November 28, 2018

Salerno is a Tyrrhenian jewel: a long esplanade bathed in sunlight paired with a tight, dark network of streets rising up the hill which embrace two great buildings, the Norman cathedral dedicated by Robert Guiscard and, close by,  Arichis II’s palatine chapel, S. Pietro a Corte.

S.Pietro a Corte

Chapel is an exaggeration: this was a vaunting building that surely influenced the construction...

November 28, 2018

Fascinating two-day conference at Battipaglia and Salerno dedicated to the extraordinary early Medieval cave sanctuary in the rugged hills above Olevano sul Tusciano. Organized by the historian and archaeologist, Professor Alessandro Di Muro (University of Basilicata), the story of this cave drew a large audience of scholars and ecclesiastics as well as the interested public.

Why so many p...

November 26, 2018

Portraits are rare before the High Middle Ages. This makes the vivid portrait of Abbot Epyphanius in the crypt of San Vincenzo al Volturno rather special.  He is named in the panel below his full-length picture. His square nimbus indicates that he was alive at the time.

John Mitchell in the crypt at San Vincenzo al Volturno

Found in the 19th century and the subject of studies by all the gre...

November 19, 2018

Italy always laments that it has too much heritage. How is it to maintain it all? The UK’s National Trust has an answer: strategize for family-Sundays.

In a cold easterly breeze I was lured to a Georgian pile on the Cotswold scarp above Wotton-under-Edge: Newark Park, It began life as a Tudor hunting lodge. Finding it is no mean feat. It lies a...

November 19, 2018

Jóska’s first odyssey out of Hungary was to Riccardo Francovich’s excavations at Scarlino, Tuscany. The project has a new afterlife forty years on.

Scarlino is perched high on the long spine of a hill in the lee of a dark range that overlooks the Tyrrheanean Sea. It is a quintessential Maremma village. Tightly organized around narrow streets, Scarlino is bigger than it seems from afar. It...

November 12, 2018

Day breaks with a thick mist and the raucous yelling of hunters. The veil of mist lifts to reveal a cloudless sky and the hunters fire episodically and then go quiet. It’s a perfect afternoon for hunting archaeological sites.

Sergio has invited me to visit the archaeological sites he has been recording in our liminal comune of Giove, western Umbria. The first is beside a bend in the Tiber....

November 1, 2018

Origins of a new economic union (7th-12th centuries) edited by Giovanna Bianchi and Richard Hodges, Florence, Insegna del Giglio was published yesterday. It describes the preliminary results by the inter-disciplinary nEU-Med team. It can be retrieved on (open access) at:

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