A thought on Liverpool as it catches Unesco’s eye

The docks in Liverpool, England

The docks in Liverpool, England

My first real visit to Liverpool was on foot this summer.  I didn’t walk all the way but I did do five miles through the outskirts to the cathedral as part of a fundraising walk on a hot, sunny Sunday.

It was only afterwards that I learned about the tension – that the city’s world heritage status was on the gangplank, and that Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was about to decide whether or not to give Liverpool the final shove.

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To the sassi of Matera – a hard place made of rock

Statue in the square that overlooks the old cave houses in Matera, In Basilicata in Italy

Statue in the square that overlooks the old cave houses in Matera, in Basilicata in Italy

Our three days of travel are almost up.  We have one day left and one last place to see.

We leave the coast near Puglia and, with global positioning satellite technology as our guide, travel alien-style towards some of the oldest homes on earth – the cave dwellings (sassi) of Matera.

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The hunt for the heart of Naples, Italy


We’ve glimpsed the heart of the city … we think. It’s a short, ancient artery that pumps life into the cobbled soul of Naples.

This artery, the Via San Gregorio Armeno, is dense with the past. Like all of Naples it has seen centuries of armies, rebels, rogues and kings sweep through and back again, trailed by plagues and starvation. It has survived them all, and its buildings and treasures are now protected as part of the Centro Storico by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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