Under the Doge, a maritime empire of unequalled power extended over the entire length of the shores around the eastern Mediterranean, to the islands of the Ionian Sea and to Crete. During the entire period of the expansion of Venice, over the centuries when it was obliged to defend its trading markets against the commercial undertakings of the Arabs, the Genoese and the Ottoman Turks, as well as those of the European monarchs who were envious of its power, Venice never ceased, in the literal sense of the term, to consolidate its position in the lagoon.
The climate in Venice is Mediterranean, but rather wet throughout the year. The most pleasant periods are spring and from mid-September. Winter is cold, with frequent fogs and sometimes some freezing in January. Summer - July and August - is often very hot and wet with high points which exceed 35 degrees and violent storms possible. Venice is frequently in flood which presents a constant threat for the city.
Venice has a relatively temperate climate, with temperatures rarely descending below freezing during the day, or rising much above 35°C. The most pleasant periods are spring and from mid-September. Weather in September is nice; average daily highs around 75°F/24°C, and evenings around 65°F/18°C.
AREA: 116 sq. km
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: 41°07′31″N 16°52′0″E
POPULATION: 320,475 (2010 census)
WEATHER IN BARI:
Bari enjoys a semi-arid Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm to hot, dry summers. Weather in September is nice; average daily highs around 26°C, and evenings around 16°C.
AREA: 301,338 sq km.
POPULATION: 59,433,744 (2011 census).
Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country.
It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashions, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its many beautiful coasts, alpine lakes and mountains (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed Il Bel Paese (The Beautiful Country).
The climate of Italy is highly diverse, and could be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate. Most of Italy has hot, dry summers, with July being the hottest month of the year. Winters are cold and damp in the North, and milder in the South. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The Alps have a mountain climate, with cool summers and very cold winters.
CURRENCY: Euro (EUR)
KATAKOLON / OLYMPIA, Greece
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: 37°39′N 21°19′E
Katakolon is a seaside town in western Ilia in the municipality of Pyrgos. The town centre is within a gulf overlooking the Ionian Sea. Katakolon is situated on a peninsula and has a lighthouse found in the southwest. The Lighthouse of Katakolon was first opened in 1865 and the town has a population of 513 inhabitants. Katakolon is a gateway to Olympia, a UNESCO World heritage site, where the ancient Greeks flocked every four years for more than a millennium to celebrate the sacred games dedicated to Zeus.
Olympia’s weather is mild in the months of April to September. Average temperatures in September are 28 °C (average high) and 18 °C (average low), and rainfall is generally below 8 cm.
Greece is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world's top 20 countries. Visitors are drawn to the country's beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites and natural beauty.
Architecture varies greatly from one region to the next depending on the local history. Visitors will find neoclassical architecture in the cities of Ermoupolis and Nafplion, Ottoman-influenced buildings in Grevená and Kozáni, whitewashed Cycladic homes on the island of Paros, and pastel-colored baroque homes and churches on Corfu. The nation's terrain is just as varied as its architectural heritage: idyllic beaches, towering mountain ranges, wine-producing valleys, vast stretches of olive orchards in the south, and lush forests in the north. Greece boasts a very long history, with the Greek language being present in the country for nearly 4000 years.
Despite its small size, Greece has a varied climate. Most of the country, including all coastal areas, enjoys a so-called Mediterranean climate, almost identical to much of California. Summers are hot and dry with a 7-month period of near-constant sunshine generally from April until November. The remainder of the year is characterized by a relatively cold, rainy period which generally starts sometime in November and lasts until late March or early April. The most pleasant weather occurs in May-June and September-October.
Greeceis a country in Southern Europe, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It shares borders in the north with Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria, and Turkey. It has an ancient culture that has had a significant influence on the arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports of western society, including the genres of comedy and drama, western alphabets, Platonic ideals and the Socratic method, democracies and republics, and the Olympics. Furthermore it's a geographically appealing place to visit, with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches.
IZMIR / EPHESUS, Turkey
AREA: 855 sq. km
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: 38°26′N 27°09′E
POPULATION: 3,401,994 (2012 census)
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia and the third most populous city in Turkey. It is a proudly liberal, developed, and at the same time, busy commercial centre. At the west of Izmir lies the Çeşme peninsula, with its wonderfully coloured sea, beaches and thermal centres. Izmir is one of the fastest-growing cruise-ship ports of call on the Aegean and an excellent base for trips to nearby Ephesus and Pergamon.
Just like Izmir, Ephesus is rather hot and dry in the summer and mild and rainy in the winter as typical of an area with a Mediterranean climate. In autumn, temperatures in Ephesus start to decrease with September reaching average highs of 29°C and average lows of 17°C.
Istanbul has a temperate oceanic climate which is influenced by a continental climate, with hot and humid summers and cold, wet and occasionally snowy winters. The city has a high annual average rainfall of 844 mm (which is more than that of London, Dublin or Brussels, whose negative reputation Istanbul does not suffer), with late autumn and winter being the wettest, and late spring and summer being the driest. The weather is still fantastic in Istanbul in September, which is a great time to visit if you want to enjoy high temperatures and plenty of sunshine without being stuck in the large crowds that the summer months attract. Temperatures can soar up to 23°C during the day, cooling slightly after sunset to 16°C.
Turkey is situated on the Mediterranean, in the Anatolian region of West Asia, with a small section in South-eastern Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles). With the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.
Turkey is the cradle of cultures and civilizations connecting Europe and Asia. Many empires ranging from the Sumerians to the Hittites, the Lydians to the Byzantines and the Seljuks to the Ottomans have once thrived and expired within the borders of Turkey.
Located at the mid-point of the European, Asian and African continents, Turkey has a varied geography rich in mountains, plains, caves, seas and many other natural formations and beauties. All types of sports activities and more specifically outdoor sports can be done amidst a breath taking nature providing both for adrenaline and entertainment.
The most important distinctions are between the coast with its moderate winter temperatures and hot, humid summers, and the inland areas with their extremely cold winters and excessively hot summers. Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are the best times to visit, since the climate will be perfect for sightseeing in İstanbul and on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
CURRENCY: Turkish lira (TRY)
Dubrovnik is a medieval city on the Croatian side of the Adriatic coastline and a treasure - trove of cultural - historical monuments that were created throughout its thousand-year existence.
In the past, it was a City-Republic, and alongside Venice one of the most famous cultural-economic centers on the Mediterranean. In more recent times, it has become the center of modern cultural and tourist events: a city of summer festivals - an international parade of top musical and theatrical achievements, a city of museums and galleries. These values have turned Dubrovnik into a place that offers a rich selection of various experiences and excitement, but also a complete holiday in a quiet and calming, mild Mediterranean ambience and wonderful seaside landscapes.
The walls of Dubrovnik girdle a perfectly preserved complex of public and private, sacral and secular buildings representing all periods of the City's history, beginning with its founding in the 7th century. Since 1979 Dubrovnik is in the register of UNESCO as a protected World heritage. Particular mention should be made of the city's main street in the old historical center - Stradun, Rector's Palace, St. Blaise’s Church, Cathedral, three large monasteries, Custom's Office and the City Hall.
The geographical position of this region is typically Mediterranean with mild and wet winters, and hot and humid summers (2,600 hours of sunshine on average). The average annual precipitation is 1,250 mm, air temperature is 17° C, and summer sea temperature is 21° C. There are many sunny days during the winter months. The average summer air temperature is 25° C, made pleasant by the mild 'maestral' wind – a messenger of good weather, while the 'bora' and the 'jugo' generally blow during the colder months.
The coastline is beautiful, dotted with bays, beaches, steep cliffs and many forested islands. There is a great variety of flora, predominantly cypress, pine and olive trees, as well as vineyards, lemon and orange plantations – together with aromatic herbs and flowers, including exotic plants such as palm trees, agave and cactus, which create a special atmosphere. Nature lovers will find a true Mediterranean landscape here, while those fond of sailing will discover a wonderful sea and marinas.
Dubrovnik is not only a fascinating place to explore in its own right but it makes a great base for day trips throughout southern Dalmatia. The Dubrovnik countryside is replete with small villages that retain their folklore traditions. Further down the coast is the resort of Cavtat. Lying at the tip of Croatia, Dubrovnik is close to Mostar in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Montenegro, which make great day tours. And offshore, lie some of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic: Mljet, Lokrum and Elaphiti Islands.
REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
AREA: 56,542 sq km.
POPULATION: 4,290,612 (2011 census).
Croatia is located between South-Central Europe and Middle Europe. Its shape resembles that of a crescent or a horseshoe, which flanks its neighbours Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. To the north lie Slovenia and Hungary; Italy lies across the Adriatic Sea. Its mainland territory is split in two non-contiguous parts by the short coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina around Neum.
Its terrain is diverse, including:
Phytogeographically, Croatia belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Central European and Illyrian provinces of the Circumboreal Region and the Adriatic province of the Mediterranean Region. According to the WWF, the territory of Croatia can be subdivided into three ecoregions: the Pannonian mixed forests, Dinaric Mountains mixed forests and Illyrian deciduous forests. The country is famous for its many national parks. Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north and east it is continental, Mediterranean along the coast and a semi-highland and highland climate in the south-central region. Offshore Croatia consists of over one thousand islands varying in size. The largest islands in Croatia are Cres and Krk which are located in the Adriatic Sea. The Danube, Europe's second longest river, runs through the city of Vukovar. Dinara, the eponym of the Dinaric Alps, is the highest peak of Croatia at 1,831 metres above sea level.
Croatia is a cultural, historical and natural treat for travelers.The most popular possibility for travel and tourism, of course, is summer tourism. You can also enjoy the benefits of rural tourism in many of the villages in the continental region of Croatia, as well as of health tourism in a number of spas and thermal and mineral springs, such as Varazdinske, Tuheljske, Stubicke and Krapinske spas, Lipik, Daruvar or Topusko in the continental region, and along the coast: Losinj, Umag, Opatija, Crikvenica, Hvar, Makarska, Vela Luka and Istarske Spa in Istria. If you are a gourmet and a connoisseur of fine food, or simply like tasty and healthy food, you will certainly more than enjoy Croatia.
Croatia has a stable functioning market economy. International Monetary Fund data shows that Croatian nominal GDP stood at $50.053 billion, or $11,271 per capita, in 2007. In purchasing power parity terms, total GDP was $69.866 billion in 2007, equivalent to $15,733 per capita. According to Eurostat data, Croatian PPS GDP per capita stood at 57.5 per cent of the EU average in 2007. Real GDP growth in 2007 was 6.0 per cent.
LANGUAGE: Croatian (official), English (main foreign language)
TIME: GMT +1