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Brandon's italian Semester

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53011 Castellina in Chianti SI, Italy
The hilltop town of Castellina lies at the heart of Chianti with medieval fortifications and an imposing Torre presenting a formidable image to the world. Its raison d’etre these days is the production of wine and there is no lack of places to...
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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the best views of Florence can be savored from the Piazzale Michelangelo, a short walk across the Arno River from downtown Florence. For a fun afternoon head to the square and enjoy an enchanting panorama of the city, followed by a relaxing...
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53026 Pienza SI, Italy
One of the most charming towns we visited during our May trip to Italy was Pienza, situated in Tuscany between Montepulciano and Montalcino (also worth a visit if you're in the area). Pienza is best known for its delicious pecorino cheeses,...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Food in Italy is still largely about seasonality, and never more so than in late fall when the new olive oil (‘olio nuovo’) begins to arrive in the shops. Take a drive into the Tuscan countryside anytime between late October and December and you...
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Banchi di Sotto, 63, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
My husband and I visited Italy in May and one of our favorite things was the amazing gelato! In every town we visited - from Venice to Pisa to Florence - we had to try the gelato to see which town's was best. This vanilla bean gelato in Sienna was...
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
The floor of the Cathedral of Siena, 'the most beautiful... largest and magnificent... that ever was made' (Giorgio Vasari) worth a visit by sure, believe me! Every year I come back there when it is open, two months a year from the week after the...
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Paintings under the Cathedral of Siena discovered accidentally in 1999 and dated back to the 70/80 of 1200. A unique experience to see with your eyes what scholars have always knowm but never seen that is to say how the medieval churches were...
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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Friends with a home outside of Rome had told me on my first trip to Italy, that one of the crown jewels of visiting Tuscany would be to spend the entire day in Siena. Really? A whole day? Yes they said. You will go to the Duomo Siena and be...
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Via del Porrione, 33, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
One of the best places to eat in Siena lies a few minutes’ walk from historic Piazza del Campo and inhabits an atmospheric room lined with old glass and wood cabinets full of books and wine bottles. It may be informal, but the gourmet food is top...
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Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 72, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
The miracle of Siena lies not only in its saints, but also in its art, culture, food, wine and it’s famous medieval Campo where the Palio is run every July and August. A short walk downhill lies La Minerva, a three star hotel with five star views....
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Via del Capitano, 7, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Rabbit ragu
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Via Talosa, 8, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
There are several enotecas in Montepulciano to get your file of Vino Noble, the local varietal. The tasting room at Talosa is special because of the friendly and knowledgable hosts - Christian and Andreas. These two are so enthusiastic about their...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Put away your Italian designer shoes if you go to Florence. The shopping will be good, but you'll never make it to the top of the Duomo to get this view if you're wearing anything with a heel.
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53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
The taller your tower in medieval Italy, the more powerful your family was. Height not only meant higher stature, but also protection. San Gimignano is a well-preserved Italian town in the Tuscan valley where you can still see this medieval...
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Via Ciarliana, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
A walk on the vineyards, after the harvest, enjoying the sun of October. You don't need really a car, you can simply walk for a couple of kilometres out of the historic center and you will see the vineyards used for producing the famous Vino...
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53045 Montepulciano, Province of Siena, Italy
Montepulciano is a charming hill town in Tuscany. Walk the streets to get a feel for its appeal. On the outskirts of town visit San Biagio, a 16th-century church. This late-Renaissance building was constructed on the site of a pre-existing...
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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
One of my favorite things in Sienna, Italy, when I visited this May was the gorgeous duomo. While every town's duomo seemed more beautiful than the one before, Sienna's duomo topped them all in my mind, with its ornate black and white stripes....
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Piazza di S. Francesco, 5, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
Sunsets on Val D'Orcia are one of the most incredible views for those who are looking for an unforgettable Tuscan experience. From Piazza San Francesco in Montepulciano, you can admire an infinity of colors, changing every season. This hotel...
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80071 Anacapri NA, Italy
Spectacular 360 degree view of Capri on top of Mount Solaro attainable by chair lift ride 589 meters above sea level. Takes your breath away...
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Piazza S. Nicola, 1, 80071 Anacapri NA, Italy
When in Anacapri take the time to visit the tiny church of Saint Michele Arcangelo. The floor is all tile and depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is breathtaking.
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Via Caposcuro, 3, 80071 Anacapri NA, Italy
Skip the line!!!!! Hello to Everybody I’m official local guide and I’m ready to help you to find the best here in Capri, Naples and Amalfi coast , Pompeii, etc etc If you have any question Contact me I’m available for you...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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Calle degli Albanesi, 4250, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
It's like the Venetians knew we'd end up lost and hungry. This mosaic placard (a tradition that dates to the Roman period) pointed us in the direction, and we wound up at a restaurant—Taverna dei Dogi, which has a relaxed atmosphere, and...
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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
The Basilica San Marco is Venice's crown jewel. Situated at the eastern end of Piazza San Marco, the cathedral was built around 1078 on the site of an earlier house of worship. It is famously the home of the remains of the apostle Mark, which were...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal is the no-brainer must-do Venice experience, and the best way to explore the city's main thoroughfare is on a vaporetto, or water bus. For a great introduction to the area, ride the vaporetto from the railway station, at the edge...
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Rio Terà de le Carampane, 1911, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
If you're looking for some of the most authentic and delicious seafood in Venice, pay a visit to Antiche Carampane. Located in an unassuming building a few minutes' walk from the Rialto Bridge, this trattoria is where the locals eat when they're...
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30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
While exploring Burano, break for a fabulous seafood lunch at Al Gato Nero. The "black cat" restaurant is the creation of Ruggero Bovo, who has been cooking up some of the tastiest fresh fish and seafood here since 1965. "I love the fish of the...