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Nov 6, 2018 - Matera, Italy

Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is thought to have been settled in the 3rd century BC. It was variously occupied by Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, etc., over the centuries. Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera". The Sassi originated in a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, and these dwellings are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are houses dug into the chalky rock itself. Many of them are really little more...

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Nov 3, 2018 - Ortano, Italy

Ortano is an ancient seaport on the Adriatic which dates back some 3000 years. The old town was a jumble of narrow buildings crowded together on a steep promontory thrusting out into the sea. It became an important battleground during the Italian campaign during World War II. Ortano offered the Allies a supply port on the Adriatic and was fiercely defended by the Germans. The struggle between the German paratroopers and the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade attracted the attention of the international press, leading this battle to be known as...

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Nov 2, 2018 - Urbino, Italy

AW, Grand Circle didn't come through with the thunder storm!! No rain!! Just a little overcast. So a great day! Urbino is a walled city in central Italy. It's known for the turreted, 15th century Ducal Palace (Duke's Palace). Inside the palace, the National Gallery of Art features paintings by Titian and Raphael. Raphael was born in Urbino. Urbino is also a university town. It is a World Heritage Site notable for a remarkable historical legacy of independent Renaissance culture. The town is nestled on high sloping hillside and retains much...

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Oct 28, 2018 - Collio, Italy

We said goodbye to Trieste and headed for the Wine Road, Strada del Vino!!! The area of Collio is known for its exceptional white wines. We met the owners of a family-run vineyard. And they provided us with an exceptional wine tasting experience!! One of the three sons walked us through the wine making process. Another son takes care of the publicity. And the third son handles the business side. Mama handles the wine tasting. She had made a big bowl of pasta!! You'll see in the pictures the table she set for us - olives, cheeses, crusty...

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Oct 19, 2018 - Diano Marina, Italy: A Quiet Seaside Town

Diano Marina was recommended to me by one of my friends in Mondovi because I wanted to experience the Italian Riviera. Where San Remo was a sophisticated city, Diano Marino isn’t much but a seaside town. And since it is mid October it is pretty deserted. All the beach rental chairs are gone and almost all the beach cafes are closed. At the Hotel Tina where I stayed, I swear I was the only person there. It was a small boutique hotel, and I never saw or heard another person, except the totally non English speaking hosts who were only there...

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Oct 18, 2018 - Leaving San Remo and on to Diano Marina, Italy

Yesterday afternoon Shelia and I departed by train from San Remo. I traveled only about 15 minutes back east to Diano Marina, a small seaside town. My new hotel Tina is right across a single lane road from the beach. Shelia continued on back home to Mondovi. Now I am solo again, with my very limited Italian. And my new Hotel speaks not a single word of English. The beach s beautiful and now I wish I had brought a swimsuit. Humm, wondering if black underware would do?

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Oct 15, 2018 - San Remo on the Italian Riviera

I am fortunate that Shelia, one of the English speaking friends from Mondovi, decided to accompany me on this part of my trip, Three nights in San Remo. Shelia married an Italian man and now lives near her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, having made Italy her home. After our aperitif and then return to our nearby hotel for a rest we wandered into the shopping district of San Remo, stopped for a drink near the old port, got lost wandering back to the hotel, but still arrived in time for a wonderful dinner in the hotel Ristorante.

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Oct 12, 2018 - Mondovi: Pizza and Vineyard

The weather was just perfect on this my second visit to Mondovi. I was able to see so much more. My new friends helped with driving me to places I might not have gotten too. I discovered the wonderful leather bag booth at the Cueno market, and visiting a beautiful Italian wine vineyard. Now I will be taking a train due south then west toward the French boarder, to the Italian Riviera on the Mediterranean coast.

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Oct 11, 2018 - The Ancient Wall Around Mondovi, Italy

Yesterday as I was making my way up the hill to the hilltop main area, called the Pazza Maggiore, I noticed a historical marker sign with English and Italian. I learned this is where I could turn off to wall around the ancient wall of Mondovi. Mondovi was fiirst founded in 1198 and had their first printing press in 1472. Imagine all this before my country, North America, was even discovered by Columbus! By 1537 it was claimed by France and was the largest city in the area.

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Oct 9, 2018 - Cuneo, Italy and Market Day Shopping

Today Anna invited me and two other ladies to drive to Cueno for the big market day there. Cueno is about 30 minutes away from Mondovi. It is a little larger then Mondovi with a very large piazza (square) that is chock full of market booths on this Tuesday of the month. We especiall went to visit the Italian leather bag booth. How wonderful. All bags are displayed in heaps inside paper shopping bags and all cost only 20 euros. I hate to even mention the price, because these are reall fine stamped on the leather made in Italy and genuine...

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Oct 5, 2018 - Ancient, Beautiful, Friendly Mondovi, Italy

These pictures tell it all. This part of Italy is not so busy, not so over developed. Everyone says Bonjourno on passing. I haven’t heard a horn honk yet. The air seems fresh, and there is an aboundane of fresh produce, whole grain breads, and of course delicious gelato. Most speak at least a little English. People set on ancient benches in the Piazza visiting, or taking a mid morning espresso cafe” or as I did this afternoon a preseco on little tables under age old brick arches and cobblestone sidewalks. Life is so good here. And also a...

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Oct 3, 2018 - Fossano, Italy

Today Jane, who has a car drove Shelia and me to Fossano, about 23 km away to visit a street market. It was a beautiful, blue sky day, About 65 degrees. We enjoyed browsing the market, I bought 2 scarves and a needed pair of socks. Before we left we took a walk on the promenade around part of the town. Fossana was founded in 1236 as one of many hilltop cities in Italy.

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