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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    Croatia Wine Tour Part 1

    Croatia Wine Tour Part 1

    Zagreb is a bustling modern city with a thousand year history. The 20th century blends wi…moreZagreb is a bustling modern city with a thousand year history. The 20th century blends without effort with its great buildings and monuments from the 17th 18th and 19th century. Samobor is where people from Zagreb come to relax. The town with its beautifully preserved medieval plan looks almost unreal. When here must try the famous aperitif called Bermet and its very special custard cake which the people of Samobor claim has no calories. 30 minutes from Zagreb is a small winery called Korak. The family has been in the wine business for centuries. The current winery has been producing superior wines for 20 years Rieslings and Sauvignons are exceptional. Opatje is a popular Summer and Winter resort on the Adriatic. The emperor of Austria loved this place. It was the Austrian nobility favorite spot in the 19th centuries and it shows. This place is all about indulging and pampering. Motuvun is an old medieval town on top of a hill is in the heart of Istria. Population 500 tradition lives on in Motuvun. In Li’vade there is an outstanding restaurant called Zigante, the cathedral of the Istrian truffle . The Chef prepares a pasta with black truffles, the Summer variety. A white truffle found by Zigante is in the Guinness Book of Records. And of course the store is all about …what else? Great food needs great olive oil. In Buje one can taste what has been a specialty of Istria for centuries: the many varieties of olive oil. In Brtonigla is Astarea one can taste traditional recipes of Istrian grandmothers prepared to perfection by loving traditional hands In the rich wine country of Umag, is another outstanding winery: Kabola with its awarded wines like Malvasia and Grey Pinot. Fusion spa in the hotel Melia has experts from Thailand and India practicing a range of sophisticated massages from Thai to Ayruvedic, to Tibetan Chi Nei Tsang massage In Umag another major winery: Coronica . The wines of Istria are shaped by the red soil rich in iron and the salty sea air. Coronica uses no fertilizers and focuses on its native grapes producing mostly Malvasia for whites and Teran red. Rovinj is a beautiful Adriatic town with a beautiful harbor and a charming an old town which owes its goods looks to the long presence of the Venetians. With a big influx of tourists from nearby Italy and northern Europe it has great hotels and restaurants. 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

    10 Best: Bangkok- personal Chef at Lebua Hotel

    10 Best: Bangkok- personal Chef at Lebua Hotel

    Bua means lotus in Thai and the french"le" before it clearly spells this Hotel mission to…moreBua means lotus in Thai and the french"le" before it clearly spells this Hotel mission to be the ultimate in East-West sophistication offering all suites and amenities like a personal chef cooking in your room featured here. Ranked as "2008 best Luxury Hotel", by Traveler's Choice, Trip Advisor, Lebua at State Tower is located in the heart of Bangkok a few steps from the Chao-Phraya river. This is a different Bangkok from the familiar hustle and bustle one and its restaurant and bar on the 65th floor terrace offer the most breathtaking views of the city. Hosted by Sunida Thirasak, a Bangkok native presently living in New York. less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    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

    Armani/Fifth Avenue

    Armani/Fifth Avenue

    10 BEST STORES Just a few blocks from Central Park in New York City, in the center of …more10 BEST STORES Just a few blocks from Central Park in New York City, in the center of one of the most famous shopping districts in the world, sits the American flagship store for one of the most well known clothing brands in the world, Armani. One of the largest stores on 5th Avenue, it is clearly identifiable either day or night by its elaborate exterior design, which at night features lights throughout the store windows. Which is only fitting for a brand that has become synonymous with style and class around the world to be seen by everyone any time of the day. The four-story behemoth, which takes up 43,000 square feet, opened its doors in February 2009. It was designed by the architecture firm of Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas (also responsible for the design of Armani stores in Hong Kong and Japan). There are two distinctive features that separate the 5th Avenue Armani store from the other fashion stores, one being the high-end restaurant that sits atop the store. It gives a reason for people to visit the store even if they are not particularly interested in shopping and it remains open after the retail part of the store, with an express elevator that runs to it after the rest of the store has closed. The other standout feature comes courtesy of the store’s architects, which is the dramatic spiral steel staircase sitting in the center that echoes in its sweeping curves the design of the Guggenheim Museum. This alone makes it worth a visit. If the brand name, Armani were not enough, these unique factor make the Armani store on 5th Avenue one of the top stores in New York City. Besides the architectural aspect there are also the stylish offerings in men's, women's and children's clothing plus home furnishings and chocolates. It has just about everything one would need to dress themselves in some of the finest clothes on the planet and live the Armani experience of style. 10 BEST STORES is a series featuring, in the editor' s opinion, the top 10 stores in a given City. 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

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    Luxury Wine Tour of Piedmont

    Luxury Wine Tour of Piedmont

    The area in Piedmont called Langhe Roero has given the world the gift of truffles, the Ne…moreThe area in Piedmont called Langhe Roero has given the world the gift of truffles, the Nebbiolo grape, from which Barolo and Barbaresco come from and a dazzling cuisine that is both aristocratic and simple. On this luxury wine tour among castles and vineyards you’ll meet the makers of these great wines and the chefs working their luscious cuisine in some of the most charming medieval towns in Italy. Your trip starts at the Villa Tiboldi, luxuriously renovated Villa and Farmhouse surrounded by Nebbiolo and Arneis vineyards with views that go on forever. The estate produces its own excellent Arneis Malvira. Alba has a beautiful Cathedral from the XIth Century and a rich historic center. However Alba’s heart beats to the tune of the truffle. Renato Agnello, truffle hunter of of 60 years leads a walk through the woods with his dog Diana, looking for truffles. Tartufi Morra is a truffle emporium Established in 1930 working with all the truffle hunters in the area. It has the ultimate selection of everything truffles from chocolate to oils The restaurant Piazza Duomo owned by the Ceretto winemaking family is a shocking pink space with frescoes by Francesco Clemente .The avantguarde cuisine of Chef Enrico Crippa has earned the restaurant a one Michelin star. This is a café and pastry shop created by chef Luca Mentersino uses no sugar, milk or flour. Everything is made with substitute. So go ahead and splurge. Katja and Ivan Rivetti are the third generation of Rivetti making barbaresco here. Tops wines are Bricco Barbaresco and Bricco de Neveis. Housed in a sprawling and movie-set-like 18th century castle owned by the Stupino brothers, the winery focuses on specialty wines. In the 70’s the Stupino’s cloned an old variety of Arneis vine producing a remarkable sparkling Pinot Noir. Among their wide range of wines they produce a top Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano. The restaurant La Ciau del Tornavento in Treiso sits on top of sprawling vineyards is owned by chef Maurilio Garola. It. The Chef has consistently received one Michelin star for his ground breaking dishes such as “ Plin de Seirass”, ravioli stuffed with ricotta and served in an actual nest made out of hay. The fortified Castle erected in the XIth Century on top of a hill once belonged to Count Camillo Benso of Cavour, one of the architects of the Unification of Italy. The castle has a very large Enoteca representing the best of Piedmont wines and grappas. Barolo is a charming medieval town surrounded by wineries. Therefore opening a corkscrew museum was a no brainer for Paolo Annoni who was once a pharmacist but abandoned his old profession to pursue his obsession. Over the years he has travelled the world and auction houses searching for the most unusual corkscrews, collecting 1,300 rare ones . Barolo was first created by the Marchesi Falletti in the middle of the 19th century around the village of Barolo. A bottle of the first Barolo, "Cannubbio 1859” is on permanent display, while vintages from 1938 on are available to collectors. The Enoteca has the most complete collection of Barolo in the world with 35.000 bottles of Barolo and the yearly addition of 400 bottles. Giant 19 century chestnut barrels have been reconditioned to age outstanding Barolo like the Barolo Cannubi or various Barolo Riserva. Locanda nel Borgo Antico is set in an hamlet outside Barolo. In this elegant restaurant Chef Camia prepares his signature traditional classic dishes which have earned him a Michelin star. In little more than thirty years, the Ceretto brothers created a 300 acres network of small independent estates producing some outstanding labels. They have sponsored major art projects like the Clemente frescos for their restaurant, the Sol Lewitt Chapel among the vineyards and for their winery in the town of Castiglione Falletto they have created their futuristic wine-tasting glass cube. Top wines are Bricco Rocche, Brunate and Prapo’. You will stay in the Hotel Villa Beccaris an 18th century palazzo surrounded by vineyards near the historic town of Monforte DAlba. 3 Burlotto sisters run the Castle which their grandfather bought from the first King of Italy. The family restored and maintains the original frescos and furniture. Here cooking lesson in classic Piedmontese dishes are conducted. The winery has some of the oldest vintages in the region dating back from 1850. Top wines are Verduno Basadone, Barbaresco Rabaja’ and the Dolcetto D’Alba Campot. A truly royal lunch is served in the castle courtyard. Pietro Ratti runs the business founded by his father in the 60’s. Today this state of the arts winery produces an outstanding Barolo Marcenasco. In the medieval town of La Morra on top of a hillside sits an old castle, now the restaurant Belvedere with spectacular views of the Barolo hills all the way to the alps. The Bovio family that owns it produces an outstanding Barolo. Copyright Christina Tours, LLC less

    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

    Naga World

    Naga World

    Amidst the Mekong and Tonle Sap River Phnom Penh. NagaWorld was birthed in 1995 in the …moreAmidst the Mekong and Tonle Sap River Phnom Penh. NagaWorld was birthed in 1995 in the capital city of Cambodia, a city rich in Khmer history. According to legend, NagaWorld derived its name from the mythical fable of a 7-headed dragon or “Naga.” The majestic dragon was believed to be residing in the rivers and guarding the entrance to Phnom Penh. Ever since, NagaWorld has attracted a broad range of guests from the free-spirited adventure traveler to the gaming connoisseur. Today, NagaWorld is recognized as the finest integrated casino-hotel in Indochina rivalling top Southeast Asian and world-renowned casinos. The Hotel boasts a multi-faceted 8-storey wing dedicated to entertainment, more than 500 luxurious Deluxe Rooms and plush Suites in the 14-storey Hotel Wing, a dedicated spa, signature restaurants ranging from Italian to Korean to French and amenities like a night club and a cigar room where visitors will enjoy the lavish comforts offered by unique world-class hotel. The Hotel is within easy distance from the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, the National Museum and the Central Market. http://www.nagaworld.com less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Jerusalem: Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa Mosque

    Jerusalem: Dome of the Rock and Al Aksa Mosque

    Al Aqsa Mosque is a mosque that includes the Dome of the Rock. It is Islam's third-holie…moreAl Aqsa Mosque is a mosque that includes the Dome of the Rock. It is Islam's third-holiest site after the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina (both in Saudi Arabia). Al-Aqsa is part of 180,000 square yard compound occupying one-sixth of the walled area of the Old City of Jerusalem The Dome of the Rock is in the centre of the greater Muslim shrine, known as the Haram ash Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), which Muslims believe commemorates Muhammad's miraculous Night Journey into heaven. The site's significance stems from religious traditions regarding the rock, known as the Foundation Stone, at its heart. The Foundation Stone and its surroundings is the holiest site in Judaism. Just as Muslims pray towards the Kaaba at Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, Jews pray towards the raised platform on which the Dome of the Rock stands. Jews have traditionally regarded the location of the stone as the holiest spot on Earth, the site of the Holy of Holies during the Temple Period. The most propitious site for Jewish prayer is the spot that is nearest the Foundation Stone. Because Muslim authorities refused to permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the custom developed of praying near the Western Wall, since it was the site nearest to the Foundation Stone, or on the Mount of Olives facing the site of the Temple. The complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. less

    Rabat, a World Heritage Site

    Rabat, a World Heritage Site

    “Rabat, modern capital and historic city, a shared heritage” shows different construct…more “Rabat, modern capital and historic city, a shared heritage” shows different construction phases from the Almohad period (12th century) up to the present day. The city was substantially modernized by the French from 1912 on, resulting in the Ville Nouvelle. Not to be missed is the great Mohammed V Mausoleum with the Hassan Tower. The Medina with its Andalusian blue walls. The Atlantic beaches are wide and pristine. Unesco declared the historic city a World Heritage Site less

    Yangtze River cruise part 3 Huangshan, a World Heritage Site

    Yangtze River cruise part 3 Huangshan, a World Heritage Site

    Set in the midst of the most rural China is the dramatic Yellow Mountain, the subject of …moreSet in the midst of the most rural China is the dramatic Yellow Mountain, the subject of chinese paintings for two thousand years. Huang Shan (meaning Yellow Mountain) is a mountain range that has played a leading role in the cultural, literary and artistic history of China because of its scenic beauty. It has attracted a large number of poets, painters and other artists. Its attraction lies in the peculiar shapes of the granite peaks, in the weather-shaped Huangshan Pine trees, and in views of the clouds from above. The area also has hot springs and natural pools. The Huang Shan are located in southern Anhui province in eastern China. The mountain range comprises of 77 larger peaks. The mountains were formed in the Mesozoic, about 100 million years ago, when an ancient sea disappeared. Unesco declared Huan Shan a World Heritage Site less