Venice To Rome (Civitavecchia)
Day 1 - Venice This renowned “City of Canals” was built on an archipelago of more than 100 islands formed by about 150 canals. Ancient cobblestone streets lined with tiny ceramic and glass workshops and tempting cafes wind their way between fabulous palazzos and vast town squares along the banks of the canals. For shoppers, the city offers colorful markets; for those interested in architecture, the original Baroque classics, Basilica San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, the Doge’s Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs as viewed from a gondola or toured on foot, are breath-taking. And art lovers should make sure not to miss the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, home to Tintoretto’s finest works; or, for more modern tastes, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, showcasing masterpieces of 20th-century art currents and the avant-garde movements.
Day 2 - Split Split is the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast. Split achieved fame when the Roman emperor Diocletian, noted for his persecution of early Christians, had his retirement palace built here. The spectacular stone edifice and its grounds and cellars are a major highlight of any city tour. Other points of interest include the Cathedral of St. Duje, built on the remains of an ancient shrine purported to be the oldest in the world; and the Mestrovic Gallery, where the impressive works of Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic are available for viewing in this home and atelier.
Day 3 - Kotor Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro, located in a most secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The old port, surrounded by an impressive city wall built by the House of Nemanjicc, is very well preserved and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Numerous other attractions include the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in the old town (built in 1166), and ancient walls which stretch directly above the city. Nightlife also attracts tourists to Kotor with pubs, taverns, cafes, and nightclubs.
Day 4 - Corfu Legendary Corfu is a lush and romantic island, written about by Homer in his famous Odyssey. The island’s history is full of battles, indicative of Corfu’s turbulent position that lasted until modern times with unification with modern Greece in 1864. Corfu offers a combination of cosmopolitan and time-honored Greece. As well as a flower-strewn countryside and Adriatic-style villages, Corfu has splendid coastal scenery and some excellent secluded beaches.
Day 5 - Valletta Malta’s major port and capital, the entire city of Valletta was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. The centerpiece is the impressive 19th century Mosta Dome, visible from anywhere on the island, with its inlaid marble floor and the gilded, carved stone flowers set around the interior dome. For a tranquil afternoon, stroll the San Anton Palace Gardens, artistically laid out in Three Villages - Attard, Lija and Balzan. Or, for spectacular vistas, take a day tour to Dingli Cliffs, which offer striking views of the sea and rugged coastline. Valetta is also a portal to day trips to nearby Mdina, with its landmark Baroque Cathedral of St. John; and Rabat, the provincial township that was once part of the Roman city of Melita, where you can explore several fascinating archaeological digs.
Day 6 - Messina Messina, the third largest city in Sicily, was the most important port of departure for European knights on their way to the Crusades in the Middle Ages. Today, this extensively rebuilt port city still boasts many historically and architecturally significant landmarks, particularly the renowned cathedral with its unusual astronomical clock, the 12th century Catania Church and the ornate Teatro Vittorio Emanuele. Messina is also the starting point for a day trip to the peak of breath-taking Mt. Etna-Crateri Silvestri.
Day 7 - Naples, Italy Naples, a city in southern Italy, sits on the Bay of Naples. Nearby is Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that destroyed nearby Roman town Pompeii. Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C., Naples has centuries of important art and architecture. The city's cathedral, the Duomo di San Gennaro, is filled with frescoes. Other major landmarks include the lavish Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo, a 13th-century castle.
Day 8 - Rome (Civitavecchia) Whether enjoying the street performers at the Spanish Steps and people-watching over a fine glass of wine in colorful Trastevere, or taking in the historical and architectural glory that is Rome, visitors are spoiled for choice in this truly Eternal City. St. Peter’s Basilica is a full-day outing, featuring the Sistine Chapel and panoramic city vistas for those willing to climb to the top of the dome. Other landmarks not to miss include the renowned Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, and Aventine Hill, which provides you with a grand view of the imposing remains of the Imperial Palaces and the Circus Maximus, of Ben Hur fame.
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