Theodora is my Idol (I suppose Justinian was ok too): Hagia Sophia!

Although Hagia Sophia made me cry the first time I saw it in person from the outside, we didn’t actually go inside the structure for a couple days. Pretty unusually for us, we had actually booked a tour to see the interior. When living in Rome in the past my dear companion worked for Context Tours, a… Read More Theodora is my Idol (I suppose Justinian was ok too): Hagia Sophia!

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Not Overrated in Lisbon? the Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum, though part of the same complex of buildings as the mostly overrated Jerónimos Monastery, is not overrated. Underrated in fact. It’s great, but you should know it’s huge and they approach Portugal’s extensive maritime history from many, many different angles: Age of Exploration, Naval, Commercial, Leisure and on and on ad infinitum. So while… Read More Not Overrated in Lisbon? the Maritime Museum

Mostly Overrated in Lisbon: the Jerónimos Monastery

The pocket travel guide I had bought to carry with me around Lisbon (mostly for the maps, because the guide itself was crap) was breathless over the loveliness of the Jerónimos Monastery in the Belém neighborhood. And it is pretty. It’s an example of late-Gothic Maneuline style architecture–particular to Portugal–and it was quite pretty on the outside. However.… Read More Mostly Overrated in Lisbon: the Jerónimos Monastery

Calm and Quiet amid the Chaos: The Protestant Cemetary

Rome is a nutty city. The drivers are wild (though with their own certain logic), the store/museum/church/restaurant hours are variable and unreliable, the public transit is a lost cause. Romans, tourists, and ex-pats orbit each other in alternating tense or relaxed revolutions. Amidst all the crazy I always sought out calm and quiet. Usually that… Read More Calm and Quiet amid the Chaos: The Protestant Cemetary

The Most Fun You’ll have in Rome in August: Il Passetto

Il Passetto is the Medieval pathway that connects the Vatican palace to the Castel Sant’Angelo. Most of the time, visitors don’t even notice it– but if you’ve approached the Vatican from Prati (which is the neighborhood with the Ottaviano metro stop) then you’ve gone through an archway that was supporting Il Passetto. Most of the… Read More The Most Fun You’ll have in Rome in August: Il Passetto

Amalfi vs. Positano and why the Ferry is the Best

Heat exhaustion aside, my feelings about the Amalfi Coast are mixed at best. Again, it’s ridiculously beautiful, but the unpleasantness, meaning the crowds, the english, the overwhelming number of tourists leave me cold. I would be ok if I never went back to the Amalfi Coast in favor of equally lovely, but much more hospitable… Read More Amalfi vs. Positano and why the Ferry is the Best