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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    Cooking with Zarela: All aflame- Green chile.

    Cooking with Zarela: All aflame- Green 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

    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

    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

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    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

    10 Best: Cambodia-Phnom Penh, "Capital of Asia"

    10 Best: Cambodia-Phnom Penh, "Capital of Asia"

    Phnom Penh, on the banks of 3 rivers Tonlé Sap, Mekong, and Bassac rivers was once called…morePhnom Penh, on the banks of 3 rivers Tonlé Sap, Mekong, and Bassac rivers was once called “The Capital of Asia”. Today it is fast becoming a a modern metropolis with a hectic nite life. The oldest attraction is the Wat Phnom constructed in 1373. The legend about the building of the Wat Phnom is tied to the founding of this city. People come to the temple burning money and bringing food offerings.The bird sellers at the temples will let you buy a bird and let it free. The French came upon invitation from the King of Cambodia who was afraid of a Thai invasion in the late 1900. They stayed until 1953 and left their mark with large boulevards and luxurious colonial villas. They built the historic Hotel Le Royale which is now part of the Raffles chain and In the 30’s they built the train station, an impressive deco building. The French also built the Central market Phsar Thom Thmei. This market was built in a monumental deco style in 1937 and is a Phnom Penh landmark with its large dome visible from all over the city. The Independence monument was built by the famous Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann in 1953 as a lotus shaped stupa to celebrate Cambodia liberation from the French. Another must see attraction is the Royal Palace built in the mid 1800’s on the banks of the Tonle Sap river; It serves as the home of King Norodom Sihamoni and former King Norodom Sihanouk. The National Museum, was built during the French colonial era in the classical Khmer style has a spectacular collection of Khmer antiquities from the golden age of Khmer culture. Hosted and narrated by Roberto Mitrotti 10 Best highlights the best things to do in a city or country. For more information visit http://www.cambodia.org less

    10 Best: Cambodia-The magic of Angkor Wats

    10 Best: Cambodia-The magic of Angkor Wats

    Spread over 200 acres it is the best preserved temple of Angkor. When it was built by Kin…moreSpread over 200 acres it is the best preserved temple of Angkor. When it was built by King Sarayaman the II it was the largest public space in the world. Instead of bricks customary at the time he used sandstone. This temple was to symbolize Mount Meron the home of the Gods. It started out as a Hindu temple and became Buddhist centuries later. This is the only temple in Angkor that has been in continuous use since its construction in the 12th century. When the Europeans first saw it they were so overwhelmed they compared its architecture to that of ancient Rome . Hosted and narrated by Roberto Mitrotti For more information visit http://www.cambodia.org 10 Best highlights the best things to do in a city or country. 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

    Knai Bang Chatt

    Knai Bang Chatt

    Serene and pure, Knai Bang Chatt, an exquisite lifestyle resort, will enchant you. Locate…moreSerene and pure, Knai Bang Chatt, an exquisite lifestyle resort, will enchant you. Located in Kep, right on the southern east coastline of Cambodia, the resort gives you a blend of privacy, serenity and exclusivity. Three renovated villas built in the 1970s by protégés of Vann Molyvann, a pupil of the world renowned Le Corbusier, are extraordinary historical landmarks you can now experience as your very own private home. less

    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

  • World Heritage Sites

    Yangtze River cruise part 2 Yangzhou,  a World Heritage Site

    Yangtze River cruise part 2 Yangzhou, a World Heritage Site

    SThe West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou is an implementation of the classical Chine…moreSThe West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou is an implementation of the classical Chinese landscape ideal by improving the natural landscape with bridges, causeways, pavillions etc. The ‘improved’ landscape had a profound impact on the design of gardens not only in China but also further afield. Unesco declared West Lake a Worls heritage Site less

    Istanbul

    Istanbul

    Istanbul biggest draw remains its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Her…moreIstanbul biggest draw remains its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. At its lower levels and at every pier, the interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles in more than fifty different tulip designs. Dolmabahçe Palace, located in the Beşiktaş district on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935. Topkapi Palace was the Sultan's residence during Ottoman's times. Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, The Spice Bazaar, or Egyptian Bazaar is one of the largest bazaars in the city. Located in Fatih, in the neighborhood of Eminönü and is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. The building itself is part of the külliye of Yeni Mosque, and rents from the shops within was intended to help pay for the upkeep of the mosque. The structure was designed by the chief court architect Koca Kasım Ağa, but completed by architect Mustafa in 1660. less

    El Jadida, a World Heritage Site

    El Jadida, a World Heritage Site

    he Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) is a port city on the Atlantic coast which was …morehe Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) is a port city on the Atlantic coast which was seized in 1502 and subsequently ruled by the Portuguese until 1769. It has been acknowledged for its interchange of influences between European and Moroccan cultures. The Portuguese built a citadel here in 1514, and enlarged it into a fortification in 1541. They also constructed 4 churches within the fortification. Remaining buildings from the Portuguese period are the cistern, and the Manueline Church of the Assumption. After the departure of the Portuguese, the city remained uninhabited until the mid-19th century. Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site. less