Sailing north through the Adriatic Sea from the tip of Greece.
Vathy Village is the capital and main harbor of Ithaca since the 16th century. Current population is approximately 2000. Some interesting sites are the beautiful houses of G. Karavias and G. Drakoulis- one of the wealthiest families of Vathy, the restored (after a 1953 earthquake) cathedral dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin, the Archaeological museum that houses a collection of various findings from the Geometric period (Mycenaean and Corinthian period) and more.
Corfu town (Kerkyre) is Venice and Naples, a touch of France and more than a dash of England, apart of course from being Greek' - Countess Flamburiari.
The town is a maze of narrow streets dominated by the 16th century fortress. Around every corner you can find a chapel, old mansion or secret garden square. The café at the Liston: built by the French in the same style as those in Rue de Rivoli, Paris; is probably the place to 'people watch' while enjoying a Ginger beer.
The narrow streets radiating off from the Liston, house small shops of every commercial nature. Dominated by the 'gold shops'. Corfiot craftsmen excel at designing and making Greek jewelry in gold - this coupled with competitive prices may tempt you.
Among the bustle, look out for those shops and stalls selling local items like wild honey, fig cakes and handmade lace.
Facing the Liston Esplanade is the Old Fort which was built between the 6th & 19th centuries. It was built on a man made island and has some stunning architecture.
During the summer there are nightly musical performances of Sound & Light. (The second world war British hospital at the center of the fort has now been turned into a music school.) The fort is worth a visit during the day but only for those that enjoy a historical hot day out.
Framed by dense green forests of allepo pine and twisted cypress, the red tile roofs of Korcula make an inviting picture that makes you want to see more of this charming island town whose most famous native son was Marco Polo. The pale wheat colored stone Cathedral of St. Mark houses a treasure trove of Dalmatian and Italian art, including works by Tintoretto and Titian. Walk through the towering Land Gate for a great view of the town, try a traditional Korcula dish, spinning-wheel fettucini. And if you're lucky, you may witness Korcula's thrilling Moreska Sword Dance.
The pretty city of Split has a rich history. Since ancient times it has, in various guises, served as the economic and administrative center of the beautiful Dalmatian coastal region, on the Adriatic Sea. The city is situated on a peninsula on the island of Ciovo, although it has in more recent times spread onto the mainland and encompasses the mouth of the Cetina River. From as early as the 5th century BC, Greek colonists settled the mainland and adjacent islands. Later, came the Romans, in particular Emperor Diocletian, who built a huge palace at Salona, in 303 AD. A town grew up around the palace, and by the Middle Ages, the city of Split began to develop. Diocletian's Palace still stands in the very heart of Old Split, which charms visitors with its cobbled streets. The greater Split area is characterized by lush vegetation and green areas, particularly Marjan Hill with its ancient indigenous forest. The city makes an ideal base from which to explore the islands along the Adriatic coast and historic villages in central Dalmatia.
Rovinj is one of the most developed seaside resorts in Croatia, offering a whole range of visitor opportunities in a picturesque ambience of the ancient town, surrounded by luxuriant pine forests (the cape of Zlatni Rt is designated as a park forest, while the coast and islands of Rovinj are set aside as a protected landscape). The beginning of tourism was marked by the introduction of a steamship line between Rovinj and Trieste (1845) and the construction of the railroad to Vienna (1876). In 1896 the town had a well-maintained public beach, Val di Lone. The year 1888 may be considered the official beginning of tourism in Rovinj, when the health resort Maria Theresia was opened in the town. This oldest institution of that kind on the Adriatic coast was established by the Viennese society for the establishment and development of maritime health resorts. The health resort was visited by children from the entire Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and other countries. The development of tourism was continued with the construction of Hotel Jadran (today Centar), which was built before the First World War by the Society for the Construction of the First Hotel in Rovinj, to meet the needs of an increasing number of tourists and eminent persons who spent their vacations in Rovinj. The Polish count Ignac-Karol Korwin Milewsky bought the island of Sveta Katarina in 1905, carried out its afforestation and built two castles. In 1890 Baron Georg von Hüterodt purchased the island of Sveti Andrija and turned its former monastery building into a hotel; the island thus became the favourite seaside resort of the Austro-Hungarian clientele.
Venice hardly needs any introduction, famed as it is throughout the world as a city of incomparable beauty. Venice is the heart and soul of romance. Cast your eye on the rounded domes of San Marco, take a deep breath at the Bridge of Sighs, gaze on the golden lions and the Renaissance glories of the Doge's Palace, listen for the ghosts of Verdi, Puccini and Caruso at La Fenice Opera House, gape at the classic Palladian proportions of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, glide in a gondola down the Grand Canal. And know that love is always in the air in Venice. For centuries,Venice stood at the crossroads of culture between the Byzantine and Roman worlds. The city the great traders and philosophers created is an extraordinary place, unique in all the world. Great works of art are housed here, in the Accademia with its Renaissance masters and the collection of Peggy Guggenheim in her canal-side palazzo. Follow where your feet take you, over romantic bridges, to shops selling precious glass, to small cafés for a cappuccino or Campari.
Built on mud banks, which extend into the tidal waters of the Adriatic, Venice was once a great maritime power ruled by its doges, and a place of plot, intrigue and decadence. A city of water and of light, with an atmosphere which is at once fascinating and disturbing, its fragile fabric of canals and palazzi, churches, alleyways and campi has somehow survived the threats of both flood and mass tourism, and remarkably little has changed throughout the centuries.
The public boats called vaporetti and motoscafi run almost constantly, and you'll seldom have to wait more than a few minutes for one to come along. The waterbus you'll use most often is the No. 1, the local that stops 13 times between the Piazzale Roma and the Piazza San Marco. The gondolas of Venice are beautiful but expensive. Gondoliers often demand more money for less time, so strike a deal in advance.
St Mark’s Square is really the heart of Venice, mostly because of its location on the banks of the Grand Canal, and because of the great number of beautiful, historical monuments located there. The piazza St. Marco is the only square that is called a Piazza, the others are simply called "campo".
Over the centuries, diseases have contributed mightily to great art and architecture. The church of Santa Maria della Salute is a case in point. In October of 1630, after nearly a third of Venice's 150,000 citizens had been killed by plague, the Venetian Senate made an offer to God: "Stop the plague, and we'll build a church to honor the Virgin Mary." Whatever the reason, the plague was stopped in its tracks. The Venetian authorities honored their promise by giving the Virgin a prime chunk of real estate near the tip of Dorsoduro, where the Grand Canal merged with St. Mark's Basin.
For a long time, it was said that the Bridge of Sighs was a place where lovers met. Actually, the bridge was intended to link two parallel passages: one for prisoners and one for magistrates. The Rialto Bridge is always full of pedestrians climbing up and down the stairways, and a wonderful place to watch and photograph the constant activity of boats on the Grand Canal. The single span balustrade bridge has two parallel rows of tightly packed shops, selling jewelry, leather, masks, silk and souvenirs.