Category: Ancient History

Ancient Ruins, Virtual Reality: Archaeological Sites Embrace VR For Enhanced Experiences

Domus Aurea, Sala Ottagona

Last weekend the Domus Aurea, also known as Nero’s Golden Palace, became the latest attraction to offer visitors the chance to wear virtual reality headsets while touring the site.

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The Atlas of Ancient Rome: Your New Favorite Coffee Table Book

Atlas of Ancient Rome

The Atlas of Ancient Rome, a gorgeous, new two-volume set edited by Andrea Carandini, promises to be an “authoritative archeological survey of Rome from prehistory to the early medieval period.” The slip-cased set is available now.

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Rome’s Ancient Pantheon to Begin Charging Admission

Pantheon

The Pantheon, one of the last major landmarks in Rome with free entry, will soon begin to charge admission.

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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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The Colosseum, On High and Down Low

One of the things you need to know about touring Rome (and many other places in Italy) is that if you want to see something really special, then you’ll have to pay extra for it by going on a guided tour. While tours can certainly eat into your travel budget, they can also transform a …

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Ancients Doing Modern Things

Sed primum a me accipe selfie

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Do You Know the Way to Pompeii?

About a year ago, I posted some information about going to Pompeii from Rome on a day trip. Just a few days ago, I was alerted of a new way to get there. When in Rome Tours has private and semi-private minibus tours to Pompeii. They’ll pick you up in Rome, drive to Pompeii via …

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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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Aerial Views of Ancient Rome

Leave it to Google to continue to make geography cool and engaging. Yesterday, Google revealed the new Ancient Rome 3D layer, which allows viewers to “fly” over the city as it was during the heyday of the Forum and Colosseum. With this new layer, Google is also encouraging educators to use Ancient Rome 3D in …

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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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Day Trip to Pompeii from Rome

My friend Tom recently asked me if I knew of any good day trips to Pompeii from Rome. When I last visited Pompeii, I did it myself: taking the morning train to Naples then Pompeii and doing the reverse in the evening. My tour of Pompeii was solo and without a guide; quite frankly, being …

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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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Ancient Romulus Cave Found

If you believe the legend that Rome was founded more than 2,000 years ago by the twins Romulus and Remus (who are seen suckling a she-wolf in Rome’s famous “logo”), then word that scientists have found the Lupercale will astonish you. According to Reuters, archeologists restoring the ancient Palace of Augustus on the Palatine hill …

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2,000 Years of Style in Rome

  Way back in 1999, I remember walking up to the pile of rubble and marble that was the Ara Pacis and feeling amazed that such an ancient monument had been left so lonesome on the banks of the Tiber to weather the elements. Most of the rest of Rome’s monuments were under scaffolding at …

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Ancient Rome Rebuilt

Thanks to historians, architects, archeologists and other scholars at the University of Virginia and UCLA, ancient history buffs can virtually explore the wonders of Rome, including the Colosseum and the Forum. Rome Reborn 1.0 is a digital model of Eternal City, and one of the most comprehensive representations of the ancient city ever assembled. The …

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Going Underground

Wow…here’s a link for the more morbid – or more scholarly – Italophiles. The International Catacomb Society, based out of Massachusetts, has an impressive website full of information on Roman catacombs within and outside of the Eternal City. Be sure to check out the interactive map section. Simply fascinating.

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Exploring Etruria

Never underestimate the treasure trove that is your local used bookstore. While browsing idly yesterday, I came across the book Affreschi: Exploring Etruria, the only book I know that focuses on the once Etruscan domain that stretched from Rome to southern Tuscany and east to Umbria. Profiled, for example, are the towns of Civitavecchia, Cosa and …

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