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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

    Cooking with Zarela: Ranch style- Dry chile.

    Cooking with Zarela: Ranch style- Dry 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

    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

  • 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

    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

    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

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    Angkor Palace Resort & Spa

    Angkor Palace Resort & Spa

    One of the leading hotels in Siem Reap, Angkor Palace Resort & Spa is the first Cambodian…moreOne of the leading hotels in Siem Reap, Angkor Palace Resort & Spa is the first Cambodian-owned premier luxury five-star resort accommodation. Its design, décor and furnishing reflect the finest in Cambodian architecture befitting royalties and dignitaries. less

    Le Meridien Hotel, Heliopolis

    Le Meridien Hotel, Heliopolis

    A luxury Hotel situated in the exclusive residential area of Heliopolis close to the Pres…moreA luxury Hotel situated in the exclusive residential area of Heliopolis close to the Presidential Palace. At the turn of the 19th Century a Belgian Industrialist created Heliopolis as a"city of luxury and leasure" with impressive recreational amenities and innovative architecture, 10 Kilometers from Cairo. With the expansion of Cairo Heliopolis is now well inside the city. It is home to the wealthiest class of egyptian society, with neighbouring churches, mosques and synagogues reflecting Cairo's multiculturalism and religious tolerance . less

    Sheraton Luxor Resort

    Sheraton Luxor Resort

    The Sheraton Luxor is located on 8 acres of lush gardens on the East bank of the Nile boa…moreThe Sheraton Luxor is located on 8 acres of lush gardens on the East bank of the Nile boasting spectacular sunsets across the river and a 15 minute walk to the historic center of the old Luxor. Right here are the Karnak Temples and across the Nile are the valley of the Kings and Queens. 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

    Florence in Winter

    Florence in Winter

    With much less tourists to contend with, visiting Florence in the winter season has its r…moreWith much less tourists to contend with, visiting Florence in the winter season has its rewards. No line to Museums and the weather can be balmy too. less

    Plitvice Lake Croatia

    Plitvice Lake Croatia

    Down toward the central region of Licka are the Plitvize lakes. Surrounded by 3 mountains…moreDown toward the central region of Licka are the Plitvize lakes. Surrounded by 3 mountains feeding the lakes this World Heritage Site is a grand collection of amazing waterfalls and 16 lakes known for their unusual changing colors colors ranging from blue to aqua to turquoise . less