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West Europe

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Estancia La Candelaria is designed along the lines of a French castle with around a hundred hectares of landscaped garden and more than 240 species of trees, many exotic. Rooms are luxurious and individually designed, as befits a grand estate. A...
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Edeforsvägen 2A, 960 24 Harads, Sweden
TreeHotel exemplifies rustic elegance with its quintessentially Swedish eco-friendly designs and trendy minimalist décor tightly coupled with a rugged backcountry location within the tiny village of Harads in Swedish Lapland and spectacular room...
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Iceland
Most people know about the Blue Lagoon but a nicer thermal pool to visit is the Jarobodin Nature Baths (close to Lake Myvatn) in Northern Iceland. The water is clearer and it is less touristy. It seems cleaner too because they don't offer the clay...
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Loc. Follonata, Saturnia, 58014 Manciano GR, Italy
The Maremma region of southern Tuscany, about an hour south of Siena, is an area of olive groves, wooded valleys, and ancient legends. One such tale, dating from the days of the Etruscans and Romans, chronicles an epic battle in which Jupiter...
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A beautiful spa hotel in the Tuscan countryside that harnesses the power of nearby hot springs.
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Quinta Vale de Abrão, 5100-758 Samodães,Lamego, Portugal
Six Senses is known for top-tier, sustainability-focused resorts in far-flung locales like the Maldives but, in 2015, the Bangkok-based hospitality brand opened its first European resort in Portugal’s wine-producing Douro Valley. Housed in a...
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Plaza San Miguel, 12300 Morella, Castellón, Spain
Enter through Sant Miquel gate into the medieval walled village of Morella and you'll be transported to the magic of times past. Browse local shops selling products from rosemary honey to truffled wild mushrooms, often grown right in their...
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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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León, Spain
This is a museum whose mission is to open its doors to the contradictions arising in the art world. Talk about generosity. Multi-colored glass panels decorating the exterior bring color to the avant-garde architecture of the Museum of Contemporary...
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Hvammar, Kópavogur, Iceland
First time: We took the Northern Lights tour out about an hour outside of Rekyjavik and they didn't show. Second time: Northern Lights tour canceled for the night because of visibility problems (cloudy day). Third time: We went an hour outside...
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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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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
In June 2012, Marco Radicioni, an alum of gelato master Claudio Torcè, opened Otaleg in the Portuense district (southwestern Rome). After more than a year of study with the maestro, Radicioni he opened his own space. The name is simply “gelato”...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
If there is one person responsible for the relatively recent improvement of Rome’s gelato culture, it is Claudio Torcè. He has trained some of Rome’s premier gelatai (Maria Spagnuolo of Fatamorgana and the Gori siblings, to name a few) and prides...
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Via Luigi Poletti, 6, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
This tiny natural gelato shop opened behind the Maxxi (the Zaha Hadid-designed museum for 21st century art) to rave reviews in the summer of 2011. The gelataio uses Italy’s best hazelnuts and pistachios, Amedei chocolate, milk from a biodynamic...
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Piazza Menenio Agrippa, 8B/C, 00141 Roma RM, Italy
The Gori siblings studied the art of gelato making with the master Claudio Torcè of Il Gelato and have brought his approach to natural, creative, quality production to their own shop in Montesacro. Try unusual flavors like buckwheat, whortleberry,...
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Via della Lungaretta, 96, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Fair trade and high quality ingredients make this one of the best gelaterie in the center of town. They serve a delicious peanut butter gelato, inspired by requests from the American college students who study nearby. In the winter, Fior di Luna...
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Via Laurina, 10, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Take a break from shopping or strolling between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo to try some of Rome (therefore the world's) best artisanal gelato made with all-natural ingredients. Many flavors are seasonal, but you will always find a...
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Via dei Chiavari, 37, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
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46000 Cahors, France
In the limestone gorge country of SW France, this bridge is a medieval monument to a legendary pact: a man wagered his soul to the Devil, and the Devil lost. While living in Paris, a friend of mine asked if I would like to visit his childhood home...
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Pont des Arts, 75006 Paris, France
Strolling over the Pont des Arts, in spite of the tourists, and the cliché, bereted accordian player busquing for a Euro... even with the lovers buying locks to place on the fencing, and the nasal wail of the Bateaux Mouches loudspeakers floating...
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75001 Paris, France
Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris, contrary to it's name. (Literally, it translates to New Bridge. Neuf in modern French means nine, but in older French it also means new. Nouveau is the translation for new today). During the day, my...
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Nybrogade 10, 1203 København, Denmark
Copenhagen is one of the world’s most sophisticated cocktail cities. Bars as far afield as Tokyo and New York keep a close eye on what is shaking—and stirring—here. Ruby, among the more elegant of Copenhagen’s bars, opened in...
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Vicolo Cellini, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At this speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar near Chiesa Nuova, hipster bartenders pour and shake American classics like Manhattans, Sazeracs and Old-Fashioneds in a smoky lounge. To gain admittance, make a booking and come armed with the secret...
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Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Wien, Austria
Up until the end of World War I in 1918, the Hofburg was the center of the Habsburg dynasty and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The massive complex includes the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (National Library), Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury),...
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1130 Vienna, Austria
Schönbrunn was the summer residence of the Habsburgs and one of Europe's most stunning Baroque palaces. The family acquired the land in the 16th century and later built a palace, but it was completely rebuilt under Maria Theresa between 1744 and...
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Am Hausberg 2, 2344 Maria Enzersdorf, Austria
Located just outside Vienna near Maria Enzersdorf, Liechtenstein Castle is a dramatic structure at the edge of the Wiederwald (Vienna Woods). Twice destroyed by the Ottomans in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was in ruins until 1884 when it was...
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Esterhazyplatz 1, 7000 Eisenstadt, Austria
Of all the grand palaces in Austria, Esterházy is one you definitely don't want to miss. It's second, perhaps, to Schönbrunn. The 13th-century palace was acquired by the Hungarian family in 1622 and remains in their care. Magnificent rooms like...
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Schloßweg 1, 7434 Bernstein, Austria

By Patti McCracken

The Road of Castles, or Schloesserstrasse, connects 18 notable castles in Burgenland and the neighboring state of Styria. Bernstein, above, was once the home of Count Laszlo Almasy, the explorer who inspired the book The English...

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Melinda Esterhazy-Platz 1, 7212 Forchtenstein, Austria
In the midst of Burgenland’s western hills lies stately Forchtenstein Castle, built as a protective bulwark against invaders in the 13th century. A tour of the fortifications and the castle’s treasury will give you a lively impression of castle...
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Greinburg 1, 4360 Grein, Austria
In a country with so many castles, Schloss Greinburg doesn’t rank as one of the most awe-inspiring. It is, however, particularly notable for two things. Greinburg is considered Austria’s oldest residential castle (origins dating back to 1488) and...
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Schloßstraße, 3492, Austria
Though the foundations go back hundreds of years prior, Grafenegg Castle as we know it today was constructed in the 19th century and is a fine example of historicism. The interior is open April through October. It's particularly known for music...
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Mönchsberg 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
As the largest fully preserved fortress in central Europe, the more-than-900-year-old Hohensalzburg has long been the medieval crown above an elegantly baroque city. Its current appearance dates back to the 1495–1519 reign of...
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Schloßstraße 20, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Ambras Castle was built by Archduke Ferdinand II (1529–1595), the second son of Emperor Ferdinand I, for his commoner wife, Philippine Welser, who was not allowed to live in the official residence in the town. A few notable items make Ambras worth...
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9314 Hochosterwitz, Austria
The mighty Hochosterwitz castle rests atop a rock some 500 feet high near Sankt Georgen am Längsee. It is both a symbol of Carinthia and one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. While origins can be traced back to Roman times, the...
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Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR, Italy
Relax in the warm volcanic water emerging from deep underground. These natural spas were known by the Romans, who came here for their yearly health retreat.
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Nordnesparken, 5005 Bergen, Norway
It was August, so it seemed a perfectly sensible idea. I'm in Norway, land of the fjords—let's go for a splash in one! Bergen has a lovely little lido that offers you just that opportunity. Sure, you can swim in its heated outdoor pool, but the...