48 Hours in Rio

Rio is one of those cities of the world with a real wow factor, thanks to its spectacular natural setting (in the same league as Hong Kong and Cape Town) and cultural diversity. In 48 hours you can cover the main highlights but you will have to hire a personal driver/guide. I recommend Marco Tedesco for his in-depth knowledge about Rio, kindness and flexibility (you can contact him at [email protected]). It’s funny how the landscape changes on your way through the city, from beaches to tropical forest, always guided by the Cristo Rendentor that can be seen from almost anywhere. Let’s find out what are the places to put on your bucket-list and how to spend 48 hours in this truly amazing city.

Rio's icon, the Cristo Redentor
Rio’s main icon, the Cristo Redentor

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Classy Lunch at La Place de Mougins

Escape the hustle and bustle of hectic French Riviera to the charming village of Mougins, only a few minutes away from Cannes on a hilltop. There French chef Denis Fétisson runs two different restaurants and I recently had lunch at one of them, called La Place de Mougins. Lunching in gourmet restaurants is a great way to enjoy those fine venues’ fancy menus in a faster (and less expensive) way. At La Place de Mougins dishes were as good as they look, so let the pictures talk:

Mise en bouche #1, La Place de Mougins
Mise en bouche #1

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In and Around Cape Town: the Best-of

No visit to South Africa would be complete without exploring Cape Town and its surroundings. It’s an amazing region with something for everyone: big city, lush nature, endless beaches, great food, plenty of wineries, baboons…and even penguins!

The Waterfront

Most of visitors usually start their visit with either the Waterfront, or the Table Mountain. I liked the Waterfront for only 2 reasons: the view of downtown with Table Mountain on the background and the statue of South Africa’s tremendous four Peace Nobelists!

Downtown from the Waterfront, Cape Town
Downtown Cape Town from the Waterfront

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Lunch at Test Kitchen

If you visit Cape Town, you should definitely try to book a table at Test Kitchen. Like for most trendy and internationally renown restaurants, getting a table booking ain’t easy… You will have to start trying very early, with a lot of flexibility regarding your dates. But it’s worth trying: clearly one of the best multi-course lunches I’ve had, in a chic-industrial atmosphere. One of the waiters told me a fascinating story on how his father was one of the first persons to start painting houses in Bo-Kaap. What comes to the chef, the creative use of different vegetables was just amazing. My favorite dish: the first dessert. Least favorite one: the veggie entrée. Now let the pictures talk (unfortunately I don’t have the names for each dish and the menu on their website has changed since my visit).

Starter #1, Test Kitchen
Starter #1

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Alice Ristorante in Milan

During my recent trip across Northern Italy, I had an amazing dinner at Alice Ristorante in Milan. Awarded with one Michelin star and located inside the slow food temple of Eataly near Garibaldi station, this women-led restaurant serves almost flawless modern Italian cuisine. I chose the shorter Sandrina menu and wasn’t disappointed. Wine pairing was excellent with very local wines! In terms of food, my favorite dishes were the revisited Caesar salad and “superspaghettino”. The red mullet was somehow disappointing, only flaw of an otherwise splendid meal. Efficiency and professionalism of the service has to be mentioned, no long waiting times between dishes which I think is a great thing. In my opinion Alice Ristorante easily deserves another star!

Table for 2, Alice Ristorante
Table for 2

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