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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Things We Learned About Sleep In 2014

9 Things We Learned
About Sleep
In 2014

By Sarah Klein

Despite the fact that sleep is essential to our survival, researchers know surprisingly little for sure about our shut-eye. Questions about why we sleep, how much sleep we need and what dreams are really for remain, but this year saw plenty of discoveries that have brought us closer to understanding our sleep.

Here are a few of the biggest sleep breakthroughs from 2014, and why they're so important.

The brain makes decisions while we sleep.
brain sleep

You may have zonked out, but your brain hasn't. While we snooze, our brains are still active, not only processing information and clearing the clutter, but even making decisions. A team of researchers from France and the U.K. monitored the brains of a small group of adults as they performed a word classification task and found the same patterns of brain activity when presented with more words while they were asleep. "Far from falling [into] a limbo when we fall asleep, parts of our brain can routinely process what is going on in our surroundings and apply a relevant scheme of response," study author and research scientist Sid Kouider said in a statement. "This explains some everyday life experiences such as our sensitivity to our name in our sleep, or to the specific sound of our alarm clock, compared to equally loud but less relevant sounds."

Skimping on sleep has been linked to a shrinking brain.
Our brains get smaller as we age, but getting too little sleep could make that natural reduction occur at a faster rate, according to University of Oxford research. "Many factors have previously been linked with the rate of change in brain volume over time -- including physical activity, blood pressure and cholesterol levels," lead researcher Claire Sexton, DPhil, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. "Our study indicates that sleep is also an important factor." The study found a faster decline in the size of the frontal, temporal and parietal areas of the brain among the people who reported poor sleep quality. These parts of the brain play important roles in making decisions, combining words into complete thoughts and learning. More research is needed to determine if lack of sleep actually causes the faster rate of brain shrinkage, but do you really want to risk it?

The brains of insomniacs are different than the brains of good sleepers.
While the researchers noted they weren't entirely sure what these differences mean, they uncovered more activity, greater adaptability to change and higher neuron "excitability" in the movement center of the brain in people with insomnia than in people who reported no trouble sleeping. The researchers said they hope pinpointing such differences eventually leads to better diagnosis and treatment of insomnia.

Too little sleep could lead to
 -- and speed up -- 

dementia sleep
Adequate shut-eye has long been known to promote greater memory and learning, but a series of studies this year showed that lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can either contribute to a greater risk of dementia or speed up the onset of the disease. In all of these cases, the researchers stressed that the best action to take is to ensure restful nights to older adults by practicing good sleep hygiene.

Sleep deprivation is making us remember things that never happened.
In a University of California, Irvine study, researchers found that after a night of "restricted" sleep, study participants were more likely to say they recalled something that hadn't actually happened, a misremembering generally called a false memory. It's not all that problematic to have the occasional slip up, "but there are contexts (e.g., eyewitnesses in court, clinicians making medical decisions) where errors have serious consequences, so we need to be concerned about factors that make memory less reliable, and more vulnerable to distortion," lead researcher Steven Frenda previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. Although it's impossible to estimate the number of wrongful convictions that could be directly due to sleep deprivation, it's certainly possible that such a thing is happening, but Frenda said, allowing a witness to go home and sleep before testifying raises other issues. "For example, it might be tempting to think that maybe we should send witnesses home to rest before collecting their testimony," he said. "But as more time passes, memories fade and become more vulnerable to distortion. So while you're addressing one risk factor, you might be introducing others."

Family support is key to treating sleep apnea.
Supportive family members seems to play a role in whether or not a person adheres to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, generally considered the gold standard for treating the sleep disorder, which causes someone to stop breathing while sleeping, sometimes hundreds of times a night. People who were married or living with a partner as well as people who rated their family relationship quality higher were found to adhere to CPAP treatment more closely.

Sharing the bed with a pet
really is messing with your sleep.
sleep pet bed

Research presented at SLEEP 2014, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, found that 30 percent of pet owners who share the bed with a four-legged companion wake up at least once a night because of their pets. Despite the cuddly snuggles a furry friend can provide, barks, meows, tail wags and more are in fact contributing to sleep disruptions. You and Fido are both better off in beds of your own.

Scientists discovered physical changes in the brains of people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The condition is highly misunderstood and often dismissed as psychological, but research this year lent some welcome credibility to the often-debilitating syndrome. The small study compared the brains of 15 people with chronic fatigue syndrome to the brains of 14 healthy people and found that the brains of people with CFS had less white matter and differences in nerve fibers in a particular white-matter tract, "in theory, a sign of a better-connected brain," Pacific Standard reported, which was strongest in the people with the most severe symptoms of chronic fatigue. The research could potentially lead to better diagnosis of the syndrome.

Night owls may be less motivated to exercise than early birds.
Early birds really may jump out of bed and hit the ground running: A small study from this year found that night owls seem to have more difficulty sticking to an exercise routine. In the study, people who reported later bedtimes also said they spent more time sitting, as well as more perceived obstacles getting in the way of regular exercise, like feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day. "We found that even among healthy, active individuals, sleep timing and circadian preference are related to activity patterns and attitudes toward physical activity," principal investigator Kelly Glazer Baron, Ph.D., said in a statement. Doctors may be able to use this information in encouraging their night owl patients to stay active, she said.

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Tombe la Neige - Salvatore Adamo 
Tombe la Neige
Salvatore Adamo

with lyrics

Tombe la neige
Tu ne viendras pas ce soir
Tombe la neige
Et mon coeur s'habille de noir
Ce soyeux cortège
Tout en larmes blanches
L'oiseau sur la branche
Pleure le sortilège

Tu ne viendras pas ce soir
Me crie mon désespoir
Mais tombe la neige
Impassible manège

Tombe la neige
Tu ne viendras pas ce soir
Tombe la neige
Tout est blanc de désespoir
Triste certitude
Le froid et l'absence
Cet odieux silence
Blanche solitude

Tu ne viendras pas ce soir
Me crie mon désespoir
Mais tombe la neige
Impassible manège

Tombe la neige
Salvatore Adamo

French and English subtitles

The snow is falling
You won't come tonight
The snow is falling
And my heart is dressed in black
This silky procession
All in white tears
The bird on the branch
Mourns the magic

You won't come tonight
My desperation cries out to me
But the snow is falling
Imperturbable carrousel

The snow is falling
You won't come tonight
The snow is falling
All is white with desperation
Sad certainty
The cold and the absence
This hateful silence
White loneliness

You won't come tonight
My desperation cries out to me
But the snow is falling
Imperturbable carrousel

Hồ Hoàng Yến Tuyết rơi
Tombe La Neige

Friday, January 23, 2015

How To Prepare Healthy Foods Without Ruining Their Benefits

How To Prepare Healthy Foods
Without Ruining Their Benefits
Just buying healthy foods isn't enough. 
How you prepare them matters, too.
By Jessica Migala
Posted: 01/21/2015

While many people believe that stocking your kitchen with the right stuff -- from kale to mixed nuts to a colorful assortment of veggies -- is the key to a solid diet, that's not entirely true. 
If you don't prepare these foods the ideal way, you might be missing out on many of the nutrients that make them so potentially healthy. 
Researchers have tested a range of foods and cooking methods, from boiling to microwaving, to discover which yield the most nutritious results. 
Here's your cheat sheet -- don't cook without it!

Cooked Veggies
steamed broccoli
Best: Microwaved
"Properly cooking vegetables in the microwave can go a long way toward reducing nutrient loss," says registered dietitian Sandra Bastin, PhD, who uses the method in her own kitchen. 
Microwaving limits the need for heat and water, both of which can cause vegetables to lose nutrients. And when Spanish researchers looked at the impact of cooking techniques on 20 different veggies, they discovered that microwaving ranked higher than boiling when it came to preserving antioxidants. 
Place veggies in a glass container with one to two tablespoons of water, and microwave on high until they are crisp and bright in color.

healthy food kale
Best: Raw
Here's why you should enjoy this leafy green uncooked: According to one study, boiled kale lost 89 percent of its vitamin C, and its polyphenols (compounds that may lessen your risk of disease) were reduced by more than half. If raw kale is too tough for you, registered dietitian Julieanna Hever suggests massaging the leaves with avocado or olive oil.

 roasted cashews
Best: Roasted
As long as you're roasting chestnuts on an open fire, throw some cashews on there, too. Cooking cashews at around 265 degrees for 33 minutes produces nuts that not only are tastier, but also have a higher antioxidant level than their uncooked counterparts, according to research. Roasting helps in two ways: It may free nutrients that are bound together in the raw nut, and it may also cause a chemical reaction responsible for increasing antioxidant activity.


Best: Simmered
A 2013 study found that tomato paste had more than double the lycopene (a chemical that may help fight heart disease and cancer) of raw tomatoes; heat breaks down the insoluble fiber in the fruit, releasing lycopene. To make your own paste, simmer chopped tomatoes with salt on the stove until they reach a pureelike consistency. Run the puree through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds. Spread the puree in a baking pan and place it in the oven at 300 degrees. Stir every 30 minutes until the paste is thick and deep red.

Sweet Potatoes
sweet potatoes

Best: Dried
Move over, sweet potato fries. A recent study looked at where the spuds fell on the glycemic index (GI), which measures how food affects your blood sugar (the lower the number, the better). The results: Sweet potatoes that had been dehydrated (a drying method that turns taters into chips) had a GI score of 41, better than when they were steamed (63), baked (64), or microwaved (66). You can buy a dehydrator online for about $40. Once your sweet potato chips are dried, add salt for flavor.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fox News Becomes the Unwilling Star of a French TV Satire

Fox News Becomes the Unwilling Star
of a French TV Satire
France Mocks FoxNews "No Go Zones"

PARIS — Mockery is a national weapon in France, so when an American cable news channel raised false alarms about rampant lawlessness in some Paris neighborhoods — proclaiming them “no-go zones” for non-Muslims, avoided even by the police — a popular French television show rebutted the claims the way it best knew how: with satire, spoofs and a campaign of exaggeration and sarcasm.
The show, “Le Petit Journal,” is a French version of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” — irreverent and reliant on mock correspondents who showcase the foibles of the high and mighty.

Usually “Le Petit Journal” reserves its venom for French politicians and the local news media. But in the days after the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 17 dead, including 12 people at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, it set its sights on a trans-Atlantic target, America’s Fox News, after the channel claimed that swaths of England and France were ruled according to Shariah.

“They did this on a weekend when all France and Paris was in a state of shock,” said Yann Barthès, 40, who has hosted the show since it began in 2004. “I cried.” But, he said, it was also “irritating, so we chose humor to campaign against Fox News.”

One episode of “Le Petit Journal” featured fake Fox News correspondents screaming about the dangers to be found on the streets and in the kebab shops of Paris. Credit Canal+
“It’s more effective than being upset,” Mr. Barthès said.
On Saturday, Fox News apologized four times on the air for its reports about the no-go zones, acknowledging that there was no reason to believe that they existed. It called the reports an “error” and apologized to “any and all,” including “the people of France.”
It is hard to say whether the apologies were the result of “Le Petit Journal’s” mockery; a campaign instigated by the program to inundate Fox News with emails; or Fox News’s realization that its reporting, which reinforced a popular conservative warning about a purported spread of Shariah in the Western world, was wrong.

In a statement Monday, Michael Clemente, an executive vice president at the network, said: “We issued a correction and apology across several platforms, so that any viewers who may have tuned in to the earlier programming would have a chance to hear our corrected reporting.”

Before the apologies, Mr. Barthès and his “correspondents” hounded Fox News, which is not widely available on French television. Mr. Barthès’s show, which has about 3 million viewers and follows in the satirical tradition of Charlie Hebdo, but in a much gentler style, showed generous portions of the Fox clips where the no-go zones were discussed, providing French translations.

Mr. Barthès reviewed his script in his dressing room before going on stage. He has hosted the show since it began in 2004. Credit Capucine Granier-Deferre for The New York Times
Their comics confronted Fox News correspondents when they spotted them reporting live in Paris. In one video, two of the show’s correspondents pretended to be American journalists venturing into supposedly forbidden areas and, in slapstick fashion, cowering by a Turkish kebab shop and a couscous restaurant and falling to the ground at the sound of a jackhammer.

Representatives of “Le Petit Journal” also showed up at the New York offices of Fox News on Thursday to seek comment, Mr. Barthès said, until security turned them away.
Mr. Barthès said that his show was unable to obtain any response from Fox News, so he turned to his viewers for help, giving the email addresses of Fox executives. When the show posted the information on Twitter, he said, they had 7,000 retweets in five minutes.

The theme was picked up by others on social media who expressed mock horror at the “danger” in Paris. A food guide site mapped the best places to dine in the so-called lawless zones, including a bakery where the owner had won awards for baguettes.

The commotion began this month when Steve Emerson, identified as a terrorism expert, told the host Sean Hannity, “there are no-go zones” throughout Europe ruled by Muslims. He then elaborated in an interview with another Fox host, Jeanine Pirro, claiming that the entire city of Birmingham, England, was a place where “non-Muslims simply don’t go in.”

On the day the Charlie Hebdo attackers were killed, Nolan Peterson, who on his website describes himself as a freelance writer and a combat veteran, went on Fox News on and identified what he called 741 Muslim-dominated “no-go zones” around France and said the areas reminded him of his time in Afghanistan and Iraq.Even the British prime minister, David Cameron, reacted to the Birmingham claim, saying, “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge.” He called Mr. Emerson “an idiot.”

Muslim leaders say that Muslims are often the victims of attacks, especially since the Paris killings, which were carried out by Islamic militants. The head of a French organization known as the National Observatory Against Islamophobia called for protection by the state, saying there had been “116 anti-Muslim acts, including 28 incidents at mosques and 88 threats,” in the two days after the Jan. 7 shooting.
Fox was abject in its apologies, as was Mr. Emerson. Julie Banderas, a Fox anchor, said that “over the course of this last week, we have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.”

“Now this applies especially to discussions of so-called no-go zones, areas where non-Muslims allegedly are not allowed in and police supposedly won’t go,” Ms. Banderas continued. “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.”

Apologies were issued on-air three other times.

Carly Shanahan, a spokeswoman for Fox News in New York, said the communications office never received a query by telephone or email from “Le Petit Journal.” Mr. Barthès said the show had made repeated attempts, including his own emails.
Mr. Barthès said he was not sure whether his show could take credit for the apologies. “The important thing is that we really had fun,” Mr. Barthès said. “It’s important for the French audience to know about this. They don’t really know Fox News, and they think it’s an enormous channel, very American, with announcers with big voices and blonde women who look like Barbies.”

Rabid Fox News Host's Unhinged Rant: "We Have to Kill!"

Le Petit Journal

Related Coverage

 Fox News ‘No Go Zone’ Lies Exposed In Most Wonderful Way By French TV Show

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Top 50 Cities To See In Your Lifetime

The Top 50 Cities
To See In Your Lifetime
Posted: 07/03/2014

With our ever-expanding bucket lists, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of the essentials. Well, we've gone to the community of travelers at with a simple goal: find the greatest destinations on Earth. From the great ancient capitals to the modern cities of Asia, the Americas, and beyond, here are the 50 cities you must see during your lifetime.

1.) Venice, Italy - How could we not include Venice? From its picturesque canals and grandiose basilicas to its colorful homes and cozy wine bars, there's simply nowhere like it on Earth.(Photo by Jesus Lopez)
Click here for more photos of Venice

2.) Seville, Spain - Seville is the crown-jewel of imperial Spain and visitors can delight at the city's narrow streets lined with orange blossoms, Moorish castles, and some of Spain's most legendary tapas joints. (Photo by Zu Sanchez)
Click here for more photos of Seville

3.) New York City, USA - It's no wonder New York is often called the "Crossroads of the World." Nowhere else can you find such a mind-blowing concentration of art, culture, cuisine, and business. (Photo by Iker F. Gavilan)
Click here for more photos of New York City

4.) Lhasa, TIBET!! - Lhasa is the spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism and the rugged Himalayas set against Lhasa's incense-filled monasteries and palaces make for one of the most unforgettable views on Earth. (Photo by Juanjo Fontanet)
Click here for more photos of Lhasa

5.) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - From the world-famous Carnival to its iconic skyline, Rio de Janeiro is an experience for all five senses. The fact that its home to two of the most famous beaches on Earth doesn't hurt either! (Photo by Stocklapse)
Click here for more photos of Rio de Janeiro

6.) London, England - With its prestigious museums, famous street markets, and bustling financial center, it's no wonder that London is one of the world's most-visited cities. What are you waiting for? London's calling! (Photo by Tbtb)
Click here for more photos of London

7.) Marrakech, Morocco - Entering the medina of Marrakech is an experience you'll never forget: endless, maze-like corridors full of vibrant souks, stunning architecture, and bubbling tagines around every corner. (Photo by Cesar Blay)
Click here for more photos of Marrakech

8.) Petra, Jordan - Of all the world's great ancient cities, Petra stands in a league of its own. Set in the midst of a epic, wind-swept desert, Petra's monumental rock-cut buildings must be seen to be believed. (Photo by Husar 77)
Click here for more photos of Petra

9.) Rome, Italy - Walking through Rome is like exploring the world's largest open-air museum. Simply put, no city on Earth combines fine art, cuisine, tons and tons of ancient history quite like the Eternal City. (Photo by Tbtb)
Click here for more photos of Rome

10.) Varanasi, India - Varanasi, one of India's holiest cities, is a true experience for the senses. Seeing the sunrise as the ghats on banks the Ganges fill up with holy men, pilgrims, and locals is a sight you'll never forget. (Photo by Jordi Batet)
Click here for more photos of Varanasi

11.) Florence, Italy - As home of the Renaissance, Florence boasts one of the most incredible art collections on Earth, to say nothing of the gorgeous cathedrals, delicious Tuscan food, and rich, enchanting architecture. (Photo by Ivan Luengo)
Click here for more photos of Florence

12.) Havana, Cuba - Exploring the streets of Old Havana is like stepping back in time to a world of majestic pre-revolutionary buildings, classic cars, and the smell of home-cooking mixing with the sea breeze. (Photo by Viajesyfotografia)
Click here for more photos of Havana

13.) Kyoto, Japan - Kyoto was once the Imperial Capital of Japan and exploring its elegant tea-houses, gardens, and castles is the best way to discover the true essence of traditional Japan. (Photo by Viajesyfotografia)
Click here for more photos of Kyoto

14.) Jerusalem, Israel - Jerusalem is a true crossroads of cultures, cuisines, and beliefs. Nowhere is this more evident than in the streets of the Old City, home to some of history's greatest persons and events. (Photo by Ignacio Izquierdo)
Click here for more photos of Jerusalem

15.) Paris, France - The City of Lights is the place to immerse yourself in breathtaking museums, enchanting squares, and tons of cafes. It's no wonder why it's considered to be the most romantic place on Earth! (Photo by Juan Z. Aranda)
Click here for more photos of Paris

16.) Beijing, China - Beijing is China's historical and cultural capital and home to two of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth: the monumental Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China in the nearby mountains.(Photo by David Esteban)
Click here for more photos of Beijing

17.) Lalibela, Ethiopia - Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's great holy cities and is famous around the world for its unique and stunning collection of monolithic churches carved right into the rock below your feet. (Photo by Alfonso N. Tappero)
Click here for more photos of Lalibela

18.) Granada, Spain - From the glories of the Alhambra to the narrow, cobblestone streets of the Albayzín district, Granada has an undeniable magic that's rarely found even in the great cities of Europe. (Photo by Miguel Eguido)
Click here for more photos of Granada

19.) Athens, Greece - The Acropolis has a top spot on many bucket lists, but the city's sunny streets, flower-lined squares, and incredible museums makes Athens much more than just ancient ruins. (Photo by Gianfranco Perlongo)
Click here for more photos of Athens

20.) Bagan, Myanmar - Could the world's best sunrise be in the ancient city of Bagan? Many would say so. Just imagine: the mist evaporating in the day's first light, revealing a near-endless plain of ancient pagodas. (Photo by Gorka Nelson)
Click here for more photos of Bagan

21.) Kathmandu, Nepal - Kathmandu is, for many, the gateway to the majestic Himalayas. With its mixture of sadhus, saffron-robed monks, and iconic prayer flags, it' also one of the most colorful cities on Earth. (Photo by Nic Dalla-Valle)
Click here for more photos of Kathmandu

22.) Vatican City - The Vatican is a city within a city and home to the Roman Catholic Church. Even if you're just a sightseer, the columns and cupola of St. Peter's Square are enough to take your breath away. (Photo by Pablo L. Ramos)
Click here for more photos of the Vatican

23.) Lisbon, Portugal - Lisbon truly has it all: sun, sea, and an enchanting and decadent atmosphere like that found amid the sunny, colorful streets of the city's Chiado and Alfama neighborhoods. (Photo by Jessica M. Infante)
Click here for more photos of Lisbon

24.) Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo seems straight from the future. While this glittering metropolis of 13 million is a Mecca for shopping, foodies, and partiers, it is still home to some truly peaceful shrines and gardens. (Photo by Sandra G. Arangoa)
Click here for more photos of Tokyo

25.) Istanbul, Turkey - Yes, Istanbul...the city where east meets west. From its monumental mosques to its bustling bazaars, Istanbul is city that can boast millenia of history and still be more relevant than ever. (Photo by Mikel H)
Click here for more photos of Istanbul

26.) Hội An, Vietnam - Hội An is a historic Vietnamese port whose UNESCO-recognized Old City is a unique mix of Japanese, Vietnamese, and European influences. Oh, and just wait until you try the food. (Photo by Vincenzo Tessarin)
Click here for more photos of Hội An

27.) Amsterdam, Netherlands - Amsterdam has one of the world's highest qualities of life, a fact not lost on the millions of visitors charmed by its famous Red Light District and stunning Van Gogh Museum. (Photo by Zu Sanchez)
Click here for more photos of Amsterdam

28.) Luxor, Egypt - Set on the banks of the Nile, Luxor is the most stunning of Egypt's ancient cities. Its proximity to Karnak, Thebes, and the Valley of the Kings makes it a must for history-lovers worldwide. (Photo by Pablo Charlon)
Click here for more photos of Luxor

29.) Berlin, Germany - Few cities have played such a pivotal role in recent history as Berlin and its legendary nightlife and vibrant restaurant scene also make it one of the most exciting cities in modern Europe. (Photo by Jose P. Rodriguez)
Click here for more photos of Berlin

30.) Jaipur, India - Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, is home to some of the India's most spectacular palaces and gardens. It's also part of India's famous "Golden Triangle" featuring the Taj Mahal in Agra and New Delhi. (Photo by Jordi Batet)
Click here for more photos of Jaipur

31.) Lyon, France - Lyon is a World Heritage city dating back to Roman times. Try visiting during the Fête des Lumières when the cathedrals, gardens, and streets are illuminated by thousands of lights. (Photo by Christian Belzunce)
Click here for more photos of Lyon

32.) Oia, Greece - Oia is the most famous town on the Greek island of Santorini and its gorgeous white and blue homes cascading down to the sea are the stuff that postcards are made of! (Photo by Gianfranco Perlongo)
Click here for more photos of Oia

33.) Siem Reap, Cambodia - While most come to see the stunning ancient city of Angkor Wat, but Siem Reap's laid-back bohemian-backpacker vibe and tasty food make it a worthy destination on its own. (Photo by Angel B. Arevalo)
Click here for more photos of Siem Reap

34.) Vienna, Austria - Vienna is a majestic Imperial city full of beautiful palaces, manicured gardens, and elegant cafes. The fact that it's consistently voted as one of the world's most livable cities is just the icing on the cake. (Photo by Machbel)
Click here for more photos of Vienna

35.) Cusco, Peru - Besides being the main entry point for those looking to explore the Andes and Machu Picchu, the World Heritage city of Cusco is full of historic temples, monasteries, and gorgeous colonial homes. (Photo by Chris Pearrow)
Click here for more photos of Cusco

36.) Cartagena, Colombia - The colonial city of Cartagena on Colombia's Caribbean coast has a history filled with explorers, pirates, and royalty, and it's UNESCO-recognized Old City is every bit as enchanting as you'd expect.
Click here for more photos of Cartagena

37.) Zanzibar, Tanzania - The ancient city of Zanzibar is one of Africa's top destinations and famous for its white-sand beaches and mix African, Arab, and Portuguese influences in the historic district of Stone Town. (Photo by Naxos)
Click here for more photos of Zanzibar

38.) Mexico City, Mexico - Mexico City is a delightful chaos of sights, sounds, and colors. Home to over 20 million people, the city offers beautiful colonial architecture, nearby ruins, and some seriously good food. (Photo by Azu Azul)
Click here for more photos of Mexico City

39.) Singapore - Whether on vacation or during a layover, Singapore is a place that needs to be experienced. Exploring Little India is a must, but remember to save time for arguably the best street food in the entire world. (Photo by Dirk Vietzke)
Click here for more photos of Singapore

40.) Las Vegas, USA - Sin City is a favorite among national and international visitors drawn by the city's incomparable mix of fine hotels, famous restaurants, and over-the-top casinos. Viva Las Vegas! (Photo by Surapon Sujjavanich)
Click here for more photos of Las Vegas

41.) Samarkand, Uzbekistan - Samarkand is an ancient Silk Road city and the madrasas and mosaics of the monumental Registan square are among the world's most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture. (Photo by Sonia R. Salces)
Click here for more photos of Samarkand

42.) Sydney, Australia - From its iconic Opera House to its famous beaches, Sydney knows how to perfectly combine the natural and the urban and leaves no doubt about its place among the greatest cities on Earth. (Photo by Naxos)
Click here for more photos of Sydney

43.) San Francisco, California - You didn't think we'd forget San Francisco, did you? It's historic buildings, nearby natural parks, and acclaimed cuisine make it the undoubted star of the American west coast. (Photo by Monica Lewis)
Click here for more photos of San Francisco

44.) Mont Saint Michel, France - As over 3 million annual visitors can attest, there are few sights quite as evocative or romantic as the spire of Mont Saint Michel Abbey rising above the tranquil Normandy coast. (Photo by Michel Exaim)
Click here for more photos of Mont Saint Michel

45.) Dubrovnik, Croatia - The walled city of Dubrovnik is the jewel of the Adriatic and it's Old City (a World Heritage Site) is one of the most picturesque areas in all of Europe. Don't get us started on the beaches! (Photo by Serviajera)
Click here for more photos of Dubrovnik

46.) Bangkok, Thailand - From peaceful temples to exotic markets and rowdy nightclubs, Bangkok has something for everyone. It has become so popular, in fact, that it beat London as 2013's most-visited city! (Photo by Alberto S. Dosantos)
Click here for more photos of Bangkok

47.) Buenos Aires, Argentina - Buenos Aires is often called the Paris of South America. From the wide avenues of downtown to the colorful homes and tango clubs of Barrio La Boca, Buenos Aires is a place to savor. (Photo by Flavia Ramos)
Click here for more photos of Buenos Aires

48.) Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala - There's one word to describe Antigua Guatemala: magical. Visitors can explore the ruins of colonial churches and monasteries and dive into a bohemian cafe, all under the gaze of the three watchful volcanoes that dominate the horizon. (Photo by Sonia R. Salces)
Click here for more photos of Antigua Guatemala

49.) Prague, Czech Republic - An mix of history, stunning architecture, and hearty cuisine has made Prague one of the world's most-visited cities and a must for travelers searching for the soul of central Europe.(Photo by Alvaro M. Molina)
Click here for more photos of Prague

50.) Budapest, Hungary - The countless empires that have ruled Budapest over the years all left a trace on this city often considered to be the most beautiful in Europe. Add a rowdy nightlife scene and plenty of hot springs, and you've got a recipe for travel bliss. (Photo by Raquel Rey)
Click here for more photos of Budapest

50 città da visitare almeno una volta nella vita

Les 50 villes à voir avant de mourir