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Running the race with Fernando's wife (Val di Non, Italy)

A Snowless Snowshoe Race: Val di Non’s “Ciaspolada”

The gun sounded and they were off. Their pronged snowshoes digging into the trail, sending snow spray in a zealous arc behind them. These were the die hard competitors, leaving the rest of us in the proverbial “dust” at Val di Non’s Ciaspolada snowshoe race that day.

I tried to take it all in — the news helicopters circling overhead, the building-sized sponsor banners, the fanfare and commotion of so many people at one winter sports event. And as I looked out at the land beyond the snowy trail, trying to gauge the distance to the finish line, all I could see was green.

That’s right: green (or greenish-brown, really). (more…)

View of Naples from above the Spanish Quarter (Italy)

The Beautiful Anarchy of Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy, is a kind of old world stage: another time, another country. Another place.

Jason and I took the train into the city from a nearby town, Aversa, where we were staying with friends. We roamed Naples on foot for two whole days, and left feeling like we could have spent two entire weeks. It wasn’t nearly enough time, but it was grand.

(more…)

Panorama of Panicale (Umbria, Italy)

10 Things To Love About Italy

Madness and mayhem aside, there are a ton of things to love about Italy. I could make countless lists. Lists of favorite foods, most memorable hilltop towns, top stunning views. Cultural quirks. Regional accents.

It goes on…

Instead, I’ll start with just one list: ten of the more memorable things Italy has to offer. Who knows…maybe this is just one of many lists to come. (more…)