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Calle de Alcalá, 39, 28014 Madrid, Spain
The Metropolis Building in Madrid claims dominance over the intersection of Calle de Alcalá and Gran Via. The topping sculpture of Phoenix and Ganymede, like an architectural hood ornament, keeps a watchful eye over the busy boulevards below.
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Calle Ferraz, 1, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Stone by stone, second-century BC Debod Temple was reconstructed in Spain in an effort, called to action by UNESCO, to save its demise when the site was threatened by the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan. As a sign of gratitude for the help...
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Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Don't miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It's the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your...
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Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Founded in 1894 and set in the center of Madrid, not far from Puerta del Sol, San Ginés is a local favorite and a don’t-miss stop during any visit to the capital. No excuses; it never closes. Pasadizo de San Ginés 5, Madrid, 34/91-365- 6546 This...
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Plaça Portal de la pau, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed for the 1888 Universal Exposition, El Mirador de Colom reminds locals and visitors alike that Spain’s Catholic Kings, Isabella and Ferdinand, received Columbus in Barcelona after his first trip to the Americas. A 24-foot statue of the...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best places to wander in Barcelona is the city's charming Gothic Quarter, right off the famous La Rambla. A highlight is the area's beautiful Gothic cathedral, one of the few interesting buildings in the city that was not designed by...
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Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
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Rambla de Catalunya, 61, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
This was one of my best experiences in Barcelona. You can by and eat in small tables the best pata negra Jamon and get a wine or champagne. Very good prices!!!!!
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Carrer del Vidre, 8, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is home to countless tapas joints. They sit on street corners and back alleys all over the city. Many are commercialized and target tourists, while others are homegrown, centuries-old locations. There are plenty to choose from. After...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
These geese have guarded Barcelona's Cathedral for hundreds of years. They make lots of noise if anyone comes anywhere near them. I'm sure they always did a very good job of alerting the Cathedral about intruders. They are unusual looking geese....
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Carrer de Tamarit, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Not a secret any longer, but still a great surprise. We ended our brief stay near Barcelona recently at Lolita, Taperia in Barcelona. Outstanding food, and tons of fun. We felt like adults, even with three kids under age 6 in tow.
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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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C. d'Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Imagine the crowds cheering on the home team at the Football Club Barcelona’s stadium, check out a space dedicated to Argentinean superstar Leo Messi, admire the Club’s many trophies, your favorite players’ jerseys, and learn about the history of...
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Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, Spain
One of Barcelona's most exclusive streets, Passeig de Gràcia is home to modernista masterpieces like La Pedrera and Casa Batlló as well as the massive luxury storefronts of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Mandarina Duck, and...
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Plaça Comercial, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
The ruins of the Barcelona that suffered the seige of 1714 lay buried underneath the cast-iron 19th century Born Market for centuries. WIth the opening of El Born Centre Cultural, visitors can explore the beautiful wrought iron market, examine the...
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Calle Alfolí, 11, 28280 Escorial (El), Madrid, Spain
Tapas in Madrid are usually eaten before lunch, at “vermut” or “aperitivo” time. This can be done before lunch or after work. Apart from eating the Madrid tapas and drinking sangria or beer, these bars are a good place to watch football games and...
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Calle de José Ortega y Gasset, 75, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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The family-run El Pescador is not only down-to-earth fun, but also a very good seafood restaurant, with great tapas and a smart choice of Albarino wines. Try a glass of Mercado San Miguel. —Alessia Antinori Jose Ortega y Gasset 75, 34/91-402-1290,...
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28028 Madrid, Spain
A trip to Las Ventas is a must in Madrid. Tickets are available for those who wish to attend un corrido and tours are available for others who don't care for the bullfight. If you decide to watch this Spanish tradition in action, buy a seat and...
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Sol, Madrid, Spain
Spain's streets are alive with the sound of music, and nowhere more than Madrid. This enchanting harpist can be typically be found on the street connecting Sol to Opera, but fret not if you don't find her - our streets are packed with talented...
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Madrid, Spain
This tavern-based tapas bar in Madrid was founded in 1906 and fiercely carries out the tapas tradition. It has had many famous patrons, including Andy Warhol, and has a great wine selection as well as beers to go along with the famous garlic...
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Calle de Alcalá, 15, 28022 Madrid, Spain
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I just love going to The Casino, every time I walk through the doors, I can’t help but feel that I am a character in Alice in Wonderland’s tea party, except I’m not. I am in a private rooftop club in downtown Madrid, and that’s even more...
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43 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France
Cafe La Palette is one of the iconic cafes in the Latin Quarter in Paris, located in the gallery and art district of Saint Germain. The cafe is known for its large terrace overlooking rue Jacques-Callot and is popular among Fine Arts students and...
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1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
Small enough to get around without being overwhelmed, the Musée d'Orsay is a favorite stop in Paris not just for its size but for its collection of impressionist, postimpressionist, and art nouveau art. Perfectly set in the center of the...
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Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France
While "haughty" may be be a little extreme, this imposing building, Paris's City Hall, stands very proudly, indeed, in the heart of the 4th arrondissement's Marais district. Not only does Hotel de Ville serve as seat of Paris's government, but,...
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8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Sainte Chapelle is a true Gothic masterpiece located on Île de la Cité. Sainte Chapelle was founded by King Louis IX as a chapel for the royal palace. Sainte Chapelle houses a small chapel downstairs that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The...
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6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris, France
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One part tourist trap, one part beloved café, Les Deux Magots is a legendary spot that everyone should visit at least once when in Paris. Most famous as the place where the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway...
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44 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France
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We had only a few nights in Paris, and on the last, we followed Jim Mayer's lead, which he culled from a guidebook that called Restaurant Chez Astier's cheese plate the best in the city. Dinner was great; very traditional. And I remember the wines...
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66 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
Before wandering around Paris for two days, I asked my French friend Nadine, "where do I eat?" She directed me to Cafe Louis Phillipe for a lovely French lunch. The beautiful blue cheese, walnut, and endive salad arrived first, followed by a roast...
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4 Rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris, France
THey say the best crêpes in Paris are in the Montparnasse district. But while that may be true, I had an exceptional lunch at the La Cidrerie du Marais. The owners are from Breton so it is "legit" and the offerings are diverse. I had the simple...
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32-34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France
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Located in the Marais, L'As Du Falafel likes to boast about its connection to rocker Lenny Kravitz. Specifically that he has endorsed the falafel sandwich here. You don't need me to tell you this. Just go here: it's posted all over the walls. The...
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Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
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Via S. Gregorio, 17, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
The aptly named Gelato Giusto (meaning gelato done right) is an ice cream must. Former pastry chef Vittoria Bortolazzo makes delicious gelato every day from regional, organic fruit, high quality milk, and lots of love. Flavor selection is only a...
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Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano MI, Italy
The café Erba Brusca sits on a plot of land at the city’s edge, where concrete blocks meet grassy meadows. Italian staples such as buttery white polenta and roasted speziata sausage are made with herbs and greens grown on-site. Reserve a table on...
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Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
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The avant-garde interiors of 10 Corso Como match the mod, edgy clothes—everything from kaleidoscopic Ferragamo sandals to python-skin Margiela wallets. This appeared in the May 2015 issue.
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Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 34, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
While few in number, Milan's canals can be charming. Naviglio Grande, the largest, is my favorite to walk along. Lined by shops, outdoor cafes and bars, there is life alongside the water anytime of day. If you're lucky you'll catch the Antique...
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Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Matias Perdomo is an Argentinian with a preference for Molecular Gastronomy, influenced by such greats as the Roca Brothers and Ferran Adrià, running a kitchen and a dining room overflowing till late into the night in an unusual part of Milan. Far...
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Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Yes, Mag is a great place for a morning, Saturday brunch, and light lunch, but it is also an excellent spot for those who love a great cocktail. Head to Navigli in the late afternoon to watch Flavio, Marco, and Francesco mix creative concoctions...
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Piazza San Marco, 52, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Want to get the most out of your experience in Piazza San Marco? Museo Correr is a little-known gem on the southern side of the square. In-the-know tourists come here to buy tickets to the Doge's Palace without a line. One ticket (16) provides...
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Piazza San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
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Italy’s oldest cafe has been serving coffee on a silver tray with a water chaser and a cookie since opening in 1720. Caffè Florian features a series of ornate gilded Neo-Baroque salons with frescoes and red velvet banquettes, as well...
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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
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One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
You will likely see Bronzino's famous portrait of Eleonora (or Eleanor) de Toledo, in the Uffizi, during your visit to Florence. The Spanish noblewoman who became the duchess of Florence in 1539 when she married Cosimo I de' Medici was unusual for...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s most lively square is dominated by the blank, unfinished facade of Brunelleschi’s last church. Lined with trees and centered around a pretty fountain, the piazza plays host to a small daily market (where local ladies do their shopping)...
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Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
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Cramped it may be, but rustic Da Mario, located at the back of the mercato centrale, serves up a menu of consistently reliable Florentine classics to a mix of stall workers, business folk and tourists, and it’s always packed. The choice changes...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Despite the fact that it was the last week of October, the line to climb to the top of the Duomo dome was wrapped around the building. The line to climb Giotto's bell tower, right next door, was nonexistent. Lucky for us, we had our walking shoes...
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Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This is the only Gucci museum in the world. The company was founded in Florence in 1921, and different floors of the museum take you back through its history and designs. There are sections on clothes, shoes, luggage, and more. The museum is...
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Borgo degli Albizi, 11r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you love gelato and chocolate, no place will romance you quite like Vestri. Before you know what's inside, you'll be drawn in by the antique and elegant exterior and by the shiny packages peeking out. Inside, the small shop's allure consists of...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (to give its full name) is now a global brand, but this is where it all began, in a frescoed, 13th-century chapel in Florence. The place is as stunning as the products that are still made...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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Piazza Vittorio Gui, 1, 50144 Firenze FI, Italy
If you get a chance to book seats for a night at the opera in Florence, grab it! The city has a new opera house, the Opera di Firenze, a 150 million theatre complex near the Cascine Park. Opera was born in this city when Jacopo Peri’s ‘Dafne’, was...
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Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the more unusual ways to see Florence is by taking a river cruise on a traditional wooden barchetto. These small boats (originally used to transport building materials) hold up to 12 passengers and ply up and down the stretch of the Arno...
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Largo della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roman Forum is where ancient Rome began. The sprawling archaeological park gives us just a hint of what the Roman Empire once was—a dominant and diverse society. The Forum itself was the political, social, religious, and commercial focal...
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Piazza degli Zingari, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
A 10-minute walk from the Forum, Gelateria Fatamorgana sells Maria Spagnuolo’s edible works of art. Each flavor is made from all natural ingredients, without chemical additives or artificial flavors, and many are lactose free. Spagnuolo’s...
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00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
No matter how many postcards you've seen of Rome's iconic Colosseum, you just don't get it until you pass beneath its crumbling arches. Built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 C.E., the huge amphitheater held 50,000 spectators and marked its...
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Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
In 1857, the prior of the Basilica di San Clemente thought there might be something underneath his 12th-century church, already renowned for its relics and striking mosaic of the Crucifixion. When he excavated, he found not only the original,...
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Piazza di S. Luigi de' Francesi, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
In 1589, the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi became the official church of Rome’s French community, and with true Bourbon flair, the church's decorations are a celebration of France's power and wealth, with gilded stucco, lavish...
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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
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Via Beniamino Franklin, 00118 Roma RM, Italy
The "new" Testaccio Market opened in a modern building next to the Ex-Mattatoio (former slaughterhouse) in the summer of 2012. The space was much larger than the original market, which meant there was plenty of room to grow new businesses,...