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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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22021 Bellagio CO, Italy
45 minutes out of Milan is Lake Como. Add it to your side trip. Spend a week you will not run out of things to do. There are wonderful lake towns sprinkled all the way to Switzerland. You take one of the boats out of the city of Como and travel up...
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22034 Brunate CO, Italy
Take the funiculore from Como up to Brunnate and find a lovely little town with a beautiful Duomo where the nun's are still in their full habits. Where the old men get together to play board games and the children gather arms and laugh all the way...
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Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Meissen, a German housewares and jewelry company with a 300-year tradition of working with Italian craftspeople, opened its flagship store in April inside the ornate, 16th-century Casa Carcassola-Grandi mansion. This appeared in the September,...
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28838 Isola Bella VB, Italy
When I arrive in a new place I try to explore it by either ferry or by train. The ferry ride on Laggo Maggiore was spectacular.
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Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano MI, Italy
The café Erba Brusca sits on a plot of land at the city’s edge, where concrete blocks meet grassy meadows. Italian staples such as buttery white polenta and roasted speziata sausage are made with herbs and greens grown on-site. Reserve a table on...
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22100 Como, Province of Como, Italy
Driving the incredibly narrow two-way street leading us to Bellagio from Como. Catching the stunning view of Lake Como on our left was a bonus.
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Lake, Via E. Caronti, 69, 22020 Blevio CO, Italy
I sip a glass of prosecco on my rooftop terrace with a book by my side, but nothing can divert my attention from the sunset view of Lake Como and the mountains beyond. Opera music drifts from my neighbor’s suite, which is fitting, given the...
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Southern Europe
A day trip to Lake Como from Milan is easy and worthwhile. Although we did not find George Clooney's villa, we did find the lake-side towns of Menaggio and Verenna to be charming. With no prior planning we took a thirty minute train ride from...
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Vicolo dei Lavandai, Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 14, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
A pleasant way to spend an evening in Milan is to stroll along the Naviglio Grande, a 12th century canal in the south of town. The warehouses along the towpath are now home to lively restaurants and bars. I recommend El Brellin. The second floor...
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Via L. Cadorna, 7, 25058 Sulzano BS, Italy
Skip Lake Garda, overpriced and filled with too many tourists and head directly to Lake Iseo instead. Lesser known, it's peaceful, serene and just as beautiful! Plus, you can get a room at Hotel Rivalago with a lake view like this ...
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Piazza del Porto, 4, 22021 Bellagio CO, Italy
We rented a boat for the day on Lake Como... Waiting to pick it up!
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Piazza Duca d'Aosta, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Having a glass of wine while waiting for our train from Milan to Venice—there are a number of nice restaurants and bars in the station—I spotted this pigeon. This photo is one of my favorites from the trip. We went on to Venice after this, where I...
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Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. With the Mediterranean climate of the Ticino region and the Swiss-Italian culture, Lugano is not your average stadt der Schweiz. Palm trees sway and colorful flowers...
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23829 Varenna LC, Italy
When I traveled to Lago di Como (Lake Como), I stayed in the town of Bellagio. One morning, I took the ferry to Varenna. As I walked a path by the lake, I entered a covered part of the path that was cool and dark. There were open places along this...
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6633 Lavertezzo, Switzerland
It is the 60th birthday of a Swiss native and this is where she wants to go. A place where water can be drunk straight from the stream. A place where her family came every summer, to a small cottage across the double arched bridge, to live the...
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23900 Lecco, Province of Lecco, Italy
The place where Italians go to vacation. Simple as that. I've been fortunate enough to travel to Europe many times and often to the charming must-go-to destinations. But those who have been there before know that some, most, of the best parts of...
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Bellinzona, Switzerland

Most people rush through Bellinzona, never giving it much thought.  What a shame to miss one of the 3 Castles that have been an UNESCO World Heritage Site for the past decade. 

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Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Located in the famous Navigli neighborhood in Milan, Mag is a cozy space to relax with a good cafe and brioche by day, and by night a bustling local hangout. Never short on atmosphere or great jazz soundtracks, this bar is bursting with details...
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Via Santa Radegonda, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
There is a reason the locals line up down the block at this place come lunchtime: the pomodoro panzerotti. It's a perfect little pocket filled with fresh, warm, gooey mozzarella and local tomatoes. I tried several other sweet and savory items...
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Piazza Cadorna, 15, 28838 Stresa VB, Italy
Clean, safe and centrally located: If these things are of importance to you when booking a budget-friendly hotel, I recommend Hotel Elena in Stresa, Italy. If I return to Stresa in the future, I'll definitely book a room there. It's a quick...
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Lake Como, Italy
While boating on Lake Como we happened upon a peaceful corner of the lake. My husband took our daughter to explore, climb and jump off the rocks. It was a wonderful morning of swimming, and cruising in our little rental boat, and then it was onto...