Crystals of island

Crystals of island

Corsica, France

This spring, a lucky chance brings me back to Corsica, an island I only remember through my memories as a kid. A turbulent sail through the Strait of Bonifacio took me to the discovery of a land of bright blues and greens with exotic French flair. Savouring warm, lightly salted croissants I look at the ports disappearing in the distance. The vivid memories of my second time in Corsica blend with older more blurry memories.The echo of Pigna’s perpetual symphony, a mix of bitter, sweet, ripe and sour notes; a picture perfect paradise of white sand and blue water (Saleccia beach); the slow and reassuring rhythm of pastoral life in the valleys around Corte and the majestic and colourful nature of the South…

Le Tre Stanze

Le Tre Stanze

Florence, Italy

When spring comes, Arctic plants follow some direct and indirect environmental signs to know when they have to wake up from their winter sleep: milder temperatures, longer days and the reduction of sea ice. The bed is high, my legs dangle and my toes sense the ancient carpet. The white linen is an old-time one belonging to home women’s trousseaus. Bells ring as clear as a mother’s voice; they may be the Cathedral’s bells. The smell of cinnamon we fell asleep with is back. The Florentine light can barely filter. There is no sound. Only the young owner of this house moves quietly barefoot around the kitchen, a teaspoon stirring hot coffee. Waking up in this residence at 43 Via dell’Oriuolo is a moment made of small gracious signs. It is an act of generosity by Patrick, a sculptor and photographer. We will talk mainly about Engadin, a place we love in different ways, a place that lingers in our eyes. He is lucky enough to be born there.

Casa Flora

Casa Flora

Venice, Italy

Azure is a rare colour in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. When we see it in nature, it is not proper azure, but the result of light diffraction: it happens with some birds’ feathers, the sky, ice, water and the wings of butterflies. Once squashed, blueberries are red rather than blue. So, which room did you choose? In which one did you sleep? In the azure one. In Casa Flora, the colours of the lagoon were brought into the rooms. There is the shade of green of the narrowest and clearest canals, the most heart-breaking Venetian shade of pink, and the soft azure of our room…

Rocco

Rocco

Rome, Italy

At Rocco’s we put our researches on hold, stop writing, and avoid investigating the history of a place and a menu that are perfectly spontaneous and graceful. As when you meet the ladylike face of a little girl. We take note of all that goodness and promise and do not ask anything more. A big squared blackboard displays season ingredients and goliardic recipes (we are in Rome) made with respect, both written in a model-student writing. Since it is spring, we order stewed peas, white onions au gratin, soft eggs with asparagus, panned chicory, sour black cherry and ricotta tart…

North Branch Inn

North Branch Inn

Catskills, Usa

Looking out from the Queen Room, in the softened light of a cloudless Saturday, you can experience the feeling of waking up in the suspended atmosphere of a secluded American province. As if the charm of a silent North American village was not a memorable morning by itself, imagine going down the creaky wooden stairs of the Post Office House, crossing the quiet North Branch Road, breathing fresh air, and entering the Main Inn House. Last night you sipped cider at the counter, then had a substantial late dinner and played bowling. Imagine filling a mug with freshly roasted coffee, a dish with apple and cinnamon tarts, and a bowl with granola and full-bodied farm milk. The smell of burned wood, of an outdoor Saturday, of woods. God bless America.

The Jane Hotel

The Jane Hotel

New York, Usa

It is impossible, as soon as you get in front of the stairs of this picturesque hotel by the Hudson River, not to recall to memory the latest fantastic film by Wes Anderson. Above all, it happens thanks to the concierges’ look, but also thanks to the enduring peculiar and timeless atmosphere that Jane Hotel maintains since its early days. Do not choose a single room with shared bathroom if you do not have a strong adaptability; do it instead if you have a weakness for unconventional accommodations and/or for the tiny compartments of yesteryear trains.

Traveler’s Picks

Traveler’s Picks

by Caroline and Michael Ventura

Michael and Caroline met in the winter of 2006. They have created photoshoots together, written for books together, made art together, and have built a home together. In 2015 they opened Calliope, a furnishing and home goods store in the NYC’s West Village. They live above the shop with their dog, Darryl.

Totem Flaine

Totem Flaine

Flaine, France

This story does not begin on a mid-January Friday, while we gather our mountain clothes, boots, maps, two old issues of Meridiani and a guidebook into our tartan bag. It starts on the day Éric Boissonnas – a visionary entrepreneur – and Gérard Chervaz – an architect – discover a plot of plain protected by the spotless faces of Grand Massif, in Haute-Savoie. Thanks to that love at first sight, and to the urban project Éric and his wife Sylvie – art and music lovers – carried out in the following years with architect Marcel Breuer, today we follow at a walking pace the whims of a D106 covered with snow, slowly enter Flaine, and leave our luggage at the reception desk of Totem, the only hotel in town…

Trempeskill Country Store

Trempeskill Country Store

Catskills, Usa

Once upon a time, Candy and Edchin – a teacher and an engineer respectively – lived in Long Island. They arrived in Andes, NY, by chance, and became fond of the town. Therefore, when they found out that the Gas Station business was for sale, they decided that this would be a nice place to live. We, too, arrived in Andes by chance and, thanks to them, became immediately fond of the town, of their love story and of their peculiar gas station/diner/shop. Get here hungry and rely on Candy. She will disappear into the kitchen and come back with a giant version of your toasted sandwich. You will wolf it down sitting at the one informal table of the shop, among the shelves of vintage toys and preserves.

Bar da Praia

Bar da Praia

Alentejo, Portugal

In Odeceixe beach you will learn that being a surfer means being part of a minority religion. You will discover that standing apart and watching their daily liturgies you can enjoy a sheer spectacle and realize that each place our friends in Casa da Dinà suggested we should visit are worth the long journey necessary to reach them. Bar da Praia, folk and eclectic eatery, with a view on the ocean.

Wisefish Poké

Wisefish Poké

New York, USA

If you happen to be in New York and you, too, are delighted by, and vaguely dependent on, the fresh spiced taste of poke, have at least one meal at Wisefish. A laid-back diner based on a deep friendship, on an equally deep love for this Hawaiian dish, and on the wish to share it with us.

The Wild Son

The Wild Son

New York, USA

​When a journey makes us sedentary, we like to experiment kind of a minor routine. Every morning in Manhattan, we reach the High Line and run northward along glossy terraces’ profiles, multicoloured building sites and trails of lively traffic. We go back to Jane and out again, with wet hair and a grumbling stomach, towards our table at The Wild Son. The first one on the left, the brightest one. We order either a bowl of Greek yogurt, granola, flaxseeds, pollen and coconut, or buckwheat pancakes with wildflower honey and curcuma butter, a generous portion even when you share it. Actually, its delicious recipes, creative atmosphere and accurate aesthetics make The Wild Son one of the addresses we would be proud to be real regulars of, if only it were in our hometown.

Arcade Bakery

Arcade Bakery

New York, USA

Today at breakfast you disappear behind the glass door of a lobby in Church Street, order a soft Danish pastry with raisins and an Americano, then slowly enjoy them while watching the coming and going in the building’s corridor. You will not feel like you are exaggerating when you define this odd bakery in Tribeca a bizarre and ingenious work.

Dimes

Dimes

New York, USA

‘I love this: New York was his town, and it always would be’ – Isaac in Manhattan, by W. Allen. It is a November midday, the Arctic-Canadian wind has not slipped through the glossy Midtown walls yet, and a reliable sun lets us hope for a mild and rose sunset. Walking fast on Canal Street toward Lower East Side, my coat in my hand, I feel lucky and seriously happy. The rendezvous is at 1 p.m. at Dimes. Today Vittoria, with her blue eyes, her usual lively-child smile, and a look that is pop, rock, and cultivated at the same time, appears to me like the faithful summary of the city. Our lunch takes place among pastel shades and indie music. We have two fantastic bowls of quinoa, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, and tahini, and two generous juices of the day. A loop of colour continuity, from the tables to season fruits.

Mission Chinese Food

Mission Chinese Food

New York, USA

The last wonder of our memorable Sunday in the upstate forests is not the wonderful live postcard beyond the Hudson River, but Damien Jurado playing for a little fans and friends reunion in the epic Bowery Ballroom. The penultimate, instead, is the most acclaimed Chinese restaurant in town. Mission Chinese Food is the crystalline realization of what we are unceasingly looking for. Amazement and inspiration, from reception to dessert.

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