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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    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

    10 Best: Bangkok- Cooking class

    10 Best: Bangkok- Cooking class

    The 10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. …moreThe 10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. From the Bangkok Marriott Pier, the Manhora cruise boat departs Monday to Friday for Thai cooking classes cruising down the Chaophraya River. The boat is a 100 year old rice barge restored for 21st century luxury cruising. Sunida is taught the art of preparing a 5 course banquet by Chef de Partie Patchareekorn Seehawat. Here we see the making of the most famous of Thai soups:the Tom Yum Talay. Hosted by Sunida Thirasak, a Bangkok native presently living in New York. less

    Cafe Sistina: 360 degrees

    Cafe Sistina: 360 degrees

    Cafe Sistina in Honolulu is a landmark of upscale Italian cuisine and is one of the most…moreCafe Sistina in Honolulu is a landmark of upscale Italian cuisine and is one of the most photographed restaurants in the city because of its frescoes. Owner and Chef Sergio Mitrotti is also the artist, who, over the years has moved effortlessly from the stove to the scaffolding during dining hours. His interpretation of the Sistine Chapel is populated by the powerful creatures who are Michelangelo'signature. The walls are also full of unique details that make dining at Sistina a pleasure for all the senses. Sergio has recently completed a large mural on the Declaration of Independence commissioned by the Honolulu Supreme Court. Cafe Sistina 1314 S. King St. Honolulu 808 5960061 www.cafesistina.com less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    10 Best: Berlin- Curry 36

    10 Best: Berlin- Curry 36

    10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. …more10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. Drivers in Kreutzberg are pulled in by the aroma of this curry wurst being served at Curry 36. Invented by Herta Hower in 1949 during food shortages of the time, it soon became immensely popular with all Berliners. She patented in 1951. The ketchup secret formula includes ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cardamon and a variety of exotic peppers. People still come here from all over Berlin for this legendary smoked pork sausage. Hosted by Julia Grimpe, theater and TV star, who is resident of Berlin. less

    10 Best: Bangkok-live with elephants

    10 Best: Bangkok-live with elephants

    Just one hour from Bangkok, in Ayutthaya is ElephantStay, a place where you can live, wo…moreJust one hour from Bangkok, in Ayutthaya is ElephantStay, a place where you can live, work and play with 90 elephants. Ewa Narkiewicz and Michelle Reedy manage this not-for-profit project which retires old elephant and gives young ones a sustainable future. The elephants at Elephantstay work in movies too taking acting roles in Oliver Stone's "Alexander. www.elephantstay.com Hosted by Sunida Thirasak a Bangkok native presently living in New York. less

    10 Best: Berlin-Potsdamer Platz

    10 Best: Berlin-Potsdamer Platz

    10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. …more10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. Once the busiest intersection in Europe, it was totalled during WWI and it remained a wasteland during the cold war with the wall running across it. After the wall came down, glittering new building mushroomed and with its new architectural landmarks like the Sony Center it is now a symbol of the new Berlin. Hosted by Julia Grimpe, a well known actress of theater and TV and a resident of Berlin. less

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    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

    Vestas: a new philosophy of hospitality.

    Vestas: a new philosophy of hospitality.

    The VESTAS HOTELS & RESORTS group is considered a leader and an innovator in Hotel desig…moreThe VESTAS HOTELS & RESORTS group is considered a leader and an innovator in Hotel design and management. It runs three very distinct Hotels in Lecce. Each hotel fulfills the needs of its own particular market segment, complementing however the others in their interpretation of the new philosophy of hospitality. RISORGIMENTO RESORT ***** The Risorgimento Resort, housed in an 18th century building, has been reopened: with its breathtaking views over the historical centre of Lecce, the Hotel has been restored to a new glory. From the spa to the à la carte restaurant, from the pleasures of the body to the pleasures of the palate, everything has been exquisitely thought out for the most demanding guests . An out-of-the-ordinary backdrop for the splendid artistic scenery of this environment . 47 rooms ( 15 Deluxe, 12 Superior, 13 Executive, 4 Junior Suite, 2 Executive Suite with jacuzzi on private terrace, 1 Presidential Suite). HOTEL PRESIDENT **** Comfort, quality, hospitality, professionalism – these are the four stars the Hotel President has guaranteed its clients 1973. The spacious and prestigious structure is a favourite reference point for the business clientele. With a Congress Centre complete with all the main audio, visual and multimedia equipment . All this near Piazza Mazzini, in the very heart of the city. Its unique retro 70's look reminiscent of Miami' South Beach makes it interesting for the fashionable crowd too. 150 rooms (Presidential Suite, 25 Junior Suite, 122 Superior) EOS HOTEL *** This hotel has been used as experiment in the successful transformation of the 3 star category, a new hotel concept: it combines tradition with innovation, with each of its thirty rooms designed by a different architects. The Eos Hotel, situated in the immediate surroundings of the historic centre, is perfect for the young and dynamic tourist. 30 Superior rooms. www.vestashotels.it less

    Sheraton Montazah, Alexandria Egypt

    Sheraton Montazah, Alexandria Egypt

    The Hotel faces its own private beach on the Mediterranean Sea right next to King Farouk'…moreThe Hotel faces its own private beach on the Mediterranean Sea right next to King Farouk's Palace and Gardens. Right on the Corniche and very accessible to the City Center.Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great is an important industrial port with the Suez pipeline ending here. It is also a major tourist resort with Cleopatra's palace buried and still visible in its harbour, major Roman ruins and is home to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the modern library of Alexandria, and a modern architectural wonder. less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Damascus: historic city, part 1

    Damascus: historic city, part 1

    The Citadel of Damascus is a large medieval fortified palace and. It is part of the Ancie…moreThe Citadel of Damascus is a large medieval fortified palace and. It is part of the Ancient City of Damascus, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The location of the current citadel was first fortified in 1076 by the Turkman warlord Atsiz bin Uvak,During this period, the citadel and the city were besieged several times by Crusader and Muslim armies. In 1174, the citadel was captured by Saladin, who made it his residence . Al-Hamidiyah Souq is the largest and the central souk in Syria, located inside the old walled city of Damascus next to the Citadel. Khan As'ad Pasha is the largest khan in the Old City of Damascus, covering an area of 2,500 square metres (27,000 sq ft). Situated along Al-Buzuriyah Souq, it was built and named after As'ad Pasha al-Azm, the governor of Damascus, in 1751-52. Khan As'ad Pasha has been described as the most "ambitious" work of architecture in the city. Throughout the Ottoman era, it hosted caravans coming from Baghdad, Mosul, Aleppo, Beirut and elsewhere in the Middle East. less

    Bejing Highlights part 1

    Bejing Highlights part 1

    Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, named after the Tiananm…moreTiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, named after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world (109 acres - 960 by 550 yd). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history. In November 1958 a major expansion of Tiananmen Square started, which was completed after only 11 months, in August 1959. This followed the vision of Mao Zedong to make the square the largest and most spectacular in the world, and intended to hold over 500,000 people The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987,[2] and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. Since the mid-20th century, the number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically as they are demolished to make way for new roads and recently luxury condominium. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history. less

    Essaouira a World Heritage Site

    Essaouira a World Heritage Site

    Essaouira, an 800 year old Atlantic port with a massive fort and charming café’s and res…moreEssaouira, an 800 year old Atlantic port with a massive fort and charming café’s and restaurants. The Medina of Essaouira (formerly "Mogador") is an example of a late 18th century fortified town, as transferred to North Africa. SultanSidi Mohamed ben Abdellah decided to build a port that would open Morocco up to the outside world and assist in developing commercial relations with Europe. Unesco declared the Medina of Essaouira a World Heritage Site. less