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Archive for September, 2010

We were in Sulmona in between our Adventures in Italy trips. There is a lot to like about this city in Abruzzo. One is the passeggiata, what we think is the best we’ve experienced. Certainly that is a subjective assessment. How do you decide which is best? Here’s what we like.

  • It has just the right number of people. Some passeggiata’s are too crowded, some feel empty. This one feels perfect in terms of numbers, even on the busier than normal weekend.
  • There is a great mix of age groups. Many passeggiata’s tend toward the elderly side. Not here. In fact, Sulmona is one of the youngest feeling cities we’ve been in. There are pre-teens, teens, people in their 20’s and thirties and on up. Some walk briskly, others stroll. Doesn’t matter the age group
  • It is local. This is a less touristy part of Italy and nearly everybody is local. That lends a very real feel.
  • The spaces are great. Some passeggiatas are cramped, some are too open. Here, Corso Ovidio and its several piazzas are just the right dimensions. You can’t control that of course. They are lucky enough to have good dimensions, and maybe that is partly why it is so successful.

The passeggiata is one of he things we adore about Italy. It is heart warming to see people coming together every night for a few hours of socializing. Imagine in the U.S. if at 5:00 or 6:00 we turned off the TV and computer, put down what we were doing just to go out onto the street to walk, get a little exercise and talk to folks. Imagine doing that every night just because it was important to you and made you feel alive and connected! I think it is hard for Americans to even imagine such a thing.

Sulmona reminds us of Aspen before it became a big resort town. Mountains are in its backyard. The views are stunning. There is skiing within 30 minutes.

The food is excellent. We will say their coffee and gelato do not measure up to some other cities. Hey, you can’t have everything. Ciao di Sulmona!

Our first night in Sulmona

Our first morning

Another view

Approaching Piazza Garibaldi

Piazza Garibaldi through the medieval acqueduct

Piazza XX Settembre

A nice town Sulmona!

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We have just finished the first of three weeks of workshops in Orvieto. What a wonderful week where Tracie and Marylin Huskamp helped their students take pictures and transform them into works of art. We had a week of fun, sun, food, wine, art, vineyards, cooking, Etruscans and Italians. We also had Discover Orvieto going on with coffee, cheese and meat, engaging our senses and just enjoying Italy.

Our wonderful group has now split up heading north and south to see Rome, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Milan, Venice and Florence. Kristi and I are in Sulmona, Ovid’s birthplace, and a spectacular town set in the mountains. More on it later.

We will welcome our next two groups over the coming weeks to work under the tutelage of Lisa Walton and then Misty Mawn. Following are a few pictures of our week just concluded. Ah, it goes too fast! Ciao!

Alessandra gets us into the know about coffee

Tracie makes pasta?

Chef Lorenzo has grapes for Paula

Marylin and Jennifer rolling out pasta

Dave, Shelley, Cristina and company in Etruscan caves

They were harvesting grapes at Palazzone

The Umbrian countryside

Marylin and Tracie flank Marilyn and her work

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