For Christmas last year, one of my very good friends gave me the Louis Vuitton guidebook to Rome. Normally I'd reference the Luxe City guide collection, but I thought I'd try something new. After all, Louis Vuitton has been the purveyor of luxury travel bags since the 1800s. If they make longlasting, quality goods, maybe they know a thing or two about travel as well.
Just read a few sentences from their introduction. "Traveling is a multifaceted art born of dreams and imagination and one to be savored. The art of travel cannot be completely improvised; it must also be organized. ... But a suitcase, no matter how handsome, is not enough to turn a trip into a dream journey - a voyage n ourished by encounters with fascinating people and places. This is where the Louis Vuitton City Guide, a valued travel companion for over ten years, excels. ... A subtle blend of the avant-garde, the established, and the iconic, the Luis Vuitton City Guide is a unique trend predictor. Written by specialist journalists and authors from a inside viewpoint, it is an attentive, highly informed commentator on the changes that are shaking up cities, with an alternative outlook on fashion, design, well-being, contemporary arts, and fine food."
I must admit - knowing Louis Vuitton wasn't exactly inexpensive, I was nervous that all of the recommendations would be expensive as well. While there are the several-thousand-Euros per night hotel rooms and couple-hundred-Euros per meal dinner recommendations, there are also incredibly inexpensive options and suggestions as well.
Take for instance the Osteria della Frezza (Via della Frezza, 16). "Taking its lead from young chef Marco Gallotta, the Osteria della Frezza serves Roman cuisine with a nice balance betweent radition and modernity, in a fashionable decor, but with music played at nearly unberable levels." To be honest - it wasn't as loud as I was expecting, considering I've visited many Abercrmobie & Fitch stores - but the food was absolutely delicious and worth the trip for sure.
With over 30 European city guides, and a handful of non-European cities as well, I definitely recommend these guides. Anyone can find out where a good restaurant is - but knowing what to expect, average pricing, tips on atmosphere and dresscode, and even names of chefs, managers, and owners - these guides provide the insight and information that well versed locals only rival. Well done, Louis. Bon voyage!