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Italy & Croatia Cruise/Voyager of the Seas
Cruise holidays   >   Mediterranean and Europe   >   Italy & Croatia Cruise

Voyager of the Seas

Italy & Croatia Cruise - 7 night cruise



Cruise only from €625

Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Description

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

Cabins

The amped up Voyager of the Seas® is packed with more ways to play.

Take on three stories of twisting, turning adventure on two high-speed waterslides in The Perfect Storm℠ or go head to head in a glow-in-the-dark laser tag clash in Battle for Planet Z℠. Hang ten on the FlowRider℠* surf simulator or recharge and reinvigorate at the spa and adults-only solarium. Plus enjoy Voyager Dunes, ice-skating, rock-climbing wall and totally reimagined spaces for every kid and teen. 

Cruise ID: 33150

As of November 11, 2023*, the automatic service gratuity of $18.00 USD per person, per day for guests in non-suites staterooms and Junior Suite, or $20.50 USD per person, per day for guests in Suites, will be applied to each guest's SeaPass account on a daily basis. The gratuity applies to individual guests of all ages and stateroom categories. As a way to reward our crew members for their outstanding service, gratuities are shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience.

In the unlikely event that a guest onboard being charged the daily automatic gratuity does not receive satisfactory service, the guest may request to modify the daily amount at their discretion by visiting Guest Services onboard and will be able to do so until the morning of their departure. Guests who have pre-paid their gratuity will not see a daily charge during their cruise.

The automatic daily gratuity is based on customary industry standards. Applying this charge automatically helps streamline the recognition process for the crew members who work to enhance your cruise. We hope you find the gratuity to be an accurate reflection of your satisfaction and thank you for your generous recognition of our staff.

A 18% gratuity is automatically added to all beverages and mini bar items.

A 20% gratuity is automatically added to all spa & salon purchases.

Guests can pre-pay gratuities by calling (UK) 0344 493 4005 / (Ireland) 1800 555 604 or logging into www.royalcaribbean.co.uk before* their sailing. For guests booked through travel advisors, their advisor may add pre-paid gratuities to the guests' booking prior to sailing*. If gratuities are not prepaid prior to sailing, they will be automatically added to the guests' folios once onboard.

Guests who choose ‘My Time Dining' on all European sailings will have gratuities automatically added to their bill, as they may be served by different members of the team each night. This means tips for your waiting staff – as well as other dining and housekeeping staff – will be included in the quoted price for ‘My Time Dining' on your cruise holiday

Guests who choose our open dining option may opt-in to pre-paid gratuities for dining, or add them to their account at check-out.

*Pre-paid gratuities can be added to an individual reservation at any time outside of 48 hours of the sail date.

Date Time Price * Booking
16 June 2025 17:00 €1,107 Call us to book
28 July 2025 17:00 €888 Call us to book
08 September 2025 17:00 €858 Call us to book
20 October 2025 17:00 €754 Call us to book
27 October 2025 17:00 €625 Call us to book

* Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.

Cabins on Voyager of the Seas

Interior
1-4

Enjoy your holiday in the perfect space.

Size

  • Stateroom: 160 sq. ft. or 14.86 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • Two Pullman beds in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • n/a

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Spacious Panoramic Ocean View
1-4

Marvel the view through a floor-to-ceiling panoramic window.

Size

  • Stateroom: 191 sq. ft. or 17.74 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Junior Suite Guarantee
3-4

These suites offer a comfortable bedroom, a small sitting area and a private balcony.

Size

  • Stateroom: 277 sq. ft. or 25.73 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 50 sq. ft. or 4.65 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view
Some staterooms have an obstructed view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom with tub

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Promenade View Interior
1-2

Delight in bowed windows overlooking the Royal Promenade.

Size

  • Stateroom: 167 sq. ft. or 15.51 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed

Occupancy

  • Up to 2 guests

Views

  • Royal Promenade View

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ocean View Stateroom Guarantee
3-4

Our Ocean View staterooms offer a gorgeous view, two twin beds and a private bathroom

Size

  • Stateroom: 160 sq. ft. or 14.86 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • Two Pullman beds in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Junior Suite
1-4

An incredible intimate suite with a great view.

Size

  • Stateroom: 277 sq. ft. or 25.73 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 50 sq. ft. or 4.65 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view
Some staterooms have an obstructed view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom with tub

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ocean View
1-4

Gaze at the beautiful views from your cosy room.

Size

  • Stateroom: 160 sq. ft. or 14.86 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • Two Pullman beds in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Interior Stateroom Guarantee
2-4

This standard stateroom offers two twin beds, a private bathroom and all the facilities of our standard staterooms.

Size

  • Stateroom: 160 sq. ft. or 14.86 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • Two Pullman beds in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • n/a

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Interior with Virtual Balcony
1-2

Enjoy a live feed scenic view in the comfort of your room.

Size

  • Stateroom: 160 sq. ft. or 14.86 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King

Occupancy

  • Up to 2 guests

Views

  • Real-time ocean views and destinations via a high-definition screen

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Connecting Ocean View Balcony
1-2

Experience a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

Size

  • Stateroom: 198 sq. ft. or 18.39 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 46 sq. ft. or 4.27 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed

Occupancy

  • Up to 2 guests

Views

  • Ocean View

Rooms

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Spacious Ocean View Balcony
1-4

Immerse yourself in a gorgeous view for a memorable holiday.

Size

  • Stateroom: 203 sq. ft. or 18.86 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 42 sq. ft. or 3.9 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ultra Spacious Ocean View
1-6

Have a spectacular view in an immense space with family.

Size

  • Stateroom: 328 sq. ft. or 30.47 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed
  • Two Pullman beds

Occupancy

  • Up to 6 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ocean View Balcony
1-3

Experience a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

Size

  • Stateroom: 198 sq. ft. or 18.39 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 42 sq. ft. or 3.9 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One Pullman bed in staterooms with up to three guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 3 guests

Views

  • Ocean view
  • Some staterooms have an obstructed view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Connecting Promenade Interior
1-2

Delight in bowed windows overlooking the Royal Promenade.

Size

  • Stateroom: 160 sq. ft. or 14.86 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed

Occupancy

  • Up to 2 guests

Views

  • Royal Promenade View

Rooms

  • Room with bed, vanity and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony Guarantee
2-4

Experience a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

Size

  • Stateroom: 198 sq. ft. or 18.39 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 42 sq. ft. or 3.9 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One Pullman bed in staterooms with up to three guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 3 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Some staterooms have an obstructed view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
  • Pullman Bed

Grand Suite - 2 bedroom
1-8

Indulge in a comfortable suite and enjoy the extra perks.

Size

  • Stateroom: 547 sq. ft. or 50.82 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 234 sq. ft. or 21.74 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two bedrooms with two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed.
  • One double sofa bed
  • Two Pullman beds

Occupancy

  • Up to 8 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Two bedrooms
  • Living area
  • Private balcony with an outdoor dining and seating area

Bathrooms

  • Two bathrooms (master bathroom with tub)

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Dining Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Royal Suite - 1 bedroom
1-4

Relish an extraordinary holiday in this luxurious suite.

Size

  • Stateroom: 1,260 sq. ft. or 117.06 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 196 sq. ft. or 18.21 sq. m.

Beds

  • One King bed
  • One double sofa bed

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Rooms

  • Bedroom
  • Private balcony with outdoor dining, seating area and whirlpool

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom with tub, two dressers and a bidet

Exclusive for Suites

  • Priority check-in and departure lounge
  • Concierge Club service on select ships
  • VIP seating at the pool deck and theatre
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Private seating for breakfast and lunch in speciality restaurants
  • Complimentary luggage valet service
  • Luxury spa bathrobes
  • Complimentary ironing service on formal night

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Dining Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Owner's Suite - 1 bedroom
1-4

Enjoy the ultimate suite for a perfect holiday.

Size

  • Stateroom: 506 sq. ft. or 47.01 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 90 sq. ft. or 8.36 sq. m.

Beds

  • One Queen-size bed
  • One double sofa bed

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Rooms

  • Room with bed and dresser
  • Living area with double sofa bed

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom with tub

Exclusive for Suites

  • Priority check-in and departure lounge
  • Concierge Club service on select ships
  • VIP seating at the pool deck and theatre
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Private seating for breakfast and lunch in speciality restaurants
  • Complimentary luggage valet service
  • Luxury spa bathrobes
  • Complimentary ironing service on formal night

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Grand Suite - 1 bedroom
1-4

Enjoy a comfortable suite and the extra perks.

Size

  • Stateroom: 381 sq. ft. or 35.4 sq. m.
  • Balcony: 95 sq. ft. or 8.83 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom with tub

Exclusive for Suites

  • Priority check-in and departure lounge
  • Concierge Club service on select ships
  • VIP seating at the pool deck and theatre
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Private seating for breakfast and lunch in speciality restaurants
  • Complimentary luggage valet service
  • Luxury spa bathrobes
  • Complimentary ironing service on formal night

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Spacious Ocean View
1-4

Have a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

Size

  • Stateroom: 211 sq. ft. or 19.6 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed in staterooms with up to 4 guests

Occupancy

  • Up to 4 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa

Bathrooms

  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ocean View Panoramic Suite (No Balcony)
1-6

Enjoy the view through a wrap-around panoramic window with your family.

Size

  • Stateroom: 406 sq. ft. or 37.72 sq. m.

Beds

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed
  • Two Pullman beds

Occupancy

  • Up to 6 guests

Views

  • Ocean view

Living Spaces

  • Bedroom area with double bed
  • Living area with double sofa bed, dresser and sitting area.
  • Curtained section with bunk beds

Bathrooms

  • One and a half bathrooms

Suite Facilities

  • Dedicated check-in queues
  • Reserved VIP seating
  • Priority Departure
  • Dedicated Suite Attendant
  • Luxury spa bathrobes to use onboard

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

View Itinerary By Date



Day 1 Civitavecchia, Italy

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de' Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.

Day 2 Naples, Italy

Naples, in the Campania region, is Italy's third largest city. Its claim to fame is the spectacular location along one of the world's most splendid bays, backed by the perfect cone of Mount Vesuvius. In addition to its beautiful setting, Naples' surprises with other outstanding attractions such as the Royal Palace, San Carlos Opera House, the impressive National Archaeological Museum and the Castel Nuovo, dating from the 13th-century. The city's central area is best explored on foot. Chaotic traffic conditions make driving around the city a very frustrating experience. Naples provides a convenient starting point for trips to such favored destinations as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. The Isle of Capri can be reached via a 45-minute hydrofoil service. The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.

Day 3 Messina, Italy

Home to the Museo Regionale of Messina, known for featuring two of Caravaggio's paintings, the city is also famous for having been the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sicily.

Day 4  Cruising

Day 5 Kotor, Montenegro

Backed by imposing mountains, tiny Kotor lies hidden from the open sea, tucked into the deepest channel of the Bokor Kotorska (Kotor Bay), which is Europe's most southerly fjord. To many, this town is more charming than its sister UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, retaining more authenticity, but with fewer tourists and spared the war damage and subsequent rebuilding which has given Dubrovnik something of a Disney feel.Kotor's medieval Stari Grad (Old Town) is enclosed within well-preserved defensive walls built between the 9th and 18th centuries and is presided over by a proud hilltop fortress. Within the walls, a labyrinth of winding cobbled streets leads through a series of splendid paved piazzas, rimmed by centuries-old stone buildings. The squares are now haunted by strains from buskers but although many now house trendy cafés and chic boutiques, directions are still given medieval-style by reference to the town's landmark churches.In the Middle Ages, as Serbia's chief port, Kotor was an important economic and cultural center with its own highly regarded schools of stonemasonry and iconography. From 1391 to 1420 it was an independent city-republic and later, it spent periods under Venetian, Austrian, and French rule, though it was undoubtedly the Venetians who left the strongest impression on the city's architecture. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, some 70% of the stone buildings in the romantic Old Town have been snapped up by foreigners, mostly Brits and Russians. Porto Montenegro, a new marina designed to accommodate some of the world's largest super yachts, opened in nearby Tivat in 2011, and along the bay are other charming seaside villages, all with better views of the bay than the vista from Kotor itself where the waterside is congested with cruise ships and yachts. Try sleepy Muo or the settlement of Prcanj in one direction around the bay, or Perast and the Roman mosaics of Risan in the other direction.

Day 6 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Dubrovnik. Lying 216 km (135 miles) southeast of Split and commanding a jaw-dropping coastal location, it is one of the world's most beautiful fortified cities. Its massive stone ramparts and fortress towers curve around a tiny harbor, enclosing graduated ridges of sun-bleached orange-tiled roofs, copper domes, and elegant bell towers. Your imagination will run wild picturing what it looked like seven centuries ago when the walls were built, without any suburbs or highways around it, just this magnificent stone city rising out of the sea.In the 7th century AD, residents of the Roman city Epidaurum (now Cavtat) fled the Avars and Slavs of the north and founded a new settlement on a small rocky island, which they named Laus, and later Ragusa. On the mainland hillside opposite the island, the Slav settlement called Dubrovnik grew up. In the 12th century the narrow channel separating the two settlements was filled in (now the main street through the Old Town, called Stradun), and Ragusa and Dubrovnik became one. The city was surrounded by defensive walls during the 13th century, and these were reinforced with towers and bastions in the late 15th century.From 1358 to 1808 the city thrived as a powerful and remarkably sophisticated independent republic, reaching its golden age during the 16th century. In 1667 many of its splendid Gothic and Renaissance buildings were destroyed by an earthquake. The defensive walls survived the disaster, and the city was rebuilt in baroque style.Dubrovnik lost its independence to Napoléon in 1808, and in 1815 passed to Austria-Hungary. During the 20th century, as part of Yugoslavia, the city became a popular tourist destination, and in 1979 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the war for independence, it came under heavy siege. Thanks to careful restoration, few traces of damage remain; however, there are maps inside the Pile and Ploce Gates illustrating the points around the city where damage was done. It's only when you experience Dubrovnik yourself that you can understand what a treasure the world nearly lost

Day 7 Split, Croatia

Split's ancient core is so spectacular and unusual that a visit is more than worth your time. The heart of the city lies within the walls of Roman emperor Diocletian's retirement palace, which was built in the 3rd century AD. Diocletian, born in the nearby Roman settlement of Salona in AD 245, achieved a brilliant career as a soldier and became emperor at the age of 40. In 295 he ordered this vast palace to be built in his native Dalmatia, and when it was completed he stepped down from the throne and retired to his beloved homeland. Upon his death, he was laid to rest in an octagonal mausoleum, around which Split's magnificent cathedral was built.In 615, when Salona was sacked by barbarian tribes, those fortunate enough to escape found refuge within the stout palace walls and divided up the vast imperial apartments into more modest living quarters. Thus, the palace developed into an urban center, and by the 11th century the settlement had expanded beyond the ancient walls.Under the rule of Venice (1420–1797), Split—as a gateway to the Balkan interior—became one of the Adriatic's main trading ports, and the city's splendid Renaissance palaces bear witness to the affluence of those times. When the Habsburgs took control during the 19th century, an overland connection to Central Europe was established by the construction of the Split–Zagreb–Vienna railway line.After World War II, the Tito years saw a period of rapid urban expansion: industrialization accelerated and the suburbs extended to accommodate high-rise apartment blocks. Today the historic center of Split is included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

Day 8 Ravenna, Italy

A small, quiet, well-heeled city, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobblestone streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine mosaics. The high point in its civic history occurred in the 5th century, when Pope Honorious moved his court here from Rome. Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric ruled the city until it was conquered by the Byzantines in AD 540. Ravenna later fell under the sway of Venice, and then, inevitably, the Papal States.Because Ravenna spent much of its past looking east, its greatest art treasures show that Byzantine influence. Churches and tombs with the most unassuming exteriors contain within them walls covered with sumptuous mosaics. These beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics put great emphasis on nature, which you can see in the delicate rendering of sky, earth, and animals. Outside Ravenna, the town of Classe hides even more mosaic gems.

Day 1 Civitavecchia, Italy

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de' Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.

Day 2 Naples, Italy

Naples, in the Campania region, is Italy's third largest city. Its claim to fame is the spectacular location along one of the world's most splendid bays, backed by the perfect cone of Mount Vesuvius. In addition to its beautiful setting, Naples' surprises with other outstanding attractions such as the Royal Palace, San Carlos Opera House, the impressive National Archaeological Museum and the Castel Nuovo, dating from the 13th-century. The city's central area is best explored on foot. Chaotic traffic conditions make driving around the city a very frustrating experience. Naples provides a convenient starting point for trips to such favored destinations as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. The Isle of Capri can be reached via a 45-minute hydrofoil service. The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.

Day 3 Messina, Italy

Home to the Museo Regionale of Messina, known for featuring two of Caravaggio's paintings, the city is also famous for having been the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sicily.

Day 4  Cruising

Day 5 Kotor, Montenegro

Backed by imposing mountains, tiny Kotor lies hidden from the open sea, tucked into the deepest channel of the Bokor Kotorska (Kotor Bay), which is Europe's most southerly fjord. To many, this town is more charming than its sister UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, retaining more authenticity, but with fewer tourists and spared the war damage and subsequent rebuilding which has given Dubrovnik something of a Disney feel.Kotor's medieval Stari Grad (Old Town) is enclosed within well-preserved defensive walls built between the 9th and 18th centuries and is presided over by a proud hilltop fortress. Within the walls, a labyrinth of winding cobbled streets leads through a series of splendid paved piazzas, rimmed by centuries-old stone buildings. The squares are now haunted by strains from buskers but although many now house trendy cafés and chic boutiques, directions are still given medieval-style by reference to the town's landmark churches.In the Middle Ages, as Serbia's chief port, Kotor was an important economic and cultural center with its own highly regarded schools of stonemasonry and iconography. From 1391 to 1420 it was an independent city-republic and later, it spent periods under Venetian, Austrian, and French rule, though it was undoubtedly the Venetians who left the strongest impression on the city's architecture. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, some 70% of the stone buildings in the romantic Old Town have been snapped up by foreigners, mostly Brits and Russians. Porto Montenegro, a new marina designed to accommodate some of the world's largest super yachts, opened in nearby Tivat in 2011, and along the bay are other charming seaside villages, all with better views of the bay than the vista from Kotor itself where the waterside is congested with cruise ships and yachts. Try sleepy Muo or the settlement of Prcanj in one direction around the bay, or Perast and the Roman mosaics of Risan in the other direction.

Day 6 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Dubrovnik. Lying 216 km (135 miles) southeast of Split and commanding a jaw-dropping coastal location, it is one of the world's most beautiful fortified cities. Its massive stone ramparts and fortress towers curve around a tiny harbor, enclosing graduated ridges of sun-bleached orange-tiled roofs, copper domes, and elegant bell towers. Your imagination will run wild picturing what it looked like seven centuries ago when the walls were built, without any suburbs or highways around it, just this magnificent stone city rising out of the sea.In the 7th century AD, residents of the Roman city Epidaurum (now Cavtat) fled the Avars and Slavs of the north and founded a new settlement on a small rocky island, which they named Laus, and later Ragusa. On the mainland hillside opposite the island, the Slav settlement called Dubrovnik grew up. In the 12th century the narrow channel separating the two settlements was filled in (now the main street through the Old Town, called Stradun), and Ragusa and Dubrovnik became one. The city was surrounded by defensive walls during the 13th century, and these were reinforced with towers and bastions in the late 15th century.From 1358 to 1808 the city thrived as a powerful and remarkably sophisticated independent republic, reaching its golden age during the 16th century. In 1667 many of its splendid Gothic and Renaissance buildings were destroyed by an earthquake. The defensive walls survived the disaster, and the city was rebuilt in baroque style.Dubrovnik lost its independence to Napoléon in 1808, and in 1815 passed to Austria-Hungary. During the 20th century, as part of Yugoslavia, the city became a popular tourist destination, and in 1979 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the war for independence, it came under heavy siege. Thanks to careful restoration, few traces of damage remain; however, there are maps inside the Pile and Ploce Gates illustrating the points around the city where damage was done. It's only when you experience Dubrovnik yourself that you can understand what a treasure the world nearly lost

Day 7 Split, Croatia

Split's ancient core is so spectacular and unusual that a visit is more than worth your time. The heart of the city lies within the walls of Roman emperor Diocletian's retirement palace, which was built in the 3rd century AD. Diocletian, born in the nearby Roman settlement of Salona in AD 245, achieved a brilliant career as a soldier and became emperor at the age of 40. In 295 he ordered this vast palace to be built in his native Dalmatia, and when it was completed he stepped down from the throne and retired to his beloved homeland. Upon his death, he was laid to rest in an octagonal mausoleum, around which Split's magnificent cathedral was built.In 615, when Salona was sacked by barbarian tribes, those fortunate enough to escape found refuge within the stout palace walls and divided up the vast imperial apartments into more modest living quarters. Thus, the palace developed into an urban center, and by the 11th century the settlement had expanded beyond the ancient walls.Under the rule of Venice (1420–1797), Split—as a gateway to the Balkan interior—became one of the Adriatic's main trading ports, and the city's splendid Renaissance palaces bear witness to the affluence of those times. When the Habsburgs took control during the 19th century, an overland connection to Central Europe was established by the construction of the Split–Zagreb–Vienna railway line.After World War II, the Tito years saw a period of rapid urban expansion: industrialization accelerated and the suburbs extended to accommodate high-rise apartment blocks. Today the historic center of Split is included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

Day 8 Ravenna, Italy

A small, quiet, well-heeled city, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobblestone streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine mosaics. The high point in its civic history occurred in the 5th century, when Pope Honorious moved his court here from Rome. Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric ruled the city until it was conquered by the Byzantines in AD 540. Ravenna later fell under the sway of Venice, and then, inevitably, the Papal States.Because Ravenna spent much of its past looking east, its greatest art treasures show that Byzantine influence. Churches and tombs with the most unassuming exteriors contain within them walls covered with sumptuous mosaics. These beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics put great emphasis on nature, which you can see in the delicate rendering of sky, earth, and animals. Outside Ravenna, the town of Classe hides even more mosaic gems.

Day 1 Civitavecchia, Italy

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de' Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.

Day 2 Naples, Italy

Naples, in the Campania region, is Italy's third largest city. Its claim to fame is the spectacular location along one of the world's most splendid bays, backed by the perfect cone of Mount Vesuvius. In addition to its beautiful setting, Naples' surprises with other outstanding attractions such as the Royal Palace, San Carlos Opera House, the impressive National Archaeological Museum and the Castel Nuovo, dating from the 13th-century. The city's central area is best explored on foot. Chaotic traffic conditions make driving around the city a very frustrating experience. Naples provides a convenient starting point for trips to such favored destinations as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. The Isle of Capri can be reached via a 45-minute hydrofoil service. The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.

Day 3 Messina, Italy

Home to the Museo Regionale of Messina, known for featuring two of Caravaggio's paintings, the city is also famous for having been the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sicily.

Day 4  Cruising

Day 5 Kotor, Montenegro

Backed by imposing mountains, tiny Kotor lies hidden from the open sea, tucked into the deepest channel of the Bokor Kotorska (Kotor Bay), which is Europe's most southerly fjord. To many, this town is more charming than its sister UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, retaining more authenticity, but with fewer tourists and spared the war damage and subsequent rebuilding which has given Dubrovnik something of a Disney feel.Kotor's medieval Stari Grad (Old Town) is enclosed within well-preserved defensive walls built between the 9th and 18th centuries and is presided over by a proud hilltop fortress. Within the walls, a labyrinth of winding cobbled streets leads through a series of splendid paved piazzas, rimmed by centuries-old stone buildings. The squares are now haunted by strains from buskers but although many now house trendy cafés and chic boutiques, directions are still given medieval-style by reference to the town's landmark churches.In the Middle Ages, as Serbia's chief port, Kotor was an important economic and cultural center with its own highly regarded schools of stonemasonry and iconography. From 1391 to 1420 it was an independent city-republic and later, it spent periods under Venetian, Austrian, and French rule, though it was undoubtedly the Venetians who left the strongest impression on the city's architecture. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, some 70% of the stone buildings in the romantic Old Town have been snapped up by foreigners, mostly Brits and Russians. Porto Montenegro, a new marina designed to accommodate some of the world's largest super yachts, opened in nearby Tivat in 2011, and along the bay are other charming seaside villages, all with better views of the bay than the vista from Kotor itself where the waterside is congested with cruise ships and yachts. Try sleepy Muo or the settlement of Prcanj in one direction around the bay, or Perast and the Roman mosaics of Risan in the other direction.

Day 6 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Dubrovnik. Lying 216 km (135 miles) southeast of Split and commanding a jaw-dropping coastal location, it is one of the world's most beautiful fortified cities. Its massive stone ramparts and fortress towers curve around a tiny harbor, enclosing graduated ridges of sun-bleached orange-tiled roofs, copper domes, and elegant bell towers. Your imagination will run wild picturing what it looked like seven centuries ago when the walls were built, without any suburbs or highways around it, just this magnificent stone city rising out of the sea.In the 7th century AD, residents of the Roman city Epidaurum (now Cavtat) fled the Avars and Slavs of the north and founded a new settlement on a small rocky island, which they named Laus, and later Ragusa. On the mainland hillside opposite the island, the Slav settlement called Dubrovnik grew up. In the 12th century the narrow channel separating the two settlements was filled in (now the main street through the Old Town, called Stradun), and Ragusa and Dubrovnik became one. The city was surrounded by defensive walls during the 13th century, and these were reinforced with towers and bastions in the late 15th century.From 1358 to 1808 the city thrived as a powerful and remarkably sophisticated independent republic, reaching its golden age during the 16th century. In 1667 many of its splendid Gothic and Renaissance buildings were destroyed by an earthquake. The defensive walls survived the disaster, and the city was rebuilt in baroque style.Dubrovnik lost its independence to Napoléon in 1808, and in 1815 passed to Austria-Hungary. During the 20th century, as part of Yugoslavia, the city became a popular tourist destination, and in 1979 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the war for independence, it came under heavy siege. Thanks to careful restoration, few traces of damage remain; however, there are maps inside the Pile and Ploce Gates illustrating the points around the city where damage was done. It's only when you experience Dubrovnik yourself that you can understand what a treasure the world nearly lost

Day 7 Split, Croatia

Split's ancient core is so spectacular and unusual that a visit is more than worth your time. The heart of the city lies within the walls of Roman emperor Diocletian's retirement palace, which was built in the 3rd century AD. Diocletian, born in the nearby Roman settlement of Salona in AD 245, achieved a brilliant career as a soldier and became emperor at the age of 40. In 295 he ordered this vast palace to be built in his native Dalmatia, and when it was completed he stepped down from the throne and retired to his beloved homeland. Upon his death, he was laid to rest in an octagonal mausoleum, around which Split's magnificent cathedral was built.In 615, when Salona was sacked by barbarian tribes, those fortunate enough to escape found refuge within the stout palace walls and divided up the vast imperial apartments into more modest living quarters. Thus, the palace developed into an urban center, and by the 11th century the settlement had expanded beyond the ancient walls.Under the rule of Venice (1420–1797), Split—as a gateway to the Balkan interior—became one of the Adriatic's main trading ports, and the city's splendid Renaissance palaces bear witness to the affluence of those times. When the Habsburgs took control during the 19th century, an overland connection to Central Europe was established by the construction of the Split–Zagreb–Vienna railway line.After World War II, the Tito years saw a period of rapid urban expansion: industrialization accelerated and the suburbs extended to accommodate high-rise apartment blocks. Today the historic center of Split is included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

Day 8 Ravenna, Italy

A small, quiet, well-heeled city, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobblestone streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine mosaics. The high point in its civic history occurred in the 5th century, when Pope Honorious moved his court here from Rome. Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric ruled the city until it was conquered by the Byzantines in AD 540. Ravenna later fell under the sway of Venice, and then, inevitably, the Papal States.Because Ravenna spent much of its past looking east, its greatest art treasures show that Byzantine influence. Churches and tombs with the most unassuming exteriors contain within them walls covered with sumptuous mosaics. These beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics put great emphasis on nature, which you can see in the delicate rendering of sky, earth, and animals. Outside Ravenna, the town of Classe hides even more mosaic gems.

Day 1 Civitavecchia, Italy

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de' Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.

Day 2 Naples, Italy

Naples, in the Campania region, is Italy's third largest city. Its claim to fame is the spectacular location along one of the world's most splendid bays, backed by the perfect cone of Mount Vesuvius. In addition to its beautiful setting, Naples' surprises with other outstanding attractions such as the Royal Palace, San Carlos Opera House, the impressive National Archaeological Museum and the Castel Nuovo, dating from the 13th-century. The city's central area is best explored on foot. Chaotic traffic conditions make driving around the city a very frustrating experience. Naples provides a convenient starting point for trips to such favored destinations as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. The Isle of Capri can be reached via a 45-minute hydrofoil service. The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.

Day 3 Messina, Italy

Home to the Museo Regionale of Messina, known for featuring two of Caravaggio's paintings, the city is also famous for having been the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sicily.

Day 4  Cruising

Day 5 Bar, Montenegro

Day 6 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Dubrovnik. Lying 216 km (135 miles) southeast of Split and commanding a jaw-dropping coastal location, it is one of the world's most beautiful fortified cities. Its massive stone ramparts and fortress towers curve around a tiny harbor, enclosing graduated ridges of sun-bleached orange-tiled roofs, copper domes, and elegant bell towers. Your imagination will run wild picturing what it looked like seven centuries ago when the walls were built, without any suburbs or highways around it, just this magnificent stone city rising out of the sea.In the 7th century AD, residents of the Roman city Epidaurum (now Cavtat) fled the Avars and Slavs of the north and founded a new settlement on a small rocky island, which they named Laus, and later Ragusa. On the mainland hillside opposite the island, the Slav settlement called Dubrovnik grew up. In the 12th century the narrow channel separating the two settlements was filled in (now the main street through the Old Town, called Stradun), and Ragusa and Dubrovnik became one. The city was surrounded by defensive walls during the 13th century, and these were reinforced with towers and bastions in the late 15th century.From 1358 to 1808 the city thrived as a powerful and remarkably sophisticated independent republic, reaching its golden age during the 16th century. In 1667 many of its splendid Gothic and Renaissance buildings were destroyed by an earthquake. The defensive walls survived the disaster, and the city was rebuilt in baroque style.Dubrovnik lost its independence to Napoléon in 1808, and in 1815 passed to Austria-Hungary. During the 20th century, as part of Yugoslavia, the city became a popular tourist destination, and in 1979 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the war for independence, it came under heavy siege. Thanks to careful restoration, few traces of damage remain; however, there are maps inside the Pile and Ploce Gates illustrating the points around the city where damage was done. It's only when you experience Dubrovnik yourself that you can understand what a treasure the world nearly lost

Day 7 Split, Croatia

Split's ancient core is so spectacular and unusual that a visit is more than worth your time. The heart of the city lies within the walls of Roman emperor Diocletian's retirement palace, which was built in the 3rd century AD. Diocletian, born in the nearby Roman settlement of Salona in AD 245, achieved a brilliant career as a soldier and became emperor at the age of 40. In 295 he ordered this vast palace to be built in his native Dalmatia, and when it was completed he stepped down from the throne and retired to his beloved homeland. Upon his death, he was laid to rest in an octagonal mausoleum, around which Split's magnificent cathedral was built.In 615, when Salona was sacked by barbarian tribes, those fortunate enough to escape found refuge within the stout palace walls and divided up the vast imperial apartments into more modest living quarters. Thus, the palace developed into an urban center, and by the 11th century the settlement had expanded beyond the ancient walls.Under the rule of Venice (1420–1797), Split—as a gateway to the Balkan interior—became one of the Adriatic's main trading ports, and the city's splendid Renaissance palaces bear witness to the affluence of those times. When the Habsburgs took control during the 19th century, an overland connection to Central Europe was established by the construction of the Split–Zagreb–Vienna railway line.After World War II, the Tito years saw a period of rapid urban expansion: industrialization accelerated and the suburbs extended to accommodate high-rise apartment blocks. Today the historic center of Split is included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

Day 8 Ravenna, Italy

A small, quiet, well-heeled city, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobblestone streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine mosaics. The high point in its civic history occurred in the 5th century, when Pope Honorious moved his court here from Rome. Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric ruled the city until it was conquered by the Byzantines in AD 540. Ravenna later fell under the sway of Venice, and then, inevitably, the Papal States.Because Ravenna spent much of its past looking east, its greatest art treasures show that Byzantine influence. Churches and tombs with the most unassuming exteriors contain within them walls covered with sumptuous mosaics. These beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics put great emphasis on nature, which you can see in the delicate rendering of sky, earth, and animals. Outside Ravenna, the town of Classe hides even more mosaic gems.

Day 1 Ravenna, Italy

A small, quiet, well-heeled city, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobblestone streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine mosaics. The high point in its civic history occurred in the 5th century, when Pope Honorious moved his court here from Rome. Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric ruled the city until it was conquered by the Byzantines in AD 540. Ravenna later fell under the sway of Venice, and then, inevitably, the Papal States.Because Ravenna spent much of its past looking east, its greatest art treasures show that Byzantine influence. Churches and tombs with the most unassuming exteriors contain within them walls covered with sumptuous mosaics. These beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics put great emphasis on nature, which you can see in the delicate rendering of sky, earth, and animals. Outside Ravenna, the town of Classe hides even more mosaic gems.

Day 2 Zadar, Croatia

Dalmatia's capital for more than 1,000 years, Zadar is all too often passed over by travelers on their way to Split or Dubrovnik. What they miss out on is a city of more than 73,000 that is remarkably lovely and lively despite—and, in some measure, because of—its tumultuous history. The Old Town, separated from the rest of the city on a peninsula some 4 km (2½ miles) long and just 1,640 feet wide, is bustling and beautiful: the marble pedestrian streets are replete with Roman ruins, medieval churches, palaces, museums, archives, and libraries. Parts of the new town are comparatively dreary, a testament to what a world war followed by decades of communism, not to mention a civil war, can do to the architecture of a city that is 3,000 years old. A settlement had already existed on the site of the present-day city for some 2,000 years when Rome finally conquered Zadar in the 1st century BC; the foundations of the forum can be seen today. Before the Romans came the Liburnians had made it a key center for trade with the Greeks and Romans for 800 years. In the 3rd century BC the Romans began to seriously pester the Liburnians, but required two centuries to bring the area under their control. During the Byzantine era, Zadar became the capital of Dalmatia, and this period saw the construction of its most famous church, the 9th-century St. Donat's Basilica. It remained the region's foremost city through the ensuing centuries. The city then experienced successive onslaughts and occupations—both long and short—by the Osogoths, the Croatian-Hungarian kings, the Venetians, the Turks, the Habsburgs, the French, the Habsburgs again, and finally the Italians before becoming part of Yugoslavia and, in 1991, the independent republic of Croatia. Zadar was for centuries an Italian-speaking city, and Italian is still spoken widely, especially by older people. Indeed, it was ceded to Italy in 1921 under the Treaty of Rapallo (and reverted to its Italian name of Zara). Its occupation by the Germans from 1943 led to intense bombing by the Allies during World War II, which left most of the city in ruins. Zadar became part of Tito's Yugoslavia in 1947, prompting many Italian residents to leave. Zadar's most recent ravages occurred during a three-month siege by Serb forces and months more of bombardment during the Croatian-Serbian war between 1991 and 1995. But you'd be hard-pressed to find outward signs of this today in what is a city to behold. There are helpful interpretive signs in English all around the Old Town, so you certainly won't feel lost when trying to make sense of the wide variety of architectural sites you might otherwise pass by with only a cursory look.

Day 3 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Dubrovnik. Lying 216 km (135 miles) southeast of Split and commanding a jaw-dropping coastal location, it is one of the world's most beautiful fortified cities. Its massive stone ramparts and fortress towers curve around a tiny harbor, enclosing graduated ridges of sun-bleached orange-tiled roofs, copper domes, and elegant bell towers. Your imagination will run wild picturing what it looked like seven centuries ago when the walls were built, without any suburbs or highways around it, just this magnificent stone city rising out of the sea.In the 7th century AD, residents of the Roman city Epidaurum (now Cavtat) fled the Avars and Slavs of the north and founded a new settlement on a small rocky island, which they named Laus, and later Ragusa. On the mainland hillside opposite the island, the Slav settlement called Dubrovnik grew up. In the 12th century the narrow channel separating the two settlements was filled in (now the main street through the Old Town, called Stradun), and Ragusa and Dubrovnik became one. The city was surrounded by defensive walls during the 13th century, and these were reinforced with towers and bastions in the late 15th century.From 1358 to 1808 the city thrived as a powerful and remarkably sophisticated independent republic, reaching its golden age during the 16th century. In 1667 many of its splendid Gothic and Renaissance buildings were destroyed by an earthquake. The defensive walls survived the disaster, and the city was rebuilt in baroque style.Dubrovnik lost its independence to Napoléon in 1808, and in 1815 passed to Austria-Hungary. During the 20th century, as part of Yugoslavia, the city became a popular tourist destination, and in 1979 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the war for independence, it came under heavy siege. Thanks to careful restoration, few traces of damage remain; however, there are maps inside the Pile and Ploce Gates illustrating the points around the city where damage was done. It's only when you experience Dubrovnik yourself that you can understand what a treasure the world nearly lost

Day 4 Kotor, Montenegro

Backed by imposing mountains, tiny Kotor lies hidden from the open sea, tucked into the deepest channel of the Bokor Kotorska (Kotor Bay), which is Europe's most southerly fjord. To many, this town is more charming than its sister UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, retaining more authenticity, but with fewer tourists and spared the war damage and subsequent rebuilding which has given Dubrovnik something of a Disney feel.Kotor's medieval Stari Grad (Old Town) is enclosed within well-preserved defensive walls built between the 9th and 18th centuries and is presided over by a proud hilltop fortress. Within the walls, a labyrinth of winding cobbled streets leads through a series of splendid paved piazzas, rimmed by centuries-old stone buildings. The squares are now haunted by strains from buskers but although many now house trendy cafés and chic boutiques, directions are still given medieval-style by reference to the town's landmark churches.In the Middle Ages, as Serbia's chief port, Kotor was an important economic and cultural center with its own highly regarded schools of stonemasonry and iconography. From 1391 to 1420 it was an independent city-republic and later, it spent periods under Venetian, Austrian, and French rule, though it was undoubtedly the Venetians who left the strongest impression on the city's architecture. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, some 70% of the stone buildings in the romantic Old Town have been snapped up by foreigners, mostly Brits and Russians. Porto Montenegro, a new marina designed to accommodate some of the world's largest super yachts, opened in nearby Tivat in 2011, and along the bay are other charming seaside villages, all with better views of the bay than the vista from Kotor itself where the waterside is congested with cruise ships and yachts. Try sleepy Muo or the settlement of Prcanj in one direction around the bay, or Perast and the Roman mosaics of Risan in the other direction.

Day 5  Cruising

Day 6 Messina, Italy

Home to the Museo Regionale of Messina, known for featuring two of Caravaggio's paintings, the city is also famous for having been the capital of the ancient kingdom of Sicily.

Day 7 Naples, Italy

Naples, in the Campania region, is Italy's third largest city. Its claim to fame is the spectacular location along one of the world's most splendid bays, backed by the perfect cone of Mount Vesuvius. In addition to its beautiful setting, Naples' surprises with other outstanding attractions such as the Royal Palace, San Carlos Opera House, the impressive National Archaeological Museum and the Castel Nuovo, dating from the 13th-century. The city's central area is best explored on foot. Chaotic traffic conditions make driving around the city a very frustrating experience. Naples provides a convenient starting point for trips to such favored destinations as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. The Isle of Capri can be reached via a 45-minute hydrofoil service. The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.

Day 8 Civitavecchia, Italy

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de' Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.

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