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Venice Combats Overtourism: Caps Tour Group Sizes and Bans Loudspeakers

Venice authorities are limiting the size of large guided tour groups. Over the weekend, the municipal government approved a measure to ban guided groups of more than 25 people starting June 1. Portable loudspeakers used by tour guides will also be banned.

The rules signal to uncertified tour guides that they “will no longer be tolerated,” said commerce councilor Sebastiano Costalonga in the government’s statement online.

The rules will be enforced in Venice’s historic center and on Murano, Burano, and Torcello islands.

Limiting large group tours will preserve Venice’s old infrastructure, reduce overcrowding, and support residents’ quality of life, said tourism councilor Simone Venturini.

Overtourism Puts Venice in Danger

In the spring, Venice will test out a roughly $5.50 (5 euro) admission fee for day-trippers. The fee’s aim is to discourage daily tourism during peak periods.

Venice has faced preservation challenges. Overtourism, climate change-induced sea level rises, extreme weather and construction threaten the historic city and its lagoon – the two together are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A July 2023 UNESCO paper recommended Venice and its lagoon be added to the World Heritage’s list of endangered sites. UNESCO ultimately didn’t add them.

Credit: Skift. Dawit Habtemariam, Skift, January 2nd, 2024 at 2:38 PM EST


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Where to get your traditional boules, baguettes, and brioche, plus sustainable sourdough and the perfect miche for jambon sandwiches, in the bread capital of the world

by Dayna Evans  Mar 28, 2022, 9:06am EDT

In Paris, bread is an art form and everyone has opinions about the best artists. There’s a boulangerie — or a bread bakery — on practically every corner in the City of Lights, and about as many kinds of bread to choose from: classic, crusty golden baguettes; pain de seigle rye loaves; and buttery, flaky brioche. Many bread bakers adhere to old-school traditions, making loaves that look and feel like peasant breads of yore, while others are decidedly new-school, making everything from American-style sourdough to babkas and focaccias.

Buying baguettes for a dinner party? Go ahead and tear off the nez — the nose, or pointy end — of the baguette on your way over. It’s French tradition that the baguette buyer is allowed to take a little reward.


With over a dozen locations in Paris, plus one in Lille and a few in Tokyo, Maison Landemaine might not seem like the authentic expression of the artisanal boulangerie, but the hits still hit. The baguette tradition is crusty and chewy in all the right ways, especially paired with cheeses from the nearby Laiterie cheese shop on Rue des Poissonniers.


Shinya Inagaki has made bread for some of the most beloved sourdough bakeries in Paris (think Fermentation Générale and the Terroirs d’Avenir boulangerie). At his own operation in Montmartre, Inagaki is making sourdough breads his own way. Olive focaccia, brioches, multigrain breads, and scones are just some of the specials Inagaki scrawls on butcher paper at his tiny storefront on Rue des Trois Frères.



The 2020 winner of Le Grand Prix de la Baguette de Traditional Française de la Ville de Paris, a coveted award recognizing the city’s best baguette, Taieb Sahal makes a standard-bearer for traditional Parisian baguettes. Crusty, airy, and with a warm yeasty smell, the baguettes at Maison Julien in the 17th represent French bread at its finest.



You’ll likely encounter a line when visiting the original bakery outpost of Cécile Khayat and Victoria Effantin’s wildly popular Mamiche bakery, but the wait is worth it. Using natural leaven, Mamiche’s breads are excellent, from the hearty pain de campagne to the lightweight pain de mie, as well as a traditional “miche Mamiche.” Don’t miss the babkas and viennoiserie, too. You can’t go wrong with any of it.



With three locations across Paris and a name that’s fun to say, the French Bastards’ bakery could get by on novelty alone. Thankfully that’s not the case: Breads with honey and figs, hazelnuts, plentiful seeds, rye flour, and more comprise the menu at the three French Bastards locations, and they’re all delicious. Take a hearty loaf to go, and eat a caramel eclair on the way home.



The Rue des Martyrs location of Farine&O frequently has a line around lunchtime, with working Parisians picking up sandwiches, pastries, and sodas to go. The line moves fast and the wait pays off: Baguettes, brioche, and rotating daily offerings will satisfy even the most discerning of bread-heads. Don’t forget to pick up a croissant — they’re flaky beyond human understanding.



The concept — and cheeky play on words — at Christophe Fertillet’s Levain, Le Vin is all about pairing great naturally leavened breads with great natural wines. Sit for a planche of breads crafted in-house by Fertillet and charcuterie to match, or take loaves of bread to go along with one of the carefully curated bottles of wine that line the shop’s shelves.



Part of the strip of shops on Rue du Nil that make up the sustainable agriculture organization Terroirs d’Avenir (or, terroirs of the future), the boulangerie has sourdough breads that are inspired by the organization’s mission. All manner of breads are on offer, from focaccia to multigrain tin loaves, and since the boulangerie is only a stone’s throw from the primeur (or fresh market), fish shop, and butcher, you can have dinner sorted out before you reach the end of the block.



While many boulangeries around Paris will sell bread, pastries, and viennoiserie (think anything laminated), most excel at one area or another. At Utopie in the 11th, it’s safe to pick between any of the sourdough croissants, elegant pastries, brioche, and inventive breads made with ingredients like sesame and curry powder; kalamata olives; and guava and cranberry.



A baguette at Tout Autour du Pain is a classic option for picnics, parties, or just midday snacks. Perfectly golden and crisp, they’re the platonic ideal of a baguette. Buy one for later and one to eat immediately in the petite plaza directly across from the shop.


As the name implies, the M.O. at Fermentation Générale in the 11th is everything fermented. From kefir and kombucha to natural wines, ciders, and pickles, the menu is a dream for anyone who loves sour flavors. Sourdough fits perfectly in that mix. Every bread is tangy and tart, with a depth of flavor reminiscent of San Francisco sourdoughs.



Alice Quillet and Anna Trattles’s sourdough bread bakery Ten Belles Bread was initially confusing to some Parisians, as they didn’t sell baguettes and they used the word “bread” instead of “boulangerie” in the name. The bakery won almost the whole city over with their bread loaves, though. They offer just the right amount of sour, with a custardy inside and crusty outside. Ten Belles sells great coffee, pastries, and lunch specials, too, so you’ll absolutely want to come with an appetite.



In a tiny storefront in the 20th, Le Bricheton is the choice for the truly devoted bread lover. It has limited hours, and the bread sells fast, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood, this tiny bakery is an essential visit. Breads are made from organic flour, sourced in France, often with ancient grains like Khorasan wheat.



You’d be hard-pressed to find a visitor to Paris who isn’t heading to Poilâne at some point during their trip. That’s because the bakery has been making delicious sourdough wheat loaves for almost 100 years. You’ll recognize a Poilâne miche by the signature swoopy “P” scored into the bread before baking, as well as its brown color imparted by the proportion of stone-ground whole wheat in the dough. Looking to make sandwiches with jambon de Paris? The loaves can be sliced to order.



While not every visitor to Paris has the time or money to visit the historic Tour d’Argent restaurant, Le Boulanger de la Tour is more than sufficient as a backup. A rotating menu of breads is available from the famed restaurant’s bakers. They’re so good, you can close your eyes and almost imagine you’ve nabbed a seat in the restaurant’s historic waterfront dining room.


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Lebanon Blast

Dear Friends & Partners,
Our hearts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones in the apocalyptic blast of Beirut… and with all those Injured and Missing, our thoughts are with all those Shattered Lives and shuttered businesses…
We must proclaim an end to our grievances….
We must re-write our History as we deserve a better living, New Hopes, New Beginnings.

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Heat Waves in Europe & Beyond

Extreme temperatures are forecast across most of France in the week commencing 22 July, with daytime temperatures over 40ºC and overnight temperatures over 20ºC in parts of the country. The French authorities have issued advice (in English) on sensible precautions to take.

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Marriott Hotels’ Hacking

Marriott reports that there has been unauthorized access to its Starwood guest reservation database, which contained guest information relating to reservations at Starwood properties on or before September 10. These include hotels under the W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels brands, as well as Starwood-branded timeshare properties.

On September 8, Marriott said that it received an alert from an internal security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States. The company engaged security experts to help determine what occurred. Marriott learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014. The company recently discovered that an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards removing it. On November 19, 2018, Marriott was able to decrypt the information and determined that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database.

The company has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but believes it contains information on up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property. For approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128). There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken. For the remaining guests, the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information.

Marriott said it has reported this incident to law enforcement and continues to support their investigation. The company has also begun notifying regulatory authorities.

“We deeply regret this incident happened,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and CEO. “We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.”

Marriott said it has taken the following steps to help guests monitor and protect their information:

Dedicated Website and Call Center: The company has established a dedicated website ( and call center to answer questions guests may have about this incident. The frequently-asked questions on may be supplemented from time to time. The call center is open seven days a week and is available in multiple languages. Call volume may be high, Marriott warned.

Email Notification: Marriott will begin sending emails on a rolling basis to affected guests whose email addresses are in the Starwood guest reservation database.

Free WebWatcher Enrollment: Marriott is providing guests the opportunity to enroll in WebWatcher free of charge for one year. WebWatcher monitors internet sites where personal information is shared and generates an alert to the consumer if evidence of the consumer’s personal information is found. Due to regulatory and other reasons, WebWatcher or similar products are not available in all countries. Guests from the United States who activate WebWatcher will also be provided fraud consultation services and reimbursement coverage for free. To activate WebWatcher, guests can go to and click on their country, if listed, for enrollment.


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