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Spaccanapoli and the Naples Historic Center

The Arts Traditions History Culture Churches and Palazzi of Naples

Spaccanapoli is a narrow one-kilometer long street in the heart of the Naples Historic Center, the oldest continuously inhabited community in Western Europe. 

An Open-Air Museum and a 2500 Year Journey of Western Civilization

The Decumano Superiore and Spaccanapoli comprise the urban layout of Greek era Neapolis. In the 19th century, the city’s aristocratic families’ palazzi and religious convents led to renewed interest in the old quarter from Piazza San Domenico Maggiore to Piazza del Gesù Nuovo where remains of the Roman baths where found under the Cloister of Santa Chiara.

The Renaissance period led to changes in the original Gothic buildings as well as a linkage with the city’s Spanish quarter with construction of via Toledo. Palazzo Carafa di Maddaloni is a classic example of Neapolitan Baroque whereas Palazzo Coriglianoand its namesake church maintained their gothic polygonal apse but were refurbished in a gold and stucco baroque style. 

We have developed anchor locations from which you can best base your travel movements, mindful that you are likely to visit three to four places in a compressed period of time, typically 7 to 10 days, and experience multiple interests that range from cultural to culinary, wellness and the environment. 

San Gregorio Armeno is an alley full of storefronts and stalls presenting porcelain pulcinellas peppers, lemons and blood red tomatoes as well as artisan shops, antique dealers, pizzerie and the famed Neapolitan crib. Nearby are the entrance to Undeground Naples and the city’s Cathedral where you can view the Treasure of San Gennaro.

Photos and Original Italian Text courtesy of Ciro La Rosa and Vesuvio Live

Travel Logistics Move in one direction. Anchor your stays in strategic locations conveniently located near points of interest. Take in sites, meals and other planned events in a hub and spoke fashion and enjoy the places and the people you are visiting

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The Hudson River Valley and Dutchess County

The Hudson Valley extends 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan. Designated as a National Heritage Area, the valley is steeped in history, natural beauty, culture, food and farmers’ markets.

Colonial Era the first Dutch settlement was established at Fort Nassau, a trading post south of modern- day Albany, in the early 17th century, with the purpose of exchanging European goods for beaver pelts.

During the French and Indian War in the 1750s, the northern end of the valley became the bulwark of the British defense against French invasion from Canada via Lake Champlain.The valley also became one of the major regions of conflict during the American Revolution.

19th Century following the building of the Erie Canal, the area became an important industrial center as the canal opened the Hudson Valley and New York to commerce with the Midwest and the Great Lakes.

The region is associated with the Hudson River School, a group of American Romantic painters who worked from about 1830 to 1870. The natural beauty of the Hudson Valley has earned the Hudson River the nickname “America’s Rhineland” a comparison to the famous 40-mile (65 km) stretch of Germany’s Rhine River valley between the cities of Bingen and Koblenz.

Tourism became a major industry as early as 1810, as elite visitors frequented the mineral waters at Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs with convenient steamboat connections from New York City, and numerous attractive hotels in romantic settings.

The Hudson River is navigable for a great distance above mile 0 off Battery Park. The original Erie Canal connected the Hudson with Lake Erie enabling shipping between cities on the Great Lakes and Europe via the Atlantic Ocean. The Hudson Valley also proved attractive for railroads, once technology progressed to the point where it was feasible to construct the required bridges over tributaries. When the Poughkeepsie Bridge opened in 1889, it became the longest single-span bridge in the world. On October 3, 2009, it re-opened as a pedestrian walkway over the Hudson, connecting over 25 miles of existing pedestrian trails.

Winemaking the Hudson Valley is the oldest wine making and grape-growing region in the United States, with roots established as early as 1677. The Hudson Valley is home to many wineries offering wine-tasting and other tours.

Dutchess County is 800 square miles of natural scenic beauty, historic and cultural landmarks, and outdoor recreation. Stroll the Walkway Over the Hudson. Tour and taste along the Dutchess Wine Trail. Explore the homes of FDR and Vanderbilt. Taste new creations at The Culinary Institute of America. Fill the pantry at farm markets. Cruise the Hudson River.

Historic Estates Museums Presidential Libraries and Hiking Trails

Explore FDR’s Home, Presidential Library and Museum, with two floors of new interactive exhibits. Tour Dia: Beacon and a city-wide celebration of the arts. Vassar’s Loeb Art Center invites you to stroll its galleries free of charge. Shop for treasures in village antique shops or specialty shops. The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum. Observe native birds and wildlife while hiking, including 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Ramble or cycle three Rail Trails, including the Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park, the world’s longest pedestrian bridge!

Hudson River Valley Scenic and Historic Walking Tours

Biking, Walking Driving Itineraries and outdoor adventures in Dutchess County and the Hudson River Valley. Outdoor recreation includes biking, hiking, horseback riding, golf, kayaking, parasailing, archery and skeet shooting.

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The Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa

family vacations museums historic neighborhoods and riverfront festivals

The Quad Cities area consists of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The region has the excitement of a big city and the hospitality of a small town with award-winning museums and cultural centers, internationally-recognized festivals, beautiful riverfronts and a vibrant nightlife.

Davenport has beautiful riverfront vistas and an active downtown area with the Figge Art and Putnam History Museums and great shopping at the North Park Mall.
Bettendorf the Library and adjacent Family Museum provide exciting programs and storytelling. The numerous outdoor activities include the Splash Landing water park, Wallace’s Garden Center and Duck Creek Recreational Trail.

Rock Island downtown is known for its festivals and nightlife with Cajun food and zydeco music; Jamaican food and reggae music; and a fall Irish folk festival. Family activities include the country’s largest go-kart street race. Experience a downtown architectural tour and the Broadway Historic District.
Moline is one of the agricultural capitals of the world, home of John Deere and steeped in history. The modern downtown area features great riverfront views and evening entertainment with musicals performed by local actors.
East Moline is home to many great events and festivities. Empire Park is right on the Mississippi River, walk along the riverfront trails of The Quarter or visit to the John Deere Harvester Works, one of the world’s largest combine factories.

                                                   Quad Cities Museums
The Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport is community-centered facility and a gathering place for residents and visitors alike to experience and enjoy the visual arts. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, this 100,000 square foot museum was designed by British architect David Chipperfield, and includes nine permanent collection galleries, traveling exhibition galleries, art studios for children and adults, a Family Gallery and Activity Center. The Figge has a collection of approximately 3,000 works that reflect artistic styles and developments from the Renaissance to contemporary art, with particular strengths in American Regionalist, Mexican Colonial and Haitian Art.

The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum was a dream of Iowa 80 Truckstop founder, Bill Moon who had a passion for collecting antique trucks and other trucking memorabilia. Every truck has a story to tell and can provide a unique glimpse back in time. Many rare and one-of-a-kind trucks are on display.

Brewpubs Wineries and Distilleries

Mississippi River Distilling vodka, gin and bourbon whiskey handmade from local corn and wheat grown within 25 miles in small handmade batches.

Wide River Winery atop the Mississippi bluff north of Clinton with some of the finest wines in the Midwest; 11 types of wine, all with catchy names including Felony Red and Ms. D’Meanor White.

Riverboats the Quad Cities’ location on the Mississippi River has inspired many riverboat captains and writers. Enjoy this mighty river aboard a riverboat cruise or an open-air water taxi.

River Action strives to foster the environmental, economic, and cultural vitality of the Mississippi River and its riverfront in the Quad City region and 12 communities in two states and two counties. Some of the many accomplishments have been the lighting of the Centennial Bridge, The Quad City Water Taxi, QC Riverfront Design Principles, and Waterfront Master Plan. River Way projects include development of a wayfinding system to guide people along riverfront trails, art projects, historic markers, riverfront parks, enhancement and restoration of wetland habitats.

The Rock Island Arsenal was established by Act of Congress in 1862 and has been an active manufacturer of military equipment and ordnance since the 1880s: leather horse equipment, meat cans and canteens, paper targets, artillery recoil mechanisms and carriages, and the Model 1903 rifle.  The Museum on the Island is the second oldest US Army Museum in the United States. 

Biking and Hiking the Quad Cities is at the crossroads of the national Mississippi River Trail and American Discovery Trails; 100 miles of beautiful trails that meander along the mighty Mississippi River, through parks, over bridges and through history-filled sections of these riverfront cities.

Historic Neighborhoods

The Broadway Historic District is a collection of historic homes in Rock Island. Founded as a neighborhood association in 1988, it gained National Register of Historic Places status in 1998.

The Village of East Davenport a historic logging and Civil War military community with unique shops, restaurants and pubs. Lindsay Park, home to the Union Army’s parade grounds during the Civil War.

The John Deere Historic Site the original Grand Detour homestead where he created his first self-scouring plow. The site also features a replica of his blacksmith shop with a working blacksmith and an exhibit from an archeological dig. Tour guides tell what life on the prairie was all about.

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Medieval Castles and Etruscan Cities

Lazio History Culture and Archaeology

History Lazio gets its name from the Latini, a people who arrived in the area in the second millennium BC. This Indo-European population established itself on the Palatine hill and eventually expanded to the other six hills of Rome. The region was home to the Etruscans, north of the Tiber river, the Latins in the center, the Falisci in an area in between Etruscans and Latins, and the Capenati, an italic people heavily influenced in language and customs by the Sabines, the Latins and Etruscans.

Archaeology Lazio is among the richest archeological regions in the world, with major Etruscan cities such as: Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Vulci, Veio and Volsini that peaked between the VII and V Centuries BC. Our trip begins in Vulci, an ancient Etruscan city suddenly overwhelmed by the advancing tide of Rome; a walk through the princely tombs of its Necropolis confirms the glorious and lavish past of the Etruscan aristocracy. A majestic silhouette stands out in the background: the medieval castle of the Abbey, which towers over the Fiora river valley. Next, the Niki de Saint Phalle Tarot Garden, a unique theme park.

The First Monasteries in Central Italy appeared around 529 and the Founding of Monte Cassino Abbey

Via Appia Antica the Regina Viarum has been traveled by millions of people over the past two millennia. Via Appia linked Rome with Southern Italy; along the way, you will discover monuments, clues about who built and owned them, and the Catacombs. Then, a rustic and appetizing lunch al fresco under a pergola.

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Castles and Museums the area just south and east of Rome, known as the Castelli Romani e Prenestini, comprises a network of museums and archeological sites in several small historic towns. These twenty cultural venues are representative of the area’s rich historic, artistic and cultural heritage in: History and Archeology; Anthropology; Science and the Environment; Culture and Religion.

A unique opportunity for vacationing families and culture professionals alike to walk ancient trails, become acquainted with old traditions and visit: small historic towns, churches and convents, medieval palaces, Roman aqueducts and imperial navy ships, a wine producing town and even a toy museum.

Travel in the Company of People who Live and Work in Etruscan Cities and Medieval Towns

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Mid-Atlantic Rivers Canals and Trails

in the Hudson Delaware and Susquehanna Valleys

The Hudson Valley extends 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan. Designated as a National Heritage Area, the valley is steeped in history, natural beauty, culture, food and farmers’ markets. The first Dutch settlement was established at Fort Nassau, a trading post south of present-day Albany, in the early 17th century, with the purpose of exchanging European goods for beaver pelts. During the French and Indian War in the 1750s, the northern end of the valley became the bulwark of the British defense against French invasion from Canada via Lake Champlain.The valley also became one of the major regions of conflict during the American Revolution.

Dutchess County is 800 square miles of natural scenic beauty, historic and cultural landmarks, and outdoor recreation. Stroll the Walkway Over the Hudson. Tour and taste along the Dutchess Wine Trail. Explore the homes of FDR and Vanderbilt. Taste new creations at The Culinary Institute of America. Fill the pantry at farm markets. Cruise the Hudson River. 

Rockland County is located just 30 miles north of New York City and is known for its quaint villages, spectacular river views and outdoor recreation with 32,000 acres of parklands dotted with sparkling lakes and streams rushing down to the Hudson. Miles marked trails lead right to the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains. 

Coal Iron Steel and Canals of the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys

The Delaware and Lehigh five county region of Northeastern Pennsylvania developed in the late 18thCentury as a result of the anthracite mines, the iron and steel industries, and the canals that were built to reach Philadelphia and other markets. 

165 miles of nature history preservation recreation and education

From its origins as a means to transport anthracite coal from the mines of Luzerne and Carbon County to the markets in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, the D&L Trail is now a multi-use trail originating from the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania through the rivers and communities of the Lehigh Valley and Bucks County. 

Philadelphia the Brandywine Valley and Wilmington Delaware

In Philadelphia, the waterfront is now a walking and biking destination which covers 6 miles. Trail features include streetscape improvements along the entire waterfront trail, a bi-directional bikeway, pedestrian walkway and rain gardens that will collect the first inch of storm water, relieving the city sewer system during major weather events, as well as benches and bike racks, decorative street pavers, and innovative solar trail lighting.

The Christina Riverfront is one of many reasons for exploring the Delaware culture trail; cruise in a water taxi or stroll the landscaped Riverwalk. Wilmington was the last stop to freedom on the Underground Railroad; the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park is named for Underground Railroad Conductor Harriett Tubman and Stationmaster Thomas Garrett.

Brandywine Creek is a tributary of the Christina River in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. The 20.4-mile Lower Brandywine is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River with several tributary streams.

Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River Valley

The Susquehanna River is 464 miles (747 km) long and is the longest river on the US East Coast. With its watershed, it is the 16th-largest river in the United States, and the longest river in the continental United States without commercial boat traffic today. In the Canal Era, navigation improvements were made to enhance the river for barge shipping of bulk goods by water on the Pennsylvania Canal.

Harrisburg, the Capital of Pennsylvania, was inhabited by Native Americans as early as 3000 BC. Known as Peixtin, the area was an important trading post for Native American traders, as trails leading from the Delaware to the Ohio Rivers, and from the Potomac to the Upper Susquehanna intersected there.

An Architectural and Heritage Itinerary

Downtown Lancaster offers a unique experience with historic buildings of different architectural styles and periods and three centuries of civic, commercial, religious, social and architectural history. A leisurely walk can be accomplished in less than an hour. 

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Las Vegas Nevada

Local Culture Entertainment and the Las Vegas Strip

History Las Vegas was founded in 1905, when 110 acres – 45 ha – of land adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks were auctioned in what would become the downtown area. 1931 was a pivotal year as Nevada legalized casino gambling and reduced divorce requirements. At this time, the city also benefited from an influx of construction workers at nearby Hoover Dam. Crime figures such as Bugsy Siegel became involved in the growing gaming center leading to the opening of resorts such as the Flamingo, which opened in 1946, and the Desert Inn in 1960.

Location Las Vegas is on the floor of the Mojave Desert surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. The landscape is rocky, arid and subject to torrential flash floods.

Culture the city is home to several museums, including the Neon Museum, The Mob Museum, the Natural History, Discovery Children’s Museum, the Nevada State Museum and the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park. The Downtown Art District hosts numerous galleries and events. The Smith Center is a world-class performing arts center that hosts Broadway shows and other major touring attractions, as well as orchestral, opera, ballet, choir, jazz, and dance performances.

The Las Vegas Strip is 4.2 miles – 6.8 km – long and is located just south of the city limits; it is internationally known for the resort hotels and casinos along its route, including 15 of the 25 largest hotels in the world. The Las Vegas cityscape features dramatic architecture and lights. The latter have been dimmed only for five performers and one Las Vegas figure upon their deaths: Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, George Burns, Frank Sinatra and UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.

Entertainment Most of the attractions and shows on the Strip are located on hotel casino properties. The strip is well known for its lounges, showrooms, theaters and nightclubs. Some of the more popular free attractions visible from the Strip include the water fountains at Bellagio, the volcano at The Mirage and Caesars Palace’s Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain. The only movie theatre directly on the Strip is the 10-screen Regal Showcase Theatre in the Showcase Mall next to the MGM Grand. 

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Washington County Maryland

Arts Entertainment and a Civil War Legacy

Hagerstown located in Western Maryland it features a distinct topography, formed by stone ridges running from northeast to southwest through the center of town defining its neighborhoods. These ridges consist of upper Stonehenge limestone; the older buildings were built from this stone which is easily quarried and dressed onsite. Several of Hagerstown’s churches are constructed of Stonehenge limestone; brick and concrete eventually displaced this native stone.

Hub City German immigrant Jonathan Hager built the first house here in 1739 and began laying out the town in 1762. Hager House still stands as a carefully preserved museum, giving visitors a window to the 18th century. The National Road brought growth and the railroads intersecting here gave it its nickname, “Hub City.” The largest Civil War cavalry battle fought in an urban setting happened here.

City Park offers 50 acres of beautiful outdoor space and Hagerstown City Farmers Market sells crafts and baked goods as well as homegrown produce from area farmers.

The Arts & Entertainment District is home to the Maryland Theatre’s year-round performances and events, including Maryland Symphony Orchestra concerts. Hagerstown is also home to the Western Maryland Blues Fest. The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is in scenic City Park.

The Hagerstown Cultural Trail links the Arts District with City Park and Fine Arts Museum

A Transit Center, Hagerstown is the chief commercial and industrial hub for a Tri-State Area that includes much of Western Maryland as well as portions of South-Central Pennsylvania and Eastern West Virginia.

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Washington County is home to many quaint towns, including:

Boonsboro founded by relatives of Daniel Boone and situated along the main road to Hagerstown and Frederick. Historic markers explain the National Road, Civil War battles, and quaint shops line Main Street including author Nora Roberts’ bookstore and bed and breakfast.
Clear Spring is located 12 miles west of Hagerstown. The historic National Pike which once linked the port of Baltimore to the western frontier of Ohio, runs through the center of town. Area attractions include Knob Hall Winery, Whitetail Mountain Resort, the C&O Canal and Fort Frederick State Park.

Explore the C&O Canal Towpath and the Western Maryland Rail Trail

Civil War Legacy Sharpsburg was the place where two massive armies clashed, leaving 23,110 dead, wounded, or missing. Every building overflowed with the wounded and dying. After the Civil War, its population declined; today, it has fewer than 700 residents, many direct descendants of families here during the Civil War. The Antietam National Battlefield and the Antietam National Cemetery are part of Sharpsburg, and nearby museums such as the Pry House Field Hospital Museum attract international symposiums. Smithsburg played a role in the Civil War, when residents helped care for wounded soldiers after the battles of Gettysburg, Monterey, South Mountain, and Antietam.

Williamsport is located at the confluence of Conococheague Creek and the Potomac River. When the C&O Canal opened in 1834, it evolved into a thriving waterfront town. It was also once considered a potential site for the United States’ capital.

Williamsport is the Finish Line for the JFK 50 Mile the Oldest Ultra-Marathon in North America