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how to live: making a stand
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Barcelona’s News & Coffee kiosk is showing that good newsstands can boost a city’s quality of life. 

How did you acquire this magazine? If you’re a subscriber, I hope it arrived at your home or office in a timely manner. If not, did you buy it at the grocery store? Favourite bookshop? If you picked it up at your neighbourhood newsstand, how were the shelves looking? Were there other titles you wanted to buy? Did you come across anything new? Or did you leave thinking that there were too many phone chargers and fridges full of energy drinks?

In many markets, the newsstand has all but vanished. Shop signs that promise news and magazines often lead to shelves stuffed with tat, tourist knick-knacks or novelty items that will soon end up in landfill. Fortunately, some are fighting back.

The rise of the hyper-specialist news and book outlets – such as Lisbon’s Under the Cover, London’s Magculture and Stockholm’s Papercut – is nothing new. But once dependable kiosks that have closed or are bursting with rubbish for football fans and school tours are also finding saviours. On a Tuesday morning in June, the News & Coffee kiosk in the heart of Barcelona is bursting with life: locals stop by for their daily papers, students snap up limited copies of Popeye and others pause for coffee. A few metres away, co-founder Gautier Robial is making a case for more branches. “People want to read things on paper,” he says. And he’s right.

With plans to open in other markets (there are currently outposts Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and London), cities seeking a boost might want to look Robial up. He can add culture and commerce to street corners in need of activity. — L

Isay Weinfeld’s recipe for architectural excellence


Are you curious to know the essential ingredients that are required to design a good building? Well, according to award-winning Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, all one has to do is stop for a bite to eat. “There’s a very traditional diner in São Paulo called Frevo and the perfection of its Beirute sandwich – which is made up of pita bread, lettuce, cheese and roast beef – is what I aim to achieve in architecture,” says Weinfeld when speaking to monocle for “The View From” 

“It has an impeccable combination of colours, textures, forms, layers, temperature, moistness and crunchiness. The pleasure I have at the first bite is indescribable – and that amount of pleasure is what I wish for people to feel when entering a room I designed.” Weinfeld’s suggestion is a delicious source of inspiration for any architect or designer short on creativity. And it’s also a great local recommendation for anyone feeling peckish in Brazil’s biggest city. 

the interrogator: 

Arnaud Champenois
Senior vice-president, global brand & marketing, Belmond

Arnaud Champenois on getting into the spirit of summer. 


What developments are you observing in the travel industry?
Train travel is huge. All of our trains [including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and the Royal Scotsman] are fully booked this summer. Italy is still a key destination. We’re launching a new property in Sardinia, Romazzino, and a beach club in Sicily at Villa Sant’Andrea. Otherwise, Mexico is booming and so are the Nordics. 

And where will you be?
I’m doing a week in Greece for the islands’ raw beauty and then the west coast of France, in Brittany and Biarritz. I like the waves and the wind. 

Will you be packing any books?
I just bought a book by young Irish writer Oisín McKenna called Evenings and Weekends. It’s a contemporary portrait of a new generation of Londoners. I’m also into mythology and the Roman empire so I’ll be reading Mémoires d’Hadrien by Marguerite Yourcenar. 

Magazines and newspapers?
I’m a magazine obsessive. I love monocle and especially the summer newspaper, Mediterraneo. I also like Fantastic Man and Cabana Magazine for interior design. For newspapers, The New York Times and Le Monde

Ultimate summer film?
Call Me by Your Name is like summer on steroids; you can feel the warmth of Italy. I love Éric Rohmer; Pauline à la plage is the iconic summer film. And I’m looking forward to seeing La chimera with Josh O’Connor, set in Tuscany.

News splash

Our updates from the European continent’s coastlines reveal Renzo Piano’s Genovese regeneration, Louis Vuitton’s culinary venture on the Côte d’Azur and a Greek initiative to minimise sand hassles. 

Solid footing

Italian architect Renzo Piano’s Waterfront di Levante renovation project is taking shape, with the seaside walk opening in time for summer. This landmark development for the Ligurian capital should breathe new life into an underutilised area of the city.

st tropez
Riviera touch

French fashion house Louis Vuitton is again opening its summer restaurant in St Tropez. At the White 1921 Hotel, French chef Arnaud Donckele is teaming up with pâtissier Maxime Frédéric to deliver a menu inspired by the distinctive aromas of the Mediterranean.

Line in the sand

Greece is improving its seaside capacity by restricting sunbeds on many public beaches. While this poses a problem for businesses that rent out sunbeds and umbrellas, it ensures that beaches remain clear for all while preserving the wild nature of sunny regions.

Ambassadors at large

To dine and dash is lamentable behaviour. But bolting from a restaurant without settling one’s bill is not usually the stuff of diplomatic spats. It became so last year when footage of Italian tourists scarpering from a diner in Albania went viral and attracted the condemnation of Albanian prime minister Edi Rama. His Italian counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, hoped to redeem her nation’s honour by covering the €80 tab.


The idea that a national leader is morally on the hook for the conduct of their fellow citizens abroad is an interesting – and potentially expensive – one. In recent times Meloni’s country could have invoiced Switzerland’s president and Germany’s chancellor over vandalism wrought upon the Colosseum by tourists. (“A sign of great incivility,” harrumphed Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano, to which the accused nations seem to have been too ashamed to respond.)

A UK prime minister would have reason to feel anxious about the precedent that Meloni set. Young British men have been the target of advertising from Amsterdam begging them not to come. Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands are seeing protests against “rowdy” tourists, locally understood as synonymous for “British”. 

UK ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, perhaps anticipating a summer answering for his boorish compatriots, has pleaded with holidaymakers to “behave responsibly”, and rightly so: when we travel abroad, we are all ambassadors for our countries.

Hot off the press

It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere. From the sun-soaked beaches of the Mediterranean to the mountains of Colorado, here’s what’s in our diary for July and August.


First up, Monocle Radio will be setting up a studio éphémère in Paris to report from the summer Olympics. Expect interviews with athletes but also urbanists, designers and Parisians who we think are worth tuning in for.

In the US, our correspondent Greg Scruggs will be covering the inaugural Bloomberg Green Festival in Seattle and meeting environmental and climate luminaries from 10-13 July. Then our LA-based bureau chief Christopher Lord will be at the Aspen Security Forum from 16-19 July to talk to security chiefs, intelligence services and defence ministers about the state of the world. 

But it’s not all conferences and no play. Our man in Milan, Ivan Carvalho, will be finding out what’s worth writing home about from the Sicilian seaside town of Ortigia. Happy summer and see you in September, everyone.

Three things you’ll learn
In this issue, monocle’s correspondents have reported on hospitality, architecture, fashion and more. Here are three takehomes to get you started. — L


Thailand’s second-largest island is buzzing
Circled by the brilliant waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is gearing up to be Southeast Asia’s hottest destination. monocle meets the people who have journeyed from all over the world to set up new hotels, bars and restaurants, and add a little vibrancy to the island’s natural beauty. 

Olympic projects can be built to last
When monocle visits Munich’s Olympic Village, we find a thriving community, surrounded by greenery and open space. But when it was completed in time for the 1972 Games, it was never a given that the construction would stand the test of time. We talk to the architects who perfected Bavaria’s Olympic legacy and ask what it takes to design for the future, not just the present. 

Changing scene can shake up your style
From the line-up of impressive designers on our fashion pages, it’s clear that there is something special about island life. Finnish-born fashion designer Cecilia Sörensen is certain that relocating to the island of Mallorca has lent a breezy feel to her pieces, while Margaux Varnavidou’s now-signature laidback Smock shirt would never have been possible without a move to Cyprus. Soak up some inspiration for the summer and beyond. 

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