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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.
Krk is the main settlement of the island of Krk, Croatia.
Zadar, a city on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, is known for the Roman and Venetian ruins of its peninsular Old Town. There are several Venetian gates in the city walls. Surrounding the Roman-era Forum is 11th-century St. Mary’s Convent, with religious art dating to the 8th century. There’s also the grand, 12th-century St. Anastasia’s Cathedral and the round, 9th-century pre-Romanesque Church of St. Donatus.
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.
Hvar is a port and resort town on the Croatian island of Hvar. Yachts fill its harbor in summer. Ferries connect the town with the several Pakleni Islands just offshore. These are home to secluded beaches, such as those around Ždrilca Bay, as well as rocky coves and pine forests. Hula Hula Beach in Hvar and Stipanska Beach on Marinkovac Island are known for their nightlife and lively bars.
Split is Croatia’s second-largest city and the largest city in the Dalmatia region. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings.
Korčula is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea. It has an area of 279 km²; 46.8 km long and on average 7.8 km wide — and lies just off the Dalmatian coast.
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.
Monopoli is a town on the Adriatic Sea, in southern Italy. It’s known for the Baroque Monopoli Cathedral, featuring a tall bell tower. In its crypt is an archaeological museum with sculptures and ancient tombs. On a promontory to the north, the 16th-century Castle of Carlo V has a huge stone portal. Nearby is the frescoed Palmieri Palace, built by a wealthy local family in the late 1700s.
Otranto is a coastal town in southern Italy’s Apulia region. It’s home to the 15th-century Aragonese Castle and 11th-century Otranto Cathedral, with a rose window and ornate mosaic flooring. At the harbor, Torre Matta tower has sweeping sea views. Nearby beaches include the popular Alimini Beach. Inland are 2 lakes: the saltwater Alimini Grande and spring-fed Alimini Piccolo. South is the Punta Palascìa lighthouse.
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.
Giardini Naxos is a comune in the Metropolitan City of Messina on the island of Sicily in southern Italy. It is situated on the coast of the Ionian Sea on a bay which lies between Cape Taormina and Cape Schisò. Since the 1970s it has become a seaside-resort.
Amalfi is a town in a dramatic natural setting below steep cliffs on Italy’s southwest coast. Between the 9th and 11th centuries, it was the seat of a powerful maritime republic. The Arab-Norman Sant’Andrea cathedral at the heart of town, with its striped Byzantine facade, survives from this era. The Museo Arsenale Amalfi is a medieval shipyard-turned-exhibition space.
Sorrento is a coastal town in southwestern Italy, facing the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Perched atop cliffs that separate the town from its busy marinas, it’s known for sweeping water views and Piazza Tasso, a cafe-lined square. The historic center is a warren of narrow alleys that’s home to the Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church with a tranquil cloister.
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.