No city in the world is as dazzlingly different as Venice, a seaport built on more than 100 islands. In this magnificent Renaissance realm of canals, bridges and merchants on the Adriatic, gondoliers stand up to sing while they row. Even the buses are boats! You'll never forget the thrill of your first magical moments in St. Mark's Square or being part of the never-ending aquatic parade along Venice's Grand Canal.
Dubrovnik is bordered by centuries-old stone walls, once used for protection, but that today simply provide a unique feature for a city itself so incomparable. As a Middle Ages trading center, Dubrovnik was once actually a seaport rival to Venice. Today, its amazing history is reflected in its many monuments and museums. You'll find it exhilarating to explore the man-made treasures like Old Town and the city's famous wall, but don't miss the natural pleasures like Dubrovnik's nearby beaches.
This one-of-a-kind, history-rich destination can not only claim to be the birthplace of democracy, but also home to Olympics throughout the ages, from the inaugural to the 2004 summer games. To this day, Athens is a city as rich in history as it is immersed in mythology, with ancient feats of architecture like the Acropolis, Parthenon and Temple of Olympian Zeus mingling with modern museums, cafes and shops across the Athenian landscape. It's a one-of-a-kind destination, and a must-see stop on any Greek Isles cruise.
This booming Turkish city straddles by a gulf fed by several streams and flanked by mountains on all sides. Despite the fact the city was basically rebuilt from scratch in 1922, there are plenty of fascinating exemplifying this city’s rich culture, including: the ancient fortress Kadifekale, Saat Kulesi clock tower, the Agora ancient ruins and the Kizlaragasi Han Bazaar. Be sure to see as much as you can while in port.
Messina (Sicily), Italy
This busy seaport has a colorful history that includes occupation by the Arabs in the 9th century A.D. and an insurrection against the Bourbons in the late 1700s. Today, this charming city entices tourists with its historical settings, including a museum with works by Caravaggio, the active Stromboli volcano and the town's cathedral, whose bell tower features an animated retelling of the town's history every day at noon. Messina also serves as the gateway to Taormina, where visitors can experience amazing views of the snowcapped Mount Etna.
Olbia (Sardinia), Italy
This town in northern Sardinia, founded in the 6th century B.C., was once known to ancient Greeks as 'the happy town.' Today, Olbia is a modern city that continues to delight visitors, featuring extensive shopping, food and cafés, while not having lost its selection of impressive historical sites, including churches and cathedrals like San Simplicio and Chiesa San Paolo, which date as far back as the 11th century.
Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy
Livorno is your key to some of the most storied locations in Italy, including perennial favorite Pisa, and even Florence - the cradle of the Renaissance and truly a city of treasures. You'll find some of the world's greatest artworks from such masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Boticelli. But of all the masterpieces in this miraculous city on the Arno, the one you can't leave without seeing is, of course, Michelangelo's David. Sights to see: Ponte Vecchio, Statue of David, Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The Principality of Monaco is both a city as well as a country, and is the second-smallest nation in the world. Monaco packs in a surprising amount of things to do in this space, offering marvelous landscapes and sea views unique to the South of France. Enjoy a helicopter tour, rent a car and explore on your own, or board the Azur Express for an impressive tour of all of Monaco's magnificent sites. Sights to see: Monte Carlo, Grand Casino and Place du Palais.
Located on the southeastern coast of France, this friendly city serves as a major port, providing France access to the Mediterranean Sea and vice versa. In the 1950s, Marseilles was the entrance point for many Algerian immigrants, which led to the rise of the city as a cosmopolitan society, lending cultural variety in the form of theater, food, art and music. Enjoy the beautiful architecture and city's natural beauty when you stride along Marseille's main street La Canabiere lined with cafes and attractive hotels, and don't miss Palais de Longchamp, Jardin des Vestiges, the 19th-century Notre-Dame de la Garde, Cathédrale de la Major, Le Panier and the heart of the city Vieux Port (Old Port).
Barcelona is a city known for its world-renowned architecture, boasting monuments Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance in style while also captivating visitors with its incredible modern architecture. Don't forget dining, too… Barcelona is a feast for the eyes and the palate, alike. Sights to see: Gothic Quarter, La Rambla, Sagrada Familia Cathedral and Port Vell.
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