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.
Field tripThe 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 modern rural living and a new career.
Media face-offOn 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 Future party battling it out on the airwaves.
Prime timeEstonia 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 Monocle about difficult neighbours, adopting the euro and why it’s his moral duty to send troops to Afghanistan.
Paradise regainedThe 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 standards.
Europe briefingHow Sarkozy wings it in Me and My Motorcade, plus Luxembourg goes to the polls and bar room blues hit the UK.
Americas briefingThe 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.
Asia briefingGet in the Kim Jong II look in Style Leader (you'll need some Cuban heels), plus China's jet-set women and Indonesia casts its votes.
Africa/Middle East briefingAn interview with South African political cartoonist Zapiro, Guinea's corrupt politicians get their come-uppance, and pilgrims go high-speed.
Oceania briefingWinds of change strike the gassy cattle of Australia and preaching to the converted in the Cook Islands.
Defence briefingThe latest laser warfare, the UAE's new fighting machines and India gets defensive with its ballistic missile shield. Plus, Hilary Synnott on what to do with the Pakistan and the Taliban challenge.
From Sofia, with loveBulgarian songstress Lili Ivanova’s career began in 1963 and she soon became the country’s biggest star under the communists. Today she’s just as famous and is widely revered as a champion of the nation.
Yes we KhanMongolia is rich in raw materials and is thought to have huge oil reserves: resources that its neighbour China – with which it shares a rocky relationship – needs. The dust-bowl capital, Ulan Bator, is already flourishing but Mongolia needs to overcome its poverty and corruption.
Karachi copsAs the Taliban gains ground in Pakistan, the police can offer little in defence of the nation. Monocle spends a day with Karachi’s police chief as he worries about kit, corruption and crime stats. Then we meet the woman hoping to become Afghanistan’s president and tame the Taliban her way.
Buoyed upThe world’s second largest container transporter, the Mediterranean Shipping Company, has managed to sidestep the global slump in trade by diversifying into pleasure cruises.
Pleasure as businessSince 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 economic recovery.
Super modellerFrom a childhood obsession with animal bones, Esben Horn has carved out a career creating detailed, large-scale models of bugs and beasts. Now his firm is sought-after around the globe.
Muscle displayThe 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.
Business briefingWhy money grows on trees, New Zealand's food moves, Africa's largest wind farm and India's carrier bag ban.
The X-tractorIn 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 house.
Raising the steaksOmi 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.
Travel briefingHere 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.
Show startersWorth 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 pool.
Manga juiceA manga about wine has proven a hit with readers in Japan. It’s written by a brother and sister duo, who spin stories while under the influence; there’s a French edition and it is being made into a Korean TV series.
Media briefingCartoons meet car-making as Tokyo animators move in with Toyota. Plus, we ask book publishers Harper Studio why it's betting on blogs, and preview tactile new photography book.
Printed MatterPrinted Matter art bookshop in New York is a rare breed- a retail venture that puts principles before profit.
Art market briefingThe Russians are coming - well that's what London hopes. Plus, Swiss design under the hammer in Paris and plot the market's progress with the Fine Art Index.
Culture briefingBooks: Re-issue of a post-apocalyptic classic, photos of New York store fronts and a graphic trip through neurotic adolescence. Film: Two delectable French thrillers: L'instinct de Mort and Pour Elle. Music: Electro-rock from Wave Machines, a "wall of sound" masterpiece from Camera Obscura, and incongruously Nordic song-writing from Spanish folk-pop artist Pajaro Sunrise. Art: Cy Twombly in Chicago and the Venice Biennale. Plus, our culture editor's column.
Great SheikhsAbu Dhabi is built on oil but the supply is not without a bottom. As a result, the city is morphing into a technology, and culture superpower. But who are the visionaries on the ground turning dreams into bricks and mortar?
Salone starsAt Rho, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile’s main stamping ground, over 2,500 exhibitors were spread over 490,000 sq m. The city’s showrooms and galleries were bustling too and the Euroluce lighting fair, was equally switched on.
Fashion briefingTomorrowland's new Tokyo store, the Japanese womenswear label inspired by menswear, Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz's new ready-to-wear collection, and a Q&A with Monocle favourite Oliver Spencer.
Busy BCBritish 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 promise of quality and skill are their trump cards.
Ship shapeMilanese 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.
Inventory no.24Things we've got our eye on this month: Pijama sleeves for sleeping laptops, nice white footwear from Sweden and Mallocran salty treats.
Royal privilegeFor 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 that’s home to a farmers’ market.
Spokes peopleA 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 the city.
Saddle upThis 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.
Villa de LeyvaThis 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 mild climate, fantastic light and stress-free existence. Oh, and the magic mushrooms.
Frédéric MalleFrédéric 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 scents are sold across Europe and the world.
ObservationWhen you look out your window, what do you see? Well, in London not enough innovative architecture and too many projects that fail to offer fresh solutions. It’s not just the developers who are to blame – building regulators are crushing creativity. On the eve of our Quality of Life Survey, Tyler Brûlé offers some solutions.
Who needs the agro?Everyone, it seems. From the shopping aisles of one of Europe’s most respected grocery store chains to the meadows of piedmont to the Souk el Tayeb farmers’ market in Beirut, Farmers and their four-legged friends are the brands consumers want to buy and be part of.
Want more stories like these in your inbox?
Sign up to Monocle’s email newsletters to stay on top of news and opinion, plus the latest from the magazine, radio, film and shop.