What a delightful hour hearing about the advantages of a month long adventure  "AirBnB-ing through Northern Italy".  Accommodations ranging from modest to marvelous, stories and tales from hilarious to heart warming.  Margi and Anna's stories confirm our belief that "The less you spend on your trip to Italy the closer you get to the people and the culture".

For those wanting travel ideas Anna shared their Itinerary:


            day trips to Celle Monte and Casale Monferatto….Infernot
     Montefort d’Alba
     Santa Margarita
     Montova - Saint George’s Castle
     Rochetta Mattei


AirBnB Across Italy - "The less you spend on your trip to Italy the closer you get to the people and the culture".

Cindy delighted the crowd with a few of her beautiful watercolor images from Italy and shared secrets of how to enjoy Italy.  As a painter Cindy said one can sit themselves in a beautiful spot all day and "just take it all in" as you discover the culture of each city, village or county side.

List of Previous Topics and Presenters

Jerry opened our eyes to the beauty of Genoa with its old world archeitectue, many piazzas and narrow but coloriful streets.  Jerry a masterful travel guide shared the secrets of Camogli, this beautiful and historic fishing village is just a 20 train ride from Genoa."  Plus Jerry shared a few insiders tips of foods of Genoa

parts of the world have similar community issues and to appreciate how they have attempted to solve these.  Here is an example of how, in our short history with Belluno, Italy we have already identified a 
common issue, downtown parking, and learned a unique solution that works for Belluno.  Marco showed them that Belluno had few parking places in the core city area but had open parking lots several hundred feet lower and down an embankment from the city center.  Belluno’s solution is a tube escalator to transport people from the lower parking to the historic and business city above and back.

John Vallerga writes about two hotels in Belluno

Notes from Bend Resident and Experienced Italian Traveler, Gerald Marcyk

Jerry is founder of the popular Monthly Italian Food, Culture and Wine series

Ten Tips for Visiting Rome 

similarities in municipal issues, downtown parking issues to concerns about immigration.  We see a real opportunity for a sister city relationship between Bend and Belluno.

If you have a rental car,  take a day trip through the spectacular scenery of the Dolomites.  Head westbound on Hwy 203 through the Dolomite National Park to the city of Agordo.   If you are really looking for adventure,  take the cut off near Alleghe up the steep and winding road to the Paso di Giao.   After 21 marked and numbered hairpin turns, you will arrive at the lodge with stunning views at the top of the 7300 ft mountain pass.   Continue down the road to the famous ski resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo and take Hwy 51 back to Belluno.  Allow 8-10 hours.

What to see and do in and around 

Beautiful Belluno

Local Italophile and traveler Jerry Marcyk  shares practical information on how to see Venice.  He shares how to avoid frustration in this world famous and crowded tourist destination and how to see some of the hidden treasures that the average tourist misses.  We are currently unable to load the entire PowerPoint presentation, until we do we have added several shots of Jerry's presentation.  Much more to come.

Tuesday Dec 11 -

Jim and Heather Knox:  Living in Belluno 

Sicily to Sardinia: 

Exploring the Italian Islands 

Sandy, Ryan and Alex Shaffer

Ten Tips for Visiting Rome - Andy and Caitlin Vades  
Climbing the Via Ferrata and the front lines of WWI - Frank Florence and Julie Hudson
Hut to hut hiking on the Alta Via in the Dolomites - Sally and Gary Winter
Italian Style in Art, Architecture, and Fashion - Professor Greg Lyons
Magical Italy - Hilloah Rohr
From the Mediterranean to the Alps - Hilloah Rohr
Hut to hut hiking in Italy - John Schubert 
A Personal Guide to Feltre - Stefano Perer 
Secrets of Fine Olive Oil - Gina Minnis 
The Art of Gelato - Jeff and Julie Labhar
The  Longarone Dam Disaster - Zara De Min  
Villages, Vines and Vistas - Bicycle touring in Italy  Larry Smith
Autumn Excursions from Florence - Greg Lyons  
Our culinary exchange with Belluno
Chef Dave and Melissa - COCC Cascades Culinary Institute
Belluno, Our Italian Sister City - Oran and Jane Teater

Tuesday  Nov 11 - 

Anna Pollino: 

Umbria -

The Green Heart of Italy

Previous Topics and Presenters

Local residents and frequent Italian travelers Jon and Lynn Putnam made a second visit this time to share their amazing photos of Orvieto.  Jon’s well organized presentation give the audience a historic overview of Orvieto their favorite Italian hill town. Jon shared some practical tips about taking the advice of locals for the best restaurants.

Italian Wine, Food and Culture


Hiking the Italian Coast:  

Cinque Terre, Ischia, Sorrento and Almfi

Jon and Lynn Putnam 


​     Travels From The Edges to the Interior of Italy
     COCC Professor Greg Lyons

Admission is always free for people 21 and older. But we do ask attendees to support the enoteca by buying a glass of wine or a snack before the talk. 
It's a great way to learn something new, have a glass of wine with friends, and meet other local people who share our enthusiasm about Italy.
Please email gtmarcyk@gmail.com for more information.

Italian Food, Wine

and Culture

Lynn and Jon shared photographs and tips on hiking the rugged Italian coastal.   They shared details of flooding along Cinque Terre trails.   then took us by bus to Monte Epomo and a coastal stroll to Sant’ Angelo hikes on the Island of  Ischia, inland to Sant’ Agata and out to the ancient Greek and Roman offeratory at Punta Campanella near Sorrento, and finally, an eerie scramble on the famous Sentiero degli Dei, “Pathway of the Gods” on the  Amalfi Coast. 

This popular monthly event is hosted by Melanie Betti in her enoteca The Wine Shop and Tasting Bar in downtown Bend. Topics have included "The Secrets of Fine Olive Oil" , "Touring Italy by Bicycle", "Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites"  and "The Art of Gelato".  All of the talks are accompanied by high quality photos or videos projected on a flat panel TV.

We have been especially fortunate to host two native Italian speakers in the past year who gave personal insights into the "Longarone Dam Disaster" and "My hometown of Feltre".

The Shaffer family  showed photos and sharing stories of food, hikes,  and great sites to visit in the islands off the coast of Italy including Sicily Gigilio, Elba, Sardinia, and the tiny island of Ventotene west of Naples.  The Shaffer family spent two glorious years in Italy while Ryan was teaching at an international school in Rome.

Greg shared stories and amazing photos to another SRO crowd.  From the Dolomites , Lake Como, and Torino in the north,  to the medieval cities of Perugia and Urbino and to the mosaic treasures of  Ravenna..

   "A Month in Genoa"

   Jerry Marcyk


Margi Legowik and Anna  Pollino

Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO

Santa Margherita Ligure

Italian Food, Wine and Culture evenings held monthly at The Wine Shop in downtown Bend. Topics range from Italian olive oil and gellato, to biking, hiking, music and history with presentations made by knowledgeable locals or guest visitors from Belluno.

The Bend Belluno Sister City Association periodically sponsors informal talks on "Italian Food, Wine, and Culture". This popular series is the idea and work of Gerald Marcyk, PhD.

Upcoming Topics and Presenters:


​     "How I paint my way through Italy"
     Bend artist Cindy Briggs

Upcoming Talks

Tuesday   Oct 23 - Jerry Marcyk Treasures of Milan

Tuesday  Nov 11 -  Anna Pollino:  Umbria - The Green Heart of Italy

Tuesday Dec 11 - Jim and Heather Knox:  Living in Belluno 

All presentations begin at 7, but come early to grab a seat and enjoy      wine and conversation with other Italian travelers.

The Wine Shop & Beer Tasting Bar   55 NW Minnesota Ave