Mansion along Bellevue
It’s a remarkable place: the ultimate refreshment, filled
with shops, beaches, culture, restaurants for all tastes, stately homes of
the rich and not necessarily famous. It is a place to rest, to play or to
learn. It’s the perfect Eden and its pristine beauty and combination of sea,
land and sky must have blown the first settlers away.
I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in a mansion equipped
with tennis court and swimming pool and while I spent many hours lolling
around the property, I did discover the joys of Rhode Island living.
There was a worth while cliff walk around the outside of
the Bellevue area. This is one of the “Fifty Places of a Lifetime”,
according to National Geographic Traveler. Here a 3.5-mile walk took us past
stately mansions on huge tracts of land with lawns flowing to the sea. They
show themselves well and inviting in the early morning sun. During my stay
it was a joy to walk along Bellevue Avenue with its tee-lined brick walkways
and Colonial gaslights. There was a three-day car show with colorful old
cars at The Breakers; Newport’s most palatial summer residence conjuring up
memories of the past. Who expected a Louis XIII-style home in old Newport?
But the homes the Astor’s (Beechwood) with it’s 1920’s air or Chateau-sur-Mer,
built for a China trade merchant were enough to make you shake your head.
Rosecliff, overlooking the Cliff Walk was modeled after the Grand Trianon of
Versailles, France. There’s also The Elms, modeled after an 18th Century
Chateau near Paris. Here they offer tours daily from 10-5Pm and seasonal
lunches or a garden tour. Just the magnificent gated entrance is worth the
But, while seeing these buildings from Bellevue Ave or the
see one must leave time for other delights.
I walked around Newport’s International Hall of Fame &
Museum opened in 1954. Open daily from 9:30, the museum, souvenir shop and
grounds is a popular place to examine tennis memorabilia of past champions.
The six-acre site offers well-groomed grass courts for rent and Victorian
style shingled architecture and of course, The Hall of Fame. Pete Sampras
and Aranxia Sanchez were added to the list of stars honored, such as Rod
Laver, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Steffi Graf, Billy Jean King,
Martina Navratilova and Jimmy Connors. Walking around the site, one feels
tennis ghosts accompanying him.
For information call 491 849 3990 Admission is $9 for
adults Reduced rates for seniors, children and families. It is located at
194 Bellevue Ave.
Hall of Fame
Newport is also a city where people have worshipped
without fear or prejudice for years. George Washington gave assurance in
1790 that the new nation would protect religious freedom for all faiths. It
is here that the Touro Synagogue has stood since its establishment in 1763.
It is the oldest synagogue in the United States and the only one to survive
from the colonial era. It is a simple brick building on the outside but
inside there is a sense of history and solitude, a wonderful place to
worship with an ancient deerskin Torah and five delicate chandeliers.
Here too you can arrange a tour. The synagogue faces east
at 85 Touro Ave not far from the original Jewish cemetery. They offer a
variety of special events and programs, including historical lectures. They
can be reached at 401 847 4794 or by email at
The Trinity Church in Newport is three-tiered with a
center aisle, and one can see pew 81 where Washington himself once
worshipped. Handel himself tested the organ before it was sent from
England. Other visitors include Queen Elizabeth II of England and the
Archbishop of Canterbury in 1976. The building with its pointed spire shines
bright white in the sun is surrounded by foliage and has Tiffany stained
glass windows. It’s a gem.
Newport is an upscale town with art shops, antique
dealers, shopping centers and restaurants too numerous to count. Fort Adams
State Park is a perfect place to picnic, or other leisure activities. The
harbor welcomes sailors from around the world each summer. There is a great
wealth of information in the city’s museums and libraries and there is a
Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center offering a whole range of
performances. Call 401 762 4545 for information.
We selected three restaurants that we enjoyed. Two were on
Thames St. I particularly enjoyed the food at Scales and Shells but would
have preferred to go upstairs where it was quieter. I too was surprised the
second level restaurant was called Up Scale. (And I thought I overdid puns).
The other restaurant worth mentioning is an old favorite
of many. Mamma Louisa is a family run Italian restaurant where fine food,
hospitality and service is their motto.
Our third find was on the harbor. It was noisy and
croudeed but we ate well and mixed with the “in” crowd. Look for the Black
Pearl although you just have to follow the crowds. You can eat outdoors or
indoors. You’re choice.
On the same side of Thames Street we happened on a
vernisage for award winning “master photographer” Cheryl Richards. Cheryl
has a true photographer’s eye. We walked around studying her work and she
introduced herself. I told the charming young lady how talented she was, not
that she needed to hear that from me. But her work with various types of
cameras and her sense of space was truly the work of a craftsman. I now
boast a Cheryl Richards framed in my living room. When in Newport call her
at 401 847 5727 or go to
Tattoo Misty chair
enjoyed the waterfront shops even with the crowds. The Tourist Office is a
modern open building with good parking in the rear. There I picked up two
publications worth mentioning, One is a magazine Official Travel Guide and
the other is a Rhode Island Visitors guide.
www.Gonewport.com and you’ll find all the information about Newport ad
the State of Rhode Island. While you’re there, take the boat cruise to
Providence. It’s the state capital and has some interesting sites. We
returned at dusk in time to have cocktails at the edge of our private pool.
What a way to live!
Write to me at Ultours@gmail.com.
Photos Courtesy of Touro Synagogue Foundation
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)