|Subject: New Travelziner from Chicago|
My name is Joel, and I have been following this list for a few short weeks. I live in Chicago, and am sorry that I just missed the get-together at Bistro 110.
I've been a traveller ever since I backpacked across Europe after high-school. Since then I have travelled someplace new pretty much every year, with most of my trips either in Europe or in North America (Mexico, Canada.) This is not because I have less of an interest in seeing the rest of the world, just that circumstances, and the friends I have made in Europe keep me more tightly linked to these places. I lived for a while in both Spain and Italy and have lately been visiting both of these countries regularly, to visit friends and loved ones.
First, a few thoughts of my own on recent postings. Last year in London I stayed at one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed at anywhere, The Franklin in the Knightsbridge area, not too far from Harrod's. It was perfectly charming and exquisitely comfortable, but also somewhat expensive (almost $275 per night). Nevertheless I recommend it to someone with this kind of budget.
In Tuscany, I know a man who runs an Agriturismo spot slightly west of Florence (between Montecatini and Pistoia more precisely.) He has a simple web-site, and e-mail http://www.zen.it/~f.landini although his English is just so-so. The focus at his farm is on the cooking; I met him through an Italian cooking newsgroup. His name is Franco Landini.
Now for a request. In December, I am planning to meet a friend from Italy, in Montreal. I have never been there and have all the usual questions. We'd like a comfortable charming place to stay in the old quarter, same for restaurants, ad idea of how much time is needed to enjoy the city, should we rent a car and also visit Quebec City and if so for how long. We are planning about 7 days in the area, and I have even thought about exploring a little of northern Vermont during that week, if we have extra time. Can we tap anyone's experience in this area?