Traveling to Mediterranean countries is often the start of a love affair with the nature landscape. The sapphire sky in harmony with azure sea, golden sun and crisp breezes are irresistible, and are heightened by a fun-loving local lifestyle and delicious cuisine.
However, not to be overlooked are the region’s architectural masterpieces. Mediterranean-style architecture has had a influence all over the world, especially seen in resort areas in places such as California and Florida. Mediterranean seaside villas, palaces and hotels are airy, surrounded by corridors, rows of pillars and refined roofs. The residential style traces its roots to the ancient Roman Empire.
Perhaps the finest architectural complex in Mediterranean style is Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city. Unlike modern Barcelona or Madrid, Valencia still retains a laid-back cultural essence, with local festivals, music and food. Embraced by bountiful flora, Valencia mesmerizes with a mixture of classical and modern in a city intersected meandering old pebbled lanes that lead to the marketplaces or lovely squares. Home feature cozy and sparkling patches of terracotta walls, surrounding corridors and wide windows overlooking gardens. Inside, hosts can connect with nature through spacious, airy rooms, verandas and terraces supported by height stone pillars. The most noteworthy feature in the city is Lonja Silk Market, a UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site. The whole construction was modeled after medieval castles through domes, twisted columns and solid stone walls and is a must-visit for any travelers to Valencia.
Equally unique and fascinating are the blocks of homes tilting towards the sea in Santorini, Greece. In just two colors of white and blue, low houses rest along mountainsides, creating a miraculous maze in which every single alley is an enticing mystery. While an Italian city such as Milan always rekindles our passion for discoveries, Santorini is a journey to the past where life slows down. The architectural style there is quintessentially Mediterranean: open, inviting and whimsical compared to other modern cities in Southern Europe. Josting little houses, meandering terraces and treacherous heights and altitudes can remind observers of a giant beehive.
Among dozen of destinations along the Mediterranean, Venice is of course the largest museum of classical architecture. A city of love where gondolas traverse the Grand Canal and its smaller braches, Venice is a mecca for all architecture lovers. Houses towering over the water, bridges spanning over centuries, chapels and museums all show off their radiance to overwhelm the senses. In the past, Venice was a commercial, military and political hub; nowadays, the city is a national source of pride with thousands of otherworldly buildings, non-stop festivals, glass shops, carnival masks and romantic restaurants by its canals. Just one day to relish a coffee under the high dome of San Marco Square, or an afternoon to watch the sunset drop from a terrace encircling the veranda and discern the fragrance of lavender perfuming the air will remind you the there is magic in the Mediterranean.