Impressions of an Adriatic Adventure

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Nicole Markley aboard Sea Cloud II

Staff member Nicole Markley recently completed her first assignment as an Arrangements Abroad Tour Director. Cruising from Venice to Valletta aboard Sea Cloud II, she traveled with seasoned Tour Directors Clive Porter and Claudia Cumbo. Nicole says she was particularly impressed by travelers’ dedication to experiencing new places and learning about the art, history, and culture of the destinations. “Whether guests were on a walking tour in Lecce on a rainy day or aboard the ship, they hung on every word of our expert lecturers and local guides.” A manager in the Operations Department, Nicole is currently helping develop our 2016 Adriatic cruise.

Adriatic Odyssey Aboard Sea Cloud II
A Journey Into Antiquity
October 14 to 23, 2016
With Met curator Stephan Wolohojian and horticulturist Patrick Bowe
Please click to view brochure

Fun Fall Festivals

By Anastasia Mills Healy

Fall is a perfect time to travel – the summer crowds have dissipated, the weather is fine and festivals celebrating everything from ice cream to opera are in full swing.

Sherbeth festivalIce cream lovers unite every year in the beautiful, small seaside town of Cefalù, on Sicily’s north coast, for the Sherbeth Festival , this year September 6 to 9. In 2011 more than 250,000 people consumed 55,000 pounds of gelato and sorbetto (sherbet). Grab your spoons!

As if the harbor of Dubrovnik weren’t gorgeous enough, October 5 to 7 it will be filled with sailboats during the Dubrovnik Regatta.

At the Shanghai International Arts Festival, October 18 to November 18, arts lovers can see Chinese opera masters interpreting Beijing opera classics; “La Traviata” performed by the Stuttgart Ballet; and young Italian vocalists performing with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.

Leave it to the French to put on a wine festival with children’s events. The release of Beaujolais Nouveau occurs at the strike of midnight on the third Thursday in November and is fêted throughout France. The best-known of these celebrations is Les Sarmentelles, held in Beaujeu, the capital of Beaujolais, November 14-18 this year. While Junior is entertained with a train ride and magic show, Mom and Dad can kick up their heels to live music, eat in peace and taste, taste, taste.

Cyclamen RallyFounded to create friendship among all populations of Cyprus, the Cyclamen Rally follows a route from the medieval castle in Limassol to the mountain village of Platres. Lovingly preserved classic cars hug the winding roads November 24-25 and drivers are encouraged to take their time and visit parts of the island that are less known to them.

The Stone Beauty

By Anastasia Mills Healy

The word “Trogir” sounds like the name of a fearsome Tolkien troll king and its ancient Greek meaning, “isle of goats,” does it no favors either. But the Croatian town of Trogir enchants visitors with its small island charm and meticulously preserved buildings that tell its 2,300-year history.

The Greeks first settled this island in the third century B.C.E. and its nearly uninterrupted human occupation since, with architectural vestiges from many eras of rule (including Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian), earned this delightful spot a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is unusual to find a gathering of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, all beautifully maintained, within such a small radius. But Trogir is not only remarkable for its edifices: urban planners are fascinated by how the streets still follow their original grid and that its two main roads have been in use since the town began.

Trogir city view

Meander through Trogir’s narrow, winding streets, lined with churches and palaces. Of particular note is the main square with its medieval loggia and clock tower, the graceful façade of Cipko Palace and the pièce de resistance, St. Lawrence Cathedral.  The cathedral’s western door is an outstanding Romanesque work by the famous Croatian architect and sculptor Radovan. Study his masterful carvings: scenes from the Nativity, the life of Christ, and Adam and Eve on either side of the door, both perched on lions.

After exploring the highlights of Trogir, linger over a coffee, an ice cream or a lunch of freshly caught fish at one of the cafes dotting the waterfront promenade. As you sit back and admire the homes and streets built from ancient sun-soaked stones, with their exquisite architectural details, you will understand why locals call Trogir “The Stone Beauty.”