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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Main Streets and Historic Towns of the Brandywine Valley



Chester and Delaware County Pennsylvania Historic Small Towns and Districts
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.

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 19th century gristmill. Its unparalleled collection of works by three generations of Wyeths and its outstanding collection of American illustration, still-life, and landscape paintings make it a mecca for art lovers from all over the world.
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's alliance hosts exhibits, shows and events, farmers markets offer local foods and wares, and charming coffee and tea shops.
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.
Experiential Tourism 
on Main Streets and Historic Towns of the Brandywine Valley

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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.
Delaware County Pennsylvania
The Chadds Ford Historic District includes 17 buildings in Chadds Ford village. Notable buildings include the Chads Ford Inn (1807-1810), Merchant Mill (1864), a row of houses built between 1840 and 1850, the bridge across Brandywine Creek, and the Christian C. Sanderson Museum. Located in the district are the separately listed Chad House and N. C. Wyeth House and Studio.
Downtown Wayne Historic District is a national historic district and located in Radnor Township. The district includes approximately 100 properties roughly bounded by Louella Ct., West Ave., and S. Wayne Ave. Amongst the buildings is the Anthony Wayne Theatre designed in Italian Renaissance style and built around 1864.
North Wayne Historic District is a national historic district located in Wayne north of the Wayne Historic Business District. The district includes 190 buildings in a residential area of Wayne. The contributing dwellings were built between 1881 and 1925, and include notable examples of Shingle Style and Colonial Revival architecture. The district also reflects suburban development in the late-19th century as it was a major component of a large, planned, railroad commuter suburb called "Wayne Estate." It is also located north of the South Wayne Historic District.
Lansdowne Park Historic District includes 103 buildings; the majority are residences. Eighty-one of the houses were built between 1889 and 1891, with Queen Anne as the dominant architectural style. The remaining houses were built between 1899 and 1913 and include notable examples of the Dutch Colonial Revival and Georgian Revival styles. The oldest house is the Dickenson Farmstead, a 2½-story dwelling built in 1732 and expanded in 1790.A notable non-residential building located in the district is St. John's Episcopal Church (1901); it closed in 2009.
Lansdowne Theatre is a historic theatre building located in Lansdowne, Delaware County. It was built in 1927, and consists of a two-story front section with street level shops and offices above, and a 1400 seat auditorium. It was designed by noted theater architect William Harold Lee (1884-1971) and is in the Spanish Revival style. It recently received a new marquee and is in the process of being restored.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Experience Naples its Hidden Architectural and Historical Treasures



Discover the lesser known and the many unknown architectural and historical treasures of this nearly three thousand year old city. Experience breathtaking views while kayaking around Naples Bay. Refresh yourself in a hilltop urban vineyard. Inspired by “Napoli insolita e segreta” by Valerio Ceva Grimaldi, texts by Maria Franchini and photos by Fernando Pisacane.



Architectural Treasures the Naples Chamber of Commerce and Stock Exchange dates from 1899. The neo-renaissance style building features maritime and other commerce motifs.
The Lands Register Hall in the State Archives building dates back to 1845. It was built in the 16th century over the remains of the 10th century Benedectine monastery. Documents include volumes dealing with a one of the first effort at managing fiscal reform in Europe.
A Hotel du Charme in the city’s most elegant quarter is now the home of what once was a house of ill repute which became illegal in Italy in 1958. The tariff schedule for services is still on display along with other aspects of the building’s interiors that were restored with the color schemes of the previous occupant and the names of the ladies that worked here on the rooms’ doors.



A Pagoda by the Sea can be visited on the premises of neo Palladian Villa Doria in the Posillipo quarter of Naples. This is where Wagner completed his Parsifal. The wood and masonry pagoda was utilized as a tea room for the noble owners and their guests. Located in the English garden of the villa, it still features the three bronze bells which ring with the wind.



Underground Wonder in 1853 the Bourbon king Ferdinand II commissioned an underground viaduct that was dug entirely with manual labor, hammers and wedges. The tuff network connected the royal palace with the port area and the city center. During World War II, the 431 meter tunnel was utilized as a bomb shelter for nearly 10 thousand people.




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Libraries Museums and Archives the Bank of Naples has largest archive in the world, 336 rooms in two palazzi, that hold valuable historic and bank records dating back to the 16th century.




The University of Naples was founded in 1224 by King Frederic II and is the oldest secular and public institution in the world. It features two cloisters, one by Vanvitelli, and the Royal Museum of Mineralogy, founded in 1801, with over 25 thousand finds hosted in the Jesuit Library chambers.
The Pharmacy of the Incurables dates back to the 16th century. Its two halls are richly decorated and feature all the health and wellness cures and remedies in vogue in that period. Particularly noteworthy is the ceiling that presents a scene of the Trojan War with the warrior and medical expert of the day Macaone tending to Achilles’ wounds.




A Musical Archive in 1888, Count Lucchesi Palli donated an archive to the Italian State comprising 30 thousand volumes, including operas, dramas, comedies and newspapers. The collections has since expanded to include letters and other documents by Giuseppe Verdi, Salvatore di Giacomo, Raffaele Viviani and a collection of no less than 25 thousand Neapolitan songs.


  
Kayaking in Naples Bay a leisurely row along a coastline dotted with neoclassical villas, roman archeological ruins and small landings immersed in the Mediterranean maquis with the Vesuvius as backdrop for this fairytale setting. And nearby,
The Borgo of Marechiaro home of the famous finestrella, features a small port, the
Gaiola protected area and two small islands connected by a small bridge.