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Sometimes you get lucky with a great Airbnb host, as was the case with our stay in Ancona, Italy. Our host Gregory was extremely friendly and welcoming, and the highlight of his generosity was when he invited us out to a night on the town with his friends to a wine festival in nearby Camerano. It was called The Rosso Conero Festival or Festa del Rosso Conero, and it took over the whole hilltop town. All over the small cobblestone streets were local wine and food vendors and all kinds of craft booths and live music. We caught the last night of the three-day event. Besides the well-preserved medieval structures of the town, there are a series of tunnels that create a maze under most of the buildings. At one point each building had access to these tunnels. The exact origin of these tunnels is unknown but they have served many purposes in the past including shelters during war time and wine cellars. We didn’t get a chance to tour the tunnels as we were there for the wine, but luckily one of Gregory’s friends Lara used to be a guide at the caves and told us all about them.

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After sharing a few bottles of wine, our group shots began to get blurrier. It was then that Gregory asked if we liked to dance. My answer to this question is always “no” but that didn’t seem to translate. Right in the center of town was a bunch of Italian Folk dancing. Gregory introduced us to his friend Ilaria who excitedly took us by the hands and pulled us into the crowd to join the dancing. I didn’t even have a moment to protest before the music began. Ilaria was a great teacher and quickly taught us the steps that reminded me a lot of square dancing. There’s a lot of linking arms and spinning around. We learned two dances and I just about got the hang of it right as the song ended. Most of the time I had no idea what was going on and my very limited understanding of Italian didn’t help but I think the wine did.

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We had such a good time at the festival all thanks to Gregory. He and his friends welcomed us in like old friends and we’ll remember them forever.

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