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On a Mediterranean cruise with Princess®, explore the homes of Greek gods, Italian artists and multicultural treasures. As you walk down bustling roads and beaches, cultures and history fill the air. Uncover divine legends at the Acropolis, or climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and soak up sweeping views of the emerald landscapes.
Ports of Call Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy | Naples, Italy | Santorini, Greece | Kusadasi, Turkey | Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Sicily (Messina), Italy | Mallorca (Palma), Spain |Barcelona, Spain
Your gateway to the Eternal City, Civitavecchia has served as Rome’s seaport since the 13th century. The port has a long and venerable history. The emperor Trajan built a pleasure villa near the modern city, while Bernini and Michelangelo designed the harbor fortifications.
Yet the Eternal City eternally beckons. The ancient capital of the Western World and the center of Christianity for nearly 2,000 years, Rome provides an inexhaustible feast. Visit the ruins of the Forum, view the splendors of the Sistine Chapel, or climb the Spanish Steps, once the heart of Rome’s Bohemian Quarter.
Rome has been a magnet luring the world’s greatest artists, architects, and philosophers since the days of the Caesars.
Italy’s third-largest city, Naples is a bustling metropolis famed for it stately buildings, crowded streets, pizza – and notoriously bad traffic. However, this beautiful city is rich in centuries-old culture and customs. Naples is also your gateway to the Isle of Capri, the fabled Amalfi Coast and the ruins of Pompeii, buried in ash by the cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Naples boasts an ideal location, with both the ruins of Roman cities and the stunning Amalfi Coast in easy reach.
Did the catastrophic volcanic eruption that ravaged Santorini circa 1600 B.C. destroy Crete’s ancient Minoan civilization – and give birth to the myth of Atlantis? In 1967, archaeologists on Santorini unearthed the remains of a Bronze Age city that may have been home to as many as 30,000 people. Whether the Lost Continent of Atlantis is rooted in myth or reality, an undisputed fact remains. The eruption created a caldera – and one of the most dramatic land and seascapes in the entire Mediterranean. On Santorini, whitewashed buildings cling to vertiginous cliffs that plunge to a turquoise sea. Part of the Cyclades Archipelago, the three-island group of Santorini, Thirasia and uninhabited Aspronisi present the traveler with unforgettable vistas.
The island has had a number of names throughout history – from Strongyle or “Round” to Thera in honor of an ancient hero. Santorini is more recent and stems from the island church dedicated to St. Irene – Santa Rini to foreign sailors.
Note: Santorini is an anchorage port: passengers transfer to shore via shore tender.
From the port of Kusadasi on Turkey’s Anatolian Coast, one travels into the past. Nearby stand the ruins of ancient Ephesus, a major site of archeological excavation. The city was once a Roman provincial capital and trading center. Ephesus is also home to several of Christendom’s holiest sites. St. Paul preached at the Great Theater and the ruins of Ephesus’ Basilica cover the tomb of Christ’s most beloved disciple, St. John the Apostle.
In Kusadasi, whitewashed stone houses rise in tiers behind the market district. The palm-lined esplanade is the center of town life, with thousands of merchants offering wares to rival the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
The past maintains a vibrant presence in the cradle of Western civilization. Atop the Acropolis, the serene Parthenon sails above the commotion of the modern city. The tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were performed in the Theater of Dionysus at the foot of the Acropolis. On Pnyx Hill, citizens of a fledgling democracy gathered to cast their votes on Athens’ destiny. Then there is the hustle and bustle of the modern city, a metropolis of 4.5 million that spreads out from the foot of Mt. Lycabettus and across the plain. Packed with busy shops and lively tavernas, modern Athens is a colorful counterpoint to classical Greece.
Piraeus is the port city for Athens and has been Athens’ port of entry for over two millennia.
Enjoy the many activities onboard your ship.
Messina has played a major role in European history since its founding as a Greek colony in the 8th century B.C. During the Roman Empire, the city was a major port and commercial center, during the Middle Ages, Messina was the major port of departure for Crusaders. History has also left its scars: a massive earthquake leveled much of the city in 1908 and the World War II campaign for Sicily devastated Messina. Yet Messina emerged from that devastation with some of its historic treasures intact, including the 12th-century Annunziata dei Catalani Church. Messina is also your gateway to the rugged beauty of southeast Sicily, from the seaside resort of Taormina to Mt. Etna.
Between the fall of Rome and the 1861 unification of Italy, the Arabs, the Normans, the Germans, the Spanish and the French ruled Sicily.
Palma is the capital city of the island of Mallorca, which is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands. The city is tucked into the protected Bay of Palma, creating an impressive view from the Mediterranean Sea with its imposing Gothic Cathedral towering above the old town and remnants of medieval walls that testify to its ancient history. Mallorca has a varied history, from the Roman occupation in the 2nd century to Moorish control from the 9th to the 13th century. Later reconquered by the Spanish kings, it rose to wealth and power due to its strategic position along the seagoing trade routes between Africa and Europe.
Today, Palma is the largest city, and also the main tourist area, with beaches on either side of the city that overflow with resort hotels. If you venture beyond these environs, the island’s natural beauty abounds, and life continues in a predictably underdeveloped atmosphere of simplicity. This aspect has long been an attraction for writers, painters and musicians that find inspiration here.
Two main languages are spoken on Mallorca – Castilian Spanish and the Balearic dialects of Catalan – hence the different versions of names and spellings throughout the Balearic Islands.
The 1992 Summer Olympics revealed to the world what Europeans and seasoned travelers already knew – Barcelona is one of the world’s greatest treasures. Vibrant and earthy, commercial and cultural, this city of two million residents is the capital of Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia. Stroll along the wide, tree-lined promenades of Las Ramblas and marvel at the spires of Gaudi’s Basilica La Sagrada Familia. Or visit the former Olympic Ring on the hill of Montjuic – also home to world-class parks, fountains and museums. Barcelona, which nurtured such artistic giants as Picasso, Dali, Miro and Casals, is definitely a traveler’s paradise.
Itinerary was accurate at time of posting.