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Roadtripping

Four Mobile Apps for Finding Great Roadside Stops

Planning a great road trip might start considerations like a final destination on a specific arrival date, but why not add some roadside kitsch and history along the way? My philosophy is that the journey is an equally-important part of the vacation. #TravelSlow #ConnectDeep. Mobile apps and push notifications Mobile apps …

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Lazio Italy by Motorcycle: Civita di Bagnoregio “the town that is dying”

Approach to Civita

Orvieto’s morning air delights my soul, encouraging me not to think about the tour’s end in the afternoon. Instead I remind myself to wring joy and memories out of its last day. The itinerary that our guide Enrico Grassi planned helps us all do just that, starting with Civita di Bagnoregio. Etruscans …

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Appalachian Coal Heritage Tourism: Yes, This is Important

This week in my TV interview, I highlighted some “Coal Heritage Tourism Sites” in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky, where the mining industry provided not only income, also a way of life to its workers and extended communities. Why is this important and interesting? Why in the world would you …

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Umbria by Motorcycle: Lake Corbara Towns

Giuseppe Garibaldi statue in Todi, Italy

Everyone in Italy parks scooters and motorbikes chockablock. No matter how much chrome or how many farkles a bike is adorned with, I never saw an incident of I’m-too-special-and-my-bike’s-too-precious-to-share-a-parking-space behavior. If there is enough space to mount and dismount, that’s sufficient; share the space.   Our Orvieto parking lot is right …

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Umbria Italy by Motorcycle: Orvieto’s Etruscans

Boar's head at Norcineria Dai Fratelli

The Umbria town of Orvieto sits atop a plateau of tufa rock—consolidated volcanic ash that we would call “tuff” in English. The rock was thrown from the large crater that is now Lake Bolsena, which we visited four days ago. Our home base for the next two days is Altarocca Wine Resort. …

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Tuscany Italy by Motorcycle: Crete Senesi and Pienza

Italy's Etruscan Chianina

There’s nothing like a few days in Italy to turn even a fast-food junkie into a foodie. Italians are proud of their culinary heritage and my tour guide, Enrico Grassi is a goodwill ambassador of all things cultural and gastronomical in the boot-shaped country. Even scenic pullovers are an opportunity for …

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Tuscany Italy by Motorcycle: Siena

Siena's duomo campanile

Awake once more at dawn in my 400-year-old room, I’m eager to get into Siena. The shimmering city on three hills that has been enticing us from the infinity pool at Podere la Strega is now on our agenda. Our guide Enrico will lead an optional ride in the afternoon, …

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Italy by Motorcycle: Negotiating with a Greve in Chianti Shopkeeper

The "gallo nero" (black cockerel) is everywhere in the Chianti region. This one is in the Piazza Matteotti.

After leaving San Gimignano we head to Greve in Chianti, the birthplace of Giovanni da Verrazzano. He is famous for being the first  European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between Florida and Newfoundland, and for discovering the New York Bay in 1524. This discovery is why the bridge …

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Tuscany Italy by Motorcycle: San Gimignano

werewolf at the torture museum

I awake on the third day of my tour in a 17th-century country house and it occurs to me that human beings have been conceived, born, lived, and died in this very room for over 400 years. The walls are freshly-painted plaster, their yellow hue the perfect shade for the faint early morning …

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Appalachian Music Trails: Destinations in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Music stage at Floyd General Store, Floyd, VA

Music is an easy way to celebrate Appalachian culture. All American music can be traced to Appalachia. That’s where the cultural blend of European and African musical and rhythmic forms came together. Everything from jazz, old-time country music and Dixieland, to Cajun, soul, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll, is a product of Appalachia’s cultural fusion. …

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