Ilie Nastase: My Life In Travel

'I know it's crazy, but I love to drive around the Arc de Triomphe'

First holiday memory?

I never went on holiday as a child. I have memories of going to the Black Sea in Romania with my parents when I was about 14. When I first went abroad it was to other communist countries, then to Greece and France when I was 20.

Best holiday?

It would have to be a holiday in Acapulco, Mexico in 1972. That was when I was married for the first time, and I had a really great trip there: playing tennis and enjoying the scenery; it was like nowhere else I had ever been.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I like London, but I haven't travelled around the country enough to have a favourite place.

What have you learnt from your travels?

To pack light. I am always the lightest packer in the group when I travel.

Ideal travel companion?

My wife and children, but when I was single it would be my girlfriend - the best companion is always a new girlfriend. I travel quite a lot with my family these days. They came over to England last summer with me for Wimbledon and also just before Christmas when I was playing a tournament at the Royal Albert Hall.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

While I'm on vacation, I like to do all three, but when I'm travelling for work I don't really get the time to do any of them.

Greatest travel luxury?

My raincoat. I take one with me wherever I go, be it the Caribbean or England.

Holiday reading?

I like to read newspapers while I'm on the move; I also speak five languages, so I can read newspapers in several countries.

Where has seduced you?

Italy, because I understand the language, the food is fantastic and so is the lifestyle. I go at least two or three times a year. I particularly like Rome and Florence, and Milan for shopping. I went to Sardinia last year, which was great.

Is it better to travel or arrive?

I like travelling. Nowadays I always have my bag packed so I'm ready to go.

Worst travel experience?

Sometimes you go to places that you don't like, but I don't mind that; there has to be a contrast otherwise if you have good experiences all the time your expectations are too high.

Worst hotel?

It would have to be one of the many hotels that I stayed at in various communist countries during the Cold War. Thankfully, there have been some changes since then.

Best hotel?

The Lanesborough in London, because it has butler service. That's the first time I have had a butler. Buckingham Palace is also down the road, which I like.

Favourite walk/swim/ ride/drive?

I don't like walking or swimming and I can't ride. I do like to drive in Paris, which I know is crazy. I like to be in a relative amount of danger; I especially enjoy driving near the Arc de Triomphe because Parisian drivers are pretty reckless.

Best meal abroad?

Any meal in Italy. I particularly enjoy eating in Rome. Generally, the food is brought to your table almost immediately and there aren't any menus - they bring you what you want.

What's the first thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I ask where the best restaurant or best disco is.

Dream trip?

To Tahiti - that looks very nice.

Favourite city?

Paris. The first time I went to Paris I met my wife - and I have a lot of friends there, too. I also won my first major tournament in Paris and my daughter was born there. I am now working for a French company based in Paris, so I spend a lot of time there.

Where to next?

Back to Paris and then to Romania.

'Mr Nastase: The Autobiography' by Ilie Nastase with Debbie Beckerman (Collins Willow, £6.99) is out now in paperback

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing