Grab a steamy cortado in a sidewalk cafe and then a morning walk along the Mediterranean shore. Take the plunge and swim with sharks at one of Europe's largest aquariums. Comb ancient excavated relics at Barcelona City History Museum. Or peruse extraordinary art collections by Spanish talents at one of the city's renowned museums.
Palma de Mallorca is the perfect place to immerse yourself in history and beauty. Go back in time to the 14th century at Bellver Castle, with its mix of Arab arches and Roman-inspired fortification. Catch a wave on the golden sands of El Arenal beach. Then, tuck into cocarrois, a local take on empanadas, or cool off in the quiet gardens and medieval ruins of the 10th century Arab Baths.
Start your Marseille adventure at the port, where fishing boats and yachts bob close to one another and the fish market Quai des Belges still sells the day's catch. Then hop on the tourist train at Quai du Port for the steep climb to the neo-Byzantine Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. Check out MuCEM museum to trace the first footprints of Mediterranean history, then relax beside the crescent-shaped colonnade and fountain at Palais Longchamp.
While traveling to Florence or Pisa, enjoy a scenic drive through the celebrated Tuscan countryside with its rolling hills, olive and cypress trees and medieval villages. After climbing Pisa's Leaning Tower, explore the atmospheric white, rose and red piazzas (squares). In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, you can marvel at the paintings in the Uffizi Gallery and cross the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, packed with local boutiques to poke your head into.
Experience la dolce vita in the Eternal City - recalling the glory days of Ancient Rome and twirling forks full of pasta in a trattoria. Stand in awe of paintings by Italian masters at Villa Borghese. Soak up Trastevere's backstreet charms. Discover Vatican City's spiritual legacy. Or ride past centuries-old basilicas in a three-wheeled Ape Calessino.
The third-largest Italian city and one of the oldest in Europe, Naples combines deep history and modern verve. Check out the extravagant Royal Palace of Naples, the former home of the royal family, with its beautiful tapestries and frescoes. People-watch from a streetside cafe in the Sanita district with a glass of wine and slice of classic margherita pizza. Then, head to Herculaneum to see the ruins left in Vesuvius wake after its historic eruption in 79 A.D.
Afternoons in Barcelona are best spent eating Spanish tapas in a cozy bar. Then take a Gaudi-inspired architecture crawl to see modernist wonders like Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Park Guell and the awe-inspiring La Sagrada Familia. Explore medieval dockyards at the Maritime Museum - or throw on an apron and learn the centuries-old art of Catalan cuisine in a chef-led cooking class.