Program 355: More Eastern Mediterranean Antiquities; Italy's Instep; Exploring Morocco

Release Date: 02-15-2014

On Air Description

The antiquities and ruins you encounter all over the ancient world can really come to life, when you get clued in to what you're looking at. On the next Travel with Rick Steves, guides from Greece and Egypt share tips for sightseeing the historical highlights of the eastern Mediterranean. 

Plus, guides from southern Italy and Morocco take listener calls, with ideas for exploring the local color of the "instep" of southeast Italy, and for going deep into Morocco.

Plunge into the old world, on this week's Travel with Rick Steves.


  • Colin Clement, tour guide based in Alexandria, Egypt
  • Anastasia Gaitanou, tour guide based in Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Aldo Valerio, tour guide based in southern Italy
  • Aziz Begdouri, tour guide and teacher, based in Tangier, Morocco

Related Links

  • Colin Clement has written an article explaining the international effort to uncover ancient underwater ruins near Alexandria.  It’s on the website for the public television program Nova.  
  • Colin Clement wrote an article for Archeology magazine about a Roman shipwreck found off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt 
  • Anastasia Gaitanou has a listing on the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.
  • Wikipedia has extensive information about Ephesus, Palmyra, and Petra, and has a list of major museums displaying ancient Greek and Roman antiquities.
  • The website for the Acropolis Museum in Athens.
  • Aldo Valerio provides customized tours in Italy through
  • is the e-mail address for booking a tour in Tangier with Aziz Begdouri.
  • Essaouira is a popular surfing destination on Morocco's Atlantic coast.  Fez is considered the religious center of the country.


  • "After spending eight weeks in Tuscany, my wife and I traveled to a Matera and stayed in a cave hotel in the Sassi, and then to Alberobello, where we stayed in a Trulli. This was our first trip that far south and we were pleasantly surprised at how nice the people were and how pleasant both Basilicata and Apulia were."  (Bill in Livermore, California)
  • "The lack of tourism to Basilicata is what intrigues me to visit it.  What resources do you suggest to find affordable lodging and off the beaten track get-to-know-the-locals activities in Basilicata?"  (Jan in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin)
  • Caller shares memorable dining experiences in Apulia. "The wonderful seven-course fish feast at Punta e a Capo in Giovanzzo, the melt-in-your mouth traditional cooking at Cucina Cassareccia in Lecce, and the awesome meal while dining in a romantic seaside cavern in Polignano A Mare.  But we never ordered a bottle of wine.  We just drank the table wines.  Did we commit a sacrilege?"  (Steve in Gaston, Oregon)
  • "What's the safest way for a single, retired woman to travel in Morocco? Where should I stay, how should I travel, and what should I avoid?"   (Margo in Astoria, Oregon)
  • "My daughter and I would like to visit Morocco and include some cooking lessons.  We want to eat and try to make authentic dishes." (Nancy in Venice, Florida)
  • "Ten years ago, I discovered Asilah, a sleepy, backwater Atlantic ocean seaside town, an hour by train south of Tangier, filled mostly by Moroccans on holiday.  Is it still mostly unknown by Western tourists?" Caller recommends Ceuta over Tangiers as an easier cultural transition off the ferry from Spain.  Also advises venturing to remote sites over the Atlas Mountains.  (Michael in Juneau, Alaska)
  • In Program Extra #2: "I would like to hear more about other cities in Morocco like quirky Chefchaouen, the south of Marrakesh, the old medina of Meknes. What about the oud-maker in Meknes? There are only three traditional oud-makers left in all of Morocco (the other two are in Casa and, I think, Marrakesh). What about some of the other fabulous cities of Maroc?" (e-mail from Diana in West Point, California)

Incidental Music

  • English Baroque Soloists, "'Allegro Maestoso' from 'Don Juan,'" Relax with the Classics, vol. 2:  Adagio (collection) / LIND Institute
  • Tania Arab, "Agir Barana," Les musiques du Sud (collection) / Al Sur  (France)
  • Yuval Ron Ensemble, "Rimonim (Pomegranates)," Tree of Life / (self-released)
  • * Eric Montbel, "Calypso-Ulysse:  Le second voyage," Les musiques du Sud (collection) / Al Sur  (France)
  • Dominic Frontiere, "Hang 'em High," MGM Sneak Preview Compilation  / MGM-Ryko
  • Paolo Conte, "Alle prese con una verde milonga," Ciao Amore (collection) / Warner Special Products
  • Ennio Morricone, "Anima Mia," Ciao Amore  (collection) / Warner Special Products
  • I Giullari di Piazza, "Canto d’Afrodite," Earth Sun & Moon / Lyrichord
  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel, cond., "Di Provenza il mar, il suol (from ‘La Traviata’ by Verdi)," Bella Tuscany (collection) / Telarc
  • * Hassan Erraji & Arabesque, "Nikriz," The Rough Guide:  The Music of North Africa (collection) / World Music Network 
  • Yair Dalal, "Rabin," Les musiques du Sud (collection) / Al Sur
  • Master Musicians of Jajouka, featuring Bachir Attar, "On Horseback," Apocalypse Across the Sky / Axiom
  • Benhass, "Mazali Maak N'Kassi," CöusCöusBeat (collection) / Nascente
  • El Adoua, "Chibani," Marockin' Antwerp (collection) / Koch World
  • Master Musicians of Jajouka, "A Habibi Ouajee T'Allel Allaiya," Global Meditations: Harmony and Interplay (collection) / Ellipsis Arts
  • Gnawa Musicians of Marrakesh, "Baba L’Rouami," Africa Never Stand Still (collection) / Ellipsis Arts
  • *Music used during the internal breaks between segments

Dated References

  • In the open to segment A, Rick says Morocco is "one of America's best friends."  Aziz describes how the sultan made Morocco the first nation to recognize the United States in 1776, starting at 40:50.
  • At 15:45, Anastasia mentions the "new" museum  at the ancient agora which displays life in classical Athens. 
  • Aldo tells caller Jan at 30:10 that a B&B in far southern Italy tends to run €30 - 40 a night.
  • At 42:23, Aziz describes Essaouira on the Atlantic as one of the world's most popular places for surfing.   At 53:45 he notes the weekly market in Asilah is held on Thursdays.

Program Extras

More with Anastasia Gaitanou and Colin Clement - Tour guide historians Anastasia Gaitanou and Colin Clement tell Rick about the Acropolis Museum in Athens, which opened in June 2009 to showcase antiquities from the Acropolis, and to help illustrate their significance in ancient Greece. (runs 3:13)

More with Aziz Begdouri - Rick and Aziz Begdouri answer a listener's e-mail about where to find a craftsman who makes the traditional stringed instrument called the oud, and they enjoy a sunset view of the marketplace in Tangier. (runs 3:03)