Biking in Beautiful Chianti Country

Bike 20 kilometers through rolling Tuscan hills alongside Chianti wine country. Stop and meander through quaint small towns, then soft pedal to a vineyard for a quick tasting and zoom the last 6 km downhill to end a picture perfect day!

Join us in Siena in September at:



Bermuda – A North Atlantic Historical Gem

The historical home of Bloomfield.

The historical home of Bloomfield.

Many think of Bermuda as a subtropical island get-away in the north Atlantic, where sun, pink sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters of the Sargasso Sea can wipe away the ever-present stresses of our hectic every day lives on the main land.

But there is so much more to these tightly clustered islands then meets the eye. Bermuda was discovered in 1503 by a Spanish explorer, Juan de Bermúdez., then was permanently settled by the British in 1612 as they sailed to Virgina. Bermuda’s town of St. George (originally named New London) has now been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its depth in world history and culture.

St. George is rich in historical homes and gardens, seaports, quaint lighthouses and museums of the likes one could not find anywhere else in the world. Beautiful gardens surround private white and pink-washed Georgian houses of Bermuda coral limestone, furnished with Bermuda-made cedar furniture and still owned by the original families.

The Royal Navy dockyard has attracted visitors with specific interests military history as it was the acting principal base of the Royal British Navy in the Western Atlantic between the periods of American independence and the Cold War.

Should you be thinking of visiting these islands, it is worth mentioning that the National Trust for Historic Preservation will be hosting a terrific tour to Bermuda November 1-6, 2009.

Specialists will join in for visits, discussions and receptions to share their expertise on such topics as architecture and decorative arts, British forts and native and resident artists. Time to simply relax and absorb the gracious atmosphere of this enchanted island are ample – where narrow lanes, winding roads and well-tended gardens blend easily with pink sand and that famous turquoise sea.

Highlights of this journey include a tour of Verdmont, the “crown jewel” of the Bermuda National Trust; a walking tour of Hamilton and time to explore the famous Front Street; and a visit to Tucker House, home to Bermuda’s most famous families.

Inside the Bloomfield home.

Inside the Bloomfield home.

Bermuda holds a special interest for National Trust members because of the programs of our sister organization, the Bermuda National Trust. Since its establishment in 1969, the Bermuda Trust has acquired more than 60 historic properties and open-space areas in Bermuda, and is a formidable force in the preservation of this fragile island. Hosts from the Bermuda National Trust’s Cultural Tourism Office share their experience and knowledge of preservation issues of their well-kept monuments. To learn more about his tour, download this brochure from the National Trust for Historic Preservation or visit their website here or contact the tour operator, Academic travel Abroad for more information about Bermuda and this one of a kind tour.

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Academic Travel Abroad Leadership Attends Tourism Cares Event Honoring Bill Marriott

Kate Simpson, David Parry, Amy Kotkin and Chase Poffenberger

From left to right: Kate Simpson, David Parry, Amy Kotkin of Smithsonian Journeys and Chase Poffenberger

Last week, ATA staff members David Parry, Kate Simpson, Chase Poffenberger, Whitney Kulesz and Sandy Bremer attended the Tourism Cares gala dinner celebrating Bill Marriott’s induction into the Tourism Hall of Fame. The Tourism  Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who, among other business accomplishments, have made significant personal contributions to travel and tourism through philanthropic, volunteer, and mentoring activities. Mr. Marriott exemplifies all of those attributes and more, and has been a generous supporter of Tourism Cares since its founding in 2003, as the tourism industry sought to rebuild itself after the devastating events of September 11, 2001. Bill Marriott donated hundreds of hotel rooms in Manhattan to house the first group of volunteers who descended on New York to clean up Ellis Island in the spring of 2003.

It was a chance to touch base with colleagues in the tourism industry who flew in from all parts of the country. We mingled with tourism professionals who represent organizations as diverse as tour operators, non-profits offering tours as a benefit of membership, tourism architects and planners, World Bank analysts, airlines, tourist boards, hotel companies, and research firms.

ATA is looking forward to volunteering with the 2009 Tourism Cares for America project at the historic Spangler Farm in Gettsyburg, PA. Spangler Farm was used as a field hospital for thousands of wounded soldiers during the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg. Today, the property is one of the last field hospitals kept intact as it was in 1863. We will be painting, replacing fencing, demolishing modern structures, clearing brush, repairing the outbuildings, and much more!

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