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Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes. City history museum MUHBA, includes several Roman archaeological sites
Mallorca is an island of emerald mountains, turquoise seas, lemon and orange orchards, olive groves, and cedar-studded hills. In Palma, the capital, you’ll find a dramatic seafront cathedral to explore and leafy promenades to stroll. Visit the Arab Baths for a glimpse of the town’s Moorish past. Or simply enjoy the sun, sand, and sea that have beguiled celebrities, jet setters, and royal families for years.
Mahón, or Maó, is the capital of the Spanish island of Menorca. It’s known for its British-style Georgian houses and sheltered harbor. Santa María Church, with an ornate 19th-century organ, sits on central Plaça de la Constitució. Next to the church, the city hall has a Renaissance facade and a clock donated by the island’s first British governor. The Menorca Museum displays art and exhibits on the island’s history.
The enigmatic beginnings of Christopher Columbus’s past has prompted rumors of his true birthplace. Calvi is the site of one of these rumors. This is not fully provable, but it reveals the local transmission of Mediterranean folklore. Spanish and Roman influences have long contributed to the fortification of this French port city. Calvi is located on the coast of L’ille Rousse on the island of Corsica. Corsica is positioned between Spain and Italy in very close proximity to Sardinia. Romans resided on the island during the neolithic period. The Citadelle of Calvi is the central point of town. This 15th century fortress served as military outpost, tower and protected the city from intercontinental attacks. It created a picturesque and sturdy lot for the restoration of the governor’s palace. Watch for brick walls, tunnels, and windy stairs throughout the city. The citadel is conveniently entered from rue Christopher Colomb, the main paved street in Calvi. Rue de Fil is a smaller side street off the quai Landry. It leads to the alleged birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Since Corsica was once a part of the Genoese empire, local authorities have rationalized Calvi as the potential, historical home of Columbus. In the course of visiting these historical attractions, you may incidentally become attracted to quai Landry. Quai Landry is the beachside main line of restaurants, shops, bars, and hotels. It connects the marina to the port along a beach walkway.
The city dates from Roman times, when a base was set up at Biguglia to the south, beside a freshwater lagoon, or étang. Little remains of the former colony, but the site merits a day-trip for the well-preserved pair of Pisan churches at Marana, rising from the southern fringes of Poretta airport. Although Bastia began to thrive under the Genoese, when wine was exported to the Italian mainland from Porto Cardo, forerunner of Bastia’s Vieux Port, or Terra Vecchia.
Gliding into the town of Portoferraio, you can see why Napoleon chose Elba for his exile; an island of pink granite, pine forests, and pristine beaches. The contrasts of the Elba countryside – from its typical fishing villages and high mountain passes to its stylish summer resorts on the coast – are enchanting. Elba’s restaurants feature excellent seafood, and small private vineyards produce local Moscato and Aleatico wines.
2,500 years of history are woven into the fabric of modern Rome. You can feel it in the glory of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Or as you wander sidestreets that open onto piazzas, fountains, Bernini sculpture, and elegant courtyards. Famous treasures are legion in Rome: the Colosseum…the Forum…St. Peter’s Cathedral…the Trevi Fountain…the Spanish Steps. Take time out between sights to do as the Romans do: enjoy a three-hour lunch, shop, people-watch, or savor the best gelati in the world.