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Gathering Chestnuts: Encounters Along the Way is a collection of stories based on the author's often unexpected encounters with individuals as she has traveled in and around Bologna, Italy, since 1994. Each story recalls a "gift": a deeper insight into the people of Bologna and the Province, but also an awareness of herself and the world. These stories could actually be set anywhere; generosity exists, often unnoticed, in the quietest, most unexpected circumstances. Often a person does not even realize his or her own kindness. The title derives from one of the stories included in the collection, In the Castagneto with Clara, referring to the unconditional generosity of the chestnut tree as it blankets our path with its fruit and sustenance. An original illustration by artist Loren Bondurant accompanies each story. Simple maps of the territory will provide the geographical context for the reader.