Lifestyle

A Peaceful Vacation to Discover a European Town’s True Spirit

To explore the true spirit of city and spend a peaceful vacation filled with relaxation and mind-blowing discoveries, you have to visit a country’s hidden villages. While cities are taking part in the globalization phenomena that is invading the world, villages are the right place to explore a country’s culinary art, traditions and hidden gems.

With this in mind, here are a few villages to visit across Europe that will leave you in awe. Enjoy discovering their wonders and treasures.

 

Giornico, Switzerland

Located in the Italian-speaking canton of southern Switzerland, Giornico is a hidden village filled with family-run restaurants known as “grotte”. While there are no hotels to stay in this village, you can find some in the 35-miles-away lake resort towns of Ascona and Locarno, and enjoy the ride to arrive to this magical place.

 

Kotor, Montenegro

Despite the fact that it hasn’t reach the peak of its development yet, Kotor is a village in Montenegro that will introduce you to the real Montenegrin stewed meat. Besides this delicacy, you will get the chance to visit its historical fortress and fall in love with the mist that settles into the hills surrounding the village’s bay and hides its blood-orange trees if you happen to visit during the fall. Such a magical place!

 

Lavenham, England

Nothing is more charming than a visit to a true English tea house and the discovery of its traditional delicacies. With this in mind, Lavenham – which is known to be the prettiest town in England – will offer you the chance to live this dream. It will also give you the opportunity to fall under the charm of its heritage houses. Need we say more?

 

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.co.uk

Chassignolles, France

If you believe in the healing power of nature, Chassignolles is the place to spend a wonderful vacation. This village, which was popular among Marseille’s elite in the 1950s, will give you the opportunity to check out its dormant green volcanos and discover the healing qualities of its winding streams. And for the love of food, you will also get the chance to try out the restaurants’ inventive meals made from local ingredients.

 

Folégandros, Greece

Have you ever visited Greece but would like to explore a calmer side of the country? If the answer is yes, the town of Folégandros will give you this opportunity. In fact, this tranquil spot has nothing in common with Santorini, with no buildings above 2 stories, no cruise ships pulling into the port, no boutiques or fancy restaurants. In this town, it’s all about relaxation, waves crashing against pebbled beaches, goats wandering up the hills and a time-old wooden windmills twisting in the salty breeze. Quite a wonderful escape, huh?

 

Mirella Haddad

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Gucci Opens New Exhibition in Gucci Garden Galleria in Florence

It’s in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria that the Gucci Garden Galleria has been housed. Conceived by the House’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele and featuring exhibition spaces curated by critic and curator Maria Luisa Frisa, Gucci Garden has now opened a new exhibition in the Period Rooms, unveiling new wall paintings and coinciding with Pitti Uomo 95. That said, the opening of the men’s fashion fair signaled the start of the exhibition and the showcase of the new artwork.

The Period Rooms in the Gucci Garden Galleria had previously opened in June earlier this year, with a tribute to Björk and the House’s collaboration with her. And now, the new exhibition aims to demonstrate how Gucci has interpreted and defined men’s fashion over the years. And so, the exhibition focuses on Gucci’s redefining of the concept of masculinity since the 1960s – along with its various Creative Directors, from the Tom Ford era to the present – by showcasing items such as clothing, objects, accessories, images, books, magazines and video documents.

Also, the ground floor boutique of Gucci Garden – which is home to a selection of publications on sale – features work by writers on fashion studies and high-profile fashion journalists who look at the idea of masculinity.

Fresh wall paintings commissioned for the Gucci Garden transitional spaces – the stairwells and stair-and-elevator landings – have also been unveiled, conceived by Italian artist MP5, who is known for an insightful black-and-white style, and English artist Alex Merry, who portrays a dreamlike universe through illustrations and portraits that use color in surprising ways. 

Visitors to Florence can revel in this special Gucci store, as it features exclusive items, from shoes to handbags and ready-to-wear for both men and women. The boutique also presents a selection of clothing and other items bearing images by MP5, such as a collection of T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts for men and women, and shopper bags, all displaying black-and-white prints that have been inspired by the ancient Chinese text the I Ching (also known as the Book of Changes).

To top it all off, the Gucci Garden’s restaurant – the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura – is helmed by internationally renowned chef Massimo Bottura, whose dishes explore the deep roots of the Italian kitchen while making references to history, art and philosophy.

And for those of you who can’t wait to visit the new space, you’ll be glad to know that 50% of each ticket sale will be donated to support restoration projects in the city of Florence.

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Fancy Traveler – The Travel Bags You Need

Photo Courtesy of Instagram.com/Neginmirsalehi

Whether you’re a frequent business traveler or you just like to go on adventures, you’ll always need one good travel bag to accompany you through your jet-setting lifestyle. After all, we humans love to discover the world, especially if style is added to the equation.

And as you prepare yourself for the journey, the number one priority is to pick a solid suitcase that could endure everything. One thing you have to keep in mind is the travel destination, the distance to said destination, the length of the trip and finally, the amount of clothes you’ll be needing. Now we know that we women tend to always over-pack, that’s why we always say the bigger the suitcase, the better – because who knows what you’ll be shopping for upon your arrival, right?

And so, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to scour the best travel bags so you can heighten your experience in all the right ways. The Photo Gallery, right this way…

 

Cindy Menassa

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When in Bruges

Often times we travel for fun, but most of the time we’re on a plane heading somewhere for work or other non-touristy reasons. That said, you should never stop enjoying and exploring the city you’re heading to. When it is entirely up to me, the sun takes me to exotic places around the world, but on one occasion, work took me to Belgium and it was an amazing experience.

Belgium might not be your first choice of destination when visiting Europe, but it has its hidden gems, and my favorite one was Bruges. Oh if I could only go back!!

If you feel like traveling back in time, to the medieval ages with a modern twist, then Bruges is the right place to visit. There is no specific time of year to visit the city, but your experience might vary depending on the time you decide to explore it. From late November until Christmas, the entire old town of Bruges transforms into a Christmas market wonderland with fun festivities.

 

The best way to explore the town and its historical scenery which is on the UNESCO world heritage list, is by the horse-drawn carriages or by foot. Walk! Yes, walk in the cobbled streets and tiny alleyways. Don’t worry about getting lost because all the ways will lead to the Belfry bell tower, an 80-meter medieval construction, in the middle of the town that can be seen from anywhere. So always keep it as your reference. The view from above is beyond spectacular if you have the energy to climb the 366 narrow spiral stairs!

 

The Grote MARKT is located at the center surrounded by cafes and restaurants, outlined by small multi-colored houses that remind you of the Christmas gingerbread homes.

 

While you are wandering in the old town’s streets, you will find yourself tempted by the smell of sweets and chocolate. Belgium is known to produce the best chocolate and waffles in the world, and as much as you will try to resist, you will find yourself binge eating on the exceptional waffles coated with whatever your mind can imagine. After all, we all know that on vacation the calories don’t count.

Trust me happiness can exist on a stick!

One more thing to stimulate your appetite are fries. Yes, fries are Belgian and not French. Belgians take this fact so seriously that you’ll find a food stall, or restaurant specialized in Belgian fries at almost every corner you turn. My goal here is not to make you fat, but it would be a sin not to share this information.

The city has effectively more canals than roads; it’s known as the Venice of North, so trips around the canals are a must especially because they allow you to enjoy the unique Flemish architectural facades. From May 5 till September 16, 2018, the city has hosted a beautiful open-air exhibition called the “Triennale” where 15 original works of art were spread along the town under the "Liquid City" theme. The most controversial piece was a blue whale made of plastic wastes recovered from the sea that endangers the maritime ecosystem.

 

However, the most cliché and photographed site in Bruges is the quay of the Rosary. It definitely looks like a postcard. You will find couples hunting you to capture their everlasting picture there.

So whether you’re heading there for a fun weekend, or you have a work conference scheduled, Bruges will pleasantly surprise you as it did me!

 

Marie-Therezia Hadchiti
Instagram: @therychoux

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Behind Each Hotel… History

While some of us are totally immersed in today’s technologies, there are still a considerable number of people that are fond of everything related to history. If you are one of them, you have fallen on the right article!

Being a history lover is all about recalling the past through architecture or any other form of art that makes you discover the charm of the old times. And one of the ways to do so is through a stay in a historical hotel in a breathtaking city. So, check out our picks for you!

 

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa – North Wales, Britain

Photo Courtesy of Bodysgallen.com

Luxurious, stylish and comfortable, this 17th-century house is owned by the National Trust. Being one of the top country house hotels in Britain, it ensures you a comfortable stay in one of its 15 rooms and a wonderful experience – whether in its sophisticated restaurant or in its relaxing health and fitness spa. Furnished with antique pieces and decorated with old paintings, this is definitely a place that should be on your list of destinations.

 

Schlosshotel Klink hotel – Klink, Germany

Photo Courtesy of Historichotelsofeurope.com

Directly located at the lake Müritz, this historical caste combines the romanticism of the past and the comfort of the present. Choose between the 30 rooms and suites located in the castle or the 3 exclusive suites and 73 rooms available in the adjoin Orangery, and prepare yourself for a memorable stay in a breathtaking place surrounded by water and nature.

 

Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois – Basel, Switzerland

Photo Courtesy of Lestroisrois.com

Located at the exact spot where the ships docked in the Middle Ages, this charming hotel immerses you in the past in the most wonderful of ways. Combining natural elegance and luxury, its history stretches back over three hundred years. Need we say more?

 

The Argentikon Luxury Suites – Chios Island, Greece

Photo Courtesy of Argentikon.gr

This fascinating old place bursts with medieval and Genoese influences. Although it was built in the 16th century by the Genoese Argenti family, it combines old-world craftsmanship with 21st century amenities – providing its guests with an extremely pleasant experience. In fact, it consists of 4 residences and a main palazzo built in 1550.

 

Château de Varenne – Provence, France

Photo Courtesy of Chateaudevarenne.com

Built in the early 17th century in honor of the daughter of Avignon’s mayor, this place offers you an experience ideal for a stay with friends or alone. Surrounded by a quiet and peaceful garden guarded by a 400-year-old Lebanese cedar tree, this old family house that kept its authenticity and charm up until now is open to be shared with its Irish owners from March to October. With each room having a story and a special décor, the opportunity is quite irresistible.

 

Mirella Haddad

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Hotels from the Future

For the young generation who is crazy about everything related to technology and all the tech savvies in the world, here’s a feature that will make your next trip much, much more exciting! We know you are simply looking for a hotel from the future, in which ultra-modern design and high-tech elements set the tone for your stay. Therefore, here is our list of 5 places that will make your adventure worth the while.

 

Silken Puerta América Hotel – Madrid, Spain
Photo Courtesy of Hotelpuertaamerica.com

Every room in this hotel is unique. Well, that’s the least you can expect from a hotel that was designed by a dream team consisting of 19 of the world’s best architects.

 

Eccleston Square Pimlico – London, England
Photo Courtesy of Ecclestonsquarehotel.com

Although this hotel comes in the shape of a striking 19th century historical building, it’s a true delight for tech savvies from the inside. In fact, its interior is full of keypads that allow you to control the music and lighting, as well as flat-screen televisions embedded in bathroom mirrors and iPads that provide you with concierge services.

 

NH Hotel – Berlin, Germany

Photo Courtesy of Nh-collection.com

Are you a big movie fan? Well, this hotel offers you what you can only see in movies. Also available in Milan and Barcelona, this hotel supports holographic technology through the projection of people’s 3D image in its conference room. If this will not make your business trip more exciting, what will?

 

Yotel – New York, USA

Photo Courtesy of Yotel.com

Being one of the most technological hotels in New York, this hotel is on the top of our list. In fact, everything there is automated; use one of the digital workstations with your room key and leave your luggage for a robot to carry them for you. Yes, it seems that this is what the future is all about!

 

W Singapore – Sentosa Island, Singapore

Photo Courtesy of Marriott.com

Everything you expect to see in a futuristic place is made available in this hotel. From underwater speakers to suites featuring private DJ Booths and LED lights throughout, this hotel will offer you a unique high-tech experience amidst a beautiful tropical place.

 

Mirella Haddad

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Brighten Up Your Day with Gucci’s Charming Eyewear Collection

Sponsored by Gucci

 

Forget everything you thought you knew about glasses, because Gucci’s Spring-Summer 2018 Eyewear collection is as eclectic as eyewear can be.

Sunglasses with crystals
Fluorescent sunglasses

Rectangular-frame acetate sunglasses
All by Gucci

 

Alessandro Michele has long championed the frilly attitude of fashion, what with his abundant exploration of all-things colorful, eccentric and opulent creativity. But the House’s Creative Director has instilled the Spring-Summer 2018 collection with a whole lot more than what meets the eyes – literally.

Sunglasses with crystals
By Gucci

 

Fine executions and sophisticated details come alive in a series of unique eyewear, all of which embody the eccentric spirit of Gucci. With colors as enchanting as magic and shapes as mystical as ever, the collection beams with a certain elegance brought up to very “vintag-y” proportions. Call it the Gucci effect.

Square-frame sunglasses
By Gucci

 

His creativity has indeed reached new heights, taking the fashion scene through the joys of bold proportions, visionary masks, classic shapes and heart-shaped styles with colorful multifaceted lenses.

Square-frame glitter sunglasses
By Gucci

 

Gucci’s futuristic designs have always harmoniously blended with bits and pieces of the retro world – think nods to the seventies and the eighties in the best kind of way. And so, this particular collection holds essentially true to this statement, offering fun and unexpected details from here, embellished jewels from there and a whole lot of shimmers from everywhere.

Square frame sunglasses
By Gucci

 

Round-frame sunglasses with metal
Cat eye glitter acetate sunglasses
All by Gucci

 

Square-frame sunglasses
Fuchsia pink sunglasses
Round-frame sunglasses with metal

All by Gucci
 

Heart-frame sunglasses
By Gucci

 

 

Article written by Cindy Menassa
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