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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 glorious day amidst the fabled architecture of this Renaissance city. See the Duomo with Brunelleschi’s dome, the famous baptistry, Michelangelo’s magnificent David, the bridge over the Arno and the astonishing Uffizi Gallery. Visit Pisa’s superb Campo dei Miracoli and its beautiful cathedral and famed campanile. Or enjoy the Tuscan countryside, Siena and San Gimignano, renowned for its medieval towers. Shopping: Find leather goods, lingerie, gold jewelry, Florentine mosaic, lace, marbled paper items, antiques and fine art. Dining: Savor the prosciutto, pecorino cheese and infinite variety of breads, cakes and salamis.
Discover the history and beautiful architecture of this ancient seaport in the lovely pink stone Palazzo Tursi where letters of Christopher Columbus and Paganini’s famed Guarnieri violin are on display. Visit the magnificent Palazzo Bianco and stroll past old master paintings. Or explore the gemlike villages of the Cinque Terre, clinging to the coastal cliffs and Portofino, the picturesque and elegant resort. Shopping: Leather goods, jewelry, ceramics and local crafts are good buys. Dining: Enjoy pasta with pesto in the sauce’s birthplace, accompanied by local wine.
Stroll through the narrow streets of Napoleon’s birthplace, visit the bustling, colorful market, browse in the shops and see the cathedral where he was baptized. Relax in shady Place Foch beside a bubbling fountain and Napoleon’s statue. Or discover the stunning, rugged Corsican countryside and its famous aromatic maquis shrubs and oak trees. Admire the superb views and the impressive Prunelli Gorges.
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.
The City of Arts and Sciences is an impressive collection of attractions, including an opera house and performing arts center, IMAX cinema, planetarium, science museum and oceanographic park. Visit the Gothic city of Requena, featuring perfectly preserved 100-year-old wine cellars. In Lladró’s City of Porcelain museum, explore the production facilities, or nearby visit the National Ceramics Museum, located in the former palace of nobility.
Explore pretty Collioure, a favorite destination of Matisse, with its distinctive pinkish-beige houses, colorful harbor, winding streets and lovely church, and nearby Elne with its impressive fortified cathedral and beautiful cloister. Or visit magnificent Carcassonne, a breathtaking fortified hilltop city of turrets, churches, stained glass and lovely squares, resurrected in the 19th century from ruins of the fortress built and expanded over nearly 1000 years.
Spend a glorious day in the French countryside seeing beautiful hilltop Les Baux; or Arles, where Van Gogh found so much inspiration; or magnificent Carcassonne with its towers, turrets, half-timbered houses and superb nave of the 11th century Basilica de Saint-Nazaire. Or explore fortified Aigues Mortes in the heart of the Petite Camargue, surrounded by ponds, marshes and saltpans.
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.
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