Forbes - Why You Should Visit Peru Now

Take a look at my latest Forbes post - Why You Should Visit Peru Now -  I tried to capture the opening party for Palacio Nazarenas and what I loved most about the trip. Thank you for following along!

Why You Should Visit Peru Now

“15 years ago, this square was dead,” my guide says as I stand in Cusco’s glorious central square, Plaza de Armas. “There was barely anything here.” I look around. What a difference 15 years has made. There is a palpable energy to Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage city showing off both its vast history and a joyful South American spirit. Spanish churches and squares are built right on top of centuries-old Inca ruins and the historical city buildings sport pink terracotta roofs.

I’m here for the opening party of Palacio Nazarenas, the first grand opening party that luxury brand Orient-Express has ever thrown. Housed in a former convent next door to Orient-Express’ beloved Hotel Monasterio, Palacio Nazarenas, which soft opened in June, blew me away. The party, held last Thursday night at the hotel, brought 150 heavy hitters from all over the world: fashion designers, dancers, famous Mexican actresses, the mayors of Lima and Cusco, top luxury travel advisors and even the charming British ambassador to Peru, James Dauris. Music and dancing went on into the night, and fireworks were launched over the city.

More here!

Forbes - 5 Luxury Adventures To Find The Heart of Florence

5 Luxury Adventures To Find The Heart of Florence

I paused when I scanned through my Twitter feed recently. One of my favorite food writers and the original domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson, was tweeting about her trip to Italy. “Think must have died and gone to Heaven. Either that or am at @villasanmichele [Villa San Michele].”

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View from Villa San MicheleWhat's your favorite?

1. The Most Fabulous Cooking School overlooking Florence at Villa San Michele

2. Meeting and Going Behind-The-Scenes with leather artisans, shoemakers, picture frame shops and silk weaving studios using the same looms from the 17th and 18th centuries

3. Learning what a fresco actually means and trying it yourself with an artist

4. Going truffle hunting with an expert and his truffle hunting dog!

5. Going to the Carrara Marble Quarries and seeing the cave where Michelangelo found the block of marble for David