24

June 2009

A Monocle Special report on goats, reformed kibbutzim, tasty Japanese beef and a high-altitude farming initiative.

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Pleasure as business

Since his appointment as CEO of MSC’s pleasure cruise business five years ago, Pierfrancesco Vago has seen passenger numbers rocket. Here, he explains what makes his company revolutionary and outlines his predictions for…

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Busy BC

British Columbia craftsmen have been producing hard-wearing, well-made clothes and footwear for generations. Now these homespun manufacturers are finding new international markets. Their long-established reputations and…

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Ship shape

Milanese architect Claudio Dini was handed a brief to create a residence with a maritime feel, without going overboard on the nautical theme, so that the occupants could feel all at sea in their city dwelling.

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Field trip

The news is full of huge stimulus packages but some smaller initiatives have gone beneath the radar. In Japan, a scheme to encourage jobless young citizens to move from town to work the land could be a global template for…

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Muscle display

The fitness industry appears to be outrunning the economic downturn. At the Fibo trade show in Essen in April, optimism was high – and so was the number of million-euro equipment deals.

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Inventory no.24

Things we've got our eye on this month: Pijama sleeves for sleeping laptops, nice white footwear from Sweden and Mallocran salty treats.

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Media face-off

On 7 June, Lebanon holds the most hotly contested general election in its history. But this time the fiercest fights are not on the streets but in the media. We meet the key players from Hezbollah to the westward-looking…

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Business briefing

Why money grows on trees, New Zealand's food moves, Africa's largest wind farm and India's carrier bag ban.

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Royal privilege

For a break from Bairro Alto take a trip to the salubrious neighbourhood of Príncipe Real. The shops along Rua Dom Pedro V sell specialist Portuguese products and new businesses are quick to move in. There’s also a park…

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Prime time

Estonia has a brand image as a modern hi-tech nation, but today it’s dealing with some old-fashioned troubling issues. In his private offices at Stenbock House in the capital Tallinn, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip talks to…

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Raising the steaks

Omi beef from Shiga prefecture is little known outside Japan, but its butter-soft consistency and low fat content means that restaurateurs, meat producers and diners from New York to Australia are starting to take notice…

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Spokes people

A company that started out making bikes for professional cyclists decided to expand into a wider market. The result is customisable models for people who care about design as much as they enjoy a two-wheeled jaunt through…

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Paradise regained

The kibbutzim may have been born out of socialist ideals but for years their appeal has been fading. Now, to survive, they’ve formed into profit-making cooperatives and Israelis are returning because of their high living…

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The X-tractor

In the next in our series decoding the DNA of success – of anything – we visit a 90-year-old tractor firm in northern Italy that through innovation and careful brand acquisition has quietly remained an engineering power…

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Saddle up

This summer, cycle around the Cyclades in primary colours, checked socks and comfortable pedal shoes and buy a copy of ‘Rouleur’ for something to read on the verge.

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Travel briefing

Here comes summer: Monocle's hotel recommendations for beach and city, plus our new 25/25 booklet, the ultimate villa hire company and new places to stay in South Africa and Mexico.

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Villa de Leyva

This small colonial town offers great opportunities for overseas buyers thanks to the ease and low cost of purchasing property. It is an enclave of painters, writers and colourful drop-outs, who have flocked here for the…

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Americas briefing

The Obama's grand designs on their private White House living quarters, going Dutch in the Antilles, planting seeds of change in Detroit and the Interoceanic Highway near completion - maybe.

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Show starters

Worth billions but well below the radar; big in China but overlooked in London; consummately professional but often part-time – the lounge act is a fascinating and uncharted universe. Monocle explores an undervalued talent…

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My last meal: Frédéric Malle

Frédéric Malle is a perfumier who knows his croissants, which is why he chose the Café de Flore in Paris – the hang-out of French philosophers in years gone by – for his ‘last meal’. He owns three shops in Paris and his…

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