Awesome Albania is a journey following the footsteps of European history through the eyes of the Romans, Venetians, Byzantines, Normans and modern day Albania. In 2018, Claire and Andrea at WingsItaly undertook an adventure exploring central and northern Albania; it was their first experience in Albania following the footsteps of the ancient Venetians. The feedback Spice UK received was extremely positive, from the cuisine, the history, the culture and possibly most importantly the warmth of the people. Now is the time to explore this beautiful country before the secret is out as Albania is growing fast. This adventure is focused on staying true to its strong culture, from the seaside resorts to the cities, there is so much to discover and see.
Spice UK will be the first ever group to take an aperitivo reception in a Roman Amphitheatre at Durrës, it’s quite old, in fact over 2000 years old, so please don’t count of any fridges or modern facilities as the Roman Emperor Trajan in 2nd century AD, had a few issues with .com delivery! This should be a truly unforgettable experience, seeing, feeling and experiencing a Roman Amphitheatre coming alive and opening its doors again for the pleasure of entertainment after 2000 years.
Few Highlights of what’s in store -
You will never really be alone, and you will feel this from the moment you arrive, from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to the rise and fall of communism and the warm welcome that now awaits you from Elvis and Edwart your local guides.
Let’s start with the cuisine - Albanian cuisine has a significant Greek/ Italian influence, many Albanian restaurants serve peppers, moussaka, lamb baked with yogurt, however, Albanian cuisine also covers vegetables and many varieties of cheeses, for sure on this experience you will have the opportunity to try and experiment.
Krujë (Kruja in English) is perhaps one of the most historical towns in Albania. It’s a charming medieval village, situated among mountainous peaks and the green valley stretching all the way down to the Adriatic coast. Kruja, boasts an enormous historical importance. Skanderbeg, born 1405-1468, is indeed the national hero of the Albanians. Skaderbeg effectively defeated 13 Turkish invasions, making him a hero throughout the Western world. He had support from Naples, Venice, and Pope Calixtus III named him ”Captain General of the Holy Sea”.
Durres is the seaside resort and it’s here you will experience something never done before at The Roman Amphitheatre located in the centre of Durres. In the 2nd century it was a 20 000 seater stadium, and later became lost forever! Earthquakes completely buried it and it wasn’t until 1966 that a man gardening noticed a tree was sinking. On further investigation, the tree was sinking into a Roman amphitheatre; consequently, excavation of the amphitheatre began. Sadly the former Albanian dictators were more interested in building nuclear bunkers than preserving this amphitheatre and the project work stopped, it wasn’t until the 21st century that preservation work began by UNESCO and in 2004 the University of Parma, Italy started restoration work to save the theatre.