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Mar 1 2013

Cruise Spotlight: The Best of Spain & Italy!

Mediterranean Cruise Spotlight: Spain & Italy!

Ready to travel to one of the most beautiful and romantic regions in the world? From the historic attractions, delectable cuisines, and breathtaking scenery, see why Spain and Italy are top countries to visit on a Mediterranean cruise vacation!

SPAIN – Experience Culture From Bite To Sight

From Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca, every area of Spain is brimming with cultural experiences and sights. While you sail on your 7+ night Mediterranean cruise, make sure you check out these must-try foods and highlights that have made Spain a favorite vacation destination!

Cuisine

Spain is recognized for its delicious fare that include the country’s famous tapas, sangria, and paella that you’ll be able to sample during your visit to a Spain port-of-call. Tapas are a variety of warm and cold appetizer dishes often served with drinks with the means of socializing and are found throughout Spain. Don’t let the size of these small dishes fool you – they are bursting with flavors like sharp cheeses, aromatic olive oils, assorted pickles, and savory cured meats. In the Southern regions of Spain, try the refreshing cold tomato soup, Gazpacho, a refreshing meal during the warm weathered months. Paella, a traditional slow-cooked rice dish baked with flavors of saffron, fresh seafood, and chorizo, originates in the region of Valencia and is a must-try while in Spain. Complete your meal with a nice refreshing glass of fruit-infused Sangria for the perfect Spanish cuisine experience during your Mediterranean cruise!


Attractions

The lively culture of Spain is a great way to experience history, sightseeing, and even sports! Many cruises visit the city of Barcelona, which hosts plenty of architectural wonders that will leave you in awe, street after street. Discover Gaudi’s unfinished La Sagrada Familia cathedral, the famous boulevard La Rambla, the charming narrow seafront streets of the Gothic Quarter, or catch some exciting ‘futbol’ at Barcelona’s famous stadium Camp Nou! Vacationers seeking a Mediterranean beach scene may travel to the sunny city of Valencia for soft golden sand, well conserved historical sites, and spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. If you have a couple of days to spare in Valencia, check out the City of Arts and Sciences, a modern architectural marvel made up of seven building complexes housing museums and one of the largest aquariums in Europe. In addition to being one of Europe’s favorite island resorts, travelers to Palma De Mallorca can see medieval military architecture and the Caves of Drach, the mysterious caverns of Mediterranean sea-formed rock and limestone formations with an underground lake. Add Spain to your travel bucket list if you haven’t already visited yet for a world of awe-dropping culture and history!

ITALY – Taste & See ‘La Bella Vita’

 Discover Italy’s finest including the country's bold Italian flavors, architectural marvels, and romantic sites on your next 7+ night Mediterranean cruise vacation!

Cuisine

Travel throughout Italy on various Mediterranean cruise itineraries and taste the country’s regionally distinct and delectable food and wine. The peaceful landscapes and rich soils of Italy offer visitors a great array of wineries to choose from. Pay a visit to the Northern vineyards in Veneto, prized for making prosecco and world-ranked red wines. Tuscany, located in central Italy, is home to some of the world’s most notable wine regions, famous for their Sangiovese, Montepulciano, and Chianti varietals. Many can agree that the style and ingredients used in Italian cuisine differentiates the Northern and Southern parts of Italy. Taste heartier and creamier dishes like stuffed pastas and risotto in the North; Piedmont is specifically a popular area for cuisine and is the region that produces a wide variety of scrumptious cow-milk cheeses. South Italy’s dishes tend to include more robust tomato and herb-based recipes with fruits and vegetables. Visit the region of Campania for their famous fresh mozzarella, authentic spaghetti dishes, and fresh seafood recipes. To try authentic pizza, head to where it originated from – Naples, which is also a popular port-of-call in the Campania region! Pair the mouthwatering regional specialties with the local wines for the most authentic Italian meal you cannot taste anywhere else.

Attractions

From ancient ruins to romantic waterways, there is plenty to see and do in Italy when you hop from one city to another on a Mediterranean cruise vacation! One of the most frequented cities is Rome, which holds architectural masterpieces and rich history in every corner. If your cruise itinerary includes a visit to Civitavecchia, you are only a short bus ride away to this magnificent and popular city! Visit the well-preserved ancient Pantheon building, circle the Colosseum, explore the Vatican City, or people-watch at the romantic Trevi Fountain. Travel to the Northern city of Venice, a unique city built on a lagoon, where you can take a ride on a gondola, tour Venetian art, or visit the glorious piazza San Marco. The gorgeous blue waters and white-sand coasts of the port-of-call Cagliari (Sardinia) makes this second largest island in the Mediterranean a popular destination for beach seekers and water sporting adventurers. Whether you are looking for history, romance, or all, Italy will surely satisfy any wanderlust for cruise travelers!

 Are you ready for your getaway to Spain or Italy? Contact an Avoya Travel Specialist today to get started!

What are your favorite Mediterranean ports-of-call to visit on a cruise vacation?