Mind over Madness

A Yoga Class in the heart of New York City?

by Simone Zarmati Diament

  

 

 

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Renaissance Splendor and modern comfort at the Palazzo Della Gherardesca

21st century travelers can not only visit the sumptuous city of Florence and its treasures but they can also live like princes at the Renaissance Palazzo della Gherardesca, which has opened as the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence.

  1florencefourseasons

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Badia a Coltibuono, Chianti, Tuscany

Traditional Tuscan specialties by a top chef, great wines, olive oils, ancient krypts, a hotel, shop, and an Etruscan museum in an 11th century abbey

This is part of a series of stories on food and wine from Tuscany, Italy
by South Florida Gourmet editor
Simone Zarmati Diament

 

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
The city's culinary highlights have as much local color
and history as its other cultural offerings . One of the top 25 U.S. cities to live in, it has a thriving music scene, farmers markets, the famous Zingerman's Deli, and new restaurants, coffeehouses, theaters and galleries. 

 By Carole Kotkin

 

 

10 Things your cruise line won't tell you… and more..

by Chuck Colman,  SmartMoney.com

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/108872/10-things-your-cruise-line-won't-tell-you?mod=family-travel

 

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 A shy Valentine from the 16th Century in
Bourg-en-Bresse, Ain, Rhone-Alps, France

500 years ago, Marguerite of Austria, daughter of an emperor and princess of Savoie, built the Royal Monastery of Brou, the ultimate homage to her love for her handsome and short-lived husband, Philibert le Beau .She left for all lovers to come a jewel of Gothic flamboyant architecture that speaks of times gone by and undying love.

 

 

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A gorgeous landscape of plains and rolling hills dotted with small towns and medieval villages, rich with vineyards and farms producing high quality wines and handcrafted products. And when the sky is blue against white billowing clouds you feel you’re traveling through a Renaissance painting.

Say Pisa, and what comes to mind is The Leaning Tower. “The tower, the Piazza del Duomo with the Cathedral, the Baptistry and perhaps the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Artworks of the Cathedral) is all that people want to see,” mused Fabrizio Quochi of the Pisa Tourist Board about the millions of tourists who come to Pisa for a brief glimpse of the monuments with nary a thought for the treasures that lays beyond.

 

 
 
 
Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy 
A pristine touristic destination
rich in history and with a tradition of fine cuisine and world-class wine
By Carole Kotkin
 

Exclusive guest rooms perched atop wooded hills, a two-Michelin star restaurant, pristine nature, a magnificent spa, and all of Napa Valley’s wineries at hand, Meadowood is an exquisite getaway for lovers and aficionados of splendid wines, sports and nature


As a professional traveler who likes to explore the true character of a destination in its small inns and boutique hotels, if anyone had told me that I would enjoy a Resort and Spa and that my husband would too, I would have laughed at the thought as ludicrous. Especially in Napa Valley. Give us wineries, hikes in vineyards and hills, marvelous wine bars and restaurants in quaint towns… in short the inner soul of one of the most beautiful wine growing regions in the US; but a spa? A resort?

 

A breathtaking journey through time, and one of the hottest towns in Europe. History steeped in every cobblestone, beauty, fun, great food and an enchanting atmosphere are a treat for the entire family

Belgium is what I would call a mini Europe from every point of view as it concentrates all of this continent’s history, culture and trade in one small place. In concert to the concept of a mini Europe, most destinations are but a short ride from Brussels by train, prices are affordable and the Euro takes you quite a long way.

An hour away from Brussels by train, the flourishing city of Ghent is at the confluence of four rivers. The fresh and earthy smell of river water rises from the rivers and the canals that were built to facilitate trade. Besides being the commercial lifeline of the city, they were coveted as a passage way to Europe by an endless succession of invaders. Every step in this most charming historical city attests to its rich past.

 

By Dan Saltzstein
http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/ducasse-goes-tropical-at-w-vieques/?ref=travel

Yautia, guava and yuca aren’t ingredients you’d expect to see on a menu from Alain Ducasse, the Michelin-starred chef from France. But those are some of the tropical items that might appear on the menu at his latest venture, Mix on the Beach, a restaurant incorporating Caribbean and Mediterranean influences at the W Retreat and Spa, Vieques, which is scheduled to open in January.

 

The historic towns of Annecy and Talloires cuddle up along the shore of
the purest lake in Europe at the feet of the Alps.
Great food in Michelin-rated hotels and restaurant share the billboard
with exciting skiing, mountain hiking and summer sports

 

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