As a part of the luxury travel panel at The World Tourism Forum in Istanbul in February 2017, I’m very excited to experience Turkish culture, gastronomy and language up close. This is my first time in Turkey, but I’m sure it won’t be my last. The country’s exciting past ads a magical dimension to my visit, and I can’t wait to breathe in the air of this ancient capital, whose history is compatible with the one of Rome. Istanbul might not be the capital of Turkey today, but it was once the capital of many empires, from Rome to the Ottoman era. Did you know that Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, is built on seven hills – just like Rome? Or that the city’s grand bazaar is the biggest and the oldest worldwide?

Why is Istanbul the ultimate city to explore in 2017? Apart from what I’ve mentioned above, the city boasts of luxury offers ranging from five star hotels to internationally recognized restaurants. This makes Istanbul an obvious competitor for cities such as Rome, Paris and London; but only here, you can indulge in sweet oriental nights and ancient, exotic customs. After all, what other city in the world straddles not only one, but two continents, Asia and Europe?!

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