It's that time of year again when travel magazines produce their reader polls. This year's best cities, from Travel & Leisure's September issue (with 1997 positions in parentheses):

1. Sydney (1)

2. Rome (3)

3. Florence (2)

4. San Francisco (4)

5. Melbourne (5)

6. Venice (6)

7. Paris (7)

8. Vancouver (15)

9. New York (21)

10. London (13)

Other U.S. cities in the top 25: Chicago (16), Seattle (17), Washington (18), New Orleans (19) and Boston (20).