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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    Cooking with Zarela: Sparkling fresh-Fresh chile.

    Cooking with Zarela: Sparkling fresh-Fresh chile.

    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

    Chef Ken Frank of La Toque

    Chef Ken Frank of La Toque

    Napa Valley with its endless vineyards, year round freshness in its orchards and gardens …moreNapa Valley with its endless vineyards, year round freshness in its orchards and gardens is a perfect environment for wine and food pairing. Ken Ken Frank, has spent more than two- thirds of his life in the kitchen. He learned how to cook in France then moved in Los Angeles where he became a celebrity chef with his restaurant La Toque on Sunset pioneering food and wine pairing there. After running it for 15 years He moved to Napa because he says La Toque has always been a “wine restaurant” and he opened his new La Toque inside the Westin, a true ”wine Hotel”. Since the 70’s Ken has been experimenting with classic technique using the freshest local ingredients. Napa offered immediate access to fresh produce and the best heritage meat suppliers of Northern California. “Moving to Napa Valley was the smartest thing I’ve ever done,” says Frank. “I couldn’t have this kind of restaurant just anywhere.” From his early days in France Ken’s passion for innovation has always been fueled by his attachment to the soil . His move to Napa is part of his journey toward finding his authenticity as a chef in a rich natural environment. So what if it takes a little more travel time to eat at his restaurant? People will keep coming because excellence is the magnet. Michelin stars earned in 2007 and 2009 attest to that. Most recently La Toque was named one of “America’s Best Top 100 Wine Restaurants of 2011” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. less

    The Dolce Vita Journeys

    The Dolce Vita Journeys

    A sizzler for a 6 X 30' TV series Imagine traditions that have been unchanged for 5,0…moreA sizzler for a 6 X 30' TV series Imagine traditions that have been unchanged for 5,000 years. Where food and wine give way to art and culture. Watch men and women engaged in a ritual year after year to bring forth and nurture the best grapes the Earth can grow. Watch as they pick, crush, and ferment this precious juice until all their labors come to fruition. Watch Michelin chefs and humble cooks pick the freshest products of their regions and follow them as they create dishes that will titillate the senses and awaken every taste bud. Finally watch how chefs and sommeliers marry the food to the perfect wines to create magical communal experiences at the table. Wine and food are about family, culture and history. Meet a Tuscan who embodies it all, to the hilt. And in the castle restaurant the baron highlights his wines with innovative Tuscan dishes. 2,500 years ago The Romans built a column at the end of the Appian way in Brindisi. Winemaker Rubino tells us why the Romans loved the wines of Apulia made from Negroamaro grapes still grown exclusively here. His chef works hand-in-hand with the winemaker. You will learn about the secretive and fascinating world of truffles. You will learn why some wines acquire personality. How to identify a great red. You’ll get great tasting tips from great sommeliers. You will learn why wine comes first, food second and not the other way around. You will learn the fundamentals of pairing. In season 1 we’ll visit Tuscany, Piedmont, Umbria, Apulia, Croatia, and Napa. Journey with us through medieval towns, waterfront villages, ancient and new towns in the Mediterranean and America to experience the culture and lifestyles of the people making magic in the cellars and the kitchens. The Dolce Vita Journeys. Informative. Inspiring. Intoxicating. less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    Umbria Wine Tour promo

    Umbria Wine Tour promo

    Umbria , untouched by mass tourism , has preserved the magic and richness of its past. S…moreUmbria , untouched by mass tourism , has preserved the magic and richness of its past. So Let iexplore guide you on this magical Luxury wine tour where you’ll meet the great winemakers, the great chefs and the great artists of this land…. Your trip start in the middle of stunning vineyards right outside Perugia at the luxurious start Borgo Brufa resort. Tasting at the Goretti winery is in their 14th century tower where you’ll drink their colliperugini and sagrantino and have lunch in full view of Perugia. Perugia will stun you with its perfect renaissance architecture. Chef Imperio will introduce you to Umbrian cooking at his cooking school. You’ll visit Lungarotti, a pioneer in winemaking in Umbria and taste its excellent Rubesco. You’ll love its world class wine museum. Taste Sportoletti great red Assisi Rosso. Assisi is a dazzling city that will draw you into an enchanted time warp experience. Right across from beautiful Todi you’ll stay at the Roccafiore Luxury Resort with its own winery and a cuisine that is a blend of home made and sophistication. At Cantina Peppucci housed in a 13th century abbey you’ll taste their excellent Petroro Red. Taste the superb Nero della Cervara with Mr Todini then have lunch at his resort with a view. Todi is so picturesque it feels like a movie set. Taste the simple foods of Umbria where ingredients and preparation have remained traditional and flavours are brought out singing with their wines to in perfect harmony. Orvieto’s wine history goes back to the Etruscan and the cathedral carvings of vines from the 13th century bear witness to this tradition. You’ll be staying at Locanda Palazzone owned by the Dubini brothers is a 13th century palazzo turned into a luxry resort surrounded by vineyards. The brothers make superb whites like Terre Vineate. Decugnano dei Barbi makes a unique Decugnano brut and ages it in cellar exacavetd in the lava rock. Castello della sala owned by the antinoris is a 1000 acres estate with top wines like cervaro della sala. Sagrantino is only grown in Montefalco area and marco Capri is one of the architects of its success with its warded Sagrantino Collepiano. Taste the food and wine of Montefalco and then view the remarkable frescos by Benozzo Gozzoli in the Museum of St Francis. Paolo Bea’s family has been on these hills since the 1500’s and he makes sagrantino with a great commitment to environmental standards. Meet Salvatore Denaro, a true fellinian chef who grows all of his own food and parties with his patrons. After this magical tour with iexplore.com, Umbria will stay with you forever. For more information on this privately guided, dream luxury wine tour call us at 1-800 iexplore or visit iexplore.com less

    10 Best: Bangkok - Floating market

    10 Best: Bangkok - Floating market

    One of the most famous pictures of Thailand, and one of the most visited tourist sites on…moreOne of the most famous pictures of Thailand, and one of the most visited tourist sites on the outskirts of Bangkok, is the famous Floating Market. The original and most promoted Floating Market, Damnoen Saduak, is located 110 kilometres from Bangkok in Rachaburi province. Getting to the Floating Market takes between one and a half to over two hours from Bangkok depending on traffic conditions. Even though transactions are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market/boats are still piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables, fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens located right on the boat. less

    Bridge on River Kwai

    Bridge on River Kwai

    The Bridge on the River Kwai, (made famous by the omonymous film with Alec Guinness and W…moreThe Bridge on the River Kwai, (made famous by the omonymous film with Alec Guinness and William Holden and which won 7 Academy Awards in 1957) was a key strategic element for the Japanese war effort during WWII. The Japanese needed to build a railroad in record time between Thailand and India a and they used their war prisoners to do it. Construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway began on September 16, 1942. The Railway, was to transport 3,000 tons of supplies per day to the frontline troops in Burma. Much of it required high bridges cut through mountains and jungle. The human cost was incredibly high. The railway operated for just 21 months before it was crippled by Allied weapons, The train runs daily between Kanchanaburi and the current terminus at Nam Tok going over the bridge and passing over the equally impressive Wampo Viaduct, also built by prisoners of war. 61,000 Allied prisoners of war are believed to have labored on the railway under impossible conditions, including 30,000 British, 18,000 Dutch, 13,000 Australian, and 700 American soldiers. 16,000 of those troops died, many of them from diseases like cholera, beri beri, malaria, and typhoid, Another 200,000 Asian laborers, mostly Thai, were forced to work on the railway. More than 80,000 lost their lives. less

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    The Mena House Oberoi, Cairo Egypt

    The Mena House Oberoi, Cairo Egypt

    Located on 40 acres of gardens right under the Pyramids the Mena House began as a huntin…moreLocated on 40 acres of gardens right under the Pyramids the Mena House began as a hunting lodge for Vice King Kedive Ismail. In 1869 he expanded the lodge on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal in order to impress visiting Empress Eugenie with the best views of the Pyramids. the Mena House Oberoi has played host to kings and Emperors,Heads of State and celebrities and not only boasts the best views of the Pyramids but also the only golf course right under them. less

    The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai

    The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai

    The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai is one of the legendary Grand Hotels in Asia and an …moreThe Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai is one of the legendary Grand Hotels in Asia and an architectural marvel bringing together Moorish, Florentine and Asian styles. It faces the Bay of Mumbai right next to the India Gate which was built in honor of King George V and Queen Mary's visit in 1923, both iconic landmarks of this great City. Since its opening in 1903 it has played host to the most celebrated personalitites of the century, from Maharajas to Kings. John Lennon and Yoko Ono survived in the Rajput Suite on a macrobiotic menu specially designed by the Chefs of the Taj. less

    Luxury Wine Tour of Umbria

    Luxury Wine Tour of Umbria

    Umbria , untouched by mass tourism , has preserved the magic of its past and the richness…moreUmbria , untouched by mass tourism , has preserved the magic of its past and the richness of its tradition. Etruscans and Romans made wine here 2,500 years ago. Today on this magical Luxury wine tour you’ll meet the great winemakers continuing the great tradition, its great chefs and the great artists of its past. Your trip start in the middle of stunning vineyards outside Perugia at the luxurious Borgo Brufa resort Set in a highly panoramic position . The Goretti estate has its wine tastings in an imposing 14th Century tower , symbol of the winery. Outstanding wines are the L’Arringatore and their awarded Sagrantino grown in Montefalco. Taste the wines with a lunch al fresco with great views of Perugia. Starting from its central square with the cathedral, the Palace of the notaries and Fontana maggiore Perugia will stun you with its perfect Renaissance architecture. At the Hotel 3 Vaselle owned by the lungarotti family Multi-award Chef Domenico D’Imperio holds his Umbrian Cooking Lessons.here he show show to make classic Frascarelli with tomato sauce and basil, You’ll visit the Lungarotti winery, a pioneer in winemaking in Umbria. The winery founded in the 60’s by Giorgio Lungarotti is run today by 3 Lungarotti sisters. taste its excellent , Rubesco Riserva , The Wine museum run by the Lungarotti Foundation is a history lesson on the making and drinking of wine with a world class collection of art works ranging from ancient books to ceramics. The Sportoletti brothers own 40 acres on the hills of Spello and Assisi Taste their great Assisi rosso and taste the food prepared by mrs sportoletti or the Villa Fidelia Bianco Assisi is a dazzling city that will draw you into an enchanted time warp experience. It has managed to preserved most of its medieval buildings andUnesco declared it a World Heritage site. Frescoes by Giottos adorn the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. you’ll stay at the Roccafiore Luxury Resort Right across from beautiful todi This is a rich and comfortable rural farm house with its own winery where youll taste their Rosso Sangiovese.and a cuisine thats a blend of home made and sophistication. Cantina Peppucci is is a small family business housed in the 13th Century St Antimo Abbey in a spectacular settino and considered one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of Medieval Umbria Taste their excellent Petroro Red, Montorsolo Grechetto di Todi, Alter Ego Red. Visit Mr Todini’s winery and Taste the superb Nero della Cervara then have lunch at his resort with great views of Colli Martani. Todi is another medieval jewel. The Captain’s palace and the Prior’s Palace face the sloping main square, one of the most picturesque in Italy. Todi is regularly used as a film set. Taste the simple foods of Umbria whose ingredients and preparation have remained traditional and flavours are brought out singing with their wines to in perfect harmony. Orvieto’s wine history runs thu history from the Etruscan in 7th century bc. To the magnificent medieval cathedral from the 12th century with carvings of vines on its front Inside enjoy great frescoes by fra angelico and signorelli You’ll be staying at Locanda Palazzone, a 13th century palazzo turned luxury resort surrounded by vynyards with great views of Orvieto.. It is owned by Giovanni and Ludovico Dubini who also own the attached winery . They are the only producers who age Orvieto Taste their great food and wines like Terre Vineate, campo del Guardiano. Owned by enologist brothers Enzo and Riccardo Cotarella the Falesco estate is home to great experimentation with old vinesTop wines are. Vitiano and Ferentano. Wine was grown on the Decugnano Hills since the 13th century. Decugnano dei Barbi makes a unique sparkling wine for which they are famous and ages it in cellars exavated in the lava rock. Taste the brut Decugnano Pinot Nero and have lunch al fresco around the pool. Castello della sala owned by the antinoris is a 1000 acres estate centered on a restored Medieval Castle built in the 14th Century, The castle’s tasting room feels like Henry the VIII could come in any time. Among their top wine is Cervaro della Sala.Tasting: Cervaro della Sala, , Muffato della Sala, e Pinot Nero Sagrantino is exclusively grown in the Montefalco and Bevagna area by no more than 20 growers. Marco Capri is one of the architects of its success . In the 1970’s Caprai took an ancient dessert wine and experimenting with the vine created the first Sagrantino red. Top wine is its a warded Sagrantino Collepiano. Wines: Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, Sagrantino di Montefalco Collepiano DOCG, Montefalco Rosso DOC, Grecante Grechetto Colli Martini DOC In the midst of Montefalco’s main square the enoteca Alchimista is true to its name concoting inimagined flavours out of classic umbrian recipes. In Montefalco visit the St. Francis Church and its remarkable frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli. Paolo Bea’s family roots in Montefalco go back to the 1500’s.The small, still artisanal production focuses on organic farming barring chemicals in the vinyard. Wines tasting: Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC St Chiara, Rosso de Veo, , Montefalco DOC Rosso. Meet Salvatore Denaro,a chef who grows all of his own food, does not have a menu and parties every night with his patrons. A true fellinian character and an unforgettable experience. Copyright Christina Tours, LLC less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Split Diocletian Palace

    Split Diocletian Palace

    Split is a World Heritage Site on the Adriatic coast of Croatia with a very old history: …moreSplit is a World Heritage Site on the Adriatic coast of Croatia with a very old history: it has an amazing old city built inside the huge palace built by the Roman Emperors’ Diocletian. Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. After the Romans abandoned the site, the Palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century nearby residents fled to the walled palace to escape invading barbarians. Since then the palace has been occupied, with residents making their homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly in its walls.[1] Today many restaurants and shops, and some homes, can still be found within the walls. This palace is today, with all the most important historical buildings, in the centre of the city of Split. Diocletian's Palace far transcends local importance because of its degree of preservation. The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world's most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage. less

    The Cedars of Lebanon

    The Cedars of Lebanon

    The Cedar of Lebanon was important to various ancient civilizations. The trees were use…more The Cedar of Lebanon was important to various ancient civilizations. The trees were used by the Phoenicians for building commercial and military ships, as well as houses, palaces, and temples. The ancient Egyptians used its resin in mummification, and its sawdust has been found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. The largest of Lebanon nature reserves, Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve stretches from Dahr Al-Baidar in the north to Niha Mountain in the south. blanketed with oak forests on its northeastern slopes and juniper and oak forests on its southeastern slopes the reserve's most famous attractions are its three magnificent cedar forests of Maasser Al-Shouf , Barouk and Ain Zhalta - Bmohary . These Cedar forests account for a quarter of the remaining cedar forest in Lebanon , and some tress are estimated to be 2,000 years old. Over the centuries, extensive deforestation has occurred, with only small remnants of the original forests surviving. 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