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Monday, May 13, 2019

Heritage Tourism in the American South


Cowboys Cowgirls Music and Culinary Traditions
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 Victorian Architecture
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 Civil War. 
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 Culture.
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 true melting pot of regional, ethnic, national and international cuisine
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Micro CHP


Solar Cogeneration and Net Metering Systems
A cogeneration plant often referred to as a combined heat and power plant is tasked with producing electricity and thermal energy in the form of heat or steam, or useful mechanical work, such as shaft power, from the same fuel source. Micro-CHP engine systems are currently based on several different technologies: Internal combustion engines, Stirling engines, Fuel cell, Microturbines, Steam engine/Steam motor using either water or organic chemicals such as refrigerants.
Micro combined heat and power or mCHP applies to single or multi-family homes or small office buildings in the range of up to 50 kW. Local generation has the potential for a higher efficiency than traditional grid-level generators since it lacks the 8-10% energy losses from transporting electricity over long distances as well as 10–15% energy losses from heat transfer in district heating networks due to the difference between the thermal energy carrier - hot water - and the colder external environment.

Most Systems use natural gas as the primary energy source and emit carbon dioxide. A micro-CHP system usually contains a small fuel cell or a heat engine as a prime mover used to rotate a generator which provides electric power, while simultaneously utilizing the waste heat from the prime mover for a building's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. A micro-CHP generator delivers electricity as the by-product or may generate electricity with heat as the by-product. 
Micro-CHP systems have been facilitated by recent technological developments of small heat engines
Type
2008 Status
2012
2015
2020
Electrical efficiency at rated power
34%
40%
42.5%
45%
CHP energy efficiency
80%
85%
87.5%
90%
Factory cost
$750/kW
$650/kW
$550/kW
$450/kW
Transient response (10%–90% rated power)
5 min
4 min
3 min
2 min
Start-up time from 20 °C ambient temperature
60 min
45 min
30 min
20 min
Degradation with cycling
< 2%/1000 h
0.7%/1000 h
0.5%/1000 h
0.3%/1000 h
Operating lifetime
6,000 h
30,000 h
40,000 h
60,000 h
System availability
97%
97.5%
98%
99%

CPVT Concentrated photovoltaics and thermal also called CHAPS combined heat and power solar, is a cogeneration technology used in concentrated photovoltaics that produce electricity and heat in the same module. The heat may be employed in district and water heating, air conditioning, process heat or desalination.
Net metering micro-CHP systems achieve much of their savings by the value of electrical energy which is replaced by auto produced electricity. A generate-and-resell model supports this as home-generated power exceeding the in-home needs is sold back to the electrical utility. This system is efficient because the energy used is distributed and used instantaneously over the electric grid.
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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A Tuscan Countryside Medieval Castle and Arms Museum


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 in October.
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 Monteriggioni.
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.




A Medieval Travel Experience in Tuscany


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Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Journey into the Venetian Past


Venice Isles Food Wine and History
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.
Murano’s Ancient 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 kaleidoscopic streets.
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.
A Journey into the Venetian Past
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Chester County Pennsylvania


American Historic Small-Town Itineraries
Chester County William Penn established Chester County in 1682 as one of the first three counties in Pennsylvania; West Chester is the county seat. Other historic towns in Chester County include Kennett Square, Oxford and Phoenixville. Each has its own unique agricultural, revolutionary and industrial histories. These Main Streets of the Brandywine Valley are treasures of a time gone by with lovely tree-lined streets filled with restaurants, shops, galleries, markets, festivals and more.
West Chester nestled in the heart of the Brandywine Valley, West Chester is a picturesque and historic community that offers small-town charm with a cosmopolitan flair. Their downtown boasts 83 shops and 59 restaurants. The Chester County Historical Society is a history museum which tells the American story from a local perspective. West Chester's Main Streets offer a host of diverse shops and galleries. Specialty shops featuring imported olive oils, fine handmade chocolates, cigars and skate and surf equipment. The West Chester railroad, one of the oldest in America, offers a 90-minute train excursion through the beautiful Chester Creek Valley.
Kennett Square the town was originally called Kennet Square, with the name "Kennet", England, and "Square" coming from the original William Penn one square mile land grant. General Sir William Howe marched through Kennett to the Battle of Brandywine during the American Revolution. Kennett is famous for being the mushroom capital of the world; over 60 percent of the nation's mushroom crop is from this region. This small-town main street is filled with an eco-boutique, a rare book store, quilts, antiques and a spa. A walk down Kennett's State Street is also a culinary adventure.
Oxford on the way stop to view the historic covered bridges that surround the countryside. Then, stroll down Oxford's Main Street where Amish buggy's share the road, a vibrant art alliance hosts exhibits, shows and events, farmers markets offer local foods and wares, and charming coffee and tea shops.
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Phoenixville like many American towns and cities, Phoenixville owes its growth to its waterways. The Phoenix Company Foundry, built in 1882, is home to the Schuylkill River Heritage Center, a historic gateway to northern Chester County that provides information about places of interest to visit throughout the region. Originally called Manavon, Phoenixville was settled in 1732. In its industrial heyday early in the twentieth century, it was an important manufacturing center and it was the site of great iron and steel mills, boiler works, silk mill, underwear and hosiery factories, a match factory, and Etruscan majolica pottery. The Iron Hill Brewery is a great gathering spot on Bridge Street, Phoenixville's main drag; it specializes in handcrafted beer and creative cuisine. Charming shops line the main street.
The Brandywine Valley wind your way along the banks of the Brandywine River through horse country and rich farmland. The rolling hills and verdant pastures along the Brandywine Valley Byway form a lovely and dramatic backdrop including Longwood Gardens, a stunning horticultural display set on the more than 1,000 aces of the former du Pont estate and the Brandywine River Museum, housed in a 19thcentury gristmill. Its unparalleled collection of works by three generations of Wyeth’s American illustration, still-life, and landscape paintings make it a mecca for art lovers from all over the world.
Brandywine Valley Wine Trails beautiful estate vineyards in the rolling hills of Chester County, charming tasting rooms and barrel-aging cellars filled with premium wines that showcase a unique terroir. Spanning scenic southeastern Pennsylvania between historic Philadelphia and the Amish countryside outside Lancaster, the four wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail are located within an easy drive of one another and are open year-round. Pennsylvania's climate and terrain provide some of the best growing conditions on the east coast, allowing Brandywine Valley to be one of the state’s premier wine regions. Brandywine Valley's bucolic countryside is home to many fine wineries. Make a stop at Chadds Ford Winery, the largest wine producer in the state or visit any of the unique, family farmed wineries along the Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail.
Historic Small-Town Travel Experiences in Chester County Pennsylvania
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Monday, April 29, 2019

Wellness Cultural and Culinary Travel


in Salento and Puglia Italy
The Salento Peninsula is in the southeastern corner of the Puglia region of Italy. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Messapi a term signifying “land amid the waters” – the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Towns and villages are characteristically made of whitewashed houses in narrow streets with local handicraft shops, immersed in the green of the olive trees and vineyards, bordered by the typical dry-stone walls.
Sun, sea and breezes during a summer season lasting from May to mid-October. The mild winters are always pleasant with plenty of sunshine.
Wellness Bio Dances Holistic Massages Mystical and Healing Practices Influenced by Local Traditions
An enchanting setting along the Salento coastline, Villa Cesarea is on top of four marine grottoes that are the source of its famed mineral waters. It is also a place of pagan and Christian legends. In the former, the waters were created by giant men made of fire and sulfur, whereas the latter, from which name the Cesarea is derived, is based on the young maiden Cisaria whose sacrifice purified and sanctified the waters.
The Salentum Treatment consists of body scrubs, face masks and massages with local ingredients: wine and olives, olive oil, blackberries and pomegranates, Mediterranean citrus fruits.
Accommodations elegant apartments in a beautiful park surrounded by age-old olive and fruit trees and a biological garden; nearby: cycle tracks and an 18-hole golf course.
Baroque Architecture Food and Wine Traditions and Spectacular Coastlines
Culture famous for its soft stones, ideal for making sculptures, and its ceramics products, Lecce is over 2000 years old and renowned for its historic center and baroque architecture, stretching from Roman times to the 18th Century, the Acaya renaissance quarter, the Cavallino Widespread Museum, the Messapi archeological park and the MUSA University Museum. It is also a major agricultural center specializing in olive oil and wine, hence, numerous opportunities to experience the famed local wines and traditional cuisine.
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Nardò second largest town in the region, takes the concept of sustainability very seriously; it is built on local traditions that are especially manifest in food and wine as well as the arts and culture. The city’s monuments are characterized by different artistic styles representative of its long history. 
Gallipoli is on an island with ancient monuments, tiny streets, and churches surrounded by the pristine waters of the Ionian Sea.
Otranto is the eastern most city in Salento with magnificent sea views and monuments like Corigliano Castle and the Carpignano Byzantine Crypt.
Food and Wine experience Salento’s famed wines and traditional cuisine. Some local specialties: puccia, friseddhre, pittule, rustici, pasticciotti and sweets made ​​of almond paste, accompanied by the local wines: Negramaro, Primitivo and Malvasia.
Connect for Travel to Salento and the Puglia Region of Italy
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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Texas Small Towns near Dallas and Fort Worth


American Historic Small Towns Itineraries
Archer City Ennis Possum Kingdom Rainbow and Turkey
Archer City is located south of Wichita Falls that is the birthplace of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry. The town boasts a rare bookstore owned and operated by the author as well as the Royal Theater, featured in the book and film The Last Picture Show.
Ennis is south of Dallas and is renowned for its motorsport events and its Czech heritage; the world record drag racing speed of 333.95 mph was set on its drag strip, and the National Polka Festival is held here every year. The town’s most beautiful attraction is its gorgeous wildflower display each spring.
Possum Kingdom is a lake community West of Dallas/Fort Worth. The lake offers beautiful camping and water sports. In the evening, be on the lookout for possums.
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Rainbow is southwest of Dallas/Fort Worth. A rainbow spread across the sky when area residents gathered to name their community in the late 19th Century; hence, the name. Today, Rainbow is known for the fields of wildflowers that bloom there in springtime.

Turkey is northwest of Fort Worth in the Texas Panhandle. The town was the home of Bob Wills, famed swing musician, and hosts celebrations every spring, featuring a parade, a fiddling contest, cook-offs, and dancing. The old-timey general store Lacy Dry Goods has been in business since 1927.


Connect to Visit the Small Towns near Dallas and Fort Worth
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