Name: Durant Imboden
Occupation: Travel writer and web publisher
Hometown: Monterey, California
Residence: Minneapolis (and sometimes Venice)
College: USC and New School for Social Research
College major: None
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Short bio: Durant Imboden is a former literary agent, Playboy editor and staff writer, and author. He’s been writing about travel (both in nonfiction and fiction) since the early 1980s and published his first travel website, “The Baby Boomer’s Venice,” in 1996. With his wife Cheryl, he publishes Europeforvisitors.com and QuickVenice.com for an international audience of leisure travelers and cruisers.
Languages spoken: English, rusty German, and inadequate Italian.
How often do you fly? Only when I have to.
How many countries have you been to? Ask me when I’ve figured out how to count colonies, possessions, and dependencies.
How many continents have you been to? Four, plus the Arctic.
Earliest travel memory: Watching the ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis at the age of 3.
Favorite American city: New York.
Favorite international city: Venice, Italy.
Least favorite country: So far, I’ve liked every country that I’ve visited.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: In my experience, the U.S., but I’m still waiting to visit North Korea.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Venice and its Lagoon.
Favorite airline: SWISS (the spiritual descendant of Swissair).
Favorite aircraft type: Zeppelin.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite airport lounge: I seldom get to lounge in airport lounges.
Favorite U.S. airport: None, though Portland (PDX) seems nicer than most.
Favorite international airport: Zürich or Munich.
Favorite hotel: Hotel Santavenere in Maratea, Italy.
Favorite cruise line: Silversea (ocean), Uniworld (river), European Waterways (barge).
Favorite travel credit card: Capital One Visa.
Favorite island: Any of the 118 islands in Venice’s historic center.
Favorite beach: I’m not a beach person.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Chesa Veglia, St. Moritz.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Any Kalbsbratwurst stand in German-speaking Switzerland.
Favorite bar: Rheinfelder Bierhaus, Zürich.
Favorite fruit: Grapes.
Favorite food: Pasta and pesto genovese with Parmagiano Reggiano.
Least favorite food: Organ meats.
Craziest thing you’ve eaten: A mad cow?
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Beer.
Favorite travel movie(s): Amelie.
Favorite travel show(s): The old Lonely Planet show on Travel Channel.
Favorite travel book(s): “Venetian Life,” by William Dean Howells and “The World of Venice,” by James (Jan) Morris.
Right now I am reading: The Italian translation of my own book, “Le Parole non Dette.”
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I enjoy Karen Henderson’s The Venice Experience. Beyond that, I’m too fickle to venture an opinion.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! My own.
5 things you bring on a plane: Whatever’s in my backpack, plus a paperback book.
What do you always seem to forget? I can’t remember.
What do you like least about travel? Airports.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Chocolate.
Favorite travel app(s): Hi!Tide Venice.
Most embarrassing travel moment: When I was placing my luggage in the hall on a WIND SURF cruise, I managed to lock myself out of my cabin. I had to go to reception, wearing nothing but my bathrobe, and get an emergency keycard.
Worst travel moment: Probably the time I had a stroke after my camera bag compressed my carotid artery at Rome Airport. Still, I survived without too much damage, and my 18 days in an Italian hospital were interesting and occasionally entertaining.
What’s your dream destination? Venice in January.
Favorite travel charity: Me.
Best travel tip: 20 percent.
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