Day 1 - Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
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.
Day 2 - Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy
Livorno is the gateway to glorious Tuscany. Visit Florence - the cradle of the Renaissance - home to the Duomo, the Uffizi and the Ponte Vecchio. Here the Medici fostered a city-state whose cultural legacy is as great as classical Athens. Giants like Dante, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Galileo infused the West with a new creative spirit. Then there is Pisa, Florence's rival for political power. Pisa, a brash, commercial seafaring town rivaled the great maritime powers of Venice and Genoa. The city was a leader in art and architecture second only to Florence.
Day 3 - Genoa, Italy
Genoa is the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria. Many regard Genoa as having the largest historic city center in Europe as a result of having been, for centuries, a powerful commercial center seaport and city-state. It was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and its maritime roots have fostered a dialect that has, absorbed elements of Neapolitan, Calabrese and Portuguese over the centuries.
Genoa's harbor is a bustling swarm of activity, which makes it a great launching point for the sprawling metropolis of Milan.
Day 4 - Toulon/Provence (La Seyne), France
Toulon has been the great bastion of the French navy since 1494, when Charles VIII chose its superb harbor as the site for a naval shipyard. Today, Toulon is homeport for the French navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle." The city is also the capital of the Var and provides an excellent gateway to the riches of Provence and the Cote d'Azur. To the north and west are medieval Provencal hilltop villages and superb vineyards. To the east lie the fabled coves and beaches of the Cote d'Azur, the setting for the legendary resort of St. Tropez. And everywhere there is the miraculous fusion of sky and sea that forms the essence of Southern France.
Toulon's Upper Town bears more than a strong resemblance to Paris - in the 1840s, the prefect of the Var was that same Baron Haussmann who gave the City of Light its elegant boulevards and architecture. Haussmann first tried his hand at urban renewal here in Toulon.
Day 5 - At Sea
Enjoy cruise at Sea.
Day 6 - Gibraltar
The Rock crouches over the sea like an ancient stone beast, looking Sphinx-like to Africa. Beneath the white cliffs of this natural fortress grows a profusion of palm, pine, and cypress. No fewer than 600 varieties of flowers thrive here, some not found anywhere else on Earth. Gibraltar's stunning setting is matched by its history - five countries have battled for 13 centuries to control the passage between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The result made for a cultural melting pot. Veiled Moroccan women in caftans and vacationing Englishmen and Spaniards stroll along the narrow, steep lanes. The locals revert to a liquid Spanish when talking among themselves. And visitors to a 15th-century cathedral pass through a blue-tiled courtyard, once part of a 13th-century mosque.
Helmeted bobbies, pillar-boxes and pubs make for a bit of Britain in the Mediterranean. Gibraltar is a fascinating place, from its caves and batteries to the Barbary apes gamboling on the slopes of the Rock.
Day 7 - At Sea
Enjoy cruise at Sea.
Day 8 - Barcelona, Spain
Port arrival and departure times are approximate.