I was delighted to read your feature on the galantuomo Franco Sersale ["The Pleasures of Italy," October]. On a trip to Positano, my husband and I stopped to relax at his hotel, Le Sirenuse. Our suite was lovely, with its hand-painted blue tile décor and waterfront terrace. One morning we met a charming gentleman enjoying his newspaper and cigar in a sitting room. We struck up a conversation, only later to learn that he was, indeed, the same white linen–clad Franco Sersale, whom you described in your article. Alas, we were not to see him again, but making his acquaintance was one of the high points of our vacation. — Belinda and Robert Hart, Las Vegas, Nev.

More on Mexico

I enjoyed reading October’s cover story, "La Nueva Riviera." My family and I have traveled to the region for years. The area’s bright colors, beautiful weather, and friendly people keep us coming back. One spot you missed: Rollie’s Restaurant, a Sayulita staple. This place is family-owned and has tasty, fresh-fruit smoothies and Mexican omelets. The most important thing is that Rollie’s is very involved in the economic life of Sayulita and it gives back to the community. —Robin Hartman, Los Angeles, Calif.

Buying Time

The Style + Culture Issue [October] was full of informative reads. "Lighten Up!" had great suggestions for compact, affordable, and easy-to-use makeup products. Lynn Yaeger’s "Buyers’ Remorse" also hit the mark. I have fallen into that shopping trap again and again. We can all relate! —Linda Clarke, Miami, Fl.


Thank you for the Web site suggestions in the September issue ["User’s Guide: Travel Online"]. When preparing travel plans, I jump from site to site, from review to review, collecting random bits of information in an attempt to assemble a trip. Your list is a great catalogue of comprehensive Web resources. I also recommend specialized destination sites, when applicable. and are two of the best I’ve found. —Aharoni Zisling, Wayne, Penn.

A Question About Whisky

As a lover of scotch, I was excited to see your recent article on whisky. However, for an article titled "Whisky 101" [September], there was little detail on the actual whisky-making process. The writer, Alexandra Marshall, spends more time discussing the Scottish countryside than the course at Armstrong’s Whisky School. Although I loved the narrative, I would have liked to know more about the classes.—Kaveri S. Marathe, New York, N.Y.

Alexandra Marshall Responds

So much of whisky making is incredibly technical (times, temperatures, alcohol levels) and difficult to reproduce in a magazine article. If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty, I’d advise enrolling in the Bladnoch’s school in Scotland (Bladnoch Distillery, Bladnoch, Wigtown; 44-19/8840-2605; Many former students have gone on to make their own spirits.

Reader’s Find: Rome

My boyfriend and I recently traveled to Rome and discovered the most fantastic restaurant—La Taverna degli Amici [37 Piazza Margana; 39-066/ 992-0637; dinner for two $150]. The setting is impossibly romantic. We sat under white umbrellas on a terrace lit by candlelight and watched people amble about on the streets. All of the food was fresh and delicious: the light, creamy butter sauce drizzled on a variety of house-made pastas was a standout. —Michael Anne McKnight, San Antonio, Tex.