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Travel to Rome and revel in the magnificent monuments, from the ancient Roman Forum and Coliseum to the splendor of St. Peter’s Basilica with Michelangelo’s Pietà and his breathtaking frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Or enjoy a drive through the lush farmlands of the Roman countryside to lovely medieval Castelgandolfo.
Spend a day exploring the fabulous ruins of ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum with their stunning temples, frescoes and mosaics. Explore fascinating Naples and its famed museums, visit charming Sorrento or take a boat trip to the beautiful Isle of Capri. Shopping: Pick up some lovely mosaic jewelry, embroidery, Capodimonte ceramics and local crafts as well as reproductions of ancient artifacts. Dining: Sample delicious Neapolitan and Capri pizza or enjoy pasta, veal dishes and wonderful local wines.
Destroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century, Catania has been beautifully restored and offers ancient churches, castles and amphitheaters, lush gardens and lovely palazzos to explore. Tour the 13th century Ursino Castle, which was situated along the coast until earthquakes and volcanic eruptions transformed the landscape. Drive inland through picturesque villages and explore Villa Romana del Casale, a 4th century villa and UNESCO World Heritage Site containing a complex collection of Roman mosaics considered one of the finest in the Roman world.
Discover the myriad of cultural layers of Malta, from its amazing prehistoric temples at Tarxien to beautiful walled medieval Mdina, nearby Rabat, and Marsaxlokk, a colorful fishing village. Admire the stunning scenery and wander through imposing churches and down the streets of fortified towns where the Knights of St. John once held sway.
Explore this beautiful island beginning with the magnificent Seo Cathedral and Bellver Castle. See the windmills and impressive manor house in the verdant countryside. Discover the amazing natural wonders in the Drach Caves. And for romance, visit the former Carthusian monastery in Valldemosa, where George Sand and Chopin spent a winter.
Lying on Spain’s radiant Costa Blanca, Alicante exudes a rare beauty. Lovely Baroque buildings cluster around the historic central district. Marble plazas grace its broad waterfront boulevard, the illustrious Explanada de España. Pristine beaches like San Juan hug the shoreline. It’s no surprise that Alicante is popular year-round. Venture to the grand Castle of Santa Barbara overlooking the city and walk from its high towers down into the dungeon. Stop for a glass of refreshing sangria in the Old Quarter. Behold the masterpieces hanging in the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts, a former 18th century palace.
Melilla is a Spanish autonomous city located on the northwest coast of Africa, sharing a border with Morocco. It has an area of 12.3 km². Melilla, an exclave, is one of two permanently inhabited Spanish cities in mainland Africa, the other being Ceuta.
This walled city has always been a major naval port due to its natural harbor and strategic location. Enjoy a hilltop view from Concepción Castle, which served as a fortress for the Carthaginians, Romans and other peoples who once occupied the city. Visit the 1st century B.C. Roman Theater, the remains of the 13th century Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Naval Museum. For modernist architecture, see the City Hall, Grand Hotel and Casino.
Visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral and the amazing La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. Enjoy the lovely Montjuic Gardens, Gaudí’s other fabulous structures, the charming squares of the old Gothic Quarter and the Ramblas, Barcelona’s famed downtown promenade. Or visit beautiful Montserrat and its monastery in a breathtaking setting high in the mountains.
Lying on a natural harbor on the French Riviera, Toulon is France’s principal naval base, and the waterfront is always full of life. Designed around stately fountains and small squares, the Old City is tucked between the harbor and boulevard de Strasbourg, and its Cathédrale Saint-Marie-Majeure is noteworthy for its Romanesque architecture. The city is also rich in history, much of it on display in the marine museum and the Museum of Toulon, celebrated for its Provençal paintings. For the ultimate view of Toulon, ride the cable car to Mount Faron.
Drive along the famous Grand Corniche with its stunning views of Monaco and the Old City; then stroll through this marvelous quarter and its pink Grimaldi Palace. And don’t forget the Casino. Explore the wonderful old villages along the Côte d’Azur from Nice to medieval Eze or Cannes, Grasse and lovely St. Paul de Vence – each one a jewel to be savored.
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