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GirlTalk Italy


Best Travel Tips From Around the World -- Fall 2002


As usual, your many female-friendly bits of advice continue to inform, inspire and amuse. From travellin' women in the U.S. and Canada to those in Italy, Japan, Holland and Brazil, here are this Fall Issue's top terrific travel tips. We hope reading them will make you smile. We also hope that reading these bits and pieces will inspire other women to share their female-friendly travel goodies.

What makes a great woman's travel tip?

There are really no rules for what makes a terrific female-friendly tip. At Journeywoman we believe it's simply intuition -- something about a restaurant, small hotel, lovely park, intriguing shop that you've really enjoyed and can't wait to tell your best girlfriend about. Sometimes it's a safety tip or packing ploy you've picked up along the way and think to yourself...'This one I will remember'. Please let us know about these women-friendly goodies -- we consider every tip important enough to review.

And always remember that what is common knowledge to a New York JW is not common knowledge to a woman living in London, England or Vancouver, Canada. Tell us about your favorite neighbourhood haunts. These pieces of advice will prove invaluable to a Journeywoman travelling to your part of the world.

Submit your thoughts to: and put the words "JW Travel Tip" or "My Neighbourhood Favorite" in the subject line. We always look forward to hearing from you.

Safe journeys and happy reading, everybody!

Evelyn Hannon, Editor

A great travel read...
A while ago I read in one of your newsletters about a book called, "Dear Exile." Then recently I was in the library and on the shelf there it was. The title just jumped out at me. I want to thank you for referring such a wonderfully entertaining read and urge other women to look for it as well. I so enjoyed the real life correspondence of the two friends: one in NYC; the other in the Peace Corps in Africa. In fact, "Dear Exile" reminded me so much of Journeywoman: informative and femme fantastic.
Nancy, JW in New York and Paris
Ed. note: Thanks for the kind words, Nancy. It's always a treat to hear that others agree with our recommendations. More about "Dear Exile" can be found at: Enjoy, everybody!

Pesto recipe from a JW reader in Venice...
I'd like to share my Pesto alla Genovese recipe with other Journeywoman around the world. My family loves it and you'll see how easy it is to make.
Ingredients per 500g of pre-cooked pasta:

50g basil leaves
8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
salt to taste
6 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely grated Roman pecorino (similar to parmesan, but stronger in flavour)

Put all the ingredients except for the cheeses into a pestle & mortar or a blender. Blend until the basil leaves are well shredded and all the ingredients are well mixed together. At this stage you can freeze the basil and it will keep well for several months, otherwise mix the two cheeses in to form a nice paste. Good-luck and buon appetito!
Michelle, Florence, Italy

Bookwormettes in Japan...
I'd like to add something to your GirlTalk Guide to Japan. There's a bookstore (which has a huge discount section outside) called Tokyo Random Walk on the road between Roppongi and Azabu-Juban in Tokyo. All books are new and 500 yen (about $4 US). I have bought all kinds of English books there -- Nalo Hopkinson, Vonnegut, a collection of Ibsen plays, Joyce Carol Oates. Highly recommended!
Kathleen, an expat & JW who spent almost 5 years in Japan.
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art...
This is a tiny tip but it might save you extra stress when visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Once you've completed your time at the museum always leave yourself about 15-20 minutes extra for picking up your belongings from the checkroom. This excellent museum is always crowded and the checkroom line often moves very slowly. Be prepared for this delay and you won't need to worry about being late for your next appointment.
Linda, Toronto, Canada
There's amazing Mexican food in Arizona...
If you can't make it all the way to Mexico, then stop by Mezcal (one of my favorites) the next time you're in our part of the world (North Scottsdale). The Oaxacan-style food served here is as authentic as it gets using fresh ingredients, rich flavors and enough spice to keep you on your toes. They have several specialty dishes with mole (a sweet, but spicy sauce). And for desert, you've got to try the Banana-Pepitas, which comes with a toasted coconut sauce. Amazing! ( 7122 E. Greenway Parkway, tel: 480-556-0770 )
Rachel, Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, USA
Mom and I call ahead...
My mother and I love to travel around the world together. I have a great sense of direction and usually act as our "team navigator". However, we've discovered that sometimes the maps given out at the tourist office do not always portray the streets properly. This has led to many wild goose chases looking for restaurants. We found that the best way to avoid getting lost in a new city is to call the restaurant (or shop or attraction or whatever) in advance and get specific directions in English before leaving the hotel. Not only will this keep a Journeywoman from making wrong turns or ending up on dead-end streets, but sometimes the person giving directions knows a shortcut which we undoubtedly benefit from.
Meridith and Mom, New York, USA
A budget hotel in Paris...
When a hotel I booked in Paris turned out to be a dump, I found Hotel des Arts et M�tiers at 4 rue Borda in the third arrondissement. It is located across the street from the Arts et M�tiers museum as well as the metro stop. For about US$45.00 a night (in June) I got a lovely room, clean and bright with beautiful tile work on the floor and private bath, which had a nice shower and fluffy towel. There was TV with remote, large, comfy bed, and a very courteous, eager-to-please family reception. They take credit cards, too. Phone: P.S. I suggest you skip breakfast, which is extra, and not very reasonable. You can do much better at a cafe in the neighbourhood.
Lenore, Amsterdam, Holland
Bath tub plug and jar opener...
A very useful item to take with you when travelling is a large, flat, universal plug. Rubbermaid makes one that is a circle about 5 1/2 inches across. It's perfect for use in hotel sinks or bathtubs (since they inevitably don't seem to have their stopper). I learned this one after trying to do laundry with a pair of socks stuffed into the drain to try and hold the water in place!!
Dawn-Marie, Edmonton, Canada
Ed. note:
Some models of these stoppers are also great as jar openers and can come in handy in picnic situations. They help to grip and twist those covers that are so tightly put on that it's difficult to make them budge.

My neighbourhood Favorite....

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- I'd like to tell you about a woman-friendly B&B. I live in Sydney and I have had overseas friends stay at this B&B and they raved about it. Bondi Beach Homestay is a sweet little place with very welcoming and friendly hosts. It's located 10 minutes out of the hustle and bustle of the city but still within easy reach by public transport bus. You can take long relaxing walks along the beach and there are loads of interesting cafes & restaurants nearby. Good value for your money and you get to enjoy one of Sydney's most famous beaches.
Karen, Sydney, Australia

More on the next page...





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