Crossing cultures and 12 things to make it easier

Photo courtesy of Jessica Bell (

Disruptive didn’t begin to describe it. I would have a family there, I’d be comfortable materially, and I would be able to keep my father’s legacy. But every tiny thing would be different.

I’d been forced, sobbing, from my East Coast home after Dad died, and dumped in […]

Naples underground

The BBC’s series that started last week with fabulous film and virtual reconstructions of tunnels and monuments under present day Naples (#invisiblecities #italy) reminded me of my mini-excursion underground in 2012. Roman remains are built into the arteries of underground Naples and I was fascinated to see how Roman walls and arches were criss-crossed with […]

Seven Roman sites you might like...

I’ve clambered over, through or on a fair bit of Roman Europe. Let me share a few with you…

My first Roman mosaic floor, Ampurias/Empúries, Catalonia I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and touching. The tiny exquisite tile pieces, the faultless geometric patterns, the vast expanse of it and the stunning setting by the […]

Isca Dumnoniorum, or Exeter to you and me

Isca Dumnoniorum c. AD 350

I’ve been over in Devon staying with my writing friend Helen Hollick for a week and yesterday we visited Exeter, including the museum. Of course, I went for the Roman stuff!

The Romans established a large castrum (fortified camp) named Isca around AD 55 at the southwest end of […]

What inspired Roma Nova?

I’m often asked this when I do interviews, talks or simply chatting to readers, but I don’t think I’ve ever put it all in one place on this my own blog.

Well, three things!

The first was when I was on holiday in north-east Spain one summer. Here’s the story…

A small child, curls bobbing […]

Roman holidays?

My Roman trip!

A ‘holiday’ today means is a specific trip or journey, usually for the purpose of recreation or tourism. But the concept of taking a vacation is a recent invention, and has developed through the last two centuries. Historically, the idea of travel for recreation was a luxury only wealthy people could […]