Barcelona to Civitavecchia(Rome)
|Cruise Only||Fly Cruise|
Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya as well as Spain's second largest city. Dominated by Montjuic, Vallvidrera and the Tibidabo Hills, sophisticated Barcelona is rich in ancient and modern architectural and artistic treasures. Many talented artists, sculptors and architects lived here, including Picasso, Miró, Mares and Barcelona's best-known architect, Antonio Gaudí.
|Fri 03 Nov 2017||Fri 03 Nov 2017 23:59|
Palma De Mallorca, Spain
The Balearics are comprised of 16 islands; the three principal ones are Mallorca, Ibiza and Minorca. Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and Arabs have invaded these islands over the centuries. Ruins show evidence of the prehistoric Talayot civilization, a megalithic culture that flourished here between 1500 BC and the Roman conquest. Today the islands are besieged by invaders of a different sort - hordes of tourists.
Lying 60 miles (97 km) off the Spanish mainland, the islands' lush and rugged landscape combined with an extremely mild, sunny climate proves irresistible, especially to northern Europeans. As a result, the Balearics boast cosmopolitan resorts with lively nightlife and plenty of sports activities.
Mallorca (also spelled Majorca) is the largest of the islands, with an area of more than 1,400 square miles (3626 sq.km). The scenery is magnificent, with cliffs along indented shorelines jutting out of the sea and mountain ranges sheltering the plains from harsh sea breezes. The fertile plain in the centre is covered with almond and fig trees plus olive groves with some trees more than 1,000 years old. Tall pines, junipers and oaks line the mountain slopes.
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the archipelago. A cosmopolitan city with sophisticated shops and restaurants, it also offers buildings of spectacular Moorish and Gothic architecture.
In the western part of Mallorca, nestled into the mountains, lies the village of Valldemosa. It is known for its Carthusian Monastery where Frédéric Chopin and George Sand spent the winter of 1838-39.
|Sat 04 Nov 2017 11:00||Sat 04 Nov 2017 22:00|
||Sun 05 Nov 2017||Sun 05 Nov 2017|
Catania, Sicily, Italy
Sicily's second largest town after Palermo lies at the foot of Europe's most famous active volcano. The prominent cone of Mount Etna reaches almost 11,000 feet, its slopes covered by hardened lava and scores of cones and craters - tangible evidence of its ever-threatening presence.
At first sight, Catania does not seem overly impressive, but a closer look reveals one of Sicily's most intriguing and vibrant cities. Settled by Greek colonists as early as 729 B.C., Catania became so influential that their laws were eventually adopted by all the Ionian colonies of ancient Greece. During the Roman occupation Catania grew into one of the largest towns in Sicily. Some of its importance diminished in the early medieval period, but prosperity flourished anew under Aragonese rule in the 14th century.
Destroyed several times by the eruptions of Mount Etna, many of Catania's attractive buildings date from the reconstruction that followed a devastating earthquake in 1693. It was the design of architect Giovanni Vaccarini that gave the city its lofty, noble look. One of Catania's most handsome squares is the Piazza del Duomo. In its center stands a fountain bearing the city's symbol, an elephant carved from lava and bearing a granite obelisk. The square is surrounded by fine baroque structures and dominated by the 18th-century cathedral. Granite columns from Catania's Roman amphitheater are incorporated in the church's structure. Inside lies the tomb of the city's famous native son, composer Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835).
|Mon 06 Nov 2017 08:00||Mon 06 Nov 2017 16:00|
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
The capital of Sicily is situated on a crescent-shaped bay on the island's north coast. Once the intellectual capital of southern Europe, Palermo has always been at the crossroads of civilization. Due to its favourable location, Sicily's most interesting city has attracted almost every people and culture touching the Mediterranean world. Its most unique characteristic is a harmonious blend of Arab-Norman cultures mixed with Byzantine and Jewish elements, which created some unforgettable and resplendent works of art.
Phoenician traders first colonized Palermo in the 6th-century BC, but it was the Carthaginians, who built the important fortress here that caught the covetous eye of the Romans. After the first Punic War, the Romans took control of the city in the 3rd-century BC. Following several invasions by the Vandals, Sicily was settled by Arabs, who made the country an emirate and Palermo a showpiece capital that rivalled in splendour both Cordoba and Cairo. The city became a magical place of palaces and mosques, minarets and palm trees. In the 11th-century Palermo was conquered by the Norman ruler, Roger de Hauteville. During the Normans' hundred-year occupation, the city experienced a remarkable period of enlightenment and a flourishing of the arts. Counting a population of more than 300,000, Palermo became the centre of Norman rule and one of the most important trading centres between East and West.
Eventually, Palermo was incorporated into the “Kingdom of the Two Sicilies” under the Swabian ruler Frederick II, known as the Holy Roman Emperor. After the bloody Sicilian Vespers uprising in 1282, the Spanish took control and brought the Inquisition to Palermo. Some historians believe that the nature of the Inquisition helped foster the protective secret societies that eventually evolved into the Mafia.
Today, visitors can still experience the legacy of Palermo's rich past. Great Arab-Norman buildings include the Cappella Palatina, La Martorana, San Giovanni degli Eremiti and, a few miles outside the city, the Cathedral of Monreale. Palermo's bustling streets and animated markets give the town an Oriental feel. The Quattro Canti, or Four Corners, is the monumental crossroads laid out in 1608-1620 at the central intersection of the four longest and straightest streets of the city. North of Piazza Castelnuovo lie the avenues of the new city. Most sights are scattered along three major streets: Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Via Maqueda and Via Roma.
A vigorous metropolis with a strong historical profile, Palermo is packed with interesting sights, which make it an enriching and enjoyable place to explore.
|Tue 07 Nov 2017 08:00||Tue 07 Nov 2017 18:00|
Malta's capital city of Valletta has been designated a World Heritage City by UNESCO. This historic fortress city was chosen to be their headquarters by the Knights of St. John in 1565. Visit the impressive Palace of the Grand Masters and the breathtaking baroque masterpiece that is St. John's Co-Cathedral, both filled with history and art treasures.
The Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Castilians, the Knights of St. John, the French and the British all left their mark. Controlling the island was a prerequisite to domination of the Mediterranean; Malta's location at the crossroads of Europe made it a center of cultural, social and political activity. The era of the Knights is considered the most glorious in Malta's history. Many relics and buildings bear testimony to the magnificence of this period; most are found in Valletta, the capital of the Maltese Islands, a city "built by gentlemen, for gentlemen."
|Wed 08 Nov 2017 08:00||Wed 08 Nov 2017 16:00|
||Thu 09 Nov 2017 08:00||Thu 09 Nov 2017 16:00|
The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.
|Fri 10 Nov 2017 08:00||Fri 10 Nov 2017 18:00|
||Sat 11 Nov 2017 08:00||Sat 11 Nov 2017|
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