The Muddy Archaeologist's Blog

Blog by Gillian Hovell, The Muddy Archaeologist


After journeying across Southern Italy yesterday, we have arrived in Sorrento to enjoy the highlight of any tour. Pompeii, an ordinary Roman town, was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in … Continue reading

April 24, 2016 · Leave a comment


A trip into the Medieval world today.  Otranto boasts a fine fortress, dating to the AD 1400s, with all the state of the art defences (which were defeated by newer methods … Continue reading

April 22, 2016 · 1 Comment


Down in the heel of Italy … near the Adriatic and the ancient launching-off port for Greece and the East … here we are in Lecce.  It’s a town full … Continue reading

April 21, 2016 · Leave a comment

SOUTHERN ITALY : Across the country

It’s taken two days’ travelling (with a break at Matera) to drive from the Straits of Messina to the Adriatic coast on the east side of Southern Italy. We’ve driven … Continue reading

April 20, 2016 · 3 Comments

Southern Italy : Messina & Matera

Crossing over from Sicily to Southern Italy is a visit into a sea of myths and legends. Charybdis was the whirlpool in Homer’s Odyssey who had once been a nymph … Continue reading

April 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

Sicily (Day 4) : Mount Etna

Mount Etna has been an influence on the people who have lived in Sicily since the first humans arrived.  This active volcano almost constantly steams, and pushes out ash dust … Continue reading

April 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Sicily (Day 3) : Agrigento

A wonderful day today, travelling across the heartlands of this, the biggest island in the Mediterranean.   The journey is well worth it; not only as an opportunity to see more of … Continue reading

April 17, 2016 · 2 Comments


  Our tour kicked off today with a walking tour of beautiful Taormina town.  This town is so close to the site of the first Greek colonists who settled here (at … Continue reading

April 15, 2016 · Leave a comment


I’ve arrived in Taormina for the start of the Smithsonian Journey’s wonderful tour of Sicily and Southern Italy. And what a welcome we’ve had: A rep with an infectious love … Continue reading

April 15, 2016 · 2 Comments