Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Have you ever imagined what Rome looked like? How did all those ruins link together?

Here is a tour of Rome in the year 320AD looking at the major sites as they looked then.

https://www.vox.com/2016/2/28/11129238/rome-reborn-video.

If you enjoy this tour you can go off and explore for yourself using an interactive map.

For details see: http://rome320ad.com/

Happy sightseeing!

 

 

Castel Del Monte

Posted: March 23, 2017 in History, Italy, Medieval History
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Castel Del Monte (the castle of the mount) sits high on a hill overlooking Apulia in Italy. It was built in the 13th Century by Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emporer as part of a series of defensive castles. It is Octagonal in shape with octagonal towers, a unique design of its time. It is now recognised as a Unesco World Heritage site

The view from the Castle entrance

Inside the Castle. Photo by Irene Grassi (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sun_sand_sea/)

The ancient town of Metaponto is situated on the Ionian coast of southern Italy. It was originally a Greek settlement although evidence has been found locally of occupation back to Neolithic times.

Today the outstanding remains at the site are those of the Temple of Hera, dating back to the 6th century BCE, part of a “countryside sanctuary”.

 

 

Views of Matera (5)

Posted: March 9, 2017 in Italy
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Some pictures from Matera in South Italy, the city of caves.

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Looking inside a cave house

Looking inside a cave house

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The oldest cave dwellings in the ravine - thought to have been occupied since pre-historic times

The oldest cave dwellings in the ravine – thought to have been occupied since pre-historic times

Souvenirs

Souvenirs

Views of Matera (4)

Posted: March 2, 2017 in Italy
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Some more pictures from the fascinating city of Matera in Southern Italy.

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Views of Matera (3)

Posted: February 23, 2017 in Italy
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Some more photos from the amazing town of Matera in southern Italy.

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Views of Matera (2)

Posted: February 21, 2017 in Italy
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There are many fine churches in the town of Matera in Southern Italy.

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Views of Matera (1)

Posted: February 14, 2017 in History, Italy
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Matera is a unique town in Southern Italy. It is built on the side of a gorge and is thought to be one of the oldest inhabited sites in the world dating from the pre-historic period.

The oldest caves in the ravine

The oldest inhabited caves in the ravine

The ancient town was known as ‘Sassi di Matera’ and consisted of houses cut into the rock of the gorge. A front wall would then be built across the cave entrance. Some of these cave houses were still in use until the early 1950’s when the last residents were moved to more modern accommodation at the top of the gorge.

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When I was there, in 1997, we were having a drink in a cafe after visiting some of the cave houses, which had been renovated and opened for tourists to see. The lady in the cafe heard what we were talking about and disappeared. A few moments later she re-appeared with her husband, who spoke no English, but pointed to himself and said proudly ‘Troglodyte’ which means cave dweller. It turned out he was from one of the last families to be moved out of the cave houses and, perhaps surprisingly, we learned that many families were very reluctant to leave their homes in the Sassi to move to new flats in the modern part of the town.

The Sassi at the bottom and the modern town at the top of the ravine

The Sassi at the bottom and the modern town at the top of the ravine

The old town and the Sassi are fascinating places to visit.