Top Three picks for travel 2018

There are so many places in the world I would love to visit I mean really I want to see it all, but I was thinking the other day what if I could only choose three. What would be my ultimate must travel bucket list for 2018? What places would I want more than any other in the world to get a chance to explore, taste, feel, experience? Below are my personal picks which three countries, three cities and why I chose them.

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Photo by Marco Secchi on Unsplash

ITALY

What can I say other than ooh la la this is at the very top of my bucket list. The versatile landscapes, culture, foods and of course the WINES!!! Where would I focus my first visit, again hard choices there’s so much to see but I think I would start with these places.

Tuscany well known for its scenic vineyards, amazingly beautiful rolling hills and of course the country’s wines Chianti, along with Montalcino, Montepulciano and Brunello to name a few. Regional cuisines Bistecca alla Fiorentina, antipasto, crostini di fegato, ribollita,  panzanella, mangiafagioli, fagioli con salsiccia, not to mention all the local wild game. After relaxing in a beautiful villa for a few days I would take a train for the short 2 hour ride to Venice.

Venice known for being one of the most romantic cities in the world, with cobbled stone streets and magnificent canals. St. Mark’s square, Venetian lagoon, Palazzo Santa Sofia, The Gallerie dell’Accademia, Accademia Gallery, Rialto Markets, Frari and the Miracoli churches are a few of the sites that would be on top of the list, Cuisines such as Te Sarde in saor, Baccalà mantecato, risi e bisi, Moleche, fritole,  Bigoli in salsa. And of course the wines, quality red and white wines are created here, sparkling white wine Prosecco, Soave, Valpolicella and Amarone.

Rome this ancient city is rich in culture and historical sites including  Vatican Museums, Roman Forum, Colosseum, Museo e Galleria Borghese, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. The foodie side of me would have to try the Alesso di Bollito, Artichokes, Cacio e Pepe,  Carbonara, Gelato, Pizza al Taglio, Porchetta, and Supplì. Rome is not as well known for its wines as the other regions but the one that is made there in the Lazio area is Frascati a delicate, citrusy wine with great acidity.

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Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

FRANCE

Bordeaux the capital of wine Located in the Aquitaine region and well known for its World Heritage Sites. Must sees for me are Pont-de-Pierre bridge, Place de la Bourse, Quais de Bordeaux, La Cité du Vin, La Grosse Cloche, Pontet-Canet, Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Rue Sainte-Catherine, Musée d’Aquitaine, Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas. Must have foods are Agneau de Pauillac, cèpes de Bordeaux, Escargots à la Caudéranaise, Boeuf Bazadais, Cannelés, Eclade and any dish made with Foie Gras or Confit de canard. The wines are way too many to even name in this area lets just say ALL of them.

Paris while this city is well known for being very expensive it’s also beautiful filled with a monuments, cafes, and museums. My top must sees are Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame cathedral, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Coeur church, Luxembourg Garden, Palace of Versailles, Les Invalides, Pont Alexandre III. Food choices Escargots, baguette, Steak frites, Eclairs, crepes, Macarons, baba au rhum, croissants, Duck confit,  jambon-beurre and absolutely the cheeses.

Nice, This seaside vibrant city is known for its stunning views and year round sunshine. My must sees are Castel Plage, Colline du Château, Lascaris Palace, Musée Marc Chagall, Parc du Mont Boron, Place Masséna, Promenade des Anglais, Ville Ville. Foods Socca, Salade Niçoise, Ratatouille, La Daube Niçoise, pan bagnat, les petits farcis, are just some of the cuisine I would definitely want to try along with their Syrah, Grenache,  Mourvedre, and Carignan.

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Photo by Florencia Potter on Unsplash

Spain

Barcelona, in the Catalonia region well known for its art and architecture. Must sees are their unique gothic quarter, Las Ramblas, Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Sant Sebastià, Boqueria market, Camp Nou arena, Park Güell, Barcelona City History Museum, National Museum of Catalan Art, Passeig de Gràcia. Must have cuisine Fideuà, Crema Catalana,Escalivada, Cap i pota, Botifarra, Suquet de peix. There are many wines made in the Catalonia region along with some of their most famous being Cava, Vermouth, and tempranillo.

Madrid, Spain’s central capital known for elegance, art, two world-famous football clubs and amazing parks. Must sees for me are Royal Palace of Madrid,The Prado, Retiro Park, Royal Palace, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Puerta del Sol, Gran Vía, Plaza Mayor,Mercado San Miguel. Cuisines are Cocido Madrileño, Huevos Rotos, Bocadillo de Calamares, Callos a la Madrileña, Oreja a la Plancha, Pincho de Tortilla, must try wines Muscatel and Grenache.

Granada, With its ancient fortress, and surrounding mountains. Must sees for me are, Alhambra fortress, Generalife, Carmen de los Martires Gardens, Arabic quarter of Albaicín, Palacio de Dar al-Horra, Catedral de Granada, Charles V Palace, Museum of Fine Arts, Sacromonte, Abadia del Sacromonte, Realejo. Some of my must have foods are Habas con Jamón, Plato Alpujarreño, Tortilla del Sacromonte, Remojón Granaíno, Olla de San Antón, Cuajada de Carnaval, Piononos, Queso Montefrieño, Jamón de Trevélez, Jamón de Trevélez. Some great wines are also Cabernet Sauvignon,Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo, Grenache, Petit Verdot and Viognier made around the region.

If you could only chose three places to visit what would you chose? I would love to hear your choices.

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