From a food capital to the U.S. capital

After spending 10 amazing days at a cooking school in southern Italy, I was overjoyed to read Travel + Leisure's May issue ["The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Schools" by Shane Mitchell; "Europe Made Easy" by various authors]. Learning to prepare authentic Italian food on the Amalfi Coast at Mami Camilla's bed-and-breakfast [39-081/878-2067;] was a dream fulfilled. The warmth of her family will remain with me always—it was like having my own Italian relatives!

Eye on America
In her Update article on airport security ["Global Airport Security," May], Barbara Benham writes, "Given the United States' reputation as a unilateral aggressor, cooperating with other countries to improve global airport security standards will require more diplomatic finesse than ever." I find the comment highly politicized and detrimental to what most Americans regard as the responsibility of our government: to protect its citizens.

Floridian Flair
Many thanks to Henry Alford! His trip to Palm Beach ["Palm Beach Weekend," February] inspired my parents and me to stay at the Colony hotel, where the staff graciously handled our myriad requests and the housekeepers always had extra chocolate on hand. The assistant manager personally delivered my father's forgotten wallet to us at the airport—just in the nick of time. The Colony is not a hotel; it's a family.

On the Right Track
I share Richard Alleman's enthusiasm for train travel ["The Rail Deal," April], and I often pine for the comfort and convenience of the trains I rode while living in Germany. The time has long since passed to address the need for high-speed train travel in the United States. We will have to overcome highway and airline lobbies to do so, but progress never comes easy.

Deconstructing D.C.
As a frequent visitor to our nation's capital, I am disgusted by how the landscape of Washington, D.C., has been transformed because of security concerns, a development addressed by Michael Z. Wise in the April issue ["A Capital Offense?"]. Jersey barriers are everywhere and large areas of the Mall have been fenced off. The city's grand beauty has been irrevocably altered.

In April my husband and I revisited the hotel where we spent our honeymoon 10 years ago. The 1899 Victorian Thatcher Brook Inn [Rte. 100, Waterbury; 800/292-5911;; doubles from $80] was a fantastic change from the all-inclusive Caribbean resorts we usually go to. The new owners were extremely welcoming; they even tracked down a guide to take us horseback riding. Plus, the inn is right next door to the Ben & Jerry's factory—need I say more?

WRITE TO US Letters to the editor and Readers' Finds should be sent via e-mail to They can also be faxed to 800/926-1748 or mailed to Letters, Travel + Leisure, 1120 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space.

Thatcher Brook Inn

Located in the small village of Waterbury, Vermont, this 14-room inn is housed in a restored Victorian mansion dating back to 1899. The white-clapboard building has a 243-foot wraparound porch, which is furnished with rocking chairs and flanked by two gazebos. Inside, dark wood dominates the floors and walls, which are decorated with antique saws and paintings of country landscapes. The guest rooms are individually designed, some with a fireplace, whirlpool bath, and four-poster bed. Husband-and-wife innkeepers Lisa and John Fischer organize everything from horse-drawn sleigh rides to world-class skiing excursions at nearby resorts, such as Stowe Mountain and Sugarbush.