For me, one of the most fantastic aspects of travel and new cultural experience is that it stimulates a sense of wonder about the world. It’s like a treasure hunt for hidden histories — and mysteries. Everything from the smell of foreign spices in a Mexico City market to peeking through a rusting keyhole into a crumbling courtyard in Venice feels thrilling — and makes me want to learn more. Where does that corridor lead? Who once walked on those old stones? I found an armchair adventure source today that gave me that same sense of excitement that travel brings, even while working at home on a cold, rainy day in Oregon.
The podcast/blog is called 99% Invisible — a site that explores “all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about.” Through today’s mini-stories episode that included a piece about the botanical history of ancient Rome’s once verdant and vine-wrapped Colosseum, I found this great Twitter conversation by Paul Cooper mentioned in the podcast. Click on the image link to read the full thread. Enjoy!
When botanist Richard Deakin examined Rome’s Colosseum in the 1850s, he found 420 species of plant growing in the ruins: cypresses & ilex, pea plants & over 50 types of grass. But some flowers growing there mystified him. They were so rare they were found nowhere else in Europe.