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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    Rubino pairs his Puglia wines with local cuisine

    Rubino pairs his Puglia wines with local cuisine

    Brindisi is an old roman port in Puglia, at the heel of Italy. In fact it still has a co…moreBrindisi is an old roman port in Puglia, at the heel of Italy. In fact it still has a column marking the end of the Appian way. During Roman times Puglia used to be the major wine producer of the empire. Today it is still the major wine producer in Italy hosting some ambitious wine producers .like the Rubino's. Luigi Rubino showcases his 3 best wines with interesting food pairing at the restaurant Penny in Brindisi. Penny is an old favorite in town housed in a 12th century building and serving some of the most authentic local dishes prepared by Chef cosimo Orfano . The wines Negroamaro Red, Malvasia Giancola and Torre Testa have all unique characteristics given Puglia's 1000 hours more sun than any other region of Italy. Torre Testa is made from a grape called Susumaniello which came from Dalmatia in the 7th century bc. It is exclusively cultivated in Puglia and only in the Brindisi area. The Rubino Estate produces 800,000 bottles a year with 70 % of the production exported to 20 countries. less

    Tuscany Luxury Wine Tour Part 1

    Tuscany Luxury Wine Tour Part 1

    Castello di Tornano in the heart of Chianti (Gaiole in Chianti) makes an outstanding wine…moreCastello di Tornano in the heart of Chianti (Gaiole in Chianti) makes an outstanding wine from the vineyards surrounding it. The complex was a medieval castle from the 10th century, lavishly restored. The Ricasoli family of Castello di Brolio dates back to the 7th Century. An ancestor of the current owner Francesco, Bettino Ricasoli, was prime Minister of Italy in the 19th Century and invented the Chianti formula. The winery is the oldest in Italy. Badia a Coltibuono once an Abbey from the 11th century is now a charming hotel, restaurant, winery and cooking school run by the Stucchi Prinetti family dedicated to the preservation of the oldest traditions of the Chianti region. Poggio Antico in Montalcino is the highest elevation winery growing Brunello. An excellent Restaurant run by Chef Roberto Minnetti is on the premises preparing dishes steeped in Tuscan history. Castello Banfi at Sant’Agelo Scalo is owned by the Mariani family dedicated to producing superior wines on their large 6,000 acres estate, marked by technological innovation. An old farm complex in nearby Collupino serves as residence for guests of the Banfi winery. Montepulciano is a Medieval Renaissance town on top of a mountain in the province of Siena known for its “Nobile wine” only produced here. Valdipiatta, an awarded winery, produces the vino Nobile from Prugnolo and Lanaiolo grapes. The owner Mr Caporali runs a wine school educating visitors about wine varieties and growing techniques. He also runs Il Grifon D’Oro, a trendy restaurant and Il Poliziano, an historic cafe in the center of town. Contucci is the oldest wine cellar in Montepulciano holding tastings since Renaissance times. It is located in the main piazza overlooking Palazzo Comunale. Avignonesi is a combination of 4 estates growing awarded wines. It is also a farmhouse growing its own products for its kitchen and its store. The open farm kitchen serves local specialties. Relais San Bruno is an elegant boutique Hotel set among an olive grove and fruit orchard under the walls of Montepulciano. less

    Cooking with Zarela: Smooth,not chunky- Guacamole

    Cooking with Zarela: Smooth,not chunky- Guacamole

    Mexican born Zarela Martinez is one the leading U.S. restaurateurs. Her namesake restaura…moreMexican born Zarela Martinez is one the leading U.S. restaurateurs. Her namesake restaurant is a Manhattan institution and a culinary trend-setter. She has authored several acclaimed books:"Food from my heart","Food and life of Oaxaca" and "Zarela's Veracruz". Her 13 part series "Zarela, Cocina Veracruzana" is airing on PBS. She has made guest appearances on many TV shows including "Julia Child:cooking with master chefs" and " Martha Stewart". less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    10 Best Napa: Amorosa Castle

    10 Best Napa: Amorosa Castle

    Castello di Amorosa is a winery located near Calistoga, California. First opening its doo…moreCastello di Amorosa is a winery located near Calistoga, California. First opening its doors to the public in April 2007, it is the pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885. The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet. Among many other features it has: a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet great hall with a 22-foot -high coffered ceiling. The torture chamber has an authentic 300-year-old iron maiden which Sattui states he bought for $13,000 in Pienza, Italy, a replica rack, prison chambers and other torture devices. The great hall features frescoes painted by two Italian artists who took about a year and a half to complete and showcases a 500 year old fireplace. The masonry, ironwork and woodwork was fashioned by hand using old world crafting techniques. Building materials included 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone, in addition to paving stones, terra cotta roofing tiles and some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe. Extending into the hillside adjacent to the castle lies a labyrinth of caves some 900 feet in length. Beneath the castle are a 2-acre barrel cellar and tasting rooms where visitors can sample the wines-all sold only at the Castle. less

    Luxury Wine Tour of Apulia

    Luxury Wine Tour of Apulia

    The region of Apulia at the heel of Italy has 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the re…moreThe region of Apulia at the heel of Italy has 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the country and its local sun drenched grapes make superb wines. On this trip you will meet some of the top winemakers of the region, taste their wines and be dazzled by Apulia’s undiscovered richness of wine, food and art . Join us on this spectacular tour. Castel del Monte in Andria is a 13th Century castle and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Carlo de Corato, Rivera’s owner says the unique terrain around the Castle combined with the cool breezes coming down from the Balkans are the reason for outstanding wines like Falcone. You’ll also taste other top wines like Cappellacio and Rupicolo. Mr. Cocevola oversees the working farm, and winery near Castel del Monte producing superior wines likeVandalo. Other good wines are Rosso Cocevola, Pampanuto and Il Tratto. La Corte in Fiore, Trani. Housed in a 16th Century building, this restaurant has won many awards for its seafood specialties. You will love it. Trani is a medieval town built on the Adriatic Sea with one of the most spectacular 13th Century Cathedrals right on the water. You’ll have special access to the cript with splendid frescoes and mosaics. Hidden in the midst of an ancient olive grove this 500 year old Masseria where you will be staying has been a fortress, a farm and a refuge for pilgrims. Today Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 5 star resort, a sublime mixture of Apulian rusticity and world class luxury where you’ll begin to understand the magical allure of Puglia. Alberobello is famous for its 1,500 conical trulli homes. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy strolling through the hilltop town of Martina Franca, a beautiful baroque city full of great churches and palazzos from the 17th and 18th century. Small fishing boats deliver the fish daily to the door of L’Ancora Restaurant built on the rocks right on the sea in Monopoli. Enjoy “crudo”, the Italian equivalent of sushi or their cooked specialties. Enjoy a free afternoon at Masseria Torre Coccaro with its own private beach on the Adriatic sea. For further pampering retreat to a cool spa built in in an underground cave. Ostuni known as "the White Town" is an architectural jewel with a striking medieval cathedral and endless winding streets to get lost in before your first glass of wine. At Torre Coccaro the Chef displays his remarkable skills at blending tradition with innovation using just picked seasonal foods grown locally on Coccaro’s land. A private yacht takes guests for swims in the crystal-water coves of Monopoli. Brindisi was a major port city during Roman times and a column still marks the end of the Appian way. Rubino is a family owned winemaker in Brindisi growing local varieties in vinyeards near the Adriatic sea. Luigi Rubino holds his wine tasting at the restaurant Penny, a hot spot on the harbour, housed in a 12th Century building in order to highlight food pairing. Enjoy a lunch with orecchiette, a local pasta specialty with fresh tomatoes and basil that works well with the red negroamaro. Then artichoke ravioli with shrimps sauteed in garlic and slivers of parmesan and tagliolini sauteed with squid and crabmeat, both served with the white malvasia called Giancola. Giancola is a beach on the Adriatic and the sea breezes give it its unique character. Rubino revived a 2000 year old indigenous vine called Sussumaniello producing a superb red called Torre Testa to be paired with red meat and aged cheeses. Cantine Due Palme in Cellino San Marco, is a co-operative of 1,000 growers specializing in local grape varieties like Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera and Primitivo. The Top wines Primitivo Ettamiano, Red Salice Talentino, Canonico Negroamaro, have consistently been winning awards. Taste their top wine Selvarossa with the enologyst and Winery Director Angelo Maci. Lecce is nicknamed "The Florence of the South" Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments carved out of the local white stone. In Lecce you’ll stay at the Hotel Risorgimento, a five star Luxury Hotel in a spectacular 18th Century Palace in the heart of town . Have lunch at Atenze a landmark restaurant housed in a baroque palace with superb Apulian specialties. Go out on the town. Lecce at nite is a throbbing city in a magical setting. The original Leone de Castris was a Spanish nobleman who bought 10 thousand acres in 1665 planting olive trees and vines. The most famous is Five Roses born during World War II in discarded GI’s beer bottles when the wine became popular with U.S. top military brass. Taste the top wine of the collection: the Salice Salentino Donna Lisa. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the harbour from your Palazzo Papaleo, a 5 star hotel in a 17th Century palazzo next to the Cathedral. Walk around Otranto, a bustling sea side town with remarkable monuments from the Middle Ages. Meet the fishing boats as they unload their catch at the harbour with Chef Massimo of Vico Lopez Restaurant. You will pick the fish to eat at his restaurant that night. After this magical tour Apulia will have carved out a place in your heart forever. copyright Christinatours,LLC less

    10 Best: Bangkok- Temple of the reclining Buddha

    10 Best: Bangkok- Temple of the reclining Buddha

    What Po Temple founded in the 16th century combines history,traditional Thai massage trai…moreWhat Po Temple founded in the 16th century combines history,traditional Thai massage training and medicine. A 46 foot reclining Buddha covered in gold and with inlaid mother-of-pearl feet is the main attraction. Medicine men diagnose and administer herbal medicine and traditional Thai massage is practiced on the temple ground and is open to the public. Hosted by Sunida Thirasak a Bangkok native presently living in New York. less

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    Angkor Village Resort

    Angkor Village Resort

    Near the Angkor archeological park, Angkor Village Resort features an elegant wooden pala…moreNear the Angkor archeological park, Angkor Village Resort features an elegant wooden palace, exquisite spa and beautiful cottages set amongst lush tropical gardens and along a unique river-shaped pool. less

    Lungarotti: wine,olive oil and Chef Imperio

    Lungarotti: wine,olive oil and Chef Imperio

    Torgiano Umbria. This is the Lungarotti kigdom. With an estate of 700 acres the Lungarot…moreTorgiano Umbria. This is the Lungarotti kigdom. With an estate of 700 acres the Lungarotti family is a leading wine producer in Italy and the region. Its wines are distributed to 35 countries around the world. In Torgiano they operates a wine Museum considered one of the best in the world, an olive oil Museum rich with the history of this Mediterranean staple. They also own a 4 star Hotel restaurant called Le 3 Vaselle. Here chef Domenico Imperio with many national awards to his name creates outstanding dishes for the restaurant. Here at the 3 Vaselle he shares his knowledge and recipes . less

    Independence Hotel Cambodia

    Independence Hotel Cambodia

    The Independence Hotel was designed by French architect M. Mondet in 1963 and was const…moreThe Independence Hotel was designed by French architect M. Mondet in 1963 and was constructed to complement the burgeoning tourist influx in Sihanouk Ville. Cambodians still refer to the Independence Hotel as the "7 storey hotel". It is a direct reference to this outstanding landmark which sits like a beacon on a promontory in the heart of the tropical forest. One hallmark of modernist architecture is the use of a site to add prominence to the architect's intentions. In this particular case, the marriage works well with the hotel commanding views of coastline and the rolling hills of Sihanouk Ville in every direction. King Norodom Sihanouk's designed the interiors as well as Promenade des Anglais - a garden and walkway at the base of the rocky outcrop that skirts Independence Beach. Jacqueline Kennedy staid there as well as a wide range of political celebrities from around the world. Today, fully restored to its former beauty and glory, The Independence Hotel succeeds in combining luxury with modernity and history. http://www.independencehotel.net/ less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Compulsive Traveler in Michoacan

    Compulsive Traveler in Michoacan

    Stretching from the highlands of Central Mexico to the Pacific Coast, Michoacan is a Stat…moreStretching from the highlands of Central Mexico to the Pacific Coast, Michoacan is a State that hosts great colonial cities, craft traditions dating back 2500 years and 2 spectacular natural events: the breeding of 40 million Monarch butterflies in the Sierras and the laying of eggs of thousands of marine turtles on the Coast. Animals have good instincts for this sort of thing. If Michoacan is so special for them there must be a good reason. Unesco declared the butterfly Biosphere a World heritage Site Hosted by Roberto Mitrotti less

    Balloons over Cappadocia, a World Heritage Site

    Balloons over Cappadocia, a World Heritage Site

    Wafting over the fairy chimneys in a Goreme hot air balloon. On the morning of the ecl…moreWafting over the fairy chimneys in a Goreme hot air balloon. On the morning of the eclipse, we awoke before dawn to set out on an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the unearthly landscapes of Cappadocia. Unesco has declared Cappadocia a World Heritage Site. less

    Pisa a World Heritage Site

    Pisa a World Heritage Site

    Standing in a large green expanse, Piazza del Duomo houses a group of monuments known the…moreStanding in a large green expanse, Piazza del Duomo houses a group of monuments known the world over. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture – the cathedral, the baptistry, the campanile (the 'Leaning Tower') and the cemetery – had a great influence on monumental art in Italy from the 11th to the 14th century. Piazza del Duomo has been declared by Unesco a World heritage site. less