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A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

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Chanel's Puffy Bag—A Carry On To Curl Up With

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Was it Rachael Zoe, the celebrity stylist on Bravo TV, who said “I die for Chanel"? Seems the allure of the double C’s has no end and this year with two movies about Madame Coco’s life it has fanned the fire even more. Not that it needed any fanning.

In the inexhaustible pursuit of keeping the brand relevant, whimsical and inventive, Karl Lagerfeld has done everything from CC guitars, to CC surfboards. The latest collection of practical but chic bags and small accessories is called “COCO COCOON.”

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Task Mistress: Rory Tahari Helps Travelers (and Everyone Else) Get Organized

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“When friends come to me for advice about a dilemma or event in their life, I always say, 'let’s make a list',” confesses Rory Tahari,” creative director and vice chair of the Elie Tahari fashion house.

Rory has parlayed her penchant for organization into a book called Lists for Life: The Essential Guide to Getting Organized and Tackling Tough To-Dos. In this helpful read, thinking is optional; just check off what needs to be done for every eventuality.

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Flip-Flops and Fondue in Zurich

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I wasn’t going to let the rain get in the way of seeing the quaint city of Zurich, Switzerland. I had just landed and only had a few hours free, so I made a beeline to the famous confection shop, Sprungli, on Paradeplatz to meet with a friend.

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Vivo Barefoot: Walking Shoes for Travelers

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Terra Plana's Galahad Clark, decendant of the founder of English shoe company Clarks, wants you to go barefoot. Forget that his ancestors Nathan Clark designed the crepe-soled desert boot in 1950, or before that, in 1883, William Clark created shoes to follow the line of the foot. Galahad wants you to walk as close to naked as possible.

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1 Euro Buys Happiness in Portugal

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I'm a sucker for souvenirs—anything that you can ‘t get where you live, especially things regular people use in their daily lives. I love the brightly colored bedspreads in Brazil, the scratchy plaid blankets in Wales, the blue pottery in Mexico, the handcrafted dolls in Guatemala, and the traditional leather thong sandals in India that jingle when you walk. And I love the symbolism of the orange Dala horse in Sweden, the masks in Venice, and especially the rooster with its alluring red plume of feathers in Portugal. So when I took my first walk through the Old Town in Porto Portugal, I was thrilled to see a make-shift stand with a man selling small tablecloths and dish towels for one Euro—what a bargain!

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The Ultimate Travel Bag?

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Sandwiched between two Rag & Bone shops on Christopher Street in NYC sits a silver of a shop with a treasure trove of bags that don’t scream “It Bag” but softly whisper, “must have.” MZ Wallace’s new West Village store—with salvaged driftwood, large plank floors and art terrariums made by Paula Hayes—opened in March ’09, and is the second in New York City.
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Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, MZ Wallace has hit its stride with irresistible nylon bags (everything goes over the shoulder), as well as overnight bags and purses made from raffia and leather ($255-$425). If you take the plunge and transfer the contents from your pre-recession companion, I promise you will not go back. The nylon bags are the best and are so light you can easily run from Hudson News to your gate at JFK without feeling like you have a small child on your shoulder.

Mimi Lombardo is the fashion director of Travel + Leisure.

Photos courtesy of MZ Wallace

Tumi's Chic New Carry-On

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Here it sits, looking chic in its nylon python-printed glory. I'm full of hope that this stylish new carry-on will save my back--and transform my trips on jam-packed airplanes. "The Voyageur" by Tumi ($495) is supposedly lighter than traditional models: It weights in at 7 pounds and is 20 inches long, with two inches of expandable potential for the return trip--when I inevitably have more to pack than what I arrived with.

This new design will certainly appease my style Jones, and it actually starts off pretty light. Now, if I can just limit its contents, I might be able to lift it in the overhead compartment without asking for help. Available soon at Tumi.com.

Photo courtesy of Tumi

Behind-the-Scenes: Venice Shoot

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This was my third trip to Venice for Travel + Leisure magazine, and this time I came directly from the Paris fashion shows in order to save a trip across the Atlantic. Our crew—model, stylist, photographers—stayed at the Bauer Hotel in the center of town so we could easily reach all the locations our Italy correspondent, Valerie Waterhouse, covered in her April “T+L Guide to Venice.”

The first day of the shoot I was thrilled to see a new hotel in Valerie’s story called the Ca’ Sagredo. The beautifully restored monastery (think walls are covered with Renaissance art and crystal chandeliers dangling from the ceilings) has wonderful view of the Grand Canal and a grand stairway and drawing room, where we shot with the golden afternoon light. As usual, we had to keep a low profile and not disturb guests—which was tricky with all our equipment and clothing, but photo crews just forge quietly ahead.

Like with so many Venice spreads, it was imperative that we shoot in St. Mark’s Square—but the only way to avoid the crowds was to be ready to shoot at 6 a.m. Mary Wiles, the make-up and hair stylist and the model, Fabiane Nunes, were the first to get up and start working at the unfortunate hour of 5 a.m. I put Fabiane in a shirtdress from Hermes’ spring collection that I had just seen on the runway three days before. Off we went to bear the morning cold for as long as we could stand it, and as long as the light was right. After a freezing start in the square which included lots of pigeons—and huddling together for warmth—we stopped for breakfast at the Bauer.

Next we headed to a little square next to Venice’s opera house, Teatro La Fenice, where we did some shots of Fabiane, with the some waiters (from Ristorante al Teatro), sitting in the piazza looking very chic. Later we ate lunch at Vino Vino (cash only). My simple dish of pasta al pomodoro was divine, and the sun was shining down on us: it was a perfect day.

For dinner we wanted to find a place that only locals go. We set out with a map to find the concierge’s recommendation. We walked through foot wide alleyways, cobblestone streets, and little arched bridges that you only find in the fairytale city of Venice. At Taverna Del Campiello Remer, we sat at a long rustic wooden table and managed to order (no one spoke English there) a huge plate of prosciutto and parmigiano, family style. It was totally authentic—and just the experience we were looking for.

On the way back to the hotel we walked through St. Mark’s and heard an orchestra playing Chopin outside one of the restaurants in the square. Only in Venice.

Photos by Mimi Lombardo, fashion director for Travel + Leisure magazine.

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