July 22, 2019

Forty years since I was asked by the soprintendente  if I would consider excavating at San Vincenzo al Volturno. Listen to (Prof) Andrea Augenti’s  thoughtful broadcast about San Vincenzo n his RAI3 archaeological series:


July 22, 2019

Umbria is glorious, a global, cultural brand. That said, try finding walking or trekking guides through its peerless landscapes! The official online ones are almost impossible to use – no maps, pdfs that won’t download. Thankfully thoughtful Americans leave their versions to whet your appetite.

So we set out to walk a section of the Spoleto-Nocera (abandoned) railway. Under cloudless skies...

July 19, 2019

A new excavation at Fiskardo has drawn me back to this little port in north-east Kefalonia. The dig has brought more tombs to light. The earliest belongs to the Mid (Roman) Empire, like the sea-shore line of tombs excavated some years ago and now conserved for public display. But there are simple tile covered later Roman tombs too. Remains of an insubstantial stone building post-dating th...

July 18, 2019

One of the most memorable evenings at AUR was the occasion in 2013 when we awarded Andrea Camilleri with an honorary degree. It was a particular thrill for me as I have long cherished his books.

I have treated each instalment of his celebrated chronicle of Salvo Montalbano as though I was looking forward to eating seafood at Enzo’s, the inspector’s favourite restaurant. Each story is lyric...

July 12, 2019

A typhoon passed across Greece last night with tragic consequences in Thrace. The stormy weather brought new light to the Straits of Ithaka. And white caps galore. The little ferry from Kefalonia struggled in the mottled sunshine and was late arriving at Aetos, the spare Ithaka harbour on the straits.

Vathy and its seascape

It is sixteen years since I was last in Vathy, but the little port...

July 10, 2019

At 6.49 this morning a truck seemed to crash into the upper floor of our house. Half awake, I knew instantly what it was. I rushed to the window and caught sight of others nearby peering out of their windows. It was an earthquake. 3.3 on the Richter scale, its epicentre about 30 kilometres away.

We were fortunate. Now earthquakes on Kefalonia hold special significance. The island was struc...

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