In this enchanting city the past and present intersect in perfect harmony. Casually intermingled among ancient ruins and majestic cathedrals are the trappings of a modern metropolis: Skyscrapers,cafes, boutiques selling designer footwear. But of course what you seek first in the heart of Rome is its breathtaking history. A good place to begin is the Vatican, with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Works by Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Raphael are just a few of those on display, any one of which is worth hours of contemplation. Then the ancient ruins—Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus. And of course the Trevi Fountain for the obligatory coins promising your return to the Eternal City.
9:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
UNESCO World Heritage Sites abound in Sorrento. Optional tours will take you to the archaeological areas of Pompeii and Torre Annunziata, or the 4th century B.C. city of Herculaneum. Perhaps your choice will be a boat ride to Positano, the legendary home of the Sirens. Perched on a terrace on the spectacular Amalfi Coast, Sorrento offers exceptional views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
7:00 AM TO 8:00 AM
day 3 Scenic Cruising Stromboli
Weather conditions depending, you will see the volcano that never sleeps as you cruise by Stromboli and with any luck observe the active lava stream by day or the glowing lava at night.
1:00 PM TO 10:00 PM
Take time on shore to explore the beautiful village and enjoy the exclusive access that only a small ship can provide in a port large cruise ships cannot reach. An optional tour will introduce you to the highlights of the largest of the seven Aeolian Islands, well-known for its mythological connections and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
9:00 AM TO 11:00 PM
In this fascinating city nestled at the foot of Mount Etna you’ll find a thriving downtown that is not only the active city center, but a historic UNESCO World Heritage Site, combining the best of ancient and modern city style. Your options are as wide as your imagination. Explore the temperamental volcano that has reshaped the city many times, visit the beautiful setting of Taormina where stunning views and beautiful antiquities vie for your attention or the UNESCO site of Tantalica. If you prefer, explore the ancient city of Syracuse, called by Cicero himself “the most beautiful of all,” and another UNESCO site.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
Ever wonder where East meets West? This is the place. Follow Rome’s Appian Way and you’ll find yourself here. Follow the Silk Road, here again. The Crusades? Yet again. It’s also on the path of your Windstar voyage. Explore what remains from days gone by – elaborate Roman fountains, stoic castles, a grand cathedral. Or sip a glass of Brindisi Rosso and watch the world come and go through this idyllic crossroads.
day 7 Bari, Puglia, Italy
The busy port of Bari’s distinction is its congested headland that reaches into the Adriatic Sea. In the Old Town, walk down narrow lanes passing locals with their doors open, emitting delicious pasta aromas. The area is famous for being confusing but is small enough that you can’t get lost for long. Bari’s most notable church is the 11th century Basilica di San Nicola with a crypt that houses the body of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus).
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
While larger ships pass by, we anchor right beyond the famous walled city so you can admire its beauty with every glance. Tender ashore and step right into Old Town, a UNESCO site where no cars are allowed, just eons of history. Capture the exhilarating views on your camera — and in your memory. End your day at the Buza Café (if you can find it) watching bold divers leap off the cliffs into the crystalline sea.
Celebrities from Prince Harry to Beyoncé have made Hvar their go-to place. Follow the city walls to sweeping views from the fortress on the hill. Head to the town square for a look at the Venetian Cathedral or find the large bay of Stari Grad on an optional tour to this famous UNESCO site.
11:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
Situated on a tiny piece of land jutting into the sea and considered to be the most beautiful of Slovenia’s coastal towns, Piran is full of medieval architecture, narrow streets, and compact houses. A walk to the beautiful oval-shaped main square will greet you with a statue of Giuseppe Tartini, composer and virtuoso violinist, and the most famous man of Piran. Around the square are attractions like Venetian House, and a delightful Gothic-Venetian structure, The Sergei Masera Maritime Museum and the Church of St. George with its gorgeous view over the city and the harbor from the bell tower. Take a tour to the nearby Skocjan Caves National Park, a UNESCO site.
No other sea approach in the Adriatic raises goose bumps like Venice, where the entire city and its lagoon are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your luxurious home-away-from home, you arrive already equipped with a sense of what it’s like to live in the city that’s neither land nor water. Add your own sigh to the Bridge of Sighs, sip a spritz al bitter as you plot your agenda, and let the water taxis do your navigating unless you don’t mind getting lost. Not such a bad prospect, with serendipitous discoveries around every corner.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.