Our Favorite Things: The Mediterranean and Master Sommelier, Doug Frost

November 16, 2021 Destinations

Cruise through the Mediterranean with Master Sommelier Doug Frost and enjoy all that this Master of Wine has to offer. Not only is Frost one of only three people in the world to hold both of these coveted titles, but he is also the founder and director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition. Enjoy classes and wine tastings under his direct guidance as you set sail out of Barcelona and on to Venice.


We begin in Barcelona, Spain.

You won’t set sail until early evening, so spend some time in the medieval quarter Barri Gotic and immerse yourself in the old-world ambiance. And if you haven’t seen the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, make sure you fit it in before boarding your cruise. Commissioned in 1883 and still not officially completed, the Basilica is an awe-inspiring space. 


The first stop is Provence (Marseille), France.


The city of Marseille, France, with the Cathedral de Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde overlooking the city.

Marseille is the oldest (and second-largest) city in France after Paris. This city is a vibrant destination, with top sights, fantastic cuisine, and high-end shopping. Founded by the Greeks 2,600 years ago, Marseille is famous for its handmade soaps and lavender fields. It was named the European Capital of Culture in 2013. 

Visit Notre-Dame de la Garde as it gives a stunning 360-degree view of the city. It’s a basilica built on the highest point in Marseille called La Garde, and you’ll surely see it as you walk through town. Then, spend the rest of your day visiting the squares, parks, and open spaces of Place aux Huiles and the Jardin de la Colline Puget. 

We’ll spend a day in St Tropez, a haven for sun worshippers and artists alike.  You won’t want to miss a beach day on these beautiful sandy shores. 


Next, we’re off to Monte Carlo, Monaco.


Prince’s Palace of Monaco

Monaco has a hilly terrain and narrow roads, a distinct feature for the Monaco Grand Prix, so be sure to wear your walking shoes. As you explore Monte Carlo, you’ll be able to see and cross some of the Formula One’s circuits. 

Stroll by the Prince’s Palace, the official residence of the Prince of Monaco. One of the most popular activities at Palais du Prince is watching the changing of the guard that happens at 11:55 am daily, a tradition that has not changed in over a century. The Palace grounds also offer the best view of Port Hercules. Also known as the Port of Monaco, this Port is possibly the most photographed view in Monaco.   


Your next stop, Tuscany (Livorno), Italy


Consider taking a boat trip along the Fossi Medici and spend some time getting lost in the streets of canals, under bridges, and down secret passages. Then, stop by Mascagni Terrace for one of the most spectacular views of the rugged coastline merging into the city’s promenade. And be sure to stop by Bar Civili for a Ponce alla Livornese, a sweet coffee “rum fantasy” drink served in a special thick bottomed glass. 


You’ll be spending the next day in Rome (Civitavecchia) Italy.


Night view of Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Civitavecchia is full of monuments and archeological sites, a testament to the presence of several different cultures and civilizations that have resided here over the centuries. 

Fort Michelangelo is a must-see as one of the most important architectural structures of the Lazio coastline. Find time to immerse yourself in the ruins of the Taurine Baths or take a dip into the Ficoncella Thermal Baths. Both structures are ancient and were used by citizens and nobility of ancient Rome for their therapeutic properties. 

Naples is known as the diva of Italy, and it is easy to see why. Make sure to enjoy authentic Italian pasta and pizza here in the birthplace of both.  Visit the ruins of Pompeii or take a short boat trip to the Isle of Capri and wander the quintessential Southern Italian streets and explore all of its shops and cafes. 


We’ll spend Day 9 in Kotor, Montenegro.


This little Montenegrin hamlet may be small, but it makes up for it in stunning vistas, unique history, and seemingly endless tiny streets and alleys to lose yourself in. Kotor’s old town is one of the best-preserved medieval settlements in the Mediterranean. It has succeeded in keeping its original structure, common among towns from the 12th to 14th centuries. If you decide to do just one thing in Kotor, it must be climbing to San Giovanni Fortress. This climb provides impressive views of the city and the Bay of Kotor and is an exciting experience!


Up next is Split, Croatia.


Famous Diocletian Palace, built for Emperor Diocletian in the historic center of Split, Croatia.


While in Split, you cannot miss exploring Diocletian’s Palace. Diocletian’s Palace was built in 305 AD as a retirement complex for the Roman Emperor Diocletian and sits in the center of the Old Towne. The city of Split has grown up around Diocletian’s Palace over the centuries, and many of the Palace’s structures have survived and are fully intact.

Don’t miss the Peristyle, the center of the palace, or the cellar.   For Game of Thrones fans, you might recognize the cellar as the site where Daenerys kept her dragons when she was in Meereen.


Last stop, Venice, Italy


Italy’s famous floating city. You’ll be charmed and captivated by the labyrinth of narrow streets and the gondola-filled canals. Most crowds

will be at the Piazza San Marco, so it’s better to start fresh in the morning before everyone else arrives. 

Castello starts on the east side of Piazza San Marco and offers cozy streets, traditional restaurants, and museums. All around, one of the most authentic experiences of Venice. Or take a gondola ride out to visit some of the less crowded areas- Murano and Burano for an intimate look at handcrafted lace and blown glass. Finally, end your day on the Ponte Rialto, a bridge crossing the Canal Grande. Most of the crowds come here during the day, so walking it after dinner when it’s lit up can be a much more serene and intimate affair. 

Santa Maria della Salute church, Venice, Italy,

5 myths mockup

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