In her debut novel, "Bunheads," Sophie Flack writes with an insider's knowledge about the world of ballet. A former ballerina with the New York City Ballet, the 28-year-old artist, author and college student writes of an environment where surreal beauty comes at the expense of personal freedom. Flack, who retired from dance in 2009, resides in Manhattan with her puppy, Zeus, and boyfriend Josh Charles ("The Good Wife").
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: Growing up, I spent my summers in Wellfleet and Truro, in Cape Cod, Mass., so I have many fond memories there, and I return every summer. My boyfriend and I took an incredible vacation in Italy. We started in Rome and then took a train to Florence, Siena, Pietrasanta and Lucca.
Q: If someone who had never visited your favorite destination asked you what they should do there, what would you suggest?
A. I suggest eating oysters or fried clams anywhere in Wellfleet or Provincetown. Of course, you have to try all the beaches with their incredible sand dunes. And there are some great art galleries, like the Left Bank Gallery in Wellfleet. In Italy there's such amazing food and art everywhere. If you're in Todi, try the Cafe Umbria. And wherever you go, you have to taste all the flavors of gelato. In Florence, definitely visit the Uffizi museum.
Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A: Oxford is a charming small town on the eastern shore of Maryland. It's an easy train ride to Baltimore and then a scenic drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and then we're in heaven — heaven with the best crabs on the planet!
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, other than where you currently reside, what city would you pick and why?
A: Rome for the incredible art, energy and architecture, and, of course, the food.
Q: Where do you like to stay on your trips?
A: I generally like to rent apartments because I feel like I immerse into the culture more.
Q: What are your five favorite cities?
A: That's easy: New York City, Paris, Rome, Boston and Chicago.
Q: Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of back home?
A: The sunsets in Oxford remind me of my summers in Cape Cod. Oxford still looks like a colonial fishing village, and the light over the water is strikingly beautiful.
Q: Where would you like to go that you have never been?
A: I would love to visit India, Israel and Barcelona. And my sister and her husband are moving to Dallas, so I'd like to go there too.
Q: What would be your dream trip?
A: I would love to return to Tulum, Mexico. There's a ridiculously delicious Italian restaurant right on the beach called Posada Margherita (www.posadamargherita.com). It's run by Italians. There's something really charming about that.
Q: What are your favorite restaurants?
A: In New York, Bar Pitti, the Little Owl (thelittleowlnyc.com), Barbuto (barbutonyc.com), Di Fiore Marquet Cafe and Omai (omainyc.com). In Paris, Breizh Cafe (breizhcafe.com.
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