Nestled between New York - the city that never sleeps - and the respectable federal capital of Washington D.C., Philadelphia reveals itself as a genuine haven of peace, offering a resolutely European atmosphere which has been preserved over the centuries. Time passes peacefully along the majestic Delaware River, which marks the city’s limit and runs the length of its extraordinary green parks, which redden when autumn comes, its picturesque old districts, as well as its majestic skyscrapers reflecting Philly’s bright sky.
It is whilst strolling around this beautiful, well-preserved historic city that the secrets of the back streets of Philadelphia’s Old City, lined with sublime houses in reddish bricks, are revealed. Their hearts beat in unison with the rhythm of the “Philly Sound” sprinkled with jazz and funk, the festivals which captivate and extend throughout the summer, as well as the superlative concerts given by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
The historic capital of learning, the “Athens of America” has shaped the spirit of many famous and learned men who quenched their inextinguishable thirst in one of the oldest higher education establishments of the country, the University of Pennsylvania, and at the venerable Drexel University. Passionate and philanthropic, they were the master craftsmen of the artistic richness of this city which reveals its treasures of modern and contemporary art on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Rising at the top of a grand staircase like a Greek temple, the Philadelphia Museum of Art holds striking collections of the greatest icons of European art, from Monet to Picasso. The Rodin Museum, a stone’s throw or two away, is an ideal setting for the sculptor’s The Kiss which is immortalized in marble. Finally, on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, in West Fairmount Park, the Please Touch Museum will arouse the keenest interest in young lovers of art and science before the marvelous exoticism of the Philadelphia Zoo, the foremost establishment of its kind in the United States.
The nation’s first historic capital, Philly recounts its distinguished history at the National Constitution Center, one of the gripping stages of the Philadelphia marathon organized in the autumn. Open-hearted by nature, the city can be experienced at any moment and in all seasons. At the end of South 9th Street, don’t resist the effect on the senses offered by the Italian Market whose colorful shops and outdoor stalls offer products for the most discriminating food lovers. In the spring, the thousand colors of the flowers of the Philadelphia Flower Show are a marvelous sight for the eyes, and in summer the creativity is constant at the Manayunk Arts Festival, an old quarter of Philly whose business district is a delightful mix of Victorian façades with factory buildings. Be guided right to the centre by the melodious sound of the huge Wanamaker Grand Court Organ at Macy’s Philadelphia, the location for over a hundred years of prestigious boutiques dedicated to fashion and design. Then head north to stroll in the 150,000 m2 of Philadelphia Mills dedicated to shopping; treat yourself to a sublime outfit to stand out on Christmas Eve, celebrated extravagantly on the passionate dance floor of the Matzo Ball.
At dusk, America’s sacred sports, represented by the triad of baseball, American football and basketball, will thrill you at Citizens Bank Park, at Lincoln Financial Field and at the Wells Fargo Center on evenings with highly-charged matches, thus crystalizing the fervor of Philadelphia.