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Been There, Do This: Mercato di Campagna Amica del Circo Massimo in Rome

Been There, Do This: Mercato di Campagna Amica del Circo Massimo in Rome

There is nothing worse than buying groceries on an empty stomach, especially when it is lunch hour in Rome. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the vendors at Mercato di Campagna Amica del Circo Massimo gather a few blocks from Circus Maximus, selling everything from fresh produce and poultry to hot lunches on the private outdoor patio.

Been There, Do This: Emerald Lake in British Columbia

Been There, Do This: Emerald Lake in British Columbia

It was a foggy, chilly fall day at British Columbia’s Emerald Lake. The clouds had rolled in fast that morning, enveloping the area like the pile of blankets in which I had swaddled myself the night before, when I had fallen asleep while stargazing on my cabin’s deck.

Been There, Do This: Igloofest Music Festival in Montreal

Been There, Do This: Igloofest Music Festival in Montreal

Vacation can’t always be 75 degrees and sunny. When I found myself exploring in Montreal in early February, for instance, winter had reared its ugly head, leaving me to shuffle from place to place with my hands thrust into pockets and my hat lowered to just above my eyes.

Been There, Do This: Carabe Gelato in Florence, Italy

Been There, Do This: Carabe Gelato in Florence, Italy

When I sang the familiar tune of “eating as much gelato as possible while here” to my Italian cooking instructor, a Florence local, her eyes immediately brightened. “You’re in luck,” she told me, pointing out that the very best gelateria in Florence was just down the road.

Been There, Do This: Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte in France

Been There, Do This: Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte in France

Why fight through the mobs of tourists at Versailles when you can experience Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte, a just-as-wonderful but less crowded French architectural palace, only 50 minutes outside the city? When I visited Vaux le Vicomte last summer, I was enchanted by the symmetrical building and its landscaped labyrinth-like gardens. Today, it still stands out as a highlight of my trip.

Been There, Do This: The Park in Las Vegas

Been There, Do This: The Park in Las Vegas

Back in Las Vegas’ “glory days,” the emphasis was on keeping visitors inside, where they could spend their dollars at the casino, in the restaurants or by going to a show. Moving sidewalks famously brought guests into hotels — but not out of them.

Been There, Do This: Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua

Been There, Do This: Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua

As I peered over the edge into the caldera of Masaya Volcano, my eyes stung from the sulfuric air, and my hair whipped back and forth across my face from the warm Nicaraguan wind. A stubby brick wall was the only thing between me and a plunge into the depths of this hellish hole, in which locals say you can see glowing lava on certain nights.