Photo courtesy Cara
A perfect day in Paris, Florence,
and Los Angeles
In collaboration with our friends at Coach
Many serious travelers will tell you that it takes weeks, no, months if you really mean business to soak up the charms of a city to be fully immersed in that city’s culture. Well, we say: challenge accepted. You can learn a lot about a place in a single day by doing, eating, seeing, and shopping. Each of these three beautiful cities (Paris, Florence, Los Angeles – you may have heard of them) has their own distinctive personality, but all three are particularly good for day trips.
Photo courtesy Lauren Breen
Photo courtesy Marc Patrick / BFA.com
Start here: “Cara” means “friend” in Irish. Which makes sense after spending a night in the warm welcome of the Cara Hotel. Yes, they’re exceptionally friendly here, but the classic Californian aesthetic is also a draw. Its location on Western Avenue is an ideal launch pad to take off on the East Side and wind your way west of Venice Beach.
Meal: Bite into one of Ariel Skye’s crispy bagels, which are thickly coated with cream cheese, at Courage Bagels on Virgil. For lunch at Found Oyster, slide onto a bar stool and watch the action – oysters peeled and fried, tender lobster folded into buns, all out of hand. Dinner takes place across town at Gjusta, Venice’s ode to the California premium.
Do not miss: There’s a lot to love about LA’s boutique scene (hello Mohawk General Store), but parking once and doing a lot of shopping at the Grove is too tempting to pass up. Also, the new Coach Store couldn’t be prettier (or the new spacious tote bags more manageable). If you’re in that corner of mid-city, check out the Yuz Foundation’s LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion for Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art before having dinner in Venice.
THE LOS ANGELES GUIDE
Photo courtesy Dario Garofalo
Start here: Place townhouse in the heart of Santa Maria Novella (don’t miss the 800 year old pharmacy just around the corner) has just been refreshed courtesy of Luigi Fragola Architects. The structured interior and the deliberately not coordinated table landscapes by Richard Ginori embody colorful Florentine flair.
Meal: Italians rarely eat breakfast, but basically invented the lazy lunch. Il Santo Bevitore is fancier than most of the city’s trattorias, with an upscale take on Tuscan classics (try the whipped baccalà with crispbread) and an excellent wine list (Santino wine bar is next door). Of the myriad of bars in this tiny town, Procacci is just the ticket for an aperitivo, nibbling on a truffle panino and watching the locals make their nightly passegiata. Come 9pm, it’s time for 13 Gobbi. Get the house rigatoni – a creamy, cheesy pasta with tomatoes served in a large bowl cooked for seconds.
Do not miss: You could spend an afternoon with the masters of the Renaissance at the Uffizi Gallery, or dive under the hood of the city on a private tour of an 18th-century silk factory. The guided tours of the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, led by the brilliant Briza Datti, are by appointment only. You will see a warping machine from 1786 that is based on a design by da Vinci two centuries earlier and is still in use. Then, with your appetite for old world crafts, dive into Laurenzaccio and pick up hand-painted Tuscan ceramics before an afternoon pistachio ice cream from Sbrino.
THE FLORENCE GUIDE
Start here: Even an hour in Paris feels overwhelming, but a full day of doing whatever you want is the stuff of dreams. Wake up to breakfast in bed at the newly renovated Le Bristol. A few laps in the 1920s-style ocean liner pool – with a view of the Eiffel Tower – feels appropriate after a morning spread of outrageously buttery, flaky croissants and creamy café au lait.
Meal: The team behind the most impossible restaurants in town, Septime and Clamato, has just got the tapestry pastry shop for freshly baked (the oven plan is posted on the bakery door) baba au pisco, cassis tartlets and doughy kouign. opened man. For lunch, Vivant offers one of the most exciting menus in town. Marsan de Hélène Darroze offers an innovative menu and a relaxed atmosphere for a hit in fine dining.
Do not miss: If you want to skip Le Bon Marché and Merci and narrow it down to a few shops, Maison Labiche and Charvet are high on the list. Culturally, the breathtaking Amazônia exhibition by Sebastião Salgado in the Philharmonie de Paris cannot be overlooked. Salgado spent seven years photographing remote tribes and sweeping storms deep in the Brazilian Amazon. The unique display (many pictures hang from the ceiling) and the rousing soundtrack will be with you long after you leave.
THE PARIS GUIDE