Frederik Meijer Gardens - Grand Rapids, Michigan * The 158 acre Frederik Meijer Gardens holds the largest collection of outdoor sculpture in the American Midwest. Among the many highlights is the 24 foot high "The American Horse" by Nina Akamu, inspired by an unfinished sculpture made by Leonardo da Vanci and commissioned by the Duke of Milan (a 2nd one, made a bronze foundry in the small town of Beacon, NY, was gifted to the city of Milan, Italy).
Rubenshuis - Antwerp, Belgium * Painter Peter Paul Rubens returned from training in Italy in 1609 to enthrall his hometown with his matchless technique and dynamic composition. He continues to enchant visitors to Antwerp with great early showpieces at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of Our Lady) and insights into his times and art at the Rubenshuis, the mansion where he lived and ran his busy workshop.
Kandy Lake - Kandy, Sri Lanka * Although it is Sri Lanka's second-largest city, Kandy retains a small town air. Join locals for a stroll around its large artificial lake, created in 1807 by the Sinhalese kings who made Kandy their capital.
Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square) - Tallinn, Estonia * The heart of Tallinn is the Raekoja Plats, a magnificent square surmounted by the spire of the city's 14th-century town hall, one of Europe's oldest. Estonia is the most Scandinavian of the Baltic nations, and is linked to Finland via frequent ferries.
Cathedral of Santo Domingo - Cuzco, Peru * Founded in the 12th century and situated 11,000 feet above sea level, Cuzco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas. Its handsome Old City spreads out from the Plaza de Armas, the centerpiece of which is the ornate baroque Cathedral of Santo Domingo, one of the finest examples of Colonial architecture on the continent.
San Francisco De Asis Church - Panama City, Mexico * While much of Panama City's downtown is a forest of modern high-rise towers, look closer to find its 17th-century heart. The romantic Casco Viejo (Old Quarter) is a city within a city, an architectural gem undergoing revival as a lively destination for cafes, dining, and charming boutique hotels. It's also home to the San Fancisco de Assisi church, whose earliest construction dates back to the early 1700s.
Italian Lake's District - Northern Italy * Italy's Lake District spreads across four regions in the north, where these beautiful glacial lakes shimmer at the foot of the Alps. The largest lakes--Maggiore, Como, and Garda---are busy and glamorous (hello George Clooney!), but quiet Lake Orta is smaller and much less worldly. The 1,000 year old Basilica di San Giulio appears to float on its mirror-calm waters.
Salvador De Bahia - Bahia, Brazil * In the days leading up to Carnival, young Olodum drummers walk the streets of Salvador da Bahia practicing their rhythms. The northern city of Salvador has the largest Carnival celebration in the world, and is known for its African influence.
Le Langhe - Piedmont, Italy * The hot summers and misty autumns of the Le Langhe area of Italy's Piedmont area are a perfect habitat for the wild "tartufo bianco", or white truffle. White truffles grow symbiotically with the roots of the Oak tree.