May 6th 2010

Eileen Walking in Provence with her daughter, Monica
by Eileen Malone-Brown At the end of this month, my husband and I will embark on another walking holiday with The Wayfarers, this time exploring the lovely Veneto region in northeast Italy, ending in the serene and sublime Venice. Anticipation of the many delights ahead shape our thoughts, discussion and reading these days, because we know that a The Wayfarer’s vacation with their knowledgeable and caring team will enable us to appreciate this region from all the perspectives we love so much. What could be better than walking the ground where ancient civilizations left their mark and so much art was created and history made, seeing Palladio’s villa design features found in so many significant 18th and 19th century American buildings, discovering the wild flowers that we often grow (or struggle to grow) in our garden and most of all, savoring the food and wine of a region so that we can replicate these meals for our family and friends when we return home? The only thing that surpasses all of these delights is the marvelous people with whom we share the experience. The groups of fellow hikers we have encountered on previous walks represent some of the most interesting individuals we have ever met. Because each group averages around a dozen, there is ample opportunity to chat and share observations as we amble along. Their interests and life stories combined with the walk leader’s knowledge of the local geography, history, architecture, language, fauna, and flora provide you provide a difficult to beat vacation. The manager takes care of all of your day-to-day concerns, moves the luggage, arranges for wonderful meals and snacks so that all you have to do is enjoy the bucolic bliss. Each trip contains several experiences with locals that you could not replicate on your own, such the walk in Tuscany when we visited an Etruscan burial site, which later became a romitorio or hermitage filled with beautiful ancient stone carvings that was used by pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena. We can’t wait to see what delights await us in the Veneto and the new friends we will make. We look forward to sharing these discoveries from our new Wayfarer’s chapter later this summer.

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