Mediterranean Idyll: Rome to Nice

Explore layers upon layers of civilizations preserved in Mediterranean islands as you cruise aboard Arethusa.

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 View of Pompeii and Mt. Etna  Wall painting found in Pompeii  Remains of a shop along the street in Pompeii  The Greek temple of Segesta, Sicily  Landscape found on Sardinia near Arbatax  The limestone cliffs of Corsica's Bonifacio  The legendary tower of Pisa

The islands off the coast of Italy and France provide an ideal summer cruise for “island hopping” and in-depth exploration of the broad history and cultures of these two countries. Board our small yacht and cruise the Tyrrhenian Sea, where you’ll discover dramatic sites in Sardinia, renowned for its Neolithic history, and the Greek temple of Segesta in Sicily, an area that once rivaled Athens in power. You’ll walk through the well-preserved city of Pompeii, which captures life in the ancient Roman Empire perhaps better than any other site in the world. On Corsica, visit the picturesque town of Bonifacio, its Gothic architecture sited on white limestone cliffs facing the dark turquoise sea, and in Pisa, gaze upon the breathtaking Gothic cathedral and Leaning Tower. On the island of Elba, you’ll also visit Napoleon Bonaparte’s home, Villa dei Mulini. Join us this summer to explore the layers of civilizations preserved in these Mediterranean islands.


July 26-27 — U.S., Rome, Italy, Anzio, Embark

Fly from the U.S. to Rome, Italy. Arrive Rome, transfer to Anzio, and embark Arethusa. (D)

July 28 — Sorrento, Pompeii

This morning we visit Pompeii, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. No other place so completely captures life in the ancient Roman Empire. Tour highlights include the Forum, the Temples of Apollo and Jupiter, and the Stabian Baths, the best-preserved and most complete in Pompeii. (B, L, D)

July 29  — Trapani, Sicily, Erice, Segesta

Drive up winding roads to the medieval town of Erice. The town was known for its temple to the fertility goddess, Astarte. Look around the 12th-century Venus Castle and continue to Segesta for a visit to its magnificent Doric temple, built in 420 B.C. and among the best-preserved ancient Greek sites. (B, L, D)

July 30 — Arbatax, Sardinia

Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean, is rich with wild natural beauty, including idyllic beaches, dense forests, and rocky grottoes. Enjoy a ride through spectacular scenery of rolling hills and deep valleys en route to the town of Santa Maria Navarrese, where we visit the 11th-century Little Church. See the Nuraghe Loppelie on the way back to Arbatax, where we will view the Saracen watchtower. (B, L, D)

July 31 — Bonifacio, Corsica, France

Be on deck as we navigate the narrow waterway that leads to Bonifacio. Built on spectacular high cliffs on Corsica's south coast, Bonifacio is undoubtedly one of the Mediterranean's most notable landmarks. Stroll through the striking town, with its winding medieval lanes and brightly colored houses adorned with imaginative family crests. Admire the fine Gothic architecture and dramatic scenery from the limestone cliffs, facing the sea. (B, L, D)

August 1 — Portoferraio, Elba, Italy

We call at Portoferraio, the main harbor of the island of Elba, most famous as the place of Napoleon Bonaparte's exile (1814-1815). While on the island we will visit Villa dei Mulini, Napoleon's home, which preserves artifacts of the emperor, and which enjoys splendid views of the sea from the grounds. (B, L, D)

August 2 — Viareggio, Lucca, Pisa

From the lovely seaside resort of Viareggio, this morning we visit Lucca, home to one of the finest collections of Romanesque churches and medieval palaces. In the afternoon we head to Pisa to visit the magnificent Cathedral, Baptistery, and Campanile, or Leaning Tower. (B, L, D)

August 3 — Nice, France, Disembark

Disembark and transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)