Travel news: Lavish lifestyles and top Christmas destinations

(CNN) — This week on the road: the world’s best party destinations, the hectic lifestyle in Monaco and Italy, a bag full of knives and the places you won’t be able to visit in 2023.

Happy Holidays

As anyone in Whoville can tell you, Christmas home is in our hearts. But if you want to be sure that the festive mood is on full swing, you can always take a trip to a place that does the season in style, like Dresden in Germany, which is a fragrant wonderland from November to January.
Other places with an extra dash of holiday magic include San Fernando in the Philippines, renowned for its Lantern Festival, and Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, which has an actual live Advent calendar.
If comfort and joy for you means more of a Wham! video extravaganza fondue, sweaters and snow-capped peaks, then our roundup of the best ski resorts for the holidays will help you choose where to curl up by the fire.

This newsletter will also be taking a little holiday break next week. We will be back with our next roundup on New Years Eve.

Conscious cooking

Restaurant Reale in the Abruzzo region of eastern Italy has been named the best restaurant in the whole country, but unlike what we call “Italian cuisine”, the tasting menu is entirely vegetarian.
And in Los Angeles, a restaurant in Little Ethiopia changes its menu every month to feature dishes from the homeland of a refugee or immigrant chef. This is the vision of Meymuna Hussein-Cattan, the daughter of Ethiopian refugees who call Orange County, California home. She is one of CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2022.
Sea level rise is the threat facing the resort islands of the Maldives, so the country’s hospitality industry is looking for new ways to operate in the most sustainable way possible. Roots, a plant-based dining concept, is leading the way.

fantasy of living

Monaco was once described as “a sunny place for sleazy people”, but what’s it really like to live in the tiny principality where seven out of ten people are millionaires? We spoke to residents of this elite playground.
If you prefer your mansions with a bit more historical weight, the Italian city of Genoa is positively littered with palaces so magnificent they are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is how high rollers do it in the Palazzi dei Rolli.
And for those who still have $2 million after sorting through their Christmas presents, there’s a castle, palace, and village for sale in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy.

Misbehaved Traveler of the Week

The TSA recently found 28 knives in a carry-on bag.


OK, we all know you can’t bring a knife on the plane. But what about… 28 knives?

This is what a passenger in Alaska was caught with recently, leaving TSA agent Oran Caudle to pull them out of his carry-on like Mary Poppins with her carpet bag.

“This is my collection of knives, can’t I take them on the plane?” asked the passenger. It’s a no, sir.

But some travelers who won’t encounter new legal complications are visitors to Bali, who won’t be affected by new Indonesian laws banning extramarital sex, officials said this week.

place you can not visit in 2023

While most of the world is open again, not all tourist attractions have survived the pandemic unscathed.

Here are the places you won’t be able to visit next year. Some have closed for an upgrade while others have closed for good.

The best ski equipment

A ski trip is not a “throw sneakers in a bag and fly away” kind of vacation.

Along with those must-have skis, you’ll need a ski jacket, snow pants, goggles, helmet, gloves, and plenty of layers. Our partners at CNN Underscored, a CNN-owned product review and recommendation guide, have curated all the best items you’ll need for a trip to the slopes.

In case you missed it

A huge aquarium containing 1,500 fish has exploded in a Berlin hotel.

Two young refugee sisters were given $100 on a plane by a mysterious woman over 20 years ago.

A photo of a clumsy lion cub falling out of a tree is the winner of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

A European city has once again been named the most attractive tourist destination in the world.

Here’s why it – and seven other European cities in the top 10 – made the cut.

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