With a great historic past and incomparable art treasures, Venice is renowned as one of the world’s great cities. Its 118 islands are separated by more than 150 canals and spanned by 400 bridges. During Venice's artistic golden age many magnificent structures were erected to create world-famous masterpieces. One of the best sightseeing routes is along Grand Canal, with many palaces lining the famous waterway. St. Mark’s Square offers access to some of Venice’s most famed attractions - St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. From Piazza San Marco, a maze of narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. A popular pastime is sitting at an outdoor café facing the square while people-watching and letting the whole marvelous scenario unfold. Venice’s Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands comprise an area famous as home of Venice’s glass-blowing industry and known for their charm, skilled lace-making and medieval monuments. Relax on a gondola ride, see art treasures in museums, churches and palaces, and have a sumptuous meal - all in this incomparable city.
Split, the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast, is the heart of Dalmatia. The old town is built around the harbor on the south side of a high peninsula sheltered from the open sea by many islands. Split achieved fame when the Roman emperor Diocletian (245-313), noted for his persecution of early Christians, had his retirement palace built here from 295 to 305. Since 1945 Split has grown into a major industrial city with large apartment-block housing areas. Much of old Split remains, however, and this combined with its exuberant nature makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Europe.
Take a step back in time and visit the old town of Kotor, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in this part of the Mediterranean. The asymmetric structure of the narrow streets and squares, combined with the awesome monuments of medieval architecture, contributed to Kotor being placed on UNESCO’s “World’s natural and cultural inheritance” list. From ancient fortification systems surrounding the city to 12th century cathedrals, Kotor is a dream come true for those who revel in history. Entrance to town from the Gurdic spring, consists of 3 separate gates, built from the 13th, 16th and 18th centuries. The Cathedral of St. Tryphon is one of the most visited and impressive churches in the city. According to some texts, the original church was erected in the 8th century and rebuilt in 1166. Two earthquakes, one in 1667 and one in 1979 seriously damaged the cathedral and it continues to be restored to this day. The city is breathtaking in every respect and only a visit will truly reveal all it has to offer.
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Sorrento is a town of extraordinary beauty and is known as a popular gateway to Italy's most spectacular stretch of coastline - the Amalfi Drive lined with fishing villages and famous resorts. The seaside resort of Amalfi sits with weathered houses scrambling up steep cliffs. Visitors marvel at its location and its magnificent cathedral. The religious sanctuary of Cloister of St. Francis is worth a visit. The tiny, exclusive resort of Positano has its famous world-class hotel, San Pietro. Excavations of the ruined city of Pompeii, which was destroyed in 79 A.D. during the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, give visitors a vivid impression of life in a very wealthy ancient city and the tragic end of its population. The Isle of Capri ranks as one of the most beautiful islands and has captured visitors for centuries with excellent climate, spectacular landscape and fantastic sea caverns. Capri has lavish villas, elegant hotels, chic boutiques and quaint restaurants. Museo Correale contains a death mask of poet Torquato Tasso and some special editions of his works, pictures, furniture and porcelain.
Civitavecchia is the port city for Rome. Rome has always been and remains the Eternal City. With its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafés and elegant shops, Rome is one of the world’s most attractive cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Colosseum where spectators watched combats between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals. Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once a political and commercial center. Rome’s squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di Trevi. Awe at Christendom’s most magnificent church, the Sistine Chapel. The busy square Piazza Venezia is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. Take a stroll to Rome's famous Trevi Fountain. Vatican City is the site of lovely St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica, where for 200 years, Renaissance masters worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Visit Vatican Museum.
Picturesquely situated in a narrow cove on Italy's northern coast lies enchanting Portofino. This Pearl of the Mediterranean has been a favored gathering place for the elite who appreciate the charm and intimacy of the cliff-lined harbor. Overlooking rocky coastline, quaint Portofino surprises with incredible views of Gulf of Rapallo and surrounding hillsides. The church of San Giorgio offers a beautiful view of the resort and harbor. More extensive views are available from Fortezza de San Giorgio. In 1935, the city government of Genoa declared Portofino a national monument. Visitors enjoy the unique ambiance, chic boutiques and quaint cafes that overlook the small yacht harbor and line narrow, cobbled streets. Others explore the surrounding coastline, where tiny villages are tucked away in hidden coves. Don't miss out on a favorite pastime - people-watching while relaxing in an outdoor cafe. The boutiques and designer shops tempt with chic resortwear and Italian designer clothing. Two miles from Portofino is Paraggi, with a sparkling cove good for a swim.
Monaco is famous as Côte d’Azur’s playground. With spacious beaches, elegant hotels and lively nightlife, this tiny domain is a jet set favorite and home to some of the world's most expensive real estate. In addition to luxury hotels and beautiful beaches, Monaco is noted for mild climate and magnificent scenery. Monaco and Monte Carlo rank high on every visitor’s must-see list. Monaco-Ville is the old city and seat of Monaco’s government. The 19th-century Romanesque cathedral Prince's Palace contains impressive works of art and the tomb of Princess Grace, while the Parliament building and Oceanographic Museum, under the auspices of the Jacques Cousteau Society, offer additional sights. Monte Carlo spells sophistication, elegance, and glamour. Every year the rich and famous gather here to bask in the sun, gamble at the world’s most opulent casino and attend spectacular parties. The most splendid hotels, several fine theaters, museums and excellent restaurants cater to the elite. Nothing typifies more the elegant lifestyle of the Côte d’Azur than glamorous Monte Carlo.
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