Lisa Thompson Solis's Best of the Best

"My favorites include places that have inspired me and I want to share with my family & friends."

1. Scrovegni Chapel in Padova, Italy - "This little-known chapel contains a cycle of the Italian painter Giotto's frescoes from 1305 that are one of greatest masterpieces of Italian art. What I love the most about the frescoes are the hypnotic blue starry skies depicted in Giotto's famous ultramarine blue, and how they envelope you in the small intimate atmosphere of the chapel (the chapel is only available to see by appointment and in a small groups)."

2. DarSalam is my favorite restaurant in Portland, Oregon - "There are many great places to eat in Portland, but I like DarSalam in the Albert Arts District the best. They serve delicious Iraqi cuisine (their drinks are also amazing, especially the cardamom tea and rosewater mango juice). The owners Tiffany and Ghaith Sahib started DarSalam as a food cart and found that serving Iraqi cuisine was an opportunity to share Iraqi culture with Americans. I love the idea of food bringing people together and DarSalam definitely achieves that. And my 4 year old son Oliver even loves the food, especially the yellow lentil soup." 
 2921 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

3. Kate MacGarry Gallery, London, United Kingdom - "This is my favorite art gallery in London. I am a little biased in my opinion because I interned there ages ago, but I chose it as one of my favorites because I think anyone who is looking to discover truly innovative contemporary art should visit Kate MacGarry. The artists that work with Kate are one-of-a-kind; some of my favorites are Matt Bryans who creates beautiful eerie landscapes by erasing newspapers (you have to see it to believe it), and Francis Upritchard's trippy anthropologic sculptures & installations. Anyone who wants to see good art in London should go to the East End and see what Kate has on exhibit."
27 Old Nichol St, London E2 7HR, UK

4. Flora Farms, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico - "A farm in the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in San Jose del Cabo. You drive on a dirt road through seriously arid Baja Peninsula desert to get there, it's almost unimaginable that a farm could thrive there. But then you turn a corner and beautiful, lush Flora Farms is sitting in the valley. They grow over 100 organic vegetables and fruits, grains, legumes which are all served at their restaurant Flora Field Kitchen and sold in their market. The restaurant's food is healthy and delicious, and the setting is colorful, bright and welcoming. I choose this as one of my favorites because the farm and food are unlike any place I have ever been before. The rescue dogs on the property were awesome as well, they even have their own Facebook page."
Carretera Transpeninsular San José del Cabo Km. 30, Col. Las Ánimas Bajas, 23407 San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico

5. Arroyo Secco, Taos, New Mexico - "Arroyo Secco is a tiny town north of Taos at the base of the Taos Ski Valley. I chose it as one of my favorites because it is by far my favorite place in the U.S. to relax, rejuvenate and be inspired. The landscape is a mix of desert scape and lush pine tree forests, and there is something magical about the light in this region of the world. It's no wonder that so many artists and thinkers have visited and lived in New Mexico - Georgia O'Keefe, Agnes Martin, John Marin, Willa Cather, Carl Jung, D.H. Lawrence, Bruce Nauman. It's a must visit."