According to the legend, there are three magical and hidden places in Venice. One in Calle dell’Amor degli Amici, the second near the Ponte delle Maravegie, the third in Calle dei Marrani, near San Geremia in the Old Ghetto district. When Venetians are exasperated with the powers that be, they go to these three secret places, and by opening doors at the back of the courtyards, they escape to beautiful places and other intriguing stories. Every magazine is a journey in itself. For over 30 years, AD has opened the doors of the world’s most beautiful houses and we will continue to do so in the way taught us by Ettore Mocchetti, who this month passes the helm to me. And because we like to think that the meaning of a journey lies in discovering what you are not seeking, we have striven tAoDgive a new perspective, while keeping its soul intact. The passion for architecture, design and furnishing is still there. So is the idea that good taste has little to do with fashion, and that luxury is mutable and linked to intelligence and knowledge far more than a price tag. The idea that reading AD is a private moment is also unchanged, a time of pleasure and inspiration to be savoured at leisure, maybe in the warmth of one’s own home. What have changed are the graphics, the columns, the sections. In Digest we take a broad view of other worlds, ones so close to our own that it becomes difficult to define the boundaries: art, photography, travel, fashion and much more. Portfolio takes everyday objects out of their comfort zones, outdoors, all over the world (this month on the Engadine glaciers that resemble Tibet). Focus is an area dedicated to products, a specific theme chosen for each edition: it starts with transparency, twelve pages of beautiful objects that split or multiply light, removing weight but not the essence, revealing what is beyond - hoping it is a good omen. Dossier is a selection, beginning with twenty talented underforties whose work is helping to change our lifestyles. Then there are the houses, and each - there are many, each very different from the other as there is no mutually exclusive way of expressing beauty - each has its own story. Houses are living things, as in a Michael Cunningham novel from a few years back, where people sleep the great American night while the f loors and walls come to life and vibrate with electricity and retained warmth and the faint noises and echoes of reverberated life. The house narrated by Giovanni Montanaro is alive, five centuries of art, wars, festivals and love. Alive in the memory are those houses that Mario Bellini photographed on a journey of forty years ago, today described by Gabriele Romagnoli. One has a corridor with a long staircase leading to a door that does not open, because behind there is nothing. Maybe a metaphor, maybe not. The mountains, said a great mountaineer, take on the value of the people who climb them and without whom they are just a pile of rocks. The same applies to places, houses and things. If we can make a wish at the start of our journey, it is this: to know how to recount the value of those who design, construct and live our homes, our things; behind every door there is a story to tell, a room where the reality exceeds the imagination. Like when you open a magazine and let your imagination go. Like when you discover a secret passage at the back of a courtyard. Like when you open a door at the top of a staircase. Like the pleasure of returning home in the evening, after a long journey. Welcome Home.