Italian Folktales ~ Day 13 (July 7, 2011), Venice

We woke to the sound of sweeping, and when we went out, we stepped into a sparkling city of alleyways, piazzas, and canals. The first thing on our agenda was to grab a quick breakfast (fruit, water, and bread) at the shop around the corner from our hotel, and then proceed to the Palazzo Ducale… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 13 (July 7, 2011), Venice

Italian Folktales ~ Day 12 (July 6, 2011), Maniago and Venice

If you want a sharp souvenir from Italy, go to Maniago. Metalworking has been an important industry in Maniago for much of the town's history, and the small collection of artisan blacksmiths and knife makers busy at work since the 1400s blossomed into a cooperative of factories in the early 20th century. Today, Maniago's main… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 12 (July 6, 2011), Maniago and Venice

Italian Folktales ~ Day 11 (July 5, 2011), Fanna, Maniago, Poffabro, and Frisanco

Visiting Fanna was like going home. After ten days of traveling, and the last four in the mountains, it was awfully nice to find a comfortable place to settle in for a couple of days, wash our clothes, do a little grocery shopping, and reorganize our luggage to put away the hiking gear we no… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 11 (July 5, 2011), Fanna, Maniago, Poffabro, and Frisanco

Italian Folktales ~ Day 10 (July 4, 2011), Fanes to Fiames to Fanna

Just above Fanes, the trail flattens, passes a turquoise blue lake, and then begins the long, sloping descent down the valley, back to Fiames. We left the bare, rocky summits behind us and, little by little, were enveloped by a forest of tall conifers, mysterious caves, and tumbling cascades. Although at least one in our… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 10 (July 4, 2011), Fanes to Fiames to Fanna

Italian Folktales ~ Day 9 (July 3, 2011), Pederu to Fanes

On the morning of this third day of hiking, salvation came to Hyla in the form of a minivan. It's not that she wasn't willing to hike back up much of the elevation we had come down the day before; she just wasn't happy about it. After experiencing the pain of watching her misery during… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 9 (July 3, 2011), Pederu to Fanes

Italian Folktales ~ Day 8 (July 2, 2011), Sennes to Pederu

Snapshots Peaceful morning at Sennes Hutte, and the sound of the cow bells. The sound we woke up to at each rifugio. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnubTjGHZLg Packs lined up, ready for the day's hike. Have I mentioned yet how much I love my backpack? Well I do. I love it. It's the green one there. I love it.… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 8 (July 2, 2011), Sennes to Pederu

Italian Folktales ~ Day 7 (July 1, 2011), Fiames to Sennes

Day 1 of the hike. Both wonderful and difficult. 13 kilometers of steady uphill hiking on crushed stone trails. Total gain of about 1000 meters in elevation. Finally! Packs on our backs, boots on our feet, realizing the plan that we'd hatched all those years ago. Blue-sky day. Friends to keep us company. Some of… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 7 (July 1, 2011), Fiames to Sennes

Italian Folktales ~ Day 6 (June 30, 2011), Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lagazuoi

On paper, Cortina d'Ampezzo has much to recommend it; the host of the 1956 Winter Olympics, it's ringed by the Dolomites and is a popular jumping off point for hikers, climbers, and skiers wanting to explore the Dolomites. It has its charms—most especially the spectacular La Cooperative di Cortina, part department store, part bookstore, part… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 6 (June 30, 2011), Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lagazuoi

Italian Folktales ~ Day 5 (June 29, 2011), Bolzano and Cortina

We rented a tiny car at the Verona airport on a bright, hot morning and drove the A22 Autostrada through the Brenner Pass from Verona to Bolzano. After Verona, Bolzano—which bills itself as "the gateway to the Dolomites" and is the capital city of the South Tyrol—was like a foreign country. Although everyone could speak… Continue reading Italian Folktales ~ Day 5 (June 29, 2011), Bolzano and Cortina