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Isabella Benedetti′s Wishlist
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Fjærland, Norway
The Flatbreen hike in Norway is officially in the running for "Best Day Hike in the World," in my book. You'll gain 3,100 feet in elevation on the way up these stunning, glaciated valleys and mountain passes. Depending on your pace and the...
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Derrybawn, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Glendalough, or Gleann Dá Loch in Irish (which means “valley of two lakes”), is a quiet, picturesque valley near the Wicklow Mountains. Its 6th-century monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin is one of the most...
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Calle Panaderos, 32, 18010 Granada, Spain
There are plenty of flamenco places in Granada, from the 35 euro tourist cave to the 6 euro wine cellar. My love for flamenco has drawn me to each one. I think the best deal especially if you are only in Granada for a week or a weekend is to...
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Simonkatu 7, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Feeling overwhelmed? Kampin Kappeli (Chapel of Silence) is the perfect place to relax and reflect. If you visit Helsinki when the temperatures are still chilly like I did, it's also the perfect place to warm up before venturing back out into the...
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Main St, Grove, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Visiting this cheese shop was like touring Costco during Christmas. Samples, my friends. Samples. I've never tried so many different cheeses in my entire life, and I'm certain I left this little shop lactose intolerant. And I would do it over in a...
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Via Pardo, 29, 95131 Catania CT, Italy
Make a meal of fresh sea urchin at Osteria Antica Marina among the bustle of the fishmongers in Catania. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Osteria Antica Marina
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Patriot Square, London E2 9NF, UK
A meal at Viajante is an edible travelogue by chef Nuno Mendes. Dishes such as chicken confit on coconut tuile are inspired by his trips. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue.
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1 Château du Petit Thouars, 37500 Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne, 37500 Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne, France
It only looks like pita but this round, airy Fouée bread, a traditional specialty of the Touraine province in France, has a distinct story and utility of its own. According to legend, the Fouée emerged when bakers would test their wood ovens by...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
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Lille, France
Popped across the border into France over the weekend to hit the Christmas market. This is something that I have been doing every year for at least the past dozen years. Every year they erect a very large ferris wheel and its usually a freezing...
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Stritarjeva ulica, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
I love the cozy, beleaguered look of a city after the holidays, when all that's left is two more months of marching through frigid wind and slushy streets.
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Marienplatz 1, 80331 München, Germany
I would compare Marienplatz to the Grand Place in Brussels, but with a Bavarian twist. The square in Munich is almost as large, and its town hall just as impressive. A beautiful destination for lovers of architecture. While the square itself is a...
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Römerberg, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
There’s no better way to experience the festivities of the holidays than Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Germany, and Frankfurt's is particularly beautiful. The markets take place usually in the center of the town, and you'll find all...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
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Bruges, Belgium
If you think Bruges is beautiful in summer you should see it in winter. Most of the buildings in Grote Markt are decorated and covered with lights. The streets are decorated and there is a large ice skating rink in the middle of the square. The...
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Brussels, Belgium
The Christmas Market is happening in several locations this year, in the Grote Markt, Beurs, Sint-Katelijneplein and Vismarkt. The ferris wheel is in Sint-Katelijneplein as well as a large ice skating rink, a merry-go-round and many, many...
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86027 San Massimo CB, Italy
The Apennine mountain range that extends throughout the length of Italy is often forgotten when ski season arrives. I spent a fun weekend in Campitello Matese in the southern region of Molise. Skiing conditions were great, black diamonds were...
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Rue du Jardin Alpin, 73120 Saint-Bon-Tarentaise, France
LVMH’s contribution to the Courchevel high life, Cheval Blanc riffs on the Alpine theme with plenty of wood, leather, tweed, faux fur, cuckoo clocks, and even some wooly sheep in the oversize rooms and suites. Many of the guestrooms also...
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3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
This champagne bar looks like a mirage as you're coming down the last stretch of the narrow Sunnega run back into Zermatt. A classic après-ski spot, it’s where the local instructors gather at day’s end. The Cuban-born bartender...
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2961 Kinderdijk, Netherlands
When waterways in the Netherlands freeze into glittering paths, overjoyed residents take to the ice. Visitors can buy or rent a pair of noren (traditional long-blade skates) to glide across town or take part in one of the country’s dozens of...
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Jökulsárlón, Iceland
This lake filled with giant, translucent chunks of iceberg is one of Iceland’s most distinctive and photogenic sights. Featured in high-profile movies, including two of the James Bond series and Batman Begins (as well as many local TV...
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Gornergrat, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
A trip up to the Gornergrat provides the best view of the Matterhorn without ripping a huge hole in your wallet. For less than 10 Francs, we were able to ride the lift up to Gornergrat and see one of the most spectacular views. At the top there is...
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Sundsvall Ö, Sweden
To navigate the snowy wilderness of Sápmi (Lapland) in northern Sweden, the indigenous Saami people have long relied on sleds pulled by reindeer or dogs. Travelers with Mountain Travel Sobek will learn from locals how to steer a reindeer sled and...
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Eishohlenstrasse 30, 5450 Werfen, Austria
The largest ice caves in the world lie just 30 miles south of Salzburg in the Eisriesenwelt at Werfen. Only a portion of the more than 20 miles of caves are open to the public on a 75-minute guided tour, but what's available to visit is...
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Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
When I first stepped into the blue folds of the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi I thought this must be what Superman's Fortress of Solitude looks like. It's that blue found in the water of higher latitudes, a blue that looks photoshopped although no...
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Norway
Yellow, blue, and white. These are the colors of the ice you can see on an ice canyoning tour guided by the trained staff of the Hindsaeter Fjellhotell. Along the river Sjoa, the water freezes in winter and results in the most marvelous ice...
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31110 Bagnères-de-Luchon, France
Just south of the winter resort city of Bagnères-de-Luchon is the mountain range separating France from Spain. The ascent from the city is deceptively rapid and we found ourselves carefully turning the car around as the roadway became a sheet of...
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Vagnhöfði 6-20, Reykjavík, Iceland

We all recognize Iceland as the country with the world famous Blue Lagoon, but its cities are atop the list of places with top notch air quality. A big factor contributing to the excellent air quality is that Reykjavik is sparsely populated,...

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Valbjor Gard is a working farm owned by the same family for 800 years. The 12 cottages are beautifully restored and rustic, yet with running water and tiny bathrooms. They have little kitchens, seating areas, a table, and cozy beds. The fireplaces...
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Renvyle, Connemara, Co. Galway, H91 X8Y8, Ireland
Set 15 minutes away from the small town of Letterfrack in the wild west of Ireland, the Renvyle House Hotel sits on a craggy peninsula overlooking the Atlantic. This country estate features cozy rooms, a wood-paneled lobby, and food to die for. I...
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4 Nassau St, Dublin, D02 YX74, Ireland
Skip fish and chips pub fare. Instead sample re-imagined traditional Irish dishes crafted from original recipes using seasonal ingredients in a cozy and elegant setting at the Pig's Ear. Services is attentive and respectful, and there's a wine and...
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The English Market, Princes St, Centre, Cork, T12 NC8Y, Ireland
Farmgate Café is a lively spot upstairs at the buzzing English Market, Ireland’s oldest food market, in Cork City Centre, with balcony seating that has great views of the bustling crowds and vendors below. Try...
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Valtakatu 20, 96200 Rovaniemi, Finland
We ate at Nili everyday while in Rovaniemi, Finland. Reindeer meat, sausages, Lappish cheese, fresh and smoked fish, fruit chutneys and the very popular Christmas drink, glogg. I will never forget it, one of the best culinary adventures.