Author Archives: thehistorytourist

Nearing the End in Orvieto

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Orvieto is a small city in Umbria.  It sits on a volcanic plug — the flat summit of a volcano  — on what is said to be one of the most dramatic settings in the world. It was  our last … Continue reading

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Assisi Is

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Uphill.  All. The. Time. What goes up must come down? Wrong. Roman Umbia’s central location made it desirable to conquering outsiders, starting with the Etruscans in 5th century BCE. The Romans showed up in the 3rd century BCE and stayed … Continue reading

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Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

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The last thing I expected, at the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Assisi, were the soldiers with submachine guns roaming the basilica grounds.  Yes, they’d been at other major tourist attractions.  We’d had to go through security scanners … Continue reading

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St. Apollinare in Classe

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I’d never heard of them but according to the Gospel of Luke in the Bible — no, I’m not preaching so just bear with me here — there was a group of 70 (or 72, depending on the translation) second … Continue reading

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Venice on Foot

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Leaving the train station, we had the choice of walking back toward our hotel via the east side of the Grand Canal or the west. We opted for the east because it seemed a more commercial route, and I was … Continue reading

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Water, Water, Everywhere: On Venice’s Grand Canal

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“General Grant seriously remarked to a particularly bright young woman that Venice would be a fine city if it were drained.”  Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams “The best way to see as much as possible of Venice in … Continue reading

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Napoleon (Not) In Venice: the Correr Museum

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Napoleon briefly ruled Venice, starting in 1797, and not all Venetians were against him. Venice, until that time, had been an oligarchy, and many were tired of it. As admirers of the French Revolution, they saw in Napoleon the opportunity … Continue reading

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