The Roman Forum: From Outpost to Empire in Ten Easy Centuries

Why This Guidebook on the Roman Forum? What makes the guidebook The Roman Forum: From Outpost to Empire in Ten Easy Centuries so important?  Well, it's reader-friendly.  For example, I tackled the history of the [...]

Your Intrepid Guide Hikes Hadrian’s Wall, September 2023

Why I Planned to Hike Hadrian’s Wall, The Backstory: I wanted to hike Hadrian’s Wall as far back as 7th grade.  Not as if I knew anything about hiking.  Or Hadrian's Wall.  Or ancient Roman history for [...]

Reasons to Visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel – or Not.

At the end of 2022, I refused to renew my yearly pass to work as a guide in the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  “Why?” you ask.  Well, visiting the Vatican Museums and Sistine had become unpleasant.  Really unpleasant.  So, [...]

S.P.Q.R.: The Empire Lives On!

Why talk about S.P.Q.R.?  Well, as the Western world collapses around us, TicTok reveals that men think about the Roman Empire daily.  I can't vouch for men.  But I know I think about it frequently!  And one of my favorite [...]

Rome-Ostia on Foot: If Ancient Romans Did It…

Part 1: I was Young, Married, and Foolish I’ve always enjoyed walking and, in my late-twenties, I learned to love jogging.  Somewhere along the way I purchased a book called A Piedi nel Lazio (On foot in [...]

Paestum mid-September 2020

Mid-September rolled around and I still hadn’t gone on vacation.  Correction: I still hadn’t traveled anywhere.  I had maintained a spectacular track record until this year: Jordan in January, 2013; archeological sites in Spain for a month in 2015; [...]

Rome in the Time of the Coronavirus, March 12th 2020

This blog is for all those open-hearted travelers who have adopted me and, therefore, thought about me over the last several weeks, sending expressions of concern and affection.  This blog is also for the curious, who want an insider’s [...]

Twenty-five years of Rome… January 26th, 2020

I came to Rome for my last semester of college.  It was the end of January, 1995.  I was young(ish) and unprepared for the experience.  (More unprepared than young!)  My expectations of the Eternal City were based on black [...]

Give an Experience: Give a Tour Bonus!

Giving a unique gift is a thrill.  So contribute to part of a newly-wedded relative’s honeymoon.  Invest in your kids’ first solo trip to Europe.  Or help close friends celebrate an anniversary in a memorable and educative way.  Donate a [...]