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The world’s top destinations for festive cheer

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(CNN) — This week in travel: the world’s top destinations for festive cheer, the high-rolling 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 any Who down in Whoville can tell you, the home of Christmas is inside our hearts. But if you want a guarantee that festive cheer is fully nailed, you can always take a trip to somewhere that does the season in style — such as Dresden in Germany, which is a stollen-scented wonderland from November to January.
Other places with an extra sprinkle 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 instead means a Wham! video extravaganza of fondue, sweaters and snow-covered 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 be taking a little holiday break next week, too. We will return with our next roundup on New Year’s Eve.
Conscious cuisine
The Reale restaurant in eastern Italy’s Abruzzo region has been named the finest eatery in all the land, but in a surprising departure from what we think of as “Italian cuisine,” the tasting menu here is fully vegetarian
And over in Los Angeles, a restaurant in Little Ethiopia changes its menu monthly to feature dishes from the homeland of a refugee or immigrant chef . It’s the vision of Meymuna Hussein-Cattan, the daughter of Ethiopian refugees who made their home in California’s Orange County. She’s one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2022
Rising sea levels are the threat hanging over the Maldives resort islands, so the country’s hospitality industry is looking for new ways to operate as sustainably as possible. Roots, a plant-based dining concept, is leading the way
Fancy living
Monaco was once described as “a sunny place for shady people,” but what’s it really like to live in the tiny principality where seven out of 10 people are millionaires? We spoke to residents of this elite playground.
If you prefer your mansions with a little more historical clout, the Italian city of Genoa is positively littered with palaces so magnificent that they’re UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here’s how the high-rollers do it in the Palazzi dei Rolli
And for those who have a spare $2 million left over after getting their Christmas presents sorted, there’s a castle, palace and village for sale in Italy’s northern Emilia Romagna region.
Misbehaving traveler of the week
The TSA recently found 28 knives in one carry-on bag. TSA
OK, we all know you can’t bring a knife on the plane. But what about… 28 knives
That’s what one passenger in Alaska was caught with recently, leaving TSA Officer Oran Caudle pulling them out of his carry-on like Mary Poppins with her carpet bag.
“That is my knife collection; can’t I take those with me on the plane?” the passenger asked. That’s a no, sir.
But some travelers who won’t be running into fresh legal complications are visitors to Bali , who will not be affected by Indonesia’s new laws banning extramarital sex, officials said this week.
Places you can’t visit in 2023
l e v a r t
While most of the world is open again, not every tourist attraction survived the pandemic unscathed.
Here are the places you won’t be able to visit in the next year. Some have closed for an upgrade while others have shut their doors for good.
Best ski gear
A ski trip is not a “throw sneakers in a bag and wing it” kind of vacation.
As well as those all-important skis, you’re going to need a ski jacket, snow pants, goggles, helmet, gloves and many, many layers. Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have selected all the finest items you’ll need for a trip to the slopes
In case you missed it
A massive aquarium holding 1,500 fish burst in a Berlin hotel.
Two young refugee sisters were given $100 on a plane by a mystery woman more than 20 years ago.
A picture of a clumsy lion cub falling out of a tree is the winner of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
Whatever happened to feline grace
A European city has once again been named the world’s most attractive tourism destination.



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