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Slow philosophy - quote from David Lebovitz

Krista

New Member
Hi all,
I came across this quote in David Lebovitz's email newsletter and it's a great example of slow travel philosophy:

It’s why I tell visitors to Paris that rather than going to all the different cheese shops in town, go to the same one every day. The first time, they’ll sell you cheese. The second time, they’ll welcome you back. The third time, they’ll treat you like a regular, and valued, customer.

I know everyone on this forum doesn't need the reminder, but it's a good one to share with friends and family who are *shocked* when they hear you want to go to back to the same place you've been already. :)

By the way, if you'd like to see his newsletter post, you can read it here:
https://davidlebovitz.substack.com/p/november-2022-newsletter

-Krista
 

cindyldoe

10+ Posts
We took a Paris by Mouth tour last time we were in Paris. We were staying in the Marais, went on the tour of our neighborhood, that way we knew where to go every day. It was perfect!
 

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
It's probably worth a minor caveat... if the cheese selection was poor, uninteresting or badly kept, then don't be a fool about it and find somewhere *good instead :p

In Italy the obvious place where even those staying in hotels can indulge this thinking, is in a bar. For many in Italy, they are a habit and they will have the bar they are loyal to, where the barista knows their drink, and when they'll likely come in to have it.

Would France's equivalent be the bakery?

* I'm a huge fan of the amazing array of specialist food shops in much of Italy. We'll usually get an apartment, and a regular feature of our eating when there is a revolving salad / picnic / brunch / supper, where we'll get a small spread of food on day 1 or 2, but then top it up every day or two, keeping it (literally) fresh, but also refreshing the selection, so what might have been a central part on day 2, is a mere side nibble on day 3 or 4. Sometimes this involves returning to the same shop (e.g. the wonderful fruit and veg shop Le Primizie di Osvaldo in Torino), or a one-off trip to a place on the outskirts that isn't so convenient to return to, but still worth it for a single trip.

It's a fantastic strategy for mitigating the risk of over-eating that Italy presents, as a big meal the night before might mean lunch at the apartment may be just a small plate. I also like the way it allows us to eat when we want to, and as much or as little as we want. Very much an antidote to the years where we've stayed in hotels (more often for work), where the schedule is not of our choosing.
 

joe

1000+ Posts
Sometimes this involves returning to the same shop (e.g. the wonderful fruit and veg shop Le Primizie di Osvaldo in Torino),
@Ian Sutton - you have mentioned this shop so many times that I put it down for a must-visit for us next time in Torino (hopefully next year). However, while researching this upcoming trip, I saw that the shop seems to have closed down for good. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, if this is true. We would have loved to be a customer next year.

Screenshot_20221103-161844_Chrome.jpg



Screenshot_20221103-161923_Maps.jpg
 

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
Arghh! o_O
Thanks for letting me know, and a huge disappointment for sure. It didn't *look* special from the outside, but the produce was regularly exceptional.

However, looking at it pragmatically, it's not the first superb place to close in Torino, and in the past I've mourned the loss of a wonderful restaurant on Corso San Maurizio, a most wonderful enoteca over the river in the form of Antica enoteca del Borgo, a compact but excellent gastronomia/alimenatari on via XX settembre, a quirky vegetarian restaurant (also on via San Quintino), a gastronomia with divine crostate on the corner of via maria vittoria / via della rocca (there's another one there now though), plus bringing us full circle, the wonderful cheese shop Bait del Formagg on via Lagrange.

Each one, a disappointing loss, yet each has encouraged me to try somewhere else, and in doing so, new favourites have been found e.g. a wonderfully well-stocked cheese shop/stall in the covered market at Piazza della Repubblica.

I hope you get some of the same enjoyment I get from 'grazing' Torino.
 

joe

1000+ Posts
That's a nice blog, enjoyed reading it.

I thought I had found a kindred spirit when he wrote : "I recently caused a stir, stating that wine was at its core, simply juice from grapes."
But then he started talking about smoked duck breasts... ;)

His other statement, the one that was quoted in the first post :
"*It’s why I tell visitors to Paris that rather than going to all the different cheese shops in town, go to the same one every day. The first time, they’ll sell you cheese. The second time, they’ll welcome you back. The third time, they’ll treat you like a regular, and valued, customer. It’s one of the reasons people avoid moving in Paris."

Just to be fair to all travelers, I'd say that Mr. Lebovitz is expecting a bit too much, even though I am a firm believer in slow travel (hopefully our next trip to Italy will be two weeks in a rather round area with a radius of only 50 km.). If you travel a lot, and at some point you are inclined to narrow down your vacation options to a very small area over a relatively long duration - then he is of course right : settle down in one place, be a regular, get to know the local businesses, and enjoy all the small things that usually one doesn't have the time to take note of.

But if you are a slow traveler and can only travel infrequently, and want to make the most of even your "slow" style - then it's perfectly normal to enjoy/try out a variety of businesses and accommodations, making the experience more of a banquet and less of a routine meal. Who knows when you will get another opportunity? The dazzle of a travel destination, even if it has been visited before, takes time to wear off, and many of us still like to experience more than what the specific neighborhood of our accommodation has to offer. You can always strike up a nice conversation with a cheese-monger, even if he is only one of the three you have chosen to purchase from during your stay. You build up impressions of the different things you tried out, and perhaps on the third or fourth time - you might feel that you are inclined to scale down to snail-pace.
 
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joe

1000+ Posts
I hope you get some of the same enjoyment I get from 'grazing' Torino.
Thanks Ian, we will for sure. This will be our third visit, but as previous ones included the Salone del Gusto, plus traveling in the countryside, we were less inclined for real leisure time in the city.
 
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Pauline

Forums Admin
Thanks for posting that @Krista ! I subscribe to his newsletter and have enjoyed his kitchen renovations stories. He is such a good writer! That is a good point he makes about visiting the same shops during your stay. We like to pick a cafe in Italy or France and use it for our week there. They get to know you, and you get to know the regulars.
 

CaWino

100+ Posts
We took a Paris by Mouth tour last time we were in Paris. We were staying in the Marais, went on the tour of our neighborhood, that way we knew where to go every day. It was perfect!
We also took the Marais Paris by Mouth tour and couldn't agree more. It was excellent, and we plan to take one of their other tours on our next trip to Paris.
 
I'm so glad I found this forum. This is exactly my travel philosophy. In general, I try to settle into one place for at least a week or two, but usually for longer. I go to the same bar every day for coffee and a brioche, the same weekly markets for groceries, and a handful of restaurants. Right now I'm about to leave Bologna after spending most of a month here. I did take a break to go visit friends in Tuscany for a week, to help with the olive harvest, but it was to a place where I have been several times before, and when I went to the bar in town for coffee, I got a hug from the owner. Life is good.
 

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