Italy’s Invisible Cities: BBC One – Naples, Venice & Florence

Hi Everyone,

A fantastic new series of three episodes that launched this year was Italy’s Invisible Cities: BBC One about uncovering the hidden cities in the urban areas of Naples, Venice, and Florence. The episodes are presented by Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott in partnership with ScanLAB Projects as they explore the hidden spaces that have helped these great cities change the world. The programmes bring a fascinating, fresh perspective to 2,000 years of history, from the original Roman bath complex outside Naples, through the reign of the Venetian Doge’s to the birth of the Renaissance in Florence.

I’m travelling to Italy this year where I’ll be close to Naples to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, however, even though I won’t be able to stay long in the area, this captivating episode on Naples have immersed me into the culture and hidden ancient history underneath the modern city. A must see! Even the episode on Venice and Florence are engaging, educational, and will create a sense of awe and wonderment for these beautiful landscapes where human life thrived.

Here is a trailer on the series.

ScanLAB Projects uses new technology to uncover hidden areas in these areas. In the Bay of Naples they scan frescoes underwater using sub-sea LIDAR techniques. In Venice the entire length of the Grand Canal is mapped in the only way possible – from a moving boat. And in Florence, the entire Vasari corridor is mapped in under an hour using mobile, backpack scanning.

Each show ends with an immersive experience as the presenters use VR headsets and revisit key locations virtually. This final dissection process in VR gives the freedom to explore entire locations at 1:1 scale and as miniature dollshouse replicas, offering new and engaging perspectives while you sit at home!

Check out the 360 degree virtual realities below!

Naples in 360: Italy’s Invisible Cities – BBC Taster

Using the latest 3D scanning technology, Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott uncover 2.500 years of hidden history in Naples, from its earliest Greek and Roman origins. They explore how the volcano of Mount Vesuvius both nurtured the region and exacted a terrible price on the local population. Plus, they delve into a labyrinth of fascinating underground spaces that helped build and sustain the city.

Venice in 360: Italy’s Invisible Cities – BBC Taster

Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott explore the watery wonderland of Venice. They uncover how a city built in a swamp became one of the most powerful in medieval Europe and dive into its canals to experience how the city remains standing. Plus, they reveal how the city’s beauty once masked a ruthless secret state and a world of excess and vice.

Florence in 360: Italy’s Invisible Cities – BBC Taster

Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott explore the romantic city of Florence. They reveal how its wonderful facades and artworks mask a hidden story of intrigue and secrecy, and one powerful dynasty was behind it all – the Medicis, godfathers of the Renaissance. Finally, the scanning team build a virtual reality 3D model to reveal how the city’s secret corridors of power were the foundation of the city’s Renaissance glory.

For more information visit the BBC’s website on Italy’s Invisible Cities:


Fathers from the Edge Book Launch


Hi Everyone,

Sorry for not updating in a long time. I’ve been extremely busy with starting full-time work and writing a new book. I have lots of great news throughout the year which I will update when I can.

In the meantime, I am delightful to announce that on the 12th of May 2016 I attended the Sydney book launch at the University of Sydney for the Greek-Australian Fathers from the Edge anthology I contributed my memoir to. The anthology is a companion to the book Mothers from the Edge published in 2006. My memoir was about how my father’s migrant experience has influenced my relationship with him and significantly impacted on my career goals.

Fathers book Sydney launch 12_5_16

The anthology was published late last year by Owl Publishing and edited by the wonderful publisher, Helen Nickas. I am forever grateful for the opportunity she gave me to contribute my piece to the book as a child of migrant children. It was also fantastic to meet other fellow Greek-Australian writers, writing about the Greek Diaspora.


To purchase the book, here is the link.
You can check out other books published by Owl publishing via this link.
And more information about my experience writing my memoir is here.

Best wishes,

Fathers from the Edge – First Publication to Greek-Australian Literature

IMG_1636Hi Everyone,

I’m excited to announce the publication of my memoir to the Fathers from the Edge anthology by Helen Nickas of Owl Publishing. The book is about Greek-Australian writers’ reflections on their fathers and their relationships within the migrant experience. It is a companion to the Mothers from the Edge book.


It has been a fantastic journey to be a part of the experience to have my memoir published as a Greek-Australian writer. Like the book states in the Introduction, I have written this memoir to honour my father, Stavros Catacouzinos, to share my story about him, and by doing so, it has been a cathartic experience. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if it wasn’t for him. My memoir in the book is called, “The Man Who Loves Greek Culture”.

And a huge thank you once again to Helen Nickas, Publisher of Owl Publishing for this amazing opportunity. It’s wonderful to finally be a part of Greek-Australian literature!

I’ll update with another post when the book is on sale. And the launch party will be next year in 2016. In the meantime, you can check out other books published by Owl Publishing via this link. And more information about my experience writing my memoir is here.

Best wishes,

New-Adult Fiction – heard of it yet?

New-Adult Fiction – heard of it yet?

There’s a new genre aimed towards the age group of 18 to 30 year olds because Young Adult fiction could not make the cut.

I actually did find it troubling and hard to find books that were about twenty-year-olds, because YA fiction encompasses protagonists between the ages of 13 to 25. But now, with NA fiction, the huge gap between adolescence to true adulthood has been created.

Moreover, publishers are marketing this type of fiction because of us – the Millennials or Y generation who are currently going through these ‘coming of age’ step in our lives from adolescence to adulthood. These include:

  • getting out first steady jobs
  • going to uni
  • living away from home for the 1st time
  • apprenticeships
  • your 1st serious relationship
  • loss of innocence
  • drug abuse
  • alcohol abuse
  • sexuality
  • empowerment
  • fear of failure
  • identity
  • familial struggles
  • engagements
  • marriages

Some of these themes are common in YA fiction whilst others are not. Do you support this new genre?

I find it great that they have collected all these types of themes together for a specific age-group because it was struggling to find this particular age group in YA fiction. However, the genre is just a collection for an age group that was already written about – it has just become prominent with its own label.

Easy to find and buy now = marketing.

Why Writers Write Fiction, by Ben Marshall

Why Writers Write Fiction, by Ben Marshall.

Reading this post today, I was ticking all the boxes to why Ben Marshall believes – why Writer’s write.  It’s a great way to understand who writer’s are, what they do, and what writing means to them.

It’s also a good reinforcement to read through these points when any writer is struggling with their fiction, because sometimes you want to give up, or are suffering from the dearly known Writer’s Block. But in the end, the soul purpose to why you write is also for yourself.

Hats off.