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editor's note

PHOTOGRAPHS: PHILIP LEE HARVEY, JONATHAN STOKES, LUIGI VACCARELLA/4CORNERS

The sun must have got to our heads. I write this on the summer solstice, having read through final proofs for an issue that overflows with experiences linked to the Mediterranean. That glamorous cow you'll spot below right - wistfully basking amid white sands and azure waters - gets a mention in our Great Escape to Corsica (p55). She's an inhabitant of the Plage de Mare e Sole - the Beach of Sea and Sun, near Ajaccio on this wild and historic island's western coast. Other characters met along our route include guide Joritz Larraza, who reveals stirring tales of resilience among hidden hilltop villages, and Olivier Fondacci, whose farm makes niche skincare products from donkey milk. Local flavours come just as diverse and horizon-broadening on a big night out in Barcelona (p70). Absinthe, sparkling rose, handfuls of jamon serrano, jazz, soul, modernist architecture, dry martinis and oysters with shiso vinegar: all are sampled between dusk and dawn. We round off our celebration of the Mediterranean with a collection of truly original trip ideas (p82). Top among them on my wish list is Comacchio, an Italian lagoon town of low bridges and pastel-coloured canalside houses; it's a little like Venice, just on a much smaller scale - crowds included.

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