Monday, February 19, 2018

Social Networking, Southern Italian Style!

family travel Italy small towns Naples
A travel client from my home town of Philadelphia visited for the first time the place in Southern Italy where his parents came from; he was accompanied on the trip by 14 family members spanning three generations.
One of the objectives of the trip was to find and meet his relatives and, over the course of several months, we inquired without success by phone and in person with the local officials of this small town to identify these relations. We were told to seek additional documentation such as marriage certificates to speed-up the search, which we did, but without results.
When our client finally arrived in the town, he went to the municipality where he was promptly invited to return in the afternoon. More of the same! While waiting to return, he and several family members decided to go to a nearby restaurant; here, over a leisurely Southern Italian lunch, he explained his predicament to the host who volunteered to accompany him to his afternoon appointment as well as ask around regarding his relatives.
At the town hall, prompted by the restaurant owner it was finally revealed that most paper records were lost in a flood some years back! Meanwhile, the informal Southern Italian style search quickly paid off as a few relatives where identified and contacted. It turns out the family house in the town was in the same neighborhood as the restaurant and the town hall - a small town and a small world!
When my patient and savvy client recounted this experience and how his family went on to have a pleasant stay getting together on numerous occasions with the local family members, I said to myself all is well that ends well; but there is more to this story.
I have heard this happen over and over in Italy and elsewhere; it once happened to me too in Naples when a shopkeeper left a store full of customers and personally escorted me to one of those impossible to find addresses in the old quarter of the city. When I reminded him of his store full of customers, he just shrugged and replied that they could wait!
What is it about these people! Why are they so gracious and attentive in these times of unreturned calls and emails, unresponsive bureaucrats and others who think they can “app” their way around town and life?
I can think of several reasons; they all revolve around words and themes such as respect, responsibility, values and culture. You are cordially invited to post your views and true stories on communities, travel and related topics.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Travel Themes for Family and Group Vacations in US Main Streets and Historic Districts

Consider spending your next vacation in Small Town USA Main Streets and Historic Districts.

Knowledge Tourism brings together local customs, values and traditions with travel management expertise to increase your knowledge of the places you visit, with:

Itineraries especially designed for your vacationing family or group and visits to:
Museums that disclose the archaeological and historic heritage of a community, leverage conservation and the rediscovery of local culture through the arts, history, literature and architecture, preserve biodiversity and the cultures associated with agricultural, coastal and river communities.
Local Food Wineries and Breweries with local, quality food, wine and beer production. This, in turn, has spawned a demand for nightlife and weekend amenities for local citizens and out of town visitors.
experience a unique local atmosphere in historic and sustainable settings
Public Transport Initiatives itineraries that include major 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 travel efficiently, safely and affordably across the United States.
Resources and the Environment study the efforts of communities in the forefront of water conservation and other environmentally sustainable practices; meet local stewards of the environment who will explain their policies, programs and best management practices in wastewater and watershed management, land conservation, recycling and energy efficient systems.
Industry and Commerce Itineraries from agriculture and Industry to services and sustainability.
Visit communities transitioning from traditional industrial and commercial activities to technologically innovative ones.

Knowledge Tourism subscribes to the notion that the best way to travel is in the company of people who live and work in the places you visit. So, if you are planning a trip, reach out for a no obligation travel plan.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wilmington and New Castle Delaware Culture Trails

family entertainment underground railroad house museum wineries and breweries
Wilmington is strategically positioned to reach other points of interest in the middle Atlantic region of the United States. Located midway between New York City and Washington, D.C., this city is:
30 minutes from Philadelphia
90 minutes to downtown Baltimore, Maryland
60 minutes from Lancaster, South Central Pennsylvania and Amish Country
less than 2 hours away from Delaware's Atlantic Ocean beaches

Founded by the Swedes and Finns in 1638, and later acquired by the Dutch in 1655 and the British in 1739, today Wilmington offers a rich performing arts scene including theater, symphony, opera, ballet, rock, jazz, folk and family entertainment. It is also home to many celebrated ethnic events, music festivals and special performances at local wineries and breweries.

The Christina Riverfront is one of many reasons for making Wilmington your home away from home while exploring the culture trail; cruise in a water taxis or stroll the landscaped Riverwalk. Wilmington was the last stop to freedom on the Underground Railroad; the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park is named for Railroad Conductor Harriett Tubman and Stationmaster Thomas Garrett. The Riverfront Market offers delicious specialty foods, fresh produce, flowers and much more from a variety of vendors.
shopping, dining and entertainment are tax free here!
The First Stop along the Culture Trail focuses on the History of the First State!
The Delaware History Museum is located in a renovated art-deco Woolworth store in the historic district and features three galleries of changing interactive exhibits on Delaware history, including displays of rare items of everyday life, costumes, children's toys, regional decorative arts, and paintings.
Old Town Hall built in 1798-1800, it functioned as a center of political and social activities in Wilmington's mercantile-milling economy. Today it is owned by the Delaware Historical Society and is used for exhibits and special events. The Delaware Historical Society is celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2014.

 Wilmington, New Castle 
and the Delaware Culture Trails

Willingtown Square consists of six historic houses relocated into an urban park in 1976.Not far away are the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, the First USA Riverfront Arts Center, and the Wilmington train station.

The Research Library is tasked with collecting and preserving Delaware materials for over 135 years, the Society has a rich and varied collection of books, ephemera, newspapers, serials, maps, manuscripts and photographs relating to the history of Delaware and its people. 

Read House is in nearby historic New Castle, one of the oldest towns and a National Historic Landmark District. The 22 room, 14,000 square-foot, mansion features new technologies of the time including elaborate hot-air roasting ovens and steam tables in the kitchen. Carefully restored and furnished in 1986 using extensive documentation, Read House ranks among the best house museums in the country. In addition, a tour may include: costumed interpreters, open-hearth cooking demonstrations, walking tours of New Castle. Read House & Gardens was named an American Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service.