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Staying in Calitri, Italy, but don’t have a car or just don’t feel like driving? The seasonal beach bus is back! Enjoy your day at the beach on the Adriatic Coast in Puglia. (Direct bus service to Margherita di Savoia, Puglia, begins July 1.)

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…just wanted to share a few photos I took last November in Benevento (one of these days I’ll have a few minutes to post more!) I found Benevento to be completely, unexpectedly, fascinating and thoroughly charming!
Trajan's Arch in Benevento

Trajan's Arch in Benevento

Obelisk of Isis

Obelisk of Isis

Pedestrain Zone in Benevento, Campania, Southern Italy

Pedestrian Zone Benevento, Campania (rather quiet during the traditional midday, Southern Italy "siesta")

Herculaneum

Herculaneum

A new treasure from Herculaneum was unveiled in Naples on Tuesday, where it will join a major exhibition exploring life in the Ancient Roman town buried by Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The show, running until April 13, already features over 150 artefacts and human remains uncovered over the last three centuries but the new relief, uncovered by accident last month, is stirring fresh interest.

The marble sculpture, dating back to the 1st century AD, apparently depicts two separate scenes centred on Dionysius, the Greek counterpart of Ancient Rome’s god of wine and merrymaking, Bacchus….

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

New treasure joins Herculaneum show

Herculaneum is a great day-trip to take from Casa del Cipresso!  For driving directions from Calitri to Herculaneum, please CLICK HERE.

Southern Italy Vacation Rental – Would you like to stay at Casa del Cipresso? Please contact us at SouthernItaly@comcast.net or click the “buttons”/links on the top of the page for photos and information about the accommodation.

Royal Palace at Caserta

Caserta’s architecture superintendent announced that the Royal Palace of Caserta, the famed Bourbon landmark, is facing thousands of euros of dept that is putting it in in serious danger of closing it’s royal doors…

Reggia di Caserta ‘risks closure’

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY

Visiting The Royal Palace at Caserta is a great day-trip to take from Casa del Cipresso!  For driving directions from Calitri to Caserta, please CLICK HERE.

Southern Italy Vacation Rental – Would you like to stay at Casa del Cipresso? Please contact us at SouthernItaly@comcast.net or click the “buttons”/links on the top of the page for photos and information about the accommodation.
Venosa Castle at Twilight

Venosa Castle at Twilight

Venusia, or modern day Venosa,  has a surprisingly rich history for somewhere now so off-the beaten path…or certainly not very popular as far as mass-tourism goes anyway.

Venosa was inhabited as far back as prehistoric times (traces of Acheullean and Chellean settlements have been found there).  An Apulian town (now, Venosa is part of Basilicata) in Roman times, it eventually became the largest colony in the Roman world.

Venosa lays claim to quite a few well-known historical figures.  The Roman general, Marcellus was ambushed at Venosa and killed by Hannibal in 208BC.  It was the birthplace of Horace (the famous Roman poet) and of Manfred (the son of Frederick II, King of Sicily).  Venosa was also home to the famous “Prince of Venosa,” Carlo Gesualdo, composer of some of the most well-know choral madrigals from the late Italian Renaissance (and also extremely scandalous murderer of his wife and her lover.)

The fairy-tale, 15th century, Venosa Castle sits in the main piazza – complete with whimsical towers and a moat.  (Of all the Norman castles I’ve seen in Southern Italy, this one is the one that is straight out of the story-books.)  Inside, there has been a modern renovation and it now houses the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (open 9am-7pm) with a nice display of Greek, Roman, and medieval finds from Venosa, and also includes some more unusual finds from Venosa’s ancient Jewish population (you can also visit the adjoining Jewish catacombs) and impressive skeletal remains from homo erectus (300,000 years ago!).

Other interesting sights in Venosa include a 13c fountain and stone carved lions, the supposed tomb of Marcellus, 16c cathedral, and the Museo Briscese, displaying Palaeolithic finds.

Right outside the town of Venosa, stands La Trinita Abbey, a very impressive monastic complex founded by the Benedictines in 1046.  It was originally a Roman temple, then an early Christian church, and finally the Abbey that still stands today.  Inside, it houses what is said to be the tomb of Robert Guiscard and his first wife, along with some beautiful frescoes, including one of Joan I of Naples, and a Pieta said to be by Roberto Oderisus.

Across from La Trinita Abbey, you can wander the ruins of the ancient Roman baths, Roman amphitheatre, and Jewish Catacombs (9am-7pm or an hour before sunset)

Venosa (Basilicata) can be reached in about one hour by car from Calitri and makes for a wonderful historical excursion.

The Castle at Venosa

The Castle at Venosa

Southern Italy Vacation Rental – Would you like to stay at Casa del Cipresso near Venosa? Please contact us at SouthernItaly@comcast.net .

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