Articles written by: Jessica Festa

Jessica Festa is the editor of Epicure & Culture as well as Jessie on a Journey. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia, agritouring through Tuscany, and doing orphanage work in Ghana.

How Greenloons Is Helping People Book Responsible Travel Experiences
Ecotourism / Global Ethics / Profiles / Q&A / Travel Tips

How Greenloons Is Helping People Book Responsible Travel Experiences

Are you an ethical traveler? Irene Lane of Greenloons helps us wade through the marketing jargon to discover which tour operators are actually eco-friendly and sustainable (and how to tell the difference between the two). Interested in more responsible travel articles? Please visit our Global Ethics section. 1. What is […]

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Wine grapes. Photo courtesy of Otto Phokus.
Drink / Europe / Sip / Sommelier Certification

Sommelier Certification: Exploring The Wines Of The Loire Valley

No education in wine would be complete without learning about France’s Loire Valley, which is exactly why the Sommelier Society of America spends a class discussing this world-renowned region. Before this class, I’d always viewed good French wine as being unaffordable, but as our sommelier certification course instructor Stephanie Frederick, […]

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Are You Attending The New York Travel Festival? We Are!
Events / News / North America

Are You Attending The New York Travel Festival? We Are!

We’re getting excited, as the 2014 New York Travel Festival is quickly approaching — April 26 and 27 at Bohemian National Hall and Hostelling International. At the festival, attendees will have opportunities to speak one-on-with travel experts, attend panel discussions to learn more about the industry and how to travel […]

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cherry blossoms
Asia / Culture / Destinations / Encounters / Q&A / Travel / Travel Guides

Expat Beth Williams Shares Her Top Cultural Immersion Tips For Japan

Have you ever dreamed of not only visiting Japan, but truly immersing yourself in the local culture? Travel blogger and insatiable nomad Beth Williams of Besudesu Abroad had the opportunity to live with a family in Japan while she studied for a degree in Japanese Language and Culture. She sat […]

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The treehouse room at Rainforest Boutique Hotel
Accommodation / Asia / Ecotourism / Organic / Travel / Travel Guides

Ethical Travel: 3 Sustainable Stays In Kerala, India

Known as “God’s Own Country” for its diverse ecosystems and landscapes, India’s Kerala is the perfect destination to explore Mother Nature. It’s also a worthwhile place to learn how to respect her, beginning with the carbon footprint you leave when traveling. The following Kerala accommodations are committed to sustainability as […]

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Alsace, France. Photo courtesy of Tambako The Jaguar.
Drink / Europe / Sip / Sommelier Certification / Travel / Travel Guides

Sommelier Certification: Exploring The Wines Of Alsace, France

“‘The Queen of Riesling’ — That’s what I want it to say on my tombstone!” laughs Stephanie Frederick, my instructor for the day for my Sommelier Society of America sommelier certification. Not only does she hold a diploma from the Wine And Spirits Education Trust in London and the distinction […]

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Epicure & Culture Is Now On Etsy!
News / Photo Essays / Photography

Epicure & Culture Is Now On Etsy!

Announcement: We’re on Etsy! You can find our travel, food and culture photography at JFInspirationGallery. Please have a look, and if you like what you see, spread the word. I’ve always loved pictures. My earliest memories involve my father taking photos at soccer games, camping trips, dance recitals and birthday […]

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White wine. Photo courtesy of Robert S. Donovan.
Drink / Sommelier Certification

Sommelier Certification: How To Taste Wine Like A Pro

This is the first article in an original Epicure & Culture series, “Sommelier Certification,” where I will be documenting my experience obtaining a sommelier certification (as long as I pass) through the Sommelier Society of America. My goal is to not only show you what goes into getting this certification, […]

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Olives. Photo courtesy of Castelfalfi.
Curated Lists / Ecotourism / Europe / Experiences / Food / Photo Essays / Photography

Dispatch From Tuscany: Debunking Common Misconceptions About Olive Oil

Olive oil is a super ingredient with the ability to enhance the flavors of a dish while also adding antioxidants and heart-healthy benefits. That being said, there are many misconceptions that exist on the product. That’s why — with the help of agronomist Marco Soldani of Castelfalfi and agronomist Francesco Caselli […]

How Rhino Poaching Is Funding Terrorism (And How You Can Help Stop It)
Africa / Asia / Conservation Issues / Ecotourism / Get Involved / Global Ethics / Volunteer

How Rhino Poaching Is Funding Terrorism (And How You Can Help Stop It)

Something 50 million years in the making is on track to be wiped out in a matter of a few decades. The rhinoceros — essentially the world’s last dinosaur — is being relentlessly hunted and slaughtered for its horn. Comprised of keratin, just like your hair and fingernails, rhino horn […]