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LA dreaming

This is Oscar weekend, so let's take a look at the city of LA, a place where anything is possible, where it's even possible to believe such fairytales as the modern-day Cinderella story of 'Pretty Woman'. Welcome to Beverly Hills!

February 24, 2012
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When Edward, the rich and handsome businessman played by Richard Gere, gets lost in the sprawling city of LA, he stops in Beverly Hills  to ask the way. And that, of course, is when he meets Vivian (Julia Roberts), the good-hearted hooker he is destined to fall in love with, and the story starts to gain its own momentum until he finds his whole world turned upside down. It's a story that couldn't really have happened anywhere but in Los Angeles, a city of dreams where, in a single moment, a chance meeting can change the world and where a fine line – invisible and crossable – separates the actual from the potential.

LA, Hollywood Boulevard

this modern-day fairytaleHollywood BoulevardWalk of Famegreats from the worlds of radio, music, screen and stageover 2,000 famousnames legendary five-pointed starscinema meccaone of the most vibrant streetsa city with nearly four million inhabitantssouvenir shopsrestaurants, fashion shops and major tourist attractionsKodak Theatre, where the Oscars themselves have been hosted since 2001Hollywood & Highland

Loa Angeles

Grauman's Chinese Theatrehand and foot prints of starsthe venue of choice for the hottest Hollywood premieres Sunset BoulevardSanta Monica Boulevardthe snooty assistants refuse to serve Vivian dressed in her hooker's gladragsRodeo Drivethe largest number of fashion boutiques in the city

Los Angeles

some of the best hotels in LA Beverly WilshirePretty Woman bathrooms featuring oversized tubsLas Palmas HotelIt's the fire escape of this more modest hotelthat the hero climbsone of Hollywood's most endearing happy endings

Los Angeles

Deronda Driveby car, as is the norm in LA the mythical image of the Hollywood signget behind the scenes of the dreamsUniversal Studios Warner Bros Studios


When to Visit
There's plenty to do all year round and the Southern California weather deserves its reputation, but even so, summer is the best time to enjoy the immense city beaches.

Getting aroundIt is pretty much impossible to get around Los Angeles without a car: the city is huge and many of the avenues are unsuitable for walking and not served by public transport.

Los Angeles, downtown

Where to stay
The Beverly Wilshire is where the characters stay in the film. Other hotels for cinephiles include the exclusive Millennium Biltmore, where scenes were filmed for such  classics as Vertigo, New York, New York and King Kong, Westin Bonaventure Hotel featured in Rain Man with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, and Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where scenes were filmed for Internal Affairs, also with Richard Gere, and Almost Famous.

Where to eat
The Cicada restaurant, where Julia Roberts' character send the snail flying across the table in Pretty Woman is in Downtown, the city's historic centre. Another film-related option, this time Memoirs of a geisha, is Yamashiro in Hollywood Hills, where the delicious food is complemented by spectacular views of the city.

The movie trail
The company Starline Tours offers guided tours of movie locations, movie studios and tours of the mansions of the famous actors.

Los Angeles, Malibu

Don't miss...There's more to Los Angeles than Hollywood, so don't miss visiting the Downtown area  with it monuments, museums and city parks, as well as Long Beach, home to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the port and community of San Pedro, and the Griffith Observatory in the vast GriffithPark.

Further information:
Tourism in Los Angeles

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