2018 Adriatic Coast 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.
Originally built on an island surrounded by swampland that was later drained, Koper was known as "Goat Island" when it was under Venetian rule. Today the once fortified Old Town of Venetian-influenced Koper has retained much of its grand architecture from the 15th to 18th centuries. The Praetor's Palace, a blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, proudly rises above the gray limestone main square. Nearby the Postojna Caves are the most popular underground attraction in Europe, and the Predjama Castle was carved out of a limestone cliff.
The principal seaport and third largest city in Croatia, Rijeka charms with its Habsburg grandeur and multitude of cultural offerings. For marvelous views of the city and the surrounding river valley, visit the 13th-century Trsat Castle and explore its bastions and ramparts. Take a stroll along Korzo, the city's main promenade, which showcases the full splendor of its Austro-Hungarian architecture and rich history, including the distinctive City Tower. Pause at St. Vitus' Cathedral, which was modeled after the famous Venetian church of Santa Maria della Salute and is the only Baroque rotunda of monumental proportions in Croatia.
Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. Sometime around 300 A.D., Roman Emperor Diocletian built his retirement palace on one of the loveliest spots on the Adriatic Sea. Today his palace has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Split. Much of this beautiful sits on a peninsula on the island of Ciovo, a jewel in the Dalmatian Coast. Many intriguing relics from the Roman, Greek colonial and Medieval periods can be found in Split's archaeological museum which was founded in 1820, making it Croatia's oldest museum. One of the top outdoor attractions is the green oasis of Marjan Forest Park with is Zoo. There are also plenty of fine beaches.
Fronting the Adriatic Sea, this southern Croatia city is known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well preserved building range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector's Palace, now a history museum. Today, tourism is the most important industry in Dubrovnik and the proudest feather in Croatia's cap, an elite destination with one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean. Adding to it's popularity in recent years, is its starring role in the HBO TV hit "Game of Thrones" where Old Town has stood in for fictional places in the TV series.
Located along one of Montenegro's most beautiful bays is Kotor, a city of traders and famous sailors, with many stories to tell. The Old City of Kotor is a well-preserved urbanization typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th century. Medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor an UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site". Through the entire city the buildings are criss-crossed with narrow streets and squares. At one of them there is the Cathedral of Sveti Tripun , a monument of Roman culture and one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. The Church of Sveti Luka (13th century), Church Sveta Ana (12th century) Church Sveta Marija (13th century), Church Gospe od Zdravlja (15th century), the Prince’s Palace (17th century) and the Napoleon Theatre (19th century) are all treasures that are part of the rich heritage of Kotor.
Argostoli (Cephalonia), Greece
Located west of mainland Greece, this island in the Ionian Sea is marked by sandy coves and dry rugged landscapes. It's capital, Argostoili, is built on a hillside overlooking the narrow harbor. Mostly famous for the exotic beaches, including Myrtos, Antisamos, Lourdas and Skala, the island was chosen for filming the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin
. Apart from swimming, Cephalonia also has many places to see, from picturesque villages to Medieval castles and beautiful monasteries.
Located on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, it's one of the ten biggest cities in Italy. Catania has had a long and eventful history, and well known for its historical earthquakes and volcanic eruptions from the neighboring Mount Etna dating back to the 17th century. On the one hand, violent outbursts of the volcano throughout history have destroyed large parts of the city, whilst on the other hand the volcanic ashes yield fertile soil, specially suited for the growth of vines. The city has a rich culture, hosting many museums, restaurants, ancient churches, castles, lush gardens and lovely palazzos.
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. Around every hairpin turn spectacular scenery awaits
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 just a few.