Pause to ponder: an Egyptian goddess in southern Italy

When I walked around the town of Benevento in southern Italy I could see that a lot of it had been rebuilt following heavy bombing in World War Two. However, every now and then I spotted a remnant of older history in the buildings- a half-buried statue or an ancient plaque. I was even more fascinated … More Pause to ponder: an Egyptian goddess in southern Italy

Benevento’s jewels: The Holy Wisdom Church and its cloister

I had a free weekend in August so I was planning to book a few nights near the seaside in Puglia or southern Lazio. However, after discovering that nearly all the hotels along the coast were booked up or charging extortionate prices, I decided to turn inland and search for a place that would be … More Benevento’s jewels: The Holy Wisdom Church and its cloister

A mystical emerald in Naples: Virgil’s park at Piedigrotta

Years ago I read about the park in Naples dedicated to the poet Virgil, on the site where he is supposedly buried. It was just before one of my first trips down to the southern Italian city. When I arrived in Naples I wasn’t sure how to find it, and being a bit nervous about … More A mystical emerald in Naples: Virgil’s park at Piedigrotta

Tarquinia’s Etruscan gems in the Necropolis of Monterozzi

I was eager to visit and explore the Etruscan Necropolis of Monterozzi at Tarquinia, in Northern Lazio, after reading about the painted burial chambers that are preserved here. I was a bit nervous about how difficult it would be to reach the tombs but in the end it was relatively easy: I caught the local … More Tarquinia’s Etruscan gems in the Necropolis of Monterozzi

A medieval jewel in Tarquinia: Santa Maria di Castello

After discovering so much about Etruscan history at Rome’s Villa Giulia, I decided it was time to visit Tarquinia in northern Lazio, one of the twelve original cities of the “Etruscan League” confederation of settlements (formed around 600 BC). My main goal was to see the fascinating frescoes at the Necropolis of Monterozzi, but I … More A medieval jewel in Tarquinia: Santa Maria di Castello