Sunday 27 July 2014

Classy Holidays

"Cities mindful of tourists have built elaborate “tourist traps” which, luckily, work." (Andrei Codrescu)

Whereas the Armani set has descended on other Sicilian islands... leading to a rash of smart hotels and high summer prices, Levanzo, Favignana and Marettimo remain, for the most part, as sleepy, peaceful and unaffected as ever. (Tim Jepson in The Daily Telegraph. I think he means "cheap".)

“One of the things I like about Italy and Rome is that there aren’t that many Brits there… It’s a pretty touristy city, so I’d go in the spring or autumn – or even winter – though even then you sometimes have to struggle to avoid the parties of schoolboys all wearing caps the same colour… Visiting some of the most popular museums can be trying too, given the length of the queues… I’ve never been to Dubai, and I never plan to go. It just seems a soulless place to visit, overcrowded with Brits.” (Adrian Edmondson on My Rome in the… Telegraph, Dec 2013 We love you too, Ade.)

My husband and I like to holiday in very different ways. He likes to stay in 5-star all-inclusive places, and fully relax and not think about anything other than lying on a beach and reading books. I like to go more off-piste and explore more than just the hotel. (Writer to The Times, Aug 10 2013 See E.M. Forster's Passage to India for English people in search of “the real India”.)

Can upper-middle-class Upwards go to Italian resorts where Italians holiday – marinas, hotels with their own beaches? Perhaps Italy but not France – Upwards are quite shocked to find that France is full of the wrong kind of French people.

Nouveau-Richards traditionally went to La Spezia and San Remo, while Upwards avoid most coastlines, and anywhere with yachts. Weybridges go to the Boat Show at the Excel Centre. Upwards don’t know where the Excel Centre is. They won’t be going to the Science Fiction Convention or the Wedding Fair there either.

Upwards are very into the beauties of nature, which many Teales and Definitelies would just find boring or pointless. They go to Alentejo in Portugal where you can see cork forests populated by eagles, while Teales go to the Algarve where you can play golf, loaf on the beach and swim and paddle-board, and there are lots of restaurants and bars. Apparently Rousseau invented “the bourgeois cult of romantic sensibility”, and the Upwards are still devotees.

This summer, Samantha and Gideon are avoiding Minehead and Watchet, which are “very caravanny”, I'm told, and visiting a few “boutique music festivals” like Latitude. They're looking for an "experience" (it's the new "adventure").

More here, and links to the rest.

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