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Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
Šibenik is a city on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It’s known as a gateway to the Kornati Islands. The 15th-century stone Cathedral of St. James is decorated with 71 sculpted faces. Nearby, the Šibenik City Museum, in the 14th-century Prince’s Palace, has exhibits ranging from prehistory to the present. The white stone St. Michael’s Fortress has an open-air theater, with views of Šibenik Bay and neighboring islands.
Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It’s known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. Paved with limestone, the pedestrianized Stradun (or Placa) is lined with shops and restaurants.
Crotone is a port city in Calabria, southern Italy. The monumental Castello di Carlo V is a 9th-century fortress that was modified in the 1500s. The National Archaeological Museum houses items, including a gold tiara, unearthed at the ancient Temple of Hera Lacinia in the nearby Capo Colonna Archaeological Park. Farther south is the Capo Rizzuto Marine Protected Area, with seagrass forests, barracudas and starfish.
Naples, a city in southern Italy, sits on the Bay of Naples. Nearby is Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that destroyed nearby Roman town Pompeii. Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C., Naples has centuries of important art and architecture. The city’s cathedral, the Duomo di San Gennaro, is filled with frescoes. Other major landmarks include the lavish Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo, a 13th-century castle.
Civitavecchia is a coastal town northwest of Rome, in Italy. Built in the 2nd century, the Port of Civitavecchia still retains some of its original features, like the Roman Dock. The port area also includes the 16th-century Michelangelo Fort. Nearby, the National Archaeological Museum displays bronze and ceramic artifacts. Northeast of town are the Terme Taurine, the ruins of a Roman thermal bath complex.
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