Sail from the glitter of Monte Carlo to the pizzazz of Portovenere to the magnifience of Florence, where you’ll stay overnight to experience some of the most dazzling art in the world. Stop by the Accademia Gallery to take in Michelangelo’s “David,” marvel at Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation” at the Uffizi Gallery, and don’t forget to see the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile while admiring the Duomo at Piazza del Duomo.
When you’re finished, head to the Piazza Santo Spirito for the other treasures of Florence: spaghetti with nothing but fresh tomatoes and basil and aperitivos in the tiny bars that spill onto the square beneath the façade of Brunelleschi’s basilica.
Then, get ready for glamour on the Isle of Capri – via the cliffside town of Sorrento and its beautiful harbors. After a short hydrofoil ride, you’ll find yourself immersed in Italian luxury in Capri and centuries-old history in Anacapri. See the enchanting Blue Grotto, or explore Casa Rossa – a red villa with lovely paintings of the island and amazing views of the islands nearby. If time permits, visit Pompeii.
Then, it’s on to Sorrento for an overnight stay and a chance to sample Azamara’s “Cruise Global, Nights Local: Champagne Sunset over Capri.” Raise a glass of Champagne as sunset hues dance upon the water and blanket the island of Capri, bidding you a goodnight and a fond farewell to this voyage.
*Book by November 30th and receive a Double Upgrade: A Club Veranda for the price of a Club Interior
COMPLIMENTARY AZAMAZING EVENING
Three Renowned Tenors at the Goldoni Theatre! Feel the romance of the Italian Opera wash over you during an exclusive evening performance at the Goldoni Theatre, featuring three renowned tenors.
AAA MEMBER BENEFIT
- $200 Per Stateroom onboard credit
- Cruise accommodations
- Meals and entertainment
- Special AzAmazing Evening
- Select standard spirits, international beers, and wines
- Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees, and teas
- Self-service laundry
- Shuttle service to and from port communities, where available
- Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations
Embarkation – Nice, France
With colorful buildings, palm-lined boulevards, and a harbor of turquoise blue, you may feel like you’ve somehow stepped into a living painting when you arrive in Nice. In fact, the clear air and soft light of the city has inspired artistic greats like Chagall and Matisse—both of whom have museums dedicated to their works here.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
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, the breathtakingly-beautiful surroundings, and some of the finest people watching this side of the Atlantic.
The Grand Casino is not to be missed, even for non-gamblers. Let it ride, bet it all on black, or simply marvel at the decadence and luxury around you.
Not into burning money? How about burning rubber? The prestigious Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix race has been held here since 1929. Get the authentic experience by renting a performance car to take you for a spin around the route if you’re not here to see the real thing.
After your thrill ride, take a walk through the medieval village known as “The Rock,” in the heart of Monte Carlo. If you happen to end up in France, don’t worry. Simply cross the street and you’ll be back across the border faster than you can say “jackpot”.
When you picture classic Italian romance, the setting could be Portovenere. Set on the Gulf of Poets (Golfo dei Poeti), Portovenere served as inspiration for the works of English poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelley in the early 1800s, which speaks volumes for just how romantic this idyllic seaside village really is.
Stroll along winding cobblestone streets to San Pietro Church, which sits upon a site that’s believed to have once been a temple to Venus (or Venere in Italian), which is where Portovenere got its name. Look up and you’ll see the imposing Doria Castle, which was built by the Genoans to loom over Portovenere like a dark, menacing storm cloud (although the view from the site is anything but gloomy!). Meander along the harbor promenade lined with colorful houses and restaurants serving freshly-caught seafood, or enjoy a glass of vino at one of the waterfront bars.
Days Four and Five:
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
Ah, Florence. This is the sublime birthplace of the Renaissance, its historic center full-to-bursting with elegant squares, imposing palaces, magnificent churches, and museums with such an abundance of riches, it could make an art lover weep for joy.
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 more dubious reputation, like 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.
Corsica (Ajaccio), France
While he may have been notoriously-small, Napoléon left a huge mark on his hometown of Ajaccio. The diminutive dictator’s presence is visible throughout the city in everything from his childhood home, the Maison Bonaparte, to museums like Salon Napoléonien, seaside statues, and street names.
History buffs aren’t the only ones who will find plenty to see and do in Ajaccio. Art lovers will want to head to the Palais Fesch Musée de Beaux Arts to see the largest collection of Italian Renaissance paintings in France (outside of the Louvre, of course), and foodies should check out the main market on Boulevard du Roi Jerome for myrtle and plum liqueurs, melt-in-your-mouth beignets (sugared donuts), and brocciu, a type of pungent cheese.
On the trendy route de Sanguinaires, stock up on French beauty secrets found in the many apothecaries and traditional pharmacies, where you’ll find handmade soaps and lotions made from fragrant herbs like honeysuckle, lavender, and thyme.
In a desirable location on the stunning Costa Smeralda, Olbia has been inhabited since the 8th century, BC, but a recent archaeological discovery of 24 shipwrecks – two of them from the age of Nero – has landed it in the spotlight.
The name Olbia means “happy town,” though its past has been somewhat difficult as the city was destroyed and rebuilt many times throughout its history. Of course, that makes it all the more interesting, as every empire that came and went has left something of value behind for you to see.
Days Eight and Nine:
With its many pedestrian-only streets, Sorrento is a lovely city to explore on foot, but there’s no way around it: If you really want to see Sorrento, you’re going to have to travel vertically. Most of the town is set up on the cliffs. To get to the top, hop on a mini-bus, take the lift, or go on a short but steep hike.
Love to eat? You’ll find the dining experience here second-to-none. Lemon is the star, and it’s in everything: risotto, olive oil, gelato, and, of course, limoncello. If your mouth gets tired of puckering up, enjoy a dinner of Gnocchi alla Sorrentina – pillowy potato dumplings baked in a cheesy tomato sauce. This is Italian comfort food at its finest.
Looking out from Sorrento is the isle of Capri in the Gulf of Naples. Well-known for its sparkling Blue Grotto, it’s the playground of the rich and famous and is easily reached via a short hydrofoil.
The island is divided into Capri and Anacapri, with Capri full of Italian luxury, designer stores, and five-star hotels and Anacapri slightly more down-to-earth. Take a relaxing chair lift ride to the very top of the island to experience jaw-droppingly gorgeous views.
Disembarkation – Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Consider adding a stay in Rome to the end of your cruise vacation. Rome has something special to offer all visitors, no matter their interests or tastes. Whether you daydream about fighting with gladiators in the Coliseum, debating with senators in togas in the Forum, tossing a coin in a fabled fountain, or spending your day sipping wine and feasting on pasta, you’ll find it all in this glorious ancient city.
*Pricing is per person, double occupancy, and subject to availability. Air is additional. Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional and subject to change. DOUBLE UPGRADE: Promotion allows guests to book Club Veranda staterooms at Club Interior stateroom prices (category 12). Bookings must be made in desired category, which will be priced at the lower fare after the valid promotion is selected. Offer applies to bookings created September 1- November 30, 2017 (“Offer Period”). Offer also applies to other select sailings departing on or after April 20, 2018. Offer may not be available on all categories on all sailings. Offer is subject to availability, may change without notice, and may be withdrawn at any time. Azamara reserves the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies, or omissions and to change or update fares, fees, and surcharges at any time without prior notice. Certain restrictions apply. Ship’s registry: Malta