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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    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

    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

    Luxury Wine Tour of Piedmont promo

    Luxury Wine Tour of Piedmont promo

    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. Let iexplore guide you on this luxury wine tour among castles and vineyards. There you’ll meet the makers of these great wines and the chefs working their dazzling 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. 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 search for truffles in the woods with his dog Diana. Tartufi Morra is a truffle emporium Established in 1930. It has the ultimate selection of everything truffle. The restaurant Piazza Duomo owned by the Ceretto winemaking family is a shocking pink space with frescoes by Francesco Clemente.The avant-garde cuisine of Chef Enrico Crippa has earned the restaurant a one Michelin star. The healthy pastry shop created by chef Luca Mentersino uses no sugar, milk or flour. So go ahead and splurge. Neive is at the heart of Barbaresco. Katja and Ivan Rivetti are the third generation of Rivetti making this wine here. Tops labels are Bricco Barbaresco and Bricco de Neveis. The Stupino brothers winery is housed in a sprawling 18th century castle. In the 70’s the Stupino’s cloned an old variety of Arneis vine producing a remarkable sparkling Pinot Noir besides their well known Barbaresco. The restaurant La Ciau del Tornavento is owned by chef Maurilio Garola. The Chef has consistently received one Michelin star for his groundbreaking dishes. The fortified Castle of Grinzane was erected in the XIth Century. Today it houses a very large Enoteca representing the best of Piedmont wines and grappas. Barolo is a charming medieval town surrounded by wineries The Marchesi Falletti created the first Barolo in this village.The first bottle, "Cannubbio 1861” is on permanent display.Today the original 19-century chestnut barrels have been reconditioned to age the Barolo Cannubi or Barolo Riserva. Locanda nel Borgo Antico is set in an hamlet outside Barolo. In this elegant restaurant Chef Massimo Camia prepares the classic dishes which have earned the restaurant a Michelin star. The Ceretto brothers have created a 300 acres network of small estates producing some outstanding labels. Top wines are Bricco Rocche, Brunate and Prapo’. They have also sponsored major art projects the Sol Lewitt Chapel among the vineyards and in their winery their futuristic wine-tasting glass cube. You will stay in the Hotel Villa Beccaris an 18th century palazzo surrounded by vineyards near the historic town of Monforte DAlba. 3 sisters from the Burlotto family run the Castle which their grandfather bought from the first King of Italy. The family restored the original frescos and furniture. Here you’ll attend cooking lesson in classic Piedmontese dishes. Their winery has some of the oldest vintages going back to the 1850’s. Top wines are Verduno Basadone, Barbaresco Rabaja’ . 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. After this magical tour with iexplore.com, Langhe Roero 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 Copyright Christina Tours, LLC less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    10 Best: Bangkok- Traditional Thai Puppet Theater

    10 Best: Bangkok- Traditional Thai Puppet Theater

    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. The Traditional Thai Puppet Theater was founded by Sakorn Yangkhiawsod, known as Joe Louis, the last Grand master of the art. There are 3 types of theatrical styles which involve dancing and singing and are comparable in style and form to the 18th century ballet performed at Versailles. Each puppet is controlled by 3 puppeteers who perform on stage in synchronization with the puppet. The Joe Louis Theater remains the true guardian of this vanishing art form. www.thaipuppet.com Hosted by Sunida Thirasak, a Bangkok native who presently lives in New York. less

    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

    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

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    Cruising the Nile on the Oberoi Philae part 1

    Cruising the Nile on the Oberoi Philae part 1

    A nile cruise is a magical way to experience the 7000 year history of Egypt because the l…moreA nile cruise is a magical way to experience the 7000 year history of Egypt because the largest concentration of temples lies along the river Nile between Luxor and Aswan. This 7 day cruise starts in Luxor, which has been called the greatest open air museum and is probably the oldest tourist destination in history. The ship is the Oberoi Philae, a vessel built in 1996 with 50 luxurious cabins and all amenities. A true floating luxury Hotel. The ship sails north to Quina . The wonderfully preserved temple of Dendera is a rare sight to behold. The main temple dedicated to the Goddess Hathor, goddess or pleasure and of love, usually represented as a cow, or a woman with a cow’s head. Its hypostyle hall has towering columns inscribed with hieroglyphs. The massive stone roof is rich with painted reliefs. Under the temple are dark chambers and underground passages. The courtyard has a rare statue of the god Bes the patron of childbirth. After Dendera the ship sails back to Luxor. A beautiful sphinx way leads to the entrance of the temple of Luxor. Built by Ramses the Great it was dedicated to the god Amun. A couple of miles north is the spectacular Temple of Karnak. Built over more than a thousand years by generations of Pharaohs Karnak is the largest religious complex in the world. The great “Hypostyle Hall” is an incredible forest of giant pillars, covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral. The West Bank is a quick boat ride across the Nile, Here a baloon ride gives an overview of the immense funerary valleys below. The Valley of the Kings, is a vast City of the Dead where magnificent tombs were carved into the desert rocks, decorated richly, and filled with treasures for the . In the next valley rising out of the desert plain as if carved out of the limestone cliffs, is the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut ,Ancient Egypt’s only female Pharaoh. On the way back to the river Nile, the road passes by the famed Colossi of Memnon, the only survivors of a once imposing temple. The ship sails south to Essna. The Oberoi Philae ranked 3rd in BEST SMALL SHIPS OF THE WORLD awarded by Conde' Nast Traveller, USA in 2009 http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_philae less

    The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai

    The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai

    The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai is one of the legendary Grand Hotels in Asia and an …moreThe Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai is one of the legendary Grand Hotels in Asia and an architectural marvel bringing together Moorish, Florentine and Asian styles. It faces the Bay of Mumbai right next to the India Gate which was built in honor of King George V and Queen Mary's visit in 1923, both iconic landmarks of this great City. Since its opening in 1903 it has played host to the most celebrated personalitites of the century, from Maharajas to Kings. John Lennon and Yoko Ono survived in the Rajput Suite on a macrobiotic menu specially designed by the Chefs of the Taj. less

    Sokha Hotel

    Sokha Hotel

    Sihanouk Ville is a great little tropical getaway in the sun, sea and white sandy beaches…moreSihanouk Ville is a great little tropical getaway in the sun, sea and white sandy beaches. A place to unwind in a lay back ambience, enjoy ocean-fresh seafood and take in a snorkeling or scuba diving trip. The Sokha Luxury Hotel Sokha Beach Resort, set amidst 23.5 hectares of beautifully landscaped beachfront and garden with its own 1.5 kilometer pristine white sandy beach is a top choice when vacationing in South East Asia. It was voted amongst the Best New Hotels in the World in Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's Ninth Annual Hot List of 2005. A nearby attraction is the Ream National Park located 18 km from Sihanoukville and a must see while in Southern Cambodia. The park, which has been open since 1993, encompasses 30,000 acres of rainforest and 12,000 acres of marine habitats. http://www.sokhahotels.com less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Fez, a World Heritage Site

    Fez, a World Heritage Site

    Fez, was the first Imperial City built in 790 A.D. by Moulay Idriss II. This is the wo…more Fez, was the first Imperial City built in 790 A.D. by Moulay Idriss II. This is the world last surviving Medieval city with great monuments and a sprawling a Medina with the oldest tanneries in the world. The Medina of Fez is a walled city with madrasas, fondouks, mosques and palaces dating from Marinid rule in the 13th–14th centuries. At that period, Fez replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. Fez is also known for great shopping in its bustling souks. Unesco declared it a World Heritage site. less

    Jerusalem : Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    Jerusalem : Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians…moreThe Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem. The site is venerated as Golgotha (the Hill of Calvary), where Jesus was crucified, and is said also to contain the place where Jesus was buried (the Sepulchre). The church has been a paramount – and for many Christians the most important – pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century, as the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus. Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the building is shared between several Christian churches and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries. Today, the church is home to Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Anglican and Protestant Christians have no permanent presence in the church and some regard the alternative Garden Tomb, elsewhere in Jerusalem, as the true place of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection. On the south side of the altar is a stairway climbing to Calvary (Golgotha), traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and the most lavishly decorated part of the church. The main altar there belongs to the Greek Orthodox, which contains The Rock of Calvary (12th Station of the Cross). The rock can be seen under glass on both sides of the altar, and beneath the altar there is a hole said to be the place where the cross was raised. Due to the significance of this, it is the most visited site in the Holy Sepulchre. The Roman Catholics (Franciscans) have an altar to the side, The Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross (11th Station of the Cross). On the left of the altar, towards the Eastern Orthodox chapel, there is a statue of Mary, believed to be working wonders (the 13th Station of the Cross, where Jesus' body was removed from the cross and given to his family). Beneath the Calvary and the two chapels there, on the main floor, there is The Chapel of Adam. According to tradition, Jesus was crucified over the place where Adam's skull was buried. The Rock of Calvary is seen cracked through a window on the altar wall, the crack traditionally being said to be caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus died on the cross, and being said by more critical scholars to be the result of quarrying against a natural flaw in the rock. Just inside the entrance is The Stone of Anointing, also known as The Stone of Unction, which tradition claims to be the spot where Jesus' body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea. However, this tradition is only attested since the crusader era, and the present stone was only added in the 1810 reconstruction. The Rotunda is located beneath the larger of the church's two domes. In the centre of the Rotunda is the chapel called The Edicule, which contains the Holy Sepulchre itself. The Edicule has two rooms. The first one holds The Angel's Stone, a fragment of the stone believed to have sealed the tomb after Jesus' burial. The second one is the tomb itself. Under the status quo, the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic Churches all have rights to the interior of the tomb. The church is a UNESCO World Heritage site. less

    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