Ancona, Italy

Ancona hits you with a tangle of commercial buildings only two steps away from the Mediterranean Sea. Nonetheless, a city centre excursion reserves some historical appeal, and the authorities are making a concerted effort to improve the cruiser and tourist experience. A stiff climb from the port area, where your cruise ship awaits your return, passing Ancona’s well-signposted Roman remains along the way, will take you to the pink-and-white Duomo. Mostly built in a restrained Romanesque style, this is contrasted by an outburst of Gothic exuberance in the doorway’s cluster of slender columns, some plain, others twisted and carved.