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Nice is undoubtedly the place for the opening up of art and culture. The Côte d'Azur has inspired, from time immemorial, the greatest painters, writers and musicians. It has compelled recognition of its avant-garde across the Atlantic, its museums are holding prestigious collections in edifices of renowned architecture. Nice is full of an extraordinary artistic and cultural heritage. The gentle way of life sustains the imaginary world of artists and stimulates their creativeness. A cultural and aesthetic atmosphere prevails here; the cultural life is intense. It is punctuated by temporary exhibitions in the museums and the municipal galleries, by the programming of the theatres of which the most important is the Theatre of Nice - National Dramatic Centre - directed by Jacques Weber. The Opera House of Nice's Theatre proposes events of great quality.
Set in the heart of one of the world's most beautiful bays, Villefranche-sur-Mer sits on the steps of a natural amphitheatre - the terraced hills of the Riviera - gazing out over the sea. The plentiful sunshine of the Côte d'Azur, reflected in the enclosed bay, has given Villefranche-sur-Mer a warmth and climate all of its own and its famous rich, exotic vegetation. Long a spectator to centuries of history, Villefranche-sur-Mer has welcomed civilzations and has a rich heritage to show for it: the old city with its picturesque narrow streets, the mysterious "Rue Obscure", the Chapel Saint-Pierre, decorated by Cocteau, the fortified Port, and, last but not least, the magnificent Citadel built in 1557 by the Duke of Savoy. Today, those massive and majestic walls harbour the Town Hall, an open air theatre surrounded by gardens, three museums and a Congress Centre. Villefranche-sur-Mer is a rich and growing city situated very closely to Nice and Monaco. It is a city with very special character, and the warmth and charm of a fishing village from a bygone age.
Glitz and glamour are the two key-words to St. Tropez’s reputation. Set like a jewel in the crown of the Mediterranean, St. Tropez has long been a mecca to artists and the summer vacationers alike, who are drawn to the picturesque setting and the old-world charm of the town’s architecture. In the 1920s, St. Tropez became a fashion headquarters and an international playground, an association that has hardly been dispelled with time.
Picturesquely situated in a narrow cove on Italy's northern coast lies enchanting Portofino. This Pearl of the Mediterranean has been a favored gathering place for the elite who appreciate the charm and intimacy of the cliff-lined harbor. Overlooking rocky coastline, quaint Portofino surprises with incredible views of Gulf of Rapallo and surrounding hillsides. The church of San Giorgio offers a beautiful view of the resort and harbor. More extensive views are available from Fortezza de San Giorgio. In 1935, the city government of Genoa declared Portofino a national monument. Visitors enjoy the unique ambiance, chic boutiques and quaint cafes that overlook the small yacht harbor and line narrow, cobbled streets. Others explore the surrounding coastline, where tiny villages are tucked away in hidden coves. Don't miss out on a favorite pastime - people-watching while relaxing in an outdoor cafe. The boutiques and designer shops tempt with chic resortwear and Italian designer clothing. Two miles from Portofino is Paraggi, with a sparkling cove good for a swim.
This tiny town on the Italian Riviera was strategically planned at the tip of a rocky peninsula overlooking the Gulf of La Spezia. Its 12th-century tall, narrow houses climb precipitously up the hillside from the sea. Portovenere is built on different levels; visitors enjoy strolling through the narrow streets, delighting in the town's unique ambiance. From Portovenere it is possible to explore the ruggedly beautiful Ligurian villages of Cinque Terre. With their steep-walled coastal cliffs, the villages of these "Five Lands" are perched high above the sea, commanding spectacular views. The 13th-century San Pietro church stands above a grotto named after Lord Byron. Brightly painted with black and white stripes, this striking landmark can be spotted from far out at sea. From the terrace enjoy a spectacular panorama of the Gulf of La Spezia and the hills of Cinque Terre.
Portoferraio, with its lemon-yellow buildings, is among the most elegant of the old Mediterranean ports. Beyond the town lies an island of great natural beauty. The hills are covered with pine forests and the scent of wildflowers fills the air; discover the island's medieval and Napoleonic history on a countryside tour.
The small gem of a city Porto Ercole is anchored in Monte Argentario peninsula and enveloped by a blanket of beautiful sand and rock beaches. Porto Ercole is a perfect getaway spot for those interested in traveling to nearby towns and historic sites for touring or art visits. From here, Siena, Tarquinia, San Gimignano (to name only a few of Porto Ercole's neighbors) lie nearby. The highlights contained inside the town walls include the 16th century Palazzo Consani, located in Piazza Santa Barbara, and the old parish church of San Erasmo, which continues to offer sacred protection to sailors. The whole city is dominated by a fortress (la Rocca), which looms over the port and bay and which was architecturally designed by Giovanni Camerini. Two other forts erected in Porto Ercole are Fort Stella and Fort Filippo. Fort Stella dominates a large area located at the back of the port, and is named for its geometrical form of a star (which houses a hexagonal interior courtyard). Fort Filippo is a formidable structure originally built with the best military architecture of its time.
Civitavecchia is the port city for Rome. Rome has always been and remains the Eternal City. With its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafés and elegant shops, Rome is one of the world’s most attractive cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Colosseum where spectators watched combats between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals. Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once a political and commercial center. Rome’s squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di Trevi. Awe at Christendom’s most magnificent church, the Sistine Chapel. The busy square Piazza Venezia is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. Take a stroll to Rome's famous Trevi Fountain. Vatican City is the site of lovely St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica, where for 200 years, Renaissance masters worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Visit Vatican Museum.
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
Fares are per person, based on double occupancy. Government, port, document issuance, handling & service fees, transfers and airfare (unless otherwise stated) are additional for all guests.
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4801 Woodway Suite 400W
Houston, TX 77056
4801 Woodway Suite 400W Houston, TX 77056
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00pm (CST)
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