canals · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · food and wine itineraries · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Italy · Tradition · Travel · travel plan · Wine Trails

A Journey into the Venetian Past

Venice Isles Food Wine and History

A Walking Itinerary of the most famous sights, including St Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Rialto Bridge, the Doge Palace and the Ponte dei Sospiri.

Venetian Cooking Class our expert cook will teach you how to prepare the local dishes and entertain you by analyzing the intriguing fragrances, the exotic origins of some ingredients, the cooking processes as well as answer your questions about the products being used. Classes are held in a Palazzo apartment in Venice or in a Liberty Villa at the Lido beach, a fascinating bathing resort with tall trees and gardens traversed by several canals. 

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Venice wine tasting in a typical bar or in an ancient Palazzo on the Grand Canal, held by a professional Sommelier presenting various wines, accompanied by intriguing stories about local history, as you experience the lifestyle of a Venetian aristocrat.

Escape crowded Venice for a day and unwind on a trip to the islands of Murano and Burano for a rare glimpse into what Venice used to be; a community of traditional artisans where skills have been passed down from one generation to the next for centuries.

Murano’s Ancient Art of Glassblowing

Burano is famous for its lace making and for the colorful houses crammed along its canals, so painted by fishermen who wanted to spot their homes from a distance. Visit a small building where women sit stitching lace the old-fashioned way, just as their mothers and grandmothers did. Also, take time to admire the delicate lace in the museum, shop or wind your way along the kaleidoscopic streets.

Wine Tasting enter the fascinating Venetian back country and discover the Regional Park of the Euganean Hills, a natural area dotted with small villages, vineyards and typical osterie. Visit a family-owned wine cellar and taste its sparkling wines and the local genuine products. Experience the amazing ancient village of the Poet Petrarca, unchanged since the 14th century.

Journey into the Venetian Past

Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Italy · museums · Tradition · Travel · travel plan

A Tuscan Countryside Medieval Castle and Arms Museum

Monteriggioni stands on a hilltop surrounded by olive trees and vines. Its castle dates-back to the early 13th century; it was built by the Republic of Siena as a defensive outpost against Florence. The Medieval Town maintains its original architectural features and is unique among Tuscany’s borghi. The stone outer wall is 570 meters long and features 14 rectangular towers; they made a great impression on Dante Alighieri who defined them as giants in hell. Walking on top of the walls provides a spectacular view of the countryside, the Chianti region and the Elsa Valley.

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The Arms Museum houses faithful reproductions of medieval and renaissance weapons and armor as well as siege machines and techniques. Each room is devoted to a specific moment in Monteriggioni history. Visitors can wear the armor and handle the weapons.

The Church is located on the main square and is the best-preserved property in the borgo. Also built in the 13th century, it consists of a single interior space with a rectangular end. Its elegant façade displays a doorway with a stone arch topped by a round window while the renovated interior has plastered walls and domed vaults; the bell dates to 1299. The church is also home to a 17th century painting of the Madonna and Rosary which the town celebrates every year in October.

Porta Franca is the main entrance to the borgo; it stands below a tower with a pointed arch and facing towards Rome. In the past it likely had a drawbridge over a moat. To the left of the arch is an inscription commemorating the founding of Monteriggioni in the 1220s, while a plaque on the right celebrates the new Italian state in 1860.

Porta di Ponente is the gateway facing Florence. Some battlements incorporated in the walling above indicate that the defensive wall was probably lower. Similar battlements in the facing of the walls on the east side. To the right of the entrance, which used to have an outer protective wall, a plaque quotes lines from Dante that mention Monteriggioni.

In Medieval Times, on the southwest side of the outer walls, there was a third gateway, later walled in; the upper part is still visible from the outer road. In the 16th century, the base of the outer walls was reinforced with an earth rampart in response to the introduction of new and more powerful firearms.

A Medieval Travel Experience in Tuscany

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Texas Small Towns near Dallas and Fort Worth

American Historic Small Towns Itineraries

Archer City Ennis Possum Kingdom Rainbow and Turkey

Archer City is located south of Wichita Falls that is the birthplace of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry. The town boasts a rare bookstore owned and operated by the author as well as the Royal Theater, featured in the book and film The Last Picture Show.

Ennis is south of Dallas and is renowned for its motorsport events and its Czech heritage; the world record drag racing speed of 333.95 mph was set on its drag strip, and the National Polka Festival is held here every year. The town’s most beautiful attraction is its gorgeous wildflower display each spring.

Possum Kingdom is a lake community West of Dallas/Fort Worth. The lake offers beautiful camping and water sports. In the evening, be on the lookout for possums.

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Rainbow is southwest of Dallas/Fort Worth. A rainbow spread across the sky when area residents gathered to name their community in the late 19th Century; hence, the name. Today, Rainbow is known for the fields of wildflowers that bloom there in springtime.

Turkey is northwest of Fort Worth in the Texas Panhandle. The town was the home of Bob Wills, famed swing musician, and hosts celebrations every spring, featuring a parade, a fiddling contest, cook-offs, and dancing. The old-timey general store Lacy Dry Goods has been in business since 1927.

Connect to Visit the Small Towns near Dallas and Fort Worth

Build Operate Transfer · CHP · Cogeneration · Conservation · Efficiency · electric grid · Energy Savings Plan · Net Metering · renewable energy · Resilience


Solar Cogeneration and Net Metering Systems

A cogeneration plant often referred to as a combined heat and power plant is tasked with producing electricity and thermal energy in the form of heat or steam, or useful mechanical work, such as shaft power, from the same fuel source.

Micro-CHP engine systems are currently based on several different technologies: Internal combustion engines, Stirling engines, Fuel cell, Microturbines, Steam engine/Steam motor using either water or organic chemicals such as refrigerants.

Micro combined heat and power or mCHP applies to single or multi-family homes or small office buildings in the range of up to 50 kW. Local generation has the potential for a higher efficiency than traditional grid-level generators since it lacks the 8-10% energy losses from transporting electricity over long distances as well as 10–15% energy losses from heat transfer in district heating networks due to the difference between the thermal energy carrier – hot water – and the colder external environment.

Most Systems use natural gas as the primary energy source and emit carbon dioxide. A micro-CHP system usually contains a small fuel cell or a heat engine as a prime mover used to rotate a generator which provides electric power, while simultaneously utilizing the waste heat from the prime mover for a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. A micro-CHP generator delivers electricity as the by-product or may generate electricity with heat as the by-product. 

Micro-CHP systems have been facilitated by recent technological developments of small heat engines

Type 2008 2012 2015 2020
Electrical efficiency at rated power 34% 40% 42.5% 45%
CHP energy efficiency 80% 85% 87.5% 90%
Factory cost $750/kW $650/kW $550/kW $450/kW
Transient response (10%–90% rated power) 5 min 4 min 3 min 2 min
Start-up time from 20 °C ambient temperature 60 min 45 min 30 min 20 min
Degradation with cycling < 2%/1000 h 0.7%/1000 h 0.5%/1000 h 0.3%/1000 h
Operating lifetime 6,000 h 30,000 h 40,000 h 60,000 h
System availability 97% 97.5% 98% 99%

CPVT Concentrated photovoltaics and thermal also called CHAPS combined heat and power solar, is a cogeneration technology used in concentrated photovoltaics that produce electricity and heat in the same module. The heat may be employed in district and water heating, air conditioning, process heat or desalination.

Net metering micro-CHP systems achieve much of their savings by the value of electrical energy which is replaced by auto produced electricity. A generate-and-resell model supports this as home-generated power exceeding the in-home needs is sold back to the electrical utility. This system is efficient because the energy used is distributed and used instantaneously over the electric grid.

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Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · food and wine itineraries · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Italy · museums · Tradition · Travel · travel plan · Wine Trails

Food and Culture in South Italy

North of Naples and South of Rome

In the area between Rome and Naples, in Lazio and Campania regions, there are several small towns and medieval borgo. In many ways, these communities in Caserta Province are a microcosm of all the things visitors to Italy look for: history, culture, traditions and a local community waiting to show you around. These towns stand out for palaces, museums, cathedrals and convents from the XI to the XV Centuries. 

A Roman Era Basilica and Archaeological Museum

Food and Wine Traditions the fertile territory north of Naples in Caserta Province has historically been a major contributor to food production in the region from the days of ancient Rome.

A Farmers Museum is situated in the 15th Century palace of a medieval borgo; it features the special relationship between this land and its people with songs and dances by minstrels and cantors as well as tasting and making the local specialties.

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Mozzarella, perhaps the most famous local food product, and a major export, it is made with artisan skills from buffalo milk into ovoline, ciliegine, trecce and ricotta, among others.

Olive Oil is another local tradition. The flavor, appearance and unique characteristics of this territory’s extra virgin olive oil, along with various natural factors, influence harvesting, cultivation and production in a strictly artisanal undertaking.

Falerno Wine the hills present near ideal conditions for wine making. The Falerno Vines originated in this area and are still cultivated by hand in the local vineyards, continuing a tradition dating back to Romans times.

Food and Culture Travel between Rome and Naples

Atlantic Coast · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · food and wine itineraries · Historic Towns · intercity transit · museums · Tradition · Travel · travel plan · Wine Trails

Prince William County Virginia

American Historic Small Towns Itineraries

A Civil War experience at the Manassas National Battlefield Park, Family Arts and Entertainment, History at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, National Parks and the Outdoors, Antique Shops, Cafes, Restaurants, Art Stores and Boutiques in:

Bristow most of the area was previously part of the Linton’s Ford Plantation, owned by the Linton Family from the 18th century. In 1894, Sarah Linton converted to Catholicism, the property was deeded to the Roman Catholic Church and the Linton Hall School was founded; in the late 20th century, much of the original property was sold to developers to raise money to support the school.

Dumfries the largest town in Prince William County was chartered in 1749. It is named for a town in Scotland from where a locally prominent merchant hailed. It grew in wealth and importance as a tobacco port rivaling New York and Boston; soil erosion and silting ended the trade. Today, Dumfries is known as the oldest continually chartered town in Virginia, home to the Weems-Botts Museum and as keeper of much of our Nation’s early history.

Gainesville was once a changing point for stagecoach horses on the Fauquier & Alexandria Turnpike. In 1852, the Manassas Gap Railroad reached the area and the stop became Gainesville. The town was a shipping point for grain, timber and cattle and remained a major shipping point into the early 1960’s. During the Civil War, nearby Thoroughfare Gap in the Bull Run Mountains served as a path for soldiers to reach the First and Second Battles of Manassas.

Haymarket, in northwest Prince William, owes its location to an abandoned Indian hunting path which became Old Carolina Road. It was used by settlers as a route from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas. Haymarket grew around the intersection of Carolina and Dumfries Roads. It was burned by Union troops in 1862. Since then, the town has been revived with a collection of quaint restored buildings and shops.

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Manassas is 10 square miles of homes, the arts, entertainment and community events. With more than 40,000 residents, it serves as a transportation and business hub. Steeped in history and tradition, the city center has an old town feel with a city square type event pavilion – the Harris Pavilion.  Residents and visitors can watch a band or attend an ice cream social in the summer and ice skate in the winter. The city also offers a museum rich in Civil War and local Virginia history.

Occoquan in the early 1600s, the Occoquan River Watershed was occupied by the Dogues, an Algonquian tribe. In the Dogue Dialect, Occoquan means at the end of the water. It has been a successful industrial settlement as well as the site of Civil War skirmishes. Today, Occoquan is a small community rich in history with local shops, a waterfront, outdoor dining, ghost walks, and a boat dock.

Quantico rich in military history, Quantico is the only town in the U.S. that is surrounded by a Marine Corps Base. Quantico’s military tradition dates-back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, when the area was used by Virginia Naval elements. The area also spent time as a resort community called “Potomac”. Incorporated in 1872, it takes its name from a Douge Indian word meaning by the large stream. Today it is home to a notable Marine Corps Base, established in 1917.

Woodbridge offers a wide range of recreational and leisure opportunities. Outdoor recreational enthusiasts can access both a state and national park, the Potomac River, and numerous hiking and biking trails. Woodbridge is also the place to be for shopping and dining with Potomac Mills and numerous small shops and restaurants throughout the community.             

A Historic Small-Town Travel Experience in Prince William County Virginia

Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · food and wine itineraries · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Italy · museums · Tradition · travel plan

Wellness Cultural and Culinary Travel

in Salento and Puglia Italy

The Salento Peninsula is in the southeastern corner of the Puglia region of Italy. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Messapi,  a term signifying “land amid the waters” – the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Towns and villages are characteristically made of whitewashed houses in narrow streets with local handicraft shops, immersed in the green of the olive trees and vineyards, bordered by the typical dry-stone walls. Sun, sea and breezes during a summer season lasting from May to mid-October. The mild winters are always pleasant with plenty of sunshine.

Wellness Bio Dances Holistic Massages Mystical and Healing Practices Influenced by Local Traditions

An enchanting setting along the Salento coastline, Villa Cesarea is on top of four marine grottoes that are the source of its famed mineral waters. It is also a place of pagan and Christian legends. In the former, the waters were created by giant men made of fire and sulfur, whereas the latter, from which name the Cesarea is derived, is based on the young maiden Cisaria whose sacrifice purified and sanctified the waters.

The Salentum Treatment consists of body scrubs, face masks and massages with local ingredients: wine and olives, olive oil, blackberries and pomegranates, Mediterranean citrus fruits.

Accommodations elegant apartments in a beautiful park surrounded by age-old olive and fruit trees and a biological garden; nearby: cycle tracks and an 18-hole golf course.

Baroque Architecture Food and Wine Traditions and Spectacular Coastlines

Culture famous for its soft stones, ideal for making sculptures, and its ceramics products, Lecce is over 2000 years old and renowned for its historic center and baroque architecture, stretching from Roman times to the 18th Century, the Acaya renaissance quarter, the Cavallino Widespread Museum, the Messapi archeological park and the MUSA University Museum. It is also a major agricultural center specializing in olive oil and wine, hence, numerous opportunities to experience the famed local wines and traditional cuisine.

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Nardò second largest town in the region, takes the concept of sustainability very seriously; it is built on local traditions that are especially manifest in food and wine as well as the arts and culture. The city’s monuments are characterized by different artistic styles representative of its long history. 

Gallipoli is on an island with ancient monuments, tiny streets, and churches surrounded by the pristine waters of the Ionian Sea.

Otranto is the eastern most city in Salento with magnificent sea views and monuments like Corigliano Castle and the Carpignano Byzantine Crypt.

Food and Wine experience Salento’s famed wines and traditional cuisine. Some local specialties: puccia, friseddhre, pittule, rustici, pasticciotti and sweets made ​​of almond paste, accompanied by the local wines: Negramaro, Primitivo and Malvasia.