Sunday, July 16, 2017

Philadelphia and the Delaware River Valley

River Walk and Bike Trails Food Wine Ale and Neighborhood Preservation
The Delaware River Valley is the metropolitan area centered on the city of Philadelphia, the region's major commercial, cultural, and industrial center. Among the many sights to take in when visiting the first capital of the United States: The Liberty Bell Center which houses the American Revolution’s defining symbol, the site of the meetings of Congress and the Constitutional Convention at the City Tavern in the Old City as well as Carpenters Hall. In Declaration House, visitors can see where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence and Independence Hall where it was signed.

Greater Philadelphia Transportation

The region’s excellent road and rail network make it the perfect location for a vacation or business trip to the Middle Atlantic States. Philadelphia International is a major airline hub with daily connections to North American destinations and from major European cities.

The River and the Environment
The Delaware River is comprised of 36 tributaries and flows 330 miles from New York to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to the Atlantic Ocean. It extends from the Catskill and Pocono mountain springs and streams flowing down to the Delaware Water Gap where steep slopes give way to gently rolling hills and sweeping valleys. Then, it stretches 134 miles from the Trenton falls to the mouth of the Delaware Bay read 
 Food Wine Ale Walk and Bike Trails
The Philadelphia Culinary Tradition was shaped by several ethnic groups. Cheesesteaks and soft pretzels are well known icons of this city and the 1970s saw a restaurant renaissance that is continuing into the 21st century. Food traditions include Pepper Pot, a soup of tripe, meat and vegetables from the Revolutionary War era and Snapper Soup a thick brown turtle soup served with sherry. Cheesesteaks, hoagies and roast pork sandwiches have helped Philadelphia become America’s sandwich city read
Neighborhood and Community Preservation
Lehigh Valley Historic Towns and Boroughs Allentown Bethlehem Easton Nazareth Hazleton Jim Thorpe Wilkes-Barre. A thriving town with roots in the iron industry, by 1829 Allentown expanded from a small Pennsylvania Dutch village of farmers and tradesmen to a center of commerce read
The Lehigh Valley Gave Birth to America’s Industrial Revolution
Bucks County is one of the three original counties created by William Penn in 1682. Bristol is the oldest town in Bucks County and the third oldest in Pennsylvania. It is the southern terminus of the D&L Trail characterized by coal yards, shipyards, warehouses and textile mills read
Chestnut Hill a beautiful award-winning neighborhood tucked into the northwest corner of Philadelphia. Renowned for its gardens, art and architecture, parks, shopping and dining, it is a lovely place to live or visit with many diverse, culturally enriching experiences. read
historic districts preservation and pirates
Delaware County and River Towns Marcus Hook’s historical significance comes from its identity as a maritime town. Originally a Lenape settlement, it became a New Sweden trading post in the 1640s with shipbuilding and fishing as early industries. The Hook was also a haven for pirates in the early 18th century and its market provided a place to sell plundered goods and re-supply for their next voyage read

Delco Outdoor Recreation and Family Activities
Linvilla Orchards - education and recreation Longwood Gardens - woodlands and gardens
John Heinz Wildlife Refuge Ridley Creek State Park - hiking and equestrian trails
Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation - a living museum & revolution era farm
Sesame Place - a theme park with rides and attractions
Wayne Lansdowne Historic Districts the Downtown Wayne 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 read
Chester County was established by William Penn in 1682, one of the first three counties in Pennsylvania; West Chester is the county seat. Other historic towns include Kennett Square, Oxford and Phoenixville. Each has its own unique agricultural, revolutionary and industrial histories read
New Castle and Wilmington Delaware founded by the Swedes and Finns in 1638, later acquired by the Dutch in 1655 and the British in 1739, Wilmington was the last stop to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Today it offers a rich performing arts scene, great museums. local wineries and breweries read

Your Connection to Philadelphia and the Delaware River Valley
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Typical Foods of Cilento

olive oil lentils chickpeas truffles artichokes figs bread wine and mozzarella
Olive Oil 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.
Olive Oil is Cultivated Everywhere in Italy with 23 DOP and 1 IGP Denominations
In Cilento, it is cultivated on the hills and by the sea, blending harmoniously with other species in the territory. As one of the pillars of the Mediterranean Diet, extra-virgin olive oil is present in virtually all the dishes of this area. Among its benefits is the lack of physical and chemical manipulations as it is simply extracted by pressing the olives. It is the only oil produced by a fruit as opposed to a seed.
Legumes were introduced only from the 10th Century, thereby making a gradual contribution to the welfare of the population, increasing resistance to disease and thereby aiding in the repopulation of Europe. 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 in size in just a few centuries.
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 and especially the cucina povera.
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.
Cickpeas 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.
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The Black Truffle has found a perfect habitat in the beech woods in harmony with oak trees, birch, hazel trees and black pine. It can be found in different areas of central and southern Italy, including the Picentini mountains that cut across Avellino and Salerno provinces. It has had its place for nearly two thousand years in the more culturally sophisticated gastronomy, appreciated for its unique aroma. It has been found in sizes approaching that of a grapefruit and acts as an environmental guard as it refuses to grow in polluted terrain.
Artichokes the Paestum plain is famous for its abundant and quality production of fruits and vegetables. Aside from tomatoes, lettuce, fennel and zucchini, artichokes are very important. Originally a plant of the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, artichokes have become economically important in the Cilento region from the 1920s following major land reclamation.
The White Fig its Cilentano origins precede the 6th Century BC but its roots are from Southern Arabia. This fruit started as the poor man's bread but today it is considered a delicacy. Dry figs are also stuffed with chocolate, fennel seeds, almonds, chestnuts and other ingredients available in Cilento.
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.
The Greeks Developed 72 varieties of Bread whereas the Romans Improved on Windmills
Wine is by its very nature the opposite of an industrial product that never varies; it is different from area to area and is subject to climactic conditions. It also evolves, matures and declines over time.
There is no Such Thing as Biological Wine Only Biological Grapes
Mozzarella the domestic water buffalo originated from India and Persia. 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. In Cilento, mozzarella was received with great pleasure by the nobility while on the Grand Tour to Pompeii and Paestum. They were served the provatura of the buffalo cheese, a test to verify the salt content. The word mozzarella comes from mozzata or cutting.
Mozzarella di Bufala is Recognized with a DOC Label in Italy and a DOP Label in Europe
Mozzarella is produced exclusively with buffalo milk, mostly in Campania and Southern Lazio, in four distinct phases: acidification of the milk; maturation; preparation and conservation.
Your Connection to Cilento and South Italy
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 Information and Reservation
Travel Duration 3 nights and 4 days. Group Size Minimum 4, Maximum 50 persons.
Cost/Person/Day Euro 245 for adults age 19 to 64 Euro 195 for seniors 65+ and children under 18.
Information for Booking First and Last Name, Passport Number, Expiration date and Issuing country, Date of birth, Email address.
Included Travel between cities and states that are part of the itinerary, lunches and dinners, accommodations in double occupancy with breakfast for three nights, applicable local and state taxes, one-half day sightseeing events, local transport services.
Excluded Evening entertainment and transport to tour location start and from tour ending location.
Day/time Day to day programs and specific events at each location, as well as the sequence of the tour stops, will be finalized with the participation of the clients after details on family/group composition have been determined to take-into-account client priorities and preferences.
Reductions Children under the age of 18 and seniors over the age of 65 traveling with parents and/or guardians, staying in the same hotel room receive a 20 percent discount.