Umbria, Italy

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Umbria is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries; hence it is arguably the most Italian place it Italy. It includes Perugia (which you may know for its famous Perugina Baci classic chocolates) and Assisi (which you may know for St. Francis), as well as gorgeous landscapes and excellent food and wine. We recently enjoyed a week there, photographing in Orvieto and nearby areas.

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The Marta Festival

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Every year since pagan times, the town of Marta in Umbria, Italy, has held the Barabbata festival, celebrating the cycle of seasons and the fertility of land and sea. It’s a wonderful spectacle that the men and boys of the village participate in, hauling elaborate floats past thousands of spectators and up a long hill to culminate in blessings at the local church and a picnic with plenty of pork sandwiches and wine.

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The Dalmatian Coast aboard Le Diamant

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Le Diamant, accommodating up to 189 passengers, felt intimate with comfortable cabins and a luxurious lounge. Ports of call on our Dalmatian Coast voyage included Trogir, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik, and Kotor, with side trips to Zagreb in Croatia and Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Aer Lingus News Changes my Travel Plans

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  Dave Cooney and Helen Maguire chat with me about about Aer Lingus’ new daily nonstop service from San Francisco to Dublin, Ireland. We also chat about comfy lie-flat seats in business class, vacation packages, and—news to me—an expedited reentry arrangement with U.S. Customs. That means on my way home I can clear U.S. Customs in […]

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The Venice Food Market

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When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but when in Venice, do as the Venetians do: Get thee to the food market along the Grand Canal. It is full of locals and is an integral part of their life. [imagebrowser id=34]  The Mercato del Pesce—the fish market—is a fabulous place to browse for seafood, produce, […]

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The Western Med: See before you go

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From megalithic ruins that predate Stonehenge by 1,500 years to a futuristic Arts and Sciences complex designed by one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary architects, from Tunisian carpets to rococo cathedrals, and from the Moorish marvel that is the Alhambra to what some believe is the Holy Grail—the western Mediterranean is home to many […]

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Kotor Marketplace and the Feta Man

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By Jim Shubin. We embarked on a cheese quest in Kotor, a small town on the coast of Montenegro hosting a lively marketplace filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and eggs, wine and cheese. Kotor seems to be prosperous: the women are stylish, the town sports an inordinate number of shoe stores, and…

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Apulia, Italy: See Before You Go

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This full-color, 76-page book includes Apulia’s delicious and healthful culinary and spa traditions, charming and historic trulli homes, hand-made ceramics at Grottaglia, singer Al Bano’s (who popularized the song Volare) personal castle, Matera’s iconic sassi homes, idyllic hilltop towns, churches, museums, and castles …

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Museo Storico Navale, Venice Italy

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By Jim Shubin.

Venice is a city where one can wander with no set plans, and so it was with us. We happened upon a building with a huge anchor in front and letters high above the door reading: Museo Storico Navale. Museo could only mean museum (we hoped) so we walked in. Having fallen in love with Venice’s gondolas…

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Barging Through France

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By David Greitzer. Saying you’ve barged through the canals of France is like saying you’ve reached the end of the internet. In a word — impossible. However, it is possible to experience some of what seems a infinite task. It’s kind of like eating an elephant; just take one bite at a time…

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