The Great American Rail-Trail is the nation’s first cross-country multiuse trail, stretching more
than 3,700 miles between Washington, D.C., and Washington State. This
infrastructure connects thousands of miles of rail-trails and multiuse trails,
serving those living along the route as well as visitors from around the
country and the world.
Aunique experience away
from vehicle traffic, with gentle grades, for all types of trail users, from
long-distance cyclists and runners to casual daily explorers developed in
partnership with state agencies, nonprofits, volunteers and trail partners country
wide to ensure a contiguous and direct route.
The Great American Rail-Trail is a signature project of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community
more than 1 million strong—dedicated to connecting people and communities
through a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. The
“Great American” is the most ambitious project in its TrailNation™ portfolio—the organization’s initiative to encourage the rapid
replication of regional trail networks across the country.
Travel Destinations Personalized to meet Your Specific Interests
Travel Programs for friends and family, schools and theme groups with educational workshops, food and wine itineraries and visits to museums, medieval villages, nature parks and archaeological sites.
Abruzzo is on the Adriatic Coast, east of Rome. It is home to national parks, hilltop medieval and Renaissance towns and numerous nature reserves. The Apennine mountain chain forms much of its interior while the coastal plain has sandy beaches and dunes.
Puglia borders the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its southernmost portion, the Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the boot of Italy.
Campania is famed for its ancient ruins, coastal resorts and culinary
traditions. A cultural and national capital for much of its nearly three-millennia
history, Naples is home to art museums, the San Carlo opera house and a
spectacular bay framed by Mt. Vesuvius, affectionately and fearfully referred
to by the local inhabitants as The Monster.
Lazio the Roman
countryside is a vast alluvial plain surrounding the city of Rome while the
south is characterized by flatlands. The Apennines of Latium are marked by the
Tiber River valley and three mountains of volcanic origin whose craters are
occupied by Lakes Bolsena, Vico and Bracciano. South of the Tiber, the Alban
Hills, are of volcanic origin.
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slowly being discovered as the new Italian frontier; an abridged expression of
the varied charms of Italy with a variety of seasonal and year-round
attractions: authentic food, breathtaking landscapes, a lively cultural
landscape, artistic and natural treasures.
Veneto If your idea of travel includes admiring, without being rushed and in
total tranquility, masterpieces by Giorgione, Lotto, Palladio and Canova or
spending a carefree day in the vineyards of Asolo and a Prosecco
winery, or experiencing a unique and high quality cuisine in the
company of gracious hosts, then welcome to the Veneto region of Italy.
The Cultural and Culinary Traditions of
Emilia arts and gastronomy in Ferrara and Modena. Weekly Courses,
available year-round, designed to acquaint you and expand your knowledge of the
arts, culture and cuisine of Ferrara and the Emilia Romagna region. The
Cooking Classes take place in Ferrara restaurants, the balsamic vinegar program
in Modena and the Fresco art course at the Belriguardo Museum.
Food Wine and Craft Beer Trails in US North East Towns
The Northeast Region of the United States corresponds to the original northern colonies
that founded the country. Besides its illustrious history and culture, the
region is a trend setter on the technological and environmental fronts along
with agricultural innovations and unique, local food, wine and craft beer
Vermont is agriculture and industry, heritage museums and historic sites, small towns and downtowns where visitors and residents find the distinctive local businesses, historic buildings, and rich cultural and social activities that form Vermont’s special sense of community. These authentic and attractive downtowns and villages are widely recognized as a key part of the state’s allure.
Rockland and Piermont are located just 30 miles north of New York City and are known for quaint villages, spectacular river views and outdoor recreation with 32,000 acres of park lands dotted with sparkling lakes and streams rushing down to the Hudson. Miles marked trails lead right to the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains. The Hudson Valley extends 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan; a National Heritage Area the valley is steeped in history natural beauty culture food and farmers’ markets.
Upstate New York is home to city and country settings, high-tech industries and
natural wonders. Drive through the Catskill Mountains and reach the
Corning Museum, the world’s largest glass museum featuring a contemporary art
and design wing; experience live hot glass demonstrations of glass objects made
by artists and hands-on exhibits highlighting science and technology.
The Finger Lakes and Watkins Glen State Park, site of 19 waterfalls and a gorge. Seneca Lake is a long slender lake with wineries along both sides. From Geneva, on the north shore of the lake, you can head east towards Syracuse and visit Destiny USA, sixth largest shopping destination in the United States.
Rochester is a world-renowned American city and home to George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film inside the home of Kodak’s founder.
Cruise or Walk though Historic Villages along the Erie Canal
Some communities have been in the forefront of land conservation, historic preservation and arts movements that celebrate the land, landscapes and water resources management initiatives.
Local Culture in the Lehigh Valley draws from the Moravian settlements experience, a broad cultural environment in which music, art, education and religious tolerance flourished, as evidenced by the communal dwellings, churches and industrial structures.
The Brandywine Valley facing an industrial development that would impact a largely rural community, focused on Development & Conservancy Issues, including floodplain areas that threatened to devastate water supplies in parts of the Delaware River Valley.
In Philadelphia the waterfront is now a 6-mile walking and biking destination. Trail features include streetscape improvements, a bi-directional bikeway, pedestrian walkway and rain gardens that collect the first inch of storm water, relieving the city sewer system during major weather events, along with benches, bike racks, decorative street pavers and innovative solar trail lighting.
Center City offers a thriving culture and entertainment scene as well as a contemporary arts museum with training programs and study tours for students, aspiring artists and traveling families.
Bucks County is one of the three original counties created by William Penn in 1682. Pennsbury Manor stands on the point of land formed by the Delaware River between Morrisville and Bristol. Painstaking research went into restoring the prim-fronted, three-storied, brick manor-house, rebuilt on the original foundations.
Lehigh Valley Allentown was a rural village founded in 1762 by William Allen, Chief Justice of Colonial Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. By 1829 Allentown expanded from a small Pennsylvania Dutch village of farmers and tradesmen to a center of commerce. With the opening of the Lehigh Canal, many canal workers made their homes here.
The Lehigh Valley Gave Birth to America’s Industrial Revolution
Loudoun County Virginia is renowned for rolling hills of farms and vineyards, pastures filled with grazing horses, and the Blue Ridge Mountains; it is also just 25 miles from Washington DC.
Leesburg has seen significant history from 1758 and has a well-preserved downtown historic district with stunning 18th and 19th century architecture. It also a shopping and dining venue and features historic sites such as Gen. George C. Marshall’s home, Dodona Manor and Ball’s Bluff Civil War battlefield.
Middleburg, known as the capital of Virginia’s horse country, has been welcoming visitors since 1787. It is also a shopper’s delight, with home furnishing and antique stores, boutiques and more; a stroll through this historic hamlet is a unique experience. Middleburg has hosted iconic American personalities such as Jackie Kennedy and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
history geology hydrology fishing and the environment
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is comprised of nine counties with a population of nearly 450 thousand. The term Eastern Shore distinguishes a territorial part of the State from the land west of Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was a shallow canal with locks after its construction in 1829; it was deepened in the early 20th century to sea level. The north-south section of the Mason-Dixon Line forms the border between Maryland and Delaware.
Environmental and Historical Tourism in the US North East
Unlike most European and world leading cities, Milan was not settled on a
river or by the sea, but in the middle of the Po River Valley. Hence,
Milan’s is a history about water and how water was brought to the city. The concentric layout of the city center has been
influenced by the Navigli, an ancient system of navigable and interconnected
canals, now mostly covered.
History and Leonardo Da Vinci
A Source of energy for transportation and as a defense system throughout the centuries.Leonardo Da Vinci spent his most
productive years in Milan, and his activity as an engineer crossed with the
water history of the city; marks of his activity are still visible after
hundreds of years. Water, sustainability and Leonardo are the threads that
unify the different epochs in the city’s history and this part of Italy.
Traditions and Innovations in Energy and Water
Classical Milan the old Roman city of Mediolanum, and the more
hidden parts of Milan, will connect the visitor with old artisan shops, the new
Museum of Cultures, Villa Necchi Campiglio and the Last Supper.
Shopping and Design Milan is a global capital in
industrial design, fashion and architecture. It is also a mecca for food
lovers.As the commercial capital of Italy and one of Europe’s most
dynamic cities, it accounts for the lion’s share of the fashion trade, with
some of the most renowned fashion houses headquartered here. Its upscale
fashion district- il quadrilatero della moda – and La Galleria, the world’s
first shopping mall, offer the best shopping opportunities anywhere.
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The Royal Villa in Monza has its own history dating back to the middle ages with a Royal Villa
and the surrounding Monza Park. Recently restored the villa rivals in size and
quality Versailles and Caserta’s Royal Palace. Behind the Royal Villa, Monza
Park is the largest walled park in Europe. You may be already familiar with it
as the racetrack where the Monza Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place every
Lake Como Bellagio is a cozy old village where the two branches of the lake
converge in a narrow Canyon and where the water is still feeding an old-fashioned
power plant. Isola Comacina is an old settlement with ruins dating back from
the middle ages, and a terrific view of the Lake. The road back to Milan is via
the Strada Regina – Queen’s Road – along the lakeshore and an opportunity to
look at some gorgeous villas, including George Clooney’s residence.
The American South is comprised of 14 States from Oklahoma
and Texas to the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic port cities and from the Ohio
and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans.
Historical Tourism and
Guthrie lies along one of the primary corridors into Texas
and Mexico and is a four-hour drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan
area. The city is in the center of the state, about 32 miles – 51 km –
north of Oklahoma City, in the Sandstone Hills region of Oklahoma, known for
hills and oak forests
Dallas is relatively young city with a colorful past. In
1839, John Neely Bryan, a lawyer from Tennessee with a taste for adventure,
wandered into the area and was impressed with what he believed to be the
perfect ingredients for a trading post and eventually a town: plenty of raw
land, Indians with whom to do business, and the river. The young city’s can-do
spirit helped bring railroads in the 1870s, the Federal Reserve Bank in
1914, Southern Methodist University in 1915, Love Field Airport in 1927, the
Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936 and DFW International Airport in 1973.
Fort Worth was settled in 1849 as an army outpost along the
Trinity River as one of eight forts assigned to protect settlers on the
advancing frontier. The cattle industry was king for a generation of people
working the Fort Worth leg of the historic Chisholm Trail, which ran from the
1860s to the 1870s when the Texas & Pacific Railway arrived. In the years
that followed, oil and aviation brought new wealth throughout the region. The
post-war years found Fort Worth capitalizing on its strengths as a transport,
business and military center. Cultural pursuits included the development of the
city’s internationally acclaimed museum district.
Texas Cities and the Hill Country Austin, on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, is the state
capital, the live music capital of the world, a center for film, home to the
University of Texas and Formula 1’s Circuit of the Americas raceway. The city’
parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming, boating and other
outdoor pursuits as well as a ballet, museums and unique shopping experiences.
San Antonio’s rich heritage includes 18th century
Spanish colonial missions, residential areas dating from the 1860s and local museums
that celebrate the city’s past. The San Antonio Mission Trail begins at the
Alamo and winds southward along a nine-mile stretch of the San Antonio River.
New Orleans was established by the French in 1718 at a
location that continues to be a valuable site for trade due to its strategic
position along the Mississippi River. The French Quarter is a National Historic
Landmark and is bordered by Canal, Decatur and Rampart Streets and Esplanade
Avenue. It boasts cultural contributions from the French, Spanish, Italians,
Africans and Irish.
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Mobile Alabama is located at the head of Mobile Bay and the
Central Gulf Coast. Founded by the French in 1702, during its first 100 years,
Mobile was a colony of France, Britain and Spain; it became a part of the
United States of America in 1813.
Savannah was founded in 1733 on the Savannah River, it
became the colonial capital and later the first state capital of Georgia. Its
port was of strategic importance during both the American Revolution and the
Charleston was founded in 1670, Charleston is defined by
its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel pre-Civil-War-era
houses, particularly in the bustling French Quarter and Battery areas. The
Battery promenade and Waterfront Park both overlook Charleston Harbor, while
Fort Sumter, a Federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War rang
out, lies across the water.
Charlotte is named in honor of King George III of Britain’s
consort. It is a city with 199
neighborhoods and many nicknames, including: the famed Hornet’s Nest derived
from the American Revolution, The QC, Crown Town, Home of NASCAR, Gem of the South, CLT, Bank Town,
Char-Town and City of Trees.
Asheville has a fascinating past; experience a walking
itinerary that commemorates the city’s most significant cultural, educational,
social and architecture stories; a museum without walls. Urban Farm and
Mountain Trails Gourmet Cuisine Public Art Music Heritage and a Bohemian
Louisville is centrally located along the Ohio River and is
one America’s most accessible cities within a day’s drive of more than half the
nation’s population. This city has a colorful past, from its frontier
founding at the time of the American Revolution, to early 19thcentury
steamboats and as a Union base during the Civil War. Named for King Louis XVI
of France in appreciation for his assistance during the Revolutionary War,
Louisville was founded by George Rogers Clark in 1778.
Nashville has been the subject of many books, movies and songs. But, while music is the lifeblood of this city, you will also find here culture, history, haute cuisine, sports, natural beauty and especially Southern charm.
Memphis is a city with a rich and eclectic history. Some of
the city’s traditions and milestones: the home of Elvis Presley, the Memphis
Zoo, the Indie Memphis Film Festival, Sun Studio, National Civil Rights Museum,
Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Beale Street Music Festival.
The Sights Sounds and Culinary Traditions of the Mississippi Regions. A melting pot of cultures, a mighty river, antebellum mansions and restaurants featuring soul food, authentic ethnic dishes and modern culinary delights. The tastes of this region take their influences from Native American heritage.
a melting pot of regional, ethnic, national and international cuisine
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.