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ITALY: Drop In at an Aristocrat's Villa
The circuit: Western Mediterranean from Monte Carlo to Rome
Boat basics: The Seven Seas Navigator's all-suite cabins are so nice that sometimes the public spaces feel like a ghost town (after all, 24-hour room service is included). You might miss the presence of your fellow passengers—for about ten seconds. Then you'll enjoy having the place to yourself.
Shore thing: When typical ships call in Livorno, the port closest to Florence, most passengers only see the Tuscan countryside from a bus window. But Seven Seas has wangled access to a private villa surrounded by those iconic cypress trees. The owners of Villa Olivia, who hail from an ancient Genovese family, trace the house's origins back to 1042, but they have restored it to its 18th-century best. The fountain- and statue-filled garden is open to the general public, but you'll get a peek at the family's private art collection and the villa's original architectural features. Go ahead, ask to use the bathroom. You won't get the chance again.
The details: Seven-night Mediterranean Discovery cruises depart in September and October 2006 and June through September 2007.
From $4,796 per person
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Tel: 800 285 1835