Rome’s Fascinating Basilica of San Clemente Reveals 2,000 Years of History

I descended 60 feet below Rome’s surface into a mysterious past I knew little about…

The ancient Basilica of San Clemente, named after Rome’s third pope, hardly drew my attention as I passed by on my walk from the Colosseum. I soon discovered that I had approached the basilica from the side by mistake, missing the grand entrance fronted by a small courtyard with palm trees.

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I had previously read about the basilica’s three levels of fascinating history, one church on top of another. The present 12th-century basilica was erected on the site of a previous church which had been buried for centuries underneath the level of the city streets.

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Wine and Liquors, Secrets of the Monks of Padua

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Abbazia Di Praglia-( photo taken from website http://www.praglia.it )

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Grey afternoon skies hung low over the countryside surrounding Padua, about a 40-minute drive west of Venice. I had just driven ten kilometers southwest of town to arrive at my destination, the Abbazia Di Praglia, a Benedictine community of monks. Nestled at the feet of the Euganean hills, along an ancient road leading to the neighboring town of Este, my arrival at the Abbey appeared as if I had just stepped back in time. Read more

Explore Ortigia, Sicily’s Città Vecchia

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The sun-splashed lungomare d’Ortigia is a sensual delight. Recently, I had made the drive to Ortigia from my lodging at Hotel Bosco Ciancio on the slopes of Mt. Etna to meet with my tour guide,  Marco Sanzaro. My goal was to discover the wonders of the island of Ortigia, the historical heart of the ancient Greek city of Syracuse on Sicily’s eastern shore.

As I walked the footpath that followed the waterfront, I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant green waters of the Ionian sea Read more

Brunelleschi’s Incredible Dome of the Florence Cathedral

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I recently watched the television series, “Medici, Masters of Florence” on Netflix. I found myself so intrigued by the sight of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Florence Cathedral) without the dome that I decided to do a little research. What I discovered is fascinating and makes quite a tale.

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