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Destinations & Ports
History - Art & Culture
Travel & Destinations
American-Irish writer and historian Mary Jane Cryan has been living in Italy since 1965. An international educator, researcher and writer, she has also been an official Vatican guide, Site Director and lecturer for Elderhostel and the creator of start-ups for numerous American universities, high schools, writers’ and artists’ workshops. Author of bestseller guidebooks and travel essays about central Italy .

She continues to put her experience to good use acting as consultant for tourism and educational endeavours and as enrichment lecturer aboard luxury cruise ships plying the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Black Seas.

Click here to visit Mary Jane's website >>

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updated August 2019 Dr. Mary Jane Cryan blog 50yearsinItaly
Home port Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy

On request Dr. Mary Jane gives sail in (or sail away) commentary for the ports of Venice, Kotor, Civitavecchia. Livorno

• Markets and shopping in European ports

• Italy’s Best Celebrations and Festivals

• Europe’s Best House Museums

• Top discoveries in art and archeology for 2016/2017 /2018

• Foreign Artists and Archeologists in Central Italy

• Painted Palazzi - a panorama of Italian palazzi with fresco cycles

• A Fascination with old maps - curiosities, values, cartographic crime

• Europe’s beautiful canal cities - St. Petersburg, Bruges, Venice

Italy, Sicily, Sardegna and other islands

• Italy before the Romans-Who were the pleasure seeking Etruscans who taught the Romans about architecture,

• religion and good living? Discovering Etruscan sites near Rome: Tarquinia, Cerveteri, Vulci and Norchia

• Civitavecchia-a leisurely day ashore, exploring the historic city and environs , audio guide "Stories and Secrets of Civitavecchia"

• Living in a Castle- an inside look at families and castle life in Italy , best castles to visit near Italian ports

• Rome’s Hidden Corners and Courtyards- an eyewitness view of Rome, its fountains, sculptures, legends and myths. Discover the Eternal City’s secret places with guide book authorBetween Rome and Tuscany: exploring around Civitavecchia

Between Rome and Tuscany: exploring around Civitavecchia

• Foreign Connections in Central Italy-English, Irish, Polish and French in central Italy through the centuries

• Venice-, hidden corners and courtyards daily life in Venice, history, festivals, Carnival, difficulties and delights of everyday life.

• Sicily- A Triangle of Treasures-An introduction to Sicily, its symbols, history, geography. Italy in the superlative, fusion of civilizations. Taormina’s fame; from the Greeks to the Film Festival

• Highlights and History of Cagliari, Sardegna, visit the nuraghi, traditional festivals, artisans

• Siracusa, Sicily, a layer cake of history -from Greek colony to Baroque city.

• Palermo- A Layer Cake of Cultures - Tracing Palermo’s history through its architectural highlights; hidden tunnels (qanats), Arabic and
Norman palaces, Capuchin catacombs, the Palatine Chapel and Monreale

• Coastal Paradise of the Sorrentine Peninsula- islands and archaeology, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Ischia,
famous foreigners from Goethe to Gore Vidal

• Pompeii and Herculaneum Rediscovered –the archeological history of two famous sites

• Portofino and The Italian Riviera, beautiful villages from Cinqueterre to Portofino and Portovenere,
famous families and foreigners from the Doria family to the English owner of Castello Brown in Portofino, Shelley and the Gulf of Poets

• Riviera Portals to Paradise: St. Tropez, Nice, Portofino, Portovenere

• Italian Lifestyle and Cultural curiosities, family life from birth to death, inside information about daily life, superstitions, unique museums

• Festivals Year Round follow the annual cycle of festivals in Italy and how Italians enjoy holidays.
Emphasis on festivals in ports visited: Santa Rosalia in Palermo, Santa Rosa and Santa Cristina near Civitavecchia

• Saints and Sinners –a panorama of famous women who made history happen in Italy from Cleopatra to Paulina Borghese and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, noble women, painters and writers

• The Extraordinary Bonapartes: Corsica and Elba , the family and its impact on Europe’s history

• The Heart of Tuscany –Pisa, Livorno and Florence highlights , festivals, famous families , hidden charms and house museums of Livorno

France,Spain, Malta
• Nice - A French town with an Italian accent

Spring Festivals in Spain and the Mediterranean

• Malta -an English island halfway between Italy and Africa: capers, Caravaggio and house museums

• An architectural guide to Barcelona - Gothic to Gaudi and beyond

• The Spirit of Spain-Huelva and Seville, Easter week celebrations

• The Pleasures of Palma- the history, famous visitors and hidden corners of this island hideaway

Africa, Transatlantic

• Tempting Tangier -Highlights and History, museums, famous residents and how to visit the kasbah

• Alexandria-Connecting Egypt with Rome -the ancient and modern city

• The Awesome Azores – island paradise in mid-Atlantic

• Gibraltar: The Key to the Mediterranean

Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro

• Under the Lion’s Wings: the ports of Koper, Zadar and Kotor . From Venetian colonies to modern ports.

• The Many Faces of Dubrovnik, ancient Ragusa

• Along the Adriatic-Zadar, Kotor, Korcula and Koper

• Adriatic ports and islands: Pula, Sibenik, Hvar, Korcula, Split, Dubrovnik-customized according to itinerary

Scandinavia, Russia, Black Sea

• Working for the Tsars: Italians, Irish, Scots & English in Russia

• How Now, Moscow? Daily life in Soviet USSR during Perestroika

• Highlights of the Hermitage-history, high points and behind the scenes of Russia's premier museum

• Crimea from the sea: Yalta, Sevastopoli, Odessa

• Ancient Royalty and Modern Design in Copenhagen, Denmark

• Artisans and Architecture of Tallin, Estonia and St. Peterburg, Russia

• Trabzon, Batumi, Sochi- Three ports on the Black Sea

• Nessbur, Bulgaria-a UNESCO Treasure


• Ephesus, the other Eternal City, 4th largest of the Roman empire and the modern port of Kushadasi

• Istanbul -Mosques, minarets and majolica- an introduction to Istanbul Landmarks , palaces and people of the city on two continents


• Iconic Greece: Santorini and Athens, tips for visiting the city and its many museums,

• Santorini & Mykonos- Life and landmarks of the islands, geology, history & daily life

• Crete- the Great Island and former Venetian colony of Candia

• Corfu-A cosmopolitan island refuge , literary and royal references

• Rhodes- History and highlights of the island of the Knights

• Santorini, Crete, Mykonos –Island crossroads

• Dubrovnik, Ephesus, Santorini- and their connections to Italy over the centuries

• The Greek, Etruscan and Roman worlds- connecting ancient civilizations

• Olympia (Katakalon)- Stories and Symbols from the ancient Olympic games to contemporary times.

Presentations in Italian - Presentazioni in lingua italiana

• Italia centrale nel 1700: dai diari del Cardinale Stuart
Un Matrimonio in fuga-le nozze reali Stuart-Sobieska

• I Palazzi Dipinti-nuove e antiche scoperte

• Il viaggio nell’Etruria tra passato e presente: un esempio per lo sviluppo del turismo culturale

• I nostri castelli-veri gioielli -le dimore nobili dell'Italia centrale

• Le Grandi Bellezze di Caprarola -le capricciose americane che vivevano in Palazzo Farnese

• La Tuscia nelle Antiche Carte –curiosità, valori, ladri

• Turismo nel Lazio: libri e audio guide per un turismo bilingue

• La Tuscia in viaggio..curiosità, connessioni, artisti, scrittori e monumenti

• Gli Inglesi in Sicilia 1860-storie poco conosciute del Risorgimento

• Le più grande scoperte del 2016 nell’arte e archeologia

• Storia segreta di Vetralla

• Vetralla si illumina di storia -re, papi, artisti e...assassine

• Contatti internazionali nella Tuscia -inglesi, irlandesi, francesi, americane

• Fuga dal campo 68 di Vetralla-storia di un prigioniero inglese

• La Tuscia questa Sconosciuta

• Artisti stranieri fra Civita Castellana e Viterbo-dal 1700 al presente

• Etruria: la Tuscia degli americani

• La Tuscia visto dagli Inglesi

• Etruria-Irlanda - The Irish Connection

• Blera prima degli Svedesi-storie di archeologia locale e internazionale

• Vetralla e Montefiascone: due città inglesi nell’Italia centrale

• Gl’Inglesi e Irlandesi nel Risorgimento Italiano

• Alla scoperta delle piccole città “V” -Vetralla, Vignanello, Vitorchiano, Vallerano e altri

• Non perdiamo la Trebisonda: viaggio intorno al Mar Nero

• Sicilia –Crocevia di Culture diverse

• La Crimea dal mare: Yalta, Sevastopoli, Odessa

• Vita quotidiana a Mosca durante la Perestrioka

• Contatti italiani a Dubrovnik, Efeso, Mykonos e Santorini
Since 2008 I have given numerous enrichment and destination talks on various cruise ships including SilverSeas, Azamara, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean.
See dedicated page on my award winning website for cruise lecture history
Author of more than a dozen books, audio guides, guidebooks, journalist in Rome, Italy and Moscow, See award winning website for full bibliography and reviews of recent publications about central Italy,
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Star ST190730 Empires of the Mediterranean 9 Venice Tuesday, July 30, 2019