Francis Ford Coppola
2019 Inspiring Italy Wine Cruise
Ports of Call
Lord Byron called Venice (Venezia) "a fairy city of the heart." La Serenissima, "The Most Serene," is an improbable cityscape of stone palaces that seem to float on water, a place where cats nap in Oriental marble windowsills set in colorful plaster walls. Candy-stripe pylons stand sentry outside the tiny stone docks of palazzi whose front steps descend into the gently lapping waters of the canals that lace the city.
A whimsical stroll through the city can lead one to a hidden world of ornately decorated piazzas and shops. As you explore colorful marketplaces and busy town squares, marvel at a priceless legacy of Baroque architecture. Admire the richness of St. Mark's Basilica and the lavishness of the Palazzo Ducale. Getting lost in Venice can be a truly delightful experience. The place of dreams, this romantic city will live long in your memory.
Umbria (Ancona), Italy
Set picturesquely above the Adriatic Sea, Ancona has only recently been discovered by tourists. Although founded in the 4th century B.C., the city still retains several ancient monuments and buildings from its colorful past. The city not only serves as a busy seaport, offering regular ferry service to Croatia and Greece, but it is also widely known for its production of accordions, electric organs and guitars. Stroll through town and discover the pleasures of its spacious squares, churches and historic sights, not to mention white sand beaches that surround it. Or travel through the scenic countryside to beautiful Urbino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Raphael, and visit the magnificent Palazzo Ducale, designed by renaissance masters.
Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always been and remains the “Eternal City.” Its greatest splendor was experienced during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman legions swept outward, conquering much of the known world.
Today’s Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafés and elegant shops, is one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Coliseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combat between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals. Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city’s political and commercial center. In later times, Rome’s squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument, the monumental Trevi fountain and Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers, to name
In the region in the heel of the Italian "boot", Bari is the capital of Puglia. It's an off-the-beatean-path destination, tucked along the southern Adriatic. Bari is conveniently divided between its picturesque Old Town on a peninsula to the north and its modern city center to the south. The chief draws are architectural, especially the Romanesque 12th century San Nicola Church made of stunning white limestone and the imposing Swabian Castle.
Not far from Bari is the town of "Bernalda", the birthplace and home to Agostino Coppola, the grandfather of Francis Ford Coppola. Here you will find Palazzo Margherita
, purchased by Francis in 2004 and transformed into a luxurious Italian boutique hotel.
A city of soaring castles and scenic coastline, Crotone boasts an eventful history dating to 710 BC. Standing on a promontory overlooking the sea, Capo Colonna Archaeological Park hods some of the most ancient remains, including a column of the temple of Hera Lacinia from the fifth century BC. The town cathedral is notable for its 12th century baptismal font and the icon of the Black Madonna brought from the East when the church was first built. Traverse a narrow strip of land ot visit Le Castella, an ancient citadel constructed on a small island, or explore the museum in the imposing 16th century Castle of Charles V.
Taormina (Sicily), Italy
Snow-capped Mt. Etna looms in the distance, while terraces overlook the dramatic coastline. The winding medieval streets of the storybook village of Taormina may lead you into quiet gardens or inviting squares lined with trattorias and shops. Nestled some 660 feet or so above the sparkling sea, this beguiling town has attracted a varied group of visitors, from Ovid to Goethe to D.H. Lawrence, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. Film stars wooed by Taormina’s charms include Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Burton and Taylor, Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, even the elusive Garbo. Far earlier, Greeks and Romans left their marks, still visible today in the ruins of temples, fortresses and amphitheaters.
Amalfi / Positano, Italy
Located roughly between Salerno and Sorrento, Amalfi was already an important maritime republic in the Middle Ages. In fact, the Amalfi Tables represent the oldest maritime code in the world, which were observed throughout the Mediterranean until the late 16th century.Today, Amalfi is one of the most popular resorts and stopovers along the famed Amalfi Drive, Italy's celebrated corniche that hugs the mountainous coast and carves its way through sheer rock. Opulent villas, cloaked in brilliantly colored bougainvillea, hide behind high walls and wrought-iron gates. Waves pound against the steep shoreline and tortuous bends challenge a steady stream of tourist vehicles. Aroundevery hairpin turn spectacular scenery awaits.
Portoferraio (Elba), Italy
Portoferraio is the first town you will see when you arrive on Elba island. Nothing seems to have changed since the times of the Argonauts. Stroll through the narrow streets of historic Portoferraio and see its massive fortresses. Admire the views and then head to Napoleon's residence at Villa dei Mulini. Along the way visit the Museum of Misericordia and enjoy thw town's ambiance as you pass through the city gates and head for the waterfront. Venture into the rugged countryside and enjoy the scenery, monuments to Napoleon and quaint mountain villages.
In a tiny cove, out of sight and almost inaccessible, is hidden an ancient fishing village, that has become an internationally renowned symbol. Until the 19th century, Portofino was a fishing village, the bay was a well-known safe haven for ships, and the promontory served as an outpost for coastal sightings. At the end of the 19th century, all over Europe, the middle classes and aristocracy began to choose this beautiful place to build their summer residences, attracting the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Sophia Loren, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Grace. Now, since the 1950s, Portofino has welcomed big Hollywood names, great artists, and entrepreneurs, making it famous all over the world.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
The independent principality of Monaco is famous as the playground of the Côte d’Azur. With nice beaches, elegant hotels and a vibrant nightlife, this tiny domain is a favorite haunt of the jet set. In the possession of the Grimaldi family for more than 700 years, a treaty with France guarantees Monaco’s independence as long as the principality is governed by the Grimaldis.
The fashionable enclave numbers only about 32,000 inhabitants and is smaller than New York’s Central Park, but it boasts some of the most expensive real estate in the world. In addition to its luxury hotels and beautiful beaches, Monaco is noted for its mild climate and magnificent scenery. Once an exclusive wintering stop for Europe’s aristocracy, today there are more than five million visitors annually. Of the principality’s four sections - La Condamine, Fontvieille, Monaco-Ville and Monte Carlo, the latter two rank highest on every visitor’s must-see list.