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HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE

Picnics near mansions, a COVID-19 travel app, and a look inside artists’ homes

Travel news you can use.

Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth.
Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth.Handout

HERE:

ELEGANT PICNICS IN RHODE ISLAND

Picnic baskets are welcome at a new experience offered by Newport Mansions. The Preservation Society of Newport County’s new “Stroll the Gardens and Grounds” gives visitors the opportunity to picnic on the historic landscapes of The Breakers and The Elms in Newport, and the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth. Kids may particularly enjoy the massive menagerie of animals at the topiary, including a giant giraffe. This new specialty ticket includes access to all three properties, and costs $18 for adults and $8 for youth, ages 6-17. The three properties can be visited on different days. (Does not include interior entry.) Tickets on sale through Oct. 12. 401-847-1000, www.newportmansions.org/plan-a-visit/stroll-the-gardens-grounds

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THERE:

US ALTERNATIVES TO OVERSEAS TRAVEL

Sad that you can’t travel overseas right now? Classic Journeys identifies a dozen iconic international destinations and suggests how to swap the experiences travelers get in those bucket-list spots with equally extraordinary places in the United States. For example, sporty travelers missing mountain climbing and white-water rafting can swap the Swiss Alps for Wyoming’s mountain ranges and countryside; instead of Japan’s cherry blossoms, explore the natural beauty of Vermont’s fall foliage; in place of Bordeaux, a California wine trip may quench your thirst for visiting vineyards; or swap Morocco for New Mexico and explore the culture of Native Americans at the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the Anasazi 900-year-old cliff dwellings in the Bandelier National Monument. 800-200-3887, www.classicjourneys.com/blog/us-alternatives-to-international-destinations/

Online cooking classes are offered by Casa Artusi.
Online cooking classes are offered by Casa Artusi.

FROM ITALY WITH LOVE: VIRTUAL COOKING SCHOOL

You may not be able to travel to Italy right now, but you can still learn traditional Romagnolo home cookery, including how to make fresh, pasta, piadina (the local flat bread) and more, in online cooking classes offered by Casa Artusi. The new virtual classes are the result of COVID-19 shutting down programs in the region of Emilia Romagna that were designed to honor the 2020 bicentenary of the birth of Pellegrino Artusi. Born in 1820, in the town of Forlimpopoli, Artusi is the author of “Science in the Kitchen” and “The Art of Eating Well,” and is the acknowledged father of Italian domestic cuisine. The cooking school, named after the celebrated writer, offers classes in English for one to 20 participants. Available upon request with advanced reservation; virtual classes with live instructor: $95 per person. www.casartusi.it/en/cookery-school/

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EVERYWHERE:

CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS APP

To fly or not to fly is a dilemma for travelers in the age of COVID. App in the Air, the popular app for frequent fliers, has launched new features to help you feel more comfortable and help navigate air travel in the new normal. Complimentary tools for all app users include making it easy to search country to country restrictions (with government restrictions, quarantine, health declarations); airport and airline rules and requirements (including whether a mask is needed, avoiding middle seats, and free cancellations); and key health search filters for those looking to book flights and hotels. AITA has also instituted helpful in-app travel reminders throughout the journey, from the booking process to future flight notifications. covid.aita.travel

Andrew Wyeth's studio in Chadds Ford, Pa.
Andrew Wyeth's studio in Chadds Ford, Pa.

GUIDEBOOK TO HISTORIC ARTIST STUDIOS AND HOMES

Take an art-themed road trip from the comfort of your couch with the new “Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios” by Valerie A. Balint. Published by the Princeton Architectural Press and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the book — available virtually and physically — celebrates preserved artists’ homes and studios across 21 states, representing the legacies of more than 300 artists over three centuries. Weaving the history of the sites’ architecture and landscape with the artists’ biographies and their work, the guidebook also serves as a way to plan an itinerary when you are ready to visit these sites in person. It includes many New England locations, such as the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn.; Winslow Homer’s Studio in Scarborough, Maine; and Chesterwood, the summer home and studio of American sculptor Daniel Chester French in Stockbridge. Farther afield, the book shines a spotlight on artist Donald Judd’s multi-story SoHo apartment in Manhattan; conceptual artist David Ireland’s home in San Francisco; prolific painter Vance Kirkland’s studio in Denver; and more. $29.95. https://artistshomes.org/

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NECEE REGIS


Necee Regis can be reached at neceeregis@gmail.com.