Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 26, 2021
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Gladiators, graffiti artists and underground explorers

In Europe, history is lurking around every corner. A few cities on the Continent have even come up with inventive hands-on activities that make cosying up to the past more fun.

Warrior spirit

In Rome, the Historical Society which regularly holds reenactments of events from the glory days of the Empire (circa 100 BCE), also offers two-hour private gladiator lessons. Kids get kitted out in leather tunics and learn the fine art of sparring — with wooden swords, of course. All this takes place on the Appian Way, where the upstart slave Spartacus led a rebellion 2000 years ago. $30, ages 6 and up.

Give peace a chance

If you're in Prague, your budding activists will be interested in visiting the John Lennon tribute wall. The famous Beatle never visited the city, but his songs of peace were a rallying cry for activists under the Communist regime — many risked imprisonment to play his music. After Lennon's death in 1980, graffiti of his lyrics or his image sprung up on a wall on Grand Priory Square. Activists risked their freedom at night to add to the wall despite security guards and cameras. Today, anyone who wants can grab a spray paint can and add their own words of peace. Free, all ages.

Going underground

If you're in Munich, head an hour south to Berchtesgaden. There a 16th-century salt mine lets visitors get down and dirty underground. You'll slip into traditional coveralls before sliding down a 30-metre wooden chute for a 75-minute guided tour of the tunnels. There is a train, a funicular, a raft. Adults $18, kids 4 and up $

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