Last night I stayed at one of the best “Pilgrim” luxury spots one could imagine, but at pilgrim prices, $79. I booked one of the former Habsburg Royalty summer places ( it opened back in 1900) the Imperial Grand Hotel now still a four-star adventure with full use of pools, spa, breakfast and enough to make a lunch, too. I truly fell into this one. Thank you—thank you. In comparison, I have a picture of the hostel where I‘m staying tonight—and the bed is just as good!
Met some true Alpini along the way. Also met my first three pilgrims: a Dutch fellow and two Austrian ladies.
Getting back to Alpini, the ANA (Associazione Nazionale Alpini or National Alpini Association) is a registered society representing the “Veci” or former members of the Alpini corps. As the “Veci” see themselves as merely “on leave” rather than veterans, the ANA is colloquially known to be the 10th Alpini Regiment. Since 1920 every year ANA organizes a national reunion the “Veci”. Hundreds of thousands of Alpini congregate with family and friends to an Italian city for a weekend—and this is the weekend! I have a few pictures.