Archives

The Alhambra of Granada

Jan 25th, 2018 | Dr Kathleen Olive

Quien no ha visto Granada. No ha visto nada. (He who has not seen Granada, has seen nothing at all.)   Granada is southern Spain’s precious jewel, and for much of the Middle Ages it dangled – like the glowing pomegranate for which it is named – temptingly before the eyes of the Christian conquistadors, who ...

Finding tranquility in modern Japan

Oct 31st, 2017 | Dr Kathleen Olive

Japan today is virtually a synonym for hyper-modernity: the Tokyo prefecture alone has a population of over 13 million, for example. Millions of readers worldwide enjoy fast-paced Japanese comics (manga), with their zany, misfit characters and supernatural plots. And the nation’s GDP – the world’s third largest – stands at USD 4.1 trillion. But amongst ...

Ten cultural experiences in Florence not to miss!

Aug 8th, 2017 | Dr Kathleen Olive

You’ve waited in line to see Michelangelo’s David and you’ve sighed over Botticelli’s Birth of Venus – so what else shouldn’t you miss in Florence, the cradle of the Italian Renaissance? Tour leader Dr Kathleen Olive, who lived and studied in this beautiful city, has some suggestions. “As long as you avoid the major tourist ...

A History of Italian Culture: The Layers of Rome

Sep 6th, 2016 | Dr Kathleen Olive

Rome is often compared to a palimpsest, a text made up of older, “invisible” texts scraped off durable parchment so that it could be reused. Thanks to modern research techniques, the older writings underneath can now be deciphered, brought back to the surface – and this is often what has happened in the city of ...

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