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FRANCE: The 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! Early Thursday, while many of you were sleeping, the town of Beaujeu near Lyon was piercing huge barrels of the young wine from this year’s harvest during its Sarmentelles festivities. Made from local handpicked Gamay grapes and fermented for just a few weeks, the wine will flow through the weekend with vintners offering tastes and bottles of their new harvests along with 12 other appellations of the region. Other specialties available for sale include locally produced oils and snails. On Sunday, artisans will sell their creations. Find more at www.sarmentelles.com (in French).

ITALY: The Festa della Salute in Venice on Sunday recalls the city’s plague outbreak from 1630 to 1631, during which the doge promised to build a church to the Virgin Mary if she would intercede and rid the city of the disease. Today, in honor of her assistance, pilgrims travel over a votive bridge built on boats that cross the Grand Canal to the Salute church to honor the Virgin, light candles and ask for good health. See “Events” under “Tourism” at www.comune.venezia.it.

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