The Roman Ruins of Herculaneum, Pompeii’s Ancient Rival

The Roman Ruins of Herculaneum, Pompeii’s Ancient Rival

Herculaneum and Pompeii have a lot in common. They are both Roman cities that were destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, their ruins have been excavated and are open to visitors, and they are both on the same train line from Naples. So why do tourists flock...
Villa Valmanara ai Nani and the Legend of the Dwarves

Villa Valmanara ai Nani and the Legend of the Dwarves

High on the slopes of Monte Berico, just outside Vicenza, stands the 17th century Villa Valmanara ai Nani. The first thing you will notice when you approach the villa is the stone dwarves (nani) lined up on the walls outside. And of course there is a legend associated...
Exploring Palladio’s Vicenza: A World Heritage Site

Exploring Palladio’s Vicenza: A World Heritage Site

Even among Italian cities, Vicenza is special. Not just a handful of spectacular buildings, but a whole town of them, many of them designed by one man: Andrea Palladio. As we walked down the main street – called, naturally, Corso Palladio – past palaces designed by...
The Portici of Monte Berico, Vicenza

The Portici of Monte Berico, Vicenza

I came across the portici of Monte Berico by chance. I’ve never seen them mentioned in any guidebook and there were no other tourists (or anyone else, for that matter) about. But this 700m covered arcade is a spectacular walk to the top of Monte Berico, just...
Walking Around the Walls of the Vatican City

Walking Around the Walls of the Vatican City

It’s a familiar dilemma: you want to see some of the world’s most famous artworks but so do hundreds of other people. Do you wait patiently to go through security so that you can get into another queue before you finally get to join the jostling crowds inside? Or do...
A Walk Along Rome’s Appian Way

A Walk Along Rome’s Appian Way

We had had enough of the crowds at the Forum and the Colosseum so it was time to find somewhere quieter. And the Appian Way was the ideal place: a shady cobbled avenue lined with the remains of Roman buildings. All Roads Lead to Rome Back in the 4th century BC it was...
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