In this podcast, we'll visit 200 Wonders of the World, from the Pyramids to the Great Barrier Reef, to tell the story of our people, our civilization, and our planet. My name is Caroline Vahrenkamp, and I'm a travel junkie. The world is filled with amazing places that reflect the greatest achievements of human accomplishment. In these uncertain times, understanding our great shared history may help to bridge the divides between us. And if not, it will be a fun ride anyway! We'll discuss the history of each place and the story of the men and women who lived there. We'll cover travel notes, examine what else to see while you're in the area, and dig into the local cuisine. Expect a new episode every two weeks. And thanks for listening!
096 - The Humble Administrator's Garden of Suzhou
He was from the richest city in Ming China, or one of the richest, and after his checkered political career, he came home and planted a garden. 500 years later, we can still visit his garden and marvel at the humility of Wang Xianchen, the Humble Administrator. This episode is a pleasant diversion beforewe get back to the big stories.
And we'll have Suzhou "smoked" fish while we're here!
Clunas, Craig. Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China
Lonely Planet China
Photograph CC4.0 by wikicommons user Another Believer
095 - The Migration of the Monarch Butterflies
Monarch butterflies are tiny, ephemeral creatures, whose audacious color patterns makes them beloved across a continent, yet few realize how remarkable their migration from Canada and the US to their winter ground west of Mexico City really is. Listener Livia Montovani joins us to talk about visiting the mountain reserves where hundreds of millions of butterflies spend their winter.
We'll also cover the conquest of Mexico and the personalities involved, from Motecuhzoma of the Mexica to Cortés of Spain to the controversial role of la Malinche, the formerly enslaved woman who translated for the Spainiards. It's a story with no heroes, but it needs to be told.
And we'll make carnitas at home with salsa verde!
Baumle, Kylee, The monarch: Saving our Most-Loved Butterfly
Dennis, Peter. Tenochtitlan 1519-21: Clash of Civilizations
Diáz dl Castillo, Bernal. The True History of the Conquest of New Spain
Dykman, Sara. Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-mile Journey Following the Monarch MMigration
Fehrenbach, T.R. Fire & Blood: a History of Mexico
Keeling, Stephen et al. The Rough Guide to Mexico
Levy, Buddy. Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs
Sainsbury, Brendan et al. Lonely Planet Mexico
Photograph by pendens proditor CC 2.0
Update and Intelligent Speech
A brief update about the show!
094 - Chambord Chateau
Just a little 440-room hunting lodge built among other chateaux in France's Loire Valley, Chambord is the grand dame of them all. Built for François Ier, it betrays the influence of the Italian Renaissance, specifically of Leonardo da Vinci, François' teacher and mentor.
Gary Girod, host of the French History Podcast, joins us to discuss François and his place in French history, while listener Sarah Demetz shares her experience visiting the chateau and the Loire.
Plus fish in a lovely white butter sauce!
Horne, Alistair. Seven Ages of Paris
Isaacson, Walter. Leonardo da Vinci
Nuland, Sherwin B. Leonardo da Vinci
Price, Roger. A Concise History of France
Rick Steves Loire Valley
Vasari, Giorgio. Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects
Photograph by Patrick Giraud CC 3.0
093 - Vatican City
The largest episode on the smallest country. It's the city-state home of the Catholic Church, a neighborhood of Rome, home to some of the greatest art in the western world.
In the early 16th century, the Catholic Church began to turn Rome into a capital glorious enough to serve as the capital of Christendom, and in the process, the popes drove Christendom apart. And Michelangelo was there the whole way.
Bry Rayburn from the Pontifacts podcast joins us to talk about some of the most epic popes in history, from Alexander VI to Paul IV: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We talk about Michelangelo, the role of the papal patrons, Martin Luther, the Swiss Guard, and so much more!
Plus a mysterious pasta recipe from the Vatican cookbook!
Beck, James H. Three Worlds of Michelangelo
Buonarroti, Michelangelo. Michelangelo's Notebooks: The Poetry, Letters, and Art of the Great Master
Cahill, Thomas. Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World
Garwood, Duncan. Lonely Planet Rome
Graham-Dixon, Andrew. Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel
Phillips, Charles. The Illustrated History of the Popes: An Authoritative Guide to the Lives and Works of the Popes of the Catholic Church, with 450 Images
Rick Steves Rome 2020
Rome, Insights Guides
Scotti, R.A. Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's
The Pontifical Swiss Guard. The Vatican Cookbook: Presented by the Pontifical Swiss Guard: 500 Years of Classic Recipes, Papal Tributes, & Exclusive Images
Wallace, William E. Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and His Times
The Hieronymites Monastery of Lisbon
The enormous church on the banks of the Tejo, carved with ropes and knots and anchors as though it were going to sea itself, represents the vast wealth and untold adventure of Portugal's Age of Discovery. Portuguese king Manuel I commissioned the monastery upon learning of the success of Vasco da Gama's first expedition to India, the longest sea voyage undertaken to that time, a voyage that would seal the fate of three continents. For good and ill.
Listener Maria Fernandes joins to talk about her home country, and we wax nostalgic on the pleasures of Portugal, a country I very much like, including my favorite dessert of all time: pastéis de Belém.
Clark, Gregor. Lonely Planet: Portugal
Cliff, Nigel. The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama
Payne, Stanley G. A History of Spain and Portugal
Taborda, Joana. Lisbon
Photograph by Concierge.2C (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Love this podcast!
Thank you Caroline! More please!!
Caroline is a great podcaster, I look forward to hearing plenty more of this great podcast
Part history, part storytelling, part travelogue, part cultural and food review; you never really know how Drew will take a monument from history, and weave a story around it. Keep it up!