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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    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

    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

    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 Things To Do

    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

    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-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

    Entre Cielos Wine Resort & Spa, Mendoza, Argentina

    Entre Cielos Wine Resort & Spa, Mendoza, Argentina

    Entre Cielos - Argentina's Luxury Boutique Wine Resort Hamam and Spa is the ultimate wine…moreEntre Cielos - Argentina's Luxury Boutique Wine Resort Hamam and Spa is the ultimate wine country experience. Set in Mendoza, the heart of Argentine wine region, Entre Cielos offers stunning modernist architecture, a breath-taking backdrop of the snow-capped Andes and South America's first traditional Turkish Hamam as well as two gourmet restaurants. Entre Cielos also provides guests with highly customized itineraries such as wine tours, horseback riding, ballooning, and many other sport and recreational activities. less

    Saturnia, a Resort/Spa in Tuscany

    Saturnia, a Resort/Spa in Tuscany

    Maremma in Southern Tuscany is home to ….yes, Italian cowboy, state of the arts wineries…moreMaremma in Southern Tuscany is home to ….yes, Italian cowboy, state of the arts wineries and a spa resort which is a member of the leading Hotels the world. The Saturnia thermal baths are know since pre roman times. Water gushes out of an underground crater at the rate of 800 gallons per seconds filling the pools outside and inside the spa. The therapeutic value of the water lies in the high sulfur content and its moisturizing plankton. The resort is totally five star and pampering is the name of the game. There are numerous treatments at the spa but the active ingredient is always the moisturizing thermal plankton that has been the baths liquid gold for over 2000 years. Saturnia is a 2 hour drive from Rome or Florence. And definitely worth the trip. www.termedisaturnia.it/it/ less

    Tuscany Luxury Wine Tour Part 2

    Tuscany Luxury Wine Tour Part 2

    Authentic Italian cowboys, tending to the cattle farms that produce the renown Florentine…moreAuthentic Italian cowboys, tending to the cattle farms that produce the renown Florentine steak have been a tradition in Maremma, Western Tuscany. Near Grosseto in the South is the Saturnia Resort and Spa whose thermal waters have been known known since Roman times. The moisturizing thermal plankton is the active ingredient. The Thyrrhenian Coast is rugged and beautiful. The Pellicano, a five star luxury resort has villas hidden in the cliff overlooking a secluded bay near trendy Porto Ercole.The cuisine is also 5 star run by a Michel awarded chef. The Coast is also home to glamorous wineries which in the race to stand out among the competition have contracted famous architects to design their headquarters. Like Rocca di Frassinello in Zavorrano a partnership with Les Domaines Baron de Rothschild-Lafite designed by Renzo Piano. The winery as a cathedral. And the Petra Winery in Suvereto designed by Mario Botta. L’Andana co-owned by Chef Alain Ducasses is another five star resort in Castiglione della Pescaia. It also raises cattle on its 1000 acres Estate. The Bolgheri area is known for wineries like Grattamacco, making “Supertuscans”, higher quality wines made from Sangiovese, Merlot and Shiraz. San Giminiano the walled Medieval city in the province of Siena holds regular Medieval festivals and re-enactments. The next resort is Borgo di Colleoli near Palaia built entirely around a medieval castle and carefully restored. It ha san innovative Tuscan kitchen and an extensive wine cellar. Pisa: beyond the leaning tower lies an historic city with great churches, monumento and charming piazzas. Bagni di Lucca was known for its thermal bath since Etruscan and Roman times. The mountain community and spa by the same name are hidden in the hills surrounding Lucca. Lucca is not to be missed. Home to composer Giacomo Puccini it is an historical city with sophisticated dining, great markets and vibrant night life. Cantine Bernardini, housed in a 16th century palazzo owned by the Bernardini family, is a Lucca landmark serving local specialties and wines. Several wineries are scattered in the hills surrounding the town. In Montecarlo we find the awarded winery Montechiari producing excellent reds on its 20 acres estate. less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Jordan: Petra, a World Heritage Site

    Jordan: Petra, a World Heritage Site

    Hosted by Peter Greenberg. The magical city of Petra was carved out the mountains of W…moreHosted by Peter Greenberg. The magical city of Petra was carved out the mountains of Wadi Musa. It contains over 800 carved tombs but its origin and history is still shrouded in mistery. Spielberg gave Petra new notoriety with the shooting here of "Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade" in 1989. Unesco has declared Petra a World Heritage Site less

    Marrakech a World Heritage Site

    Marrakech a World Heritage Site

    In Marrakech a visit to the monumental Saadian Tombs is a must. The great Mosque needs t…moreIn Marrakech a visit to the monumental Saadian Tombs is a must. The great Mosque needs to be seen. And then the Medina has some of the best shopping anywhere. The Medina of Marrakesh is an old Islamic capital originating from the 11th century. It is enclosed by 16km of ramparts and gates. The city owes its original splendour to the Almoravide and Almohade dynasties (11th – 13th centuries), who made Marrakech into their capital. But the big story is in Djemaa Elfna, a grand open theater with storytellers, fire eaters, snake-charmers and endless open-air restaurants. Food stalls display the great variety of dishes of Moroccan cuisine. Unesco declared the Medina of Marrakech a World Heritage Site. less

    Yangtze cruise part 4 Lushan, a World heritage Site

    Yangtze cruise part 4 Lushan, a World heritage Site

    Lushan National Park is a cultural landscape known for its natural beauty. It has inspire…moreLushan National Park is a cultural landscape known for its natural beauty. It has inspired many Chinese artists, writers, philosophers and scientists. Lushan is famous for its ‘Lushan Conference’ in 1959, when Mao Zedong asserted his power and led him to proceed with the Great Leap Forward. Mao had a house here too which was previously occupied by Chank Kai Chek, which now holds the Lushan Museum where Mao's period furniture has been preserved. This is a site of pilgrimage for millions of chinese less