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Patience: In a major home project, the joy is in the work

CASTELBUONO, Sicily (AP) — When my wife and I bought a hectare (about 2.5 acres) of countryside with three buildings on it in the mountains of Sicily four years ago, I didn’t expect – or want – the wo...

'Dr. John,' funky New Orleans 'night-tripper' musician, dies

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dr. John, the New Orleans singer and piano player who blended black and white musical styles with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl, died Thursday, his family ...

In the high mountains of Sicily, a quieter and wilder world

GANGI, Sicily (AP) — Far from the packed beaches of Sicily's busy coastlines, there's a quieter and wilder world in its high mountains. In more dangerous times, this was where much o...

Wattle fences: Weaving branches takes time, yields rewards

CONTRADA PETRARO, Sicily (AP) — They come in the middle of the night and are gone by morning. But without fail, they leave their calling cards: Pronged footprints and gashes in the ground where they'v...

An ancient way to cut grass, scything's also a state of mind

CONTRADA PETRARO, Sicily (AP) — Spring is ending and summer approaches. The grass is now long, finished growing. For us, it's time to scythe. This is a beautiful, and slightly sad, t...

Pruning olive trees is a balance of art, lore and science

TORRETTA, Sicily (AP) — Watching Giovanni Caruso prune an olive tree is like observing a mountain climber decide how to reach the next hand-grip in a cliff. He chooses his path with deliberation. He e...

Colors of Tunisia: Sea, sand, medinas and the Arab Spring

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The colors of Tunisia's landscape change hourly with the light of the Mediterranean sun. Vermilion, sapphire, olive green, white, gold and ocher can all be seen in the sky, sea a...

Visiting the Tunisian desert where 'Star Wars' was filmed

MATMATA, Tunisia (AP) — There's a reason the original "Star Wars" movie was filmed in the deserts of southern Tunisia. This stark, remote landscape looks like another planet. One of ...

Tunisian medina a maze of courtyards, craftsmen and carpets

SFAX, Tunisia (AP) — Enter the gates of the medina in Sfax, Tunisia, and step into another world. Here there are no cars. Birds chatter in peaceful courtyards. Life revolves around a...

Farms, food and magical stone cottages in Italy's Puglia

VALLE D'ITRIA, Italy (AP) — There are no famous historical figures to discover in the Valle d'Itria in Italy's central Puglia, no city of note with theaters and great cathedrals. Instead, it's a quiet...

Build locally? Ancient stone structures have modern appeal

LOCOROTONDO, Italy (AP) — There's no better place to understand how to build in stone than this hilltop town in Puglia, Italy's boot heel, where master stone-builders have been sculpting rocks for cen...

Start the presses: Newcomers to Italy make olive oil

CASTELBUONO, Sicily (AP) — Our first grueling, knee-killing, bumbling and comically great olive season finally feels like it is over. We are rich in a new way: More than 70 liters of...