Day 1 - Civitavecchia (Rome) When you embark on a cruise to Rome with Holland America Line you experience its bustling modernism along with its rich history. You can walk in the footsteps of emperors, have coffee in Renaissance piazzas and see contemporary art all in one afternoon. Your sightseeing time in Rome begins at the nearby port of Civitavecchia, a seaside town with roots that stretch back to the Etruscan era. Take note of the Forte Michelangelo (both Bramante and Michelangelo had a hand in its design), and the lungomare, a lively stretch along the sea with beach clubs, bars and restaurants. Once in the Eternal City you can fill your day with museums, churches, archaeological sites, traditional trattorias, artisan shops and, of course, gelato. The Colosseum and the Vatican Museums are Rome's superstar attractions, but there are plenty of quieter gems to explore. For food lovers there are the markets in Campo de' Fiori or the slightly farther flung Testaccio. The hip neighborhood of Monti, next to the Colosseum, has a vibrant piazza scene and boutique shopping, while the Villa Borghese offers a green oasis with a view towards Saint Peter’s Basilica and the masterpiece-filled Galleria Borghese. Although Rome might not have been built in one day, you'll certainly be able to see its highlights on our Rome cruises along with the top things to do there in 24 hours.
Day 2 - Salerno Charming Salerno, on Italy’s famed Amalfi Coast, brims with pleasures. Stroll the quiet narrow streets of the old city to discover hidden architectural gems, small shops, interesting churches, and restaurants serving excellent regional cuisine. Marvel at the marble and mosaic wonders of the 11thcentury Duomo dedicated to Saint Matthew, whose tomb is in the crypt.
Day 3 - Messina Messina's astrological clock is as much a man-made masterpiece as the road leading to Taormina, which canitlevers out of the rocky cliff face and stands on impossibly tall pylons. Leave it to the Italians to design a road that's both a thrill-ride and a feat of engineering! Once you're safely in Taormina, walk to the sublime Greco-Roman theatre that overlooks Naxos Bay and snow-capped Mt Etna, and spend some time on the Corso Umberto with a gelato firmly in hand.
Day 4 - At Sea
Day 5 - Kerkira (Corfu) Fortresses flank your entrance to this most beautiful of the Ionians. Lose yourself in the Venetian old town or head north for dramatic seascapes. Sample shore excursion: Achillion Palace & Private Villa.
Day 6 - Kotor Kotor is located along one of Montenegro's most beautiful bays. First settled during the days of ancient Rome, the city today has a well preserved urban centre with a vibrant community. Medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor a UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site."
Day 7 - Zadar, Croatia It may sound like the name of some fantastic distant land or even a planet, but the only things out of this world about Zadar are its seaside views, delicious Croatian-Mediterranean cuisine and wines and the warm welcome when you arrive in this history-steeped Croatian town. Perched on a peninsula extending into the Adriatic, Zadar was a crossroads in the ancient world and a cornerstone of the Venetian Empire. As in many Croatian towns, layers of history and art are everywhere (keep your eyes open for the ubiquitous signature Venetian lions). In recent years, Croatia has found some new fame as the backdrop for Game of Thrones, but Zadar’s story of survival rivals anything that Hollywood could imagine. Caught on the front lines between the Allies and Mussolini’s troops, some 60 percent of the city’s buildings were destroyed in World War II. Today, however, the city that was once described as \"the Dresden of the Adriatic\" has been meticulously restored. From the new tourist port, Gaženica, to the Victorian-era Riva seafront walkway and the cobblestoned streets of the old town, Zadar dazzles visitors once again, just as it has for centuries.
Day 8 - Venice, Italy Discover la Serenissima by gondola and ride with someone special under the Bridge of Sighs; wonder at the opulence of Ducal palaces and try on a gaudy, feather-bedecked Carnival mask. Linger over cappuccino on the Ca d'Oro, and be sure to dodge the pigeons in the Piazza before you step into San Marco Cathedral for an eyeful of giltwork and divine frescoes.
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