By Luxury Portfolio International 

Obviously, our opportunity to travel has been severely limited this holiday season, and any plans to set sail to some far off, fabulous destination have been temporarily grounded. Fortunately, there are some global experiences that can still be enjoyed, even when travel is off the table. These days, much of the world is just a click away.

This holiday season, you can transport yourself to Italy with a wine tasting course or savour the flavours of Japan with a cooking class.  Try immersing yourself in culture with The Met or learn a new skill from industry experts. The possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking for self-improvement or just want to pass some time, these virtual experiences will help you feel connected and internationally inspired.


Virtual Tuscan Wine Tasting

Celebrating 300 years this year, Tuscany’s Tenuta Torciano Winery, based in San Gimignano, Italy, is now offering virtual wine tastings led by its instructor-sommeliers. The winery has been owned by the Giachi family since 1720. Its legacy is one that consists of successfully cultivated wines through their high-quality vineyards, combined with the family’s knowledge and respect for traditional methods, while embracing modern technologies. The courses are ideal for small and large groups, and they often feature food pairings. There’s even an option to book time with the winery’s owner and winemaker Pierluigi Giachi, who is an innovator in the industry and the 13th generational owner.


Lessons from Legendary Experts

With so much of our lives spent at home these days, self-improvement is one way to make great use of this time. With the tagline “Learn from the best,” MasterClass never fails to deliver by offering thousands of courses taught by over 85 experts in digestible, cinematic-quality videos that are partnered with downloadable workbooks. Watchable

on TV, smartphones and desktops, MasterClass includes lessons taught by notable names, such as Stephen Curry (basketball), Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Natalie Portman (acting), RuPaul (authenticity), Serena Williams (tennis), Carlos Santana (guitar), Annie Leibovitz (photography), Dr. Jane Goodall (conversation) and so much more.


Japanese-Style Cooking Courses

Food has the powerful ability to transport us to different places, times and emotions. BentoYa Cooking, based in Japan, does a marvelous job of bringing authentic Japanese cuisine to the comfort of your home with its array of virtual and private plant-based cooking courses. The “bento” in BentoYa translates to “boxed lunch,” an intricate and lovingly prepared meal that is popular in Japanese society. BentoYa Cooking students will have the option to learn how to create these complex creations, as well as other Japanese meals, including udon, tempura and vegan spring rolls. Alternatively, you can opt to learn how to make sweet treats, like matcha cake and “cheeseless” cheesecake.


Online Programming from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is celebrating 150 years! Much of the wonder of The Met can now be explored online through a virtual-reality-compatible tour of the museum or special virtual programming. The Met 360° Project is an award-winning, immersive series consisting of six short videos touring the museum’s most iconic spaces with varying perspectives that include: empty galleries, time-lapses showcasing the bustle of visitors and even bird’s-eye views of select exhibits. The series is ideal for Google Cardboard and VR headsets, however, it may also be experienced via smartphones and desktops. Those who want to further envelop themselves in culture may also enjoy one of The Met’s numerous virtual events, including art exhibits, performances, workshops, talks and more.



Looking for something off the beaten path? Founded in 2003, CyArk is a non-profit organization with a mission to digitally record, archive and share the world’s most significant cultural heritage sites to ensure that these places continue to inspire wonder for decades to come. Since its founding, CyArk has documented over 200 sites on all seven continents. The sites span a huge gamut of human history from modern marvels of engineering such as the Sydney Opera House to archaeological sites such as Skara Brae, a 3000 BC neolithic settlement in Scotland. These structures tell the story of who we are and the history of the people who came before us. The data shared is significant and offers an immersive experience that conveys the power of these far off places.

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