Monthly Archives: May 2013

Exploring Emilia-Romagna: Blogville’s Back in 2013

Blogville

If you guys have been following me here for awhile, you might remember that last year I went to BlogVille.  BlogVille is an innovative social media project hosted by the Emilia-Romagna Tourism Board aimed at promoting the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy (lesser known by tourists than places like Rome, Venice, and Tuscany).  A rotating set of bloggers are put up in an apartment in the region and largely given the freedom to explore the region as they please.  At the same time, the Tourism Board offers lots of support and suggestions and organizes group outings.

Last year, I spent a week in Rimini with BlogVille.  I did some biking, explored the beautiful Valmarecchia, and met the last person left making traditional piadina pans by hand.  A lot of great material came out of last year’s BlogVille, much of which you can check out in the BlogVille 2012 Ebook.  Some of my favorites were Jeanette’s photos from her visit to Koko Mosaico in Ravenna, Portland, meet your sister {city) by TwoOregonians, and Kash’s writeup on tasting traditional balsamic vinegar in Modena.

Well, the reason I’m writing now is because BlogVille is back in 2013!  Bloggers started arriving in Bologna last week.  To follow their adventures (and shenanigans) visit the Blogville website or follow @BlogVilleEmRom and #blogville hashtag on Twitter.

Visiting Paris, France: Pop In Breaks Urban Race

Contestants check-in in front of Montmartre's La Basilique du Sacré Coeur, photo by Eric Montgobert courtesy of Pop in Breaks

Contestants check-in in front of Montmartre’s La Basilique du Sacré Coeur, photo by Eric Montgobert courtesy of Pop in Breaks

Early Saturday morning a few weeks ago, Luke and I ascended from a metro station in Paris onto the quiet streets of the Montmartre neighborhood.  We were wearing our running gear and bright colored raincoats (which we luckily didn’t need) and were searching for some fresh baked pain au chocolat before the morning’s race kicked off.  We were a little jumpy, not knowing quite what was in store for us and worried that our lack of French would literally get us lost.  A few hours later, the streets of this artsy, NYC Village-like neighborhood — famous for its Sacré-Cœur Basilica and appearance in film Amelie — would be filled with tourists; and Luke and I would be jogging through the crowds, map in hand, looking for our next challenge.

We were contestants in the inaugural Pop in Breaks, an urban race designed to let participants discover Parisian neighborhoods in a unique and fun way.   Continue reading