The Roman World beyond Italy

France, In Our Suitcases, Italy, Travel

Traveling has brought us to many corners of the world — and one group of people keep popping up: the Romans. At its height, the Roman Empire was the most extensive political and social structure in western civilization. Subscribe to our Big & Small Travel Youtube to watch our adventures in Rome and more.

 

They ended up leaving their mark in places well beyond modern Italy, including England, France, Croatia, Spain, and Germany. Before heading on our Roman photo journey, take a look at the Roman Empire’s domination in 117 AD:

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The Roman Empire in AD 117, at its greatest extent with its full kingdom in red and pink.

Here are our top 5 spots to find a slice of Ancient Rome outside Rome itself.

  1. Bath, England – Roman Baths

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    The Roman Baths complex is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. The temple was constructed by the Romans in 60–70 AD and the bathing complex was gradually built up over the next 300 years.

2. Segovia, Spain – Roman Aqueduct

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The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain, is one of the best-preserved elevated Roman aqueducts. It dates from AD 81-96.

3. Split, Croatia – Palace of Diocletian

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Croatia was ruled by the Romans for over five centuries. Big and Small are pictured here at the Palace of Diocletian, an ancient Roman palace built between 295 and 305 in Split, Croatia, by the emperor Diocletian as his place of retirement (he renounced the imperial crown in 305). You can also find the sixth largest Roman amphitheater, and one of the best preserved, further north, in Pula, Croatia.

4. Lyon, France – Theatres Romains

Theatres Romains, built around 15 BC by the Romans

Lyon, France, has the Theatres Romains, built around 15 BC by the Romans. This theater held an audience of 10,000. The Romans also held poetry readings and musical recitals in the smaller, adjacent odeon.

5. Trier, Germany – Porta Nigra

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Porta Nigra, Latin for Black Gate, is a well-preserved Roman gate in Trier, Germany. The gate was built in grey sandstone after 170. It was originally constructed of large blocks of light sandstone, but the darkening of its appearance by the Middle Ages led to the name Porta Nigra (its original name is unknown). By the mid-second century AD, Trier – then known as the Roman city of Augusta Treverorum – was fortified by a vast defensive wall. Porta Nigra is thought to have been constructed in the latter half of the second century, perhaps completed in 200 AD. It would have been one of four city gates.

Have you been to any of these Roman ruins? What other ones have you seen outside of Italy? Let us know by commenting below. And don’t miss Big and Small Travel running around Rome in this video below:

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Updates: Videos, Vietnam, and Photos!

Eye Candy, Travel, Vietnam

We are going through a lot of photos and videos now. So, take a look at some of our Vietnam pictures from Hoi An in Central Vietnam. Also, we have included a few videos from Asia, Europe and the USA. Enjoy!

Watch some Big and Small Videos below and subscribe:

The Rich Beauty, Food, and History of Corsica, France

Europe, France, Travel

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This mountainous isle is a land of many contrasts. Corsica is full of natural beauty and incredible food, but it comes with quite a turbulent history. It’s home to Napoleon Bonaparte and (arguably) Christopher Columbus, two dominant figures whose widespread influence is still being felt around the world today. Despite this, present-day Corsica is a fairly sleepy island packed with fascinating historical attractions and driven by an independent spirit. Here, I’ll be featuring some of the beauty of this island in pictures, and best yet watch The Big and Small Travel Corsica Video below:

In the video above, we showcase the Citadel, beaches, historic sites, food, L’Île-Rousse, and even yoga from Handstand Steph. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the intimacy and splendor of the isle of fierce beauty.

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J-Crew overlooking the Ligurian Sea in Calvi.

The first thing we noticed on our trip to Corsica was the ubiquitous presence of the Corsican flag. The flag is bold and striking, and revealing in its black-and-white simplicity. Against a white backdrop, it depicts a Moor’s head in black with a white bandana above his eyes—a symbol of liberation, even though Corsica has mostly been under Italian or French rule.

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The Wild Boar of Corsica & the striking Corsican Flag.

This flag was everywhere, reminding us constantly of Corsica‘s strong independent spirit, which can be traced back through an interesting and significant history that includes connections to both Napoleon and Columbus. When in Calvi, I recommend exploring the citadel, which is open to the public and free to roam. It is filled with lots of small passageways, breathtaking lookouts, and interesting architecture. You’ll also notice a monument to Columbus, as well as churches and historical points that refer to the island’s existence under Genoese rule.

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Calvi Citadel – Palace of the Genovese, and reputed birthplace of Columbus. Hmm …

We present many visuals to document the citadel in Calvi, as well as the beauty and attractions at L’Île-Rousse (Red Island), named because of the color of the rocky islet that serves as a natural harbor.

You can get to L’Île-Rousse by train (which offers incredible views of the coast along the way). We recommend hiking up to the top of this part of L’Île-Rousse (just behind the train station) for great views of the Genoese tower and the vivid hills of Balagne in the background. This hike is short but intense and full of nooks and crannies that allow for great photo opps of the sea and beyond.

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Handstand Steph caught on camera at the red rocks of L’Ile-Rouse.

Overall, the food (especially the cheese and wild boar), wine, and striking landscapes are enough to make anyone swoon. But what most struck me most about Corsica was the relaxed sense of efficiency and an overall dedication to self-sufficiency. Corsica seemed to be running on its own watch, despite being part of France.  This made it feel like its own special little paradise.

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La Pietra Lighthouse in L’Ile Rouse, Corsica.

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Plage La Pinede (Calvi Beach) in Corsica.