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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    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

    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

    Chef Ken Frank of La Toque

    Chef Ken Frank of La Toque

    Napa Valley with its endless vineyards, year round freshness in its orchards and gardens …moreNapa Valley with its endless vineyards, year round freshness in its orchards and gardens is a perfect environment for wine and food pairing. Ken Ken Frank, has spent more than two- thirds of his life in the kitchen. He learned how to cook in France then moved in Los Angeles where he became a celebrity chef with his restaurant La Toque on Sunset pioneering food and wine pairing there. After running it for 15 years He moved to Napa because he says La Toque has always been a “wine restaurant” and he opened his new La Toque inside the Westin, a true ”wine Hotel”. Since the 70’s Ken has been experimenting with classic technique using the freshest local ingredients. Napa offered immediate access to fresh produce and the best heritage meat suppliers of Northern California. “Moving to Napa Valley was the smartest thing I’ve ever done,” says Frank. “I couldn’t have this kind of restaurant just anywhere.” From his early days in France Ken’s passion for innovation has always been fueled by his attachment to the soil . His move to Napa is part of his journey toward finding his authenticity as a chef in a rich natural environment. So what if it takes a little more travel time to eat at his restaurant? People will keep coming because excellence is the magnet. Michelin stars earned in 2007 and 2009 attest to that. Most recently La Toque was named one of “America’s Best Top 100 Wine Restaurants of 2011” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    10 Best: Berlin- The Jewish Museum

    10 Best: Berlin- The Jewish Museum

    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. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the architect who has been awarded the design for ground zero and the World Trade Center site, the Museum opened in Berlin in 2001 to great acclaim. The Museum, with its slanted walls and floors evokes dislocation, anxiety and memory. Hosted by Julia Grimpe, a well known theater and TV star who resides in Berlin. less

    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- Neue Galerie

    10 Best: Berlin- Neue Galerie

    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. Designed by Mis Van Der Rohe and combing the collections of East and West Germany after re=unification, this Museum house some of the most impressive works of XXthe Century masters from Cubism, Bauhaus, Expressionism and Surrealism. Hosted by Julia Grimpe, a theater and TV star who resides in Berlin. less

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    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

    Angkor Village Resort

    Angkor Village Resort

    Near the Angkor archeological park, Angkor Village Resort features an elegant wooden pala…moreNear the Angkor archeological park, Angkor Village Resort features an elegant wooden palace, exquisite spa and beautiful cottages set amongst lush tropical gardens and along a unique river-shaped pool. 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

    Kenya's Lake Nakuru, a World Heritage Site

    Kenya's Lake Nakuru, a World Heritage Site

    he Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley is a World Heritage site. It consists of th…morehe Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley is a World Heritage site. It consists of three lakes in basins on the floor of the valley, known for their high concentration of lesser flamingo, great white pelicans and migratory birds. Lake Nakuru is one of them. All the three lakes are shallow, alkaline and are hydro-geologically connected through sub surface seepage of water. The alkalinity of the three lakes supports the abundant growth of the green algae (spirulina platensis) which is the food of the lesser flamingoes which congregate in the lakes in great numbers. Thousands of pink flamingos have been living forever on Lake Nakuru but are facing environmental threats. less

    Galapagos a World Heritage Site

    Galapagos a World Heritage Site

    Its hard to explain, or even illustrate, the magic of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. This…moreIts hard to explain, or even illustrate, the magic of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. This is a modest attempt. Unesco has declared the Galapagos a World Heritage Site less

    Baalbek, Lebanon- wonder of the ancient world

    Baalbek, Lebanon- wonder of the ancient world

    Baalbek, is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. It is famous for its exquisitely det…moreBaalbek, is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire. It is Lebanon's greatest Roman treasure, and it can be counted among the wonders of the ancient world, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins. Towering high above the Beqaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. The gods worshiped there, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility. The town is about 85 km (53 mi) northeast of Beirut and about 75 km (47 mi) north of Damascus. Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site. less