Experience New York City as a Local

Views of magical Manhattan make New York City an unforgettable experience

Views of magical Manhattan make New York City an unforgettable experience

When we travel to a destination, we try to find ways to visit as if we’re locals. Sometimes that means staying in an apartment in a cool neighborhood. Other times it might mean working extra hard before the trip to find the newest hidden restaurants the locals are only now beginning to discover. Or it might include avoiding the tourist attractions altogether and just finding a neighborhood to explore.

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A View From the Top: Refocusing From the Swiss Alps

The Matterhorn is the topographic icon of Switzerland

The Matterhorn is the topographic icon of Switzerland

Perhaps as a nod to its successful “neutral nation” bit, Switzerland isn’t really one big country so much as it’s a handful of small countries under one flag. There’s no one language (varietals of German, French, Italian, and the increasingly rare Rumantsch are grouped throughout the nation), and there’s certainly no homogeneous culture. And though my travels have been isolated to western Switzerland, the diversity of a country only twice the size of Massachusetts is evident even between its cities—starting with Geneva.

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The Best of Milan

Taste an aperitivo overlooking the roofs of Milan city centre in Brera at Hotel Milano Scala

Taste an aperitivo overlooking the roofs of Milan city centre in Brera at Hotel Milano Scala

Many people don’t fall in love with Milan at first sight. At first glance, it seems to be a gray business city. But this definition is not enough; Milan has superb, gorgeous gems you can discover during a first visit to the city. It’s a dynamic, vibrant place that looks toward the future (you can easily find roadwork in the streets) but also preserves its rich history. It is a business city, indeed, but don’t forget this is Italy so even here, in the economic heart of the country, we have nice views, gorgeous churches, and great paintings. Get the camera out; you’ll need it.

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Living Like a Parisian Local

A view of the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower, while commonplace for Parisians, is unforgettable for all who visit the City of Light

A view of the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower, while commonplace for Parisians, is unforgettable for all who visit the City of Light

The allure of Parisian life has had a strong pull on writers, artists, musicians, and many others since the 19th century. You can’t understand that attraction when you’re on a whirlwind tour through Europe or even during your first weeklong visit to Paris. No, to feel what it’s like to “be Parisian,” you have to have been here before (so you don’t feel obliged to visit the main tourist spots), and you have to stay for at least two months. That’s exactly what I did; I rented an apartment from mid-May to mid-July in the 10th arrondissement near Canal St. Martin, a tributary that feeds into the Seine River.

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Why I Ran Away to Venice, Italy

Venice Italy’s Grand Canal from the Centurion Palace Hotel

Venice Italy’s Grand Canal from the Centurion Palace Hotel

I celebrated a big birthday in June; you know, one of those numbers with a zero following a number higher than three? I wasn’t interested in a big blowout party or having all of my friends remind me of my age by playing jokes or giving me funny cards with a big ?-0 on it. Nope. Instead, I ran away to Italy with my husband.

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