Category: Ancient History

A Little Greek / Yogurt in Paestum

Paestum Temple

If you tell a Roman that you are going Paestum for the weekend, invariably he or she will tell you: “Make sure you pick up some mozzarella di bufala.” Paestum is a sight to see without the culinary pit stop. A city known as “Poseidonia” when it was part of Magna Grecia, Paestum is home to …

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Natale di Roma: Rome Celebrates Its Birthday

She Wolf in the Capitoline Museums

This post is about the birth of Rome, not about the birth of Christ. Both occasions use the word “Natale” in Italian. For posts about Christmas in Rome and Italy, click here. Most city foundation stories are pretty straightforward. But the origin story of the city of Rome is more akin to something you would read …

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Rome’s New Archeology Czar

News outlets are reporting that the Italian government has appointed Guido Bertolaso, of Naples garbage crisis fame, to head a new effort to address the poor state of Rome’s archeological treasures. According to the International Herald Tribune, Bertolaso will be in charge of whipping into shape some of Rome’s most famous – but crumbling –  …

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Pompeii By Night

Question: What’s eerier than surveying the ruins of Pompeii? Answer: Visiting them at night. According to the ansa.it news service, Pompeii will once again offer its popular “Sound-and-Light” tour, a one-hour look at the ancient Roman city complete with ambient music, flood-lit ruins, and a video simulation of the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed the …

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What’s Old Is New Again: Rome’s Via Appia Antica

Now that we’ve entered the Holy Season, tourism to Rome is going to start heating up again quite quickly. Of course, you can follow the pilgrimage throngs around the Lenten Station circuit. Or, you can travel outside the city walls to check out the Via Appia Antica. David Farley’s one-day itinerary along the ancient road …

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Et tu, Brute?

Friends, Romans, countrymen…I’ve been wanting to study Latin for a very long time, but keep shifting it down on my list of priorities. This NY Times editorial from Harry Mount titled “A Vote for Latin” is a good argument for learning more about the classics and the language that spawned Italian. Now, does anyone know …

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