His guides in format beautiful book on hotels that are extraordinary are works essential aesthetes globe-trotters, played by designers and architects, artists and travellers. Herbert Ypma is sublime interior architecture. His series of seven destinations, begun by India Modern, in 1993, has sold more than 800,000 copies. But the general public does not know it. His name remains in the shadow of the magazine that he founded in 1985, Interior Architecture . However, for the first time, Herbert Ypma is book. His latest book, Italy in private , which has just been published (Ed. of the Oak), reveals his own experience “eclectic”, its “exceptional hotels, breakfasts of legend and fragments of history”. “This book on Italy is a reflection on my very strange life,” says he in an interview with new and exclusive to the Figaro .

“This book on Italy is a reflection on my very strange life -”

Herbert Ypma

Conversation over the phone from Bali, where he lives with his wife, French -, and two of their four children. Herbert Ypma is a crazy surf born in 1959 in Holland, a father, a geologist who spent her life planning projects on the Moon, a member of the nuclear laboratory of Nasa for the exploration of space. Herbert Ypma, remembers: “Every summer, he told us to join him in unknown places from where they could observe the Moon. A ranch lost in Mexico, a point in the desert of Niger… He gave us appointment for you with a message like: “Hi! I’m here!”” And with the jeep and the trailer, we had to find him.” His mother, who has no sense of direction, anxiety each time. “With my sister, we indicated the direction. However, at age 16, I had made the tour of all the places in the middle of nowhere! But I had no culture.” A stay in Amsterdam, with an uncle a doctor, scholar, and will push it to the use of other paths, art and history. The uncle, appalled by the ignorance of the young man, the urge to question everything that attracts his eyes: furniture, fabrics, paintings, buildings, colors, materials… He slips under the nose of the architecture books. “Each page was a lesson,” says Ypma, who became a hunter of destinations “dream”. Because, for him, “beauty is the best source of open-mindedness”.

LE FIGARO. – What is your definition of travel?

Herbert Ypma. Rights Reserved

Herbert YPMA. – It must amaze me, fascinate me. Make Me discover places I didn’t even know existed, stimulate me. And when you start to learn, you appreciate where you are much more.

Your books on the “Hotels extraordinary” have revolutionized the way we think about the interior design. What was, what is always your intention?

Compare the eras, influences, back to the sources of creation, it is my starting premise. I need to understand where are things, to know their history. The description is not an end in itself. She leaves on his hunger. If I say: “This is a blue door”, I immediately asked: “Why is it that it is blue? Is there a particular reason to have it painted this color?” From the moment the question as to the origin of what we see, we venture on a path that increases the enthusiasm.

All your books speak of things and places that are rare or extraordinary. What is it that makes you wonder?

It is always a combination. For example, see the african primitive art in a very old monastery, I love it.

Why this book, Italy in private ?

“I hate ratings that are as many injunctions do, go, to experiment, to think”

there is more obstacles to the trip. Anyone today knows how to make good use of Internet sites and apps can travel. It is enough to have 150 euros to go to Venice, Rome or London. But since the late 90’s, one has the impression that everything looks the same. To have even a chance to travel away from the mass tourism, I created the collection of beautiful books “Hip Hotels”(“dream Hotels” in French, NDLR), which offers retreats idyllic everywhere on the planet, with just enough sophistication to satisfy the desire of the great escape and the need for comfort. Then, I asked myself the following question: “And after?”. I went to Rome more than fifty times, and it is for this that I can tell where to find the best cappuccino, the best ice cream. This is not done in one trip. It is a slow process. A patient construction, which enables me to write, for example, in Italy in private :”Don’t forget to eat!”, because eating is part of the identity of the Italian culture. It must remain true to yourself. You know you’re going to find a place, but it remains up to you to find it yourself. I hate rankings that are as many injunctions do, go, to experiment, to think.

luxury, for you, it is…

“This is the paradox of the Internet, which allows everyone to travel and at the same time gives the worst keys of the trip in directing everyone in the same place”

It is to be in Capri, hotel Punta Tragara, designed at the edge of a cliff by Le Corbusier in the 1920s, and going for a swim before breakfast. It is to be in old Naples, at the restaurant Mattozzi, for a lunch in the summer, and enjoy a pizza with mozzarella cheese accompanied with a large glass of rosé wine. This experience is much more luxurious than going through a table three stars of the show “Master Chef”. You remind me of an anecdote. A long time ago, I went to photograph Michel Troisgros. At the end of the tasting, I thought I was going to explode. I did not appreciate. But the next day, I met her in the kitchen. “What do you want?”, to me, he asked. “Something very simple”, I replied. He made me scrambled eggs, my most beautiful memory.

The “tourismophobie” seems to gain more and more cities to the stars of the tourist, in Italy, in Spain, in Croatia. What’s the solution?

This is a real problem, the resolution of which depends on of the door travel as it grows. San Pedro de Atacama, in Chile, has lost all its character, which was his charm. Capri is a good example of a city threatened by the tourism industry, with the cruise ships that flock to streams of passengers to spend the day, this is ridiculous. It is the paradox of the Internet, that allows all to travel and at the same time gives the worst keys of the trip in directing everyone in the same place.

do you Think that the journey to improve the world?

people who travel are tolerant. So, yes, travel is a blessing for humanity. And then I’m optimistic. The new generation thinks very differently from us: the experience has become more important than the possession. To do, rather than have, it helps to think in a very positive manner, no?

“Italy in private”, Herbert Ypma, Eds. Oak, 352 pages, 29,90 euros.

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