Harvard is the kind of place people love to hate—most often out of jealousy. For some, it’s synonymous with snobbery and effeteness; for others it represents the culmination of a lifelong dream. Whatever your feelings, the campus itself doesn’t disappoint.
The Harvard University campus is filled with important-looking brick buildings with actual ivy clinging romantically to their marble friezes. Most have stories, which the tour guides at the Harvard Events & Information Center (Holyoke Center Arcade, 1350 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617/495-1573, www.harvard.edu , 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 2 p.m. Sat., free) are happy to divulge.
If you venture into Harvard Yard yourself, be sure to touch the foot of the statue of John Harvard for luck. It’s known as the “statue of three lies” since it doesn’t depict Harvard; wrongly calls him the founder; and gets the date of the founding wrong (it was 1636, not 1638). So much for the university’s motto, Veritas—Latin for truth.