Alessia is a freelance writer with a passion for travel. She has travelled widely in Europe and North America, with a love for all things food and cooking. She tries to combine travel with culinary tourism as much as she can. Her expertise is in markets and great places to shop, which she has researched for World Reviewer.
As Mérida's main market this place has to have grandpa shirts, known locally as guayaberas, baskets in all shapes and sizes, pottery of all kinds and colours, hammocks and panama hats. It has other things besides but this region is specially know…"
"The Jules Undersea Lodge is an ex-underwater research facility that has been converted into a hotel with two bedrooms, a common room and a kitchenette. In each room there is a large window from which you can observe the anemones, sponges, oysters and fe…"
"Up until 2008, guests have visited the Yediburunlar lighthouse to relax in the spectacular surroundings, to enjoy the specially designed day trips that the hotel runs to help you experience as much of the region as possible, and finally to gorge themselv…"
"You don’t get much more adventurous than speeding out into the wilderness in an open 4x4 in the hope of catching a glimpse of one of thousands of species of animal and bird that you’d probably only see in a zoo in Europe. At the Kwando Lagoon Camp fam…"
"Sailing in the British Virgin Islands is no day out on the Broads. Apart from the warm weather and shining sun, as opposed to the more frequent British freezing rain and sleet, the cluster of islands protects you from the Caribbean Sea swells making it …"
"Cycling from Prague to Vienna might sound a bit daunting, but the Greenways web of trails of 250-350 miles that link these two capital cities are a great way for cyclists of any proficiency to meander around the Austrian and Czech Republic countryside, d…"
"For a sandy adventure Indiana Jones style, the landscape of Wadi Rum (The Valley of the Moon) in Jordan provides all the dunes you need to ride over and canyons you need to zoom through to feel like you’re really Harrison Ford’s stunt double all the way …"
"The Blue Mountains, a world heritage site west of Sydney, offer some spectacular views from the plateaus running along the top of the range. However, some of the most fun to be had in the Blue Mountains is down in the valleys, slipping and sliding aroun…"
"One of the most striking elements of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was the stunning back drop, but seeing it on the big screen is nothing compared to the sight of the big looming mountains and the amazing colours that the New Zealand landscape has t…"
For families who fancy themselves as budding lone rangers, you can try your hand at all the essential cowboy skills at the Tanque Verde Ranch in Arizona. It’s one of America’s oldest ranches and a great place to learn to ride if you are just a beginner,…"
For an adventure on the wild Scottish sea and a chance to discover the rich marine life that Britain has to offer, you can travel up to Moray Firth on the north coast of Scotland to get a look at one of just three populations of bottle-nose dolphins arou…"
Surfing may be on the tame side of adventurous, but it’s certainly ‘radical’ and should be met with enthusiasm by most moody teenagers. At Treyarnon Bay Youth Hostel you can do a four day all inclusive surfing course where they will fit you out with all…"
The mountainous terrain of the south Tyrol region is perfect to provide a real challenge for a family of seasoned cyclists, or just a lot of fun for a family who want to have a laugh and get outdoors to soak up a bit of sun. You can plan your own route …"
What could be more adventurous than going in search of dinosaurs for your family holiday? The only thing is, it’s not so much the animals themselves, but the fossils that they have left behind. Forget dragging your children around the Museum of N…"
If you want to get away from modern day life and rediscover simplicity, then it doesn’t get much more basic than taking a course in Bushcraft. There are family courses aiming to show you and your offspring how to live comfortably in a wilderness e…"
Tasting places is no residential course; it’s a one stop shop to Michelin star glory, or at least a pretty impressive dinner party round yours. The school is well connected and sets up cooking master classes with London’s top chefs like Ange…"
Even without the lure of the afternoon fois gras and wine tasting, the majestic 18th century château, the 18-hole golf course and lazing around by the heated swimming pool is enough reason to hide the bathroom scales and jet off to Gascony in the s…"
Forget Old El Paso, the Mexican cuisine you learn to cook at Sazon is serious stuff. You’ll be rifling through tons of different kinds of chilies, learning to use indigenous ingredients like nopales (cacti) and huitlacoche (corn fungus) to produce…"
The Pimenta cooking school takes place in a family kitchen in the midst of a seven acre spice plantation in the foothills of Kerala’s Western Ghats. It’s rough and ready accommodation and facilities but it doesn’t get more authentic th…"
The secret of success in making a Thai curry eludes the best of us, but at the cooking school at the Chiang Mai Four Seasons resorting to a pre-prepared curry paste is not an option. You’ll be taught how to choose and prepare your own herbs and sp…"
Ms Vy is the notorious figure behind four of the best restaurants in Vietnam and at her most recently opened restaurant ‘Morning Glory’ she runs a master cooking class in Vietnamese food teaching us mere mortals to produce crispy spring rolls…"
You’ve got to be early to bed the night before you start at the Bumbu Bali because school kicks off at 6am with a trip to the local vegetable and fish markets to get all the produce you’ll cook with throughout the day. It’s only when …"
The culinary courses offered by Dar Liqama are more like luxury holidays with excursions and pampering, plus a bit of cooking on the side. Don’t be fooled though, the lessons will help you overcome the mysteries of fragrant Moroccan food and help you de…"
For those who feel that supermarket smoked ham isn’t smoky enough, that smoked salmon tastes suspiciously un-smoked and that no evening is complete without the gravely tones of Smokey Robinson, Bluebell croft runs home-smoking courses covering all …"
Swinton Park Hotel is a 30 bedroom castle in Yorkshire that has an AA three-rosette rating and a cooking school with standards to match. It’s certainly a strange place to have a cooking school, but the Georgian stables, set in the Yorkshire Dales, …"
The tapas bars in the UK are permanently packed and if you serve beer to your guests unaccompanied by some patatas bravas or some crusty bread and jamon Serrano then you can’t call yourself a good host. In fact, tapas is so hot at the moment that …"
If there’s anything to be learned from a trip to Sicily, it’s that the Sicilian’s know their food ; their daily street markets are brimming with delectable treats and street food is a staple as everyone is always eating; whether it&rsqu…"
Samp and Soufflé cookery school works with the best South African chefs and offers different culinary holidays all over South Africa. If you’re keener on the tasting side of a culinary getaway, the luxury weekend at the Franschhoek guest ho…"
Egypt is famed for its amazing historical artefacts, its rich culture and above all the vast Egyptian desert full of tons and tons of sand. However, one of the most abundant and rich aspects of Egypt lies beneath the red sea; which is home to some of th…"
"The Tsukiji Fish market is not for the faint hearted. It is the largest of Tokyo’s wholesale markets selling vegetables, fruit and most importantly fish. The selection of seafood is vast; it is one of the biggest fish markets in the world, and so althoug…"
As you stumble into Chicago's Millenium Park after a mad dash across Michigan Ave, where the lights give you precisely 19 seconds to traverse the busy downtown traffic, you might think you've misadvertently wandered into Bilbao Spain. But the huge metal…"
Just like Champagne, the famous Parmigiano-Reggiano name can only be branded onto cheese fabricated in the small producing areas of and in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. Within this region the process of cheese making has remained much t…"
Rather than taking a trip to the ocean spray cranberry museum in Plymouth to learn all about the harvest process, at the Harwich Cranberry Festival you can watch the harvest live in the flesh, whilst munching on an enormous homemade cranberry muffin. If…"
Although Cotes du Rhône is a popular cheap tipple, the area also produces some of France’s finest vintages and it all begins, of course, with the harvest of the grapes. To celebrate the hard work of the grape-pickers of the village Tain-l’Hermitage comi…"
Traditionally truffle harvests were times when the whole village flocked into the surrounding woodland to see pigs careering around the forest floor, pulling their owners behind them as they snuffle excitedly amongst the tree trunks. Today the Mostra Me…"
The German taste for white asparagus was first developed by the Elector Palatine Karl Theodore who, in the 17th century, decided to start growing the vegetable in the light sandy soils of the back garden of his palace in Schwetzingen. Gradually other ro…"
If Dickens’ Oliver Twist had been at the Arcata Bay Oyster festival he certainly would not have been asking for more. In fact, the sheer abundance of oysters available to eat raw or cooked on one Saturday in June is astounding; enough to feed the ten to…"
Although by the time they get to our plates the prawns we eat are pink, the shrimp and fish festival in Honfleur celebrates ‘la petite grise’, the small grey shrimps that are the speciality of the port. During the festival traditional sailing boats, tha…"
As the only hotel located right next to Machu Picchu and its citadel, the attraction of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is location, location, location. For the price the standards of the hotel are not really up to scratch, but at a minute’s walk…"
To mistake the Residenza D’Arte for an art gallery instead of a hotel would be a very easy mistake to make. The owners of this 12th century Tuscan monastery have adorned its walls, floors and gardens with the artwork of acclaimed artist Ana Izzo creatin…"
The town White Cliffs was the first commercial Opal field in Australia founded in the late 19th century. At the time of the first settlers, building materials were scarce and summers were hot, so the miners began to convert their old mine shafts into re…"
Quinta Real is a chain of luxury hotels with properties all over Mexico. What makes their hotel in Zacatecas special is that it is built in the former Plaza de Toros de San Pedro, a 17th century bullfighting ring. Today the hotel, which sits next to th…"
At the Marmara hotel in Antalya there are no decisions to be made at check in between an ocean or a garden view and no disappointment when your preference is not available because this is the world’s only revolving hotel giving you a full 360° panoramic …"
"Between 1955 and 1979 this British Watson class lifeboat rescued hundreds of sailors from dangerous situations and today it has been redesigned as a stylish hotel to rescue holiday goers from dangerously dull accommodation. Below deck, the Lillas Marras…"
The cave hotels in Urgup are all much the same and The Elkep Evi is no exception. Sitting on the edge of the Goreme National Park, it offers cave rooms with traditional Turkish decoration and terraces, with views over the valley. The rooms are natural …"
Rather than traditional tree-houses, these hotels looking across Lake Baroon in Queensland are more like four star luxury pads that happen to be on stilts. Each house has an individual theme and has been designed by a local artist with its specific them…"
"The Fur ‘N’ Feathers resort may be made up of tree houses constructed from the wood of the rainforest, but don’t be fooled, there is nothing rustic about them. The tree houses have electricity, running water and telephones. The wood is beautifully poli…"
The Woodlyn Park in Otorohanga offers a choice of three bizarre accommodations for you to stay in whilst you explore the Waitomo Caves Village or the glow worm caves. The first is a refurbished 1950s train carriage which not only has three rooms sleepin…"
The Jam went underground to hear the brass bands play and feet start to pound, but at the Gamirasu Cave Hotel going underground means the absolute opposite; peace, tranquillity and spirituality. A former Byzantine monastic retreat, the Gamirasu caves, d…"
This converted lighthouse sits in the middle of the busy Harlingen harbour where it used to warn boats away from the harbour’s sandbanks, and instead today, provides amazing panoramic views of out to see and of the seaside town of Harlingen. The interio…"
"This 1,650 square foot cave bed and breakfast somewhat resembles the evil lair of a James Bond enemy, hidden away in the mountainside for maximum secrecy but at the same time having everything you would expect in an ordinary house. But of course, Kokope…"
This huge natural Ozark cave in the Buffalo National River country was originally renovated and turned into a home in 1984 by the president of a tea company who was convinced of an impending holocaust and intended to use it as a bomb shelter. In 1987, a…"
"The Parrot Nest Lodge consists of several huts with thatched roofs that sit on 12 foot stilts amongst huge guanacaste trees in a 5 acre tropical plant just outside of San Ignacio in Belize. The lodge has one en-suite room and the rest share the ground f…"
The Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel sits 21 metres above the forest floor, amongst the canopy of the Amazon Forest, 35 miles from Manaus in Brazil. Although this is the largest commercial treehouse with over 4km of walkways that connect several lodges and eve…"
"The Woodpecker Hotel is perched in a 130 year old Oak tree, thirteen metres above the ground with only a wobbly rope ladder for access. This of course rules out big suitcases and vertigo sufferers. However without all the clutter of a normal trip you c…"
"The Sanya Nanshan Treehouses perch in the top of huge old tamarind trees on the edge of a beautiful beach and overlooking a new 5,000 acre Buddhist and ecological national park where temples and pagodas are nestled amongst the botanical gardens. The hug…"
The Santa Monica Farmer’s market is an abundant source of fresh vegetables, fruits and meats with lashings of extra ethics for a guilt-free shop. The freshly grown produce is locally grown limiting carbon emissions during transportation, it is often org…"
There is a plaque on the front entrance of the Mercado de la Ribera which declares that it is the largest covered food market in Europe, however it was the residents of Bilbao’s old town themselves who proclaimed this and so whether such a claim is true …"
Another of Eiffel’s iron structures that today has become a food market, El Mercado de La Paz is situated in the exclusive Salamanca neighbourhood of Madrid where chic and elegance are paramount and you can buy tapas to die for. Stalls display gorgeousl…"
"In existence since Roman times, Borough Market is London’s oldest food market and has occupied its present site for 250 years. Borough market is only open to the public on Friday afternoons and Saturdays. The market sells fresh organic vegetables and fr…"