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24 August 79: A Day Like Any Other

It’s a scorching hot August day, much like that fateful August day 1 938 years ago, I imagine. And much like the residents in 79 must have done, I’m walking the streets of this once wealthy Roman town, then home to 15 – 20 000 people. They walked and worked and played in vibrant, urban surrounds. I walk among Pompeii’s […]

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A Tale of Two Villas

30 kilometres from Rome, you’ll find two villas. Two very different villas. In fact, the only thing they have in common is being on UNESCOs list of properties worthy of special protection for the future. The bus from Rome (from the station Ponte Mammolo on Metro line B) takes me to Tivoli in the hills […]

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The streets of Genoa

Italy’s largest sea port was once known as a rough and rowdy city. Yet, more than 100 palaces and grand residences line the splendid streets of Genoa. A beauty that tears the soul The Ligurian coast seems to have had a magnetic draw on artists. Poets, musicians, painters, they all flocked to these shores. Percy […]

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Sailing and cooking in Sestri Levante

Is there a better start to the morning than a brisk sail in a fresh breeze? I don’t think so. As I’ve mentioned here, here and here, there’s much more to the Italian Riviera than Cinque Terre. So much more. Here’s yet another little jewel. About 56 kilometres from Genoa you’ll find Sestri Levante. Once […]

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Juliet's balcony Verona

World at a Glance: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

One of the most visited spots in the city of Verona is not real. La Casa di Giulietta, Juliet’s house, and even more famously, Juliet’s balcony, is a figment of an author’s imagination. Now, William Shakespeare isn’t just any author, of course. Though he probably didn’t ever set foot in Verona. And while the city of […]

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11 most popular Instagrams in April 2015

The gorgeous Ligurian Riviera was a major player in our Instagram gallery last month, so you will have seen some of these photos recently. But it wasn’t all about Italy. Poland, Sweden and Switzerland feature among our most popular ‘grams of April, as well.

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Cinque Terre, Portovenere and the Poets

Portovenere I know you’re all waiting for Cinque Terre – and I’ll get to that. But hold your horses, as the Yanks say. First, I’ll show you a town at least as pretty (and even more interesting, I think). That’s Portovenere, just a few kilometres away. I’d recommend staying here rather than in the five little villages, […]

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