A modern American city that proudly trades on its colonial past, BOSTON is about as close to the Old World as the New World gets. This is not to say it lacks contemporary attractions: its cafés, museums, neatly landscaped public spaces and diverse neighbourhoods are all as alluring as its historic sites. Boston has grown up around Boston Common, a utilitarian chunk of green established for public use and “the feeding of cattell” in 1634. A good starting point for a tour of the city, it is also one of the links in the string of nine parks called the Emerald Necklace. Another piece is the lovely Public Garden, across Charles Street from the Common, where Boston’s iconic swan boats paddle the main pond. Grand boulevards such as Commonwealth Avenue lead west from the Public Garden into Back Bay, where Harvard Bridge crosses into Cambridge. The beloved North End, adjacent to the waterfront, is Boston’s Little Italy, its narrow streets chock-a-block with excellent bakeries and restaurants. Behind the Common rises the State House and lofty Beacon Hill, every bit as dignified as when writer Henry James called Mount Vernon Street “the most prestigious address in America”.