Road Scholar : Home
Palaces and Gardens of Italy, France, Iberia and Morocco

Program Number: 21112RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/5/2013 - 5/21/2013;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Italy/France/Spain/Morocco/Portugal/England
Price starting at: $1,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 44; 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience a panorama of the finest towns, palaces and gardens in the Mediterranean, from exquisite Etruscan frescoes and the marble brilliance of Romanesque Pisa to the elegant French Riviera and ornate Moorish Alhambra. Discover landscapes around the western Mediterranean that inspired artists, gardeners, travelers and rulers, and gain special insights into these treasures with expert lectures along the way.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile, mostly paved surfaces, some uneven terrain. Some optional excursions may require more walking.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Rome (Italy), 1 night; aboard Minerva, 14 nights.



Days 1–4: Overnight flight from the U.S.A./ arrival Rome (Italy) / embark Minerva:

Your discovery of great Mediterranean palaces begins with an expert-led visit to Vatican City, location of the Pope’s official residence, the Apostolic Palace. Explore the ruins of Ostia to learn about life in this important Roman military hub. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Day 5: Island of Corsica (France):

Journey to Bonifacio to wander the labyrinthine streets of the charming Old Town overlooking the marina.



Day 6: Lucca (Italy):

Surrounded by intact Renaissance-era walls, Lucca embraces you as you investigate its 12th-century Romanesque Basilica, the magnificent Church of San Michele in Foro and the Piazza Anfiteatro on the foundations of the old Roman amphitheater.



Days 7–8: St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (France) / At Sea:

Drive along the French Riviera to the villa of the Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild. Admire the priceless collection on display throughout the villa and its seven themed gardens.



Day 9: Cartagena (Spain):

Rich layers of history are revealed in Cartagena. Discover the recently uncovered Roman Theatre, stroll past the modernist edifices on the Calle Mayor and learn about life during bombardment at the Civil War Air Raid Shelter.



Day 10: Granada (Spain):

The Alhambra Palace and the Generalife Gardens draw you in with avenues of stately cypress trees, exotic flowers, box hedges and ornate fountains. Inside the palace, marvel at the finest example of Moorish architecture in all of Spain.



Days 11–12: Tangier (Morocco) / At Sea:

Explore the Caves of Hercules, continuously inhabited since the Stone Age. Visit Cape Spartel, Africa’s most northwesterly point, for views across the Strait of Gibraltar. Walk through Tangier’s kasbah and the city souks.



Day 13: Lisbon (Portugal):

Drive through the city of Lisbon to view the Monument to the Discoveries and 16th-century Belem Tower. Visit the cloisters of St. Jerónimos, noted for its richly sculpted stonework.



Days 14-17: Oporto / At Sea / Portsmouth (England) / disembark / departure:

In Portugal’s second-largest city, visit the Arabian Hall in the Stock Exchange and stop at a port wine lodge to sample the city’s most famous export.



MV Minerva

This stylish, newly upgraded vessel is operated by a long-established British company and boasts a loyal following of British travelers. It offers its 350 passengers two restaurants plus al fresco dining, a cinema, two bars, a library/card room, a swimming pool, a gym and a sauna. The spectacular Orpheus Lounge provides panoramic views of your surroundings.


Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio
  Rome, Italy 1 night
   MV Minvera
  Aboard the MV Minerva, UK:England 14 nights
 Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio is located in the heart of Rome and it is located really close to the city's most important monuments. The Pantheon, the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, via Veneto, the Forum, the Opera House, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, the National Museum of Rome and many other landmarks are within walking distance: a short romantic walk will take you back in time.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Via Cavour, 18
Rome,  00184 Italy
phone: +39 06 4870270
  Room amenities: Wi-Fi in all rooms. Where history meets technology The 184 rooms of the Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio are spacious, light and have been recently revamped. With wooden floors, oak classic furniture, high ceilings and large airy windows they offer its guests a “fin de siecle” atmosphere with modern comforts such as air conditioning, mini-bar, safe and Wi-Fi internet connection. Respect for traditions, but aware of innovation Tradition, service, luxury, comfort, attention to detail, but also innovation. These are the main combined features in all the rooms of Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio. There is tradition with innovation All rooms are soundproof and equipped with individually controlled air conditioning, direct dial telephone, minibar, colour TV with international channels, safety deposit box and Wi-Fi internet connection. The charming bathrooms are equipped with bath, shower and hairdryer. In all rooms, free Wi-Fi internet access.
  Facility amenities: ROOM SERVICE Treat yourself Room service is available from 6.30 am till midnight. From 6.30 am to 10.30 am you can order breakfast. During the opening hours of the restaurant you can have starters or main courses available on the menu of the day. In addition, throughout the day, you can request drinks, sandwiches or cold dishes such as salads, cold meats and cheeses. FITNESS AREA To feel great away from home A gym equipped with modern equipment awaits you. At the Hotel Mediterraneo you can also book Shiatsu, ayurvedic, anti-stress or relaxation massages, and aromatherapy. Prices start from € 40,00. INTERNET POINT Free Internet In the lobby you will find the Internet point for those wishing to connect to the Internet but do not have a portable PC. A printer is available for short prints, i.e. boarding cards or electronic tickets. Wi-Fi (Totally free internet coverage in all rooms) To surf unlimited free of charge from your room. Wi-Fi is available, free of charge, throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Please contact PD for price Pre-night rooms are available on a first come-first serve basis. Please the contact Program Development department for more information.

 MV Minvera
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: No matter which corner of the globe you choose to discover, after exploring ashore, you will always appreciate Minerva’s stately comforts: a relaxed lounge with entertainment, well-stocked library, restaurants, gym, Wheeler bar and Shackleton's bar. An elegant environment in which polished wood and gleaming brass are complemented by works of art and fresh flowers. With over 50 years experience in discovery cruising, Swan Hellenic knows all the ingredients for the perfect cruise. From the on board environment to inspiring itineraries, and from our knowledgeable reservations team to our European ship's officers and attentive crew, we are committed to providing you with the ultimate discovery cruise experience. You will travel with like-minded people and as you share the experiences of your voyage, you may find acquaintances turn into lasting friendships. Your cruise will be further enriched by the presence of distinguished speakers drawn from the academic, diplomatic and media worlds. Their presentations and the more informal conversations you can enjoy in the Darwin Lounge will really bring our destinations to life.
  Ship Information: Gross Tonnage - 12,449 Length - 437 ft Beam - 66 ft Draft - 19 ft Cruising Speed - 14 knots Passenger Decks - 6 Stabilisers - retractable fin Registration - Bahamas Passengers - 350 Crew - 160; mainly Filipino and Ukrainian Officers - British and European Entered Service - 29th April 1996
  Contact info: Swan Hellenic - North America
1800 S.E. 10th Avenue, Suite 205
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 866-923-9182
web: us.swanhellenic.com/homeus.html
  Room amenities: TV, Hairdryer and Personal Safe in Every Cabin
  Facility amenities: Facilities include: 44 Balcony cabins 100 Outside cabins (74% outside cabins including 23% balcony cabins) 2 Restaurants Orpheus Lounge Internet Lounge Livingstone Lounge Darwin Lounge Shackleton & Wheeler Bars Cinema Library/Card Room Boutique and Gift Shop Swimming Pool Gymnasium, Sauna and Spa Services Complimentary Launderette with Washers and Dryers Beauty Salon Medical Centre Telephone, Fax and E-mail Facilities
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins in the late afternoon on Day 2 in Rome, Italy at the program hotel. You will be staying at Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends on Day 17 after breakfast on board the MV Minerva. You will be staying at MV Minvera the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT: REGISTERING FOR YOUR CRUISE ONLINE** Swan Hellenic requires all guests to provide full passport details, including address and telephone number. They also require next of kin contact information in case of an emergency. This information must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure. Passengers must visit the website at www.swanhellenic.com - click on "Already Booked" then "Required Passenger Information" to enter your details. The embarkation date is the date you board the ship. Furnished data will be provided to foreign government immigration officials and is required for on-board administration. PLEASE NOTE: Your cruise documents will not be issued prior to your online registration, and embarkation onto the ship may be denied. If you did not receive a booking number or if you need assistance registering online, please contact our program department at 1.866.359.5966 and someone will assist you.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to the site
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains and buses are available in Rome and London.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Nearest airport:  Rome International Airport - Fiumicino
  Transportation to site: Rome Fuimicino Airport is located approximately 26km northeast of the city of Rome. All participants who arranged their air travel through Road Scholar will be met at the airport and transferred to the program hotel in Rome. If you did not purcahse your air through Road Scholar, you may join the designated group transfer as long as your flight arrives before or at the same time as the group flight. The designated group transfer time will be sent with your final program materials, approximately 5 weeks prior to the start of your program. Taxi: If you are arriving independently in Rome and plan to make your own way to the hotel, taxis are readily available at the airport. A taxi from Rome Fiumicino Airport to the city center is approximately 40 euros. Terravision Shuttle Bus: The bus line Terravision Shuttle Bus serves the route between the airport and the central station of Rome, Termini. Tickets: euro 9 single or euro 15 return, 70 minutes, 5 stops, 7 services a day. Train: The Leonardo Express is the direct train that serves the route between the airport and the centre of the city of Rome every 30 minutes. Trains from Termini depart from the track 24 on the right. Ticket costs euro 11, available at the counter as well as the Termini news stand. Tickets sold at the departure platform are more expensive. Get your ticket stamped in a yellow validation machine just before using it. Ticket expires 90 minutes after validation. The ultramodern train Leonardo Express, covers the distance in 30 minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the MV Minerva
  Transportation from site: All participants who arranged their air travel through Road Scholar will be transferred from the ship in Portsmouth to London Heathrow Airport at the end of the program. If you did not purcahse your air through Road Scholar, you may join the designated group transfer as long as your flight departs at the same time or after the group flight. The designated group transfer time will be sent with your final program materials, approximately 5 weeks prior to the start of your program.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures from the US
(Sunday, May 5)
   
 In Transit: Flights depart from various US gateways

Day 2: Flights arrive in Rome, Italy
(Monday, May 6)
   
 Arrive To: Rome, Italy
 Afternoon: Join your group leader for your program orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Rome / Embark MV Minerva
(Tuesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: After breakfast, visit the fascinating Villa Borghese Gallery and Gardens. This beautiful setting on the outskirts of Rome houses paintings and sculptures from the 16th and 17th centuries. The gardens are the second largest public park in Rome, and have a rich history dating back to the 17th century.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time in Rome before transferring to the ship. The ship will be docked at the Port of Civitavecchia, located approximately 1 hour from the city.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Rome
(Wednesday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Ostia, at the mouth of the River Tiber, was founded by the Romans in the 4th century BC and became a strategically important military and commercial centre, populated by merchants, slaves and sailors. The city declined in the 4th century AD and when abandoned became buried under river silt; the preserved ruins now give a good impression of everyday life in a working Roman town. Sights will include the Baths of Neptune, the large restored theatre and the offices of Ostia’s merchant guilds.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Spend some free time at the port until the ship sets sail.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Porto Vecchio, Corsica, France
(Thursday, May 9)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Independent Bonifacio: After a short transfer, explore this pretty Old Town with its medieval houses precariously teetering on the edge of the imposing limestone cliffs. A labyrinth of narrow streets and historic buildings, it is a fascinating place to wander around. Bonifacio also boasts a busy marina filled with impressive yachts and lined with chic bars and restaurants.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Ship departs Porto Vecchio
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Florence / Pisa, Italy
(Friday, May 10)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Puccini's Villa & Lake: Drive to the village of Torre del Lago, Puccini's hometown overlooking Lake Massaciuccoli - a reserve protected by the World Wildlife Fund and the Italian Leage for the Protection of Birds. Enjoy a boat trip on the lake while sipping a glass of local wine and listening to some of Puccini's most famous musical pieces and then visit his villa, containing memorabilia of the composer's life and work.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Free time to relax on board the ship or explore on your own.
 Dinner: On board the ship
 Evening: Ship departs Florence
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Nice, France
(Saturday, May 11)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Villa Ephrussi and Gardens: After a short drive, visit the museum "Ile de France". This superb villa houses a priceless collection that the Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild assembled throughout her life. Inspired by the great Renaissance residences of Venice and Florence, and surrounded by seven gardens of different themes, the villa contains an exceptional collection of porcelain, furniture, carpets, tapestries, and canvases displayed throughout. Return to the ship via the Lower Corniche which runs along the coast at the foot of the mountains.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Join your group leader for a Road Scholar exclusive lecture.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cruising the Mediterranean
(Sunday, May 12)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Join your Study Leader for an exclusive Road Scholar lecture
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Relax and enjoy the ship's amenities and entertainment.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cartagena, Spain
(Monday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Cartagena Walk and Roman Theater: Visit the city’s main attractions which reveal the rich layers of history in Cartagena: from the Carthaginian and Roman periods to the Civil War and the present day, this well defended port city continues to evolve. Discover the Roman Theatre which was recently uncovered amidst the 20th century townscape, before strolling along the Calle Mayor to see the exterior of the modernist buildings built by industrial barons during the heyday of mineral extraction in the hinterland of Cartagena. Take the panoramic lift to enjoy the view over the city and harbour from Conception Hill. Cartagena was bombed heavily during the Civil War; visit the Civil War Air Raid Shelter and, through displays, photos and new footage, learn about everyday life during this period.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive lecture led by your group leader.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Malaga (Alhambra), Spain
(Tuesday, May 14)

Note: Depending on where the authorities permit coaches to drop off/pick up, there will be a considerable amount of walking on this excursion.



   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Alhambra and Generalife Gardens: Discover the wonders of Granada on an excursion that will take you approximately 640m above sea level to the Alhambra Palace, magnificently situated in the shadow of the mighty Sierra Nevada. Stroll in the Generalife Gardens where you can admire avenues of stately cypress trees, exotic flowers, box hedges and ornate fountains and also visit the richly decorated interior of the Alhambra Palace, one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture in Spain.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant
 Afternoon: After a late lunch, transfer back to the ship.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Tangier, Morocco
(Wednesday, May 15)

Note: In Tangier, there will be a downhill walk of approximately 1 hour to return to the coaches. This day is more active than most other days of the program.



   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Tangier City Discovery and Mendoubia Gardens: Drive to the Caves of Hercules, continuously inhabited since Neolithic times. A short visit will be followed by a drive to Cape Spartel - Africa's most northwesterly point from where you can admire views across the Strait of Gibraltar. In Tangier visit the Mendoubia Gardens and enjoy this tranquil haven in the heart of the city. Conclude with a refreshment stop before walking through the kasbah, souks and gardens.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Ship departs Tangier, Morocco
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
(Thursday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Join your Study Leader for an exclusive Road Scholar presentation.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Relax and enjoy the ship's amenities and entertainment.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Lisbon, Portugal
(Friday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Lisbon and Jeronimos Monastery: Once at the forefront of the golden age of discovery and world trade, Lisbon has played an important role in shaping the modern world. Enjoy a panoramic drive through the city viewing many of its attractions, including the Monument to the Discoveries and the 16th century Belem Tower – starting point for many voyages of discovery, as well as taking the view from Parque Eduard VII. Discover Santa Maria Church followed by a visit to the remarkable cloisters of St Jeronymos, a jewel of Manueline architecture, noted for its richly sculpted stonework.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Ship departs Lisbon
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Oporto (Leixoes), Portugal
(Saturday, May 18)

Note: There may be a short, but steep downhill walk from the port lodge back to the coach. Note that it is best to bring Euro with you if you intend to purchase anything at the port lodge as there are limited facilities for paying by credit card.



   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Oporto Panorama: Drive to Oporto, Portugal’s second largest city, and capital of the north. Oporto lies on the north bank of the Douro, while the renowned port wine lodges are located in the Vila Nova de Gaia district on the south bank; the two riverbanks are linked by three technically remarkable bridges. Your sightseeing tour will include visits to the Arabian Hall in the Stock Exchange. You will also visit one of the port wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia and sample some port.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Return to the ship and have some free time to explore on your own.
 Dinner: On board the ship
 Evening: Ship departs Leixoes
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
(Sunday, May 19)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Join your group leader for a Road Scholar exclusive lecture.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Relax and enjoy the ship's many amenities as you sail toward Portsmouth, England.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
(Monday, May 20)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Meet with your group leader for a Road Scholar exclusive lecture.
 Lunch: On board the ship
 Afternoon: Join your group leader for a final program wrap-up discussion.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Portsmouth, UK / Disembark / Departures
(Tuesday, May 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to London Heathrow Airport for flights returning to Norht America.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Traveller's History of Portugal


Author: Ian Robertson


Description: A lively, admirably concise survey from prehistory to the present, great for travelers to Portugal who would like an overview of the country's history and culture.



Absolute Monarchs, A History of the Papacy


Author: John J Norwich


Description: A natural storyteller matched with a brilliant subject, Norwich chronicles with obvious delight the politics, personalities and power across two millennia of ecclesiastical history in this riveting history.



Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History


Author: Ada Gabucci (Editor)


Description: This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.



Driving over Lemons, An Optimist in Andalucia


Author: Chris Stewart


Description: Stewart's memoir about moving with his wife to a farm in Alpujarras is charming and insightful. Unlike many expatriates, Stewart manages to ground himself far enough into the community to make lasting friends -- as well as a home for his young daughter.



Empires of the Sea


Author: Roger Crowley


Description: Crowley vividly reconstructs the epic clash between the Ottoman Empire and Christendom for the control of the Mediterranean -- and the soul of 16th-century Europe -- in this thrilling account of dramatic battles and brutality, rival faiths and larger-than-life personalities.



Eyewitness Guide Portugal


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Featuring hundreds of photographs and drawings, an excellent overview of the culture and history, and good information about where to go and what to do.



Fodor's London's 25 Best


Author: Louise Nicholson


Description: This slim guide to London (with handy full-color maps) has everything you need to know for a short visit to the city, including recommended sightseeing, restaurants, hotels and shops.



Granite Island


Author: Dorothy Carrington


Description: Carrington's indelible account of the history and people, myths and magic of rugged Corsica.



Inside the Vatican


Author: Bart McDowell, Jim Stanfield (Photographer)


Description: This selection of stunning, behind-the-scenes color photographs of the Vatican includes text describing the city-state's history and some background on the modern popes.



Islam, A Short History


Author: Karen Armstrong


Description: Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam from the birth of Muhammad to present-day challenges. The best short introduction to the subject.



Italy in Mind


Author: Alice Powers


Description: A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.



Journey to Portugal, In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture


Author: Jose Saramago


Description: Jose Saramago's richly detailed account of his journey across Portugal in 1979. He combines his vivid impressions of the Portuguese landscape and people with a dose of history, fiction and meditations.



La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


Author: Beppe Severgnini


Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.



La Bella Lingua


Author: Dianne Hales


Description: Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir.



Leaving Tangier


Author: Tahar Ben Jalloun


Description: Capturing the ambitions of young people everywhere, Ben Jalloun traces the fate of Azel, his sister and other emigrants, who leave Morocco for the promise of a better life in Spain.



Lisbon, War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945


Author: Neill Lochery


Description: Lochery's tale of prime minister Antonio de Oliveira Salazar and his efforts to remain neutral during WWI in this gripping tale of exiled royalty, refugees, spies, secret police, bankers, prominent Jews, writers and artists, escaped POWs, black marketers and others who sought refuge in WWI-era Lisbon.



Mediterranean Cruises Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula and Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.



Mediterranean by Cruise Ship


Author: Anne Vipond


Description: The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.



National Geographic Morocco


Author: Carole French


Description: An abundantly illustrated guide to the country, with essays on history and culture and color maps.



Spain, The Root and the Flower


Author: John A. Crow


Description: Take this book with you to Spain: it's an absorbing, well-written account of Spanish cultural history from prehistory to the Romans, Jews, Moors, Golden Age and on to Franco and his legacy in modern Spain.



The Hare With Amber Eyes


Author: Edmund De Waal


Description: Edmund de Waal unfolds the story of his remarkable family, a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who "burned like a comet" in early 20th-century Paris and Vienna.



The Mediterranean in History


Author: David Abulafia (Editor)


Description: A professor at Cambridge, David Abulafia leads a team of eight historians in this engaging, richly illustrated overview of the civilizations, societies and grand themes in the history of this great sea at the heart of Europe. Published in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the book features 150 well-integrated color and 150 black-and-white illustrations.



The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers


Author: Susan Cahill


Description: A wonderfully inspired anthology featuring excerpts from 29 writers and artists interspersed with practical suggestions for travelers.





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