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Trapani Marsala and Western Sicily Food and Wine Traditions

Trapani is near ancient Drepanum where a naval battle took place in 248 BC during the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome which ended in a major loss for the latter. The city is world renowned since the 16th Century for its coral artisans whose works can be viewed at the Pepoli Museum. A stroll through the historic center will acquaint the visitor with buildings and monuments representative of the various cultures and traditions that passed through this city:

Trapani view from ericeThe Jewish quarter and Palazzo della Giudecca;

Casalicchio and its Arab roots;

Palazzo Cavarretta, home of the Trapanese Senate;

The Jesuit Church and College;

San Lorenzo Cathedral and the Crucifix by Flemish painter Van Dyck.

papazzo della giudeccaWestern Sicily is also the Erice Medieval Borgo, Segesta with its Greek temple and theater and the Egadi archipelago, comprised of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. Further along the coast, facing Africa, are: the port and canal of Mazara del Vallo; Selinunte with Europe’s largest archeological park; San Vito Lo Capo and the Scopello Faraglioni.

Western Sicily Italy mapMarsala was founded in 397 BC as Lillibeo by the Phoenicians who survived the destruction of Mozia; it was a major city during the Punic, Roman, Arab and Norman periods. Today, it is best known for a prestigious wine-liqueur that carries the city’s name and the landing of Garibaldi’s Mille in 1860 which led to the unification of Italy.

Ancient Marsala’s origins are reflected in its majestic cathedral, the adjacent 16th Century Arazzi Fiamminghi museum, the suggestive Porta Garibaldi sea view and entry to the Spanish quarter. Artistic and cultural itineraries include: the Sibilla Grotto, the archeological museum with the remains of a Carthaginian ship and Lilibeo artifacts and the Laguna dello Stagnone with its windmills and salt marshes.

CathedralExperiential Tourism in Trapani Marsala and Western Sicily

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Marsala WineMarsala wine’s bouquet full of intense aromas of dried fruit, spices and dates and dried figs, the dry and sweet taste and the high alcoholic qualities that increase to depending on the maturation and refinement in the bottle. Dried Marsala, served fresh, is an excellent aperitif. A delicious combination is with strong, spicy and tasty cheeses such as ragusano, pecorino cheese but also gorgonzola or parmesan. It is an exceptional dessert wine, in harmony with the traditional Sicilian pastries. But the combination with food is not essential; Marsala is also a wonderful meditation wine to sip at sunset.

cassata sicilianaSicilian cuisine is like the island’s colorful architecture; extraordinary dishes rich in decorations and styles influenced by the many cultures that have come here. Marsala is a jealous custodian of the many culinary traditions on the island. Some typical dishes: Mussel Soup, Peppered Mussels, Boiled Broad Beans, Aubergine Parmigiana, Eggplant Caponata, Eggplant with Schnitzel, Stuffed Peppers, Crushed Olives, Baked Pasta, Pasta with “Qualeddu” and Sausage, Pasta with Bottarga, Pasta with sardines, Pasta with sea urchins, Gnoccoli with conger sauce, Busiata with matarocco, Pasta with lobster, Tuna ammuttunatu, Sarde with “beccaficu”, Marinated mackerel, Codfish, swordfish with salmoriglio, Trigliole e Cuttlefish of Stagnone, Scaloppine with Marsala, Lamb or goat stew, Sicilian Cassata, Cannoli, Sfinci, Sfincioni of San Giuseppe with ricotta, Cappdduzzi of ricotta, Pignolata, “Mustazzoli of honey or cooked wine, Cassateddi of fig, Cubbaita, Cuccia, Marturana fruit, Queen biscuits, Taralli and Tagliancozzo.

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The Delaware River Waterfront and Philadelphia Maritime Museums

The Delaware River Valley is the metropolitan area centered on the city of Philadelphia, the region’s major commercial, cultural, and industrial center. The region’s excellent road and rail network make it the perfect location for a vacation or business trip to the Middle Atlantic States. Philadelphia International is a major airline hub with daily connections to North American destinations and from major European cities.

Phila ViewThe River and the Environment

The Delaware River is comprised of 36 tributaries and flows 330 miles from New York to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to the Atlantic Ocean. It extends from the Catskill and Pocono mountain springs and streams flowing down to the Delaware Water Gap where steep slopes give way to gently rolling hills and sweeping valleys. Then, it stretches 134 miles from the Trenton falls to the mouth of the Delaware Bay.   

Blackbeard and the Golden Age of PiracyDelaware County and River Towns Marcus Hook’s historical significance comes from its identity as a maritime town. Originally a Lenape settlement, it became a New Sweden trading post in the 1640s with shipbuilding and fishing as early industries. The Hook was also a haven for pirates in the early 18th century and its market provided a place to sell plundered goods and re-supply for their next voyage.

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The Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild maintains and sails historic ships to bring the past to the present. A non-profit organization that teaches and practices seamanship, traditional restoration, maritime culture, and sailing skills in a fun and team focused setting.

crtsy-drwc-spruce-street-harbor-park-aerial-popped-550VPThe Independence Seaport Museum features the Schooner Diligence, designed and built by Joshua and Samuel Humphreys in Philadelphia in 1797 for the Revenue-Marine and later transferred to the Navy. Schooners like Diligence played a vital role in the development of the early Navy in defending American merchant ships from attacks by Britain, France and the Barbary pirates.

The original Diligence served in the West Indies Squadron under John Barry, who commanded the Frigate United States during the Quasi War with France in 1798-1800.

The Cruiser Olympia was launched in 1892 and is the oldest steel warship afloat in the world. It has some the first modern luxuries aboard warships, including refrigeration, a fresh water distiller, steam radiators for heat, electric lighting, and a blower-operated ventilation system. Olympia required a new breed of sailor specifically trained in steam-driven and electrically-powered technology.

Washington PierPier 68 is a place to relax and enjoy the Philadelphia waterfront where you can learn about the tidal ecology of the Delaware River, its watershed, or engage in recreational fishing. Design elements include:

An Entrance Deck with whimsical painted poles and repurposed maritime bollards to create a distinctive gateway for the pier. Located just off the future trail extension, this space serves as a resting spot for those using the trail and as a place where shopping center visitors can quickly experience the Pier Park.

ferry-and-bridgeCruise the Delaware River north or south from Philadelphia and make your way to Chesapeake Bay by way of the C&D Canal or take the Ferry to Camden to visit local attractions like the battleship New Jersey.

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Tuckerton Borough Seaport New Jersey and the Bay Men Museum

Tuckerton Borough and Ocean County nestled in Southern Ocean County between the Pine Barrens and the Bay, Tuckerton Borough was once a thriving seaport community. Ocean County is home to one-third of the Jersey Shore’s 44 miles of the Atlantic Ocean coastline with sandy beaches, surfing, fishing and water sports.

Barnegat LighthouseNew Jersey’s first summer resort was on Tucker’s Island off shore from Little Egg Harbor. The island sported boarding houses, private cottages, and a school. In 1848 a Lighthouse was erected there and in 1869 the Little Egg Harbor Lifesaving Station was constructed.

The Tuckerton Seaport preserves and interprets the rich maritime history, artistry, heritage and environment of the Jersey shore and the unique contributions of its bay men. An educational and interpretive center showcasing New Jersey’s rich maritime history and contemporary folklife through interpretation of the cultural heritage and environment of the New Jersey shore and the surrounding environment.

Tuckerton boroughThe Maritime Village is a 40-acre site with 17 historic and recreated buildings connected by a boardwalk, a maritime forest and wetlands nature trail, two houseboats, a decoy gallery, a working boat works building in which restoration of sneak-box designs – boats used by duck hunters and recreational boating – of the Barnegat Bay occurs, a historic marine railway, decoy carving workshops and the recreated Tucker’s Island Lighthouse.

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Explore exhibits and meet the people who lived, worked and played along the Barnegat Bay:  decoy carvers, boat builders, basket makers, quilters, commercial fishermen, artists and other bay men and women.  General programs offered include hands on activities, workshops, tours and classes taught by Jersey Shore artists.

The Tucker’s Island Lighthouse features exhibits on privateers and pirates of the Jersey Coast

JcnerrThe Jersey Shore Folklife Center JSFC researches, documents, supports and presents the diverse communities and traditions of the Jersey Shore and the Pinelands.  The Center presents folk art programs and exhibits at Tuckerton Seaport and manages the artist roster and guest demonstrator schedule, the Folk and Traditional Artist in Residence Program, the Jersey Traditions outreach program and changing artist exhibits in J.C. Parker’s Decoy workshop.  JSFC celebrates the profoundly creative spirit of the region, its traditional arts, and its occupational and recreational folklife.

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve Interpretive Center JCNERR is managed by the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The Reserve encompasses habitat in and around the estuary where fresh water from the Mullica River and saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean mix in the Great Bay.

batsto mansionBatsto Village is a New Jersey historic site located in the South-Central Pinelands whose roots can be traced back to 1766. Two centuries of American history are available to visitors, with the Pinelands environment as a scenic backdrop.

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New York City Transportation and Maritime Traditions

New York City is situated in the southeastern New York State at the mouth of the Hudson helping the city grow in significance as a trading port. The land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times.

Verazzano Narrows BridgeMass transit in New York City, most of which runs 24 hours a day, accounts for one in every three users of mass transit in the United States, and two-thirds of the nation’s rail riders live in the New York City Metropolitan Area. The iconic subway system is the largest in the world with 472 stations in operation and 1.76 billion passenger rides. Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest rail station by number of platforms.

The Staten Island Ferry, largest in the world, carries over 23 million passengers on the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) route between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan, running 24 hours a day; other ferries shuttle commuters between Manhattan and other locations within the city and the metropolitan area.

Staten Island FerryThe Transport Infrastructure includes 12,000 Taxis and several Transportation Network Companies

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The Maritime Industry comprises deep-sea merchant ships, tugs and barges, port and terminal operations, pilotage, freight forwarding, chartering, intermodal services, admiralty law, passenger and excursion services, Great Lakes and inland waterways shipping, shipbuilding and repair, naval architecture and marine engineering, training, vessel classification societies, marine insurance and recreational boating. In New York State it is a $14 billion a year industry.

passenger ship transportation innovations  have been driven by the maritime industry

The Maritime Museum at Fort Schuyler is funded, staffed, operated and maintained though volunteer support and monetary contributions. Many Maritime College cadets volunteer time to serve as museum tour guides and provide exhibit construction and upkeep of ship models, historic artifacts, nautical photographs and prints of steamship companies.

tug and bargeThe Fort Schuyler Museum is housed on the campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College at historic Fort Schuyler, The Bronx, New York. The center bastion is dedicated to the history of Fort Schuyler, completed in 1856, and the Port of New York-New Jersey, both of which have played major roles in the development of the region’s and the nation’s commerce.

The Evolution of Seafaring exhibit encompasses maritime history from the ancient Phoenicians to present day steamship companies and passenger ship lines, with information on Clippers, famous naval battles fought in the United States during the 1700s and 1800s and the technology in ship building tools and navigational equipment used throughout different maritime eras.

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Newburgh Port Jervis Kingston and the Hudson River Maritime Museum

Located in southeastern New York State, Orange County is directly north of the border with New Jersey, west of the Hudson River, east of the Delaware and northwest of New York City. Points of interest in Orange County include the US Military Academy at West Point, America’s oldest winery in Washingtonville, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, the first cold press daily in the nation in Middletown.

Transportation the region is served by Stewart International, located west of Newburgh, and providing national and international flights. Ground transportation consists of bus service within Orange County and rail to New York City.

Liberty Street, Newburgh, NYNewburgh is situated on land that rises sharply to a bluff; many historic homes are located here with sweeping views of the Hudson river and highlands to the south. Newburgh’s preservation history can be traced to 1850 when Washington’s Headquarters was designated a state historic site, the first in the country. The city’s modern preservation efforts led to the development of a historic district the second largest in New York State.

Port Jervis is at the confluence of the Neversink and Delaware Rivers in the western part of the county and north of the Delaware Water Gap. Port Jervis industrial history includes a role in shipping coal to major markets to the southeast by canal and later by railroads as well as long-distance rail passenger service until 1970. Today, tourists pass through Port Jervis on their way to enjoying rafting, kayaking, canoeing and other activities in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

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Kingston was New York’s first capital in 1777; in the 19th century, the city was a transport hub, with rail and canal connections. The city has three historic districts: Stockade, the Midtown Broadway Corridor, and Rondout West Strand downtown. Kingston Landing is a short navigable distance from the Hudson River and the point of reference for coal shipments and bluestone via the Delaware and Hudson Canal.

the roundout viewThe Hudson River Maritime Museum is located at 50 Rondout Landing at the foot of Broadway along the old waterfront. Its collections are devoted to the history of shipping and industry on the Hudson. In the early 1800s, four sloops plied the river from Kingston to New York. By 1829, steamers made the trip to Manhattan in a little over twelve hours, usually travelling by night.

Rondout ​Walking Tours highlight the industrial history of the region

Hudson River Maritime MuseumLectures include but are not limited to:

Keepers of the Light: Women Lighthouse Keepers of the Hudson River

19th Century Hudson River Industries

The Hudson River and Its Canals: Building the Empire State

Hudson River Steamboats and Tugboats

Lighthouses of the Hudson River

The Changing Mouth of Rondout Creek: Lighthouses, Barges, and Jetties

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Delaware City Chesapeake City and the C&D Canal

The Delaware City Historic District is significant for its architecture, for its beginnings as a planned settlement, and for its importance as a nineteenth century canal-oriented transportation center. The town was envisioned by its backers as a place that would develop into a major shipping and trading point for traffic that passed along this trans-peninsular trade route, and so, its early plans were based on the completion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal from Chesapeake CityDelaware City is located 14 miles from Wilmington, 40 miles south of Philadelphia and is situated in the eastern central area of New Castle County, strategically located at the eastern terminus of the C&D Canal where it joins the Delaware River.

An important feature of the economy of Delaware City is the expanse of marshland bordering parts of the canal, the river, and the creek that harbors substantial game bird and muskrat populations. Much of the outlying area beyond the marsh is highly productive agricultural land.

eastbound shipChesapeake City was separated into north and south sections when the C&D Canal was built through the middle of the town. The two were connected by a drawbridge until 1942 when that was destroyed by a freighter that struck it. The current bridge opened in 1949. The town contains numerous old homes that have been converted into bed and breakfasts, restaurants and the local historical museum.

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CD_MapThe Chesapeake & Delaware Canal is 14 miles long, 450 feet wide and 35 feet deep across Maryland and Delaware, connecting the Delaware River with Chesapeake Bay. The C&D Canal is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District. The project office in historic Chesapeake City is also the site of the C&D Canal Museum and Bethel Bridge Lighthouse.

History In the mid-1600s Augustine Herman, a Dutch envoy and mapmaker, observed that two great bodies of water, the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay, were separated only by a narrow strip of land. Herman proposed that a waterway be built to reduce, by nearly 300 miles, the water routes between Philadelphia and Baltimore. The issue of constructing the waterway was raised again in 1788 by regional business leaders, including Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

reedy point sunriseThe US Army Corps of Engineers played a vital role in determining a canal route which opened for business in 1829. Today’s canal is a sea-level, electronically controlled waterway.

The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering landmark. The canal is unique as the sole major commercial navigation waterway in the United States built during the early 1800s still in use.

c&d canal museumThe C&D Canal Museum in Chesapeake City provides visitors with a glimpse of the canal’s early days. The steam engines are the oldest of their type in America still on their original foundations.

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The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal operated from 1831 until 1924 along the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Maryland. Construction on the 184.5-mile (296.9 km) course began in 1828 and ended in 1850 with the completion of a 50-mile stretch to Cumberland, rising and falling over an elevation change of 605 feet (184 meters) that required 74 locks. A planned section to Pittsburgh and the Ohio River was never built.

Boats in GeorgetownIn 1785, George Washington founded the Potowmack Company to improve the navigability of the Potomac River. His company built five skirting canals around the major falls. These canals allowed an easy downstream float; upstream journeys, propelled by pole, were harder.

Traders south of New York City began to seek their own transportation infrastructure to link the burgeoning areas west of the Appalachian Mountains to mid-Atlantic markets and ports. The canal principally transported coal, and sometimes West Virginia limestone, wood, lumber, sand, and flour.

Map of C and O CanalIn 1938, the abandoned canal was obtained from the B&O by the United States and is now the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal national historic park.

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Charles F Mercer C&O Canal Great Falls MDBoats on the Canal were supposed to be similar to those on the Erie Canal – 13½ feet wide with a draft of 3 feet, traveling at 2½ miles per hour. Later, the dimensions changed to 14½ feet wide, 90 feet long, with a 5-foot draft, to take advantage of the lock sizes and prism depth. That would permit boats with cargo up to 130 tons. Rafts were also used on the canal, as well as launches and canoes. Farmers would build watercraft which were to last only one trip, and then be sold in Georgetown for firewood.

Mules lasted 15 years and some boatmen would made them swim to the shore

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal BoatSteamboats in 1850, the N S Denny company operated some steam driven tugboats. Records indicate that in the 1879, a single steamboat could go 3¼ mph loaded downstream, 4½ unloaded going upstream, and took 5 to 7 minutes to lock through whether going upstream or downstream and used about a ton of coal per day for operation.

Boatmen and their families were an independent lot often intermarrying within their own group. They frequently fought amongst each other and with lockkeepers over company rules. During winter when the boats were tied up, they lived in their own communities away from others. One boat captain observed that on the canal, women and children were as good as the men.

Boat interiorLife on a freight boat cabins were 10 feet by 12 feet, and housed two bunks, each 36 inches wide, supposedly for one person, but often occupied by two. While most cabin floors were bare, 14 had linoleum covering. The cabins were divided between sleeping quarters and the stateroom by a diagonal wall. The feed box, 4 feet by 4 feet, in the center boat, often doubled as sleeping quarters with a blanket thrown over the feed. Occasionally the deck was used for sleeping.

Cooking was done on a stove, burning corncobs (from the mule feed) or sometimes coal. Washing clothes and children was typically done at night by moonlight, after tying up the boat, along the side of the canal. Food and provisions for the trip (e.g. flour, sugar, coffee, salt pork and smoked meat were bought in Cumberland. Boatmen carried chickens or pigs on the boats and fish caught in the canal also served as food, as well as turtles.

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