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Showing posts from May, 2008

Hiking in the Gole di Sagittario

Castrovalva to Anversa degli Abruzzi (AQ) - Our studio rental was located in the near-deserted hamlet of Castrovalva (fans of dutch artist Escher may be familiar with his lithographic depiction ). The hamlet's proximity to Gole di Sagittario, a WWF-designated gorge and natural preserve, presented us a well-trodden loop trail which led down the mountain to a natural oasis created by the Sagittario river below, and to neighboring Anversa degli Abruzzi before circling back. The river hosts an environment which nourishes a microclimate of flora and fauna that will appeal to nature lovers and photographers -- it seemed quite like a miniature Eden in the middle of all that sheer rock cliffs and rugged mountain tops. Yellow star marks define our path. We are such map fanatics that I've taken the liberty of scanning this one to give an idea of what can be done in 3 - 3½ hours if you're in Castrovalva or Anversa. It seems a lot of people think that you can't get down to

Gubbio: Dining Amongst Wolves

Where else would you expect to dine than at the Taverna del Lupo and anyplace else that had marketing smarts to add wolf to the name of their establishment. Out of the four restaurants that we visited - two with lupo and two without - these three are worth mentioning. All are located in the center of Gubbio. *** Taverna del Lupo lives up to the hype despite a lack of photos. Tartufi / truffles unabashedly used on the menu. Left : Sfogliatina del Lupo con tartufo    Right : Frittatina gentile con lamelle di tartufo Via Ansidei 21, lunch and dinner, reservations suggested, major credit cards, closed Monday **½ Enoteca/Wine Bar “La Madia di Giuseppe” was discovered by chance when I picked up the glossy ad flyer at our hotel's front desk. This is a great “chill” place to unwind and discuss everything from the state of affairs to how Maddie will take to her new doxie brother (we are picking him up this Saturday!). Something about the casual ease of this wine bar urged us to p

Gubbio in the month of April

Another couple on the road traveling in classic style. Take two winter-weary adults and a feisty westie and what do you have? Aside from three compatible road companions, you've got a setting where the urgent yen for dining and hiking prompts the travelin' trio on a sightseeing tour of Italy's central and southern regions. Since April 25th and May 1st were holidays in close proximity, we turned them into one extended week to visit Umbria, Abruzzo and Molise. With the weather being ideal spring conditions (wonderfully sunny, with just a slight nip to the air), all that was required were light pieces of clothing enabling us to layer like an onion. Packed to the gills with hiking gear, a plug-in refrigerated cooler for the goodies, and our Slow Food guidebook, we set off for the place where St. Francis befriended the big bad wolf. Focusing on the highlights for each region, I'll be covering a slew of topics within the next two weeks. Umbria is breathtakingly gorgeous