Nowhere in the world is fine food prepared with more love than in Mediterranean region. Today this rich culinary heritage region blends classic cooking techniques with the current trend to lighter, healthier cuisine. The results of this synthesis of styles are fresh, healthy and delightfully creative and delicious dishes. Local farmers’ markets en route supply ingredients for colorful salads and savory tarts. Creamy, farm-produced cheeses, prime meats and fish, and garden-fresh fruits and vegetables provide inspiration for a medley of tempting menus. Fresh mozzarella still warm in its sea-salty brine; tender artichokes flawlessly seasoned and delicately sliced; just caught fish perfectly baked with a splash of local wine; the aromatic scent of rich, succulent olives; the savory tastes of creamy farm-fresh cheeses; and all the sun-ripened fruit and vegetables tantalizing your palette every day-welcome to the Mediterranean! The Mediterranean is not only an indulgent feast for the eyes, but for the taste buds as well. In 2010, the Mediterranean diet was recognized by the UNESCO Cultural of Humanity as fresh, healthy and delightfully creative, yet so amazingly delicious and diverse. The trinity of ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine is olives, wheat and grapes, yielding olive oil, bread, pasta and wine. Of course, each country within the region creates their own unique cuisine, and within each country, it can vary from north to south, and east to west. The cooking traditions throughout the Mediterranean define the people’s identities and vary by geography, history and climate. Italy alone has twenty different regions boasting a range of diverse dishes. While in Venice, be treated to amazing seafood dishes, such as Baccala Mantecata, a dried salted cod served with polenta or Risotto Nero, using black squid ink to make a delectable dish. Complement your meal with a delightful Pinot Grigio, Valpoicella or Amarone; or try pairing a Proseco with Zaleti, a traditional Venetian cookie. Farther down south in Italy’s San Marino area, you can enjoy traditional recipes such as nidi di rondine, pasta with smoked, cheese, beef and tomato sauce, perfectly paired with a Sangiovese. Due to Italy’s proximity to Croatia and the influence of 400 years by the Republic of Venice over the Dalmatian coast, the cuisine here shares Italy’s heritage. Like Italy, fresh seafood is a mainstay of the diet, and since Croatia’s Malostonski Zaljev, its famous oyster bay, harvests the most sought after oysters in the country, along with mussels and other shellfish, you are in for a real treat. Heavenly cheese, such as Pag from the small island of Pag is another delicacy to be enjoyed along with tempting delights, including drunken plums, a typical dessert in Split, which can be paired with the country’s national wine, Prosek. Fish cooked in wild herbs, meat rubbed with lemon-infused olive oil, roasted eggplant salad with feta cheese and herbs, and dolmans, stuffed vine leaves—these are only a few of the flavors of Greece. Greece is a nation of small farmers who produce an incredible array of mainly organically produced cheese, fruits, grain, legumes, vegetables and incredible olives, especially since Greece was the birthplace to olive farming. Interestingly, Greece was home to many firsts, including writing the very first cookbook in 330 BC. Throughout the centuries, the Greeks have successfully merged the influence of others, including the Romans, Venetians, Slavs and Turks, to create one of the most flavorful cuisines in the world. And since Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, as well as offers a treasure trove of new indigenous grape varieties, you’ll be in for a real tasting adventure. From regional specialties including the finest seasonal delicacies, you’ll be treated to a movable feast always perfectly paired with a variety of distinctive wines, representing many of Europe’s major wine growing districts. Without wine, no Mediterranean meal would be complete. Our Master Wine Connoisseur curates a diverse selection of wine. During the cruise, you will be offered variety of different wines, representing many of European major wine growing districts. Our Master Wine Connoisseur focuses on estate-bottled labels. You will be introduced to wonderful vintages from distinguished, family-owned properties whose limited production is rarely sold for export. Drawing from this rich and varied selection, each DIV Cruise offers the perfect opportunity to sample and compare the noble wines of Europe.