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Italian government dissolved

In what seems to be an almost annual event the president of Italy has dissolved parliament to pave the way for new elections in the spring. Despite changes to the constitution in 1993 designed to create more stability, Italy's political system continues to be one of the most erratic in Europe. If you thought politics in the US were bad, just watch the scene in Italy for a while – they have had at least 65 different governments since the Republic of Italy was founded in 1946, averaging just over one per year.

The glamorous life of an archaeologist

The Indiana Jones series of movies created a whole generation that dreamed about living the exciting life of an archaeologist. The truth is that most archaeologists spend an amazing amount of time digging through ancient toilets and trash heaps.

A team from the University of Cambridge recently examined ancient faeces from prehistoric burials on the Greek island of Kea, and discovered the first archaeological evidence for the parasitic worms described 2,500 years ago in the writings of Hippocrates.

Travel Thought for the Week

“Of all the motives for taking off, perhaps too much has been made of those lofty goals of mastering a new language, meeting people, learning about another culture. Education is doubtless a noble aspiration, but not enough, in my opinion, has been said about the advantages of ignorance. Personally I would prefer to go places where I don’t speak the language or know anybody, where I easily lose my direction and have no delusions that I’m in control. Feeling disoriented, even frightened, I find myself awake, alive, in ways I never would at home.”
– Michael Mewshaw, American novelist, Playing Away

Happy Christmas!

Sunshine on the Riviera

One of the first custom tours I led in Europe, enjoying the sunny French Riviera in Monaco. This was more than 20 years ago, when the company was still part of my retail store, Bon Voyage! Travel Books & Maps. #tbt

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