Durres is a very ancient city, but today its antiquities are only visible intermittently. Originally a Greek colony, it has endured Roman and Byzantine rule and more recently a long, dark chapter under a severe Communist dictatorship. It is a busy port, located at the narrowest passage of the Adriatic Sea just across from Bari, Italy. Notable sites in Durres itself include a large, but only partially unearthed Roman amphitheater, built in the 2nd Century AD by the Emperor Trajan. It is a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage inscription, surrounded and in a few cases actually occupied by modern housing. Nearby, a colonnade of a 5th Century Byzantine marketplace is another surviving relic. From Durres, you can also visit the Albania’s capital, Tirana, a vibrant modern city flexing its muscles after its long enforced isolation. The large National History Museum has an extensive and fascinating collection, including a pavilion containing numerous Eastern Orthodox icons by the master of color Onufri, and another dedicated to the late Albanian nun Mother Teresa. East of Tirana, an Austrian-built cable car can carry visitors up the slopes to panoramic views at the Mt. Dajti National Park.