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Renovation Plans Moving Ahead for Venice's Jewish Ghetto

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German-Jewish designer Diane von Furstenberg recently announced she will help launch a $12 million project to restore Venice's Jewish Ghetto.

She joins real estate investor Joseph Sitt and the Venetian Heritage Council, the philanthropist group funding the restoration. Once completed in 2016, the area will also become a UNESCO World Heritage site, which coincides with the ghetto’s 500th anniversary. 

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Of Herbs and Smoke: Peru's Payment to the Earth Ritual

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When Anibal Clavijo Ubaldo and his family acquired a Peruvian plot of land from the local Andean community in Aguas Calientes, they called upon the local shaman Willko Apasa to bless the property before building the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel.

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Dana Point Brightens Holiday Nights in SoCal

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The Southern California community of Dana Point, just a few miles down the road from Laguna Beach, is putting on a massive, radiant display of holiday light sculptures.

Dana Point's Illuminocean features 18 oversized sea-life sculptures as well as moving light tunnels. Altogether the show has over 500,000 LED bulbs to enjoy, and is free for the public—travelers and locals alike—to view through January 4th, 2015.

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Twitter Chat Recap: Tech Awards

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Our most recent Twitter Chat covered all things travel tech. If you missed it, here are the day's best tweets, with tips, tricks, and gadget recommendations from the pros.

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Caribbean's Chikungunya: What You Need to Know About the Virus

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In January, we first reported on chikungunya, a “rare viral disease” spreading in the Caribbean, with around 100 confirmed cases in the region. Flash forward eleven months, that number is up to over 16,000 confirmed and 874,000 suspected cases.  Should Caribbean-bound beachgoers be worried? Here’s what you need to know:

What is it, and what are the symptoms?

Chikungunya is a virus transmitted to humans from mosquitos. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people infected with the virus will experience fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms could include muscle pain, headache, and joint swelling.  Confusingly, many of these symptoms overlap with dengue fever.

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Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC Launches In-Room "Glamour Bar"

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I’m a notorious over-packer. And when it comes to filling my suitcase, an extra pair of heels always seems to take precedence over a hair dryer. Problem is, I immediately regret this decision when I get to the hotel, check in, and find that ubiquitous, awful, 80s-style dryer that hangs in many a guest room. You know, the one that that leaves your locks parched and lifeless. One hotel that’s solving this packing problem: Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, the first luxury hotel to outfit guest rooms with a “Glamour Bar,” starting today.

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Tech Awards Twitter Chat on Tuesday, December 2

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What are the hottest new apps and gadgets for travelers? Find out what the experts have to say on Tuesday, December 2nd from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join us to ask the experts for advice!

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Cyber Monday Deals

Cyber Monday

Who doesn't love a great travel offer? Here, a few Cyber Monday deals to keep the travel spirit alive through the holidays and into 2015.

New York:

The Westin New York at Times Square:
The deal:
 Up to 20% off with rates starting from just $199 per night (based on availability and excluding taxes)
Available:
until 12/7/14
Valid for stays through Feb. 1, 2015
For reservations, click here.

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#HowIHoliday

The holiday season is upon us! Share how you're celebrating this month by posting photos on Instagram and including the hashtag, #howiholiday. You'll have a chance to be featured by T+L, Food & Wine, and other sister brands.

How we may use your content: tandl.me/mediaterms.

Trip Doctor Challenge: What Do I Need To Know When I Rent An Apartment While Traveling?



Looking for quick solutions to your travel concerns? Our resident expert Amy Farley has the facts with Travel + Leisure’s Trip Doctor Challenge.

Thinking of trying out Airbnb for your next vacation? There’s still a lot that’s murky about renting someone else’s apartment. Here’s what you need to know when you use sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey, and OneFineStay.

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Q+A With Food Network Star Maneet Chauhan

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Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan is finishing her year on a high note. In addition to regularly appearing as a judge on Food Network’s Chopped, she recently opened her debut restaurant, an Indian gastropub in Nashville’s Gulch district. Now a self-proclaimed “Nash-Yorker,” with a touch of the travel bug, she sat down with T+L to talk TSA agents, Diwali, and and Music City’s new food scene.  

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A Little Romance in Paris

Paris chocolates

I have schlepped my kids everywhere: Provence, London, Northern Italy, Southern Spain, Budapest, Iceland, and, most recently, Marrakech. Sure I love expanding their horizons. But, the pressure to accommodate their decidedly non pint-sized needs can become tiresome. I guiltily longed for the old days; specifically pre-parenting romps in Paris as an unencumbered culture vulture. Wait, why not dump the kids with the in-laws and jet off with my husband for 96 hours of Franco-fabulous freedom? Our fourteenth wedding anniversary was looming. Selflessnes be damned.

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Is the Twin Peaks Cherry Pie Really That Good?

Twin Peaks Cherry Pie

The answer is yes.

Fans of the re-emerging show can indulge in a damn fine cup of coffee and a warm slice of cherry pie at Twede’s Cafe in North Bend, WA (aka the Double R Diner). Pro-tip: order it with a side of vanilla ice cream. Not planning on visiting the Pacific Northwest anytime soon? Twede's ships the pie anywhere in the U.S. Place your order soon to win at all of your holiday parties.

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New Angkor Wat Guidebook Benefits Cambodian Schools

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Last year on my honeymoon to Southeast Asia, I was lucky enough to meet Andy Booth, the founder of the Siem Reap-based tour company ABOUTAsia (and a member of the T+L A-List). A 2013 Global Vision Awards winner, it donates 100% of profits to local schools, buying them uniforms and supplies, digging wells, and providing training and fair wages to teachers. The tours themselves—to the temples and surrounding villages—are perfectly crafted and designed to avoid the crowds; we were always going opposite traffic and even had a few of the smaller temples of Angkor completely to ourselves (an impressive feat for a popular tourist destination).

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Be Thankful! This Bar Saves Lives

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This month, while we all give thanks for our full plates and second-helpings, the philanthropic granola bar, This Bar Saves Lives, is partnering with Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Southern California to bring the campaign against world hunger to the next level. The resort’s interactive “Giving Wall” allows guests the chance to trade grateful, hand-written notes for an all-natural, gourmet snack bar. In exchange? This Bar Saves Lives donates a life-saving nutrition pack to a child in need.

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New Ideas In Travel Innovation

Phocuswright

Each year, T+L travels to the Phocuswright conference to hear about the latest in travel technology. This year’s gathering took place in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live, where the crowd heard from major industry players as well as startups. The first day of the conference—the Travel Innovation Summit—is when some of the most intriguing new players present their new ideas and products, some of which are so fresh they’re launched at the show.

One of the most interesting takeaways? An increased focus on offline travel agents—either by building your itinerary and sending it to a live agent to price out (Going Somewhere), or, as TripScope is doing, letting users video chat with an agent to collaborate on a trip plan in real time.

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Food Photography Tips and Tricks for Your Smartphone

Salmon

You do it. I do it. We all at one point or another have taken Instagram photos. Food and culture have always remained intertwining emblems of travel and as our social media driven world has grown, so has our love of sharing our experiences. In light of the upcoming holidays, where there’s an inevitable increase in traveling and dining, why not amp up your food photography (or phoneography) skills with these great tips and tricks. 

Find the light. The best food photography is taken near a window during the day (see above). The window creates a soft, natural filter, making dishes appear crisp and cool.

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Thanksgiving-Like Airport Congestion is the New Normal

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If you love Thanksgiving (who doesn’t?), consider planning trips through Chicago’s Midway Airport and Las Vegas’s McCarran International airport next year. Why? By the end 2015, the two airports will experience Thanksgiving-like congestion every single day. (So no more alone-time suitable for Celine Dion sing-alongs).

That’s the latest from the U.S. Travel Association and research firm Cambridge Systematics, Inc. who looked at the 30 busiest American airports in their annual study. A steady increase in demand combined with an equally steady underinvestment in infrastructure is making Thanksgiving-level congestion the new normal.

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Hot Cocoa Cart Pops Up at the Mark

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The Mark Hotel is at it again. After its quirky pedi-cab service in the summer, the hotel is launching a special holiday treat, just in time for Thanksgiving. The Mark Cocoa Kiosk will offer a special recipe with Jean-Georges Cocoa, no less, with a dollop of whipped cream and Valrhona dark chocolate shavings, complimentary to hotel guests.

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Cross 5 Mountains Off Your Bucket List at This Ultimate Scenic Viewpoint

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As a frequent visitor of Seattle, I have a special place in my heart for Mt. Rainier. When you grow up in the New York City area, you just don’t see snowcapped mountains—especially ones that mingle among the skyscrapers in your cityscape photos.

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How to Avoid the Worst Thanksgiving Traffic

Traffic - Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

Almost 90% of Americans who are traveling this Thanksgiving are doing so by car, says a new study by AAA. So if you’re among the road tripping set this week, you’ll need to strategize in order to avoid some of the year’s worst traffic. With the help of our friends at Google Maps, we’ve analyzed the best and worst times to drive on Wednesday—when most people will hit the road—so that you can be best prepared for a stress-free journey.

Want more holiday travel tips? Check out our holiday survival guide, here.

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Book a Seat on the Pan Am Stage

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If you’re still searching for the perfect gift for the aviation enthusiast in your life, tickets to an authentic, first-class meal service in a perfect replica of a Pan Am aircraft might do the trick.

After boarding a refurbished Boeing 747, guests to the Pan Am Stage—a partnership with Air Hollywood—will get a blast from the past, with flight attendants in iconic, mod uniforms serving signature fare from original Pan Am flatware.

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Trip Doctor Challenge: Top Three Ways to Save on Flights to Europe



Looking for quick solutions to your travel concerns? Our resident expert Amy Farley has the facts with Travel + Leisure’s Trip Doctor Challenge.

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Exclusive First Look: Thompson Miami Beach

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The countdown is finally over: today, the Thompson Miami Beach opens in the heart of SoBe, bringing just the right mix of sophisticated design and up-all-night fun to Ocean Drive. And we're not the only ones who are excited—as the new flagship for Thompson Hotels, it's a big move for a brand on the rise. Here, five things we can't wait to check out.

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December Vacation Deals

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Sicily: 30% from villa specialist Italian Rentals4U

Sun Break package includes:
• Seven nights at the three-bedroom Villa Rita, in the town of Cefalù.
• Learn to make traditional Sicilian pastas and desserts during two private cooking classes with a local chef.
• A wine tasting at a local winery
• A guided tour of Cefalù, a medieval-walled port town

Cost: $2,145 ($306 per night), for six guests; book by January 31.
Booking details: Valid for travel from March 1–May 30. Use code L&TIT4U

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Teatro Regio Torino's Opera Company Tours the U.S.

Teatro Regio Torino

In December 2014 Gianandrea Noseda, music director of the Teatro Regio Torino in Turin, Italy, brings his opera company to four North American cities (New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Ann Arbor, Michigan) for concert performances of Rossini’s William Tell. The stirring opera is seldom performed because of the tremendously difficult tenor role, to be sung here by the young American John Osborn. The overture is famous, but Noseda predicts that audiences will be overwhelmed by the work’s transcendent final pages: “They are among the most beautiful music ever written.”

Photo by Lawrence Perelman


Also on Travel + Leisure:
Meet Our Local Experts
World's Greatest Dream Trips
World's Best Hotels

The Upside of Jet Lag

Upside of Jet Lag

Most people will tell you that sunset is the optimal time to visit Humayun’s Tomb, the red-sandstone-and-white-marble mausoleum in Delhi that inspired the Taj Mahal. (To my eyes it’s even more beautiful than its successor.) Me, I’m partial to sunrise. In this otherwise chaotic city, it’s one of the rare peaceful times to explore its acres of Persian-style gardens planted with mango and lemon trees.

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Netflix's New Original Series, Marco Polo

Marco Polo

What inspired screenwriter John Fusco (of Hidalgo fame) to create Marco Polo, a new Netflix series based on the life of the 13th-century Venetian explorer? An epic journey of his own—guided by nomads through Central Asia on horse and camel. After that 2007 trek (and later trips to remote corners of China), Fusco resolved to turn the story of the world’s first globe-trotter into a TV drama.

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Fragrance Obsession: La Parfumerie Moderne

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This fall, I’ve been crushing on a new fragrance line: Philippe Neirinck’s La Parfumerie Moderne, which evokes the glamorous, Art Deco days of travel. (The streamlined labels are even a nod to vintage luggage tags and hotel logos.) The collection of three perfumes, all unisex, includes Désarmant—a lilac scent with heart notes of cinnamon, ylang ylang, and rose, as well as base notes of osmanthus and vanilla, among others.

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Nyakio Kamoche Grieco's Kenyan-Inspired Beauty Brand

Nyakio Kamoche eye balm

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco reflects on the Kenyan origins of her cult-favorite beauty brand.

While working at a talent agency in L.A., first-generation Kenyan-American Nyakio Kamoche Grieco was exposed to beauty brands from all over the globe. Noticeably missing, she realized, were the rich ingredients of her parents’ homeland. “I felt like the sophistication of Africa was underrepresented,” she says. In 2013, she founded her namesake skin-care line, using kola nut, marula oil, and other elements from the continent to create products that work for all skin types. She spoke to T+L about her inspirations.

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