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  • Great Chefs 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

    Cooking with Zarela: Thorny issue-Nopales

    Cooking with Zarela: Thorny issue-Nopales

    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

    Cooking with Zarela: Smooth,not chunky- Guacamole

    Cooking with Zarela: Smooth,not chunky- Guacamole

    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

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    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

    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: Berlin- Berliner Weisse

    10 Best: Berlin- Berliner Weisse

    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. Berliner Weisse is a specialty of Berlin: it's a top fermented,bottle conditioned. wheat beer. Because it is tart and acidic Berliners mix it with either raspberry or woodruff juice and drink it through a straw (which is quite controversial in Germany). Napoleon liked his Berliner Weisse without syrup and called it "the champagne of the North". In the US about 100 years ago this type of beer, made according to the Berliner Weisse method, was the most popular beer in the US. less

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    EXPLORING MADRID: THE PASEO DEL PRADO ARTS DISTRICT

    EXPLORING MADRID: THE PASEO DEL PRADO ARTS DISTRICT

    Four major museums, a world-class botanical garden, and culinary delicacies whet one’s ap…moreFour major museums, a world-class botanical garden, and culinary delicacies whet one’s appetite through this enticing taste of the alluring arts district of the Paseo del Prado in Madrid. Join Iris Brooks and Jon H. Davis of Northern Lights Studio as they explore Spain’s vibrant capital city in a cultural feast for all the senses. 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

    Independence Hotel Cambodia

    Independence Hotel Cambodia

    The Independence Hotel was designed by French architect M. Mondet in 1963 and was const…moreThe Independence Hotel was designed by French architect M. Mondet in 1963 and was constructed to complement the burgeoning tourist influx in Sihanouk Ville. Cambodians still refer to the Independence Hotel as the "7 storey hotel". It is a direct reference to this outstanding landmark which sits like a beacon on a promontory in the heart of the tropical forest. One hallmark of modernist architecture is the use of a site to add prominence to the architect's intentions. In this particular case, the marriage works well with the hotel commanding views of coastline and the rolling hills of Sihanouk Ville in every direction. King Norodom Sihanouk's designed the interiors as well as Promenade des Anglais - a garden and walkway at the base of the rocky outcrop that skirts Independence Beach. Jacqueline Kennedy staid there as well as a wide range of political celebrities from around the world. Today, fully restored to its former beauty and glory, The Independence Hotel succeeds in combining luxury with modernity and history. http://www.independencehotel.net/ less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Volubilis a Roman city in Morocco

    Volubilis a Roman city in Morocco

    The Archaeological Site of Volubilis encompasses the remains of a Roman city that was cap…moreThe Archaeological Site of Volubilis encompasses the remains of a Roman city that was capital of Mauritania Tingitana. It is notable for its high number of mosaic floors. Also, marble and bronze statues have been found. The site was settled already in the 3rd century BC, before it was annexed by the Romans in about 40 AD. It has a favourable location, due to fertile grounds, for the cultivation of olives. At its heyday, the city probably had 20.000 inhabitants. Most of its large monuments such as the triumphal arch and capitol date from the 2nd and 3rd century AD. Volubilis has been declared by Unesco a World Heritage Site. less

    Jerusalem: Wailing Wall

    Jerusalem: Wailing Wall

    The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the f…moreThe Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard, and is arguably the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, commonly believed to have been constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, but recent excavations indicate that the works were not finished during Herod's lifetime. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards. The Western Wall refers not only to the exposed section facing a large plaza in the Jewish Quarter, but also to the sections concealed behind structures running along the whole length of the Temple Mount, such as the Little Western Wall–a 25 ft (8 m) section in the Muslim Quarter. It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries. In Judaism, the Western Wall is venerated as the sole remnant of the Holy Temple. It has become a place of pilgrimage for Jews, as it is the closest permitted accessible site to the holiest spot in Judaism, namely the Even ha-shetiya or Foundation Stone, which lies on the Temple Mount. According to one rabbinic opinion, Jews may not set foot upon the Temple Mount and doing so is a sin punishable by Kareth. While almost all historians and archaeologists and some rabbinical authorities believe that the rocky outcrop in the Dome of the Rock is the Foundation Stone, some rabbis say it is located directly opposite the exposed section of the Western Wall, near the El-kas fountain. This spot was the site of the Holy of Holies when the Temple stood. The Wailing Wall is part of the old city of Jerusalem and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. less

    Aleppo

    Aleppo

    Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world perhaps as early a…moreAleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world perhaps as early as the 6th millennium BC.The city's significance in history has been its location at the end of the Silk Road, which passed through central Asia and Mesopotamia. When the Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869, trade was diverted to sea and Aleppo began its slow decline. At the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Aleppo ceded its northern hinterland to modern Turkeyl. Then in the 1940s it lost its main access to the sea, Antioch and Alexandretta (Iskenderun), also to Turkey. Finally, the isolation of Syria in the past few decades further exacerbated the situation, although perhaps it is this very decline that has helped to preserve the old city of Aleppo, its medieval architecture and traditional heritage. Until recently, Aleppo had been experiencing a noticeable revival and was slowly returning to the spotlight. It recently won the title of the "Islamic Capital of Culture 2006", and has also witnessed a wave of successful restorations of its historic landmarks. The most significant historic buildings of the ancient city include: The Citadel, a large fortress built atop a huge, partially artificial mound rising 50 m above the city, dates back to the first millennium BC. the great Umayyad mosque, and the extraordinary souqs . The old city of Aleppo has been named a Unesco World Heritage site. less