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Vicenza Walks: Cherry Pickin'

Traveling Boy Bloggers on the Move:
Cherry Pickin' at Sawgrass

Story and photos by Tom Weber

Tiger Woods at TPC
Tiger Woods at TPC | photo ©2013 Erik Lesser/EPA

ike him or hate him, golf pro Tiger Woods is a winner. He proved it again on Mother's Day Sunday when he held off the competition and won The Players Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It marked his fourth win in only seven tournament tries of the young season .

His secret for winning? Along with owning a great golf swing, being a master strategist and having a history of pretty much being in the hunt on any given Sunday, it's got to be that RED shirt he dons whenever he marches to the first tee on the final day of tournament play.

cover of nature's March 2005 issue
March 2005 cover | ©2005 nature

And, I've got scientific proof to back that up.

According to researches, the color RED can be intimidating. In a 2005 study by British scientists, published in nature, the international weekly journal of science, they found that athletes wearing RED have an advantage over competitors wearing other colors. "We find that wearing RED is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning," the researchers wrote.

Now, this isn't a post about Tiger, or golf, or athletics. It's about... grocery shopping.


You heard me. Grocery shopping, and the effect the color RED had on me recently.


Wearing BLUE as I entered the supermarket – I'm already at a disadvantage – I immediately stopped dead in my tracks and stared straight ahead into the produce section that fronts the store, much like those Pete Dye-designed pot bunkers guarding the greens at Sawgrass. Right there, bookended by YELLOW bananas and seedless GREEN grapes, were plastic containers filled with shiny, bright RED cherries.

Like Tiger when he makes the turn and starts his charge on the final back nine, those ciliegie Bigarreaux (Bigarreux cherries) dared me to try and come close to their pin placement. With hazards on both sides – the aforementioned bananas and grapes – I felt like tearing up my shopping list (scorecard) and just calling it a day.

Bigarreaux cherries and plastic container

Inspecting several cartons, I found nary a bruise or blemish (divot or spike mark); so, zombie-eyed as I was – like Bill Murray handling explosives to get at that menacing gopher in Caddy Shack – I picked one out, placed it in my hand-carry cart, came to my senses and walked away salivating at the mouth knowing what awaited me when I got to the 19th hole: the BLOOD-RED sweetness that'll be drawn from the very first bite – like the motionless thud that the "Man-in-RED's" Titleist Pro V-1x golf ball makes when landing firmly on the green.

Tiger, Sawgrass and golf metaphors aside, what about these RED winners I carried out in my bag?

Bigarreux cherries

The Bigarreux, grown down south in the Puglia region around Bari, is the very first variety to hit stores and open-air markets around Italy. Because these cherries officially open up the season in the Bel Paese – similar to Palmer, Nicklaus or Player (the "Man in BLACK") at The Masters – they get added celebrity as the prima primizia (first fruit).

On sale from early May to June, the B'reux is heart-shaped with firm and crunchy flesh, and a mouth-watering sweet taste.

They don't have much of a shelf life, so they're rushed to markets across la Penisola within 48-72 hours of harvesting, and then quickly and continuously consumed by countless Italians until the short season is over.

Bigarreux cherries in a bowl

What is it about the color RED that just stops us dead in our tracks, makes us stare and then react impulsively?

Those "mad" scientists do say that RED, more than any other color, provokes clearly identifiable reactions in human beings. I guess they're right.

I'll tell you one thing, I won't be grocery shopping on Sundays until the cherry season is over. Like Tiger Woods and that island green on the 17th at Sawgrass, they're just too INTIMIDATING.

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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

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Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

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Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: Thanks for stopping by and commenting..


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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal

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