children as Italians generally love kids and is any easy place to go on a babymoon cruise. If you are looking to book a cruise to Italy then here we have the ultimate guide to Italian Cruise ports to help you know port accessibility, what to eat, what cruise excursions to take and other relevant information to make sure you make the most out of your Italian port days! So here is our port by port ultimate guide: 

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Note: Where we have recommended cruise port excursions we have recommended using the Tour Operator Viator. Firstly

Table of Contents

Everything thing you need to know about Bari Cruise Port

Bari Cruise port details: 

Bari is accessible from the Bari Cruise Port by fort.

Things to Do Near Bari Cruise Port?

Bari city is itself walkable from the port. It is a pleasant albeit industrial town with a beautiful templar Cathedral.

If you want to do a shore excursion in Bari then you should consider

Excursions from Bari Cruise Port

Bari is a great stopping off point for the Alberobello trulls houses. This beautiful and picturesque town is a must for any visit to Puglia. If you don’t want to visit the truli houses however the White City of Ostuni is well worth a visit!

We recommend the following destinations as great shore excursions from Bari!


What to Eat in Bari

The region of Puglia is famous for its olive oil and is a must try. Other than that you must try the regional speciality of Orchiette!

Everything thing you need to know about Civitavecchia Cruise Port

Civitavecchia is the main cruise port for many embarkations in Italy. It is also the gateway port to Rome.

The port is accessible by foot however there are few attractions in Civitavecchia itself.

Excursions from Civitavecchia Cruise Port

Really the main choice of excursion from Civitavecchia is a trip to Rome. Rome has some much on offer that I would recommend doing a tour on your own so you can pick exactly what you want to do. While there is a train station in Civitavecchia, the times and frequency can be temperamental.

Everything thing you need to know about Genoa Cruise Port by The Mediterranean Traveller

Genoa Cruise port details: 

Often a point of disembarkation and embarkation. The cruise port is located near to the redeveloped Old Port Area so is within easy walking distance.

Things to Do Near Genoa Cruise Port?

Genoa (or Genova, as it’s also known) is surely one of Italy’s most underrated city destinations. This buzzing port city was one of Europe’s great seafaring superpowers and is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus (and pesto). There’s an embarrassment of riches here, but amazingly it’s relatively tourist-free.

Head first to the redeveloped Old Port area for Genoa’s main tourist attractions, as well as plenty of curiosities. Walk along the promenade and you’ll come across pirate ships, museums, cafes, and a panoramic lift, but families should make a beeline for the Aquarium. It’s is the biggest in Europe, and it’s got sharks.

Grown-ups might be more interested in exploring Genoa’s architectural and gastronomic highlights. The old town area is a tangle of narrow medieval streets ripe for exploring. San Lorenzo is the must-see church, and the UNESCO World Heritage site Strade Nuove is comprised of no less than 42 Renaissance and Baroque palaces!Or if you just want to take a relaxing day by the sea then head to Boccadasse, the fisherman’s village, or catch the train out along the coast to one of the Italian Riviera’s many colourful towns. The famous Cinque Terre is just 1hr 40 minutes on the train.

What to Eat in Genoa Cruise Port

The wider region of Liguria is famous for the quality of its olive oil, focaccia, and basil. There’s an Eataly outpost to keep foodies happy.

Everything thing you need to know about La Spezia Cruise Port

La Spezia is the main cruise port for the Cinque Terre Region.

What to do In La Spezia Cruise Port By Greta’s Travels :

La Spezia is quickly becoming one of the most popular cruise ports in Italy, thanks to its strategic location close to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a National Park made up by the five towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore (hence the name Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands”) and is famous for the stunning hike with views over the sea that connects them.

From La Spezia Cinque Terre is a short 20 minute train away, or if you chose to do an excursion with the cruise boat it will be an even shorter drive. The best thing to do in Cinque Terre in my opinion is the hike along the Sentiero Azzurro. The Sentiero Azzurro and towns are all part of a national park, that you have to pay 8 EUR to access it. The hike is well worth it, with stunning views over the Italian coastline to reward you of your hiking efforts.

What to Do in La Spezia If you Don’t want to Visit Cinque Terre

If you don’t wish to do an excursion to Cinque Terre, you can also e not the beautiful coastal city of La Spezia. When you arrive in La Spezia the harbour is very close to the town centre and you will easily be able to go there for a walk. In a brief 15-20 minutes you will reach Corso Cavour and Via Prione, the two main shopping streets of La Spezia. Here you can wander around, check out some Italian fashion, and fill up on focaccia and gelato.

Everything thing you need to know about Livorno Cruise Port

Livorno town is reached by a cheap shuttle bus for those not wanting to take an excursion. Livorno itself is a quaint town with many canals and a decent aquarium for passengers with young visitors but most people use Livorno as a jumping off port for other more famous Tuscan cities.

Excursions From Livorno

The two main attractions from Livorno are Florence and Pisa as well as Lucca. The ship organizes tours to all of these places but are also doable by train providing you leave yourself enough time.

Florence for me is the biggest draw offering the most rounded experience. See David, the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio.

Everything thing you need to know about Messina Cruise Port

Messina town is located close to the cruise terminal. The town itself is very pretty to walk around and has many attractions such as several important churches, a lighthouse and beautiful fountain.

Excursions from Messina Cruise Port

For me there is one place anyone day tripping from Messina should visit and that is Taormina. A beautiful hillside town with Roman ruins, amazing food – try the local gelato, and local wines. It is really the quaintest Italian town to walk around and is a draw for many celebrities.

What to Eat in Messina –

Not eating but the local wine must be sampled.

Everything thing you need to know about Naples Cruise Port

Naples Cruise Port is located centrally meaning it is very easy to access the city of Naples itself by foot. There is also a hop on hop off bus stop, located close to the terminal.

Excursions From Naples Cruise Port

Naples is one of my favorite Italian Cruise Ports as although Naples is not my favorite city, it is the gateway to so many amazing sites. Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, and of course the island of Capri are all great choices for excursions and can be easily organized through the ship or independently.

What to Eat in Naples Cruise Port

Really there is only one choice – a proper Neopolitan Pizza – need I say more!

Everything thing you need to know about Palermo Cruise Port

Palermo Cruise Port

Palermo Cruise port details by TinBox Traveller:

Palermo is a harbour side city so it’s easy to jump off your cruise ship and explore on foot. During out day in Sicily at the start of the summer season we struck a course for the Cathedral of Palermo which is a fusion of Western, Islamic and Byzantine architecture. 

Is the Palermo cruise port accessible by foot? 

Yes! walkable from the port are the ornate Palazzo dei Normanni museum, which has a beautiful central courtyard, and Palermo Archaeological Museum. Fans of the Godfather films will not want to miss a tour of Italy’s largest Opera House The Teattro Massimo which was featured in scenes from the third movie. If you enjoy testing local produce then Palermo also has daily food markets. 

Things to Do Near Palermo Cruise Port?

There are so many things to do near Palermo Cruise Port. Tours of the Cathedral’s tombs, crypts and its roof terraces are available either onsite (€7 per person) or through your ship’s excursion team. When we were in port we opted to look around the main Cathedral, which is free, and then watch the world go by from a neighbouring cafe with gelato in hand.

This is a port where we’d definitely recommend grabbing a map and taking a wander with kids. There’s plenty to be discovered without the need to pay for an excursion.

Everything you need to know about Venice Cruise Port

Venice Cruise port details

Cruise ships usually dock at BacinoDellaStazioneMarittima. Please note there are several piers at the port so find out which you are docked at. 

Venice Airport to Cruise Port

You can get a taxi from Marco Polo Airport to the cruise terminal. It takes around 20 minutes and should cost no more than 40 Euros. The budget option is to take the airport bus. For those willing to splash more cash you can take a water taxi and get a scenic view of Venice. This however is the most costly method at around 100 Euros a trip.

If you are traveling to Venice’s other airport Treviso the best option is likely to be to take th airport bus.

Is the Venice cruise port accessible by foot? 

Venice is a pedestrianized city which means that it is a great city to explore by foot. Otherwise take the vaporetti and tour the city by boat. There really is no need to get a shore excursion around Venice if you don’t want to.

What to do near Venice Cruise Port

Basically, the cruise port is near to everything amazing in Venice. Obviously the most popular tourist sites in Venice are Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace and the Rialto Bridge! We also love just taking a Vaporetti around the city or perhaps one not visit one of Venice’s other island such as Murano or Burano. They are so colorful and make for amazing photographs.

What to Eat in Venice Cruise Port

Venice has some amazing food and so many feature regional staples such as rice and seafood!. The regional specialities are risotto, in particularly seafood risottos.

Why not consider taking a food tour to get to know the food better.

If you want coffee and cake, remember in Venice you pay a premium to sit while Venetians opt to stand at the bar.

What others have to say about Venice cruise port – Untold Morsels

“Just once in your life you must spend a day or two in Venice. The city built on water is so unique and beautiful it is sure to capture your heart. Your first moments in Venice will likely be spent on a trip down the Grand Canal. Watching gondolas bob about on the water in front of Renaissance palazzos is one of the iconic sights of the city.

Passing under the Rialto bridge, notice the bustling fish market on the banks of the canal. It’s been the heart of the city for centuries and the area around the market is fun to explore and discover the city’s famous cicchetti bars. Cicchetti are Venetian tapas or bar snacks and they are delicious.

Next stop on the Grand Canal is the beautiful wooden Accademia Bridge, one of only four bridges spanning the canal.

Finally you arrive in majestic St Mark’s Square where you can visit the Doge’s Palace and cathedral. Take a walk to see the romantic Bridge of Sighs and then take a ride in a gondola because you can’t be in Venice and not ride a gondola.


Our top tip for your visit is to head to the small squares and side canals. This is the best of Venice. Around every corner there is a little mystery waiting to be discovered.

What is your favorite Italian Cruise Port?

Don’t fancy a cruise – check out this 10 day Italian itinerary for land!

Best Italian Cruise Ports, Best Italian Cruise Ports #bestitaliancruiseports #italycruise #italycruiseports #cruise #cruising #medcruise

The best italian cruise posts

Guide to Italian cruise ports, everything you need to know about cruising around ItalyGuide to Italian cruise ports, everything you need to know about cruising around Italy



  1. June 19, 2018 / 4:12 am

    What a great guide for an Italian cruise. This is so fun!

  2. June 19, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Seems like doing a cruise and hitting up the best of the best is a great way to explore Italy! Would love to do a Mediterranean cruise one day! #CityTripping

  3. June 21, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    I’m so impressed with all your cruise trips. I’ve never done a cruise, can you believe it? I’ve been to loads of these places in Italy though! It is such a diverse country. I’d never get bored of exploring Italy. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  4. June 21, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    WOW! These photos are amazing and what great information for your fellow cruisers! I’ve actually never been on a cruise, but have visited a few of these cities. Many others are on my list… #citytripping

  5. June 23, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    First of all I love Italy – second of all I had no idea there were so many cruise ports! I need a mediteranea cruise in my life!

  6. April 6, 2019 / 7:26 am

    This is a great guide for cruisers. I wish I had had this when I did my Mediterranean Cruise. Also, totally agree about Naples. You BETTER have pizza.

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