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Ocean drive: a road trip around Portland, Oregon

Tempted by Portland, one of the US’s coolest cities? Be sure to visit Oregon’s coast too, where the arty vibe has spread to its lovely seaside villages

Portland didn’t become the US capital of cool overnight. The city was a centre for independent music for decades before the press got wind of it. If a hipster is a person who wants to seem creative without actually creating anything, there’s a serious lack of hipsters in this city. The music and art being made here are world-class.

But it’s not just the music scene in Portland that makes a trip to the north-western state of Oregon worth a journey: its coast is spectacular, too, and, unlike neighbouring California, its beaches are almost empty. You can immerse yourself in the music scene then spend a week on some of the US’s most beautiful shoreline. Portland residents today flock to pretty villages such as Cannon Beach – sometimes called Portland on Sea, as it has so many art galleries – and Manzanita.

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My top 10 restaurant meals in Italy

After a decade in Italy, the Observer’s Rome-based correspondent Tom Kington lists his 10 most memorable meals in the country, ranging from a simple calzone in Sicily to a five-course restaurant blowout in Puglia

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in Italy? Tell us in the comments below

This list is purely personal, focusing on the occasion as much as the menu. As such, I’ve made no attempt to be representative. Northern Italy hardly gets a look in, and a couple of them weren’t even in restaurants at all. I’m sure you’ll have your own suggestions and favourites, which you can post in the comments below. Buon appetito!

Price guide
Cheap: up to €10pp
Medium: €25-30pp
Expensive: above €30pp

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