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Readers Recommend

November 11, 2001

* France: Paul and Barbara Murphy, San Luis Obispo: Gite (self-catering cottage) owned by Michel and Josiane Grouzelle, Mas de Doucet, 46160 Montbrun; tel./fax 011-33-5-6534-5849. "One-bedroom stone cottage with every modern convenience, beautiful gardens and swimming pool. Wonderful hosts." Rates: about $248-$550 per week, depending on the season.

* Italy: Judi Hills, Valencia: Buca dell'Orafo restaurant, Volta de Girolami 28r, Firenze; 011-39-55-213-619. "You really have to look for this tiny restaurant near the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I grew up in an Italian family, and this is the best food I have ever eaten. Fabulous homemade pasta; large portions." Cost: about $23-$33 for three-course dinner, without wine. Closed Sunday, Monday.

* Spain: Bob Lennan, Cambria: Spanish Steps Adventure Walking Tours, Box 8653, Aspen, CO 81612; (877)787-9255, http://www.spanishsteps.com. "Wonderful two-week hiking-and-van tour of the Camino de Santiago, from the village of Roncesvalles in the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. We hiked more than 100 miles of the more than 450-mile route. Guide Judy Colaneri was very organized and had a great personality. First-class lodging, excellent food." Cost: $2,899 per person, plus air fare.

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Send recommendations to Travel, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Please include your name, address and telephone number, and also the address, telephone number and Internet site of the place you are recommending.

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