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Food Culture and the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is a compendium of the eating habits traditionally followed by those that live in this part of the world. So, let’s see what it consists of and its beneficial effects on its practitioners.

The eating habits of the 16 nations along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea vary depending on culture, ethnic traditions and religion. There are, however, some characteristics that are common to all:

High consumption of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, bread and cereals

Use of olive oil to cook and as a condiment

Moderate quantities of fish, little meat

Small/moderate quantities of rich cheese and whole yogurt

Moderate wine consumption, usually with meals

Use of local, seasonal and fresh products 

An active lifestyle

The Ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet

Olive Oil is especially important as an alternative to butter, margarine and other fats. It is a valuable source of mono-unsaturated fats that protect against heart disease, as well as a source of antioxidants such as Vitamin E. It is used to prepare vegetables, tomato sauce, salads and to fried fish.

History the Phoenicians planted the first olive trees around the XVI century BC, first on the island of Cyprus then in Asia Minor. Its greatest success was achieved in Greece where the myth was that the goddess Athena, in competition with the other gods, was declared the winner of a contest by Zeus by creating the olive tree. Historians have determined that the first olive tree “Plato’s Olive Tree” was planted near Athens some 2500 years ago.

The species was prevalent in Italy since the days of the Roman Republic, especially in the southern part of the country. Today, it is cultivated everywhere in the country with many DOP and IGP denominations. As one of the pillars of the Mediterranean Diet, extra-virgin olive oil is present in virtually all food recipes. Among its benefits is the lack of physical and chemical manipulations as it is simply extracted by pressing the olives.

the only oil produced by a fruit as opposed to a seed

Olive oil should be the only fat in cooking as it is the only one that is not subject to degrading when exposed to heat. Culturally speaking, olive oil represents the Southern crudeness as opposed to butter cooked foods prevalent in Northern foods.

Therapeutic Aspects the “liquid gold” referred to by Homer has over time had a therapeutic function as well; it reduces the impact of heat while at the same time acting as a blood “cleanser”. It is both a nutrient and a medicine. Dishes containing olive oil are easier to digest, with an excellent gastric and intestinal tolerance as well as a protecting effect on the arteries, stomach and liver.

Fruits and Vegetables a high consumption of fruits and vegetables leads to protective action to prevent cancer and heart disease, probably because of the antioxidants present in these food items. This is especially true of tomatoes, an important source of antioxidants particularly when heated to make a tomato sauce.

Fish such as sardines with its omega 3 polyunsaturated fats have a healthy fat content. Fish consumption is also important for its anti-inflammatory properties in preventing heart disease and regulating blood circulation.

Wine first a clarification: there is no such thing as biological wine, only biological grapes. By its very nature, wine is the opposite of an industrial product that never varies; grapes vary from area to area depending on climactic conditions. They also evolve, mature and decline over time. In all Mediterranean countries wine is consumed in moderation, usually with meals. For men this implies two glasses a day and one for women.Red wine in particular contains a number of vegetable composts with beneficial properties. Also, powerful antioxidants such as poly phenols protect against oxidation.

Legumes during the middle ages, all of Europe risked high mortality rates due to a series of epidemics. Unable to procure high protein foods such as meat, the poorer classes were especially malnourished.Legumes were introduced only from the 10th Century, thereby making a gradual contribution to the welfare of the population, increasing resistance to disease and aiding in the re population of the continent. Later, with the discovery of the Americas and the importation of agricultural products, beans emerged as a basic staple without which the population could not have doubled insize in just a few centuries. They may be consumed fresh or dry, with the former having a higher water content (60-90% versus 10-13%) hence, given the same weight, a lower caloric, protein and glycine content. 


legumes are richest in protein, and protein quality, among all vegetables

In Italy, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas and fava beans are the most common staples. Some are canned and are therefore available off season and in areas where they are not cultivated. Both fresh and dry, they are a key component of Italian cuisine in general and the “cucina povera” in particular. Studies confirm a high energy content, a high vitamin B content, as well as iron and calcium. The protein value is 6-7% in fresh and 20-25% in dry legumes.

Especially in dry form, legume seeds contain a respectable quantity of phosphorus, calcium and iron. They should be cooked at length as they contain anti-digestive elements in its crude form. The heat from cooking eliminates these negative characteristics. Dry legumes should be left over night in water before cooking. Lentils do not require this treatment.

Beans have been known since antiquity. Originally from the Americas, they have been found in pre-Inca Peru and were also a favorite with the Romans; known as the “poor man’s meat”, there are over 300 varieties of beans; of these, 60 are edible. There are red, black, multicolor, small, large, round and flat ones. They range from the Mexican bean (small, black and round) to the Spanish one (large, white and flat). Given the large qualities available, beans are cooked in a variety of ways (soups, minestrone, salads and condiments). They are digested slowly and are rather filling.

Lentils were among the first foods to be cultivated and consumed by man; traces have been found in Turkey in ruins dating back to 5500 BC as well as in Egyptian tombs from 2500 BC There are large seeds (6-9 mm), yellow or green, cultivated mostly in the Americas, and a smaller variety (2-6 mm), orange, red or brown in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and India. They are cooked as soup and as a side dish to meat and other dishes. It is a well-wisher during the New Year’s celebrations all over the world.

Peas along with lentils, peas are the legumes of which we have the most information from antiquity. Probably originating in Asia, they may date back to the stone-age. Modern techniques allow for availability year-round, canned or frozen, fresh or dry.

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Chick-Peas originally from the Orient, the name derives from the Latin word “aries” which refers to the shape of the seed. A major staple in the Middle East and in India, they are cooked with pasta, as soup and as a side dish.

Fava Beans this ancient plant, originating from Persia and Northern Africa, may have been known in the bronze and iron ages. Possibly the first legume to be consumed by humans as they do not require cooking. In some parts of Southern Italy, they are eaten as a fruit or in dry form with pasta or greens. Heavy consumption of fresh fava beans may cause anemia in genetically predisposed populations in the Mediterranean basin.

Truffles the black truffle has found a perfect habitat in the beech woods in harmony with oak, birch and hazel trees as well as black pine. It can be found in different areas of central and southern Italy. It has had its place for nearly two thousand years in the more culturally sophisticated cuisine, and is appreciated for its unique aroma. Found in sizes approaching that of a grapefruit, it acts as an environmental guard as it refuses to grow in polluted terrain.Composed of water, fibers and minerals its function is uniquely “aromatic” in this type of cuisine; the small quantities utilized contain limited nutritional value. Nevertheless, it has its place in a variety of preparations associated with appetizers, first and second dishes especially if accompanied by olive oil.

Pasta the Romans where among the first to mention lagane (from which lasagne derive). Previously, Horatio and Cicero consumed this light pasta made with flour and water. However, there is no further historical data on pasta from 200 AD. It is believed that maccheroni originated in Sicily. The term is from the Greek “macar” which means happy or food of the blessed ones. Pasta was seasoned with sugar and honey besides cheese and butter. The first recipe with tomatoes dates from the year 1839. And the first apparition of the word spaghetti appears in a Neapolitan cook book from 1824.

Bread the history of bread begins with that of man with barley and millet the preferred ingredients as they were ideal from a nutritional standpoint; they were eventually replaced by cereal. The invention of bread can be attributed to the Egyptians nearly 3000 years ago. They also developed the first ovens and, it is believed that the workers of the pyramids were paid in bread. Thereafter the Greeks developed at least 72 varieties of bread whereas the Romans improved on certain technical features such as windmills. There were at least 400 ovens in Imperial Rome with the first public oven dating back to 168 BC. Only with the start of the 20th Century bread production reaches an industrial scale.

Mozzarella the domestic water buffalo originates from India and was also found in Persia, brought over by migrant workers or armies. Later, Islamic soldiers brought it to Syria and Egypt. It arrived in Italy in the year 596 during the reign of the Longobard king Aginulfo. It thrives in warm, swampy areas rich in water such as the Nile Delta. In Europe it has found fertile ground in Puglia, Campania and the low lands along the Danube River.Mozzarella was offered and received with great pleasure by the nobility passing through while on the Grand Tour to Pompeii and Paestum. The word mozzarella comes from “mozzata” or cutting. The denomination “Mozzarella di Bufala” was nationally recognized in 1993 with a D.O.C. label and a D.O.P. label at the Europe level in 1996.

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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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The Italian Borgo Historic District Concept

economic development virtual hotel towns and albergo diffuso travel accommodations

An Economic Development model designed to offer quality stays that do not impinge on the local lifestyle while promoting year-round resilient growth that favors restructuring, preservation and local resources.

Virtual Hotel Towns address the demand for sustainable, quality tourism in urban and rural areas by focusing on the interaction between visitors and locals as well as developing and promoting a community’s historic preservation efforts, traditions, values and architecture.

US Main Streets and Historic Districts Itineraries

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Albergo Diffuso is an innovative concept designed to revive small historic Italian communities by converting historic buildings into a virtual hotel village. Points of reference include:

Main Street Properties are managed by owners who also provide hospitality services

Travel Accommodations are derived from converted buildings in historic districts

A Central Reception provides Travel Related Services, including food and communications services.

Communities with Guest and Host Interactions that highlight Local Lifestyles

Local Businesses capable of managing incoming travel services benefit from a centralized marketing and sales program. Resources generated from inbound travel transactions are made available to Museums, Theaters and others on Main Street and in Historic Districts.

Local Projects integrate architecture with digital media and engage visitors through interaction with local citizens. Water resources and energy efficiency projects are also community attractors as domestic and international business and government visitors will come to study, learn and acquire knowledge and expertise in these fields.

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Western Trails

Montana Rapid City Wyoming Utah and Colorado

National Parks Glacier National Park crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, offering breathtaking views and opportunity to see wildlife, the rugged terrain along the way and the many unspoiled lakes on a wooden boat, kayak or canoe, a guided horseback ride, or hiking some of the 700 miles of trails.

Small Towns and Downtowns Bozeman in 1864, John Bozeman led a wagon train over Bozeman Pass into the Gallatin Valley, where his friends W. J. Beall and D. E. Rouse staked out the town site for the city of Bozeman. It is considered one of the most diverse small towns in the Rocky Mountains, with a mix of ranchers, artists, professors, ski enthusiasts and entrepreneurs drawn here by Montana’s world-class outdoor recreation.

Western History and Culture

Ranch Vacations the state has many unique guest ranches of different types: dude, working, or luxury resort ranches that offer a diverse array of activities from horseback riding to fly fishing, spa treatments to gourmet meals, hiking to rafting. 

Rapid City South Dakota

The Black Hills Mount Rushmore the Crazy Horse Memorial Custer State Park and the Badlands

Rapid City is centrally located to visit the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park and the Badlands.

Western and Native American Heritage throughout the city you will find Native American history exhibits, fine art displays and interactive museums like the: 

The Journey Museum takes you from the formation of the Black Hills over 2.5 billion years ago to the continuing saga of the Western frontier. Interactive exhibits and displays present the geography, people and events that shaped the history and heritage of this region. 

Rapid City has two historic districts for your enjoyment. The first is the historic downtown with notable buildings such as the 1914 First National Bank building at 7th and Main. Across the street you will find the 1911 Lions Head Fountain, which was once a watering station for horses. The West Historical District is residential in character; portions of 18 blocks contain examples of the city’s finest late 19thcentury and early 20th century structures. 

Wyoming Trails Cowboys Rodeos Railroad Towns Guest Ranches and two National Parks

Wyoming is the ninth largest state of the Union and includes two National Parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Fossil Butte National Monument and the Jackson Hole area. Traveling along its western border through scenic Star Valley to visit the historic town of Jackson, known worldwide for challenging and exciting winter sports, spectacular Teton Mountain Range, Old Faithful and the Lower Falls in Yellowstone. Wyoming is divided into five regions:  
The Northwest has two iconic National Parks, spectacular scenery and welcoming towns with vacation options ranging from rugged backcountry escapes to serene, luxurious retreats.
The Southwest outdoor enthusiasts, amateur paleontologists, wildlife lovers and history buffs prefer this region with beautiful landscape and national treasures such as Fossil Butte National Monument and the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Loop.
The Central Region the North Platte River flows through this long, wide swath of the state. Discover Wyoming’s pioneer story, from scars in the earth left by the Oregon Trail wagons to fascinating history museums.
The Northeast is home to Devils Tower, the first national monument, and acres of public land with sagebrush plains and rolling hills as background for family outings as well as solo adventures.
The Southeast is home to the Wyoming State Capitol, recreational and cultural activities. 

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Salt Lake City Utah Flanked on all sides by dramatic granite cliffs, Salt Lake is a world-class alpine destination with outdoor recreation, a remarkable history, and an economy that has transformed a pioneer town into a sophisticated metropolitan city.

Salt Lake Skyline, with Oquirrh Mountains

Big Cottonwood Canyon and the world-famous Snowbird Aerial Tram with vistas from the top of 11,000-foot Hidden Peak of over 100 miles. Also, a breathtaking backcountry as you horseback or bike ride in the Wasatch Mountains. Thrill seekers can ride down the alpine slide, a new addition to the Snowbird experience. 
The Great Salt Lake renowned for its high salinity which varies between 10 and 25%, second only to the Dead Sea, offers much in the way of recreation and relaxation. Antelope Island is ideal for a bike ride along the causeway or experience the trails as you hike, bike and animal watch: deer, bobcats, coyotes, many varieties of birds and waterfowl, and a small herd of elk call the island home. The Island’s American Bison were introduced in 1893 and now number some 600 animals. 

Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region

Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Colorado Springs can enjoy commanding views of Pikes Peak from just about any part of town. The multiple recreational opportunities afforded by the nearby mountains include everything from hiking to taking in the breathtaking geological wonders at Garden of the Gods Park, Cave of the Winds and the Paint Mines Interpretive Park.

Colorado Springs has a Thriving Arts and Cultural Scene

History the area’s first inhabitants were American Indian people. The Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other tribes gathered at the base of Pikes Peak, near its abundant springs. During the 18thCentury both French and Spanish flags flew over the region. But with the Louisiana Purchase more Anglo-American explorers and settlers began to venture west. In 1859, Colorado Springs history is marked with the founding of Colorado City which became the first settlement in the Pikes Peak region. It was the territorial capitol for a short period and served as a supply camp for miners traveling to the mining camps west of Denver.

By 1871, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad facilitated visits to a Victorian spa resort town at the base of Pikes Peak. The stunning scenic beauty was not the only thing that attracted people to the area. The sunny conditions and dry, mild climate of Colorado Springs made these communities popular for people suffering from poor health, especially tuberculosis.

Gold was discovered on the western slope of Pikes Peak, one of the richest gold strikes in American history. Almost overnight, the Cripple Creek Mining District grew from an isolated cattle pasture to the home of more than 50,000 people. By the turn of the 19th century, Colorado Springs was called the city of millionaires.

Since the 1940s, Colorado Springs has been home to major military installations including Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, the U.S. Space Command, NORAD, Schriever Air Force Base and the United States Air Force Academy.

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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