TOURISM: SURVIVAL SCHOOL



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'Making Fire' is a mini doc that I shot in Italy on my iPhone 4s while I was visiting my friend Marco Priori in the mountainous region of Leonessa, Italy.  The area is a beautiful rolling landscape of white rocky peeks resting on the back of the Apennini Mountain range.  Marco and his wife Alice moved to the small village of Capo d' Acqua at the end of a lonely mountain road just one year ago.  They went in search of a home to grow their vision of opening a survival school called, Red Fox Survival.  It's a school that aims to reach out to beginners and the most advance students of survival and give them a unique place to call home.

The 2-hour passage from Rome, Italy runs up the back bone of the Apennini through small villages and twisting mountain passes to arrive at the beautiful escape of 5 little Italian style homes.  Greeted by the warm welcome of my friend Marco, his wife Alice, and their son Nemo.  I immediately felt at home.  Over the next three days I enjoyed the peace of isolation, the tranquility of the surrounding mountains, and learned about the vision of Marco's survival school.

A world traveled student of nature with a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering.  Marco has spent years involving himself in the community of survival and exploration.  With a history of experience and certifications through the Italian Federation of Experimental Survival (F.I.S.S.S.) and Italian Alpine Club (I.A.C.), he had much to to share with me about the program.  Walking into town up the mile long dirt path from the village below.  Transportation and technology are the first things to go for the students.  From there they spend the majority of their time learning more awareness of nature, the skill of building a fire by hand, and depending on their level they study anything from tracking animals to creating a sustainable natural living habitat in the out-back of the surrounding mountains.  By the time I needed to head home I felt very in touch with my surroundings, and I was excited about the future of his growing program and the rare location it was in.  I had only wished I could be able to have stayed longer (or even live there myself).

During our time together we enjoyed the pleasure of picking wild strawberries on the mountain side.  We experienced the fun of nights full of great Italian food and company.  And we even had the opportunity learn about Red Fox's sponsorship of the first summit of an untouched peek above 18,000 feet in the Himalayas called, Karakorum.  It was truly amazing!

And so in the last hours of day light on my final evening with Marco's family.  We took some time out to make a fire and film his well developed skill of doing it by hand.  Amazingly enough the footage was all shot on my iPhone 4s and it came out great!  It was a fitting finally to a great trip.

*If you are ever in Italy be sure to connect with Red Fox Survival (www.RedFoxSurvival.com) and spend a weekend of amazing time and survival!

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