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Leslie May′s Wishlist
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08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
We took the train out of Barcelona, heading north to the Monastery of Montserrat. After exiting the funicular railway, we found the light to be shining through the portico walkway, leading us to a wonderful church with heavenly music from the boys...
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Cuenca, Spain
About a four hour train ride outside of Madrid, Cuenca is a gorgeous but little known town built into a jagged cliff wall. Take this red bridge over a gaping gorge to reach the Old Town and "Las Casas Colgadas," or the hanging houses. There's even...
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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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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you...
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Via Mangiavacchi, 37, 53026 Piennza SI, Italy
One of the most delicious towns in Tuscany - and most beautiful - is the charming Pienza. Situated between Montepulciano and Montalcino in the scenic Val d'Orcia, centuries-old Pienza is best known for its rich pecorino cheeses. Many feel that the...
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19017 Riomaggiore, SP, Italy
Having been to Italy before, I knew I would likely enjoy my maiden visit to Cinque Terre; I had no idea however, just how much. Riomaggiore is one of five picturesque villages that sit perched high above the Lingurain sea and make up what is...
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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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Piazza Rio Finale, 8, 19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
One of the highlights of my trip to Italy was walking Cinque Terre. I would travel back to Italy just to do this walk again. My favorite part was the Via dell'Amore, or Walk of Love that went from Riomaggiore to Manarola. This is a picture of one...
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Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
An ornate 15th-century private palazzo has been transformed into a lavish hotel (below) that faces the Rialto market. Artworks from the 1600s meet 21st-century amenities in the 42 rooms and suites, many of which overlook the Grand Canal. Doubles...
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Localita' Villa La Rocca, San Gimignano, Si 53037, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
San Gimingnano is an old Etruscan walled town that is famous for their white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimingnano and their town center gelateria, Gelateria di Piazza San Gimingnano. This mid-spring view over looking the Tuscan land scape is what...
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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
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53026 Pienza SI, Italy
One of the most charming towns we visited during our May trip to Italy was Pienza, situated in Tuscany between Montepulciano and Montalcino (also worth a visit if you're in the area). Pienza is best known for its delicious pecorino cheeses,...
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239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
The Lan Su Chinese Gardens is a lovely place to regain some inner peace and admire the gorgeous gardens. The name of the garden comes from the relationship between sister cities Portland and Suzhou. Sounds from both Portland and Suzhou are...
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990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225, USA
Participating in the Japanese tradition of hanami, or "flower viewing" at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden during springtime is one of the simplest pleasures I've had that didn't involve food. For four weeks, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to pink...
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100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The Victorian-era glass and wood structure, which looks like a sugar-coated castle atop a grassy slope, is Golden Gate Park's oldest building. It's also one of San Francisco's most splendid historic sites. Wander through five different galleries...
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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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It may look like Japan, but this beautiful garden is in the Flemish city of Hasselt, Belgium. It is the largest Japanese Garden in Europe and was constructed with the help of Hasset’s sister city in Japan, Itami. While the garden is a tranquil...
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12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
The Bellevue Botanical Garden puts a unique twist on the tradition of admiring holiday light displays with its hugely popular Garden d’Lights show. With thousands of hours of help from volunteers, the botanical garden is transformed into an...
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2007 W Churchill St, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
Rising nearly 18 feet above street level, the 606 (which takes its name from the common numerals in all Chicago zip codes) serves as a 2.7-mile elevated park and trailway for cyclists and runners, while also connecting neighborhoods...
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Sítio da Carrasqueira, 7580-613 Comporta, Portugal
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. “The area around Comporta, south of Lisbon, is a well-kept secret," explains Claus Sendlinger, founder and CEO of Design Hotels, "but with several development projects coming soon, it is well worth a visit...
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Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
The churches in Portugal are uniquely beautiful in a way that is is ornate but not flashy or gilded. The Manueline style of architecture used to build the St. Jeronimos Monastery was a transitional style that combined Renaissance and Gothic...
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Largo do Carmo, 1200-092 Lisboa, Portugal
In 1755, Lisbon was all but devoured by an earthquake so strong that it still ranks as one of the most destructive in recorded history. One of the few structures to survive somewhat intact was the Carmo Convent—an impressive feat,...
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Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
The landmark cathedral in Cordoba, Spain is the Mosque of Córdoba. You might be amazed by the bell tower, the stone path, and the orange trees. However, the moment you stepped into the prayer hall, it will take your breath away.
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R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa, Portugal
Azulejos (glazed tiles) are a ubiquitous decoration throughout Portugal. They cover the facades and interiors of many houses in Lisbon, and are even used as historical markers. The Museu Nacional do Azulejo, located in a 16th-century convent,...
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Terreiro do Paço – Ala Nascente nº 62 a 65, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal
The beer museum recently opened in the newly renovated Praca do Comercio. The dining room serves delicious, typical Portuguese food - especially great steaks that go so well with the Portuguese beers and wines. The museum is on the first floor and...
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Austin, MN 55912, USA
SPAM - the American Classic. I had never heard of Austin, MN, prior to rolling through the state en route to the West. I stopped in to rest and went on a wander, and discovered that this sleepy town is home to Hormel Foods, purveyors of SPAM....
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Bådsmandsstræde 43, 1407 København, Denmark
In 1971, squatters moved into the barracks on an abandoned military base and established Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the city. Later, many dwellers built their own homes on the 86-acre property. Although the...
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1495 Villers-la-Ville, Belgium
In 1146 a dozen monks and some lay brothers, with the blessings of St Bernard (not the dog!) headed to what is now Belgium and founded the abbey. It had been neglected and then revitalized during its second golden age in the 1800s where some of...
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Easter Island is a strange, remote, and magical place. After a full day of wandering around this tiny island, we were fortunate enough to witness an absolutely breathtaking sunset over the Pacific. The "beach" here is made up of pitch black...
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2710 Sintra, Portugal
We ventured to Sintra from Lisbon on a beautiful day. The Castelo do Mouros is worth a visit, perched high above the town, where you will find the ruins of a Moorish castle dating back to the 8th century. On a clear day you can see the coast and...
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Polignotou 3, Athina 105 55, Greece
Slave-traders and shoe-menders, jewelers and moneylenders haggled and gossiped at this ancient marketplace the history of which spans five millennia. The Agora was also the stomping ground of rival philosophers Plato and Socrates—the latter...
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Douro, 3260 Figueiró dos Vinhos, Portugal
I have visited Napa and Sonoma, and have been to Tuscany, and Bordeaux, but no wine region of the world has surprised me with its beauty as much as the Douro. If your find yourself in Porto, it is well worth renting a car (or better yet, hiring a...
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See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. Driving along the countryside in northern Portugal near Oporto I saw the spectacular hillside vines of the famous Douro Valley spread out in front of me for miles. The sight was breathtaking. I saw the...
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Largo Camões, 5100-147 Lamego, Portugal
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. Museu de Lamego is located in a 17th-century Episcopal palace in the heart of the city, its decoration still reflecting the original tastes of the period. Works from the permanent collection, many of them...
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Porto, Portugal
At the mouth of the Douro River, the medieval city of Porto, Portugal, is undergoing an architectural renaissance. Old World icons, such as the baroque Torre dos Clérigos bell tower that helped the city earn UNESCO status in 1996, contrast with...
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Praça da Ribeira, nº1, 4050-513 Porto, Portugal
Across the Douro River on the opposite side of Oporto is Vila Nova Da Gaia, where all the famous port wine cellars are located. The D. Luis I Bridge spans the river at the Cais da Ribeira. You can walk across the bridge and get to the Cais da...
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Iberia
Porto is one of the most beautiful cities I've had the pleasure to visit. The city is packed with cultural attractions—many of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The port wine cellars, Oporto Cathedral, Clérigos Church Tower, and...
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Pátio de Dom Fradique 14, 1100-624 Lisboa, Portugal
Palacio Belmonte is a masterpiece—the type of architectural stunner that is said to be ‘mumbling beauty’ in every one of its corners. Every piece of material used to restore it, as well as every piece of furniture inside of it (like these blue...
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Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
Jerónimos Monastery, also known as the Hieronymites Monastery, or Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Portuguese, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lisbon. This stunning building took 100 years to build and it's no wonder once you experience the level of...
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Misiones Province, Argentina
Certain things in life are simply impossible to adequately capture in a mere photograph. Iguazú Falls is definitely one of them, and above is my best effort to convey the epic expanse of 'The Devil's Throat.' Situated on the border of Brazil and...
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Rua do Conde de Redondo 24, 1150-106 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal is a city of colour and creativity. This artistic flair even extends to its abandoned buildings. The municipal government hired local street artists to cover three buildings (two pictured here), slated for demolition, in unique...
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1100-605 Alfama, Portugal
Walking throughout Lisbon one is struck by the well known 'blue hues' decorating the city with the exquisite tilework. They are indeed lovely in tone and vary in color temperature. Important to note is the welcoming yellow hue that has gained...
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Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
The Rua Santa Caterina is the most important shopping street in Oporto. It is a pedestrian street which is closed to traffic. Along the Rua Caterina you will find the Mercado Bolhao which is a lively market with many shops to delight the market...
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São Miguel Island, Portugal
Santa Bárbara beach, on the north coast of São Miguel Island, is known by the local surfers as one of the best spots to surf – mainly because of the waves and perfect surfing conditions. Also known as Areais, it is an excellent beach break with...
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Corvo Island, 9980, Portugal
Small and remote, Corvo Island is the tip of an enormous marine volcano known as Monte Gordo. Its main attraction is Lagoa do Caldeirão, on the bottom of the crater where you can observe nine islets, one for each of the Azores Islands. It was here...
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9680 Vila Franca do Campo, Portugal
Snorkeling at Ilhéu de Vila Franca is a unique experience: you are diving on your own private island. The water is quite warm for snorkeling, with variety of fish to see such as jelly fish, sea cucumber, etc. A crater that is just off the...
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9880 Almas, Portugal
Stay in one of the historic properties that have been converted into bed-and-breakfasts on the islands. Options include Moinho de Pedra (shown), a stone windmill on Graciosa Island, and Pico do Refúgio, a 400-year-old mansion in the shadow of...
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Cais da Madalena, 9950-305 Madalena, Portugal
The adrenaline sure beats the fear and makes this experience unforgettable! The experts agree that the Azores is the best place in the world to dive with sharks, which supports its’ label of “adventure destination” and they don’t lie. If you’re...
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Surprisingly, this is the literal translation for the name of one of the newest restaurants in Ponta Delgada. It opened in the summer of 2012, and the recipe for its success is quite simple: mix São Miguel and Terceira cuisine and season it with a...
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10 Rue de la Paix, 06360 Èze, France
A maze of narrow medieval streets wind up and down this village perched along the Grande Corniche. The ruins of a château are now an exotic garden, and the 18th-century neoclassical Notre Dame of the Assumption church is a national monument....
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08569 Rupit, Barcelona, Spain
In Rupit, Stone cottages with orangey-red terracotta roofs perch around a stream, half-hidden by the mountainous green hills. An hour and a half drive from Barcelona, walk around this beautiful, if tiny village (approximately 340 residents). Pose...
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Plaza Margarita Xirgu, s/n, 06800 Mérida, Badajoz, Spain
Merida is an instantly likable city and easily reached from Madrid on a day trip. Life is slower in Extremadura; upon our stepping out of the car, palm trees were gently swaying in the breeze, and the pace of life on the streets felt just right—...
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Yucatán, 72470 Puebla, Pue., Mexico
Las Coloradas is a small fishermen town in the east corner of the Yucatecan coast inside Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, the Yucatan’s largest wetland area. This little known part of Yucatán has picturesque and unordinary landscapes, a giant salt...
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Combarro, Pontevedra, Spain
A village unlike any other in the world, Combarro is a mystical seaside town that has a single narrow road winding through it. On both sides of this souvenir alley are different witch objects for sell, along with the city pride and joy: Orujo - a...
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R. João do Outeiro 24, 1100-584 Lisboa, Portugal
Located in the Mouraria neighborhood—the birthplace of fado—this restaurant is a prime pick for sampling traditional Portuguese food. The codfish, or bacalhau, is a must here. It is served with plenty of bread to clean your plate. In the style of...
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A small tasca (very simple and typical restaurant), with four or five daily dishes at unbeatable prices. It’s a good place to go if you are visiting Alfama neighborhood. Very close to the Flea Market, Pantheon and the beautiful Rua dos Remédios....
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R. Bartolomeu Dias 112, 1400-031 Lisboa, Portugal
Forget about Cervejaria Ramiro, its messy crowds and nightmare 2h queues. The new seafood hotspot in Lisbon in Marisqueira Nunes. A place where the tablecloth is not discardable and orders can be made at regular voice decibels. Smack in the middle...
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Rua dos Prazeres 52, 1200-355 Lisboa, Portugal
Nested in the maze of hippy chic Principe Real neighbourhood and a stone’s throw away from the Portuguese Parliament, Cantinho Lusitano is Lisbon’s epiphany of the Portuguese Petiscos (small eats) and good wine, hole in the wall restaurant. It is...
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Rua de S.Miguel nr.20, Alfama, 1100-544 Lisboa, Portugal
If you want to experience authentic Lisbon this is the place. Family run, this tiny restaurant (just seven tables) has been open for 40 years and the décor has not changed in that time. The food is basic and unpretentious with dishes like monkfish...
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Estrada de Monserrate, 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
While the tourist hordes in beautiful Sintra, Portugal, are flocking to Pena Palace, head instead to Monserrate. The gardens here are massive and have been recently restored. We wandered here for hours without hardly seeing another person. The...
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Aigües Blanques/ Sant Carles de Peralta, 07850 Santa Eulària des Riu, Islas Baleares, Spain
Not everyone comes to Ibiza for the music. Personally, clubbing is about as far down my list of holiday activities as spelunking and crocodile baiting. So the beaches of Ibiza town, with its beach parties and its school-break clientele, are rather...
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Cala Salada, Spain
Likely the most stunning cove on Ibiza, a short trek to the side of the bay that is not directly accessible by car is worth it for a swim in the crystalline water of Cala Salada. It's devoid of commercial establishments, so bring all you need for...
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Calle Bélgica, s/n, 07108 Port de Sóller, Illes Balears, Spain
Opened this summer, and rapidly becoming a must-visit. One of the best hotels in Mallorca in my opinion. Seamless service, large rooms with breath-taking sea views, very good spa facilities, and great cuisine. What else can you ask for?
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Carrer de la Balanguera, 37, 07011 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain
When we decided to visit Palma we were looking for a nice boutique hotel with personality. We were lucky because we found a little gem. Hotel Balanguera is a heaven of peace with an impressive design. Our room was beautiful. Simple, rustic,...
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Valletta, Malta
Get off the touristy streets and wander around the neighborhoods of the old town of Valletta. Take in the beautiful wooden balconies that stretch around corners and cross over cobblestone streets. But be prepared for some hill work—this old city...
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R. da Fortaleza, 8650-111 Luz, Portugal
On the edge of Costa Vicentina lies Burgau, a picturesque fisher village on the southwest coast of the Alagarve. A lot of brits have settled down here, making it their all-year-home. You can understand why when you’ve visited the place: Rough...