Richard Phibbs Nancy Novogrod
| Credit: Nancy Novogrod

There’s something very right about the idea of neighborhoods in this age of locally grown food and regionally appropriate design—something cozy and small-scale that promises entrée into a world that’s distinctive and real. In this, T+L’s annual Europe issue, we return to one of our classic subjects with a look at five particularly flavorful enclaves in Paris, London, Istanbul, Copenhagen, and Rome (Hidden European Neighborhoods). True, a transformation is under way in each—with attention-grabbing boutiques and restaurants interspersed among the indigenous crop of hotels, bars, and cafés, cheek by jowl with a Parisian boulangerie selling prizewinning baguettes or a fabled Turkish emporium for pottery, embroideries, and kilims.

Authenticity is the theme elsewhere in these pages: T+L special correspondent Christopher Petkanas traces the route to the ur-sources of traditional French dishes, as laid out in a 1929 map of France’s regional specialties (Classic Foods of Provence); see The Capella & Rocco Forte European Empires, T+L’s new hotel column, for further thoughts on the origins of classics. Although news director Luke Barr lingers over lobster with powdered olive oil, roast Araiz pigeon with cream of apple, lime, and basil, and other culinary creations in San Sebastián’s avant-garde sous-vide food shrines, it is a simple salad with tomatoes fresh from the garden at a family-style place that wins his highest praise (Enjoying Traditional San Sebastián). New York resident Devin Friedman manages to navigate the Costa Smeralda, off  Sardinia, by boat, steering clear of the international social set as he heads for the real places (Sailing to Sardinia). And in Vienna, contributing editor Michael Gross hails a newfound energy, which calls to his mind the city’s late-19th- and early-20th-century glory days as a European cultural and political capital (Reinventing Vienna). European correspondents Valerie Waterhouse and Maria Shollenbarger and wine and spirits editor Bruce Schoenfeld provide a Smart Guide to Tuscany, that most enduringly attractive of city and country destinations.

But Europe is so expensive, you say. We’ve addressed this concern as well, with advice on how to reduce the cost of your trip and stretch your dollar (Strategies: Europe for Less, and Smart Traveler: Greenback Blues), plus a roundup of beach, city, and country vacations, from the French Riviera to Berlin (Three Affordable European Itineraries). Then there’s noted food writer Paul Levy, whose solution to the high cost of dining in London—even if you’re a local unburdened by the plummeting U.S. dollar—is as simple as spending your money well (Where to Eat in London Now). When you set your sights on places that are distinctive, and appropriate, great rewards await.