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Lesley Griffin′s Wishlist
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Viale della Stazione di Ostia Antica, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
Hop on the commuter train at Lido Station (next to the Piramide Metro stop) and make the 25-minute trip to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port town and administrative center. The teeming city of up to 100,000 residents is relatively well preserved...
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Via Ostiense, 106, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
Tired of the crowds? Go to the Centrale Montemartini in Ostiense. No lines. In fact, no other people. At all. Usually I am the only one there. Wander the ancient Roman sculptures and extraordinary mosaic floor set in the former power plant;...
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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, 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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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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Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The Baths of Caracalla, a third century bathing complex located near the Circus Maximus, was the center of social life for tens of thousands of Romans who would gather there—around 10,000 at a time—to exercise, bathe, and relax. Admission was...
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Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Just behind the Pantheon hides the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, a gem in its own right. The only Gothic church in Rome's center, it's a breath of fresh air from over-the-top Baroque opulence. Plus, it has gorgeous frescoes by Filippo Lippi...
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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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The Ponte dell'Accademia is one of four bridges that span the Grand Canal, and will get you quickly from San Marco to the labyrinthine Dorsoduro neighborhood. Originally built in 1854 out of steel, the current wooden bridge was built in the 1930s...
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Campo San Giacometto, Ponte di Rialto, 122, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you'll find a ground-floor wine bar serving...

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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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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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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
The Basilica San Marco is Venice's crown jewel. Situated at the eastern end of Piazza San Marco, the cathedral was built around 1078 on the site of an earlier house of worship. It is famously the home of the remains of the apostle Mark, which were...
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Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Two things you need to know about gondola rides in Venice: They're worth it; and the price is agreed beforehand. Knowing those two things, you can happily hop aboard this traditional Venetian mode of transport and relax, because, touristy as it...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal is the no-brainer must-do Venice experience, and the best way to explore the city's main thoroughfare is on a vaporetto, or water bus. For a great introduction to the area, ride the vaporetto from the railway station, at the edge...
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Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221, 30142 Burano,Venezia VE, Italy
Let the wind blow through your hair as you take a 30-minute vaporetto ride to Burano, an island in the lagoons of Venice. Known for its brightly-colored fishermen's homes, the island is largely free of the tourist crush of the rest of Venice....
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Calle de la Malvasia Vechia, 6014-6015, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The front section of this small spot was crowded with locals having a quick drink and a plate of cicchetti. We had reserved one of the six tables in the back. The menu, written on a blackboard, was all almost all unknown to me. Thankfully my...
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Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 3, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Begun by the family of winemaker Gianluca Bisol, who is famous for his prosecco, the menu at this Mazzorbo restaurant is focused on seasonal and local ingredients, much of which is grown right on the estate, which is located 35 minutes from the...
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Fondamenta Manin, 48, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
Murano Island is best known for its numerous glassmakers, and their respective factories, shops and boutiques. The island is not itself a foodie destination, though there are exceptions, like the charming and exceptionally good restaurant,...
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1 Upper James St, Soho, London W1F 9DF, UK
People often talk about London in disparaging terms when it comes to food. It's not entirely inaccurate. Yet, it's unfair to take it as a rule. At Bob Bob Ricard, in Soho, it's as if they've taken it as their personal mission to prove the...
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It's a night designed to impress. Tell the dark-suited man guarding the elevator you have reservations. You've timed it all perfectly. As you step out onto the 31st floor, the sun is setting over London's glorious skyline. A perfect backdrop as...
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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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13-15 West St, London WC2H 9NE, UK
One of the highlights of visiting London is the fine-dining experience. One can find many varieties of culinary experiences converge in this cosmopolitan capital of cultures, art, and people.
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87 Lauriston Rd, London E9 7HJ, UK
[NOTE: CLOSED] The name might include the word "spit," but don't be deterred: Spit Jacks is sublime, and spit-free. In the middle of the village area bordering Victoria Park on the east side of London, it's not centrally located yet is more than...
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16B Electric Ave, Brixton, London SW9 8JX, UK
In South London, just off the Victoria line, there's a one-stop-shop for all your boozing and dining desires. But unlike Borough, this isn't a market from which you walk, wait in line, and then eat while standing and walking and waiting some more....
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34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN, UK
Bold. Innovative. The food of modern Jerusalem bang in the middle of Soho. Customers sit along the long, chrome bar chatting with the chefs in the open kitchen. Pots clank and cocktail shakers keep time with the funky soundtrack as customers line...
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Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden WD25 7LR, UK
This is every muggle's fantasy tour of all things Harry Potter. The Warner Bros Studio Tour has two huge sound stages and a back lot filled with the actual film sets, props, artifacts and costumes used to make the Harry Potter films. Poke around...
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Chester Rd, London NW1 4NR, UK
Sure, you can shell out big bucks to ride the London Eye to get a great view of the city. But for a little legwork you'll find views just as stunning from the top of Primrose Hill. Take the tube to the Chalk Farm Station, then head west up...
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Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK
The National Gallery in London holds art works of the masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt. Most importantly, entry is free!
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Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA, UK
The Serpentine is a gallery in Kensington Gardens. It’s a place where nature and culture converge. Each summer the gallery commissions international artists and architects to create a pavilion for concerts, talks, and presentations. The 2012...
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Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK
It’s impossible to ignore the hulking 1950s architecture of the Tate Modern, slap-bang in the middle of the most-walked part of the South Bank. A visionary refurb of this former power station has resulted in an artistic behemoth with multiple...
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Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
Checking out the famously preserved mummies at the world’s oldest public museum is on many London wish lists, but there’s much more to the British Museum than ancient Egypt. Other must-sees include the Elgin Marbles and the African...
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8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK
Over the past two centuries, the covered market at Borough, not far from London Bridge, has become one of the country’s most famous foodie spots. From Wednesday to Saturday each week hundreds of traders gather to sell homemade breads,...
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Lilienstraße 51, 81669 München, Germany
Tradition meets innovation at Wirthaus in der Au. Although a variety of Bavarian dishes are served, they're famous for their dumplings which they re-invent with creative twists. Perhaps that's what keeps the locals coming back, or maybe it's their...
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Lilienstraße 6, 81669 München, Germany
For a special dinner head over to the Schweiger2 Restaurant Showroom where, unlike any other place in Munich you'll dine, there is no menu. Instead of ordering just select how many courses you'd like and let the chef know your preferences...
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Occamstraße 11, 80802 München, Germany
A hip hangout for conscientious locals, The Potting Shed provides a stylish setting for their sustainable dining and drinking. Simple, organic, local, fair trade and fresh. Does it get any better than this? Throw in live music on Thursday nights...