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Local Knowledge: Yuto from Tokyo

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Tokyo locals aren’t friendly, we’d heard. “They’re shy, so they won’t make an effort to speak to you,” said one person. “They’d rather you just go away, because they get embarrassed they don’t speak English,” said another. “They actually don’t want you here at all,” said one long-term expat. Had the Gods heard? Because every ...

Meet the Locals behind My Local Guide to Venice

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I first spotted My Local Guide to Venice in June 2009 when we were in town for the opening of the Art Biennale. It was actually our last day of a weeklong stay at the Novecento Hotel and we’d been using another excellent local guide produced by the hotel’s owners, the Romanelli family, so we ...

Local Knowledge: Anna from Alberobello

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Effervescent Anna Rosato knew the meaning of hospitality well before the 23 year-old graduated with her tourism degree from the University of Bari last year. The daughter of chef-restaurateurs, Anna has worked at her family pizzeria for as long as she can remember. Majoring in culture and languages — she speaks English, French and German in ...

Čedo from the Desert, the Original Character of Kotor

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Čedo Pustinjac is a handsome, grey-haired gentleman in traditional costume whom you'll probably meet as you enter the Sea Gate to Kotor’s Stari Grad (Old Town). This 'original character', a charming eccentric, will warmly greet you and happily offer his advice or directions in any one of the eight languages he speaks. Čedo from the Desert, the Original ...

Local Knowledge: Vesna from Kotor, Montenegro

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Vesna Alavanja doesn’t walk, she bounces. And she skips. And she sprints up the steps when Terence suggests he shoot her portrait at the top of a stone staircase in the Stari Grad or Old Town of Kotor. The woman oozes energy, even though she tells us she’s a little tired when we meet her. ...

Serendipity, a Paris Cocktail from the World’s Greatest Bartender

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It's not every day that world’s greatest bartender teaches you to make a signature cocktail at Bar Hemingway at The Ritz. As we’re on a quest to travel more sustainably this year and to try local produce wherever we can, we’ve been drinking an awful lot of wine. We’ve tried everything: British wine in London, Sherry ...

Playlist: Fanfan and Marco’s Paris Chanson Playlist

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Some of us love songs for the lyrics, but sometimes, even when the language is our own, the lyrics are unintelligible yet still we’re smitten with the music – and, in the case of Fanfan et Marco, who we saw at Au Limonaire on Sunday night in Paris, the performance of Chanson. The language of ...

Local Knowledge: Marie Theres from Montmartre

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Our latest insider we're profiling for the Paris edition of our Local Knowledge series is Parisian artist and art historian Marie Theres from Montmartre. It’s a beautiful spring evening when Marie Theres Berger takes us to her small studio, hidden, with a dozen other artists’ ateliers, in a dimly lit lane behind big wooden doors in ...

Local Knowledge: Coralie from Ceret

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A fashion designer who studied Fine Arts at Goldsmiths and Textile Design at Central St Martins in London, Coralie Scarnato moved to Ceret eight years ago and opened La Boheme, a boutique and atelier where she makes and sells her vibrant striped Catalan cloth products, and her own collections of winter clothes. Born in Provence ...

Playlist: Julio’s Barcelona Indie Music

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A graphic designer by day, 29 year-old Julio Salvador is the singer and guitarist in the Barcelona band Wiggum. The band is named after Ralph Wiggum, son of Chief Wiggum in ‘Los Simpsons’, their favourite character, “because he’s a psychedelic character, which suits our band”, Julio explains. A self-taught musician, Julio has played in four ...

Local Knowledge: Sergio from Barcelona

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“I love working with people, having a common goal, and seeing the evolution of the project,” our Local Knowledge expert Sergio from Barcelona tells us as we soak up some sunshine with his friends at a café terrace opposite his home in Gracia. “And then at the end of the project when everyone goes away, you ...