Mediterranean: Italy, France & Spain/Norwegian Escape
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Norwegian Escape

Mediterranean: Italy, France & Spain - 10 night cruise



Cruise only from €1,422

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


Description

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

Cabins

Get ready to sail on one of the most exciting ships on the seas! Norwegian Escape is ready to whisk you away to The Caribbean from Miami and Orlando, Canada & New England from New York, and the Mediterranean from Rome. Indulging in every whim is what unforgettable vacations are made of. Get ready to chase sunsets on The Waterfront. Build a pink sandcastle in Bermuda. Sip on some of Napa's best blends at The cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar. Or try our unique speciality hand-crafted cocktails. Discover a new world of freedom and flexibility on Norwegian Escape.

Cruise ID: 1824

We are confident that you will enjoy your Freestyle Cruising experience and that our entire crew will provide you with the standard of service for which we are known. A discretionary service charge will be automatically added per guest per day (for guests three years and older) to your shipboard account for all staterooms: all ships US$ 16 per guest per day (for guests 3 years and older) for Studios, Inside, Oceanview and Balcony Staterooms. For Club Balcony Suites, the service charge will be US$ 18 per guest per day (for guests 3 years and older) and for Suites and The Haven Suites as well as the Concierge staterooms, the service charge will be US$ 20 per guest per day (for guests 3 years and older). This charge will be shared amongst those staff members, including the restaurant staff, stateroom stewards and other behind-the scenes staff who provide services that enhance your overall cruise experience.

These service charges can be paid in advance of your cruise. If you have any concerns about the service you receive during your cruise, please let our on-board Guest Services Desk staff know right away, so we can address any issues in a timely manner. In the unlikely event that we can't resolve your issue, you can have the service charge adjusted on board. Where your service charge has been pre-paid before departure, refunds are not available on board and you must apply for a refund, if applicable, after you return home by writing to our Guest Relations department.

Certain staff positions (e.g., concierge, butler, youth programme staff and beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities.

Additionally, there is a 20% gratuity and spa service charge added for all spa and salon services, as well as a 20% gratuity and beverage service charge added for all beverage purchases and a 20% gratuity and speciality service charge added to all speciality restaurant dining and entertainment based dining e.g. Cirque Dreams® and Dinner (does not apply to Free at Sea dining and drinks packages).

Date Time Price * Booking
23 July 2024 17:00 €1,571 Call us to book
10 September 2024 17:00 €2,095 Call us to book
29 October 2024 17:00 €1,422 Call us to book

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

Cabins on Norwegian Escape

Aft-Facing Balcony
1-3

These staterooms include two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed and are aft-facing, so the view from your private balcony is amazing. (Sleeps up to three.)

Facilities

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

The Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
1-6

Located in The Haven, these Suites offer amazing ocean views, a wet bar and two spacious balconies. They include a king-size bed, additional bedding that accommodates four and has two bathrooms. (Sleeps up to six).

Facilities

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

Sail Away Inside
1-4

A Sailaway Inside stateroom guarantees an Inside stateroom or better! Your stateroom may be on any deck and assigned between time of booking up to one day prior to embarkation.

Facilities

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

Studio
1

Private keycard access complex comprised of staterooms specifically designed and priced for the solo traveller. Featuring 1 convertible lower bed, a one-way window to the corridor, and separate areas for your bathroom, sink and shower, in 100 square feet of living space. Includes access to the private Studio Lounge. Plus, some Studios can connect to each other so you can stay close yet still enjoy your privacy. No single supplement required.

Facilities

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

The Haven Aft-Facing Penthouse with Master Bedroom & Balcony
1-4

With access to The Haven, these Penthouses feature a king-size bed plus dining and sitting areas. They offer an unforgettable view from the aft-facing, private balcony. Plus some can connect to other staterooms for even more space. (Sleeps up to four)

Facilities

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

The Haven Deluxe Suite with Balcony
1-4

These suites include a king-size bed, a double sofa bed and an in-suite hot tub. Relax on your private balcony or in your oversized waterfall shower, complete with body spray jets. And the spa is just footsteps away.

Facilities

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

Family Club Balcony Suite
1-4

Perfect if you want to bring the kids, these Family Club Balcony Suites are conveniently located near the kids' area, include two lower beds that convert to a queen, a pullman bed, single sofa bed and bathtub. Hang out with the gang and enjoy the view from your own private balcony. Some can connect so you can spread out yet stay close.

Facilities

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

Club Balcony Suite with Larger Balcony
1-4

Featuring 2 lower convertibles, sofa bed and some include an additional pullman bed. With a private balcony, these Club Balcony Suites also offer amazing views. Plus some can connect, offering more options to spread out. (Sleeps up to four)

Facilities

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

Spa Balcony
1-3

The Spa Balcony staterooms feature tranquil spa décor and include two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed, a single sofa bed, easy access to the adjacent Mandara Spa and fitness centre, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Suite during regular Spa hours. (Sleeps up to three)

Facilities

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

The Haven Forward-Facing Penthouse with Balcony
1-4

Take in breathtaking forward-facing views. These Penthouses have access to The Haven and feature a king-size bed plus dining and sitting areas. Some can connect to other staterooms so you can spread out even more. Sleeps up to four.

Note: Stateroom 13106 is ADA compliant and does not have a separate bedroom.

Facilities

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

The Haven Penthouse Suite with Balcony
1-2

The Haven Penthouse Suites are located toward the front of the ship and offer a spacious balcony, king-size bed, separate vanity area and a shower and jacuzzi. (Sleeps up to two)

Facilities

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

Club Balcony Suite
1-4

Our Club Balcony Suites can sleep up to four with two lower beds that can convert to a queen, additional bedding for up to two, and a bathroom with shower (some include a bathtub). Your private balcony offers endless ocean views and more space for relaxing. Plus some can connect so you can spread out even more.

Facilities

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

The Haven Spa Suite with Balcony
1-2

The perfect way to experience a total spa holiday, the Spa Suites include a king-size bed, hot tub, oversized waterfall shower and multiple body spray jets, spa décor, easy access to the adjacent Mandara Spa and fitness centre, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Suite during regular Spa hours. Access to The Haven. (Sleeps up to two)

Facilities

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

Spa Club Balcony Suite
1-3

Spa Club Balcony Suites feature tranquil spa décor, oversized waterfall shower and multiple body spray jets, easy access to the adjacent Mandara Spa and fitness centre, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Suite during regular Spa hours. (Sleeps up to three)

Facilities

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

Sail Away Oceanview
1-2

A Sail Away Oceanview stateroom guarantees an Oceanview stateroom or better! Please note that the view may be fully obstructed, partially obstructed, porthole or picture window. Your stateroom may be on any deck and assigned up to one day prior to embarkation.

Facilities

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

The Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony
1-3

These Penthouses are located in The Haven and include a king-size bed and single sofa-bed, plus a private balcony with a fantastic view. (Sleeps up to three)

Facilities

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

Sail Away Club Balcony Suite
1-4

A Sail Away Club Balcony Suite stateroom guarantees a Club Balcony Suite stateroom or better! Your stateroom may be on any deck and assigned up to one day prior to embarkation.

Facilities

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

Large Balcony
1-4

These staterooms offer incredible views from a larger balcony, two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed and additional bedding to sleep one or two more. Some can connect for even more options.

Facilities

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

Inside
1-4

Take advantage of an affordable way to explore the world with these interior staterooms. Two singles can convert to a queen and one to two pullmans allow sleeping for up to four.

Facilities

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

Sail Away Balcony
1-4

A Sail Away Balcony stateroom guarantees a Balcony stateroom or better! Please note that the view from your balcony may be fully obstructed or partially obstructed. Your stateroom may be on any deck and assigned up to one day prior to embarkation.

Facilities

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

Oceanview with Picture Window
1-2

Enjoy a large picture window with amazing forward facing views and two single beds that convert to a queen. Sleeps up to two.

Facilities

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

Solo Inside
1

These staterooms include a queen-size bed and the same amenities as other inside staterooms. Staterooms are priced exclusively for solo travelers and include access to the private Studio Lounge.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk

The Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite with Balcony
1-4

Enjoy amazing ocean views and an extra-spacious balcony. These Suites include a king-size bed, additional bedding that accommodates two, and one and a half bathrooms. Located in The Haven. (Sleeps up to four).

Facilities

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

Family Balcony
1-4

Enjoy easy access to all the outdoor fun on the top decks. Your stateroom includes two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed and some feature additional bedding for up to2 guests. Some can connect, offering more options to spread out yet stay close. (Sleeps up to four.)

Facilities

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

Aft-Facing Club Balcony Suite
1-2

These Club Balcony Suites are aft-facing, so the view from your large private balcony is remarkable.

Facilities

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

The Haven 2-Bedroom Family Villa with Balcony
1-6

Perfect for the family, these Villas are located in The Haven and feature two bedrooms, one with a king-size bed, the other with a double sofa bed, plus additional bedding and two bathrooms. (Sleeps up to six)

Facilities

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

Family Inside
1-4

Many sleep better than ever in these cozy yet comfy, interior, upper deck staterooms. Plus some can connect so family and friends can spread out yet stay together. Choose forward (front) or aft (rear). Sleeps up to four on two singles that can convert to a queen, and two pullman beds that pull down, if needed.

Facilities

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

Family Oceanview
1-5

Perfect for families, these staterooms are near the kids' area and include two single beds that convert to a queen, a bathtub and additional bedding that can accommodate up to three guests. Sleeps up to five.

Facilities

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

Solo Oceanview
1

These staterooms feature a large round window and a queen-size bed. Staterooms are priced exclusively for solo travelers and include access to the private Studio Lounge.

Facilities

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Solo Balcony
1

These spacious staterooms include a queen-size bed, sitting area and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony. Staterooms are priced exclusively for solo travelers and include access to the private Studio Lounge.

Facilities

  • Bath
  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Coffee Machine
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Balcony
1-4

Enjoy easy access to all the delicious dining and exciting activities on board from your stateroom that includes two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed and additional bedding for up to 2 guests. Some can connect, offering more options when travelling with family or friends. (Sleeps up to four.)

Facilities

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

View Itinerary By Date



Day 1 Barcelona, Spain

The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.

Day 2 Cannes, France

Cannes is pampered with the luxurious year-round climate that has made it one of the most popular resorts in Europe. Cannes was an important sentinel site for the monks who established themselves on Île St-Honorat in the Middle Ages. Its bay served as nothing more than a fishing port until in 1834 an English aristocrat, Lord Brougham, fell in love with the site during an emergency stopover with a sick daughter. He had a home built here and returned every winter for a sun cure—a ritual quickly picked up by his peers. Between the popularity of Le Train Blue transporting wealthy passengers from Calais, and the introduction in 1936 of France's first paid holidays, Cannes became the destination, a tasteful and expensive breeding ground for the upper-upscale.Cannes has been further glamorized by the ongoing success of its annual film festival, as famous as Hollywood's Academy Awards. About the closest many of us will get to feeling like a film star is a stroll here along La Croisette, the iconic promenade that gracefully curves the wave-washed sand coastline, peppered with chic restaurants and prestigious private beaches. This is precisely the sort of place for which the French invented the verb flâner (to dawdle, saunter): strewn with palm trees and poseurs, its fancy boutiques and status-symbol grand hotels—including the Carlton, the legendary backdrop to Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief —all vying for the custom of the Louis Vuitton set. This legend is, to many, the heart and soul of the Côte d'Azur. 

Day 3 Livorno, Italy

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence, seeking access to the sea, bought it. Cosimo I (1519–74) started construction of the harbor in 1571, putting Livorno on the map. After Ferdinando I de' Medici (1549–1609) proclaimed Livorno a free city, it became a haven for people suffering from religious persecution; Roman Catholics from England and Jews and Moors from Spain and Portugal, among others, settled here. The Quattro Mori (Four Moors), also known as the Monument to Ferdinando I, commemorates this. (The statue of Ferdinando I dates from 1595, the bronze Moors by Pietro Tacca from the 1620s.)In the following centuries, and particularly in the 18th, Livorno boomed as a port. In the 19th century the town drew a host of famous Britons passing through on their grand tours. Its prominence continued up to World War II, when it was heavily bombed. Much of the town's architecture, therefore, postdates the war, and it's somewhat difficult to imagine what it might have looked like before. Livorno has recovered from the war, however, as it's become a huge point of departure for container ships, as well as the only spot in Tuscany for cruise ships to dock for the day.Most of Livorno's artistic treasures date from the 17th century and aren't all that interesting unless you dote on obscure baroque artists. Livorno's most famous native artist, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), was of much more recent vintage. Sadly, there's no notable work by him in his hometown.There may not be much in the way of art, but it's still worth strolling around the city. The Mercato Nuovo, which has been around since 1894, sells all sorts of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and fish. Outdoor markets nearby are also chock-full of local color. The presence of Camp Darby, an American military base just outside town, accounts for the availability of many American products.If you have time, Livorno is worth a stop for lunch or dinner at the very least.

Day 4 Livorno, Italy

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence, seeking access to the sea, bought it. Cosimo I (1519–74) started construction of the harbor in 1571, putting Livorno on the map. After Ferdinando I de' Medici (1549–1609) proclaimed Livorno a free city, it became a haven for people suffering from religious persecution; Roman Catholics from England and Jews and Moors from Spain and Portugal, among others, settled here. The Quattro Mori (Four Moors), also known as the Monument to Ferdinando I, commemorates this. (The statue of Ferdinando I dates from 1595, the bronze Moors by Pietro Tacca from the 1620s.)In the following centuries, and particularly in the 18th, Livorno boomed as a port. In the 19th century the town drew a host of famous Britons passing through on their grand tours. Its prominence continued up to World War II, when it was heavily bombed. Much of the town's architecture, therefore, postdates the war, and it's somewhat difficult to imagine what it might have looked like before. Livorno has recovered from the war, however, as it's become a huge point of departure for container ships, as well as the only spot in Tuscany for cruise ships to dock for the day.Most of Livorno's artistic treasures date from the 17th century and aren't all that interesting unless you dote on obscure baroque artists. Livorno's most famous native artist, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), was of much more recent vintage. Sadly, there's no notable work by him in his hometown.There may not be much in the way of art, but it's still worth strolling around the city. The Mercato Nuovo, which has been around since 1894, sells all sorts of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and fish. Outdoor markets nearby are also chock-full of local color. The presence of Camp Darby, an American military base just outside town, accounts for the availability of many American products.If you have time, Livorno is worth a stop for lunch or dinner at the very least.

Day 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 Valletta, Malta

Malta's capital, the minicity of Valletta, has ornate palaces and museums protected by massive fortifications of honey-color limestone. Houses along the narrow streets have overhanging wooden balconies for people-watching from indoors. Generations ago they gave housebound women a window on the world of the street. The main entrance to town is through the City Gate (where all bus routes end), which leads onto Triq Repubblika (Republic Street), the spine of the grid-pattern city and the main shopping street. Triq Mercante (Merchant Street) parallels Repubblika to the east and is also good for strolling. From these two streets, cross streets descend toward the water; some are stepped. Valletta's compactness makes it ideal to explore on foot. City Gate and the upper part of Valletta are experiencing vast redevelopment that includes a new Parliament Building and open-air performance venue. The complex, completed mid-2013, has numerous pedestrian detours in place along with building noise and dust. Before setting out along Republic Street, stop at the tourist information office on Merchant Street for maps and brochures.

Day 9 Cagliari, Italy

Known in Sardinia as Casteddu, the island's capital has steep streets and impressive Italianate architecture, from modern to medieval. This city of nearly 160,000 people is characterized by a busy commercial center and waterfront with broad avenues and arched arcades, as well as by the typically narrow streets of the old hilltop citadel (called, simply, “Castello”). The Museo Archeologico makes a good starting point to a visit. The imposing Bastione di Saint Remy and Mercato di San Benedetto (one of the best fish markets in Italy) are both musts.

Day 10 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

If you look north of the cathedral (La Seu, or the seat of the bishopric, to Mallorcans) on a map of the city of Palma, you can see around the Plaça Santa Eulàlia a jumble of tiny streets that made up the earliest settlement. Farther out, a ring of wide boulevards traces the fortifications built by the Moors to defend the larger city that emerged by the 12th century. The zigzags mark the bastions that jutted out at regular intervals. By the end of the 19th century, most of the walls had been demolished; the only place where you can still see the massive defenses is at Ses Voltes, along the seafront west of the cathedral.A torrent (streambed) used to run through the middle of the old city, dry for most of the year but often a raging flood in the rainy season. In the 17th century it was diverted to the east, along the moat that ran outside the city walls. Two of Palma's main arteries, La Rambla and the Passeig d'es Born, now follow the stream's natural course. The traditional evening paseo (promenade) takes place on the Born.If you come to Palma by car, park in the garage beneath the Parc de la Mar (the ramp is just off the highway from the airport, as you reach the cathedral) and stroll along the park. Beside it run the huge bastions guarding the Almudaina Palace; the cathedral, golden and massive, rises beyond. Where you exit the garage, there's a ceramic mural by the late Catalan artist and Mallorca resident Joan Miró, facing the cathedral across the pool that runs the length of the park.If you begin early enough, a walk along the ramparts at Ses Voltes from the mirador beside the cathedral is spectacular. The first rays of the sun turn the upper pinnacles of La Seu bright gold and then begin to work their way down the sandstone walls. From the Parc de la Mar, follow Avinguda Antoni Maura past the steps to the palace. Just below the Plaça de la Reina, where the Passeig d'es Born begins, turn left on Carrer de la Boteria into the Plaça de la Llotja (if the Llotja itself is open, don't miss a chance to visit—it's the Mediterranean's finest Gothic-style civic building). From there stroll through the Plaça Drassana to the Museu d'Es Baluard, at the end of Carrer Sant Pere. Retrace your steps to Avinguda Antoni Maura. Walk up the Passeig d'es Born to Plaça Joan Carles I, then right on Avenida de La Unió.

Day 11 Barcelona, Spain

The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.

Day 1 Barcelona, Spain

The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.

Day 2 Cannes, France

Cannes is pampered with the luxurious year-round climate that has made it one of the most popular resorts in Europe. Cannes was an important sentinel site for the monks who established themselves on Île St-Honorat in the Middle Ages. Its bay served as nothing more than a fishing port until in 1834 an English aristocrat, Lord Brougham, fell in love with the site during an emergency stopover with a sick daughter. He had a home built here and returned every winter for a sun cure—a ritual quickly picked up by his peers. Between the popularity of Le Train Blue transporting wealthy passengers from Calais, and the introduction in 1936 of France's first paid holidays, Cannes became the destination, a tasteful and expensive breeding ground for the upper-upscale.Cannes has been further glamorized by the ongoing success of its annual film festival, as famous as Hollywood's Academy Awards. About the closest many of us will get to feeling like a film star is a stroll here along La Croisette, the iconic promenade that gracefully curves the wave-washed sand coastline, peppered with chic restaurants and prestigious private beaches. This is precisely the sort of place for which the French invented the verb flâner (to dawdle, saunter): strewn with palm trees and poseurs, its fancy boutiques and status-symbol grand hotels—including the Carlton, the legendary backdrop to Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief —all vying for the custom of the Louis Vuitton set. This legend is, to many, the heart and soul of the Côte d'Azur. 

Day 3 Livorno, Italy

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence, seeking access to the sea, bought it. Cosimo I (1519–74) started construction of the harbor in 1571, putting Livorno on the map. After Ferdinando I de' Medici (1549–1609) proclaimed Livorno a free city, it became a haven for people suffering from religious persecution; Roman Catholics from England and Jews and Moors from Spain and Portugal, among others, settled here. The Quattro Mori (Four Moors), also known as the Monument to Ferdinando I, commemorates this. (The statue of Ferdinando I dates from 1595, the bronze Moors by Pietro Tacca from the 1620s.)In the following centuries, and particularly in the 18th, Livorno boomed as a port. In the 19th century the town drew a host of famous Britons passing through on their grand tours. Its prominence continued up to World War II, when it was heavily bombed. Much of the town's architecture, therefore, postdates the war, and it's somewhat difficult to imagine what it might have looked like before. Livorno has recovered from the war, however, as it's become a huge point of departure for container ships, as well as the only spot in Tuscany for cruise ships to dock for the day.Most of Livorno's artistic treasures date from the 17th century and aren't all that interesting unless you dote on obscure baroque artists. Livorno's most famous native artist, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), was of much more recent vintage. Sadly, there's no notable work by him in his hometown.There may not be much in the way of art, but it's still worth strolling around the city. The Mercato Nuovo, which has been around since 1894, sells all sorts of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and fish. Outdoor markets nearby are also chock-full of local color. The presence of Camp Darby, an American military base just outside town, accounts for the availability of many American products.If you have time, Livorno is worth a stop for lunch or dinner at the very least.

Day 4 Livorno, Italy

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence, seeking access to the sea, bought it. Cosimo I (1519–74) started construction of the harbor in 1571, putting Livorno on the map. After Ferdinando I de' Medici (1549–1609) proclaimed Livorno a free city, it became a haven for people suffering from religious persecution; Roman Catholics from England and Jews and Moors from Spain and Portugal, among others, settled here. The Quattro Mori (Four Moors), also known as the Monument to Ferdinando I, commemorates this. (The statue of Ferdinando I dates from 1595, the bronze Moors by Pietro Tacca from the 1620s.)In the following centuries, and particularly in the 18th, Livorno boomed as a port. In the 19th century the town drew a host of famous Britons passing through on their grand tours. Its prominence continued up to World War II, when it was heavily bombed. Much of the town's architecture, therefore, postdates the war, and it's somewhat difficult to imagine what it might have looked like before. Livorno has recovered from the war, however, as it's become a huge point of departure for container ships, as well as the only spot in Tuscany for cruise ships to dock for the day.Most of Livorno's artistic treasures date from the 17th century and aren't all that interesting unless you dote on obscure baroque artists. Livorno's most famous native artist, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), was of much more recent vintage. Sadly, there's no notable work by him in his hometown.There may not be much in the way of art, but it's still worth strolling around the city. The Mercato Nuovo, which has been around since 1894, sells all sorts of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and fish. Outdoor markets nearby are also chock-full of local color. The presence of Camp Darby, an American military base just outside town, accounts for the availability of many American products.If you have time, Livorno is worth a stop for lunch or dinner at the very least.

Day 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 Valletta, Malta

Malta's capital, the minicity of Valletta, has ornate palaces and museums protected by massive fortifications of honey-color limestone. Houses along the narrow streets have overhanging wooden balconies for people-watching from indoors. Generations ago they gave housebound women a window on the world of the street. The main entrance to town is through the City Gate (where all bus routes end), which leads onto Triq Repubblika (Republic Street), the spine of the grid-pattern city and the main shopping street. Triq Mercante (Merchant Street) parallels Repubblika to the east and is also good for strolling. From these two streets, cross streets descend toward the water; some are stepped. Valletta's compactness makes it ideal to explore on foot. City Gate and the upper part of Valletta are experiencing vast redevelopment that includes a new Parliament Building and open-air performance venue. The complex, completed mid-2013, has numerous pedestrian detours in place along with building noise and dust. Before setting out along Republic Street, stop at the tourist information office on Merchant Street for maps and brochures.

Day 9 Cagliari, Italy

Known in Sardinia as Casteddu, the island's capital has steep streets and impressive Italianate architecture, from modern to medieval. This city of nearly 160,000 people is characterized by a busy commercial center and waterfront with broad avenues and arched arcades, as well as by the typically narrow streets of the old hilltop citadel (called, simply, “Castello”). The Museo Archeologico makes a good starting point to a visit. The imposing Bastione di Saint Remy and Mercato di San Benedetto (one of the best fish markets in Italy) are both musts.

Day 10 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

If you look north of the cathedral (La Seu, or the seat of the bishopric, to Mallorcans) on a map of the city of Palma, you can see around the Plaça Santa Eulàlia a jumble of tiny streets that made up the earliest settlement. Farther out, a ring of wide boulevards traces the fortifications built by the Moors to defend the larger city that emerged by the 12th century. The zigzags mark the bastions that jutted out at regular intervals. By the end of the 19th century, most of the walls had been demolished; the only place where you can still see the massive defenses is at Ses Voltes, along the seafront west of the cathedral.A torrent (streambed) used to run through the middle of the old city, dry for most of the year but often a raging flood in the rainy season. In the 17th century it was diverted to the east, along the moat that ran outside the city walls. Two of Palma's main arteries, La Rambla and the Passeig d'es Born, now follow the stream's natural course. The traditional evening paseo (promenade) takes place on the Born.If you come to Palma by car, park in the garage beneath the Parc de la Mar (the ramp is just off the highway from the airport, as you reach the cathedral) and stroll along the park. Beside it run the huge bastions guarding the Almudaina Palace; the cathedral, golden and massive, rises beyond. Where you exit the garage, there's a ceramic mural by the late Catalan artist and Mallorca resident Joan Miró, facing the cathedral across the pool that runs the length of the park.If you begin early enough, a walk along the ramparts at Ses Voltes from the mirador beside the cathedral is spectacular. The first rays of the sun turn the upper pinnacles of La Seu bright gold and then begin to work their way down the sandstone walls. From the Parc de la Mar, follow Avinguda Antoni Maura past the steps to the palace. Just below the Plaça de la Reina, where the Passeig d'es Born begins, turn left on Carrer de la Boteria into the Plaça de la Llotja (if the Llotja itself is open, don't miss a chance to visit—it's the Mediterranean's finest Gothic-style civic building). From there stroll through the Plaça Drassana to the Museu d'Es Baluard, at the end of Carrer Sant Pere. Retrace your steps to Avinguda Antoni Maura. Walk up the Passeig d'es Born to Plaça Joan Carles I, then right on Avenida de La Unió.

Day 11 Barcelona, Spain

The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.

Day 1 Barcelona, Spain

The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.

Day 2 Cannes, France

Cannes is pampered with the luxurious year-round climate that has made it one of the most popular resorts in Europe. Cannes was an important sentinel site for the monks who established themselves on Île St-Honorat in the Middle Ages. Its bay served as nothing more than a fishing port until in 1834 an English aristocrat, Lord Brougham, fell in love with the site during an emergency stopover with a sick daughter. He had a home built here and returned every winter for a sun cure—a ritual quickly picked up by his peers. Between the popularity of Le Train Blue transporting wealthy passengers from Calais, and the introduction in 1936 of France's first paid holidays, Cannes became the destination, a tasteful and expensive breeding ground for the upper-upscale.Cannes has been further glamorized by the ongoing success of its annual film festival, as famous as Hollywood's Academy Awards. About the closest many of us will get to feeling like a film star is a stroll here along La Croisette, the iconic promenade that gracefully curves the wave-washed sand coastline, peppered with chic restaurants and prestigious private beaches. This is precisely the sort of place for which the French invented the verb flâner (to dawdle, saunter): strewn with palm trees and poseurs, its fancy boutiques and status-symbol grand hotels—including the Carlton, the legendary backdrop to Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief —all vying for the custom of the Louis Vuitton set. This legend is, to many, the heart and soul of the Côte d'Azur. 

Day 3 Livorno, Italy

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence, seeking access to the sea, bought it. Cosimo I (1519–74) started construction of the harbor in 1571, putting Livorno on the map. After Ferdinando I de' Medici (1549–1609) proclaimed Livorno a free city, it became a haven for people suffering from religious persecution; Roman Catholics from England and Jews and Moors from Spain and Portugal, among others, settled here. The Quattro Mori (Four Moors), also known as the Monument to Ferdinando I, commemorates this. (The statue of Ferdinando I dates from 1595, the bronze Moors by Pietro Tacca from the 1620s.)In the following centuries, and particularly in the 18th, Livorno boomed as a port. In the 19th century the town drew a host of famous Britons passing through on their grand tours. Its prominence continued up to World War II, when it was heavily bombed. Much of the town's architecture, therefore, postdates the war, and it's somewhat difficult to imagine what it might have looked like before. Livorno has recovered from the war, however, as it's become a huge point of departure for container ships, as well as the only spot in Tuscany for cruise ships to dock for the day.Most of Livorno's artistic treasures date from the 17th century and aren't all that interesting unless you dote on obscure baroque artists. Livorno's most famous native artist, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), was of much more recent vintage. Sadly, there's no notable work by him in his hometown.There may not be much in the way of art, but it's still worth strolling around the city. The Mercato Nuovo, which has been around since 1894, sells all sorts of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and fish. Outdoor markets nearby are also chock-full of local color. The presence of Camp Darby, an American military base just outside town, accounts for the availability of many American products.If you have time, Livorno is worth a stop for lunch or dinner at the very least.

Day 4 Livorno, Italy

Livorno is a gritty city with a long and interesting history. In the early Middle Ages it alternately belonged to Pisa and Genoa. In 1421 Florence, seeking access to the sea, bought it. Cosimo I (1519–74) started construction of the harbor in 1571, putting Livorno on the map. After Ferdinando I de' Medici (1549–1609) proclaimed Livorno a free city, it became a haven for people suffering from religious persecution; Roman Catholics from England and Jews and Moors from Spain and Portugal, among others, settled here. The Quattro Mori (Four Moors), also known as the Monument to Ferdinando I, commemorates this. (The statue of Ferdinando I dates from 1595, the bronze Moors by Pietro Tacca from the 1620s.)In the following centuries, and particularly in the 18th, Livorno boomed as a port. In the 19th century the town drew a host of famous Britons passing through on their grand tours. Its prominence continued up to World War II, when it was heavily bombed. Much of the town's architecture, therefore, postdates the war, and it's somewhat difficult to imagine what it might have looked like before. Livorno has recovered from the war, however, as it's become a huge point of departure for container ships, as well as the only spot in Tuscany for cruise ships to dock for the day.Most of Livorno's artistic treasures date from the 17th century and aren't all that interesting unless you dote on obscure baroque artists. Livorno's most famous native artist, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), was of much more recent vintage. Sadly, there's no notable work by him in his hometown.There may not be much in the way of art, but it's still worth strolling around the city. The Mercato Nuovo, which has been around since 1894, sells all sorts of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and fish. Outdoor markets nearby are also chock-full of local color. The presence of Camp Darby, an American military base just outside town, accounts for the availability of many American products.If you have time, Livorno is worth a stop for lunch or dinner at the very least.

Day 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 Valletta, Malta

Malta's capital, the minicity of Valletta, has ornate palaces and museums protected by massive fortifications of honey-color limestone. Houses along the narrow streets have overhanging wooden balconies for people-watching from indoors. Generations ago they gave housebound women a window on the world of the street. The main entrance to town is through the City Gate (where all bus routes end), which leads onto Triq Repubblika (Republic Street), the spine of the grid-pattern city and the main shopping street. Triq Mercante (Merchant Street) parallels Repubblika to the east and is also good for strolling. From these two streets, cross streets descend toward the water; some are stepped. Valletta's compactness makes it ideal to explore on foot. City Gate and the upper part of Valletta are experiencing vast redevelopment that includes a new Parliament Building and open-air performance venue. The complex, completed mid-2013, has numerous pedestrian detours in place along with building noise and dust. Before setting out along Republic Street, stop at the tourist information office on Merchant Street for maps and brochures.

Day 9 Cagliari, Italy

Known in Sardinia as Casteddu, the island's capital has steep streets and impressive Italianate architecture, from modern to medieval. This city of nearly 160,000 people is characterized by a busy commercial center and waterfront with broad avenues and arched arcades, as well as by the typically narrow streets of the old hilltop citadel (called, simply, “Castello”). The Museo Archeologico makes a good starting point to a visit. The imposing Bastione di Saint Remy and Mercato di San Benedetto (one of the best fish markets in Italy) are both musts.

Day 10 Palma de Mallorca, Spain

If you look north of the cathedral (La Seu, or the seat of the bishopric, to Mallorcans) on a map of the city of Palma, you can see around the Plaça Santa Eulàlia a jumble of tiny streets that made up the earliest settlement. Farther out, a ring of wide boulevards traces the fortifications built by the Moors to defend the larger city that emerged by the 12th century. The zigzags mark the bastions that jutted out at regular intervals. By the end of the 19th century, most of the walls had been demolished; the only place where you can still see the massive defenses is at Ses Voltes, along the seafront west of the cathedral.A torrent (streambed) used to run through the middle of the old city, dry for most of the year but often a raging flood in the rainy season. In the 17th century it was diverted to the east, along the moat that ran outside the city walls. Two of Palma's main arteries, La Rambla and the Passeig d'es Born, now follow the stream's natural course. The traditional evening paseo (promenade) takes place on the Born.If you come to Palma by car, park in the garage beneath the Parc de la Mar (the ramp is just off the highway from the airport, as you reach the cathedral) and stroll along the park. Beside it run the huge bastions guarding the Almudaina Palace; the cathedral, golden and massive, rises beyond. Where you exit the garage, there's a ceramic mural by the late Catalan artist and Mallorca resident Joan Miró, facing the cathedral across the pool that runs the length of the park.If you begin early enough, a walk along the ramparts at Ses Voltes from the mirador beside the cathedral is spectacular. The first rays of the sun turn the upper pinnacles of La Seu bright gold and then begin to work their way down the sandstone walls. From the Parc de la Mar, follow Avinguda Antoni Maura past the steps to the palace. Just below the Plaça de la Reina, where the Passeig d'es Born begins, turn left on Carrer de la Boteria into the Plaça de la Llotja (if the Llotja itself is open, don't miss a chance to visit—it's the Mediterranean's finest Gothic-style civic building). From there stroll through the Plaça Drassana to the Museu d'Es Baluard, at the end of Carrer Sant Pere. Retrace your steps to Avinguda Antoni Maura. Walk up the Passeig d'es Born to Plaça Joan Carles I, then right on Avenida de La Unió.

Day 11 Barcelona, Spain

The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs has up-to-date advice for Irish citizens on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more security, local laws, health, passport and visa information see https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ and follow dfatravelwise