Our anniversary comes the day after the biggest summer holiday, called Ferragosto, which makes it difficult to find anywhere to celebrate that isn't already crowded. With that and the summer heat, we knew we couldn't stay in the city.
We turned off the highway by Modena and followed the river through the forest. Switchback roads led up into the remote Apennine mountains. This range runs the length of Italy—a jagged zipper on the boot-shaped country that cuts it in half—from Piemonte to Sicily.