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April 2015

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Via dei Tavolini, 18/20-r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
A delicious gem between the Duomo and Piazza Signoria, this local's favorite is a restored Florentine bakery, taken over by the family who owns the esteemed Verrazzano winery in Chianti. One side is the bakery with the original wood burning oven,...
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Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked behind the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence is Scuola del Cuoio—the school of leather. To get into the school, one must go through the church's side door, walk under the church's tunnels, and climb up a nondescript set of stairs. There,...
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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I love immersing myself in Florentine luxury in this Medieval palace that the Grandpapa of Italian shoe design, Salvatore Ferragmo bought in 1938. The downstairs museum pays homage to the master with fantastic displays—including molds he made for...
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Via de' Bardi, 17, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The centuries old art of Florentine bookbinding and papermaking is kept beautifully alive here by the charming owner--Erin Ciulla, who came from Canada to Florence to study the craft and stayed on. Since part of the tiny store is her workshop, I...
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Agriturismo Podere Casa Nova Via Case Sparse, 24 Loc.Tiro a segno, 50022 Greve in Chianti FI, Italy
A gift from Grazia Giachi--even a simple embroidered guest towel--makes for a lovely, lasting souvenir. The company is now run by the 4th generation of a talented Tuscan family, and the displays of pastel lingerie, classic children's clothes, and...
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54 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 75009 Paris, France
Known for its artisanal food shops, contemporary restaurants and proximity to Montmartre, the neighborhood of South Pigalle is now also a shopping destination, thanks largely to an independent accessories boutique with a 100% made in Paris theme....
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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The grand Boboli Gardens are one of my favorite places in Florence, but they can be crowded. I like to start directly behind the Palazzo Pitti and climb to the top of the gardens. This section includes the Porcelein Museum and a small formal...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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Via Guelfa, 5, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
The colors! The traditional art of Italian ceramics is celebrated in this shop, conveniently located, close to the Mercato Centrale. It's a joy to browse amidst the vibrant, hand painted goodies, that are reasonably priced. It's perfect for...
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Via dei Magazzini, 15r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence can be bitterly cold in winter when the northerly wind whistles down from the Alps, setting your teeth chattering and turning your lips blue. A woolly hat can make all the difference, and Cinzia’s shop near the Ponte Vecchio has a great...