To the Cinque Terre by Sea

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La Spezia is a port city located mid-point along a gulf — the Gulf of La Spezia, as it happens — on the northwestern coast of Italy. Part of the Italian Riviera, in the 19th century it was a hang-out … Continue reading

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Lucca III: Sanctuary of St. Gemma

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It was Saturday night in Lucca, so what did Patricia and I do? Did we go out for a hot time in the old town? Of course not. Like the good Catholic girls we are, we went to church. The … Continue reading

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Lucca II: Palazzo Mansi

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The Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi was a little hard to find. If I was expecting a large, lavish, can’t-be-missed palatial facade — and I was — I was in for a disappointment. What you see from the dark, narrow … Continue reading

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Lucca I: San Michele in Foro

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The streets of center city Lucca, like the streets of many old Tuscan towns, look like this. Our touring bus looked like this. So in Lucca, as in most of the towns we visited, the bus wasn’t allowed in. The … Continue reading

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The HT March Through Rome Part II: Saints & Elephants

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Just behind the Pantheon is the 14th century Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.  My patron saint, Catherine of Sienna, is buried there, so I wanted to take a quick run in to say hello. At least, most-of St. Catherine … Continue reading

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The HT March Through Rome Part I: From Trajan to the Pantheon

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In Patricia’s version of our day in Rome, she was force-marched through the city, begging for food and water, while I was on my single-minded quest to conquor as many history sites as possible in one afternoon.  That’s so untrue.  … Continue reading

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Communing with the Caesars: the Colosseum & the Forum

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Fun fact: At least one eye-witness account of Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech has Henry saying “Tarquin and Caesar had each his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third may profit by … Continue reading

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