The magnificently beautiful capital of Italy is the center of Roman Catholicism and the cradle of Roman culture, with gathers within her many layers of fascinating history in a modern, trendy and bustling metropolis. On our cruise to Italy we will travel from the port of Civitavecchia to Rome – a city with an abundance of historic sites, extraordinary architecture and glorious history that is revealed around every corner.
A tour of Rome consists of a multitude of sights, as past and present are merged together. The route passes a large number of famous sites such as St. Peter's Basilica – the largest church in the world – which is decorated with artwork by some of the best and most celebrated artists in Italy. Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter's Square) the amazingly large and impressive square – here is the place to pull out cameras and have your photograph taken against the backdrop of this unique setting. Our tour continues to other major sites and is recommended for every tourist visiting the city – Capitoline Hill in Rome is the highest of the Seven Hills of Rome. There are several important temples on this hill, considered as being some of the largest and most important temples in Rome.
You may try to ascend the Spanish Steps – 138 in all – which connect the lower Piazza di Spagna with the upper piazza Trinita dei Monti; many tourists try to race up the steps without losing their breath – no easy feat! However, when you get to the top the breathtaking scenery will certainly compensate you for your efforts.
If you are looking for squares in Rome, you are invited to visit the most famous square in Rome, Piazza Venezia, named after the nearby Palazzo Venezia. Piazza Venezia is the central square in Rome until now, and in the past it served as a meeting place during the reign of Mussolini.
Don’t forget to make a wish
A walk through the alleyways and streets of the Old City dating back to the period of the Renaissance will lead you to a spectacular tourist treasure. If you want to make a wish, you are welcome throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Known as the ‘fountain of wishes’, this is a wonderful place to think of the dreams that you want to come true and, of course, make a wish while throwing a coin into the fountain.
The Coliseum in Rome
The ancient past of the city of Rome is revealed in all its glory in the Coliseum – the gigantic amphitheater where fights took place between the gladiators, and which is a symbol for the glory of the Roman Empire as well as being one of the most amazing architectural works in Rome. You must not forget to pass through the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum, dating back to the 1st century, which symbolizes the victory of the Romans over Judea.
One of the most visited sites in Rome is the Vatican Museum. The museum brims with impressive art works that are part of the collections of the Catholic Church. Here you will also be able to have a close look at the Sistine Chapel and some of the masterpieces created by artists during the Renaissance period. Primarily, the fame of the Sistine Chapel lies in the frescos that decorate the interior, most particularly the legendary ceiling decorated with ‘The Last Judgment ‘ by Michelangelo.
After a hard day’s adventure in Rome you are welcome to stop at one of the many restaurants or cafés in the city for an authentic Italian-style meal, sip a fine espresso and enjoy Rome’s vibrant nightlife.
Please note that the ship anchors in the harbor of Civitavecchia, which is adjacent to the city of Rome. You can purchase a shore excursion when booking the cruise to Rome, or on the ship; there is also the option of booking a journey to Rome and back (at additional cost).Close
The capital of the Apulia District and Bari Province, located in southeast Italy, it is an important economic center because of its port and its university. Bari is the second most important city in southern Italy: today it is a bustling port city; in the past it was an important Byzantine city where Saint Nicholas is buried.
Have you tasted Orecchiette yet?
The city is divided into the old quarter – which has buildings and churches from the Middle Ages – and the new and modern district. Bari has a variety of local attractions such as the Castello Svevo fortress which is located in the old town: this is a Swabian fortress that was constructed in the Norman style of building dating back to the 13th century, which also served as a fortress during the period of the Spanish rule in the 16th century.
Among the picturesque alleyways of the old town you can see the women sitting along the roadway, at the doorways of their homes, preparing the special pasta of this area which is called orecchiette.
Do not miss a visit to the Basilica and the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the patron Saint of Bari, built in the Romanesque style. You can stroll along the walls of the old town and the beautiful beach. Many visitors also will not forego shopping in the prestigious shopping street of Bari which offers a variety of boutiques, souvenirs, clothes and handicrafts, household items and more.
Have you already visited the Trulli houses?
On your cruise to Bari it is recommended to also go to the Trulli region and visit the beautiful tourist town of Alberobello. This is an amazing town that was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can admire the unique architecture of the region, the Trulli houses. These are circular stone houses with conical roofs which were once residential buildings and which today serve as luxury shops and stylish boutiques.
It is also highly recommended to visit a typical Trulli house and, of course, to go shopping and come home with souvenirs. If you go to visit the local church, St. Antonio, you will find an example of the unique local architectural style. In this spectacular area you can walk around freely and enjoy the tranquility of the location and the large number of delightful restaurants serving authentic local dishes.Close
In the most romantic city in the world – Venice – one can either walk or take a gondola that sails along the canals. Throughout the entire length of Venice you can tour between the bridges and the magnificent palaces, where you will discover picturesque splendor, enchanting ancient buildings, jewels of art and a very unique atmosphere that one finds no where else in the world, and which alludes to the glorious past that is an integral part of this amazing city. When you come to Venice you won’t want to miss visiting the world-famous places in this wonderful Italian city. Here are some recommendations for a tour during your cruise to Venice.
The most famous square
Venice has a wealth of squares, like most Italian cities, and there are attractions in each of them – cathedrals and fine restaurants. Almost every movie that is filmed in Venice includes a shot of Piazza San Marco, the world famous central square, which was the cultural and social center of Venice during the peak of the maritime empire.
If you take a slow walk around you will be able to absorb the unique highlights of the famous buildings that encompass the square. The Doge's Palace built in the Gothic style, the Basilica, the Bell Tower, and the government buildings of the Venetian empire. A rich variety of architectural styles that characterize the Venetian construction. If you go into the Doge's Palace an impressive collection of artworks awaits you – this is truly a hypnotic experience for every visitor.
Go outside to take a deep breath outdoors in the square; and don’t forget to feed the pigeons which feel perfectly at home here and are very friendly to the tourists, who feed them with whatever comes to hand.
Bridges of Venice
From here you can walk along the picturesque alleyways and delight in the colorful masks shops of Venice (a beautiful souvenir that represents the well-known Carnival of Masks that takes place in the city every year). Then, turn towards the Rialto Bridge – one of the best-known and largest bridges that span the two banks of the Grand Canal and was one of the renowned symbols of Venice during its days of glory.
Another famous bridge in Venice is the Bridge of Sighs; this bridge connects the Doge's Palace and the ancient prison in Venice. The prisoners who were sentenced in the Doge's Palace were then taken across this bridge to the prison.
The person who provided the bridge with its evocative name was Lord Byron, who said that prisoners who passed over the bridge would sigh despondently thinking about their impending imprisonment in a prison that had no windows. A point of interest – Giacomo Casanova was one of the people incarcerated in the ancient prison.
The treasures of Murano
The Island of Murano became famous for its magnificent glass industry, and Murano glass has become one of the world's most expensive art industries. A visit to the glass blowing factory is an impressive experience that will reveal how jewelry and art can be created from glass. There is also a very spectacular display of impressive Murano artwork to be seen at the factory.
It is hard to express in words the experience of riding in a gondola – the traditional narrow Venetian boat – which has become one of the principal attractions for tourists coming to Venice. The gondoliers who steer the gondolas in Venice will be happy to sing to you in Italian, and explain to you in English about every site that you pass along the route; when evening falls on Venice, a ride in a gondola becomes a really magical experience. Recommended for everyone visiting Venice.Close
Trieste: a port city in northeastern Italy built on a hillside above the Adriatic Sea. The city has a splendid history as a port city and is the largest commercial and economic center in the region. Attractions: Piazza Unità d'Italia (Unity of Italy Square); the city’s coastal promenade from the southern part of the city to the Old Port; not forgetting Miramar Palace with its beautiful gardens, considered to be one of the most splendid gardens in the whole of the Mediterranean basin. Not to be missed: a meal in one of the excellent fish restaurants and a cup of coffee at one of the Viennese style cafés located throughout the city.
The aroma of Austria mingles with the tempo of Italy in Trieste. This is a charming port city which is somewhat reminiscent of Venice because of the centrally-located Grande Canal, a collection of Viennese-style cafés, boutiques and fine restaurants.
Trieste has preserved its remarkable façade with historical artifacts, beautiful piazzas and a magnificent palace. The Old Town will enchant you with monuments from the past such as the Castello di San Giusto fortress dating back to the Middle Ages; an authentic cathedral; squares adorned with statues, as well as ice cream parlors and coffee shops all around.
In fact, this is Italy’s ultimate coffee kingdom – right here in the city is the factory of the ‘Illy’ brand of Italian coffee, and innumerable coffee shops reflect the long tradition of roasting the many combinations of coffee beans. After a sweet fusion between a Sacher torte and an espresso, continue to explore the other beauty spots in the city such as the Roman theater or walk through the Jewish ghetto, which is a maze of narrow streets where you will also find antique dealers and second-hand markets.
The city is full of important museums, including the Revoltella Museum which is a gallery of modern art featuring works by Italian artists; the Railway Museum with a variety of railway car models; the Maritime Museum which will introduce you to the evolution of ships and navigation. One of the favorite museums in the city is the Joyce Museum which commemorates the works of James Joyce (author of "Ulysses" and many other books) who made his home in Trieste for many years.
Do not miss Miramare Castle, located on a cliff outside the city, which is among the most impressive castles to be found anywhere in Italy. The castle was built in honor of Maximilian of the House of Habsburg, and contains magnificent halls adorned with original furnishings dating back to the 19th century. The highlight here is the lush and well-kept garden decorated with ornamental ponds and sculptures.
Families visiting Trieste will enjoy the local theme park that offers an abundance of adventures and challenges, like climbing routes amongst the trees; or the botanical gardens, which has areas displaying collections of different plants alongside birds, bats and hedgehogs.
If you feel like sunbathing in the outdoors put on a swimsuit and pop over to Sistiana Bay, the beautifully kept beach where you will find sun-beds, a ‘Baby Park’ with inflatable games, a beach volleyball court and table tennis . At twilight the beach undergoes a transformation and is host to vibrant parties in an exciting atmosphere, for those who crave entertainment. Incidentally, in the vicinity of Trieste is the famous Grotta delle Torri di Slivia cave, renowned for its amazing wealth of stalactites and stalagmites; during a guided tour of the cave you will be able to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of nature deep underneath the earth .Close
The third largest city in Italy, the "magical " city is one of the most beautiful in Italy and is located on the Gulf of Naples between Mt. Vesuvius and the volcanic region. Attractions: the ancient heart of the city is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is recommended to walk through its streets and make your way to the observation point at Castel Sant'Elmo , the medieval fortress. Don’t miss a tour of the the Naples National Archaeological Museum which offers a glimpse into the ancient world and one of the world's finest collections of Graeco-Roman artifacts.
Welcome to Naples – one of southern Italy’s most energetic and exciting cities. This is an exciting destination of Mediterranean chic, with lively markets, the warmth of the population, mouthwatering pizzas, a unique combination of culture, history and flavors. After you come here you will have a better understanding of the popular Italian saying "see Naples and die".
Start your journey to Naples in the colorful old town which is filled with lots of beautiful monuments such as, for example: the Naples Cathedral (the Duomo di San Gennaro) and the Basilica of Santa Restituta – both of which are definitely worthy of commemorating photographically. Another popular tourist site in the city is the splendid ‘Palazzo Reale’ in which you will find the Royal Museum with its rich collection of neo-classical and Baroque-style furniture and objects, stunning paintings, tapestries, porcelain utensils and a vast library containing rare books.
Naples also has some very impressive selection of museums: the Capodimonte Museum is a must for lovers of art. It is located in a Royal Palace on a hill with breathtaking vistas, and includes the National Gallery; among other great painters to be found there are works by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian and Gentileschi.
You will not want to miss the National Archaeological Museum that is rich in exhibits from the prehistoric, Greek, Roman and Renaissance periods with decorative statues, murals and mosaics from Pompeii, Latin engravings and remains from Herculaneum.
One of the most unique and mysterious places in the city is located in the Church of San Gennaro where you can take a tour of the catacombs of Naples – an intriguing underground world of caves and archaeological remains buried beneath the earth. You should also take a shopping trip in the old town section of the city (La Pignasecca) with its local produce of cheeses, olive oils, fruits, vegetables, baked goods and also handmade clothing.
Has this awaked your appetite? No need to worry. From the culinary aspect Naples is a gastronomic realm of popular restaurants alongside chef restaurants and the Neapolitan cuisine is characterized by the aromas of the countryside. There are an abundance of fish, crabs, mussels, risotto, antipasti, zucchini linguine, eggplant Parmesan, sfogliatelle ricce napoletane and, of course, authentic pizza, which some say is the best in Italy.
The backdrops of nature is an integral part of the experience in Naples. Just outside the urban bustle, some wonderful attractions await you: a visit to the Mount Vesuvius National Park and nature reserve will give you a glimpse of Europe’s active volcano. It is possible to drive most of the way and then take a short walk to the crater itself and enjoy the volcanic landscape as you walk. It is also very worthwhile to take the cable car that climbs to the top of Vomero Hill, and visit Castel St. Elmo, the star-shaped military fortress with collections of art and a wonderful view out over the landscape.Close
The region of Tuscany is one of the most romantic areas in Italy, and perhaps in the entire world. The provincial capital, Florence, was founded by Julius Caesar and flourished during the cultural renaissance; it was a leading commercial center during the Middle Ages and is now a beautiful tourist town.
Monument of the Four Moors
The entrance to Tuscany passes through Livorno, which is known as the ‘gateway of Tuscany to the Mediterranean Sea’ – a small fishing village that over the years turned into an important port. Livorno is an industrial city and contains several locations that are well worth visiting.
For example, there is an impressive bronze statue in the city, of ‘the Four Moors’, symbolizing how pirates who would invade the coastal area – robbing and leaving behind them a trail of devastation and destruction – were taken captive. The inhabitants of Livorno were able to catch some of these pirates and chained them, so that other pirates would realize what awaits them if they return or will be captured. Looking at the sculpture one sees how unique it is; the pirates’ bodies are facing towards the city, but their gaze is turned towards the sea, as if they are waiting to be rescued by their fellow pirates. This impressive statue survived the bombing of Livorno during the Second World War and it is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the city.
Museums and fortresses
Other well-known sites in the beautiful city of Livorno are the Mascagni Museum which was established in memory of a native of the city, the composer Pietro Mascagni, who is considered to be one the most important composers of opera during the 20th century. There is also the city's Jewish Museum which depicts Judaism in Livorno throughout history, and includes artifacts that have been preserved by Livorno Jewry; and also the Municipal Museum of Art where you can see works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Fortezza Vecchia is a fascinating historical fortress surrounded by moats, built in the 16th century to defend the Medici port. Near the fortress is a notable church that is adorned with ornate embellishments, marble statues and other beautiful decorations.
If you wish to enjoy the modern area of Livorno you can visit the city center: there you will find a selection of fashionable stores, fine restaurants, Italian style pizzerias which are always a favorite, and the pleasant atmosphere of one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany.Close
A vibrant and lovely port city in the south west of Italy that is situated in the Campania region. This was the location of the first medical school in the modern world and it is universally recognized as the forerunner of the Faculties of Medicine in Italy today. The city has about 145,000 inhabitants and offers a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere. Salerno is a well-preserved ancient town with picturesque alleyways and impressive historical buildings. Here you will be able to find plenty of recreational opportunities starting with good food and wines; through shopping excursions; and an impressive fortress, part of which dates back to the Roman and Byzantine period
Duomo di Salerno (Salerno Cathedral) is a historic eleventh century cathedral built upon the ruins of a ninth century Christian church, and it overlooks the pastoral landscape of hills and the sea. The grounds contain a wealth of beautiful plants, giant flowers and an abundance of places where you can sit, relax and feel as if you have become part of a picture postcard.
Climbing up to the castle
Castello di Arechi attracts many tourists who visit the site. The castle offers a dazzling view of the breathtakingly beautiful landscape of the city and the bay, and has an exhibition displaying ceramic items as well as coins from the Middle Ages.
It is very pleasant to wander around the city on foot: there are a variety of spectacular piazzas, a large cathedral which contains a crypt with the relics of Saint Matthew, one of the twelve apostles. There are a large number of churches in the city, for example, the Cathedral of San Matteo with it’s beautiful 12th-century brick bell tower, and the ancient church of San Gregorio built in the baroque style of architecture which houses the virtual museum of Salerno's Medical School and a wonderful display of beautiful paintings.
A charming promenade – like those of the French Riviera
The historic center of Salerno is today a lively commercial street where one will find many shops selling clothing, accessories, bags, shoes, ceramic items, textiles, lamps and special blends of spices and herbs.
Salerno has a variety of fine restaurants providing an excellent culinary experience with a varied menu that includes pizzas, pasta with beans, high-quality fish dishes, dishes based on vegetables and more.
There is no doubt that one of the favorite places for tourists to Salerno is the city's charming promenade, which was built in 1950 and is known to be one of the best in the country. The promenade extends for five miles and is lined with palm trees. It is often compared to the beautiful promenades of the French Riviera.Close
When you arrive in Messina you will immediately be swept away by the nostalgic atmosphere and amazed by the surrounding background. This is a city that combines commerce with grandeur and majesty, and a great many impressive churches, fountains stylish, piazzas, museums and attractions for visitors, such as: the magnificent Botanical Gardens, the palace reflecting the Messina style of architecture and the trademark of the city – the Messina Tower which provides the major source of electric power for Sicily.
For a moment it seems that time here has stood still; the churches, the ancient houses, the classic atmosphere – but then you discover to what extent Messina is a modern and vibrant city. In fact, Messina was founded by the Greeks; it is the third largest city in Sicily and for centuries it has been known as "the doorway to Sicily".
Huge astronomical clock
When you sail into the harbor of Messina you will enjoy the sight of picturesque piazzas and streets, unique boutiques and trendy shops. Certainly you will want to visit the Piazza del Duomo where you can go into the Messina Cathedral and see one of the largest and most famous astronomical clocks in the world that is situated in the Bell Tower. This tower rises to a height of 197 meters and every day, at 12 noon, the clock strikes 12 times; with each gong a different mechanical bronze figure appears, describing events from the history of the city. Do not be surprised if crowds of people will gather around you, because this is one of the favorite attractions for tourists who come to Messina.
Messina is a thriving town with characteristic annual festivals and celebrations of its long history. On the 13th and 14th of every August the “Ride of the Giants” takes place, when two enormous statues – one black and one white – are paraded through the city on horseback in celebration of the mythical founders of the city. The following day a feast is held and there is a large wagon with papier-maché figures on it which is moved by over a hundred people. Looking for art? In the Regional Museum of Messina you will see late works by Caravaggio – one of the best artists in Italy.
The landscape is an integral part of the atmosphere and in Messina you will delight in the wealth of changing vistas between the sea and the mountains. Near Prince Albert Avenue is a splendid promenade that offers a spectacularly breathtaking view of the bay. It is also recommended to visit the King's Tower that was built in 1900 on higher ground and is characterized by an octagonal dome; the style is reminiscent of the Sicilian Baroque style of that period. Do not miss the beautiful Botanical Gardens at the University of Messina and the ‘Gate of Grace’ adjacent to the port. When you are next to the port of Messina will also see the Fountain of Neptune which was constructed in 1557.
Prepare yourselves for a fabulous culinary experience. In Messina one can savor the traditional Sicilian cuisine, eggplant, dishes that combine tomatoes, capers and olives, antipasti, rice balls and for dessert – Sicilian ‘cassata’ which is a square of sponge cake that has been layered with ricotta cheese and topped with candied fruit and nuts. Pure pleasure.Close
Palermo, Italy is conservative and traditional; it is the homeland of the Italian Mafia, and it presents a cultural, architectural and fascinating mosaic. Attractions include: the alleyways in the town of Monreale, the valley of the “Conca d'Oro” (Golden Conch Shell), the Norman cathedral, the streets and squares of the city of Palermo. Not to be missed: the impressive mosaics in the Norman cathedral. Palermo is a vibrant Sicilian city that casts a spell on any visitors entering through its gateway. It is known as the ‘golden conch shell’ and it is full of impressive monuments from its glorious past, mysterious alleyways and authentic food that will leave you wanting more.
You are welcome to tour some of the unique and special ancient sites that have been preserved in the city, such as: the Norman cathedral which is adorned with round arches and impressive corner towers, turrets that connect with the Gothic-style balcony and magnificent frescoes. The style will also be noted in the Norman palace, which is situated in an elevated and unique location in the heart of the old city. In the past this was where the kings of Sicily resided, and now it is the home of the Sicilian Parliament. An interesting tour will take you to the Cappella complex, where you can stroll among the extraordinary mosaics and the various halls that are rich with artistic elements; this fascinating visit also includes entrance into the meeting room of Parliament and the royal rooms.
The Massimo Theater in the city is considered to be the country's largest opera building in the country of ‘the Boot’ and its façade combines Sicilian and neo-classical architecture as well as elements of Greek architecture. Guided tours take place here daily and are a very good way to understand more about the design, the operas and the history of Palermo.
The city also includes a number of interesting museums: the Archaeological Museum is thought to be one of the best in Italy and contains ancient objects from Egypt, bronze sculptures, pottery, prehistoric stone artifacts, Greek ceramics and more. In the International Marionette Museum you will discover a collection of thousands of puppets from different periods and from a large variety of countries, from France to Vietnam.
A different experience altogether awaits you in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, the Capuchin burial site. This is the site where the Capuchin monks were buried, underneath the volcanic rock. Here one can see embalmed corpses, some of which have even been dressed in clothing and are classified according to attribution and profession. There is even a girl who looks like a doll and is named ‘Rosalia Lombardo’ – she is called the "Sleeping Beauty" of the famous underground burial site.
The green area of Palermo is discovered in the beautiful botanical gardens of the city, where one may see over 12,000 species of plants from around the world, including coconut palms, banana trees and bamboo, as well as some charming and delightful ornamental spots inside the greenhouses and in the open air.
If the tour around the city has given you an appetite, no need to worry. Palermo is full of restaurants serving Sicilian pizza, antipasti, arancini (stuffed rice balls deep-fried in breadcrumbs), polenta, pasta with sardines, sweet ‘Sfingi’ doughnuts accompanied by fine wines.
Once your appetite has been appeased don’t return to the ship before stopping to shop in one of the colorful commercial streets of Palermo, such as Via Roma, the temple of prestigious international brands alongside intimate boutiques. Wear it in good health!Close
Catania is a lively city on the island of Sicily, and it is one of the most beautiful tourist sites in Italy. Full of attractions, historical and archaeological sites, an active volcano, a variety of galleries, excellent food and . . . tales about the Mafia permeating the atmosphere. Attractions: Mount Etna, one of the world's largest volcanoes; the city of Catania and the harbor. Not to be missed: seeing ‘what lava can do’ to the houses in the surrounding villages.
Catania's magic pervades from all directions: it is a city of baroque architecture, human culture that warms the heart, and the overwhelming wonders of nature.
You cannot visit Catania without also experiencing Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe towering to a height of 3330 meters. Once you have arrived in the city the snowy peak can be seen from everywhere, but you should not miss going on a tour of the nature reserve surrounding it and, of course, ascending the mountain with an exciting ride in the cable car. Get ready for spectacular views along the way that you will never have seen before anywhere else in the world.
After your visit to the summit you are welcome to take part in the lively Catania experience. An abundance of picturesque alleyways and colorful markets, street vendors offering you their wares and a dynamic atmosphere that will have the adrenaline rushing through your veins.
The main street, Via Etnea, is the beating heart of the city and there you will find a selection of fine restaurants serving authentic Sicilian food (a variety of mussels, capers, pasta with sardines), high-quality ice cream in a rich assortment of flavors and, of course, exceptional espresso coffee.
The main square of Catania – Piazza del Duomo – is a Unesco World Heritage Site thanks to its unique baroque style. Right in the centre of the square stands the symbol of the city, a smiling lava elephant fountain with an Egyptian obelisk on its back. There is also a red tourist bus that will take you for a ride to the different sites.
The ancient area of Catania (after all, this is a city that was founded by the Greeks in 729 BC) is revealed to visitors through a number of monuments that are worth visiting: the Cathedral of Sant'Agata is a magnificent baroque church; the Vincenzo Bellini theater is an opera house that was built in 1890, which is characterized by the exceptional Art Nouveau style of architecture.
Don’t miss a visit to the Roman amphitheater in the city and Castello Ursino (Bear Castle) – also known as Castello Svevo di Catania – which was constructed with lava stone in the year 1239 and which characterizes the defensive fortifications of the Middle Ages.
Also, one of the largest Benedictine monasteries in Europe is located in Catania – Monastero dei Benedettini. One may take a tour through the cloisters, the 16th century cellars, and feast ones eyes on the impressive baroque façade and sculptures that decorate the windows.
Catania also has a number of recommended museums including the Museum of Belliniano, dedicated to the Italian opera composer and located in the house where he was born; and the Emilio Greco Museum, showcasing works by this Italian sculptor. Castello Ursino also houses the Civico Museum featuring Hellenistic sculptures, porcelain, mosaic fragments, ceramic objects and a collection of weapons.
Catania is known as the "Milan of Sicily" because of the vibrant shopping scene it offers its visitors: international brands, designs created in Italy, and stores that specialize in ceramic items – especially cups in many colors, and fashionable vases. Near the city there is also an outlet mall with up to 70% discount on brands such as Christian Dior, Calvin Klein and more.Close
Olbia is a district in the autonomous region of Sardinia. The city of Olbia is built on the foundations of the port which dates back to the Roman period. Attractions: enchanting beaches, and a visit to the La Maddalena Archipelago which includes seven islands. Don’t miss: the fine local wine and the small bakeries, where the mouthwatering fresh breads and other baked delicacies will leave you yearning for more.
You are invited to be enthralled by the ambience of the good life in the port city of Olbia in Sardinia. White sandy beaches, rocky coves, archaeological treasures, outstanding museums, authentic restaurants as well as other surprises and excitement.
The town started out as a small fishing village and has jealously guarded the welcoming feeling that can truly be experienced among the picturesque alleyways. Here you can take a walk back in time and get a sense of the history at the various sites around this area.
The most prominent among the monuments that remain as a reminder of the past is the Basilica of San Simplicio which was built in the 11th century. It is situated on a small hill and is characterized by its ornately decorated walls and impressive arches. The ‘Church of St. Paul the Apostle’ in the center of the town also attracts many visitors – it was built in the middle of the 18th century and has an impressive bell tower with a high altar, unique statues and a wealth of beautiful works of art.
Olbia's harbor is the beating heart of the city – and if you want to learn about its history, make your way to the National Archaeological Museum of Olbia. A beautiful building housing a magnificent collection of Roman ships and artifacts, accompanied by video presentations that explain the techniques of building ancient ships.
Olbia's beaches are among the most beautiful in Italy – they are lined with palm trees and the water is hypnotic, with colors ranging from turquoise to azure. Fish and shellfish, and a rich variety of marine vegetation attract scuba divers into the depths of the sea. The most popular beach is Pittulongu, with its abundance of white sand and marine activities such as sailing in kayaks or windsurfing, and the coastal area is dotted with Mediterranean-style taverns. Bados Beach is more popular with families because of the shallow bottom and its proximity to restaurants and marine sports clubs.
If, after the sun and the energy of the sea, you want to enjoy some greenery, the Fausto Noce Park – the largest urban park in Sardinia and the green lung of the city – is the jewel that you are looking for. A little oasis of peace, with landscaped pathways decorated with many species of Mediterranean flora, a small amphitheater, fountains and plenty of space where you can have a picnic in the open air.
The Olbia shopping experience will please everyone who enjoys shopping. Prepare to discover bustling stalls working alongside the many boutiques selling fashion items made in Italy, handbags, belts and, of course, shoes. The ideal place to shop is Corso Umberto Street, which in the evenings is closed to traffic and provides a fun and relaxed environment for those wishing to relax – between trying on clothes and matching the shoes! – in one of the pizza-parlors or restaurants. Typical food in Sardinia that you can savor in the culinary pearls around Olbia is based on fresh fish and pasta, garden pea soup, pecorino cheese, gnocchi semolina and, for dessert, almond cookies in a variety of delicious options.
Before returning to the ship take a last look at the spectacular view from Olbia at the observation point of Castello di Pedres, an impressive medieval castle with thick stone walls and surrounded by huge granite rocks.Close
The splendid capital of Sardinia is a charming historic port city. Here you you will sense up-close how the past and present merge elegantly together. Stone towers dating back to the Middle Ages, Baroque churches, a stunning marina and a great many attractions for visitors overlooking the dazzling landscape of the sea. Cagliari is a place of which dreams are made: this is the capital city of Sardinia, where time appears to have stood still. There are bustling markets all around, picturesque alleyways and archaeological treasures that will take you on an unforgettable journey – from beaches to fortresses, fascinating museums and wonderful restaurants. So what are you waiting for?
You will discover the ancient history of Cagliari as you wander through the historic arena of “Il Castello” – feel yourself being transported back in time, as you experience the mystery of arched passageways, steep lanes, and narrow flights of steps.
You won’t want to miss the local cathedral which is characterized by its Baroque ornamentation and its neo-Romanesque façade, the bell tower and – hidden within it – magnificent spaces, an unusual ceiling, and artistic treasures. The Roman Amphitheater of Cagliari is a well-preserved amphitheater dating back to the end of the first century, where open-air concerts are staged, overlooking the mesmerizing backdrop of the sea. If you are interested in landscapes, make your way to the Torre dell'Elefante (Tower of the Elephant). This is a remnant from the Middle Ages and one of the most important medieval monuments in Cagliari – the tower is decorated with a marble sculpture of an elephant and is open to visitors who wish to climb up and look out over the skyline of the city.
Bastione di Saint Remy is another tourist spot that is well worth visiting. This is one of the most important fortifications in the region; it was constructed in a neo-classical style and is located near to the castle. The focal point is the panoramic terrace which provides an ideal vantage point from which to enjoy a captivating view over the city.
There are also quite a few excellent museums in Cagliari, including the National Archaeological Museum which displays works of gold, bronze sculptures and artifacts discovered thousands of years ago in Sardinia; and the Botanical Museum where one is able to see carnivorous plants, herbs and more.
In the city’s National Gallery you will enjoy seeing the spectacular collection of contemporary art, as well as paintings, icons, ornaments, furniture and pottery reflecting the artistic development of Sardinia over the years.
If you are interested in marine activities or sunbathing, the beaches in the vicinity of Cagliari will certainly fulfill your expectations. Among the favorite beaches are the golden Poetto Beach that is surrounded by leisure sites such as restaurants, discotheques and cafés; and the Calamosca Beach, which is characterized by coarse sand mixed with gravel – it has an impressive hill and is ideal for enthusiasts of diving and fishing. Here you will be able to rent umbrellas, boats and snorkeling gear.
Cagliari has a wide variety of entertainment and relaxation sites, with the culinary experience being an integral part of the visit. In the heart of the city and the marina itself you will enjoy an abundance of authentic gastronomy such as salami sausages, Pecorino cheese, lobster salads, lamb cooked in tomato sauce, scallops in a pan with garlic and olive oil, sweet rolls with raisins and cinnamon, and fine wines. You will find the good life here!Close