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Florence + Pisa

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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
While in Florence this May, my husband and I decided not to walk to the top of the dome of the Duomo but, instead, to make the climb to the top of the tower next to the Duomo to get a great view of the dome itself. I shot this from the stairwell...
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Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This centuries-old "pharmaceutical workshop" gives visitors a chance to experience part of Florence's unique bespoke heritage. It was established by Dominican monks of the adjacent Santa Maria Novella church around 1221 and opened to the public in...
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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
When French writer Stendhal saw Giotto's frescoes in Florence's Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross), he wrote: "Ero giunto a quel livello di emozione dove si incontrano le sensazioni celesti date dalle arti ed i sentimenti...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The combination of convincingly creative food and a stunning setting make this rooftop restaurant a must for a romantic dinner or a celebratory feast. The contemporary glassed-in space on top of the Westin Excelsior hotel offers 360° views...
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Borgo degli Albizi, 11r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you love gelato and chocolate, no place will romance you quite like Vestri. Before you know what's inside, you'll be drawn in by the antique and elegant exterior and by the shiny packages peeking out. Inside, the small shop's allure consists of...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Tuscany is deeply connected to the land—the crops that grow here, from fruit and vegetables to olives and wine grapes, are central to Tuscan cuisine. Mercato Centrale, housed in the original 1874 market building, is a working showcase for...
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Via Camillo Cavour, 3, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Located behind the church of San Lorenzo, this is where many members of the ruling Medici family are buried. The octagonal building with an opulent marble interior dates from 1519. The Cappella dei Principi houses sarcophagi belonging to the...
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Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you have time to see just one piece of art, make it David. Carved in 1501-4 from a single piece of milky-white Carrara marble, Michelangelo’s magnificent statue, an icon of power and wealth, originally stood in Piazza della Signoria, but...
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Via Lambertesca, 18/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You can’t visit Florence without indulging in ice cream once at the very least, but it’s not so easy to find the real deal. Carapina, gelateria of choice for cognoscenti (but often overlooked by tourists), is located a stone’s throw from the Ponte...
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Via Santa Monaca, 3r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Know locally as S'forno, this vintage-look Santo Spirito bakery sells a fantastic selection of sweet and savoury goods and is one of the few 'panifici' in Florence to still have an on-site oven (most do their baking outside the city). The bread...
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Piazza San Marco, 3, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Housed in the monastery of San Marco, this museum pays homage to the delicate, spiritual work of Fra Angelico who lived and worked here as a monk from 1435-1445. Some of his most celebrated paintings and frescoes are on show here: the famous...
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56126 Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy
Pisa’s enormous cathedral was begun in the 11th century, and is one of the finest examples of Pisan Romanesque architecture. The four-tiered, milky-white marble facade is decorated with Moorish mosaics. A fire in 1595 destroyed the original bronze...
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Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
I like to consider myself the type that strays off the beaten path, a guy that shuns away from the typical tourist traps, but when I was riding the train to Florence I noticed that Pisa was conveniently on the way (I was coming from Nice, France)....
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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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50125, Sdrucciolo de' Pitti, 13/red, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In Florence's Oltrarno neighborhood, an area known for its craftsmanship, this modern store stands out. Run by a couple, the store is full of fabric and paper goods. There are books covered in silk screen designs, and elegant prints on bags made...
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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 de' Guicciardini, 1/red, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Madova makes gloves in a fabulous range of colors in their factory located behind this tiny squeeze of a shop, and they are all gorgeous. They range from basic, unlined models and single-color gloves lined with either wool, silk, or cashmere to...
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Piazza S. Lorenzo, 50050 Limite Sull'Arno FI, Italy
Over ten years ago, I took my first trip to Florence. I bought 2 leather jackets there, one of which I still wear regularly today. The other one is in great shape but slightly out of style. So on this recent trip 10+ years later, I was bound and...