Monday, October 5, 2015

Environmental and Mass Transit Initiatives

Tourism Destinations and Learning Experiences
Personalized Travel Programs for families, schools and theme groups with environmental training, visits to state of the art transit facilities and museums featuring the history of rail and water transport.
Communities and Local Public Transport Initiatives
Americans and Italians are second to none in their love of the automobile but in recent years efficient and affordable public transit - in the form of bus rapid transit, subways, elevated and other rail services and trolley cars – for urban, suburban and intercity service -  have been debated, studied and in some instances implemented.
Our US itineraries include cities with established commuter and regional service as well as communities that are implementing new transit programs. An opportunity to meet with local planners and managers as well as travel efficiently, safely and affordably as you visit the United States.
Colorado Springs is renowned for its walkable historic areas, its commitment to sustainability and its natural attractions and ample recreational opportunities in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Activities range from family itineraries to educational, cultural and a wide range of outdoor programs. Experience scenic and historic train ride s aboard the Broadmoor's Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. Colorado Springs’ first streetcar service was powered by horses; at its peak, a total of 10 horse-drawn trolley cars operated in the city. In 1890, the Colorado Springs Rapid Transit Railway began replacing the horse car lines with electric power, a system that numbered 44 electric cars by 1900; at its peak, the system covered 41 miles. In 1931, buses began replacing streetcars. Streetcar service ended shortly thereafter.
Metropolitan Portland’s commuters and visitors have many options to get around in America’s best pedestrian and transit-friendly city. Public transit is comprised of TriMet’s regional bus network and the Metropolitan Area Express – MAX - light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs while the WES Commuter Rail reaches Portland's western suburbs. Portland Streetcar connects shopping areas and dense residential districts north and northwest of downtown as well as the east side of the Willamette River. The Portland Transit Mall on Fifth and Sixth avenues limits automobile access in favor or bus and light rail service. And Portland’s mainline steam locomotives can be seen pulling excursion trains operated by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.
Hershey, PA From Roads to Rails, travel back in time as O-gauge trains chug through the idyllic Pennsylvania countryside and multiple scenes reminiscent of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. The Museum of Bus Transportation has partnered with the Antique Auto Club of America Museum to provide museum quality displays of the bus industry - intercity, transit, and school - for the public.  It also serves to showcase the industry’s growth and development in the United States and celebrate the role that the bus industry continues to play in mobility and progress of the American public. 

The Motorbus Industry Occupies a Vital Place in America’s Everyday Life
In rural areas and in the thousands of towns and cities across the nation, buses provide personal transport, carrying more persons daily than all other public modes of transportation put together. The evolution of this industry provides a fascinating story of invention, entrepreneurship and the effort of thousands of people risking their time and capital in the hope of creating a profitable business. 

The Grapevine Vintage Railroad follows a scenic route to the Fort Worth Stockyards along the Cotton Belt Railroad right-of-way. The service is a tourist attraction due to its slow speeds. The Grapevine Rail also hosts one of the community’s seven winery tasting rooms. A new train station downtown and north of the airport are included in the proposed commuter route that follows existing rail lines from downtown Fort Worth, northeast to downtown Grapevine and then into the north entrance of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The route connects with other transportation services, including the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service, AMTRAK, and downtown bus transfer center at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center as well as a connection to the Dallas Dart Rail. 
Fort Worth It is easy to get around Fort Worth or travel to nearby Dallas and Grapevine.
Bus The T – Fort Worth Transport Authority – provides extensive service throughout the city and its cultural attractions.
Rail the TRE – Trinity Rail Express - connects Fort Worth and Dallas with transfer access to DFW International Airport.
Air DFW is only 17.5 miles from downtown Fort Worth via bus, rail or taxi service. From here, you can reach any major city in the U.S. in less than four hours.
Walking is a wonderful way to experience the city’ entertainment districts and the Trinity Trails.
Bike Sharing: Bike sharing is an inexpensive, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around Fort Worth. Pick up a bike at any of the 40 docking stations.
In Italy, today’s frecce (arrow) high speed intercity rail service is a direct descendant of a long established commuter service dating back to the mid-19th century as evidenced by the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa, located alongside the Naples-Portici railway line, the first one in Italy. Originally known as “Pietra Bianca” (white stone), it was renamed Pietrarsa (burnt stone) after the eruption of the Vesuvius in 1631. The Museum is a journey through time among the locomotives and trains that united Italy from 1839 to modern times, spanning nearly two centuries of Italian railway history. It is housed in what was originally the old Bourbon dynasty workshops where steam machines for ships and boilers for locomotives were built. Today’s Naples area commuters are serviced by a modern underground rail network, the city’s famed funicolare and suburban rails such as the electrically powered, 142 km (88 mi) six line, 96 stations Circumvesuviana.
Water Resources Management and the Environment
Visit and study the efforts of communities that are in the forefront of water resources management and other environmentally sustainable practices in coastal and river waterfront development in small towns and large cities as well as agricultural communities. Local officials and nonprofit stewards of the environment, among others, will explain their policies, programs and best management practices in wastewater and watershed management, land conservancy issues, LEED certifications, recycling, rainwater collection and energy efficient systems.  
In Montgomery County, Maryland Experience Rain Garden Training, a hands-on rain garden building class at a pre-dug site.  After reviewing the criteria for siting and sizing rain gardens, participants determine and finish the grading, install the soil media, build the berm, plant and mulch the garden.
You can also learn the complex procedures that govern the building, watershed and renewable energy permitting process.
Some communities have been in the forefront of land conservation, historic preservation and the arts movements that celebrates land and landscapes and water resources management initiatives: 

In the Lehigh Valley, the local culture draws from the Moravian settlements experience in which all men were equal; a broad cultural environment in which music, art, education and religious tolerance flourished, as evidenced by the communal dwellings, churches and industrial structures still present.

The Brandywine Valley has focused on Development & Conservancy Issues, including floodplain areas that threaten to devastate water supplies in parts of the Delaware River Valley. Local residents initiated conservation easements that now protect five and one-half miles along the Brandywine River. 

In the city of Philadelphia, the waterfront is now a 6 mile walking and biking destination. Trail features include streetscape improvements along the entire waterfront trail, 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, as well as 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 families.  
Dallas is the first ISO 14001 certified city in the US - the international environmental standard which sets environmental goals for organizations and communities – and among the first to adopt a green building program that now boasts 5 LEED Gold, 1 LEED-EB Silver and 2 certified buildings. New projects in the city include pedestrian-friendly parks such as Main Street Garden, Belo Garden and the Klyde Warren Park. Dallas also is home to the Trinity River Audubon Center, a LEED certified building with many sustainable features: a vegetated roof, rainwater collection system, energy efficient systems and recycled materials.
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

US and Italy Arts and Culinary Traditions

Tourism Destinations and Learning Experiences
Personalized Travel Programs for families, schools and theme groups with educational workshops, food & wine itineraries and visits to museums, medieval villages, nature parks and archeology sites.
Cultural Heritage and Local Museums
Give meaning and purpose to the objects on display in museums and art galleries as they disclose the historical and archaeological heritage of a community, leverage conservation and the rediscovery of cultural heritage through the arts, history, archeology, literature and architecture, preserve biodiversity and rediscover cultures associated with agricultural, coastal and river communities. Visit our US and Italian destinations for unique vacation and learning experiences:

United States

Learning by Doing. Preserving and Divulging the Cultural Heritage of Your Community
A community museum is a virtual or real, indoor or outdoor authentic experience representative of and rooted in the local history and traditions of a territory.
It works best with informal, friendly interactions between guest and host
Participants are new entrepreneurs, existing small businesses, nonprofits and local government working together in a laboratory designed to acquire and constantly update knowledge and learning skills.
The result: a sustainable and full cultural immersion that is both product and market oriented and generates new wealth for your community.
Culinary Experiences
There are several fascinating examples throughout America and in Italy of a resurgence in farming that cater to an ever increasing demand for local, quality and sustainable food, wine and ale consumption.
In US Communities it is fueled by downtown and residential development and a demand for urban farming as well as nightlife and weekend amenities for local citizens and out of town visitors.
In the Washington, DC area, both in the US capital city and its suburban communities, the local economy is driven by government spending, highly educated and environmentally conscious citizens. Here, the community of Silver Spring has undergone such a transformation and is excellent base from which travelers can take in the sights and monuments of the capital and beyond.
Similar experiences that provide a uniquely local food, wine and ale atmosphere, along with with historical and sustainable attractions, can be experienced in Southeastern Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia Neighborhoods and in the Hershey Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River Valley.

In Italy, opportunities to taste and learn are everywhere but especially in the smaller towns and in medieval villages of:
Campania the ancient Romans called this region of Italy Campania Felix. Then and now, Happy Campania is famed for its ancient ruins, coastal resorts and world renowned culinary traditions. A cultural and national capital for much of its nearly three thousand year 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. more  

Marche is slowly being discovered as the new Italian frontier; an abridged expression of the varied charms of Italy with a variety of attractions offered seasonally and year- round, including: authentic foods, breathtaking landscapes, a lively cultural landscape, artistic and natural treasures. more  
Arts and Gastronomy in Ferrara
Celebrating the Cultural and Culinary Traditions of Emilia Romagna
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 of Italy.
The Cooking Classes take place in Ferrara restaurants, the balsamic vinegar program in Modena and the Fresco art course at the Belriguardo Museum.
The Art of Fresco Making Your program includes visits to Sala della Vigna, Palazzo Schifanoia, Marfisa and other venues to view examples of Ferrara area frescoes. Under the guidance of your art maestro, you will have a chance to practice your newly acquired knowledge by creating your very own frescos.
Escorted Itineraries to visit the local small museums in or near Ferrara that are representative of the region’s Renaissance Traditions and its modern, industrial achievements, such as the Lamborghini Museum. Children Workshops are Available at
Belriguardo Castle
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