182 FEATURE Crotone Cruise Port, Italy Located in the south of the Italian peninsula, Crotone is a picturesque area with an eventful history that dates back to 710 BC and binds it eternally to Greece. The city is the oldest part of Magna Graecia (a group of ancient Greek cities along the coast of southern Italy) and offers highlights including the house of Greek philosopher Pythagoras and Capo Colonna, which is home to a temple and a museum. The wider region of Calabria also offers seaside scenery in places such as Le Castella, which has an Aragonese fortress as a backdrop. Crotone itself boasts a beautiful seafront, the castle of King Charles V, and a cathedral known for its 12th-century baptismal font and icon of Black Madonna. Taranto Cruise Port, Italy Taranto, ‘the city of two seas’ and the capital of Puglia, has a variety of attractions that cruise passengers can visit easily. Visitors to the city can walk along the waterfront and see statues of mermaids sitting on rocks that jut out to the sea. Alternatively, they can take a boat trip to the Small Sea (an inner basin) and the Grand Sea (Ionian Sea) to see dolphins. Visitors can also explore Unesco sites, such as the Sassi of Matera and the Trulli of Alberobello, or head to beaches that rival any found around the world. The cruise terminal, managed by Taranto Cruise Port, is being expanded to welcome more cruise passengers. Port of Thessaloniki, Greece Thessaloniki is a multicultural city at the centre of northern Greece, as well as the main gateway for the Balkans and the broader Southeast, Central and Eastern European region. There are 15 Unesco World Heritage sites and more than 30 museums within walking distance from the port, while Thessaloniki and the broader region also offer cruise visitors unique cultural, historical, archaeological and gastronomic experiences. The destination is experiencing significant cruise growth, with more leading operators adding Thessaloniki to their itineraries. This year, the destination is scheduled to welcome around 70 calls, more than half of which will be homeporting calls.