Credit: Jake Stangel

Seattle’s Best

Gary Shteyngart’s “What to See and Do in Seattle, Washington” [March] captures the spirit and essence of the city perfectly. Every time I return to Seattle, I feel an overwhelming nostalgia for its beauty and culture—it is a town that gets into your soul and never lets go. — member Ravello12

As a native Seattleite, I can tell you that eating and drinking are definitely favorite local pastimes. But I found myself wishing the author had expanded his horizons beyond a couple of neighborhoods. Seattle has so much to offer—it’s worth visiting the mountains in person, not just through a restaurant window! — member IVcoffeedrip

Driving Portugal

Frank Rose’s “Road Trip: From Porto to Viseu, Portugal” [April] was beautiful. You had me at “Quinta das Lágrimas” [the Villa of Tears]. —@TravelBareFeet

Mediterranean Odyssey

I enjoyed Daniel Mendelsohn’s “Cruising the Mediterranean: A Modern Odyssey” [April]. The rich history and spectacular landscapes of that part of the Mediterranean offer endless fascination. A similar journey shaped my career, when I walked 2,000 miles in the footsteps of Alexander the Great in Turkey, then worked on a documentary about him. — member petesommer

Reader’s Find: Alsace, France

I’ve been privileged to stay in some of the world’s most renowned hotels, but my favorite is Hôtel Les Têtes, in Colmar, Alsace—one of Europe’s most charming midsize cities. Built in 1609, the hotel has 21 rooms with their original ceiling beams exposed, and the stone-paved courtyard was made for sipping wine and reading. The hotel’s most unusual feature is its façade, which is adorned with 105 gargoyles. The statues were recently restored, a project funded in part by the owners and a local consortium of wine growers. —Mike Johnson, North Canton, Ohio

Beauty and the Beach

I was born in the Philippine Islands, so I was ecstatic to see their panoramic beauty on your March cover [“Best Secret Beaches on Earth”]. I am sharing the magazine with friends and family there. —Mary Jeneverre Schultz, Aurora, Colo.


We’re number one! We’re number one! [“America’s Greenest Cities,” online]. Portland, Oregon: “Where every day feels like Earth Day.” —@agavette

Sounding Off: The Sicilian Connection

What could be better than spending a week in a contessa’s opulent villa-for-hire? Not much, to be sure, but Peter Jon Lindberg’s “Guide to Renting a Villa in Sicily, Italy” [March] did not hold back on the details.

Did the villa get a fair shake?
No, said four readers who have stayed at La Favorita and found the staff “extremely accommodating” and the countess “welcoming.” Others disagreed, appreciating Lindberg’s candid assessment in a world full of “gushing reviews.”

And the house itself?
“Quirky” was a common description, while one reader claimed that the villa was more akin to L.A.’s Chateau Marmont than, as Lindberg described it, a haunted mansion out of Scooby-Doo. Another offered this final thought: “If you’re expecting minimalism, you should stay somewhere else.”