Joseph Rosendo has been a travel, food and wine journalist for nearly 30 years. He's been published in The Washington Post, The New York Daily News and more. He is the producer and host of the hit travel series Travelscope and Joseph Rosendo's Travelscope.
Easter Island - Mysteries & Myths
Joseph travels to the most remote inhabited place on earth during his Easter Island adventure. Located more than two thousand miles from the coast of Chile, Rapa Nui (the island's native name) offers a world of mysteries that have remained unanswered for centuries. Questions abound surrounding the origins of the Rapa Nui culture, their enormous carved stone moai and the cause of the Rapa Nui people's ecological and natural disasters. Although one question invariably leads to another, Joseph attempts to explain what often eludes explanation while he spotlights the amazing journey of the Rapa Nui people from the shores of Polynesia more than 1,500 years ago through their glory days and times of turmoil to the vibrant culture that flourishes today.
Hong Kong - Asia's World City
Long known as a commercial center, Hong Kong has become much more than a shopper's paradise. It is a multi-cultural, multi-faceted city with a world of attractions. On his Hong Kong adventure, Joseph takes in the luxury hotels, designer shops and Michelin-star restaurants of Asia's World City, but also explores its local neighborhoods, colorful markets, places of natural beauty and meets the people who retain their connections to their customs and traditions. He discovers that while Hong Kong is a vibrant international town, it is the people and their cultural heritage that keeps him coming back for more.
Riding The Range In Southern Alberta, Canada
Joseph hits the trail to Southern Alberta, Canada and follows the path of the province's settlement from the early days of the buffalo and the Blackfoot people to present-day ranchers and cowboys. His travels take him to Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park and Head-Smashed-In- Buffalo Jump, sacred and historic native sites, where he celebrates the rich heritage of the Blackfoot First Nations people through their history, dances, chants and songs. At the Lucasia Ranch he partakes of the area's cowboy culture when he saddles up and rides into the Alberta foothills in search of a few strays before sitting down with the Lucas family for a rousing ranch house dinner. His journey of history, culture and natural beauty ends aboard the M.V. International on a cruise across the Canada - U.S. border on Lake Waterton, part of the Waterton - Glacier International Peace Park.
Southern Ethiopia - Tribal Lands and Primeval People
Joseph's adventure begins along the shores of Lake Abaya and Chamo, two of the lakes of the 2,400 mile Rift Valley where modern man is said to have originated. After becoming acquainted with the lakes' fishermen, birds, crocodiles and hippos, he soldiers on across dry, wide stretches of savannah and forests that hug the river beds into the Lower Omo Valley. During his stay in the valley he has close encounters with the Konso, Hamer and Mursi people, mostly nomadic tribal people who still live untouched by modern inventions and amenities. In the towns, markets and tribal camps he meets the people and shares in their ancient customs and ceremonies. Although not without its challenges, this Travelscope adventure offers an unforgettable look at prehistoric cultures in transition.
Northern Ethiopia - Ancient History and Spiritual Present
Joseph travels to Northern Ethiopia to uncover its ancient history and discover its spiritual present thorough cultural adventures, myths and legends. His path takes him from the monasteries of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, to the castles of King Fasiladas in Gondar, to the stelaes of Axum and the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. There are World Heritage sites and surprises galore as Joseph traces the lineage of Ethiopia's kings back to the days of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. In the ancient town of Axum he stands at the threshold of the chapel where Ethiopians believe the Ark of Covenant is housed. In Lalibela he prays with a pilgrim before visiting a local school that is being supported by children in the United States.
Land without Limits - The Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast Region of British Columbia, Canada
It may seem hard to say, but this little known region of British Columbia, Canada offers travelers a world of adventures. "Land Without Limits" is the areas' slogan, and, in this case, it's right on target. From the ocean to the mountains, Joseph crosses the region having experiences that range from smoking salmon with the First Nations Nuxalk people, fishing for prawns with local fisherman, hiking through the wilderness to Canada's third highest waterfall and stepping back in time at the roaring gold rush town of Barkerville. Throughout the journey Joseph comes face to face with the region's expansive, remote beauty and wildlife that includes hundreds of species of birds, Grizzly and Black Bears, as well as a mother moose and her calf. It's an adventure without limits that is close to home.
Sechselauten - Switzerland's Spring Festival
We find out what Sechselauten really means when we join Joseph on his springtime visit to Zurich, Switzerland. Considered a dry, formal, business town, Zurich casts off the stereotypes and its residents slough off their inhibitions when they welcome spring in celebration with the town's historic medieval trade unions. On parade day Joseph dons a baker's cap and joins the Bakers Guild for a romp through the streets of Zurich to the square where the Bogg (snowman) who, in observation of the end of winter, loses his head in a burst of firecrackers. Once he is engulfed in flames winter is banished and the citizens of Zurich use the glowing embers of his pyre to roast sausages, along with quaffing local wine and partying well into the night.
Dreamin' California's Coast - Malibu to Big
Joseph and Julie are California Dreamin' as they celebrate their anniversary along the state's romantic coast. They join up with a California Luxury Tour which begins in Southern California in their hometown of Topanga and travels to the nearby Getty Villa where they partake of the glory that was Greece and Rome. From there they follow the winding coast to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County and then northward to the edge of the Big Sur. Highlights of their adventure include wine tasting in the sampling rooms of some of Malibu's little-known, but star-studded wineries, visiting Santa Barbara's famous mission, horseback riding on the Pismo dunes, soaking their bones at Sycamore Hot Springs and strolling the peddle-strewn beaches of Cambria. California Dreamin' takes on new meaning when they imagine life among splendor that is Hearst Castle in San Simeon - where the rich and famous once played at being common folk. The sun dramatically sets on their adventure at the world-famous Point Dume State Beach in Malibu.
San Miguel De Allende, Celebrating in the Heart Of Mexico
Joseph makes his way to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for the annual Fiesta de San Miguel, a celebration in honor of its patron saint. While taking part in miles of processions, enjoying the world's greatest fireworks display and dancing the night away accompanied by the music of dozens of local bands, he takes time to acquaint himself with the history and beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage colonial city which is famous for its artistic soul. During his stay he models for the artists at the famous Instituto Allende, soaks in the mystical Mayan Baths, steams with a shaman in a sweat lodge, sails across the city in a hot air balloon and parties with the best of them in El Jardin, San Miguel de Allende's main plaza. To top off his stay, he meets Chef Felipe of the Casa de Sierra Nevada, one of the town's top chefs, in the main market to pick up the fixings for his one-on-one cooking class featuring local cuisine. Vive Mexico!
Ontario, Canada's Niagara Peninsula - Toronto And Beyond
On his visit to the Canadian province of Ontario, Joseph sets out to prove there's more to the Niagara Peninsula region than world-famous Niagara Falls. To prove his point, he begins his wandering in Toronto, Canada's largest and most cosmopolitan city. He finds that besides being a cultural Mecca for art, theater, film, music, fine dining, as well as one of the greenest cities in North America, it is one of the world's most multicultural cities. Italian, Irish, Indian, Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese -- the ethnic diversity matches the seemingly never-ending list of world-class attractions and activities. From gentle bicycling along Lake Ontario's shore to kayaking to the Toronto Islands or hanging 116 stories above the ground from the edge of the CN Tower, Joseph finds out there's never a dull moment in this young, vibrant and ever-evolving town. And, if that isn't enough, a day excursion to the Niagara Peninsula wine region and the quaint town of Niagara-On-The-Lake keeps Joseph sippin', nibblin', pickin' and hoppin' through the more than 60 wineries that have sprouted up in one of Canada's most scenic regions, at one time described by Winston Churchill as, "the prettiest Sunday drive in North America." During this episode Joseph and his viewers are truly on a movable feast for all the senses.
Cruising The Mediterranean
Joseph climbs aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner for a Mediterranean cruise adventure. Onboard he joins other Public Television and NPR journalists on a PTV at Sea cruise experience -- meeting, greeting and speaking with his Public Television viewers. Onshore he sets out on a journey of discovery and captures the enduring beauty that is Venice, the history of Croatia, the multi-culturalism of Malta and the heart and soul of Sicily and Tuscany. Along the way he visits medieval towns, bustling markets, regional restaurants and local wineries where he expects and finds the unexpected.
Christmas In Switzerland
Travelscope heads to Lausanne, Montreux and Basel, Switzerland to bask in the glow of a Swiss-style Christmas at some of the country's best Christmas Markets. Joseph's adventures include a visit to a Christmas ornament artist, samplings of Swiss culinary specialties, a journey to old St. Nick's village and a close encounter with Father Christmas himself and his trusty companion the Schmutzli, who's been checking his list to find out who's been naughty or nice. A full slate of holiday fun is guaranteed for all!
Passage Through Chile's Tierra Del Fuego Around Cape Horn
The spirit of Magellan, the worldwide traveler, is alive and well as Joseph circumnavigates the tip of South America on an expedition passenger ship. He sails through Tierra del Fuego and around Cape Horn on Travelscope's latest Chilean adventure. As the ship follows Darwin's watery trail, he travels into the Beagle Channel and through "Glaciers Avenue" where the majestic Spain, Romanche, Germany, Italy, France and Holland glaciers seem close enough to touch. Along the way he encounters Elephant Seals, Magellanic Penguins and sea birds aplenty. A highlight of the show is a stop on Isla Del Horno - Horn Island - where Joseph stands at the end of the Americas and visits the memorial to the ancient mariners who lost their lives attempting to make the Cape Horn passage.
The Many Faces of Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos is actually two resorts: Cabo San Lucas, at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, and San Jose del Cabo, 23 miles north along the coast. Joseph covers both and the sea that binds them - the Sea of Cortez - on his Los Cabos, Mexico adventure. Activities include whale watching and seaside dining, hiking through the desert to hidden waterfalls and swimming with dolphins. Besides taking part in the fun-and-sun experiences like fishing and snorkeling, he also heads out to the Baja Peninsula's outback and meets ex-pat farmers and artists living off the grid. During this episode Joseph proves that there's more to Los Cabos than just a place "Where the Land Ends and the Party Begins."
Hong Kong - A City of Festivals
Hong Kong may be Asia's World City, yet its people still cherish their tradition and the richness it brings their lives. In this new Hong Kong episode, Joseph returns for the annual Dragon Boat Festival. He discovers the festival is more than a race as it honors the integrity and devotion of poet, Qu Yuan, who sacrificed himself rather than live in a corrupt world. As part of the cultural celebration he makes traditional rice dumpling, learns the myths behind the dragon boat legend and design and speaks with participants in the local races on Lamma Island. On Cheung Chau, one of Hong Kong's 263 islands, he greets the early morning fishing boats, witnesses the islander's art of fish ball making, climbs through a UNESCO reserve and relaxes on the beach. During his Hong Kong stay, the 15th anniversary of the British handover of Hong Kong to China is also celebrated in a spectacular, unforgettable explosion of pyrotechnics.
Nicaragua - Culturally Rich and Naturally Beautiful
Joseph visits Nicaragua and discovers the untouched beauty of the land and a population ready to embrace travelers. In spite of a history of trials and tribulation, today Nicaraguans are a people filled with good cheer and gifted with open hearts. Long overlooked by tourists, the country has preserved what is a treasure chest full of surprising attractions. While Nicaragua owes its cultural vitality to its Spanish roots, its natural gems are ageless. From volcanic landscape to teeming rivers and untrammeled rainforests, the program reveals a country that is a traveler's dream. Grenada is a colonial gem, Masaya a city of artisans, the Rio San Juan an avenue to adventure and the 640,000 acre Rio Maiz National Park a world treasure. Joseph touches on Nicaragua's troubled past, celebrates its free spirit and marvels at its unspoiled nature and abundant wildlife.
Berlin and Western Poland - Over The Borderline
In a show that begins in Berlin and ends in Poznan, where the Polish state began, Joseph travels in the German-Polish border region and is captivated by the beautiful structures, historic traditions and respected customs. He is also aware of what time and events have stolen. In Berlin the story unfolds as Joseph takes a Trabi car tour of the city and pauses at Checkpoint Charlie. At the East Side Gallery, where the Wall still stands, he stops to honor the Wall's victims at the Wall Memorial. For a ride on the natural side he bikes to the nearby royal town of Potsdam, site of the famous conference, where in the Dutch Quarter he slows down to enjoy Gemutlichkeit, the good life. His journey across the borderline in Poland brings him to town after town, where the ever shifting Polish/German nationalities spotlight Polish national pride and epic perseverance. He enjoys the rural countryside in a mosaic of activities from river boating in Wroclaw, riding in a steam locomotive in Wolsztyn and celebrating ceramic making in Boleslawiec. As he tours through this resurrected and revitalized region, he is reminded of the resilience of human beings and their ability to, Phoenix-like, rise from their ashes again and again.
Zermatt, Switzerland - Under the Shadow of the Matterhorn
Joseph heads to Zermatt to capture Switzerland's natural majesty at the foot of the country's most iconic mountain - the Matterhorn. With the glorious monolith ever in view, he hikes, climbs, rides and skis along an alpine landscape that takes the breath away and captures the imagination. His travels allow him to join in the yearly Folk Festival which features a parade through car-free Zermatt with 50 different folklore groups, as well as performances by more than 1,200 dancers, yodelers and musicians. During his stay he discovers that the Matterhorn's towering presence is only equaled by the heights Zermatters go to to make sure your visit is a memorable one.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada - Bonjour, Montreal
"Bonjour" means good day in French and it is always a good day in the French speaking Canadian province of Quebec, especially in the lively cosmopolitan city of Montreal. By taking to Montreal's streets, neighborhoods, natural places and waterways, Joseph discovers that joie du vivre is not just a French phrase; it's a way of life in Montreal. And summer is the time for celebrating. From music and dance to fireworks and circus acts, festivals abound! In addition, to the official celebrations every one of the scores of cultural neighborhoods throws a party! Extraordinary markets, majestic cathedrals, trendy cafes, the Latin quarter, a 70's era drum circle, activities on the St. Lawrence and warm fun-loving people all add up to a joyful time in Montreal.
Tokyo, Japan - Celebrating The Past and Present
Like every other first time visitor, Tokyo's idiosyncratic pop culture, flashy neon-lights, garish billboards and hoards of people threaten to overwhelm Joseph's sensibilities, yet it doesn't take long for this episode to find its cultural center. Ancient temples, revered practices, natural beauty and graceful personal exchanges take the lead as this episode unfolds. On his Tokyo journey Joseph learns that while the glitz and glamor of modern Tokyo excites the senses, the heart and soul of the Japanese is found in their ancient customs and honored traditions.
The Bonin/Ogasawara Islands - A Land Far, Far Away
On the Bonin or Ogasawara Islands Joseph is reminded that travel is a treasure hunt. Even though one is told where the riches are buried, the real gems have to be discovered on their own. On this voyage to Tokyo's most distant possessions - more than 600 miles and 25 hours by ferry from the mainland - Joseph partakes of kayaking, snorkeling, trekking and whale watching. Yet, in spite of all the activities, he discovers that interactions with the islanders and what one learns by exploring their heritage are the most cherished souvenirs. His personal discoveries among the islanders, whose roots lie in an American past, open up a world still shrouded in mystery and little-known to the casual day tripper.
Bhutan - Part 1 - Gross National Happiness
Travel is a life-changing experience, though often these changes come when least expected. Joseph heads to the Kingdom of Bhutan, a devout Buddhist country, fully aware of the possibilities for enlightenment that Bhutan offers him and his viewers. His trip through the "Land of the Thunder Dragon" begins in Paro with a conversation with an esteemed Buddhist master and an invitation to watch a local thangka (spiritual art) artist at work. From there he travels to the Bhutan capital of Thimphu where he is confronted by the modern pressures that ancient Bhutan faces as it strives to preserve and promote its cultural heritage, pristine environment and the "Gross National Happiness" of its people. In dzongs and monasteries, in shops and schools, in valleys and on mountaintops, every experience becomes a journey of discovery. And in a country where the traveler is surrounded by prayer - prayer flags, prayer wheels, prayer walls, sacred memorials and historic monasteries - every encounter is a blessing.
Bhutan - Part 2 - Land of the Thunder Dragon
Joseph's Bhutan adventure continues as he heads east over 14,000 foot mountain passes to the Phobjikha Valley to witness the graceful antics of the rare and endangered Black-Necked Crane. While the cranes are breathtaking in their elegance and beauty, his overnight stay in a local guest house and unexpected invitation to join villagers constructing their neighbors' adobe home proves most heart-warming and inspirational. He travels to Bumthang, the spiritual heart of Central Bhutan, where he traverses a challenging road to the annual Ngang Lhankhang "Swan Monastery" festival. Music, dancing, singing, chanting, gambling, archery - the festival offers the "middle path" between spiritual and secular activities and Joseph joys in them all. After two weeks of journeying through the wildness and magnificence of the Bhutan Himalayas he comes to realize that it is the Bhutanese smiles, easy laughter, fearlessness and willingness to share their lives that is the defining character of the people.
A San Antonio Christmas
San Antonio is a festival town and Christmas is a most festive time of year. Joseph joins the locals and visitors to celebrate the season along San Antonio's famous river walk surrounded by songs, decorations and plenty of holiday cheer. Yet San Antonio is more than the River Walk, and Christmas in San Antonio means more than twinkling lights. In San Antonio, faith is real and "Feliz Navidad" is heard more often than "Merry Christmas." So, Joseph explores the city's spiritual roots at festive events like Mission San Jose's Mirachi Mass, as well as Christmas and Chanukah events held at the historic La Villita in the Arneson River Theater. The real meaning of Christmas is most evident when he gathers with San Antonio families in their homes to honor their heritage and practice their customs in traditional ceremonies such as the Tamalada - holiday tamale making - and in the city's San Fernando Cathedral at the midnight Serenada for the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Taiwan Lantern Festival
Joseph, a winner of the 2013 Taiwan Tourism Festival Awards, deepens his understanding of Taiwan and its people by criss-crossing the island during the Taiwan Lantern Festival. A celebration of light, culture and tradition, the festival is a Chinese holiday more than 2, 000 years old. Joseph discovers that while the Taiwan Lantern Festival has its electric side, it also values the human touch. While the festival showcases the country's modern, technological side, it also honors its historic customs and traditions. Joseph explores these cultural connections at the national display of lanterns in Hsinshu, in historic temples and at street-side puppet shows, by enjoying traditional foods and, in the mountain district of Pingshi, by joining in the poignant release of thousands of sky lanterns which carry the wishes and dreams of locals and visitors heavenward.
La Joie De Vivre In Quebec City, Canada
Joseph heads to Quebec City, the only walled city north of Mexico, for a lively cultural adventure among the French-speaking Quebecois. The city offers so many attractions that it's hard for Joseph to squeeze them all in. Yet, half the pleasure is in the trying as Joseph strolls the village's atmospheric streets, joins into the colorful night life, samples world-famous cuisine, savors the area's natural beauty and generally celebrates La joie de vivre - the joy of living -- with the largest Francophone population outside of France. Vive les Quebecois! Vive la Ville de Quebec!