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Getting back to Southern Europe

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It's been a couple of years since I've been to Spain and one year since I've been to Italy. I'm picking out Highlights of things I want to do on future trips, which hopefully will be soon.
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Str. di Certosa, 82/86, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
There is an intimate hotel in the hills of Tuscany near Siena called Certosa di Maggiano. It is pure magic. Tranquil and filled with old Italian charm, this is a place to go and chill out. Strada di Certosa 82/86, 39/0577-28-81-80. Rene Redzepi...
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Ag. Pavlos 740 53, Greece
A spectacular demonstration of a natural sculpture, these sedimentary limestone layers were once layered horizontal at the bottom of the sea. They've been folded and crushed with huge tectonic forces for thousands of years and now their sharp...
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Imerovigli 847 00, Greece
The table on this terrace in Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece looks like the ideal place for a nice Greek meal. Some nice white Santorini wine, a Greek Salad, maybe a freshly grilled sea bass. And the view out to the rest of the island of Santorini...
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Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Located in the famous Navigli neighborhood in Milan, Mag is a cozy space to relax with a good cafe and brioche by day, and by night a bustling local hangout. Never short on atmosphere or great jazz soundtracks, this bar is bursting with details...
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Praia Castelejo, Portugal
While vacationing in the Algarve I wanted to visit a beach described as unusual and exotic. We left Lagos and traveled west past Vila do Bispo and followed the signs for about 15 minutes. We had heard that there was a beautiful beach in the area...
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Carrer de Muntaner, 2, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Check out regional specialties like ensaïmadas, a typical sweet pastry from Mallorca that is often stuffed with cabello de ángel (made from caramelized pumpkin), whipped cream, or chocolate only a short walk from Plaça Catalunya. Throughout...
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Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24B, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's multi-level Mercado San Anton is a sight to be seen. Rows of gorgeous produce, local specialties, Italian deli favorites, briny seafood and locally-farmed meats line the perimeter of each floor, each stall more enticing than the one...
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53045 Montepulciano, Province of Siena, Italy
Montepulciano is a charming hill town in Tuscany. Walk the streets to get a feel for its appeal. On the outskirts of town visit San Biagio, a 16th-century church. This late-Renaissance building was constructed on the site of a pre-existing...
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Piazza di S. Francesco, 5, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
Sunsets on Val D'Orcia are one of the most incredible views for those who are looking for an unforgettable Tuscan experience. From Piazza San Francesco in Montepulciano, you can admire an infinity of colors, changing every season. This hotel...
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Via Provinciale Montepulciano, 9, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
Best known as the home of Brunello, the classic Tuscan winemaking town of Montalcino is also a lovely place to wander around for day, taking in sites like the baroque Church of Saint Bernard and the 16th-century Palazzo Avignonesi. At its heyday,...
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Viale Battaglione Val Leogra, 44, 36100 Vicenza VI, Italy
I found that I preferred the small towns of Italy as opposed to the vast city of Rome. Vicenza was no exception. This charming town offers a plethora of options for history, art, and architecture lovers. The Teatro Olimpico: Designed by Andrea...
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Carrer Orient, 25, 17538 Alp, Girona, Spain
In the town of Alps in the valley of La Cerdanya, Casa Patxi serves traditional Catalan food - family style. The friendly woman who owns the restaurant, and her son, will welcome you as if you are her own. Each course will be served with love and...
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Carrer de Querol, 21, 17520 Puigcerdà, Girona, Spain
Oriol, the chef and owner, will welcome you with a beaming smile. Your wallet will thank you because an afternoon of wine and cheese tasting will not break the bank. Close to the border of France, in the small town of Puigcerdà, Tap de Suro is a...
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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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Plaza de San Miguel, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
The Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid is one of the best places to go for a little of everything local, or tapas-style shopping. They are always busy. Whether you are looking for ham or oysters, fresh fruits or desserts, coffee or wine, they have it...
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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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Lozovac, Croatia
Located near the coastal city of Šibenik, Krka National Park is named for the river that runs through its lush forests and feeds its most famous site, Skradinski Buk—a huge, clear pool that starts and ends in waterfalls. The park is...
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Via S. Giovanni del Toro, 28, 84010 Ravello SA, Italy
Set in a 12th-century pink fairy-tale palace that looks like it’d make a prime setting for a Wes Anderson film, Palazzo Avino is skirted in flower-filled gardens terraced across a cliffside in Ravello. Interiors are as decadent as the...
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Tomićeva ul. 5, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia

Wine has been made in Croatia for centuries. Explore the country’s newfound dedication to quality winemaking at the grape-focused restaurant, Bistro Karlo, and the easygoing wine bar Basement. Some grapes to look for include the white Graševina...

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Costa do Castelo 7, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon is filled with great restaurants varies from all kinds of Portuguese, Seafood, Mediterranean, Italian and more. You can find great Michelin stars restaurants, Chef-oriented kitchens and even street food to go. But there are also restaurants...
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Via degli Ibernesi, 30, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
This lovely boutique hotel might just have the best location in Rome: It's right across from the entrance to the Roman forum, down the street from the Colosseum... and actually *in* the 2nd-century Trajan's Markets. (When you check in, the...
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Calle las Eras, 7, 09441 Sotillo de la Ribera, Burgos, Spain
Grab 9 to 19 friends and rent out this 18th century mansion in Sotillo de Duero for a weekend in the Spanish country-side. This beautifully restored historic residence is ideally located for exploring Spain's celebrated Ribera del Duero wine...
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Calle Peñaranda, 4, 09400 Aranda de Duero, Burgos, Spain
In the Ribera del Duero wine region in Spain, lechazo, or milk-fed lamb is a traditional dish served in many restaurants. Morcilla from Aranda, a blood sausage traditionally prepared with rice and cumin is also very typical. Fortunately for...
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Praça da Ribeira, nº1, 4050-513 Porto, Portugal
There are many hotel options in Oporto, Portugal. I have stayed in several but on a recent trip to Oporto, I chose to stay at the Pestana Porto Hotel. The hotel consists of several adjoining buildings. The furnishings were new and up to date. The...
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Via Peresson, 70, 33022 Arta Terme UD, Italy
In the hilltop hamlet of Piano d’Arta, on a serene lane lined with shady trees and wisteria blossoms, Albergo Ristorante Salon has long been recognized for its innovative local cuisine. For over a century, nearly every ingredient has been raised,...
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Via Risorgimento, 1, 34071 Brazzano di Cormons GO, Italy
One of the region’s oldest wineries, Livio Felluga produces the renowned picolit, which is described as a vino da meditazione, a wine with subtle complexity that inspires deep contemplation. Via Risorgimento 1, Brazzano di Cormòns, 39/0481-60203....
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Via Subida, 52, 34071 Cormons GO, Italy
Modern bi-level wooden lofts nestle between vineyards and oak trees at La Subida, a small country inn run by vinegar maker Joško Sirk and his family. A Michelin-star restaurant serves gnocchi with plums, cherry strudel, and the famed Gravner...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Hiking the Cinque Terre is an extraordinary way to explore the Ligurian Coast. Five villages connected only by hiking trail and rail with breathtaking coastal views and colorfully quaint villages. The trails can be challenging at times and it is...
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Estrada do Bom Jesus, 4715-056 Tenões, Portugal
Only the a local would have known to take us to Bom Jesus. While staying with a host through Airbnb, two friends and I had the opportunity to spend the day with her and explore Braga. She told us, in her broken but sufficient English, of a church...
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Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien, Austria
The identity of a Viennese intellectual was ultimately defined by the coffeehouse they would frequent. Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hoffmannsthal would all brood over their work and agitatedly exchange ideas with fellow thinkers...