More Armchair Travel

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As the full blown doldrums of winter set in, it's hard not to think about an escape. Of course, not all of us have the means to jet off to exotic, far-flung destinations just oozing with culture and history. But at least we have the Internet, which has made ever-so-brief virtual vacations so much easier than staring blankly into space at your desk, making your co-workers wonder if you've suffered some sort of stroke.

My latest virtual getaway comes courtesy of the folks at Smithsonian Magazine. As part of the January issue's story on deciphering the underground workings of the Colosseum in Rome, the magazine created a virtual 360-degree tour of the landmark with vantage points both in and outside of the walls. While it's fun to check out, I offer one piece of advice: go easy with the mouse as you turn the view, it's easy to get a little seasick.

If you want a slightly more interactive virtual escape, you can still tour the ruins of Pompeii thanks to Google Earth.

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