Italy’s Land of Narnia

We have great fun asking kids, “Did I ever tell you about the day we went to Narnia?” Wide-eyed astonishment is quickly followed by, “You can’t fool me that easily!” But it’s true! We lunched in the little Umbrian town of Narni, whose cobblestoned streets and ancient arched gateways seem to just call out, “Come explore me!”

Narni dates clear back to 600 BC, when it was known as Nequinum. Until that is, the Romans conquered it and renamed it Narnia! Which for some reason became shortened to Narni through the years.  Continue reading

Take a Holiday and Save Abruzzo’s Rare Bear [Video]

All parts of the world, including Italy, have their share of endangered species. And Italy’s list is, in fact, growing. From snails and insects to the beautiful, noble, and critically endangered Sicilian Fir Tree. As well as the Aeolian Wall Lizard, found only on a few Italian islands. And one which hits a little closer to home for us: Italy’s Marsican Brown Bear here in Abruzzo.

But why is this Abruzzo bear so rare, and why should we save it? It’s one of the rarest creatures on Earth, and unique among bear species.  Continue reading

Our Abruzzo Mountains

What beautiful mountains we see from our town! Found in the Maiella National Park and only an hour’s drive away!  Known as the wildest and most inaccessible area of Italy’s Central Appenine, its 740 km² (286 miles²) were a haven for hermits, abbeys and retreats, and dotted with quaint old towns and dry-stone huts.

As possibly one of the best preserved appenine ecosystems, the Maiella Park abounds in wildlife: the golden eagle, the rare otter, the pine marten, the red fox, the European badger, and the wild cat. As well as bear and wolves! It is, in fact, believed that the park contains one of highest wolf population densities in Italy, if not the world!  Continue reading

Rome, the Eternal City


With tourist season upon us, wouldn’t you like to know a bit more about Rome the Eternal City? Just for when you’re lucky enough to find yourself over here in the boot?!!

Rome is known as the Eternal City and as Caput Mundi, Latin meaning capital of the world. Which seems to stem from the fact that Romans have longed viewed (even back in ancient history) their city as the world’s capital. And during the Roman Empire, Rome was in fact the world’s capital. It has been Italy’s capital since 1871.  Continue reading

Italy’s Medieval Festivals [Video]

There’s a feeling of magic in the air! Italy’s Medieval fest season is upon us, like a fairy tale come alive!  Knights, damsels, and court jesters. Feasting, with music and drummers. Medieval games, horse races, and parades with flags and torches. And it’s easy to imagine yourself the velvet clad Lord, or Lady in silk, off to dine with the king in his castle!

So if perchance you find yourself in Italy, join in the magic by choosing a festival to attend! Or stay for the whole season, which lasts mostly from April through October. Mayhap you’ll decide to attend them all!  Continue reading

The Giant, Odor-Free Minimalist Travel Towel

Peshtemals

Do you have a problem with smelly towels? I always did, but no more! Here in Italy, especially during the rainy season, towels take a long time to dry. So unless washed after each use, they turn sour-smelling, and so unpleasant to use!

But how can we wash them daily when it rains? Like many Italians, we don’t own a clothes dryer. So I’d long hoped for a solution.  Continue reading

Italy’s Pinocchio Park [Video]

The delightful tale of Pinocchio is an Italian children’s classic still much loved today. And not just in Italy, but the world round! But just in case you still don’t know the story of Pinocchio let me tell you…

Pinocchio was a little boy made by a lonely old wood carver, named Geppetto. That’s right, Geppetto made his own little boy! For you see, Pinocchio started out as a little wooden marionette.  Continue reading