Only in Milan

Milan has class: this cosmopolitan city has one of the best opera houses in the world, wonderfully unique museums and a few blocks that have the highest concentration of fashion and designer shops in the world. Here you will experience the ‘other’ Italy, the vibrant, energetic Italy of the 21st century, a city of creatives and bankers. And no matter whether in a bespoke suit or in sneakers, this chic city has style in bucket loads. You need only do as the locals do to really experience Milan – have an aperitif in one of the stylish bars, go up to the roof of the cathedral, stroll through the city centre – and you will be impressed, delighted and even inspired!

Let Marco Polo show you some unique experiences to be had in this vibrant and exciting Italian city!

Milan Marco Polo Guide

Teatro alla Scala

The highlight of the city’s social scene is the opening of the opera season which takes place in the world famous theatre on 7 December. Just how emblematic the name La Scala is for the city is shown in the way the Milanese refer to their football stadium, San Siro, as the ‘La Scala of football.’

Basilica Sant’Ambrogio

The city’s spiritual heart beats in this wonderful Romanesque church where families wait patiently for a date to have their children baptised or to get married. When the Bishop holds a sermon here the church is filled to capacity and the Milanese recover from the stresses of worldly matters.

Triennale Design Museum

Everyone knows the Sacco beanbag by the furniture brand Zanotto, the Pago Pago reversible plastic vase by Enzo Mari, or the comical, brightly coloured shelves of Ettore Sottsass. All these iconic and playful items of Italian design can be viewed in the Design Museum.

Residential palaces as museums

Many noble residential palaces – which reflect the Milanese bourgeoisie lifestyle in their architecture, their furniture and their art collections – have been turned into museums such as the Poldi Pezzoli.

Quadrilatero della Moda

A stroll around the Via Monte Napoleone, Via Spiga, Via Manzoni and Via Sant’Andrea, shows that Milan is a fashion metropolis on par with New York and Paris: this district is packed with exclusive boutiques!

Cotoletta alla Milanese

The crumbed veal cutlet dish is the epitome of Milanese cuisine, along with its saffron risotto, and it is especially good at Le Vigne.

 

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Milan Marco Polo Guide

What’s the best thing you have ever tasted in Milan? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Only in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, a metropolis? Well, first of all it is the capital of a kingdom – the oldest
in the world – which, on the one hand, gives Copenhagen its historical charm.
Copenhageners would say their city is ‘hyggelig’ – cosy. On the other hand, architects
rave about Copenhagen as a breathtaking capital of modern architecture.

Let Marco Polo show you some unique experiences which can only be had in Copenhagen:

Image by Evelyne de Jong/the Buttercup Sisters, used with permission

Image by Evelyne de Jong/the Buttercup Sisters, used with permission.

Changing of the guard

It may bring a (wry) smile to some Copenhageners’ lips, but they are still proud when the Royal Life Guards march to the queen’s palace. At noon, on the dot, the order is given: ‘Attention!’

Opera in sight

It doesn’t always have to be Puccini or Verdi: you can also enjoy the Copenhagen Opera from the outside. Take a boat trip with the Havnebussen for a fantastic view of the building and the city skyline.

Image by Evelyn de Jong/The Buttercup Sisters, used with permission.

Image by Evelyne de Jong/The Buttercup Sisters, used with permission.

Café, bar or restaurant?

A question which is not always easy to answer in Copenhagen. What is a café in the daytime, becomes a restaurant in the evening and transforms itself into a bar at night. Café Sommersko was the first hybrid bar in the city and has been copied several times since opening. It’s still the one to beat, though.

Carlsberg and Co.

The green-brown bottles are a part of the cityscape: in Copenhagen no one bats an eyelid if you drink your beer on the street. Tuborg and Carlsberg used to be rivals, now they are siblings in the Carlsberg Brewery family. Visitors can savour a number of different beers here.

Pølsevogn

The mobile hot-dog stands are (still) holding their own against the ubiquitous American-style burger. And a good thing, too! Copenhagen would be a poorer place without the Pølsevogn on the squares. At lunchtime, have a frokost of hot dog with ketchup, mayonnaise, gherkin and fried onions, perhaps on the Rådhuspladsen.

I design, therefore I am

If you look carefully, you’ll find it almost everywhere: Danish design. That special combination of minimalism and elegance characterises both the roof of the Opera as well as the façade of the ‘Black Diamond’ or even the knives and forks in your hotel. The most beautiful and unusual designer creations can be marvelled at in the Dansk Design Center.

 

 

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Copenhagen Marco Polo Guide

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Eat Like a Local – Vienna

Paris has its bistros, Madrid its bodegas, Prague its beer halls and London its pubs. But Vienna has three typical gastronomic institutions: the coffeehouse, Beisl and Heuriger.

Vienna

Coffeehouses

Entire libraries are full of the literature that has been written about – and in – Viennese coffeehouses. In the Biedermeier period and even more around 1900, cafés were
the focal point of Viennese intellectual life. Today, there are more than 500 such oases scattered throughout the city where you can sit for hours with a cup of melange and the obligatory glass of good Viennese mountain spring water without being bothered. They all have a wide selection
of newspapers and many provide chessboards, bridge cards and even billiard tables to help you while away the time.

The Beisl

The second culinary stronghold of the Viennese way of life – the Beisl – has become trendy once again thanks to an amazing rejuvenation of the Viennese cuisine that is actually a mixture of
Bohemian, Hungarian, Italian, Jewish and other Central European cooking traditions.

For years, the city of schnitzel and Tafelspitz (boiled beef), Beuschel (veal lungs), Knödel (dumplings) and Palatschinken (pancakes) had a poor reputation with gourmets on account of the fat and calories. In the meantime, a new generation of ambitious cooks have adapted their menus to appeal to modern eating habits.

The Heuriger

The third Viennese institution, the Heuriger, still enjoys tremendous popularity. Most of these inns have picturesque vaulted cellars, beautiful courtyards and gardens where guests are served young wine and hearty food – and often to live Viennese music.

Most Heuriger are located in the old wine-growing areas on the edge of the Vienna Woods in the north-west of the city but those in the more peaceful districts such as Strebersdorf and Stammersdorf to the north across the Danube, or Mauer near the southern boundary of Vienna have just as much atmosphere. The genuine Heuriger – which is also known as a ‘Buschenschank’ – can be recognised by a fresh green fir branch over its door and a sign reading ‘Ausg’steckt’ next to it.

 

Local specialties to try on your trip to Vienna:

Apfelstrudel – the dream dessert made of grated or finely cut apples, nuts, and raisins, seasoned with cinnamon and sugar, wrapped in filo pastry

Beuschel – finely cut offal (mainly heart and lung) in a spicy sauce

Buchteln – Sweet yeast rolls filled with jam and often served with vanilla sauce

Frankfurter – the sausages known as ‘Wieners’ everywhere else

Frittaten – finely sliced pancakes served in clear beef soup

Kaiserschmarrn – desert made of shredded omelette, usually served with stewed plums

Nockerln – the Austrian relative of Italian gnocchi; Griess or Butternockerln (small semolina or butter dumplings) are served in soup; Salzburger Nockerln – a soufflé of egg white – is a legendary dessert

Palatschinken – sweet pancakes filled with apricot jam, curd cheese, nuts or even ice cream

Powidltascherln – Bohemian dessert: choux pastry filled with plum puree

Sachertorte – the classic cake made of egg yolks, sugar, a little flour and beaten egg whites, filled with apricot jam and covered with chocolate icing

Stelze – grilled knuckle of pork – side dishes: sauerkraut and bread dumplings – or veal, with more delicate accompaniments

Tafelspitz – one of the best cuts of boiled beef; usually served with shredded fried potatoes and chive sauce or stewed apples with horseradish

Wiener Schnitzel – the classic: escalope of veal covered with breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown; the perfect accompaniment: potato salad

 

Restaurants serving traditional cuisine:

COFFEE & TEA HOUSES

Vienna

CAFÉ AMACORD 
Charming place to take a break between the Naschmarkt and Freihaus Quarter. Breakfast is served until 6pm; good cooking and moderate prices, large selection of magazines and games. Sun–Wed 10am–1am, Thu–Sat 10am–2am | Rechte Wienzeile 15 | U4 Kettenbrückengasse

CAFÉ CENTRAL 
Luxurious café in Venetian neo-Gothic style. This is where men-of-letters and journalists sharpened their pens around 1900. Mon–Sat 7.30am–10pm, Sun 10am–10pm | Herrengasse 14 | bus 1A, U3 Herrengasse

**FRAUENHUBER** INSIDER TIP
Vienna’s oldest café is a gem, with Persian carpets, red velvet and Biedermeier glass cabinets. Mon–Sat 8am–midnight, Sun 10am–10pm, closed Sat evening in Aug | Himmelpfortgasse 6 | U1, U3 Stephansplatz

HAAS & HAAS 
This traditional tea house is famous for its many different types of breakfast. There is also a salesroom where you can buy exquisite teas and accessories. The inner courtyard with comfortable wicker chairs is a dream. Mon–Fri 8am–8pm, Sat 8am–6.30pm, Sun 9am–6pm | Stephansplatz 4 | U1, U3 Stephansplatz

 

RESTAURANTS: EXPENSIVE

HUTH
Elegant host and high-quality Viennese cuisine, fine wines, stylish living room in the cellar. Daily | Schellinggasse 5 | tel. 5 13 56 44 | www.zum-huth.at | tram 2, D Schwarzenbergplatz

MOTTO AM FLUSS 
The new mooring place for the shuttleboats to Bratislava lies like a luxurious yacht of glass at anchor on the right bank of the Danube Canal. In addition to a café and bar, it also houses a restaurant that became the in-place for the bourgeois, bohemian and business people in next to
no time. Light, regional gourmet cuisine, fine wines, a spacious terrace with a fabulous view of the canal; lavish breakfast served in the café until 4pm(!) Daily | Schwedenplatz | tel. 2 52 55 11 | www.motto.at | U1, U4 Schwedenplatz

PLACHUTTA 
Ewald Plachutta and his team serve more than a dozen different kinds of boiled beef in their chic city eatery. Daily | Wollzeile 38 | tel. 5 12 15 77 | www.plachutta.at | U3 Stubentor

ZUM SCHWARZEN KAMEEL
The roots of this stylish classic restaurant can be traced back to the 17th century. Chef de cuisine Sevgi Hartl’s cooking is creative while still respecting tradition and Maître Gensbichler guides his guests through the wine and cheese kingdom with the charm of times long past. The ‘Camel’ also has a stand-up bar and exquisite wine and delicatessen shop. Closed Sun | Bognergasse 5 | tel. 5 33 81 25 | www.kameel.at | U3 Herrengasse

 

RESTAURANTS: MODERATE

AUX GAZELLES 
The essence of the Orient for all the senses: the glamorous combination of brasserie, café and deli with an oyster bar, tea salon and club. It even has a Moroccan steam bath! Mon–Thu Café 11am–2am, Fri/Sat 11am–4am, restaurant Mon–Sat 6pm–midnight, club with DJ Thu–Sat 10pm–4am | Rahlgasse 5 | tel. 5 85 66 45 | www.auxgazelles.at | U2 Museumsquartier

**ZUM BLAUEN ESEL** INSIDER TIP
The ideal place for a meal after visiting Schönbrunn – don’t be put off by the surroundings!
Cosy restaurant with a wonderful garden with gravel underfoot and chestnut trees above. Excellent local cooking, steaks and scampi from the barbecue, and very good wines. Closed lunchtime and Sun | Hadikgasse 40 | tel. 8 95 51 27 | www.blauer-esel.at | U4 Hietzing

GMOAKELLER 
Sophisticated and refined home-style cooking using traditional recipes with a touch of Styria in the atmosphere of a cosy pub. Excellent wines. Closed Sun | Am Heumarkt 25 | tel. 7 12 53 10 | www.gmoakeller.at | U4 Stadtpark

HANSEN 
Wonderful lunchtime restaurant in the cellar of the stock exchange with a view of lush green plants. Modern, light cuisine. Closed Sat evening and Sun | Wipplingerstraße 34 | tel. 5 32 05 42 | www.hansen.co.at | tram1 Börse

LUSTHAUS 
Beautiful former imperial hunting lodge with terrace, gigantic chestnut trees and  tangy wine. On balmy summer evenings, you will feel blissful here in the heart of the Prater woods. The kitchen will also satisfy sophisticated diners. May–Sept Mon–Fri noon–11pm, Sat, Sun, holidays to 6pm, Oct–April closed Wed, Thu–Tue noon– 6pm | Freudenau 254 (Hauptallee) | tel. 7 28 95 65 | www.lusthaus-wien.at | bus 77A Lusthaus

NENI
Refreshing, aromatic Israeli-Levantine cuisine – mezzeh, kibbeh and salads. Café and charming rooftop restaurant; sandwiches to take away. Closed Sun | Naschmarkt 510 | tel. 5 85 20 20 | www.neni.at | U1, U2, U4 Karlsplatz

UBL
This is not the place if you are counting calories but perfect for fans of classic Austrian specialities such as schnitzel, knuckle of pork or fried offal served in a really relaxed inn with a round iron stove, old wooden panelling and floorboards. Closed Mon/Tue | Pressgasse 26 | tel. 5 87 64 37 | U4 Kettenbrückengasse

 

RESTAURANTS: BUDGET

CENTIMETER 
This local chain of restaurant is extremely good value for money. The menu in the
form of a yardstick offers a great variety of gigantic, thickly-spread open blackbread
sandwiches that you pay for by the centimetre. Daily | Stiftgasse 4 | tel. 4 70
06 06 | www.centimeter.at | U3 Neubaugasse, tram 49 Stiftgasse

CURRY INSEL
Meat, fish and vegetable curries, served with coconut or lemon rice. Tamil culinary
art of a high standard is served at low prices in this friendly restaurant. There is
an all-you-can-eat buffet on the first Sat in the month (approx. 13 euros) and
brunch is served 11am–3pm on Sun. Daily, closed July/Aug. | Lenaugasse 4 | tel. 4 06
92 33 | www.curryinsel.at | U2 Rathaus

GLACISBEISL
This classic restaurant right behind the MuseumsQuartier serves good home-style cooking in post-modern surroundings. Inexpensive set lunch, wonderful garden. Daily | Museumsplatz 1/entrance: Breite Gasse 4 | tel. 5 26 56 60 | www.glacisbeisl.at | U2, U3 Volkstheater

**INIGO** INSIDER TIP
Cheerful, laid-back meeting place for people from all walks of life. The vegetarian meals and set lunch are something special. Closed Sun | Bäckerstraße 18 | tel. 5 12 74 51 | www.inigo.at | U3 Stubentor

**SOHO IN THE NATIONAL LIBRARY** INSIDER TIP
A canteen for government employees in the style of a designer restaurant with bistro cuisine at cafeteria prices. Different set meals every day and snacks. Am Josefsplatz 1/Neue Hofburg | entrance from Burggarten next to Butterfly House (Schmetterlingshaus) or behind the Palace Chapel (Burgkapelle) door on the left | Mon–Fri 9am–4pm | set meal from 11.30am | tel.
06 76 3 09 51 61 | U2 Museumsquartier, bus 2A Michaelerplatz

WALDVIERTLER HOF
A typical country inn – in the heart of town! Substantial specialities from northern Lower Austria; friendly, speedy service, cosy, rustic atmosphere and a large garden with chestnut trees – reasonably priced set lunches. Closed Sat/Sun | Schönbrunner Str. 20 | tel. 5 87 34 47 | www.waldviertlerhof.at | U4, bus 59A Kettenbrückengasse

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Vienna Marco Polo Guide

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Only in Budapest

Unique experiences in Hungary’s capital!

Budapest Marco Polo Guide

Iconic Bridge
The best end to a romantic evening, according to the people of Budapest, is walking home across the Chain Bridge. And indeed the bridge, which is lit up at night, is a wonderful spot to take in the magical atmosphere of the city on the water.

Place to be
When it comes to lifestyle and nightlife, Liszt Ferenc tér, ‘Franz Liszt Square’, sets the tone. Here, not far from the elegant boulevard, Andrássy út, you will find one hip café next to another.

Incredible Ambience
The New York Kávéház is brilliant! You should see this café at least once, for it is the most breathtaking representative of the Budapest café tradition: other cafés may be cosier, but here visitors can feast their eyes on the overwhelming décor.

Heroes’ Square
Budapest’s skateboarders enjoy themselves under the eyes of Archangel Gabriel on Heroes’ Square. History has been set in stone here: from the top of the two columned arches Hungarian rulers and statesmen look down at the hustle and bustle on the city‘s largest square.

The Queen of Desserts
The name Gundel put Budapest and the whole of Hungary on the culinary map. As a result, Gundel palacsinta, a pancake with walnuts and chocolate sauce, is both a tasty treat and a piece of cultural heritage. These pancakes can be tasted in Centrál Kávéház, for example.

Remembrance and Experience
The Moorish-Byzantine onion domes of the Dohány Street Synagogue are the landmark of an urban cosmos that is unique in Europe: a once again very lively Jewish Quarter. The synagogue is a very handsome building, but it’s also a memorial to all those who suffered and perished during the Holocaust.

 

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Budapest Marco Polo Guide

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Only in Phuket

Stunning beaches and jungle, colourful markets and gigantic shopping temples, a dizzy nightlife and an island capital where the old quarter is being transformed into a lively open-air museum – no wonder Phuket is such a popular holiday destination. The whole world comes here. The island draws more than five million tourists each year. The super-rich anchor their luxury yachts, and regular holidaymakers too relax on Phuket, having a good time and learning from the Thais that life is nicer when lived with a smile.

Phuket Marco Polo Guide

Discover what unique experiences can be had with our list of things you can only do in Phuket!

Colonial atmosphere
Thailand has never been a colony, yet in Old Phuket Town you can definitely sense a colonial atmosphere. A stroll through this old quarter reveals many historic buildings in the Sino-Portuguese style. In Soi Rommani you will find one little gem after another.

Ride the waves
A trip across the waves from beach to beach or to an offshore island is an essential part of a holiday in Phuket. On Rawai Beach a whole armada of longtails awaits customers.

Breach the peace
Buddhist monasteries are generally tranquil places in Thailand. In Wat Chalong, however, noise is part of the experience. Visitors set off chains of fireworks – to express gratitude for wishes fulfilled. You too can make a bang in the monastery, as the fireworks are sold on site.

Sail in the Andaman Sea
The Andaman Sea is Asia’s number one sailing region, and nowhere will you see more yachts at anchor than off Phuket. Go on board! On the noticeboards of restaurants and bars in the bays of Ao Sane and Chalong, and on Nai Harn Beach, sailors post offers of trips on their private boats.

Bar hopping
The centre of nightlife in Phuket is Soi Bangla on Patong Beach. Hundreds of bars are lined up one next to the other, most of them no more than a counter with a roof above it. No other place in Thailand presents such a lively, uninhibited scene at night, with a carnival atmosphere wherever you look.

It doesn’t hurt a bit
They stick spikes and hooks into their bodies and feel no pain. Pilgrims at the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket Town have entered a trance. Visitors from the West can’t exclude the possibility that it might hurt just to look.

 

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Phuket Marco Polo Guide

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Eat Like a Local – Florence

The Italians love to indulge themselves at the table. They enjoy their food – often dining for hours on end.  And it’s true – you can eat your fill, even in Florence, without breaking the bank.

Florence Marco Polo Guide

Local Specialities to try on your visit to Florence:

Arista alla fiorentina – grilled fillet of pork with rosemary and garlic

Baccalà alla fiorentina – stockfish in tomato sauce with basil

Biscotti di Prato (cantucci) – almond biscuits to be dipped in vin santo, a sweet dessert wine

Bistecca alla fiorentina – a 3.5-cm (1 1/2 in) thick T-bone steak

Carciofi fritti – fried quartered artichokes

Cinghiale (coniglio) in umido – wild boar or rabbit in tomato sauce

Crostini toscani – toasted bread spread with a paste made of chicken liver, capers and fresh herbs

Fagioli all’uccelletto con salsicce – white beans in tomato sauce with sage and pork sausages

Fettunta – toasted slices of white bread: in summer with tomatoes and basil; in winter with garlic and drizzled with freshly pressed olive oil

Lesso (bollito misto) con salsa verde – boiled meat (beef, tongue, chicken) with green herb sauce

Minestrone/zuppa di verdura – thick vegetable soup

Panzanella – a summer salad served on soaked white bread and tomatoes

Pappa al pomodoro – luke-warm tomato and bread soup

Pollo al mattone – chicken, pressed flat under a brick and roasted over a wood fire

Ribollita – re-heated vegetable soup with white beans and bread

Tagliata – steak, stripped from the bone and cut into strips

Tagliatelle alla lepre (al cinghiale) – ribbon noodles with hare or wild boar ragout

Trippa alla fiorentina – calf tripe with tomato sauce

 

Restaurants serving traditional Italian cuisine:

RIVOIRE
Expensive (if you sit down at a table), but in a class of its own. Don’t leave town without trying a cioccolata calda con panna (hot chocolate with whipped cream); the Rivoire is as much a part of Florence as the Palazzo Vecchio opposite. Tue–Sun 8am–midnight | Piazza della Signoria 5r

PENSAVO PEGGIO
It’s practically impossible to eat well and cheaply in the centre of Florence – but here’s the exception to the rule! Freshly prepared pasta dishes at lunchtime, followed by delicious fish in the evenings. Mon–Sat | Via del Moro 51r | Tel. 0 55 28 54 86

PROCACCI
If your palate calls for a glass of good white wine and an exquisite truffle pâté sandwich, rather than sweet snacks, and if you favour a slightly genteel atmosphere, you’ll go crazy for this place! Mon–Sat 10am–8pm | Via Tornabuoni 64r | www.procacci1885.it

CANTINETTA ANTINORI
At this pleasant cantinetta (wine bar) in the Palazzo Antinori, you can not only sample the famous wines from this winegrowing dynasty, but also try the appetising foods produced on the Antinori estates. This has long been a favourite meeting place for Florentine movers and shakers. Mon–Fri | Piazza Antinori 3r (Via Tornabuoni) | Tel. 0 55 29 22 34 | www.cantinetta-antinori.com

COCO LEZZONE
For years now, one of the places to be. Florentine society people squeeze into the cramped interior to enjoy superlative cuisine. Closed Sun and Tue evenings | Via del Parioncino 26r | Tel. 0 55 28 71 78 | Moderate | www.cocolezzone.it

DA MIMMO
Mimmo is committed to using only fresh ingredients for his excellent dishes – one more reason to come for a meal at this beautiful 17th-century theatre! Closed Sat lunchtime and Sun | Via S. Gallo 57–59r | Tel. 0 55 48 10 30 | www.ristorantedamimmo.it | Moderate

OSTERIA DEI PAZZI
Let Paolo spoil you with a few Florentine delicacies, including the typical bistecca alla fiorentina! Tue–Sun | Via dei Lavatoi 3r | Tel. 05 52 34 48 80 | Moderate

NERBONE
The Florentine clientele have been descending at lunchtime on this Mercato Centrale stand since 1872. Typical dishes at reasonable prices. Mon–Sat 7am–2pm | Mercato Centrale | Via dell’Ariento | Budget

 

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Florence Marco Polo Guidef

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Only on Cape Verde

Cape Verde is all about colour: the turquoise ocean, lush tropical valleys, beaches of black and white sand, the bright yellow of the bananas, the orange-coloured papayas, green heads of cabbage and red peppers. The village square and the narrow cobbled streets seem to be deserted; only a few children can be seen playing with toys they have made themselves. However, there is a lot of hustle and bustle at the vegetable market – the centre and heart of every village – loud shouting and laughter, friendly faces and mountains of fresh fruit. Women squat on the roadside with baskets full of silvery fish, a group of men sit in the shade of a tree playing cards. Life here is leisurely and relaxed, people have time and they also have patience.

Cape Verde Marco Polo Guide

Let Marco Polo show you some unique experiences to be had on Cape Verde:

Travel with the locals
The aluguer is the most common means of transportation on Cape Verde. You should travel at least once with the locals in one of these pickups, such as the trip from São Filipe to Chã das Caldeiras.

Swing those hips
You won’t know what has hit you when the dancers start swinging their hips at a dizzy speed dancing the batuco in the 5al da Música in Praia.

A hearty pleasure
The Cape Verde national dish, catchupa, is a hearty affair. Every cook prepares their
own different version of this stew made of sweet corn and beans – in the Churrasqueira Africana on Fogo they add pumpkin.

New braids
Men, women and children wear their hair woven into small braids. If you want to do the same, you can have your holiday hairstyle done in the shop next to the Mariama Restaurant in Vila do Maio.

Pure firewater
No matter whether it is freshly distilled or aged, the Cape Verde sugar cane liquor packs a punch! The freshly brewed firewater (grogue novo) that is served in the Pavilhão on the Praça Nova in Mindelo and elsewhere will really take your breath away!

Strategic moves
A typical scene: two men sitting in the shade with a wooden board between them pondering over how they can get as many small pieces as possible away from their opponent. The game is called oril and it attracts many players to the row of shops near the sport stadium in Sal Rei and numerous other places on the islands.

Glittering catch
At midday everybody runs to see if the fishermen have made a good catch when their colourful boats return to port or are pulled up on to the beach – as they do in Tarrafal on Santiago.

 

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Cape Verde Marco Polo Guide

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NEW: MY WAY Travel Journals

We are proud to introduce MY WAY Travel Journals! This exciting new series will be available TOMORROW from marco-polo.com and other online retailers! 

MY WAY Travel Journals

Every journey is a unique experience. Everyone travels differently.

Some like it hot, others love the cold. Everyone remembers delicious food, special encounters, favourite places, and secret insider tips in their own way. And none of it should be lost. That’s why Marco Polo has created MY WAY.

With Marco Polo MY WAY Travel Journals every journey becomes unforgettable!

  •  4 cover designs with tactile finish
  • Over 100 stickers to personalise your own travel diary
  • Special pocket at the back of each journal for keepsakes
  • Handy elastic band bookmark
  • Pocket-sized format

If you have ever wished that you had kept a diary of a special trip, not just photographs, ticket stubs and postcards, but a record of your thoughts and emotions throughout, then Marco Polo MY WAY travel journals are for you!

MY WAY Travel Journals

With themed stickers at the back of each book, you can individually arrange and design your own travel record – before, during and after your trip.

MY WAY Travel Journals

You have the opportunity to give special experiences more space or less – depending on what is most important to you.

MY WAY Travel Journals

With four stylish tactile covers to choose from and 160 pages in each journal, there is plenty of space to record everything from your initial travel checklist to travel companions, favourite places, insider tips and most embarrassing moments – turning the finished book into a wonderful memento to treasure forever.

4 cover designs available: 

MY WAY Travel Journals
Jungle cover – 978 3829769488     Buy now!

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MY WAY Travel Journals
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Specification Details
Pub Date: June 2016
RRP: £7.99
Dimensions: 185 x 120mm
Pages: 160

MY WAY Travel Journals

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Eat Like a Local – Venice

Many people think that the ‘cucina veneziana’, with its traditional, exquisite recipes, is still one of the finest cuisines on earth, but there are others who feel that it has been spoiled by mass tourism. Of course, the admirers and the moaners are both right in a way…

Venice Marco Polo Guide

There are still many chefs who create wonderful dishes to tickle the diner’s palate using the great variety of freshly-caught seafood from the Adriatic and fresh, crisp produce from the ‘vegetable islands’ and mainland, but you will equally well find the mass-produced menu turistico at a set price – and often, not a very reasonable one at that. In any case, the Venetian cuisine still has many incomparable specialities, ranging from the dozens of different varieties of pasta to the imaginative frutti di mare and meat dishes and sweet delights from the cake shops.

Those who want to experience everything the gastronomic landscape of the city has to offer, should start off by going to a few bacari (with the stress on the first ‘a’). These simple stand-up bars are the Venetian equivalent of the Spanish tapas bar, the Parisian bistro or the local pub in Britain – an institution, where you can have a glass of wine (an ombra), nibble a couple of delicious snacks (the cicheti), and – first and foremost – have a chat.

 

Local specialities to try on your visit to Venice:

Carpaccio – Venice’s culinary export hit: wafer-thin slices of raw beef, with a trickle of lemon juice and flakes of Parmesan

Cicheti – Venetian-style tapas: titbits such as small meatballs, tiny fried fish, pickled vegetables, mussels, stuffed olives, slices of polenta, etc.

Fegato alla venexiana – calf’s liver cooked in a white wine and onion stock

Fiori di zucca – pumpkin flowers, usually served stuffed and fried

Fritto misto di mare – fried fish and seafood

Pasta e fagioli – a substantial stew cooked with thick macaroni, white beans and a lot of olive oil and herbs

Risi e bisi – rice with green peas

Risotto nero – creamy, black risotto prepared with squid ink (seppie)

Sarde in soar – a very traditional, very Venetian starter: cooked sardines served cold with a marinade of olive oil, vinegar, wine, raisins and pine nuts

Tramezzini – triangular crust-less sandwiches with cheese, ham, mushrooms, tuna, egg or vegetables and various spreads

 

BACARI, BARS & OSTERIAS

Locals usually gather in these generally simply furnished, but extremely cosy wine bars to have a chat with their neighbours – usually standing up, to eat a few tasty titbits (in the case of the osteria, this is a real meal seated at a table) and knock back an ombra, a small glass of white wine that is impossible to imagine Venetian life without. The following are some of the more atmospheric places:

ACIUGHETA
A fine selection of cicheti, pizzas and other delicious things, as well as good wines, just a few yards behind St Mark’s Basilica. Soak up the atmosphere at one of the tables outside if the weather is fine. Daily (sometimes closed Wed in winter) | Campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo, 4357 | tel. 04 15 22 42 92 | stop: San Zaccaria

DA ALBERTO
Fans of excellent fish – come right in! There is a different menu every day which includes specialities such as spaghetti with scampi or squid, fish gnocchi or risotto, dried cod in salt, and much more. Closed Sun | Calle Ciacinto Gallina, 5401 | tel. 04 15 23 81 53 | stop: Ospedale

DO MORI
This is the oldest bacaro in Venice and has been here near the fish market for over 500 years. Countless pots and copper kettles hang from the ceiling and more than 100 different wines await you at the bar. All of this with many kinds of tramezzini and other snacks. Closed Sun and after 8.30pm | Calle dei Do Mori, 429 | tel. 04 15 22 54 01 | stop: Rialto

 

RESTAURANTS: BUDGET

BANDIERETTE
Good, home-style cooking – something that sounds as simple as that is almost a rarity in Venice these days. At noon, local workers drop in and choose from the two or three primi and secondi of the day. In the evening, the fare is a bit more upmarket – the fish is excellent. No wonder that it will be hard to find a table if you haven’t reserved. Closed Mon evening and Tue | Barbaria de le Tole, 6671 | tel. 04 15 22 06 19 | stop: Ospedale

AL BRINDISI
The chef in this small restaurant, not even a three minute walk from the railway station, has devoted himself to the preparation of freshly-caught creatures from the Adriatic and from the lagoon. In summer, meals are served outside on the Campo with a view of the magnificent Palazzo Labia. Daily | Campo San Geremia, 307 | tel. 0 41 71 69 68 | stop: Ferrovia

ALLE VIGNOLE
A lovely trip with the Line 13 vaporetto will take you to the island of Vignole. From May to September, you can have a pleasant meal surrounded by greenery after taking a short stroll through the vegetable fields. Self-service, large selection, hearty cooking. Closed Mon | Isola Delle Vignole | tel. 04 15 28 97 07 | stop: Vignole

 

RESTAURANTS: MODERATE

LINEA D’OMBRA
Creative cooking focussing on sophisticated fish dishes and a list of more than 600 (!) wines draw people to this smartly designed restaurant at the eastern end of the Zattere. Unforgettable: a meal on the wooden pontoon terrace directly over the water. Closed Wed | Zattere/Ponte dell’Unita, 19 | tel. 04 12 41 18 18 | www.ristorantelineadombra.com | stop: Salute

DA ROMANO
For generations, Venetian gourmands and gourmets have travelled over to Burano to eat in this trattoria that is famous far and near. The splendid cuisine focuses on fish that is cooked here with great care over a charcoal fire. Closed Sun evening and Tue in summer, every evening in winter | Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221 | tel. 0 41 73 00 30 | www.daromano.it | stop: Burano

FIASCHETTERIA TOSCANA
There are not many other places in Venice where you can eat as well as here. From risotto to zabaione, from the perfectly grilled steak to the fried fish, the chef really shows that he is an artist. The atmosphere is tasteful but not ostentatious, the prices not low but justified. Closed Wed lunchtime and Tue | Salizzada San Giovanni Crisostomo, 5719 | tel. 04 15 28 52 81 | www.fiaschetteriatoscana.it | stop: Rialto

 

RESTAURANTS: EXPENSIVE

CORTE SCONTA
This modestly furnished restaurant is not easy to find but you will be rewarded with an excellent selection of first-class fish. It takes some time to get used to the fact that the specials of the day are not listed on the menu but rattled off by the lady of the house in Italian. Our tip: trust the chef and order an opulent plate of antipasti. But, be careful: quality has a price! Closed Sun/Mon | Calle del Pestrin, 3886 | tel. 04 15 22 70 24 | stop: Arsenale

IL RIDOTTO
This restaurant, with its brick walls and mirrors and minimalistic, elegant atmosphere, only has enough room for a maximum of 13 guests. It is therefore not surprising that you need to reserve well in advance and that Gianni Bonacorsi charges €5 for the coperto. In return, he serves his guests culinary highlights of supreme quality. Of course, there is pasta and rice served with amazing wines every day; the meat, fish and other exquisite ingredients vary with what the market supplies. Closed Thu at noon and Wed | Campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo, 4509 | tel. 04 15 20 82 80 | www.ilridotto.com | stop: San Zaccaria

LA RIVIERA
At the western end of the Zattere, the owners Monica and Luca pamper their guests in cosy surroundings, with excellent cooking and fine wines. It is especially delightful eating outside on a sunny day with a view of Giudecca across the wide canal. Closed Wed lunchtime and Mon | Fondamenta Zattere Ponte Lungo, 1473 | tel. 04 15 22 76 21 | www.ristoranteriviera.it | stop: San Basilio

 

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Venice Marco Polo Guide

What’s the best thing you have ever tasted in Venice? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Only in Lisbon

The Sleeping Beauty on the Tagus, Lisbon is steeped in the irresistible charm of times past. Magnificent palaces and monasteries bear witness to colonial riches; picturesque alleyways and staircases, pretty corners and sleepy squares enchant visitors. That’s not all though: the melancholy capital on the southwestern edge of Europe has another side that is dynamic, modern and cosmopolitan. Young hipsters party in the smart riverbank clubs and restaurants or get their kicks from bar-hopping in the party neighbourhood of Bairro Alto – and increasingly around the port of Cais de Sodré. 

Lisbon, once the capital of a large chunk of the world, today represents a melting pot of cultures. Lisbon – Lisboa (pronounced ‘lishbóa’) in Portuguese – is both metropolitan and provincial, multicultural and open to the world, welcoming and relaxed. ‘Live and let live’ is the motto here. The city and its inhabitants are imbued with a certain spirit of laissez-faire, which accompanies the much-referenced saudade. Considered the key to the soul of the Portuguese, this melancholy way of being is difficult to capture in words.

Lisbon Marco Polo Guide

Here are our top tips for unique experiences in Portugal’s vibrant capital!

Terraces with a view
Lisboetas, like tourists, are forever hunting the best view of the city and Tagus river. One of the finest vantage points is the Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara looking across to the Old Town and Castelo.

Coffee culture
Students and office workers, elderly ladies and Atlantic coast surfers: they all share one habit – stopping for a coffee at any opportunity. The most famous and atmospheric place for this is the Café a Brasileira in Chiado.

Happy to be sad
You’ll hear fado, the ‘Portuguese blues’, with its undertones of melancholy and longing, on every corner in Lisbon. Don’t miss a live performance in one of the atmospheric fado venues.

A Streetcar named Nostalgia
The old-fashioned yellow trams are used by tourists and citizens alike. The No. 28 offers the best ride in town, rumbling up through narrow alleys, inches away from the houses.

Stay on the ball
Everybody knows that the people who brought us Figo and Ronaldo are football-mad. At the local derby between Benfica (red) and Sporting (green) things get pretty heated. But even ‘regular’ league games are always worth a party.

Look down
Lisbon’s famous calçada, pavements laid by skilled craftsmen, occasionally take on fabulous shapes and forms. Cast your eyes over the wave patterns on Rossio square or the phallic representations between the Brasileira café and the Benetton store in Chiado.

Up the town and down the town
One of Lisbon’s icons are the elevadores, funiculars and lifts that have been transporting people up to Chiado and the Bairro Alto for over 100 years.  Don’t miss being whizzed uptown in the cast-iron tower of the Elevador de Santa Justa!

 

Buy the Lisbon Marco Polo Guide.

Lisbon Marco Polo Guide

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