Grantourismo October Competition - Winning Entries

Theme: Local Travel


First prize

By Mike

Love has a recipe

Love has a recipe Azure fell in love with a Corsican cheese, a cheese that doesn’t travel well. We were leaving in a couple days and she might never again see or taste the enchanting, goaty brocciu. Azure was sad, so I had to do something.

We asked a young man at the market if he knew a brocciu maker who might teach us to make the cheese. He told us to ask the widows who sit on the steps of the mayor’s office.

We rode our scooter to the mayor’s office and asked the old ladies where to find a brocciu maker. In the next village over, they said, lived a woman who made it for years.

We rode our scooter over the ridge and asked a man where Mme Albertini lived. She was his aunt, in fact, and she lived at the edge of town...

Continue reading on Mike's blog


Second prize

By Sarah Warwick

Sumatran Memento

Sumatran Memento Sitor is a woodcarver. His father was a woodcarver. Carving, he tells me, is what the Batak men do.

Sumatra’s Lake Toba and its island of Samosir are famous for this carving. The Batak people’s totem poles, masks and houses – which have horns to scare off wild spirits – are reminders of the wild days of cannibalism and tribal wars. Nowadays tourists buy mini versions for souvenirs.

When I first met Sitor yesterday in his workshop-come-showroom overlooking the lake, I was awed by his work: intricate portraits of his ancestors and local characters of myth, all honed with just a knife and a hammer...

Continue reading on Sarah's blog



Third Prize

By Jools Stone

Barga’s missing buses and magic busgirls

Barga’s missing buses and magic busgirls Beautiful Barga  taught me two valuable travel lessons:

1. Never trust a Tuscan timetable

2. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers

Heading home from a day of pounding Lucca’s pavements, we left the train at Fornaci and wandered towards the bus stop.  Barga’s two stations, Galicano and Fornaci, are several miles from the town – life is too slow to make public transport a pressing issue.

Forty minutes later, despite the timetable’s insistence that the last bus of the night was due, our guts told us otherwise. So off we went to fill said guts at the nearest trattoria where we’d later ‘phone a taxi. Simple...

Continue reading on Jools's blog

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