Guilty Pleasures: The Travel Secrets of Matt Tyrnauer

by Michel Heredia Photographed by Matt Tyrnauer
Monday, June 27, 2011
Matt Tyrnauer

Matt Tyrnauer is the director of the acclaimed documentary “Valentino: The Last Emperor.” He is currently at work on other movie projects and is a Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. Here Tyrnauer gives us his top travel picks from Rome to Hawaii and back again. Ready, set, jet-set!

What’s your best travel experience?

“Rome in May when the scent of orange blossoms is in the air. Followed by taking the Frecciarossa – the fast train – to Naples for a few days, any time of year.

What’s your worst travel experience?

“Traveling on I-95 north or south of New York City. I find depressing. It reminds me of how pathetic our infrastructure in the United States is and how we have not recovered from the mistakes of the industrial revolution which marred a once beautiful landscape. These are fixable problems with tax dollars that our leaders have spent on weapons instead.”

Favorite little detail about a hotel?

“The flowers in the rooms at The Chateau Marmont are very thoughtfully arranged and beautiful.”

What is your favorite way to travel?

“Never more than one bag. I am a deep believer in hotel laundry. The triumph of Paris is the hotel laundry.”

What’s your must-bring item?

“Navy blue Ralph Lauren Purple label polo shirts. They have no logo.”

What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?

“When traveling with a friend, set the following rule: One day one person is boss and gets to dictate the agenda. Then you switch off days being travel dictator. This saves you from the existential horror that ruins most trips like this – the point where you collapse in a malaise of mutual passive aggression exacerbated by jet lag.”

Favorite meal?

“Dinner at Giuseppone a Mare in Naples.”

Favorite buy? Where?

“Boxer shorts at Schostal in Rome.”

What would you stock your minibar with?

“Real Alkalized Water (drinkrealwater.com) and organic fruit.”

Your top list of places to visit next?

“Puglia and Sicily.”

Ideal travel partner (alive or dead) and why?

“To Naples with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, although I think he would be insufferable after a few days. He was the most enthusiastic explorer of that city and it’s surroundings.”

Guilty splurge?

“Handmade shirts in Rome and Naples. The Ovaltine milkshake at the beach bar at the Mauna Kea in Hawaii.”

Sunset or sunrise?


Name a travel destination where you thought you could stay forever.




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