Here, a few suggestions of my favorite places, addresses that I consider dear-all tried and true, from Rio to Patagonia...for those who have packed their luggage and are ready to go!
Where: Rio, of course!
Why: To sip caipirinhas and vitamin cocktails in the many bars from Leblon to Ipanema amongst the cariocas. For January 1st and the fabulous Iemanja Celebration surrounded by 2 million people all dressed in white on Copacabana beach.
Hotels: Copacabana Palace, Mama Ruisa.
Bar/café/Deli: Bibi Sucos in Leblon.
What to take with you: Bikinis Lenny & exclusive essentials by Alejandra di Andia, CDs de Bebel Gilberto & Seu Jorge.
Where: The Maldives
Why: To swim alongside butterfly fishes and sea turtles just a few feet from your bungalow. Because there are days when one dreams only of white sandy beaches and magical diving spots.
Hotel: Soneva Fushi.
What to take with you: You don't need to take anything. Just slip a swimsuit in your pocket.
Where: Stockholm & Swedish Lapland
Why: For the delightful streets and charming cafes in Gamla Stan, the old quarter, and the overall feeling of calm and simplicity. Because Stockholm is a superb city and because it's the North Pole!
Where: Bern's in Stockholm & Ice Hotel in Lapland.
What to take with you: Anything warm and soft, lip balm, Olympus mini digital.
Where: Tuscany, Florence
Why: Ah! Florence, the Chianti region, tiny villages, enotecas full of friendly folk enjoying delicious wine and sausages, the countryside dotted with olive trees, warmed by the first rays of Spring sunshine.
Hotels: Belmond Villa San Michele, Borgo Santo Pietro.
Restaurant: Il Latini.
What to take with you: Kenneth Branagh's movie "Much ado about nothing", italian thrillers by Nino Filasto.
Why: Not only the nature is insanely beautiful, but don’t forget about the history, the mountains, the villages and the atmosphere. They are all equally magnificent.
Hotel: Palazzu Nicrosi.
What to take with you: Walking shoes, drive sunglasses, beach cloths, beautiful sweater, book: "Corsica - recipes and Stories from a Mediterranean island" (Smith Street Books).
Why: Because I love strolling through Hyde Park with a Marks & Spencer gourmet sandwhich in one hand. Beautiful weather... Notting Hill & the flea markets are bustling with people.
Hotels: Portobello, Number Sixteen.
What to take with you: A raincoat - just in case, the latest London Time Out, Greatest Hits by Alice Cooper - one of the Portobello Hotel's fans.
Why: Leisurely moments on a sun-bathed terrace surrounded by newspapers and beautiful books from Galignani. Because the Parisians have started to leave the city and the gardens are in glorious bloom.
Hotels: The Meurice, Hôtel du Petit Moulin.
Bar/restaurant: Café Charlot.
What to take with you: Vuitton luggage, Sonia Rykiel dresses, Dior goods, anything French!
Where: California, from L.A to Carmel
Why: L.A. and all its craziness, the famous Highway One and Big Sur... To see the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Carmel... where I dream of taking my vintage Alfa Romeo for a spin one day!
Hotels: Beverly Hills & bungalows in L.A and Mission Ranch in Carmel.
Bar/restaurant: Polo Lounge & Mission Ranch bar.
What to take with you: "Big Sur" de Jack Kerouac, Banana Republic Jean & T.shirts.
Where: The Scottish Highlands
Why: Because of the charm of everything there, the straight-out-of-a-novel atmosphere, the magic castles, the loch, the people, and the amazingly vivid colors, especially in Autumn.
Hotels: Inverlochy Castle, Three Chimneys.
What to take with you: "Long Way Round", the story of a remarkable journey around the world on a motorbike by that cool Scotsman Ewan Mc Gregor, and Charley Boorman.
Where: Mexico, San Miguel de Allende
Why: This divine city is a must-see at any time of the year, so why not in October when there are so few people around?
Hotel: Casa Luna bed & breackfast.
What to take with you: "Mexican Notebooks" by Henri-Cartier Bresson, Frida Kahlo's biographies.
Why: Because I love Central Park under a blanket of snow, the amazing window displays, the kitch decorations, Christmas shopping, taking a break for a burger and beer in a cozy Soho eatery.
Hotels: Algonquin, The Greenwich Hotel.
Bar: Fanelli's cafe, 94 Prince Street.
What to take with you: Nothing - you can buy everything there; "New-Yorkers As Seen by Magnum Photographers".
Where: Chile - Patagonia
Why: For the awesome landscapes that make your heart miss a beat, because it's summer and ideal for horseback riding on the glaciers. Because I'm at home.
What to take with you: National Geographic Magazine, Francisco Coloane's books, a pair of very old boots.