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This summer, I will be travelling (and blogging) my way around parts of Europe touched by the ancient Greeks and Romans. I have chosen the itinerary for my trip based on recommendations from friends and Classicists, but also based on what is new to me. Hence Italy is completely missing, as are some of the most popular parts of Greece.

I’m hoping to put together some innovative resources and soak up some inspiration to reflect back in my lessons, but also hoping to broaden my experience and knowledge of the Classical world. I realised I’d never been to the Greek islands, to northern Greece, to some of the most impressive parts of Roman Spain. Then I read an article about an incredible amphitheatre in Croatia, and spoke to someone about a Roman site in Portugal, and had a conversation over lunch with the author Ben Kane about the wonders of reconstructed forts in Germany. A plan was coming together.

I’m booked on three three-week adventures:

  1. Greece, Bulgaria and Romania (April to May)
  2. Spain and Portugal (May to June)
  3. Germany and Croatia (June to July)

Here is my itinerary…

Greece, Bulgaria and Romania: April/May

  • Athens (a stop-off. Quick journey to the Piraeus ready for the ferry)
  • Mykonos (and Delos, of course!)
  • Naxos (to see if Ariadne’s still there)
  • Santorini (apparently Akrotiri is open once more!)
  • Heraklion (and from there to Knossos)
  • Fly back to Athens
  • Thebes (communing with the unhappy spirits of Oedipus and family!)
  • Larissa (and on to pass Mount Olympus and nod to Zeus)
  • Thessaloniki
  • Sofia (into the land of Orpheus)
  • Plovdiv (ancient theatre etc.)
  • Varna (on to the Black Sea)
  • Constanța (to walk in the footsteps of Ovid)
  • Bucharest (to catch a plane back home)

Spain and Portugal: May/June

  • Madrid (another stop-off after arriving on the plane from Bristol)
  • Segovia (for the aqueduct, of course)
  • Zaragoza (Roman theatre and more)
  • Tarragona (amphitheatre and more)
  • Sagunto (seeing the Punic powder-keg for war between Rome and Carthage)
  • Valencia
  • Alicante (a few days of rest, being joined by my family for half-term)
  • Córdoba (Islamic as well as Roman history)
  • Sevilla (including Hadrian’s birth-place at Itálica)
  • Mérida
  • Lisboa
  • Évora
  • Coimbra (Conimbriga)
  • Porto (some port, perhaps, then off home)

Germany and Croatia: June/July

  • Köln (Colonia Agrippinensis)
  • Xanten (this particularly on the recommendation of Ben Kane)
  • Bonn
  • Trier
  • Mainz
  • Saalburg
  • Aalen
  • Munich (ready for the train down to Venice)
  • Venice (for the ferry across to Croatia)
  • Poreč
  • Pula (and the amazing amphitheatre)
  • Zadar (with a sea-organ, apparently!)
  • Split (and Diocletian’s palace)
  • Dubrovnik (and a flight back to Gatwick)
  • Fishbourne (for Cogidubnus’s palace, to compare with Diocletian’s!)

If you have any tips, restaurant recommendations, or anything to add, please let me know!

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