2006: The Year in Travel

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What was your most memorable trip this year? The Pacific Northwest in the U.S. and Canada, and hot cities like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. The seafood is fantastic.
Your most memorable meal (not necessarily on the same trip)? Voluptuously aromatic white truffles on feathery buttered taglionlini at Osteria Lalibera in Alba, in the Piedmont region.
What was the most exciting thing that happened close to home? The Winter Olympics in Turin. They're gone, but the city's Museo del Cinema is a knockout—worth the trip.
Did you stay in, or visit, a hotel that particularly wowed you? The Hotel Caruso in Ravello, overlooking the Amalfi Coast. An endless, $30 million restoration of this luxury hotel, originally an 11th-century Moorish mansion, turned out to be spectacular.
What place did you find overrated or disappointing? The Radisson SAS Golden Sands Resort & Spa, in Malta--not worth five stars.
What was your worst (or funniest) travel experience? My packed Ryanair flight was kept in the air for three hours, waiting for the arrival of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who were headed to Rome via private jet for their wedding.



What's going to be hot this year? Croatia.
What is going to be the big-deal hotel opening? The Molino Stucky Hotel in Venice, a Hilton International top-of-the-line property, and the Town House Galleria, in Milan.
Is there a restaurant or a chef whom everyone is watching? Carlo Cracco, chef at Milan's Cracco-Peck restaurant, who is experimenting all over the place—with dried vegetables, marinated egg yolks, and nitrogenized fruit that's frozen on the spot at the table.
What trips do you have planned for 2007? Transylvania, in Romania.
Where do you most want to go in the world that is still a dream away? Bhutan.
Where wouldn't you go even if you won an all-expenses-paid, first-class trip? Albania. I was in Tirana for a day, and it was a dreadfully depressing wasteland.

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