Duomo Monreale

April 20, 2019 Duomo Monreale , also referred to as the Cathedral of Monreale, sits at height over the valley in which Palermo resides.  The views of the city,  the large natural port, and the surrounding urban and rural zones are expansive.  Here’s a video with some good shots of the valley, taking you then … Read moreDuomo Monreale

Crowd Scene at San Giovanni

We were walking near San Giovanni in Laterano when we ran across this scene.  San Giovanni is one of four churches in Rome.  It dates from the 4th century although it is much renovated.   The main doors come from the Roman senate in the forum.  The Pope opens them during Jubilee celebrations.  We were there … Read moreCrowd Scene at San Giovanni

Herculaneum (Ercolano)

Herculaneum- Lyre and Cupids

Herculaneum (Ercolano in Italian) is an archaeological site on the Italian coast a bit south of Rome.  The town, inhabited since the 6th century BCE, was destroyed in 79 CE, by the same eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii.  Herculaneum was buried in pyroclastic rock and ash – 15- 20 meters/65 feet  – and was … Read moreHerculaneum (Ercolano)

A Summer of Music in Rome’s Fabulous Venues

Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra

Every summer the Italian government sponsors outdoor music events as part of a broader cultural initiative. The Polo Museale del Lazio (Museum Center of Lazio) put together one hundred activities for this summer’s entertainment.  See http://art-city.it To date we have attended three concerts, one at Castle St Angelo and two at Piazza Venezia.  The former is … Read moreA Summer of Music in Rome’s Fabulous Venues

Rome Struggles, Rome Beckons

View From Castle San Angelo

Rome Struggles, Rome Beckons We landed in Rome’s Ciampino airport.  We are barely on the ground and already Rome’s disarray hit us.   The last time we landed here there was only one bus to Termini, Rome’s central transit point.  We presumed that was still the case when we bought our tickets from the vendor in Valencia’s … Read moreRome Struggles, Rome Beckons

Wines of Northern Italy

Wines of Piedmonte, in the north of Italy I did not realize how complex the matter of Piedmont wine is when I became interested while in Turin (Torino in Italian). What intrigued me were the lightly bubbly wines we were getting at restaurants as a house wine. Red, not white, and not bubbly like champagne. … Read moreWines of Northern Italy

Torino (Turin), historically important and a surprisingly entertaining city in northern Italy

Mole Antonelliana

Torino (Turin), historically important and a surprisingly entertaining city in northern Italy


Turin is more than the home of the Shroud of Turin and the home of one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, Fiat-Chrysler.  It is also home to many museums, most famously the Museo Egitzio (Egyptian Museum), Museo di Antichita, the wonderful archaeological museum; Museo dell Automobile with an astounding collection dating to the first Fiat in 1892;  the excellent Palazzo Reale;  There are many more, as well as astounding architecture and urban design.  Getting around is super easy with its excellent public transit system taking you just about anywhere efficiently and inexpensively.

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From Torino (Turin) to Graz

From Graz to Torino (Turin)


July 10, 2016


From Graz you take a railroad operated bus to the train that carries you into Italy through the Alps; the bus avoids a much longer train ride through the mountains.  The scenery alone makes the trip worthwhile.  There are viaducts and tunnels galore.  Human have inhabited this area for thousands of years, although it is  well west of here,in the Oetztal Alps, where researchers unearthed the frozen body of a man who died in the mountains some 5000 years ago.  For more information on that, go to http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/oetzi-iceman-mummy-alps-lyme-disease-lactose-intolerance/story?id=15816788


graz to italy1


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Pula, Croatia, and its Fabulous Roman Amphitheatre

August 22, 2014 Our visit to Pula, Croatia Croatia is just to our south, and we’d never been there.  It has a certain allure because it is Western European but somehow not, as it was part of Yugoslavia during the post war period.  It became more Slavic during that period and the traditional folk dance … Read morePula, Croatia, and its Fabulous Roman Amphitheatre