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 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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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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Trulli of Alberobello — Truly Amazing

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In the town of Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage site probably founded in the 15th century, there  are more than 1,000 of the most interesting dwellings. These trulli and their clever construction came about during the Middle Ages, popularized by a law prohibiting the construction of new cities without regal authorization—and taxation.

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The Work Boats of Venice

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Gondolas delight both visitors and residents of Venice, but another icon of the waterways—the workboat—often goes unnoticed. The delivery boat, the police boat, and even the ambulance boat—all are crucial modes of transportation in a city without automobiles. Here we offer a look at unappreciated workboats, making a living on the canals in one of […]

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Could I Eat a Horse?

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The instructions were unnerving: Boil olive oil in a hot pan, lay the horsemeat in flat, and turn it when it starts to rise. I tried hard not to visualize horseflesh rearing up out of a pan of boiling oil. We were in search of the “Puglian delicacy” I had read about in a guidebook and was determined not to miss.

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Banana Tower

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By Laurie McAndish King. As a child, I imagined strolling across the Field of Miracles on a sunny day. I didn’t know why it was called the Field of Miracles, but supposed the Virgin had probably appeared to someone there. That, or an innocent baby had been cured of a horrible disease. Perhaps both, since it was called the Field of Miracles—plural.

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