Travel Guide

Cities and Towns

To list them all would be impossible, so we decided to pick just a few of the cities that we are certain will amaze your with their vibrant life, history, warmth, culture and attractions. New York above all, of course, but also San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, through Chicago to Seattle…discover the allure of the major US cities

Mappa Città

That shiny glamour

United States wouldn’t be what it is without these shiny big cities and their unique traits. The Golden Gate in San Francisco, steam from manholes in New York, Los Angeles hills, Vegas lights, Miami Beach sand or the lakefront in the windy city of Chicago.

Big, messy, chaotic and often noisy, but full of ideas and activities and definitely fascinating, thanks, among other things, to a myriad of movies and books filmed or set on their streets.

Our advice is to enjoy them as much as you can, trying to go beyond the classic monuments but also trying to catch a show, a concert or one of our theme tours!

Their power lies in the fact they are so familiar

New York

The city that still, after all these years, never sleeps.

It would be impossible to describe New York City in just a few lines – you can’t even begin to grasp the mix of cultures, people, arts, flavors and aromas that make it the most unique city in the world, one that keeps changing and somehow always manages to draw millions of tourists from all over the world. New York is unique and it keeps surprising the visitors with its different and distinctive neighborhoods, food that, just like the inhabitants, comes from all over the world, its music and its night life, but also with its famous museums and numerous art galleries – it’s really difficult to get bored here.
The city is divided into five big boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. Manhattan, with its skyscrapers, is the most famous and the most densely populated borough that can really be defined as the center of the city. Queens is the biggest and the most multi-cultural borough and Brooklyn is the one that draws artists and new trends. The Bronx is the only mainland borough and home of the Yankees while Staten Island is a small, scarcely populated isle in the bay in front of Manhattan.
No matter where you go this city will amaze you and make you feel like you are on a set of a movie. Enjoy the people, the places, parks and art spaces. Get lost in the streets of the West Village or sip a beer in one of the many bars in Williamsburg or Lower East Side, get lost in the sea of people on the Fifth Avenue or relax in the Central Park greenery. Let the emotions carry you, because New York will bring you many of those!
We recommend at least a three-night stay in order to get the real taste of this metropolis and we invite you to visit your website dedicated to New York where you will find more detailed information.

immagine

Miami

A vibrant metropolis, excellent climate and blue sea: Welcome to Miami

Miami is a city that has so much to offer besides its beautiful beaches. Here you will find excellent bars and restaurants, fashion ateliers, music festivals, very interesting art galleries and museums and entire areas dedicated to design. All this comes with a vibe decisively more relaxed than anywhere else in America and, of course, not to forget, a marvellous climate all year round!
Miami is located on the mainland while Miami Beach lays some 6km to the East, on a stretch of land separated from the mainland. Miami Beach has all the prettiest beaches and the most popular area for the tourists, whether we are talking day or night, is certainly South Beach, the southern portion of Miami Beach. Here you will find the highest concentration of art deco buildings in the world! Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue are the two most famous streets in this area and it’s also where all the most famous hotels, bars, shops and restaurants are located.
Miami Art Museum (MAM) is one of the main attractions in Downtown Miami, while art galleries, showrooms, design stores and hundreds of walls painted by artists from all over the world are what makes the neighborhood of Wynwood so popular among those who find themselves in Miami for a couple of days. It is a young , dynamic neighbourhood and a good alternative to those who don’t just want to spend days between the beach and South Beach bars and who want to discover this area that recently recreated itself and became seat of the important art show Miami Art Basel, which is held every year in December.
From Miami, you can take one-day or several-day trips to Key West, Key Biscayne and the Everglades park.
The climate is mild in the winter, spring and autumn are warm but we recommend you avoid September unless you want to find yourself in the middle of a hurricane!

immagine

Boston

Unlike any other, more elegant, more cultured, more...Boston!

You probably have already heard all about Boston being “the most European of all American cities” and, in fact, that is precisely the feeling you get after spending a few days in Boston. Even though somewhat constrained and more intimate, it is one of the American cities with the oldest tradition, as well as home to some of the most famous colleges and universities in the world, such as MIT and Harvard, the oldest university in the country.
Boston is a city of culture, youth, order, but also a city that is always open for artistic innovation. The principal city zones are located around a central park called Boston Common and you can reach more or less all of them on foot. That’s another advantage of this city – all the main attractions are in the central areas, within a walking distance from each other.
The elegant Beacon Hill and Downtown with its centralized location contain dozens of tourist spots, such as Quincy Market, State House and many 17th century buildings. Narrow streets of North End, which is populated by Italian immigrants, make for a beautiful walk before you move to elegant Black Bay with its refined dwellings.
Then there is Chinatown and its restaurants, the Waterfront with a marvellous aquarium and buildings completely transformed into lofts and showrooms, the South End with its rows of Victorian houses, galleries and neighbourhood cafés.
The neighbourhood of Fenway is home to two Boston institutions that deserve your attention: the wonderful Museum of Fine arts and the Fenway Park, the oldest baseball stadium in the United States and home of the famous Boston Red Sox. Finally, there is Cambridge that houses two of the world’s most prestigious schools – MIT and Harvard University that attract tens of thousands of students.
All in all, if you are planning a trip to the East Coast, be sure to spend a couple of days in Boston…but if you don’t want to freeze, we suggest you to come from late spring to early autumn!

immagine

Chicago

The Windy City (and home of Al Capone) will steal your heart

You will like this city, we are sure of that. Chicago, with its skyscrapers facing the lake so big it looks like a sea (and Lake Michigan has actual beaches), will not leave you indifferent!
Chicago is a multi-ethnic city with Mexican, Italian, Arab, Polish and Vietnamese neighborhoods with great food and beautiful walks, not to mention numerous establishments with live music every day, from rock to jazz and from blues to electronic music. In 1885 the first skyscraper in the world was built in Chicago and until 2014 it was the highest one in America. The only building higher than the Sears Tower is One World Trade Center in New York, built on the ashes of the old Twin Towers.
It is the city of Al Capone and his gangsters of the 1920’s Prohibition but also the starting point of the most famous American road, the historic Route 66!
The area called Loop, named after the circuit of elevated railroad that surrounds it, is the center of Chicago. This is where you will find tourists, shops and crowded theaters. Do not miss the beautiful collection of the Art Institute, treat yourself to a cruise of the river with the splendid view of gorgeous buildings such as the Monadnock, and then relax in Grant Park, the huge public garden located between the Loop and Lake Michigan, where you will find Frank Gehry’s famous silver bandshell!
Next, go beyond the Loop, to the north towards the Magnificent Mile, the upscale shopping area, to the Lincoln Park, South Loop, Old Town and beyond. Like we already said, Chicago will amaze you and it will leave you wanting for more…be careful with timing, though: winter months are known for snowstorms, ice-cold wind and the frozen lake.

immagine

New Orleans

Welcom to NOLA...or, as locals call it, in the Big Easy!

We almost envy the person who’s never been to New Orleans...because he or she is about to visit a fantastic, one-of-a-kind city, a little piece of the Caribbean in the American territory mixed with a typically European touch.
The atmosphere, people, contagious joy, captivating music and cuisine that is a mix of African and Caribbean influences make this Louisiana city a must see for everyone traveling the South, and not just during the famous Mardi Gras (the marvellous New Orleans carnival).
New Orleans was created as a French outpost in 1781, when it served as a commercial port for slave trade but we prefer to remember it as the birthplace of Jazz in the early 1900. The historical center and the most famous point of city between the Mississippi river and the Lake Pontchartrain is the French Quarter (Vieux Carrè), but you shouldn’t skip the gorgeous neighbourhood of Garden District and the alternative Faubourg Marigny. The French Quarter of New Orleans is, however, the most picturesque and attractive part of the city: low buildings, wrought iron balconies, cobblestone streets, jazz bars, voodoo shops and restaurants serving delicious Cajun cuisine under the Creole influence, based on fish and seafood. This part of the city, being slightly elevated compared to the others, was the only one that survived the fury of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding from the Lake Pontchartrain, a disaster that caused great loss of lives and cut the city population in half, as many people fled the area and never came back.
New Orleans has since managed to leave this tragedy behind and went back to being a tourist place per excellence, especially during the enchanting, exaggerated and fun carnival of Mardi Gras. This over-the-top party that involves the entire city is something that, once you experience it, you can never forget.
Stop making plans of visiting New Orleans, just go and you won’t be sorry: the city motto is “Enjoy Life” and that’s exactly what you will be doing, with all the live music, gastronomy and the Caribbean atmosphere…just be prepared for a bit of hot and humid weather!

immagine

Austin

The Live Music capital!

Considered by many to be the New York of the South, Austin will surprise you with its youthful, alternative vibe!
Although located in the very heart of Texas, the mentality of this place is quite different from the conservative spirit of the rest of the state. Just talk to the eclectic local population about politics, technology, music or current events and you’ll see for yourself. Austin is a city to live in, rather than to just visit: in fact, one of the things that makes it so special, apart obviously from certain museums and architectural points of interest, is the optimistic, positive spirit of the people living in it.
Here you can attend two of the America’s most famous festivals: South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits, both of which are an absolute must for fans of live music. Speaking of which, live music is the true ruler of Austin, and not just during festivals, but throughout the year as well – there are live concerts here every night, which is why some call the city “the live music capital of the world”!
A green, bike-friendly city full of art shows, over the last few years Austin managed to change, rejuvenate and grow, thanks, among other things, to tax cuts for those who want to move and work in the city.
The alternative, independent spirit of the city can also be found in the famous food trucks, which serve food and local and international dishes: we’re not talking about shabby little trucks with suspicious-looking food, here in Austin the true culinary excellence is found after waiting in lines in front of these trucks: we particularly recommend delicious meat in BBQ sauce smoked to perfection!
If you are planning a trip to Texas, don’t forget to include Austin in addition to San Antonio and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

immagine

Las Vegas

The entertainment capital of the world keeps getting brighter and is waiting for you!

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. There has to be a reason, or at least there was one, for this city motto. Once called Sin City, Las Vegas was, in the past decades, the haven for all things prohibited: prostitution, betting and gambling were its main attractions but this city in the middle of the Nevada desert has changed and today it draws families and groups of friends looking to party, with its infinite choice of entertainment. From theatre and Cirque du Soleil productions to box matches and star-chef restaurants, spa centers and parties with the most famous DJs in the world. Obviously, this sparkly place of lights and colors still attracts those looking for forbidden pleasures but at prices that keep growing, because now the focus is on the shows and entertainment aiming towards families and younger audiences. Las Vegas has changed and it keeps changing…but it seems it’s definitely doing it right, considering the ever-growing number of tourists and revenue: every year, the old is torn down to make place for the new, and the city skyline is changing very quickly. Along the main avenue, the famous Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) you will find all the casino hotels, side by side, like some giants making sure tourists are spending as much as possible. Here you will find everything, from the tackiest replicas of Venice, Paris and New York, to more recent and sophisticated hotels with prestigious restaurants and clubs. All of them have a huge casino inside and each is unique in its own way. In addition to making a long walk down the Strip and enjoying everything the new and shiny Las Vegas has to offer, we also recommend the Downtown, where the old Las Vegas is. The atmosphere is pleasant and retro, and everything is cheaper: Freemont Street is the main one and in the evening it makes a gorgeous sight with all the lights. Finally, don’t forget the museum of neon lights and old casino signs. It is truly a unique place!

immagine

Los Angeles

The City of Angels, the largest city in the USA

If you’ve never been there before, Los Angeles (or LA, as the locals call it) will amaze you with its enormous size. There are only a few skyscrapers and they are all located in Downtown LA, and the rest of the urban area is mostly low rises as far as the eye can see, forming an urban conglomerate that has it all: the richest and the poorest people in the United States, the most refined and the most crude, all mixed together in dangerous neighborhoods, super-rich areas, beaches from TV shows, luxurious villas and decrepit houses.
Los Angeles is all that and much more. It’s the Hollywood cinema, girls in bikinis, nightmarish traffic, pursuit of fame…when you are here, it feels like you’re in a movie!
Considering that LA is one of those cities that you get to know best by living in them, rather than just visiting, in order to get the most of its crazy vibe we suggest you make a trip (a day trip, since in the evening it’s not much to see) to the Downtown area, with museums and a mix of history and arty atmosphere.
Hollywood and West Hollywood dominate the northern section of the city. That’s where you will find all the shops, restaurants and trendy bars. Located nearby are Beverly Hills, Westwood and Bel Air, neighborhoods that only the absolute elite can call their home, considering the insane real estate prices. However, a quick visit is mandatory, if nothing, then to check out the house of your favorite actor or musician. From there, take the famous Sunset Boulevard all the way to the ocean because, yes, the Atlantic coastline in Los Angeles stretches for dozens of miles.
Santa Monica is perhaps the most famous LA beach, very exclusive and ideal for families and kids; Venice is extravagant and eccentric, with open-air gyms and the shops, Malibu is very posh and almost off-limits to mere mortals, unlike Hermosa, Redondo and Huntington Beach, where you will find the atmosphere is more easy going.
Of course, you can’t go to Los Angeles without visiting the Studios: we recommend Universal, Warner Bros, Paramount and Sony Pictures.
Finally, before you leave, take the Mulholland Drive and go to the Griffith Observatory Park, where you will find an astronomic observatory on top of the hills overlooking Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The view from here is stunning, especially in the evening.
Oh, and let’s not forget – the weather is perfect all year round!

immagine

San Francisco

A gorgeous city, a gem among big American cities

With its amazing geographic position, this city was born and grew in order to accommodate the first gold diggers who came to the West in the second half of the 1900s, and today it is a benchmark in technology, free speech and civil rights.
Let’s not beat around the bush – San Francisco is simply marvellous. It’s a place whre you can spend days and days without ever getting bored. It feels amazing to simply surrender yourself to this city and its bay, whether we are talking about tourists or those lucky enough to live in it. The city has been struck by numerous earthquakes throughout its history (being located in the center of a very active seismic zone), as well as fires that have razed it to the ground, but it always knew how to rise back up again, how to grow and become first a symbol of rebellion and then of the avant-garde.
Drugs and psychedelic culture flourished during the Summer of Love in the ‘60s and ‘70s; the struggle for rights of the LGBT community marked the 1980s, and the following decade was saw the dot-com boom, when the small businesses started the digital revolution of the world, with first computers and software, all the way to the current apps and biotechnology.
The central part of San Francisco is just the right size, you can check it out on foot or using public transport (including the gorgeous wooden Cable Cars): Market Street, Union Square, Civic Center, the huge and evocative Chinatown, the skyscrapers of the Financial District, North Beach made famous by the Beat Generation, Nob Hill and the steep Lombard Street, Fisherman Wharf where you can eat crab and watch sea lions, the theaters of Tenderloin, the gay neighbourhood of Castro, SoMa museums, the hippy and alternative vibe of Haight Ashbury…and let’s not forget Marina, Japantown, Mission.
All in all, here’s a piece of advice: stay as long as you can in San Francisco, you won’t regret it.
Finally, the red and majestic Golden Gate, the fascinating and mysterious Alcatraz and beautiful surroundings – a few chilometers from the city you can take a walk in Muir Woods, have lunch in the village of Sausalito, watch the city from the Twin Peaks hills or sip some exquisite Californian wine directly from the wine makers in Sonoma and Napa!
San Francisco is a wonder that should be experienced in one breath.

immagine

Seattle

Music, nature, excellent beer and new technologies

The most common error that you should try to avoid is to consider Seattle as a city of secondary importance in the USA: this city is an evolving wonder, a mix between Portland and Vancouver in Canada, a benchmark for the Pacific American Northwest.
No longer a place just for computer nerds and grunge fans, Seattle today is much more than that, as it made the passage from industry and smokestacks to glass skyscrapers and areas repurposed for arts. It is a city full of companies working in the social media business and it is famous for its excellent university, beautiful and distinctive neighborhoods, the tremendous support for eco-sustainable activity and work and, above all, for its people: bohemians, artists, musicians, students, web professional and street artists. Mount Rainier towers behind Seattle with its 4400 meters and servers as symbol of the city which in the 1990s became the birthplace of an entire musical genre, the grunge, with the rebellious and talented Kurt Cobain as its most prominent representative.
When in Seattle, don’t miss Pioneer Square and its oldest neighbourhood, the kaleidoscopic and eclectic crowd at the Pike Place Market, the Belltown area, avant-garde theaters, ethnic shops and live music bars on Capitol Hill, vintage shops and art galleries in Freemont, the university area U District and the quiet atmosphere of Ballard. If you want to see them all from way up high and check the symbol of the city at the same time, then go up the Space Needle , a futuristic structure built in 1962, with a panoramic platform near the top.
The best time to visit Seattle is between May and early October – the rest of the year is a bit cold, although these landscapes under snow have a unique appeal.

immagine

Atlanta

Symbol of the ever-changing South

The city of the famous movie Gone with the Wind and home of Martin Luther King, Atlanta started its rise in 1900s as one of the world business centers and peaked in 1996 when the city hosted the Summer Olympics.
It is precisely for the 1996 Olympics that the Centennial Olympic Park was built: it is an oasis of peace in the center of the city, with paths, meadows and open-air public events throughout the year. We recommend the Fountain of Rings, a fountain consisting of five Olympic rings with 250 water jets that reach up to 10m in the air, in an exceptional spectacle of light and music. The park also hosts the Georgia Aquarium, with the largest-capacity tank in the world, the Ocean Voyager with 24 million litres of water.
When you visit Atlanta, you simply cannot miss the World of Coca-Cola, a museum dedicated entirely to the world’s most popular beverage. In the museum, you get the chance to taste 60 different Coca-Cola types sold all over the world, but also to discover the ingredients that have been kept a secret for years and to admire numerous works of art that the great artists have dedicated to the famous beverage, such as Andy Warhol or Normal Rockwell.
If you’re a big TV fan, take a tour of the CNN seat, one of the most famous television stations in the world. You can participate in a simulated news program and visit the studios where the shows are made!
In addition, as we have already hinted, Atlanta is an important city for Afro-American history. Here you can find Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, a museum dedicated to the history of Martin Luther King with photos, videos and other memorabilia. In front of the museum you will find King’s tomb, which is still today a destination for some 3 million pilgrims. Finally, the neighbourhood of Auburn hosts his birth house, open for the public.
Another point of historic interest is certainly the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, north of the city. This complex contains a museum with relics from the Civil War and Southern pop-culture memorabilia, two historic houses and six gardens. A must-see!
A little less known, but certainly worthy is a walk along the Atlanta Beltline: a network of paths along an abandoned railroad, some 35km long. Pick the northern section of the beltline that crosses through the neighborhoods of Collier Hills and Admore Park and takes you to some of the strategic points for enjoying some truly unforgettable sights.
Atlanta is waiting!

immagine

Denver

The Mile - High City

Denver is certainly among the less sensational classic American cities, but this particular trait, a not so striking one, makes it a very interesting place for anyone in pursuit of authentic American life that often loses itself among the stereotypes of more famous US cities.
Born as a frontier city, today it is the state capital of Colorado.
To see the city, start at its epicenter: the Larimer Square, with its 20th century buildings, full of restaurants, craft beer pubs and all sorts of shops. From here, you can continue towards Lower Downtown or LoDo, a neighbourhood that is very vibrant both day and night, or head to the Capitol to discover the Victorian architecture that is typical of this area, with its beautiful brownstone houses with wooden shutters.
Once you reach State Capitol, very similar to the more famous one in Washington, D.C., climb the stairs ad stop at the 13th step: you will see a sign that marks the altitude od 1606m above sea level, or one mile: that’s why they call it the Mile-High City!
When you feel like taking a break, head to the City Park in the eastern section of the city. It’s a large park with ponds, sport areas and meadows where you can stretch out on. There is also a zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, both of which are very interesting, especially for children.
Another museum we recommend is the Denver Art Museum, a huge museum with one of the best collections of Native American art in the world!
As for the food, if you want to try something new, we recommend Buckorn Exchange, the oldest stakehouse in the city where you can try traditional dishes such as rattlesnake or elk.
Finally, when in Denver, you can’t miss the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, a gorgeous open-air amphitheatre on the hills, tucked in the middle of red rocks that are 70 million years old and 120m high. And, as if this attraction weren’t spectacular enough by itself, there is also a rich program of various world-renowned shows.

immagine

Detroit

The D: dark, but intriguing

Detroit is a mysterious city, with a dark and obscure side. But like all dark places, it’s also incredibly fascinating. Surely not a classic American city with bikini-clad girls and celebrities on every corner, but precisely thanks to that, this city hides something really unique.
Detroit, as many people say, is a city that has lived two completely contrasted lives: in the past, it was a progressive and innovative city per excellence, the 1929 crisis and the following decline proved unstoppable for the city, leading it to be the first ever major American city to file for bankruptcy, on July 23 2013, with a $18 billion hole in the budget.
The city is still trying to get back on its feet. It has certainly gotten up, but there is still a long way to go. The city streets exude this atmosphere of a difficult past and an uncertain future, and it is best seen in the artistic and music landscape which will certainly impress you.
Visit the Motown Museum and the old Hitsville USA, the place where Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder recorded their first musical breakthroughs; check out some of the many establisments playing live music of every genre, from jazz and blues to rock, such as the famous DTE Energy Music Theatre or Palace of Auburn Hills, or go to one of the many music festivals in Detroit.
While still in the artistic mood, visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the most beautiful museums in the world, hosting not only works by great artists of the last two centuries, such as Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh, but also the impressive murals from the The Detroit Industry series commissioned by Henry Ford and painted by the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera, representing the assembly line in a Ford factory.
If you feel like walking along the river, head to the Renaissance Center, a complex owned by General Motors in Downtown where you can admire some gorgeous old automobiles.
For something a little more special, check out the Heidelberg Project by the artist Tyree Guyton. We don’t want to reveal too much, so we’ll just say: polka-dotted streets. Curious?
Pack your bags and head to discover Detroit!

immagine

El Paso

The Tex-Mex city

Good, you’ve made it. If you are in El Passo, you’re officially in the westernmost part of the whole of Texas. Surrounded by New Mexico to the north and by Mexico to the south, this city is pressed between two states like a splinter. To this day, the city seems to have more in common with its Mexican neighbors than with its own state of Texas.
El Paso rises in front of the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, which is located just across the river. Once, the two cities were inseparably connected, with rivers of tourists going back and forth across what is today known as the Stanton Street Bridge, connecting two border cities across the Rio Bravo. Unfortunately, with the rise of organized crime and violence associated with drug trafficking, Juarez has become increasingly more dangerous and the relations with El Paso have turned sour.
But even if we exclude its twin city, El Paso has a lot to offer in itself. If you enjoy nature, here you can find the largest urban park in the United States, the Franklin Mountains State Park: with its 24,000 acres it offers numerous trails for trekking and walking or riding a bike. Another park you should visit is the Hueco Tanks State Historical Park. Famous for the graffiti left here by the ancient population, the park offers possibilities for climbing, walking, exploring the nature and the history of the place.
As for the weather, you don’t have to worry about anything: El Paso boasts 302 days of sunshine per year and that’s why it earned the nickname of Sun City.
From the cultural point of view, we recommend El Paso Art Museum with many permanent collections plus two temporary galleries with different exhibitions each month and, if you are passionate about history and religion, there is also the Mission Trail, a 9-mile trail that connects historic churches and old chapels, all of which are included in the National Registry of Historic Places.
Finally, remember that you can’t leave El Paso without having tried the famous enchiladas (attention, they are hot!) and without buying a pair of strictly hand-made cowboy boots in one of the many craft shops in the city.

immagine

Honolulu

Destination Paradise

Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii, located on the southeastern shore of the Oahu island, the most visited island of the archipelago. This island is home to almost 80% of the entire population of Hawaii, most of which is concentrated in the capital city.
Hawaii is a group of volcanic islands and represents the most isolated inhabited emerged land in the world! Just think it is located at 4000km from California!
Honolulu, in Hawaiian, means “sheltered harbor,” a name that derives from a village that sprung in one of the many natural ports in Hawaii.
Just as we imagine it, Honolulu is all about the sun, beach, surf, but also nature and history. The western part of the island hosts Mamala bay with splendid beaches, the most famous of which is Waikiki, a tropical paradise that attracts a vast portion of tourism on the island. The beach is equipped for every sort of water sports, from snorkelling to sailing and surfing.
Besides being famous for its amazing beaches, this island also has extraordinary nature you should explore. How? Just take one of the many trails just outside the city, leading across rich, verdant valleys to panoramic points offering breath-taking views.
But Honolulu offers even more: if you want to take a break, go to the Fort DeRussy Park, a green area where you can stretch down in the shadow and read a book or have a picnic with friends or family, using wooden tables and braziers available in the park.
History enthusiasts should not miss the US Army Museum or a trip to Pearl Harbour, where you can see an original battle ship in perfect condition and the USS Arizona Memorial, a commemorative monument to the victims of Pearl Harbour attack in 1941.
Make sure to visit Aliiolani Hale as well, a building located in downtown Honolulu, seat of the Hawaii Supreme Court. In the courtyard, you will find the famous statue, symbol of the city, representing the King Kamehameha the Great, the first king of Hawaii.
All in all, there’s so much to see in Honolulu...what are you waiting for?

immagine

Memphis

The birthplace of Rock’n’Roll

Probably one of the most famous cities in the American South, and you will know it by its music history: the birthplace of rock’n’roll and land of Elvis Presley, Memphis is also associated with names such as Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash and Isaac Hayes.
Starting from the west, the city limits are marked by the Mississippi river, the second-largest river in the United States. Here you will find miles of marks and green areas where you can relax and rest and the Mississippi river Museum will show you about the morphological and cultural history of the valley.
A bit to the east you will find the most touristy neighborhood of the city, with the famous Beale Street. A joyful mix of bars, restaurants, shops and neon signs that make this area a true blues park. We recommend the Orpheum Theater with the statue of Elvis, the Walk of Fame which, here in Memphis, is characterized by musical notes pressed in the concrete along the walk together with the names of great musicians, in line with the city history; the music fans should not miss the Memphis Rock’n’Soul Museum and the huge Gibson Beale Street Showcase that transforms large chunks of wood into world-famous Gibson guitars.
Graceland is a must-see for everyone: you can visit the home of Elvis, his grave and his collections of cars and airplanes. Finally, we recommend you make a stop at Sun Studio, where you can still hear original tapes of some of the cult recordings by great, internationally famed musicians.
A few blocks down south from Beale Street you will find the Lorraine Motel where, on April 4 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated. The motel now houses the National Civil Rights Museum and learn about the freedom efforts of African Americans and the promotion of equality for all in the United States.
As for the culinary tradition, you can’t say you know the South and especially Memphis if you haven’t tried some classic pulled pork. Cooked at extremely low temperatures and served with mouth-watering barbecue tomato sauce…a true must!
Among the Memphis eccentricities and quirks, we recommend Peabody Ducks: every morning a flock of five ducks parade on red carpet in a ceremonious manner to reach the big fountain in the foyer of a huge and luxurious hotel, the Peabody Hotel. Each evening the ceremony is repeated vice versa as the ducks make their way back, a tradition that has been going down in Memphis ever since 1932.
There are so many places to see and experience in Memphis...contact us and we will help you discover the multifaceted city of rock!

immagine

Nashville

Are you ready for Country Music?

As soon as you enter the city, you dive straight into its “Honky-Tonk” vibe that is so typical of Nashville. The capital of country music, where the roads bear names of music legends and there are country music bars everywhere.
The world-famous Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum reflects the importance of this genre for the city. Among many memorabilia, you can see Johnny Cash’s guitar and the Cadillac that belonged to Elvis; you can explore the history of this music genre, unbreakably connected with the Southern tradition, through photos and interactive screens or listening to the archive recordings from the Country Music Foundation.
If you are a fan, take a walk in the Music row, in Nashville’s West end, where you will find seats of many recording companies, promotion agencies, managers and PRs orbiting around the city’s country music industry.
Last, but not least important, is the Music Valley, an entire neighborhoods of museums, bars and restaurants, all of which are country-themed. Here you can find the Grand Ole Opry House, Opry Mills Mall and the Gibson Bluegrass Showcase.
But the beauty of this city is in the fact it’s not really all about the music.
Nashville is also known as “Athens of the South” thanks, among other things, to the presence of soem presrigious universities such as the Vanderbilt University, and also to the classicist and neo-classicist architecture and a gorgeous life-size reproduction of the Parthenon, the temple of Athens.
Nashville does very well even from the gastronomic point of view. The city managed to keep some traditional cooking methods and today you can find many craft breweries and distilleries producing beer and whisky just as they used to make it back in the day. But that’s not all: Nashville is also called “The Hot Chicken Capital,” due to numerous places serving delicious hot chicken prepared in every possible way.
In the evening, go out to the District along the Broadway, the main artery of the city, or the 2nd Avenue, full of restaurants, bars and night clubs. While in the area, pass by the Printers Alley, a pedestrian street famous for its night life ever since the 1940’s. Finally, take a walk along the city river, the Cumberland River, and its Riverfront Park, where you can visit the Fort Nashborough, a 1930’s reconstruction of the original city outpost and the pier from which the boats take you to the Music Valley.

immagine

Orlando

The America luna-park

Orlando is, without a doubt, a city of dreams, not just for children, but also for grown-ups. It is the ideal destination for families so if you’re thinking about going to Florida, you can’t miss the city that has made entertainment its strongest point.
There are so many attractions and amusement parks, above all, the famous Disney World: 111 square kilometres of pure entertainment south of the city! Within the area, you can find four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, the first theme park ever built, dedicated to fairy tales and Disney characters; Epcot Center dedicated to innovation, technology and international culture, often dubbed “Permanent World Exhibition”; Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the smallest of the four parks, dedicated to the world of cinema, with animations and special effects; finally Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the largest Disney park in the world dedicated to wildlife conservation.
In these four parks within Disneyworld you can also find two water parks with all the attractions: killer whales and dolphin shows, water slides, waves and much more. There are also six golf courses, over 30 theme resorts and a large shopping and dining area, called Disney Downtown. All in all, it is definitely a place everyone has to see at least once!
And if you think that’s all, you’re wrong: another great attraction, in addition to Disney World, are Universal Studios where you can visit Jurassic Park (amazing), Simpsons and Men in Black areas. And now, brace yourself: this is where you can find the famous reconstruction of Hogwarts with all the attractions associated with Harry Potter saga!
We also recommend SeaWorld Orlando, a theme park centered on the aquatic life of animals, the Gatorland where you can see alligators and crocodiles from up close and the Wekiwa Springs State Park, where you can swim, fish and go canoeing.
Orlando will make you dream and fullfill your wishes, so what are you waiting for?

immagine

Philadelphia

Symbol of the USA independence

The international fame of Philly, as its residents call the city, is owed primarily to a historic fact: it was here that in 1776 the independence of the United States was declared and the Constitution was drafted.
The city, which rises on the banks of the Delaware river and is crossed by one of its tributaries, is a modern metropolis, but at the same time it’s highly liveable: downtown area is smaller compared to some other American major cities and you can easily see it all on foot.
Check out the Old City, the historic center, a neighborhood that was the heart of the city in the 1950’s and 1960’s and scene of a major urban renewal, which today hosts restaurants, cafés and excellent art galleries. Pass along the famous Elfreth’s Alley, a pedestrian street that with its brownstone houses and cobblestones will take you right back to Philadelphia of the 1800’s.
Not far from there, you will find the Independence National Historic Park: nicknamed America’s Most Historic Square Mile, it hosts various monuments, most important of all the Independence Hall, part of the UNESCO World Heritage and the most important city monument. It was here that the Declaration of Independence was ratified and the Constitution of the United States of America was signed.
The skyscraper area is called City Center, and it is the commercial and financial hub of the city. Here you will find the City Hall, 167m high, with an observation deck from which you can enjoy an incredible view of the city. We recommend the Rosenbach Museum and Library, a “literary” museum where you can find things like the original copy of Joyce’s “Ulysses.” Another museum to check out is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a beautiful art museum and background of the famous scene from Rocky III, when the main character runs up the stairs of the museum. Don’t be surprised if you see tourists attempting to recreate the scene!
The southern section of Philly is definitely less interesting for the Italians: this area, and the Italian neighborhood of Bella Vista, are famous for the Italian Market where you can try many typical Italian products.
The strategic position of Philadelphia is definitely very interesting: it’s located halfway between New York and Washington, D.C., both of which are easily reachable by train. Perfect, right?

immagine

Portland

Keep Portland weird!

Bicycles, flowers and craft beer: this is Portland. A city that is definitely different from any other, a different America, a greener, more alternative one, more careful about the quality of life, so much so it is considered the greenest city in America.
You can use a bicycle to get around the city absolutely safely and conveniently. Visit the largest arts and crafts market in the world and stop for a snack at one of the many distinct food carts scattered along the streets of Portland: these little trucks, stands and trailers sell street food of all sorts and in countless culinary traditions. If you need a break to relax a bit, Portland is surrounded by forests, rivers, mountains and vineyards that are absolutely worthy a visit!
If you prefer sticking around the city center, visit Portland’s Classical Chinese Garden, the largest urban Chinese garden outside of China, or the Japanese Garden with its wonderful cherry trees and, finally, head to the fragrant Rose Test Garden with over 500 different kinds of roses! If you happen to be around between May and June, you can attend the Portland Rose Festival and the Grand Floral Parade that will leave you absolutely breathless.
If you’re thirsty and you happen to be a beer enthusiast, you should know that Portland is America’s microbrewery capital. You can get some excellent beer in this city, including some strange kinds, such as fish or cherry-flavored beer or milk stout, beer made with lactose. Have fun tasting different sorts of beer…you’ll be surprised!
Portland also has an amazing art scene, which is generally concentrated in what the locals call “Portland’s living room” – Pioneer Courthouse Square, where many events, concerts and art events are held.
As for the museums, we recommend the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Art Museum. This last one hosts a different temporary exhibition each year, and it also has a beautiful permanent collection of Native American wooden sculptures. Book lovers should not miss the Powell’s City of Books, the largest bookstore in the world!
So, are you ready to jump on a bicycle and explore the city of roses?

immagine

San Diego

The quintessential Californian city

Miles of palm trees lining the roads; on the beach – girls jogging, chiselled men showing off their superhuman bodies, workers, lawyers, businessmen of all kinds surfing at dawn or after a long day at work, with jackets and ties hanging from their cars, left where the road stops and the beach starts: yes, this is San Diego, the most Californian city in California!
Summers are never too hot and winters are never too cold – this mild climate resulted in an atmosphere of permanent vacation that exudes from every street corner and makes this city so irresistible: miles of coastline create fantastic landscapes, such as the one in La Jolla, which means “jewel” in Spanish. This area is famous for its wonderful fine-sand beaches, canyons, cliffs and soft hills ending in Mount Soledad. It’s also part of the Torrey Pines State Reserve, a natural coastline reserve with some 2.000 hectares of rare beauty. Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and Mission Beach are just some of the typical Californian beaches that match the European image of surfers, palms, and everything else.
But the most exclusive beaches are located in Coronado Island, connected to the city via the magnificent Coronado Bridge, where, among other films, "Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe was shot.
But San Diego is more than just beaches and if you feel like taking a break, Balboa Park is what you need: a gorgeous green oasis with flowers, foot paths and gardens. You can go there to simply relax and read a book underneath a tree or you can make use of the many sports areas or visit the zoo and various museums. The park, in fact, hosts San Diego Museum or Arts, Automotive Museum and Museum of Man, to name just a few. Furthermore, it is also home to one of the most famous zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo, with over 4.000 animal species.
In the evening, visit the Gaslamp neighborhood along 5th Avenue: here you will find the biggest concentration of shops, shopping malls, night clubs, theatres, bars and casinos hosting major events such as Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp or Street Scene Music Festival.
If you’re looking for skyscrapers, the real ones – you’re in the wrong city. Due to the proximity of an international airport, buildings cannot be taller than 150mt.
We bet that after this you’ll already be with your surfboard under your arm, ready to discover this amazing city!

immagine

Santa Fe

Chili-flavored latin city

Santa Fe is the result of a very long history: land of Pueblo Indians, it was colonized by the Spanish conquistadores in the second half of the XVI century, and then became part of the USA in 1848. Traces of the three cultures can still be seen today quite clearly.
Santa Fe is a beautiful city, very liveable, with next to nothing in common with other major American cities. Forget about skyscrapers, lights and billboards like the ones you see in New York: Santa Fe is more of a village than a city.
The small historic center is very picturesque and the daily rhythm of life of its inhabitants is defined by the sound of many Catholic churches scattered across the city. One of the city’s unique traits is precisely this religious devotion that marks its residents: we recommend you see the Cathedral of San Francis of Assisi with the gorgeous Loretto Chapel and its famous spiral staircase that rises with no structural support whatsoever.
The houses bear signs of Spanish colonization – they are basically low-rise buildings with cast-iron balconies. Many of the buildings, however, are made in adobe style, using an ancient method of mixing clay, sand and straw to make bricks.
Start at the main square, the Plaza, and visit its park: each day the Indians put up a big market where they sell jewelry and various ceramic items, all of which they have made themselves. If you like museums and galleries, go to the Canyon Road: all the important museums and as many as 125 galleries to discover!
We also recommend you simply wander around the city streets looking for hidden, magical places: let the warmth of the people carry you, with their prevalent Latin traits, the smell of chili and the sound of the language, for here in Santa Fe they don’t speak “American,” they speak Spanish!
Santa Fe awaits...vamonos!

immagine

Washington D.C.

House of Cards

It would be practically impossible to describe Washington D.C. in just few lines: there is so much to see and to do, a whole book wouldn’t be enough!
It is definitely a special place.
First of all, it’s the capital of the United States of America and, with its 600 thousand residents, it is considered the center of American politics: Washington is home of the White House, the presidential mansion - an absolute must see, the US Capitol, in Capitol Hill, seat of the Congress and the Supreme Court.
But, no matter how American (with capital A) all this makes it, Washington is not as chaotic or grandiose as New York. Yes, you will see American flags everywhere around the city but from a certain point of view it is definitely a more liveable place. Skyscrapers are banned by law, with the exception of the Monument, the tallest structure in the entire district.
The heart of the city is the National Mall, a park located between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, where you will find the city’s most important museums, as well as the Washington Monument, one of the tallest obelisks in the world. The Monument mirrors in the enormous Reflecting Pool that makes everything even more fascinating. We recommend you visit it during day but make sure to come back at sunset…the atmosphere at that particular moment is just magical!
Other important monuments you should see at the National Mall include the Lincoln Memorial, the National World War II Memorial and the Smithsonian’s National Museum, to name just a few.
One of the areas we recommend, a very distinct one, is Georgetown, the oldest neighborhood in Washington: imagine narrow streets, ancient stones and distinct houses where everything is just where it should be. Not a piece of paper on the floor, not a crooked or vandalized sign. All this combined with many fashionable shops, locals and bars that make it an ideal place for young people and art enthusiasts. It’s not by chance that Georgetown is home to the eponymous university, the famous Georgetown University, which is also one of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the whole of the United States!
All in all, Washington D.C. has so many unique traits, often contradictory among them, that it would be too complicated to attempt to paint a general picture: our advice is to experience it, taste it and discover it. We are sure you’ll fall in love with it!

immagine