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Europe 2015

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Via Santa Margherita, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Milan is a different city at night, when the inky blue skies and warm orange street lights reflect on the grey facades of the city's buildings. The architecture- bombastic, monumental and sometimes even modern- is like a page out of Ayn Rand's The...
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Via Mozart, 14, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
The Villa Necchi Campiglio, just to the east of the historic center of Milan, may look familiar. The house had a turn on the silver screen in the 2009 Italian movie "I Am Love," starring Tilda Swinton. Even if you didn't see the film, anyone...
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Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
At a nondescript church in an unlikely neighborhood in Milan rests one of the greatest works of art ever created, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The 15th century mural was part of a renovation project at the Convent of Santa Maria della...
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Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
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Via S. Gregorio, 17, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
The aptly named Gelato Giusto (meaning gelato done right) is an ice cream must. Former pastry chef Vittoria Bortolazzo makes delicious gelato every day from regional, organic fruit, high quality milk, and lots of love. Flavor selection is only a...
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Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 34, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
While few in number, Milan's canals can be charming. Naviglio Grande, the largest, is my favorite to walk along. Lined by shops, outdoor cafes and bars, there is life alongside the water anytime of day. If you're lucky you'll catch the Antique...
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Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Yes, Mag is a great place for a morning, Saturday brunch, and light lunch, but it is also an excellent spot for those who love a great cocktail. Head to Navigli in the late afternoon to watch Flavio, Marco, and Francesco mix creative concoctions...
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Via Cesare Cantù, 3, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Milan invented the art of bel cafè, the pedicured bar for a delicious morning coffee or afternoon aperitivo. Passerini has a delicious selection of pastries for mornings and afternoons, and is the ideal hideaway for an aperitivo in the city...
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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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Bergamo, Province of Bergamo, Italy
Everybody loves the highs and lows of Bergamo. The charming city is actually two towns--Bergamo Alta (high) and Bergamo Bassa (low). Bergamo Alta is a beautiful walled city whose architecture dates back to medieval times. Its Piazza Vecchia,...
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Lake Iseo, Italy
There are two islands on Lake Iseo, the fifth smallest of the Italian Lakes, Monte Isola, the largest lake island in Italy and tiny, privately owned Isolina di Loreto.
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Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, 7b, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
What was once a 16th-century monastery garden is now a beautiful outdoor oasis in the heart of bustling Milan. Il Giardino is a 4000-square-meter manicured getaway accessible only to guests at the Bulgari Hotel. More than a garden, it’s a true...
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Strada Statale Sempione, 28, 20017 Rho MI, Italy
Milan's Salone del Mobile—or Salone, as it is fondly known—is a nearly weeklong design fair held at the Milan fairgrounds and celebrated across the city in satellite events. Designers of all kinds (textiles, furniture, products) and from different...
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Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Sforza name is well known even to those of us not intimately familiar with Italian history. Originally built in the 15th century, this massive citadel was at one time one of the largest in Europe and even today you can just imagine the...
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The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo, occupies a site that’s been holy since the time of the Romans, but it wasn’t until the early 19th century when the finishing touches were finally placed on this massive building. The Duomo is the fifth largest...
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Bât A4, Parc Valad, Impasse Paradou, 13009 Marseille, France
While Marseille is now home to several spectacular museums and a burgeoning dining scene, the bulk of your visit should be spent by the sea. As of last year, Les Calanques- limestone sea cliffs and Fjord-like inlets - are considered a national...
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108 Quai du Port, 13002 Marseille, France
It isn’t wine or cocktails that mark happy hour for locals in Marseille but Pastis, the anise-flavored drink of choice first commercialized by Paul Ricard during the prohibition of absinthe. Ricard’s recipe and formula– star anise, licorice root;...
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7 Prom. Robert Laffont, 13002 Marseille, France
This contemporary landscape and park rests atop an ancient castle known as Fort St Jean- forming a dynamic entry plaza for the new Museum of Civilizations. The Museum and building architecture are fantastic, but the park setting and views are...
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Place de la Major, 13002 Marseille, France
We'd just made our way out of the winding alleys of Le Panier, a charming neighborhood in Marseille, when we had a close up encounter of the beautiful Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille (Marseille Cathedral). Afterward, we made the short...
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Quai ST Pierre (billetterie, repère sur carte), 5 Rue Jules Simon (siège social), 13260 Cassis, France
Seriously, get on a boat!! We're on a road trip of the southern coast of France, and our next stop is in Cassis. We went to the super cute port town and booked a tour on the spot to take us through the Calanques. It's probably not the first thing...
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Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix, France
France's Chamonix Valley is one of the most scenic places on the European continent. It's a narrow river valley which houses everything from rock-climbing centers to pulsing bars and pubs, and on both sides of the river the peaks of the French...
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156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon, France
This odd-looking blimp is actually a quenelle de brochet, one of the quintessential foods of Lyon. They're big dumplings made out of pike fish, covered in Sauce Nantua, a classic French sauce made with crayfish. Daniel et Denise, owned by an...
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8 Rue du Palais de Justice, 69005 Lyon, France
My sister and I went exploring the city center in Lyon and came across a bakery we knew we had to eat at. I don't think there was a boulangerie we didn't go into while in France. This one we realized specialized in brioche praline - which we...
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22 Rue de la Platière, 69001 Lyon, France
Gourmix is such a cool place where you can snack on little sandwiches. Great if you want to try a variety of fillings for a few euros, amongst those I tried was the foie gras baguette. We had our baguettes to go and sat down in the park where we...
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Piazza della Consolata, 5, 10122 Torino TO, Italy
The Bicerin is a gastronomic speciality of Turin. I love both chocolate and espresso, and was delighted to discover this warming confection in a glass, also called a Bicerin. The drink is layered into the glass oh so carefully: espresso first,...
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16128 Genoa, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Just remember that these towers have been standing since 1163. They probably won't fall today! But even if you have a fear of heights, do pay the 2 euro to walk up the beautiful interior circular staircases in these ancient towers of the...
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Vico S. Pancrazio, 9, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Even if you think you aren't an onion fan, make sure you try at least one slice of the Focaccia con Cipolla while you are in Genoa - there is something about the crunchy sweetness of the slightly caramelized onions with the bright grassy olive oil...
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Corso Dogali, 18, 16136 Genova GE, Italy
Perched high above the old port, Castello D'Albertis boasts some of the most gorgeous panoramas of the ancient town and the old port. On most days, you can spot every single cruise ship in harbor, too. While there is a public elevator (ascensore,...
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56r, Via di Canneto Il Curto, 54, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Turn down the little Via di Canneto, and you can't miss this focacceria on your left. The line will literally always be out the door, especially in the morning hours. But the wait is worth every minute (and the amazingly kind women working inside...
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Piazza di Soziglia, 74 r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Inspired by the beautiful French chocolate salons, Romanengo Pietro fu Stefano fashioned their old-town shop just as the French - with gorgeous old woods, glass display cases, and gold-gilded platters. Pop into this store, unchanged since its...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
The five villages that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Ligurian coast are some of the most picturesque in the world -- and totally worth the hike! Grab your shoes and take a water bottle in the heat of the summer -- and make sure to visit the...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
If you think you've reached the end of Monterosso Al Mare after passing the last boardwalk gelateria, you're sorely mistaken. Just keep going --- and find this massive Atlas carved into the rock outcropping at the end of the beach! If you are...
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Vico degli Indoratori, 45r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Tucked just a few steps away from the towering Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Al Giardino degli Indoratori is a lovely small restaurant with a delicious wine list, serving locally-sourced Genovese specialities (their menu is very balanced though -...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Made from chickpea (ceci) flour, olive oil, water, and salt, this delicious 'flat bread' is a specialty of the entire Ligurian coast. Find these warm breads topped with rosemary, garlic, and/or other more traditional pizza toppings. Enjoy straight...
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Via David Chiossone, 5, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Just steps from the historic Doria Church of San Matteo (with its gorgeous glass mosaic door embellishment), La Buca di San Matteo serves a delicious prix-fix lunch in their beautifully classic sunken dining room for only 20 euro (if pesto is on...
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Vico Superiore del Ferro, 14, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Hidden down the Vico Superiore del Ferro, this tiny shop is a secret gem. While most gelaterias keep their colorful products out in plain view, luring children in from the street with their mounds of chocolate and mango and black cherry, Gelateria...
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16034 Portofino, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Getting to Portofino from Genoa is quite easy. Take the train from Genoa's Brignole Station to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then catch the 82 bus to Portofino (a 12-minute trip around the bay). While I'm not a huge bus person, this is one of the...
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Via dei Macelli di Soziglia, 69, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Probably originating in Persia, Pandolce has been a Genovese staple for centuries - an homage to the incredible amount of global trading that has occurred in this ancient port city. Enjoy one of these delicious fruited cakes from Le Gramole during...
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16032 San Fruttuoso GE, Italy
The tiny Abbey of San Fruttuoso is nestled in a cove between Camogli and Portofino, and accessible solely by foot or boat. If you want to hike it, find the trail at the far end of Camogli, and be ready for a steep, but gorgeous, two hour hike up...
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Via del Portello, 2r, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Take one step inside this stunning candy shop and be breathlessly taken back in time - nearly 200 years! Lining the back are glass jars of every color candy, and the front cases are stuffed to bursting with chocolates, gianduja (think nutella),...
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Campetto, 8, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Cocktails are not a huge part of the Italian culture, especially not those involving tequila. But at Bar Les Rouges, the three brothers who own the bar mix up one amazing margarita (They even come to your table asking you to sample which salt you...
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Corso Italia, Genova GE, Italy
If you like to eat straight from the sea, the small restaurants along the Corso Italia are perfect spots for a cold glass of white wine and a bowl of piping hot fish soup from the waters directly off your seaside perch. Normally including deep red...
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Piazza di Pellicceria, 1, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Tucked deep in the heart of the ancient city, this is an easy Palazzo to miss—but don't miss it. My favorite of the Genovese museums, five floors of this massive palace are dedicated to the history and splendor of Genoa—the first three being the...
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Nice, France
On our recent trip to France we had the best ice cream we’ve had. Ever. Anywhere. We chanced on Fenocchio while we were driving along the French Riviera. On probing a couple of locals, we found out that it is something of an institution in Nice....
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12 Rue de la Préfecture, 06000 Nice, France
While living down the street at Lycée Massena, I made daily visits to Lac. My coworker and I developed a wonderful relationship with the staff at this lovely pâtisserie. We soon learned that Lac sells slightly broken macaroons for a discounted...
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It is so easy to stroll into France, many visitor cross the border without ever realizing they’ve been abroad. Instead of a coastal hike, the French Riviera offers a paved path that takes travelers from the Principality to Mala Beach on the Cap d’...
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10 Rue de la Paix, 06360 Èze, France
A maze of narrow medieval streets wind up and down this village perched along the Grande Corniche. The ruins of a château are now an exotic garden, and the 18th-century neoclassical Notre Dame of the Assumption church is a national monument....
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62 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, 98000 Monaco
Designed in 1933, the Exotic Garden on Monaco paints a rich palette of succulents and cacti from across the globe, with a variety of flowering seasons to ensure bursting blossoms throughout the year. There are panoramic views that give unique...
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Avenue Saint-Martin, 98000 Monaco
With Monaco facing the Mediterranean, it is no wonder Prince Albert I was passionate about marine biology and conservation. Looking to promote marine sciences and educate others, the prince opened the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco in 1910. There...