Best Places to Travel in 2016

Westend61 / Martin Moxter

The 50 biggest, buzziest destinations to visit this year include France’s new culture hub, a revived Hawaiian hideaway, and Mexico’s next great arts city.

35. Sicily, Italy

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Whether it’s the fifth-century B.C. Greek ruins, the architecture of Arab-Norman Palermo (a newly appointed UNESCO World Heritage site), or the seemingly endless miles of dreamy coastlines, travelers have never been able to get enough of Sicily. And these days, “wine is one of the things bringing tourism to Sicily,” says Karen La Rosa, the founder of La RosaWorks, a boutique tour operator specializing in the island. She recommends exploring State Road 120 (SS120) around Mount Etna—the latest region of Sicily that’s attracting wine connoisseurs—where the soil is enriched with minerals from hardened lava. A treasure trove of wineries, both big and small, can be found there, encircling the volcanic slopes. Most notably, Tasca d’Almerita, a celebrated, centuries-old family label, has opened a vineyard named Tascante that produces two varietals made from the Nerello Mascalese grape (a gentler alternative to Sicily's richer-tasting, more famous native Nero d'Avola). This summer, the all-women-run Tenuta di Fessina will unveil a new boutique hotel, with a spa housed in a restored palmento (stone cellar used for crushing grapes). What better way to end a day of tastings than with a thermal bath in an old wine tank? —Alex Schechter

Best Places to Travel in 2016

35. Sicily, Italy

Whether it’s the fifth-century B.C. Greek ruins, the architecture of Arab-Norman Palermo (a newly appointed UNESCO World Heritage site), or the seemingly endless miles of dreamy coastlines, travelers have never been able to get enough of Sicily. And these days, “wine is one of the things bringing tourism to Sicily,” says Karen La Rosa, the founder of La RosaWorks, a boutique tour operator specializing in the island. She recommends exploring State Road 120 (SS120) around Mount Etna—the latest region of Sicily that’s attracting wine connoisseurs—where the soil is enriched with minerals from hardened lava. A treasure trove of wineries, both big and small, can be found there, encircling the volcanic slopes. Most notably, Tasca d’Almerita, a celebrated, centuries-old family label, has opened a vineyard named Tascante that produces two varietals made from the Nerello Mascalese grape (a gentler alternative to Sicily's richer-tasting, more famous native Nero d'Avola). This summer, the all-women-run Tenuta di Fessina will unveil a new boutique hotel, with a spa housed in a restored palmento (stone cellar used for crushing grapes). What better way to end a day of tastings than with a thermal bath in an old wine tank? —Alex Schechter

Westend61 / Martin Moxter
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