A destination unknown: Valbruna, Italy
Over the years of traveling with the Warren Miller film crew, I have come across some unique villages. Miller works hard to seek out locations most of us have not heard of. They are gems hidden amongst the giants of publicity or tourism. This season’s film, “Journey,” sent a Miller team to film on borders of Austria, Slovenia and Italy, and while resting their tired legs, they chose to sleep in the village of Valbruna at the Valbruna Inn.Sound Familiar? If you went to see “Journey” this past fall, Wendy Fisher, Spencer Wheatly and I recreated “Dumb and Dumber.” In the attempt to locate this small village tucked in the towering Julian Alps, I perhaps said the name “Valbruna” 20 times in search of the fairytale mountain village. Or maybe you have stumbled across the Valbruna store located on Meadow Drive here in Vail.One of Vail’s most elegant shops, it is owned and operated by Vail resident and skiing legend Marco Tonazzi. He’s a tall, athletic man who grew up training in the village of Valbruna before rising to stardom as a national skiing champion. Since those days, Tonazzi has moved to the U.S. and now splits his time between Valbruna, where he opened up the Valbruna Inn, and Vail, where he has the Valbruna store.Tonazzi has designed a ski-touring package to experience the Julian Alps and stay in the refurbished Valbruna Inn while dining and drinking wine and skiing the nearby mountains we filmed a portion of “Journey” in this past year.The opportunity to see this spectacular part of the old world while staying in world-class accommodations and eating gourmet cuisine as a guest of Tonazzi is like the chance to go to Neverland with Peter Pan. At least it was like that a couple of years ago when a friend and I rented a car in Venice and drove till we found the village I had seen pictures of in the Valbruna store back in Vail.While staying at the Valbruna Inn, guest of Tonazzi will experience the skiing while also attending local events in a part of the world that has not changed much in 50 years. Participants in the journey will explore the two adjacent countries, Austria and Slovenia, as they experience two completely different cultures that meet and blend within a few miles of the Valbruna.If you would like to dip into true Italian culture this winter season, a trip to Valbruna, Italy this February might be the perfect opportunity.For more information about visiting Valbruna, go to http://www.valbrunaitaly.com, or take it up a notch and travel with Marco this February back to his homeland and participate in a very special adventure! For more info on this trip, go to http://www.chrisanthony.com.By Chris Anthony
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In Eagle County, the most commonly reported dead bird has been the Wilson’s warbler, which is yellow. Dead yellow-rumped warblers have also been a common sight.