Program 287a: Glasgow; Roman Britain; Pompeii

Release Date: 01-25-2014

On Air Description

The stones of ancient cities and monuments still have something to say to us, on this week's Travel with Rick Steves. 

Get tips for planning a visit to the well-preserved ruins of Pompeii, near Naples.  Explore ancient monuments, dating to the Roman Empire and earlier, that are scattered across the countryside of England — from Hadrian's Wall to Stonehenge.   And hear how recent renovations have turned Glasgow into an energetic showpiece city in the center of Scotland. 

See the old world in a new light, on the next Travel with Rick Steves. 

Notes to Stations

This is a re-edit of Pgm #287, which first aired May 19, 2012.


  • Anne Doig, tour guide based in Scotland
  • Roy Nicholls, archeologist and tour guide, based in England
  • Nina Bernardo, tour guide based in Rome

Related Links

  • Anne Doig notes that the Horse Shoe Bar in Glasgow has been a popular pub for many years among local Glaswegians
  • You can make an online reservation for the Charles Rennie Mackintosh tours, conducted by students at the Glasgow School of Art
  • The new Riverside Museum houses Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel
  • The Tenement House museum depicts typical everyday Victorian-era life, and is run by the National Trust for Scotland
  • The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Burrell Collection are two of the art galleries included on the Glasgow Life website
  • Wikipedia has an extensive article, with photos, on Hadrian's Wall
  • English Heritage details the remodel of the grounds surrounding Stonehenge, and its new visitor centre, in a short online video. Construction is scheduled to start in June 2012, the new visitor centre opened in October 2013, and the landscaping revisions finished by summer 2014.
  • Rick says visiting the stone circle near the village of Gidleigh, in Dartmoor, inspired him to become a travel writer.
  • Glastonbury has a deep connection from ancient times with the earliest introduction of Christianity to Britain, and is said to be the site of the oldest church in the world:
  • Rick has assembled a walking tour to Pompeii, and a map of the site, which are now included in a narrated version that you can download to your smartphone or mp3 player.
  • Ostia Antica is an archeological site, which served as the harbor for Rome in ancient times:
  • The National Archaeological Museum in Naples has a website, but the English version may not be working. 
  • Herculaneum is a well-preserved "upscale" Roman era town which, was also buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius:


  • Suggestions for architecture and museums to visit in Glasgow, including the recentlhy redeveloped riverside sites. (Jan in Racine, Wisconsin)
  • Interested in the Glasgow arts scene. "Scotland's at the top of my to-visit list; my g-g-great paternal grandfather emigrated to America from Glasgow." (Chris in Novato, California)
  • "I would like to hike along Hadrian's Wall (all 73 or so miles), but the tours I've found require 8 to 10 miles per day, which is too much for me. Is there a way to do the hike at a somewhat slower pace and still find places to stay along the way?" (email from Mary Anne in Chicago)
  • "We have visited Avebury and Hadrian's Wall, and found those sites very interesting. What other ancient British sites are worth exploring, including your thoughts on Stonehenge?" (Dale in Blacklick, Ohio)
  • "Does it make sense to just visit Ostia Antica, since we're staying in Rome, rather than a long day-trip to Pompeii? I am really fascinated by how people lived 2,000 years ago, but we'll only have enough time for one of these sites." (Daphne in Kensington, Maryland)
  • Advice for seeing Popmpeii as part a cruise boat daytrip. "I have a group of 10 people, ages 13-73. Our cruise ship will be docking in Naples at 7am and the boat leaves at 7pm." (Natalie in Ashburn, Virginia)
  • "We would like to do a one-day tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi coast with our 14-year-old, from a base in Rome. Will this work as a bus tour ?" (Alison in Spokane, Washington)

Incidental Music

  • Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Uri Mayer, cond., "'Tourdion' from 'Capriol Suite'(Peter Warlock)," Orchestral Suites of the British Isles / CBC Records
  • The Blue Nile, "The Downtown Lights," Hats / Linn Records-A&M-Virgin
  • Al Stewart, "Year of the Cat," Year of the Cat / Rhino
  • Capercaillie, "Kepplehall-25 KTS," Beautiful Wasteland / Ryko - Survival Records
  • Fairground Attraction, "Perfect," Celtic Heart (collection) / BMG Records (UK)
  • * Mac Umba, "Gale Warning," The Best of Scottish Music, vol. 2 (collection) / Greentrax
  • Harpist Susan Scott, "Early One Morning," Variations on a Dream: Music for the Celtic Harp / Horizon West Music
  • Enya, "Bard Dance," The Celts / Reprise
  • Fazil Say, "'Allegro' from violin concerto '1001 Nights in the Harem,'" 1001 Nights in the Harem / Naïve
  • Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Gavid Sutherland, cond., "'Rondo' from 'A Downland Suite' (John Ireland-Geoffrey Bush)," English String Miniatures 5 / Naxos
  • Monty Python, "King Arthur and the 'Old Woman,'" The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail / Arista
  • Ann and Nancy Wilson, "My Thing Is My Own," The Renaissance Album (collection) / Windham Hill
  • * Baltimore Consort, "Les Buffons," The Renaissance Album (collection) / Windham Hill
  • U. S. Marine Band, "'The Destruction' from 'The Last Days of Pompeii' (Sousa)," The Heritage of John Philip Sousa, vol. 2 / The Robert Hoe Collection
  • Billy Joel, "Delusion," Creating the Perfect Atmosphere (sampler) / Sony
  • Orchestra del Teatro la Fenice, Ion Marin, conductor, "Serena i vaghi rai," from 'Semiramide' (Rossini), on the Cecilia Bartoli CD, Rossini Heroines / London

Dated References

  • At 8:00, Rick asks Anne why the population of Glasgow has dropped to around 700,000, and she responds that the city’s economics are on the upswing now.
  • At 9:30, Anne recommends the Horse Shoe pub as a longtime-popular place where locals gather after work.   
  • In segment A at 12:14, caller Jan says she’s planning to visit Scotland “this summer.”  Anne tells her about the new Transport Museum and other modern-looking attractions along the riverfront, since 1988 redevelopment started.   
  • At 14:40, Anne says a Glaswegian has won the Turner Art Prize "the last three or four times."  She mentions architectural walks of the Merchant City in Glasgow at 16:14, and recommends the hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus for seeing the newer buildings along the waterfront, since they are further out from the city center. 
  • Rick notes at 16:35 that there are four trains an hour between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Anne suggests the bus route between the two cities as "much cheaper" at £6.50.  It  runs every fifteen minutes from just behind the train station. Anne adds at 16:42 that the hotels in Glasgow are less expensive than in Edinburgh. 
  • At 17:31, Rick and Anne mention the "old firm" rivalries between rowdy fans of the local football teams as having a Protestant and Catholic connection.
  • Rick says he did his first "real hike" on Hadrian's Wall "just a couple months ago" at 23:57.   Roy advises at 24:35 there is a shuttle service during summer months along the Hadrian’s Wall route.
  • Rick says at 26:01 that "just this year" a new visitor center is opening at Stonehenge. 
  • Starting at 41:16, Rick asks Nina to describe what happened at Pompeii when Vesuvius erupted on August 24, AD 79. 
  • Rick reports, at 52:00, that he was "just on a cruise" that docked in Naples,  in helping caller Natalie plan a day trip from a cruise there. 
  • At 55:00, Nina says the "new express train" between Rome and Naples takes an hour and five minutes, and costs  €45 each way.