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Actor Alessandro Nivola Talks Budapest, Sardinia, and The Elephant Man

Alessandro Nivola

The Boston-born actor, appearing next month in the Broadway revival of The Elephant Man and the film A Most Violent Year, chats with T+L about his Italian roots, fireworks, and his secret New York watering hole.

Q: What hotel would you move into, if you could?

A: Su Gologone, near Oliena, in Sardinia, is in the mountains, away from the hoi polloi—definitely the true Sardinia. My sculptor grandfather came from Orani, a nearby town. Whenever my grandmother invited visitors to see the Nivola Museum, a gallery of his work, she’d always put them up at Su Gologone.

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W Hotels and Jennifer Hudson Ask Americans to "Turn It Up For Change"

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It’s not every day you see an Academy Award-winning actress, a Top Chef, a hardcore punk singer, and a drag queen sitting at the same table watching two transgendered dancers battle it out in heels.
 
But that’s what happened at the W New York Union Square this week, when Jennifer Hudson, joined by Padma Lakshmi, Courtney Love, and Lady Bunny, among others, judged a voguing dance-off.
 
It was the city’s first look at Turn It Up For Change, a new initiative from W Hotels and the Human Rights Campaign, with Jennifer Hudson as the program’s ambassador. Each month, W hotels across the country will host concerts and DJ parties promoting marriage equality in the United States.

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Blake Lively's New Website "Preserve"

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Actress Blake Lively's latest endeavor is Preserve, a lifestyle website that is also a deeply personal venture. The site brings to life her passions—philanthropy, commerce for beautiful American-made discoveries, and the human story. T+L's Gabrielle Blitz talks to the star and learns about Lively's take on New Orleans, U.S. artisans, and family.

Q: Tell me about Preserve—where did the idea come from?

A: When I was younger, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a living—what kid does? But I knew that I wanted to do something like my mom. She is one of the most creative, innovative people that I’ve ever encountered. That opened up a possibility for me—there weren’t really any limitations [for my mom]. She would always make the impossible happen.

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Fast & Furious Summer Road Trip Advice from a NASCAR Driver

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Ryan Blaney is one of the up-and-coming drivers on the NASCAR circuit, now in his third year with Team Penske. And if you were going to take driving advice from anyone, wouldn’t it be a 20-year-old kid who wears fireproof underwear and tends to drive aggressively at 200 mph? So would we!

Blaney is making the media rounds on behalf of Hertz and its new 35-point Certified Clean & Safe inspection program. Not that we wanted to talk about that. We wanted some driving tips!


Q: Is it difficult to make the mental shift from NASCAR to highway driving?
A:
It’s hard to switch off going from driving a racecar to driving your personal vehicle on the highway. It’s very difficult for me, like after a race at Daytona or Talladega Superspeedway.

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Jet-Set Like Brangelina Without Breaking the Bank

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Stephen Colbert's Favorite Things to Do in Charleston

Stephen Colbert

Long before he agreed to take over as host of the Late Show, Stephen Colbert was just another Charleston boy—swimming, fishing, and skateboarding down the quiet streets of what he recalls as a “sleepy Southern town.” Today, the South Carolina city is still one of his favorite vacation spots. Read on for Colbert’s down-home haunts.

Stay: Growing up, Colbert helped his mother run a now-defunct B&B in their house in the South of Broad neighborhood. “Back then, if I booked a guest, I got ten percent. A kid could have a whole weekend of fun on fifteen bucks.” Hotels he remembers from boyhood: the Francis Marion Hotel ($)—with views of the harbor—and 1853’s Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel ($).

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Celebrities' Favorite Airport Snacks

Airport Snack: Chocolate Chip Cookie

Soledad O’Brien, Journalist: “I grab a bag of Swedish Fish when I’m running to a flight—pure sugar, delicious, and chewy.”

Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador, Barneys NY: “I am a health nut, so I am all about Starbucks oatmeal and a bag of almonds. If push comes to shove I will go for a California Pizza Kitchen blowout.”

Sam Shank, CEO, Hotel Tonight: “A double americano and a chocolate-chip cookie.”

Dylan Lauren, Founder, Dylan’s Candy Bar: “A box of Jujubes. If I can, McDonald’s for a diet Coke. Fountain sodas taste better.”

Mario Batali, Chef/Restaurateur: “I do not eat at airports ever, except for Rick Bayless’s place in Chicago’s O’Hare.”

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Stephanie March's Must-Pack Products

Stephanie March's Must-Pack Products

How does the star of Law & Order: SVU, travel blogger for fathomaway.com, and co-owner of modern makeup salon Rouge New York make multitasking look so gorgeous? Here, her must-pack products.

Stainless-Steel Sharpie Pen ($7): “If you address a postcard with a ballpoint, it can look like you’re writing from an asylum.”

Almond & Coconut Kind Bar ($2): “It won’t melt, no matter where you are in the world.”

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Daily Transporter: Rome

evening on the piazza

Antico Caffe della Pace, an Art Deco landmark off the Piazza Navona, has been the place to spot celebrities since the 19th century. (Woody Allen and Coppola, among others, have used the café as a film location.) A recent plan to close the café was quashed by a number of petitions supporting the “historic and cultural monument.”

See Rome in Celebrities’ Favorite Places

Editor’s Picks: Rome
See Rome in Best Hotels in Rome
and World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions
and Europe’s Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Toni Collette's Favorite Places

Toni Collette

Peripatetic actress Toni Collette—doing her second turn on Broadway this month—tells T+L about some of her favorite places.

“The writing is so smart and beautiful,” says Toni Collette about Will Eno’s dark comedy The Realistic Joneses, in which she shares the stage with Tracy Letts, Marisa Tomei, and Michael C. Hall. “He captures life, warts and all.” Smart, beautiful, and at times unflinching are also ways to describe the actress—and her travel m.o. Here, Collette’s secret address book:

Off-the-Radar Trek: “I once fled the Toronto Film Festival to meet a boyfriend in Kathmandu. Sleeping under the stars, white-water rafting, playing soccer with local kids—it was all unforgettable. The only challenge was the leeches!”

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