Viewing posts for the category History

Rome (Roma), Lazio, Italy

Rome – where to start? Rome has so many attractions to cover, it was overwhelming to plan. Piazza Navona was our first stop, since our apartment was closeby. It sits on a 1st century AD racetrack, which is why the piazza is an oval in shape. Entrance to the piazza is free and it’s a cool place to come to enjoy the Italian evening stroll with hundreds of your fellow travelers.

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera boasts a history of some 9000 years.  Some consider it the second oldest town in the world, after Jerusalem.  The oldest part is known as the Sassi.  There are 2 sassi – Sassi Barisano and Sassi Caveoso.  The sassi consists of homes and churches carved into tufa rock and alleyways connecting them.  Look for the alleys and roads that sometimes went over top of the cave homes and cave homes built right on top of one another.  The Sassi dwellers also had a method of collecting rainwater through a system of pipes and cisterns, all dug into rock.  Under Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the main piazza of modern Matera, there is a large cistern that collected rainwater for the townspeople up until the 19th century. 

Pompeii and Nearby Excavations, Campania, Italy

Pompei, the Modern Town

We chose to stay in Pompei (the modern town) for easy access to the ruins and the Amalfi coast. We stayed in a little detached one-bedroom apartment we found on, complete with a well furnished kitchen and a patio overlooking a garden. The owner was a kind-hearted young woman who was very helpful with our plans. The apartment was a 10 minute walk to Pompeii, the Ruins.

Florence (Firenze), Tuscana, Italy

In Florence, we stayed in a 15th century palace centrally located in the middle of Florence. It is somewhat mind boggling to think that this palace was being built when Christopher Columbus was making his first steps onto the Americas. The room itself was part of a palace, with access to a large living and dining area. Unfortunately, the room faced the street, so though it was 3 floors up, the echos from the 4 floor building across the street and the cobblestone street below, amplified each and every sound that came along. Lesson learned? Try to get a room NOT facing the street.

Venice (Venezia), Veneto, Italy

One thing about Venice - it is always busy. There are people everywhere you go, pretty much at any time of the day. Near midnight, there is a little less people.