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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.
Visit enchanting Amalfi to admire the 12th century Capuchin monastery and see the beautiful 11th century cathedral and cloister. Then discover chic Positano with its relaxed, sophisticated air and white Moorish-style houses clinging to steep slopes around a sparkling bay filled with colorful fishing boats.
Visit beautiful Taormina and marvel at its famous Greek theater and the stunning view of Mount Etna. Explore lovely medieval Messina with its historic churches and the cathedral where it is rumored Richard the Lionheart worshipped in 1190. Or discover ancient Tyndaris, founded in 396 B.C., with its fine mosaics, Roman baths and impressive theater overlooking the sea.
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.
Visit ancient Olympia where the Olympic Games began in 776 B.C. and stroll around this deserted sanctuary, admiring the temples, altars and treasuries, and stand on the ground where ancient athletes practiced before competing. Or enjoy a pleasant drive through the countryside past quaint villages to a local vineyard and sample the wines, local cheeses and other foods.
Immerse yourself in this island of glorious scenery and beaches, serene monasteries, beautiful palaces, traditional mountain towns and Corfu’s lovely old Venetian quarter. Or visit the ornate Achilleion Palace, built by Empress Sissi of Austria and filled with dramatic sculptures of the Greek hero Achilles.
Enjoy a walk through this famous walled medieval city and its exquisite Venetian monuments. See the Franciscan monastery and explore the Rector’s palace and the cathedral. Or explore the countryside with a visit to lovely Cavtat, an enchanting seaside resort that began life as a Greek and then Roman colony. Then visit a local family in a Konavle Valley village and enjoy their hospitality over a traditional welcome of brandy and figs with a serenade by local musicians.
Sometime around 300 A.D., Roman Emperor Diocletian built his retirement palace on one of the loveliest spots on the Adriatic Sea. Today his palace has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Split, the city that grew up around it. Split is now Croatia’s second largest city, and much of it sits on a beautiful peninsula on the island of Ciovo, a jewel on the Dalmatian Coast. Many intriguing relics from the Roman, Greek colonial and Medieval periods can be found in Split’s archaeological museum, which was founded in 1820, making it Croatia’s oldest museum. One of the top outdoor attractions is the green oasis of Marjan Forest Park with its Split Zoo. There are also plenty of fine beaches nearby.
A hidden gem of the Adriatic, Zadar offers beautiful beaches, charming promenades, preserved ancient architecture and fascinating historical monuments. Roman aqueducts, forums and temples surround the old town, which features medieval churches and monasteries. The archaeological museum offers more than 80,000 exhibits from the Stone Age to the late Middle Ages, and it is one of the most important museums in Croatia. Stroll along the paved waterfront and enjoy stunning views of the Adriatic Sea or lounge in one of the many cafés.
Trieste is the capital city of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northeast Italy. A port city, it occupies a thin strip of land between the Adriatic coast and Slovenia’s border on the limestone-dominated Karst Plateau. Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Slovenian influences are all evident in its layout, which encompasses a medieval old city and a neoclassical Austrian quarter.
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