Readers Recommend

* France: Kimberly Brentwood, Santa Monica: "A restored 17th century mansion at 3 Rue de la Harpe, Angers 491000; contact U.S. owner Deborah Char, telephone (949) 661-7873. Three bedrooms, large gourmet kitchen, laundry room in historic Le Doutre section. Fantastic value." Rates: $95-$125 per night.

* Italy: Perry Cook & Jay Mullin, Oxnard: "Campodoro, Viepri 106, 06056 Massa Martana, Perugia; tel. 011-39-075-89-47347, e-mail http://campodoro@tiscalinet.it. Lovingly restored farmhouse with sweeping views, pool in Umbrian countryside near Todi. Furnished with antiques, original artwork." Rates: from about $59 double, including breakfast.

* Latin America: Muriel and Max Zollman, Los Angeles: "Tropical Eco-Tours, 1333 Calle Pimiento, Thousand Oaks; tel.(888) 900-1326, Internet http://www.tropicalecotours.com. Satisfying tours, excellent value. We went to Costa Rica in 1997 and to Brazil last year with this company, visiting rain forests, animal refuges." Cost: from $990 per person, double occupancy, for nine days, including hotels, bilingual naturalist-guide, most meals and in-country transit (but not international air fare).

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