Mediterranean Splendors Voyage
Dynamic Barcelona is all about architecture, from the magnificent medieval buildings of the Gothic Quarter to the Modernist movement typified by the work of Antoni Gaudi. Though his materials were stone and metal, his forms were organic, awash in curves, swirls, and colors. His masterpiece is the amazing Church of the Sagrada Familia, colossal and as yet unfinished, though construction began in 1882.A contemporary contribution to the scene is Ricardo Bofill's post modernist National Theater of Catalonia, an imaginative combination of classical and modern design, with a greenhouse-like lobby.
Old World charm meets modern architectural genius in Valencia. Gothic riches abound in the palaces and mansions of a 15th century golden age. The Cathedral has a more recent, and opulent, baroque facade, and the Silk Exchange sports an exterior resembling a medieval fortress and a main hall filled with palm-tree-shaped columns and enigmatic carvings.Prepare to be stunned by the innovative and avant-garde buildings of the new millennium. The City of Arts and Sciences, by world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava, is a dazzling cultural complex set in a sunken park, the likes of which you have never seen before.
Mountainous Ibiza is known as Isla Blanca, the White Island, perhaps because of the dazzling white walls of the traditional houses and churches that make up the small villages dotting its landscape. Its atmosphere is reminiscent of Greek islands, making it unique among the Balearic Isles, and its rustic beauty attracts artists, as well photo and film shoots.Once you've explored the sights of the island, be sure to take a nap and rest up for the evening's festivities: Ibiza’s nightlife is legendary, and not to be missed.
Monte-Carlo is a place with a reputation that’s far bigger than its mere 0.76 square miles. It’s the kind of place where professional athletes, royals, socialites, and Bond villains (or the actors who play them) rub elbows while searching for elusive lady luck. Come prepared to be amazed by the opulence, by the breathtaking beautiful surroundings, and for some of the finest people watching this side of the Atlantic.
This charming resort community is the perfect place to indulge in some well-deserved relaxation. Nevertheless, you’ll still want to bring your walking shoes, since there’s a gorgeous walking district where you can see glamorous old hotels and dramatic forts overlooking the sea. Don’t miss Castello di Santa Margherita, a castle built in 1550 by the Republic of Genoa as a defense against pirate attacks. The main city square, Piazza Mazzini, is lined with colorful palaces just begging to be Instagrammed.
The list of illustrious names connected with this city is mind-boggling: Botticelli, Dante, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo. Other colorful and fascinating characters were of dubious reputation: Machiavelli, and the religious extremist Savonarola, with his bonfire of the vanities. For many years the city was ruled by the powerful Medici family, patrons of the arts and bankers to the papacy, whose line included six kings and two popes.
Rome has something special to offer to all visitors, no matter their interests and tastes. Whether you daydream about fighting with gladiators in the Coliseum, debating with togaed senators in the Forum, tossing a coin in a fabled fountain, or being awestruck by the magnificence of St. Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s masterpieces, Rome seems to live up to its sobriquet as the Eternal City.