Discovering the Early Byzantine Churches of Athens

I’ve always associated Athens with Greek history. Classical Greek history, that is, the sort that took place more than two thousand years ago. But as we stood in Monastiraki Square, Vassilios pointed out the layers of history around us. Ancient Athens was there, in...

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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...

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Revisiting Athens: TBEX 2014

I last visited Greece in 2003. The country was busy preparing for the Olympics and I was often disappointed to find sites closed, with a sign that they were renovating and would be reopening the following year. And I only managed a day in Athens, the standard tourist...

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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...

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Photo Gallery: Ancient Tiryns, Greece

Looking through my pictures of Greece before setting off for Athens tomorrow, I found this one of Ancient Tiryns, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Peloponnese. Less visited than some other sites on the Peloponnese, Ancient Tiryns was a Bronze Age hill fort with a...

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