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When in Rome: 12 must-see sights on your first cruise to Italy in 2023

Italy cruise vacations enable explorers to travel the length of this incredible country taking in some of the globe’s greatest cultural treasures. Here’s what to do on Italy cruises for the first time.

Italy cruises are an excellent way to get a taste of the Big Boot-iful country in the Mediterranean.

Jam-packed with gobsmacking gems, Italy is an absolute must-visit when cruising the continent and a great option for a first time-cruiser.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has countless Italy cruise itineraries to choose from – but you don’t need to just limit yourself to Italy with these fabulous sailings.

NCL cruise Mediterranean: Italy, France & Spain voyages to, you guessed it, France and Spain as well as Italy – all the Mediterranean highlights! – but we can’t deny our soft spot for Italy (lasagne and gelato, hello!).

Furthermore, NCL passengers on cruises to Italy can upgrade and benefit from the Free at Sea package, featuring Premium Beverages (a wide selection of soft drinks, spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer) and specialty dining.

You’ll also get Wi-Fi and excursion discounts (US$50) per stateroom, per port of call) while guests three and four in the stateroom pay only the applicable tax for their cruise on select sailings.

As Norwegian Getaway wends its way down the breathtaking Italian coast, cocooning you in comfort and luxury, where will you stop off?

NCL starts at Rome (Civitavecchia), Livorno (for Florence and Pisa) and Naples on this Italy cruise 2023 so we’ve examined the must-see sights for your first holiday here.


Rome, the capital city of Italy, is a treasure trove of historical and cultural landmarks. Your NCL Italy cruise starts here so why not tack on some extra days before your voyage to really make the most of it!

With its rich history spanning over 2,500 years, Rome has numerous must-see sites – but don’t forget to indulge in the city’s delectable cuisine (mmm pasta carbonara), wander through its charming streets, and immerse yourself in the captivating history and culture that Rome has to offer along the way!

What to do in Rome

Colosseum: An ancient amphitheater that dates back to 70-80 AD. It is an iconic symbol of the Roman Empire’s grandeur and a remarkable feat of engineering. The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests, animal hunts and other public spectacles, accommodating up to 50,000 spectators.

Pantheon: A magnificent ancient temple that was originally built as a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. It was constructed in 126 AD and is renowned for its remarkable dome, which is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome complete with a breathtaking oculus at the center that allows natural light to illuminate the interior.

Trevi Fountain: An enchanting Baroque masterpiece that has become one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Completed in 1762, the fountain stands at the junction of three roads and depicts Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, surrounded by mythical sea creatures. Visitors toss coins into the fountain, symbolizing their hopes of returning to Rome. Have a go yourself!


Naples, in the south, is your second port of call on this cruise to Italy and beyond. The vibrant and bustling city is known for its rich history, stunning architecture and delicious food – it is the birthplace of pizza after all!

What to do in Naples

Museo Cappella Sansvero: A captivating museum that houses an extraordinary collection of art and sculptures. The highlight here is the Veiled Christ, a marble sculpture depicting Jesus covered in a transparent veil.

Galleria Borbonica: An intriguing underground network of tunnels and passageways situated beneath the city of Naples, that served as a military escape route during World War II. Today, it offers culture vultures on Italy cruises a fascinating glimpse into the city’s history, showcasing hidden chambers, ancient ruins, vintage vehicles and wartime artifacts.

Catacombe di San Gennaro: Another impressive subterranean marvel! This extensive catacomb complex was used as an early Christian burial site, housing the remains of thousands of individuals. Visitors on a cruise to Italy can explore the labyrinthine tunnels and see the ancient frescoes, intricate mosaics and tombs, gaining insight into the early Christian practices and traditions.


Your third Italy cruise call on this Norwegian Cruise Line itinerary is Livorno, from where you can visit either Florence or Pisa on an NCL excursion or on your own.

The former, the capital city of Tuscany, is renowned for its art, architecture and cultural heritage. Tuck into Florence’s famous succulent Bistecca alla Fiorentina and sink a glass of Chianti while you’re here. Hey, you’ll need fuel for all that sightseeing on your cruise around Italy!

What to do in Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo: Take in panoramic views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, a hilltop square, on your Italy cruises. It offers a stunning vantage point of the city’s skyline and is particularly beautiful at sunset.

Uffizi Gallery: Explore one of the world’s most famous art museums, home to an extensive collection of Renaissance masterpieces, including works by Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore: The architectural crown jewel of Florence, the Duomo (as it’s otherwise known) was begun in 1296 and took several centuries to complete. The magnificent dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, is a marvel of Renaissance engineering and remains one of the largest brick domes in the world. The exterior of the Duomo is adorned with intricate marble facades, while the interior showcases frescoes and beautiful stained glass windows.

What to do on Norwegian Getaway

There are wonders aplenty onboard your NCL ship too for you to enjoy on cruises around Italy. Norwegian Getaway offers a wide range of amenities and entertainment options.

The ship features 20 dining venues, including specialty restaurants such as Cagney’s Steakhouse and Italian restaurant La Cucina, as well as a variety of bars (including an ice bar) and lounges plus a new full-service Starbucks.

Passengers on an Italy cruise in 2023 can enjoy a range of onboard activities, such as Broadway-style shows – musicals Burn the Floor and Million Dollar Quartet will have you toe-tapping – and live music performances – boogie to famous rock hits at the new Syd Norman’s Pour House with an interactive cast. There’s live comedy too!

If you fancy getting active then Norwegian Getaway delivers. It’s home to five waterslides (the fastest at sea!) at Aqua Park with Free Fall and three levels of action-packed activities in the sports complex and ropes course. Why not walk The Plank? It extends eight feet over the side of the ship for more thrills.

The ship also boasts an award-winning casino and The Waterfront, an innovative open-air promenade – perfect for soaking up those first glimpses of the cor-blimey Italian coastline. Now that’s la dolce vita.

Set Sail

Mediterranean: Italy, France & Spain with Norwegian Cruise Line

Duration: 10 nights

Where: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy | Naples, Italy | Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy | Nice/Monaco (Villefranche), France | Barcelona, Spain | Palma, Majorca, Spain | Ibiza, Spain | Cartagena, Spain | Granada (Malaga), Spain | Seville (Cadiz, Spain) | Lisbon, Portugal

Ship: Norwegian Getaway

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Published 06.12.23