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The Top 10 Paradise Islands

As the sunny weather comes back slowly but surely, it’s time for you to think about where you’re going to explore, enjoy the heat, and soak your feet this summer. If you prefer to spend your year in the cold or in hectic cities, that’s totally fine. But you can at least get away for a weekend or two to visit one of these top 10 paradise islands.

10 // Cape Verde


Located in West Africa, Cape Verde is composed by 10 volcanic islands. If you are keen on scuba diving, this is the place to go! Cape Verde is appreciated as a prime location for outdoor and hiking amateurs as well as a perfect spot for beach idleness. The Island is still not a touristy place and is free of crowds and the big hotels complex. If you are looking for authenticity, Cape Verde will undoubtedly meet your expectations.

9 // Formentera


Formentera is one of Spain’s small Balearic islands. Floating in the western Mediterranean Sea, this place is ideal for those with simple island needs: the ocean, the sand, some palms and you. If you feel sick of the hectic nightlife of Ibiza, located right next door, Forementra will warmly welcome you. Here, peace and quiet are the watchwords. The island is perfect for relaxation and renewal.

8 // Barbados


Situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Barbados is a melting pot of culture. That is what gives Barbados it’s strength — its great diversity. Dreamy beaches in the south, perfect swimming conditions in the west, and massive waves in the east where surfers will find their paradise. But what is most special about Barbados is it’s splendid tropical gardens and music scene. Jazz, reggae, and calypso are some of the genres that you might hear pouring out of any club and over the island. In Barbados, you are sure to never get bored!

7 // Tasmania


An isolated island situated in the south of the Australian coast, Tasmania is the perfect spot for people who are looking for uncharted wilderness. With many parks and nature reserves, it’s natural landscape is well-preserved with large pockets totally free from human tampering. But the island is also known for hosting many festivals like wine or food as well as arts and music events. Here you have nature, culture, and much more in an idyllic scenery where sandy beaches and giants eucalyptus are the norm.

6 // Corfu


Despite the fact that Corfu attracts many tourists every summer, the island has kept its picturesque scenery. Beautiful beaches, luxurious vegetation, woody mountains, authentic greeks villages — it’s no doubt that Corfu is one of the most sumptuous islands in the world. The old and beautiful Corfu town has been designated a Unesco heritage site. Corfu is the perfect island to spend your summer surrounded by worldly entertainment, the authentic greek restaurants, and classic island fare.

5 // Ko Pha-Ngan


During the day, Koh Pha-Ngan literally looks like the definition of a tropical paradise. Coconut palms, a turquoise sea, and fine white sand as far as the eye can see. It’s the perfect place to unwind during the day and turn up when the sun goes down. Because this island of dreams wakes up at night. And make sure you time your trip wisely, because each month, during the full moon, thousands of people come to party in Ko Pha-Ngan where DJs spin music on the beach all night long. Ko Pha-Ngan is the perfect island to spend your summer holiday if you’re looking to sunbathe during the day and get crazy the night.

4 // Réunion


Réunion is a French department island located in the Indian Ocean. It’s hard not to fall in love with this little jewel. Less famous than it’s neighbor Mauritius, Reunion is equally interesting and probably more diverse. With an active volcano on its south coast, its natural treasures and black sand beaches, Reunion is ideal for someone looking for a quiet getaway and understated beauty.

3 // Zanzibar


Clear water, fishing villages, breathtaking vantage points, and a rich nightlife — That is what you’ll find if you choose Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago in East Africa, as your next destination. Along the east coast you can explore with locals and visit rural villages. In the north, you will find touristy attractions, tiki bars and clubs to party, while in the south east corner, you will probably have the chance to see pods of dolphins swimming near the coast. In Zanzibar, there is something for every taste!

2 // Corsica


It’s with good reason that Corsica’s nickname is France’s Isle of Beauty. It’s the fourth largest in the Mediterranean Sea and covered in picturesque towns and mountainous terrain. Corsica is a stylish spot where French people like to spend their holiday. It has a rich history made up of diverse cultural influences, not only from France but also from Italy and North Africa. In the south, you will find the charming hillside village of Porto Vecchio and beautiful beaches, while in the north, it’s the medieval town of Calvi that will welcome you. So memorable will be your experience in Corsica that you will want to come back as soon as possible!

1 // Maui


It might seem predictable that Maui is number on this list. But remember, this is a list of the top paradise islands, not top secret ones. Maui is Hawaii’s second biggest islands and probably the most breathtaking one. This incredible spot in the Pacific Ocean boasts many waterfalls, gardens, untouched rainforest, innumerable historic structures, and yes, a massive tourist industry. Whether you’re looking for outdoors adventures, pampered luxuries, or the most authentic Hawaiian cuisine, Maui offers something for everyone. And be sure, you’ll find every sort of person vacationing here. During your trip, rent a car and drive the Hana Road, along the coast and through a breathtaking rainforest. This is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Throw on a lei and Hawaiian shirt and get into the island spirit. Aloha!

Once upon a time, in a land called Marseille

I am going to tell you a story about a city in France. Everybody all over the world knows Paris, but my story is about a town in the South of the France. Maybe some of you had heard about it, maybe in a positive way or maybe in the negative way. This city, snuggled up at the heart of Provence and on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, is also commonly known as la Cité Phocéenne (The Phocaean City). Marseille, town of a thousand facets, fascinating and bewilderingly complex, is my city.

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Marseille, Land of Immigrants

I was born in Marseille in 1984, to Italian immigrants parents. Why Marseille? Because  for many people who make the choice to leave their country, the city has a big port open on the Mediterranean sea. Near Spain, Italy and North Africa, the town has welcomed many different culture over the years. When you are in Marseille, you just need to drive 3 hours to cross the Italian border. Easy! The new inhabitants arrive also by boat, trying to built a better life. Marseille has never closed its arms in front of any wave of immigrants. This made it strong, a multicultural city. Everything isn’t perfect, because some differences can create conflicts. Indeed, language, religious, or cultural differences can cause real integration problems. Despite that, Marseille stays the most welcoming city in France, a town where my siblings and I have grown up and where we proudly carry our Italian heritage and our dual citizenship.

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Marseille, Land of  Authenticity

If you like beautiful and authentic attractions, Marseille is made for you. When I think about my city, I can’t forget the smell of the sun on my skin, its daylight beauty, and its mysterious side at sunset. Rich in history, Marseille is where ancient architecture combines with the new face of the city. The first thing to do, even if you aren’t catholic, is to visit la Basilique Notre Dame de Garde, commonly refer by the Marseillais to “La Bonne-Mère.” Built on the hill overlooking the town at 490 ft, the view on the top is wonderful. The best moment is early in the morning when everything is still quiet. With a 360 degree view of the city, it was consecrated on June, 5th, 1864, and each year, the pilgrimage for the Assumption Day, on August 15th is really popular event. This Neo-Byzantine church supports a monumental statue of the Madonna and her child, which is 27 feet tall and made of copper gilded with gold leaf. La Bonne- Mère, is the guardian and the protector of Marseille. The other religious site is La Cathédrale de la Major, built from 1829-1874, in a Byzantine-Roman style. With a capacity of 3,000 seats, it’s one of the largest cathedrals in France. It’s 469 ft long, with a main cupola of 231 ft high.

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But in Marseille, there is another strong religion: football. Not in general, but the football team of the city, l’Olympique de Marseille (OM). Taking place in the famous Stade Vélodrome, the night of home matches are events not to be missed. The ambiance and the fans are considered  as the best all over the world.  Built in 1937, the stadium welcomes 67,394 spectators and is also used for shows. Indeed, le Vélodrome is a wonderful stage for several artists, such as The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Police and AC/DC. The other site associated to the team is La Commanderie, it’s the training center of l’OM. Many fans from all over the world come to see their idols and dedicate jerseys.

The town is also known for its different authentic districts, such as le Panier, which is located in the oldest part of the city and surrounded by famous places such as l’Hôtel de Ville, les Grands Carmes and La Joliette. With narrow streets, shops and its own old architecture, the district is considered the most picturesque place in Marseille. It’s defined as a popular area because it was the first place of the immigrants in the city.  It soon became a tourism venue and many artists opened studios because Le Panier served as a place of inspiration as for the famous local TV show, Plus Belle la vie, shot in Marseille. You can also visit La Vieille Charité, a a museum and a cultural center and former almshouse for the poor. This Baroque structure was constructed between 1671 and 1749 by the architect Pierre Puget. It is filled with beautiful architecture such as structure with pink and yellow tinted stones. In the center of the courtyard a round church was built. If you continue to walk, you will arrive on the MuCEM, (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations), inaugurated on June 7th, 2013, the year Marseille was designated as the European Capital of Culture. The museum is near the wonderful site of the 17th century le Fort Saint-Jean, built by Louis XIV at the entrance to the port. The two places are linked by a high footbridge.

There are so many places to see that the best way for you to take it all in will be to book a ticket and fly Marseille. But if you want more right now, I of course have to talk about le Vieux Port (the Old Port), which is located at the the end of the most historic street of Marseille, La Canebière. Since 2013, it’s mainly for pedestrians with few cars. Each morning it welcomes the fresh fish of fishermen. It is the historic and cultural center of the city since it dates back to sixth century BC. From the port you could take the ferry boat to visit the islands of the Phocaean City, such as, the archipelago of Frioul and le Château d’If, fortress and prison known for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas novel, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo.

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If you continue towards the Southern districts, you will follow the ledge called la Corniche du Président John Fitzgerald Kennedy, named after US President Kennedy. It extends from Les Catalans beach to Le Prado and its famous for its naked statue of David. It offers one of the most beautiful landscapes of Marseille, with the Mediterranean Sea and its islands on the horizon. On the way you could see the famous fishermen sheds, “cabanons”,  houses of the 19th century (Villa Valmer, Villa de Gaby Deslys), hotels and famous restaurants (Le Petit Nice, Peron, Chez FonFon), where you could stop to eat the inimitable, bouillabaisse (fish soup). Under La Corniche, hides the little but picturesque port of Vallon des Auffes, where the time seems to have stopped.

I can’t finish this part without talking about the amazing Calanques de Marseille. The massif is the best place to hike and climb with is wild and rugged landscape between Marseille and Cassis. The site is the one of France’s great natural beauties. The geology and ecosystems are protected — In 2012, the Calanques were declared National Parks due to their uniqueness. Even though nowadays we can’t visit it, the Cosquer cave is located underwater, in the Calanque de Morgiou. It’s a cave of the Paleolithic area, covered with paintings and engravings of animals dating between 27,000 and 19,000 BC. The Calanques can be see by boat and if the weather allows you should swim in this warm, blue water. But please be a responsible tourists! Protect this land of dreams.

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Marseille, Land of Pleasure

Oh my taste buds quiver with pleasure evoking the food in my city. Okay, I’m vegetarian but even though Marseille has the best fish restaurants, we are also known for the best pizza. Remember, Marseille is a city of immigrants with close proximity to Italy. We are the city with the most pizza in France. In each area, you can smell tomato sauce and wood fire. I could damn myself for one of these piece! If you want make your own pizza, the best venue is Sapori di Napoli. It’s a little Trattoria in Château-Gombert’s district, which combines a shop full of Italian products with a restaurant. The owner, Raffaele Paparone, imports products such as the mozzarella di Bufala, Panettone, wine and deli meat from Napoli.

If you like different kinds of food, I recommend la Baie du Dragon. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant on Notre Dame du Mont district. The place is perfect for vegetarians and the chocolate nems are just divine. It’s my king of headquarter, the go-to for when I have to celebrate something, such as my departure for the USA.

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In Marseille you can easily find all kind of restaurants — Indian, Italian, French, Moroccan, Japanese etc, and for all your events. Even though Marseille has some good restaurants, for me, the best place remains my family home, with the real meals made by la Mamma. But take your ticket and wait your turn, because I can’t invite you all in the same day.

It’s time to say goodbye to Marseille, with a little twinge in my heart, thinking about these venues, the food and my mother’s arms. But do you smell the perfume of the Mediterranean? Do you smell the garlic, tomatoes, basil and olive oil? Do you smell the flavor of freedom?

If yes, you are made for Marseille, the city of the Epicurean

Sorry, I have to leave you, it’s now time for l’apéro, (a kind of happy hour, after work where you drink and eat snacks), the most important moment in a day in Marseille, to drink the legendary Pastis.

Allez santé! Salute! (Cheers!)

Le Mont Saint Michel

Three and a half hours outside of Paris stands Le Mont Saint Michel, a castle-like structure posing as an island commune just off the coast of Normandy. Before we could see ocean water, the silhouette of Mont Saint Michel emerged on the horizon, obscured by dreamy layers of distance like a mirage. As our bus made its way closer to the shore, the details of the structure began to solidify–the blue-grey roof tiles, the dusty windows, the tiny gold statue of St. Michel on top of the highest spire.

Mont Saint Michel

Photo by Lauren Espina

From the parking lot, a shuttle took us across a bridge over the mudflats that encircle Mont Saint Michel, and once at the base of the structure, we made our way on foot. Lined with gift shops, hotels and restaurants, the main street was by far the busiest part of the commune, the bloodline to many of the smaller vantage points and flats that are home to its 49 residents. The crowd dissipated as we hit the first set of stairs, when visitors with children or bad knees decided to hang back.

Photo by Lauren Espina

Roughly 350 steps to the top, the uphill battle was surprisingly easy, as there were more than enough visual diversions to keep us distracted: the climbing vines in shades of red, green and brown, abandoned spigots aimed at stone basins, blankets of moss coating the walls, the local cat posing on a ledge, the different shape, texture and hue of each brick.

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Photo by Lauren Espina

At the peak of the grand staircase, we came up on the first view of the east-facing mudflats and the mouth of the Couesnon River. On this uncharacteristically sunny day, the shallow water acted as a glassy reflection of the sky, the billowing clouds and breaks of sunlight creating a glittery white sheen over the landscape. On the western side of the building, we had a similar view with a less pronounced distinction between the water and land. We could see people walking along the mudflats, and with the impression of the sky so clearly reflected, it looked as if they were walking on water.

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As we made our way through the unfurnished chambers, quiet chapels and open courtyards, the grandeur of Mont Saint Michel–which initially reminded me of a cross between Hogwarts and Kings Landing–evolved into a more understated beauty. The stone structure was never a palace or home to any royals, though it certainly looks the part. Its history as a monastery, a place of prayer where people came to be closer to God, gave it a subtle, tranquil air that resonated long after we left.

Of all the remarkable sites we visited on our trip to France, from the gardens of Giverny to the Palace of Versailles and the various arrondissements of Paris, Mont Saint Michel was the most memorable. Perhaps it’s because I knew the least about this landmark or maybe because all of the other destinations are so well-documented, but there was something transcendent in the vacancy and majesty of this location that is truly striking.

24 Hours in London

Two months ago I traveled to Europe with a friend. London was our first stop and we would only be staying two days, which admittedly is not enough time to see and experience all that the city has to offer.  Our first day in the city was lost in a haze of tube transfers and jetlag. When we finally did manage to leave our hotel the first day, we spent most of the day walking, walking and more walking–ending the day utterly exhausted. That night, feeling a slight panic that we only had about 24 hours left to experience the city, we resolved to make the best of our last day before catching the Eurostar to Brussels. With only a short list of priorities, here are 24 hours in London.

9am: Eagerly we leave our hotel located in Kensington Garden Square, right behind Whiteley’s, and start walking west through Notting Hill to a cafe rumored to have a great traditional English breakfast.  The morning is bright, crisp and sunny as we pass expensive cars and gleaming white row houses covered in ivy. The cafe is located just across the street from The Travel Bookshop–yes, Hugh Grant’s bookshop from the movie. It was a real bookshop, but sadly it closed not too long ago.

9:30am: “I can’t leave London without  having some bacon,” my friend announces firmly. “English bacon is different, it is actually cut from the back of the pig as opposed to to American bacon that is cut from the belly,” he explains. He orders the traditional English breakfast with a side of bubble and squeak (a fried mash of vegetables and potatoes) and I order french toast with bacon and banana; we both order huge cups of coffee.  Looking around the cafe, I get a good feeling about the food we are anticipating. Its a Thursday morning and the place is busy with people on their way to work, friends catching up over coffee and eggs and an open refrigerator full of a mixture of familiar and exotic looking drinks (Tang in a can!). Continue reading

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Director : Aram Rappaport.
Writer : Aram Rappaport.
Release : January 13, 2017
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Windward Entertainment, Create Entertainment.
Language : English.
Runtime : 80 min.
Genre : Crime, Thriller.

‘The Crash’ is a movie genre Crime, was released in January 13, 2017. Aram Rappaport was directed this movie and starring by AnnaSophia Robb. This movie tell story about In the not so distant future, a team of white collar criminals are enlisted by the Federal government to thwart a cyber-attack that threatens to bankrupt the United States of America.

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