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A Poet at the World’s Edge

Ovid was born in Sulmona, in the province of L’Aquila, but was destined to die far from home

In December of the year 8 AD, a Roman citizen named Publius Ovidius Naso left Rome on a long journey. After enduring ferocious storms in the Adriatic and rough sailing in the Ionian Sea and the Gulf of Corinth, he crossed the Aegean to Samothrace. Then, after transiting the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, he landed on the eastern coast of Thrace, somewhere in today’s Bulgaria.

From there he travelled by foot to a small Roman outpost on the Black Sea called Tomis, arriving in September of 9 AD. It was a journey worthy of Odysseus, except that he wasn’t going home. He had been exiled to Tomis by Augustus Caesar.

The reasons for his exile are unknown, though there have been plenty of scholarly guesses. One vital fact is that he was a celebrity in Rome, under his nom de plume, Ovid.

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About Italia!

Our writers have travelled around Italy this month to bring you inspiration for your next adventures in 'il bel paese'. Lake Garda is our starting point, an ever-popular destination where quieter corners still remain – if you know where to go. We also head to the hills in Tuscany’s Casentino Forest (whose trees provided the wood for scaffolding to build Brunelleschi’s dome), and if you want to get fit, a healthy spa break in Puglia could be just what you’re looking for.