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Civitavecchia was settled in 108 A.D. by the Emperor Trajan and has since served faithfully as a gateway to the capital of the Empire—Rome. Once the center of the Ancient World from which emperors ruled over nearly all of western civilization, Rome is still a cultural mecca. Stroll the ancient halls of the Colosseum or gaze upon the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel.
This small port on the Ionian coast is your gateway to ancient Olympia, the home of the original Olympic Games. Olympia has preserved both athletic and mythological monuments, many dating back to 776 BC. Most intriguing is the stadium, which is still standing, and the gymnasium. The museum also offers a peek at fabulous Greek sculptures.
Mykonos is known for its whitewashed villages sprinkled with blue and jade green. It’s also famous for its sophisticated nightlife. The most popular island in the Cyclades is bustling with activity, awash in beautiful alleyways, and home to alluring sandy beaches.
Here on the island of Santorini, you’ll find a classic Greek seascape—whitewashed houses accented by sea-blue roofs. This is a treasure trove for both professional and amateur archeology buffs, with sites that include tombs that date back to the 9th century and the sanctuary of Apollo.
Rhodes, the friendliest city in the Mediterranean, is situated at the island’s northernmost point. This sunny retreat is also home to many historic sites, such as the ruins of the Temple of Venus and the medieval Street of Knights.
Your adventure in Athens begins five miles southwest in Greece’s largest seaport, known as Piraeus. While here, be sure to take notice of what is considered to be one of the greatest contributions from the ancient Age of Pericles, the city’s infrastructure, which today we know as a city block.
In addition to a number of significant works of art, this town is known for the many fortifications built by the Knights of Malta, who for years helped care for European pilgrims and crusaders en reoute to and from the Holy Land.
Formerly a sleepy Spanish city, Barcelona has recently been reborn as an eclectic fusion of the modern and medieval. Seek inspiration from the creations of its modernist architect, Antonio Gaudí, or the Picasso Museum. Or, take in the breathtaking cathedrals in the Gothic Quarter.