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dog sledding in Laplanddog sledding in Lapland Our expedition leader Johan Väisänen has the looks of a Viking with the vigour of Ben Hur. The latter also refers to the sled on which he skilfully balances while zipping through a cold and silent, white landscape. Johan is a modern charioteer, with the only difference that the carriage is a wooden sleigh pulled forward by six hyperkinetic husky dogs. Read more »

Ski Jumping hill Bersigel by Zaha HadidInnsbruckOn the skis in the morning, in the afternoon some serious shopping and when evening comes, relaxing with a Spritz or Hugo in a cosmopolitan bar. Why stay in a boring and artificial resort if you can be in Innsbruck, the urban ski mekka of the European Alps? Every visit to Innsbruck really should start (and end) in the 360° bar. Order one of the favourite cocktails of this region, the Italian Venetziano (aka Spritz) made with Aperol and prosecco and enjoy the view over the city surrounded by snowy mountaintops. Read more »

Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, Austriathe cow symbol on top of Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaJagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaJagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaCheck into the enigmatic and historic 800 year old Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg-Stolberg and discover Kühtai, a tranquil skiing village high in the mountains of Austrian Tyrol. When Franz Joseph I, the former Austrian Emperor and husband of the captivating empress Sisi, came here to hunt deer and chamois, he had no idea that his beloved Kühtai would one day be one of the most charming ski resorts in the Alps. Nevertheless, until now Kühtai has remained a closely guarded secret. Read more »

Wiesergut - Salzburgerland, Austria
Salzburgerland, AustriaWhat was once a family-run guesthouse hidden in a simple building has three years ago been transformed into one of the most talked about design hotels in the Alps. Standing in front of Hotel Wiesergut it seems almost inconceivable that a 14th century building is hidden inside the tightly modern architecture. It’s also hard to believe that the stylish owners, Martina and Sepp Kröll, were once farmers, and actually still are. Sepp still has his cows alongside the alm high up on the mountain. Read more »

Santo StefanoSextantio SuiteSextantio SuiteSextantio SuiteIs the fate of many unique, virtually abandoned villages in the unknown corner of Abruzzo sealed? Not if Swedish-Italian millionaire Daniele Kihlgren can help it. In 1999, a solitary motorbike trip proved to be a revelation for this modern-day idealist. By chance, he stumbled upon the almost-deserted hilltop village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park in the Apennines. He was struck speechless, not only by the outstanding beauty of the setting, but also because almost everything was untouched. Read more »

vito pugliavito pugliaVito Puglio PerbaccoVito Puglio Perbacco
Slow Food is above all linked with its charismatic founder, Carlo Petrini, but from the very beginning, Vito Puglia equally pulled his weight. Twenty years on, this true pioneer doesn’t reside in a busy head office in northern Italy, but under an olive tree at his exceptional restaurant Perbacco in southern Italy. Only ‘noses’ and insiders know where it is. This restaurant is the playground of Vito Puglia, born and raised in Cilento, a little known region of southern Italy. Vito grew up to become one of the first pioneers and founders of the Slow Food movement. Read more »

home food italyhome food italyhome food italyhome food italyWhy go to an ordinary restaurant if you can taste the real Italian cuisine presented by a proper Mamma at her home? Thanks to the Home Food project every traveller to the land of la dolce vita can now experience a real, Italian evening in the company of a real, Italian famiglia. You can do just like us and pick any location in Italy, whether it is a town or even on the countryside and see if there is a mamma, a cesarina, willing to cook for you. Our Home Food experience is with Leda di Timoteo and her husband in the charming town of Sulmona in the hinterland of Abruzzo. Read more »

Amanzo'e Beach Club Wally OneAmanzo'e Beach Club Wally One After two years of building, Amanzo’e opened in August 2012 on a huge plot of land along the eastern coast of the Peloponnese. It is near the coastal town of Porto Heli and only a boat ride away from the jet set islands of Spetses and Hydra. When in 2006 Adrian Zecha was taken to this spot, the hilltop of Aghios Panteleimonas, he said, “This is an Aman site.”  Read more »

traboccoTrabocco Punta Cavalluccio - main courseTrabocco Punta Cavalluccio
In the old days they were smartly build wooden fishing installations battling with the fierce sea along the coast of Abruzzo. Nowadays these trabocchi are the most charming seafood restaurants in Italy. They look a bit alien with the silhouette of a giant crab walking on its thin, fragile stilts along the shores of the Adriatic coast. Most tourists in a hurry will barely notice them. Others travel from far away just to come and eat here. Tell any Italian that you plan to have some frutti di mare on a trabocco, and you are guaranteed to get many wide smiles. Read more »

Espa Life Corinthia LondonEspa Life Corinthia LondonLondon likes to keep fit, well rested and in shape these days. In anticipation of the 2012 Olympics, new hotels and spas are popping up all over the UK capital. 2011 saw the opening of the Corinthia hotel in Whitehall and it’s impressive four-floor Espa Life spa and gym. This grand old building was previously the Ministry of Defence HQ and has now been revamped by GA Design. The spa is sumptuously kitted out with calacatta and black marble, tiled hammam-style steam rooms and a curious swimming pool – the lighting around it works so that movement in the water is reflected on the ceiling. Read more »