Via Scelerata and the Evil Steps

Via Scelerata and the Evil Steps

Posted on Feb 7, 2017 in Italy, Rome | No Comments

A foreign visitor stopped me on the via Cavour and with two words he asked one of the most frequent tourist questions in Rome’s Monti District. “Saint Peters?” He phrased the question with an expression of frustration, as if he had been searching for the church for quite a while. I knew right away he […]

Provence – The Roman Province along the via Julia

Provence – The Roman Province along the via Julia

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 in France, Provence-Alps Maritime | No Comments

Along the via Julia Augusta (via Aurelia): Aix, Pont Flavien, Frejus, Nice, La Turbie In 13 BC, the via Julia Augusta went east from Arelate (Arles) to Aix en Provence, Fréjus, Nice and into the Ligurian coast of the Italian peninsula where it merged with the via Amelia, via Postumia and via Aurelia back to […]

Provence – The Roman Province along the via Agrippa

Provence – The Roman Province along the via Agrippa

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 in France, Loire Valley, Provence-Alps Maritime | No Comments

Along the via Agrippa: Arles (Arelate), Barbegal Mill, Carpentras (Carpentoracte), Orange (Arausio), Vaison La Romaine (Vasio), Vienne (Viennensium) The three great roads of the Roman Province were the via Domitia, the via Agrippa and the via Julia Augusta. The latter became known as the via Aurelia in the 3rd century when Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus Augustus) became Rome’s 44th Emperor. […]

Provence – The Roman Province along the via Domitia

Provence – The Roman Province along the via Domitia

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 in France, Languedoc, Provence-Alps Maritime | No Comments

Along the via Domitia: Ambrussum – Nîmes – Pont du Gard – Mas de Tourelles –  Saint Rémy de Provence and Glanum – Les Baux de Provence and Les Trémaïés –   Apt and Pont Julien La Provincia di Roma, as it was known during the Roman empire, actually extends past the current borders of Provence. Redistricting over the […]

A great day in the ancient city – 2016

A great day in the ancient city – 2016

Posted on Sep 27, 2016 in News | No Comments

The restoration of ancient Rome has become fashionable. Last year (2015) the Coliseum completed it’s 25 million euro restoration thanks to Diego Della Valle and Tod’s Leather Goods. It hasn’t looked this good since 1349 when an earthquake caused the outer wall to collapse.   Thanks to a generous donation from the Yagi Tsusho company […]

The Walls and Gates of Rome

The Walls and Gates of Rome

Posted on Sep 20, 2016 in Italy, Rome | No Comments

The Walls of Rome The Servian Walls If you’re arriving to Rome’s 1930’s Termini Train Station, look to the right as you walk out the front of the station into the Piazza dei Cinquecento, the square named for the 500 Italian soldiers who were wiped out by 7,000 Ethiopians at the Battle of Dogali (Eritrea) […]

The (not so Spanish) Spanish Steps

The (not so Spanish) Spanish Steps

Posted on Feb 25, 2016 in Italy, Lazio-Rome, Rome | No Comments

  Oh the streets of Rome are filled with rubble Ancient footprints are everywhere You can almost think you’re seeing double On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs Bob Dylan, When I paint my Masterpiece, 1971     The Spanish Steps have become one of the most famous landmarks of Rome. Each Spring […]

Mussolini’s Architectural Legacy in Rome

Mussolini’s Architectural Legacy in Rome

Posted on Jan 13, 2016 in Italy, Rome | No Comments

Rome is a very old city, by most estimates, over 2800 years old. You can literally wander from the 8th century BC to the 21st century in a day’s walk. The architectural styles of Rome are just as eternal as the city itself. The Classical city was mostly built between the 1st century BC and the […]

Christmas in Rome

Christmas in Rome

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 in Italy, Rome | No Comments

Christmas or Saturnalia? In 336, the Roman Emperor Constantine inserted a celebration of Jesus Christ into the fun and frolic of the Saturnalia, a festival dedicated to Saturn held annually from December 17-23. The holiday included great feasts, gambling, gift giving and a once a year role reversal where Masters would become Servants. It’s hard […]

Emerita Augusta – Mérida, Spain

Emerita Augusta – Mérida, Spain

Posted on Nov 15, 2015 in Mérida, Spain | No Comments

Mérida is the Capital city of the Extremadura Region of Spain, one of the country’s least visited and least populated (about 3%) regions. The summers are hot and dry. The winters are long and wet. The Extremadura is famous for the Spanish Conquistadors, Hernàn Cortès and Francisco Pizarro, the two conquerors who wiped out the […]

Waking up the ghosts of the Spanish Civil War

Waking up the ghosts of the Spanish Civil War

Posted on Oct 18, 2015 in Madrid, Spain | No Comments

Dr. Almudena Cros stands in the center of the Plaza Mayor, the 17th century centerpiece of old Madrid. She opens a large portfolio and turns the pages to a photo from 1931. King Alfonso XIII had just abdicated the throne and a crowd of over excited citizens have just toppled the 17th century statue of […]

September in Rome – 2015

September in Rome – 2015

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in Italy, Rome | No Comments

When the ancient Roman year began in March, at the time of the Vernal Equinox, September was the 7th month. Septum is Latin for 7. A lot has changed over the years. In 1582, the calendar experts of Pope Gregory XIII (Boncompagni) discovered a major flaw in Julius Caesar’s Julian calendar. Every 128 years, the ancient […]