To get the most for your money, hire private guides on weekdays, stay at independent hotels, and eat a big lunch.
No matter where you go in Italy, you know you’ll always eat delicious food and drink amazing wine. A sought after destination for foodies everywhere, Italy is more than just pizza and pasta. Every region has their own specialities and wines, something you can use as an excuse to explore the country and make your mouth and stomach happy. But where to go? What will you eat and drink?
This infographic by Vinepair is all you need. Pair each typical dish with the region’s wine and taste for yourself why Italy is a paradise for food lovers.
Prague’s laid back and extensive coffee culture makes it a fantastic city for freelancers, with hundreds of great coffee shops all over the city. Here are some great cafes where you can settle in, and stay caffeinated and productive for hours.
Monolok is one of the most comfortable places to work in Vinohrady. It has plenty of seating across two floors, including a little outdoor terrace. Their small menu of breakfast and lunch items means you’ll never go hungry at Monolok. The café is also great for small meetings because there’s plenty of space between the tables. But perhaps the best thing about Monolok is the music which gives the place a chill vibe.
Cafedu reading room is open 24 hours a day. But you can only get your croissants and lattes at the café until 10 pm every night. It’s a student café that’s often busy, but if you can get a table, it’s a great place to be productive because almost everyone else will also be studying or working.
3. Friends Coffee House
Friends Coffee House is another great place to work in Prague. Despite being in the heart of the city, it doesn’t carry a city center price tag. It has spacious and cozy back rooms, where you’ll also find a small library. And if you like the calming sound of running water, there is a fountain in a back room with floor-to-ceiling windows.
4. Cukrarna Alchymista
This unique café and tea room is in Prague 7. Cukrarna Alchymista (or the Alchemist) has wood-paneled walls and brass chandeliers. But the real magic of the Alchemist is the fairy tale garden, which fish-pond. They have the best variety of homemade cakes and desserts in town, but no regular food.
5. Můj šálek kávy
There’s café in Karlin, owned by doubleshot coffee roasters, Můj šálek kávy. The Czech specialty coffee roasting company is serious about their coffee, so you know your brews are always going to be high quality. They offer espresso and filter coffee from countries like Brazil, Ethiopia, and Colombia, in addition to great coffee and pastries. Their exposed brick and bookcase atmosphere is perfect for a long work session. It gets busy, so a reservation is recommended.
6. Café Sladovsky
This hipster hideaway is not only a café, but a great spot to grab a beer with friends after hours. Café Sladovsky has a really affordable menu that includes breakfast favorites, sandwiches, and a variety of burgers. The patterned wallpaper and the cushy weathered furniture make you feel like you’re in the movie Garden State. It’s a great atmosphere to get your creative juices flowing.
7. Kavárna Pražírna
As are so many great bars and restaurants in Prague, Kavárna Pražírna is in a stunning underground cellar. Their selection of coffees from Ethioia, Peru, Colombia, and El Salvador is roasted in house. In addition to coffee, they serve homemade lemonade and alcoholic drinks. Their roomy wooden tables and good lighting create the perfect mood to focus on your work. And don’t worry, even mostly underground, their WiFi signal is stellar.
8. Café Jen
Café Jen is a tiny hole-in-the-wall. There’s a welcoming chalkboard sign outside the door, and the café is always full of locals. They have a great selection of coffee roasts from around the world and a tiny food menu, which includes yummy homemade cakes. Maybe it’s the size, the décor, or how friendly everyone is, but it feels more like someone’s living room than a café.
AFTER my mom died, London was the first place I turned to for solace. I was 27 and newly married. Two months after the memorial service, my husband accompanied me on the trip from Chicago to a quiet and January-cold London.
People say nothing prepares you for death, even when you know it’s imminent. Waiting at my mother’s bedside through the final days of her living with stage four cancer were the longest hours of my life. I wasn’t thinking clearly, if at all, in those last moments with my mom. Though I felt a heavy pressure seeming to crush my chest, I was numb. My senses were dulled by the relentless effects of her illness and although our family wanted a better outcome, we were realists. We knew death would be her final resting place.
London was not an escape from grief. It wasn’t a distraction or a refuge. London was an acceptance of life — hers and mine. Having just witnessed a 56-year old beloved woman’s final breaths leave her body, I was shaken by the fragility of life. I was spooked but it only fueled my desire to devour the world and take all I could from it while time was on my side.
I felt embraced by London, consoled by its rich culture. Even in my mournful state, London brought out the best in me. I found inspiration in the city to live in the present — with intention. I felt challenged to wake up with purpose and greet each day with opportunity. I felt my senses coming alive, as well as passion for discovery and learning.
I cried upon seeing Canova’s Three Graces at the Hayward Gallery. Its precise anatomical beauty overwhelmed me. I couldn’t stop looking. I studied Matisse and his influence on Russian art at the Royal Academy, fascinated by his interests in eastern Europe. I attended plays at The Old Vic which had me crying one minute and laughing another. I allowed myself to be swept away by movement and story lines. I tasted the depths and layers of Indian spices that left my eyes watering and tongue panting for more flavors.
Perhaps most important, I visited the house where my mom lived as a teenager and diplomat’s daughter in Chester Square and imagined her strolling the neighborhood thinking about all the possibilities that lay ahead.
My mom and I never visited London together but whenever I return I play a running conversation in my head. The sound of her voice and her soft gestures are vivid in my mind.
“I loved living here,” she says. “I have the fondest memories of London.”
“Yes, mom,” I answer gently,” you always tell me.”
“I love the gardens and flowers. Walking through the open parks. It makes me so happy. My favorite times were roaming around with your Grandpa who appreciated the little things. London was good to us.”
“Yes, mom,” I say, “I know.”
London appealed to us in different ways. For my mom, it was the traditional and aristocratic London. She grew up with privilege, formalities, and decorum, where manners and appearance were expected and praised. She attended a private all-girls school in the ‘60s designed to prepare a girl to be a lady of society and find a rich, handsome husband.
I was always drawn to London’s modern sensibilities with its punk vibe and rebellious spirit. While my mom preferred high tea at Fortnum & Mason, I was content with samosas on Brick Lane, washed down by a cider at the local pub.
While our memories and desires of London differed, my mother and I possessed a shared passion for its diverse offerings. London was a city large enough to accept our diverse perspectives and cultural identities. In many ways, and in the days to come, London will always be that intersection of past and present between my mom, myself, and my now three-year old-daughter.
On my last visit to London we celebrated my daughter’s second birthday. We found ourselves on a spontaneous playdate with Prince George at Diana’s Memorial playground in Hyde Park. Nanny, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte were visiting the huge wooden pirate ship. My daughter and young George ran around on the ship and took turns on the slide. My daughter grabbed Prince George’s shoulders and directed him to wait while she moved around the quarter deck.
My mom met Princess Di back in the ‘80s at a diplomatic state dinner. Who knew that their two future grandchildren, whom they would never meet themselves, would somehow come together in a sandbox? That’s London. Our London.