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Genoa is marvellously eclectic, vibrant and full of rough-edged style; it’s a great cruise excursion.
Indeed “La Superba” (The Superb), as it was known at the height of its authority as a Mediterranean superpower, boasts more zest and intrigue than all the surrounding coastal resorts put together.
During a holiday to Genoa you can explore its old town: a dense and fascinating warren of medieval alleyways home to large palazzi built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Genoa’s wealthy mercantile families and now transformed into museums and art galleries. You should seek out the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Renaissance palaces of Via Garibaldi which contain the cream of Genoa’s art collections, as well as furniture and decor from the grandest days of the city’s past, when its ships sailed to all corners of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Acquario di Genova is the city’s pride and joy, parked like a giant ocean liner on the waterfront, with seventy tanks housing sea creatures from all the world’s major habitats, including the world’s biggest reconstruction of a Caribbean coral reef. It’s a great aquarium by any standards, the second largest in Europe by capacity, and boasts a fashionably ecology-conscious slant and excellent background information in Italian and English.
Just 35 km south of Genoa, there’s no denying the appeal of Portofino, tucked into a protected inlet surrounded by lush cypress- and olive-clad slopes. It’s an A-list resort that has been attracting high-flying bankers, celebs and their hangers-on for years, as evidenced by the flotillas of giant yachts usually anchored just outside. It’s a tiny place that is attractive yet somehow off-putting at the same time, with a quota of fancy shops, bars and restaurants for a place twice its size.
Crete’s capital Heraklion, an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination, is an energetic city with a prolific history.
Admire majestic Mount Yioúhtas as you dock in the harbour and ancient Koules Fortress on the port’s western pier. Discover the mythical Palace of Knossos or visit historical monasteries and churches. Crete is a fascinating slice of Greek island life just waiting to be explored!
Approximately 200-km southeast of mainland Greece, lies Santorini, a Cyclades Island. This MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination was formed from the remains of a volcanic caldera which is evident in its rugged geology. Santorini is famous for its sheer cliffs, red beach, and whitewashed houses that contrast strikingly against the blue Aegean Sea. The island is also home to ancient archaeological sites, hot spring swimming, and stunning wineries.
The Italian port city of Bari, an MSC Mediterranean Cruises destination, lies on the coast of the archaeologically-rich Apulia region.
This ancient town offers a remarkable mix of old and new, with historical churches, castles and piazzas positioned near modern galleries, shops, and museums. Further afield, discover an abundance of natural wonders including UNESCO World Heritage site caves. With its breathtaking beaches and world-class restaurants, Bari is a memorable seaside destination.
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