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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

    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

    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

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    S Medical Spa Bangkok

    S Medical Spa Bangkok

    S Medical Spa is one of the most luxurious rejuvenation centers in Asia winner of the Asi…moreS Medical Spa is one of the most luxurious rejuvenation centers in Asia winner of the AsiaSpa award in 2009. Unlike other spas, S is staffed by certified physicians, dermatologists, gynecologists, psychiatrists and nutritionists who seamlessly combine Eastern healing and spa treatments with cutting edge Western science. Innovative Intense pulse light treatments are known to repair sun damage and restore skin by removing the ravages of age. The Spa focuses on improving gynecological issues as they relate to aging and endorses rejuvenation therapies through hormonal rebalancing. http://www.smedspa.com/ less

    10 Best: Bangkok - Thai Boxing

    10 Best: Bangkok - Thai Boxing

    Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium or, in Thai, Sanam Muay Rajadamnern is an indoor sporting are…moreRajadamnern Boxing Stadium or, in Thai, Sanam Muay Rajadamnern is an indoor sporting arena located in Bangkok. Along with Lumpinee Stadium, the Rajadamnern is one of the two main stadiums for modern Muay Thai. The stadium has its own ranking system and championship titles up to Middleweight . The fighters go through their spiritual 'Wai Khru' (a ceremony to thank their revered teachers, spirits, boxing ring and the sport itself.) Following the 'Wai Khru' ritual, they go straight into 'Ram Muay', a dance where each boxer demonstrates his skills and style. These pre-match ceremonies are believed to bring good luck, protection, respect, and a fair and honourable fight to the boxers. Once all the formalities are out of the way, it's time for action. And this can get bloody and gory. less

    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

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    Apulia Wine Tour promo

    Apulia Wine Tour promo

    The region of Apulia with 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the country ma…moreThe region of Apulia with 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the country make superb wines.Let iexplore guide you on this magical Luxury wine tour. You ‘ll toast with top winemakers and will be dazzled by Apulia’s richness of wine, art and food…. Right next to Castel del Monte is the Rivera winery and the unique terrain here is the reason for outstanding wines like Falcone. Mr. Cocevola with a working farm near the Castle produces also a superior wines likeVandalo. The restaurant Corte in Fiore in Trani has won many awards.You will love it. Trani boasts a spectacular 13th Century Cathedrals right on the Adriatic sea water with splendid frescoes and mosaics. You’ll be staying at a 500 year old farmhouse locally called Masseria hidden in the midst of an ancient olive grove. Today Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 5 star resort 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. Stroll through the hilltop town of Martina Franca, a beautiful baroque city full of great churches and palazzos. Enjoy Masseria Torre Coccaro’s private beach on the Adriatic sea. Or retreat to their cool spa built in a cave. Ostuni known as "the White Town" is an architectural jewel with a striking medieval cathedral and endless winding streets to get lost in. At Torre Coccaro the Chef will seduce you with his delicious cuisine. Be wisked by private boat for a swim in the crystal-water coves of Monopoli. Brindisi has been a major wine grower since roman times. Luigi Rubino holds his wine tasting at the restaurant Penny in a 12th Century building in order to highlight food pairing. Be swept away by his superb red called Torre Testa . Cantine Due Palme, is a co-operative of 1,000 growers specializing in local grape varieties. Taste their top wine Selvarossa with the enologyst and 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. Taste Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Donna Lisa, the top wine of the collection. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the harbour from Palazzo Papaleo, your own 5 star palazzo . Explore Otranto and its medieval monuments. After this magical tour with iexplore.com, Apulia will have carved out a place in your heart forever. For more information on this privately guided, dream luxury wine tour call us at 1-800 iexplore or visit iexplore.com less

    Eden Rock Resort in the Tuscan Hills

    Eden Rock Resort in the Tuscan Hills

    Just a few kilometers from Florence, in the hills below Fiesole, with a full view of the …moreJust a few kilometers from Florence, in the hills below Fiesole, with a full view of the Duomo is the charming residence hotel called Eden Rock. Built by world famous race car driver Clemente Biondetti in the 50’s and carved into the rugged mountain that frames it, the Eden Rock is a modern version of the many castles which dot the tuscan country site. With a beaituful pool and Jacuzzi,an open air lobby dug out of the rock and covered with copper tiles, it has 13 suites in all with every comfort plus a cellar club stocked with vintage wine from Tuscany. And just a few minutes way Florence beckons in all its glory. Via Bolognese Nuova, 7 50139 Firenze (FI), Italy +39 055 400331 www.edenrockresort.it www.epoquehotels.com 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

  • 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

    Khajuraho Temples, a World Heritage Site

    Khajuraho Temples, a World Heritage Site

    the temples at Khajuraho with their intricate carvings from the Kama Sutra, are a famous …morethe temples at Khajuraho with their intricate carvings from the Kama Sutra, are a famous celebration of love. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments date from around 1000 AD, when the Chandella Dynasty ruled this area. Originally there were 85 temples, of which only 22 still exist. There are both Brahman and Jain temples at the site. The temples, a World Heritage Site are beautifully decorated on the outside: bands of sculptures surround the walls. These depict life in the time of the Chandellas. 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