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Guide to Italy

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Piazza San Michele, 30, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
This town was amazing. On the outside, it looked like any bustling metropolis. But when you moved in towards the center, all you saw was a massive wall. This wall surrounded the older city center. This picture is of the very center of the old part...
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Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Lovers of furniture from past and present cannot leave Milan without stopping by the Triennale Design Museum. The permanent collection holds an interesting cross-section of Italian furniture and housewares, including the 1957 Superleggera...
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Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
Milan was a dream: Shopping. Culture. Unlimited cafes and gelato shops. It was love at first sight. We were fortunate enough to get a hotel in the heart of the city, and we were two blocks away from this amazing Duomo. Two blocks! I still cannot...
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Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
A 1930s building by architect Enrico Griffini is now the Armani Hotel, the second urban inn for the Milan-based brand. The city’s fashion set can be found at the Armani Lounge and Bamboo Bar, a lofty hangout with backlit onyx detailing and...
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Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Style and design filter into day-to-day life in Milan, but Women’s Fashion Week (September 19–25) is the height of the city’s creativity. The event, staged by fashion’s biggest labels, also spurs local restaurants and galleries to show off their...
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Via della Spiga, 32, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Home design and antique shops have elbowed their way onto Via Spiga and Via Montenapoleone, Milan's modish lanes. Nilufar sells a huge array of furniture and intricate, contemporary carpets commissioned exclusively for the store. This appeared in...
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Via Alessandro Manzoni, 29, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
A short stroll from the La Scala opera house, the Grand has a unique place in opera history. Giuseppe Verdi lived—and died—here. Enrico Caruso recorded here. Maria Callas and José Carreras stayed here. The hotel’s La Scala Experience package...
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53012 Chiusdino, Province of Siena, Italy
Chianti Classico is a beautiful region in Tuscany. Hilltop castles, building ruins dating back centuries, winding roads, rolling hills, and Sangiovese & Trebbiano vineyards as far as the eye can see in any direction. It’s the magnificence of which...
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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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Localita' Villa La Rocca, San Gimignano, Si 53037, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
San Gimingnano is an old Etruscan walled town that is famous for their white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimingnano and their town center gelateria, Gelateria di Piazza San Gimingnano. This mid-spring view over looking the Tuscan land scape is what...
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Castello di Poggio alle Mura, 53024 Montalcino SI, Italy
Make this your home base for exploring the wineries of Tuscany or taking on-site cooking and wine classes. If you’re just interested in eating delicious food, book a reservation for the tasting menu at La Taverna restaurant, with estate wine...
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53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
One of the best things about the beautiful Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano - and there are many - is the wonderful street art offered for sale throughout the town. You can watch the artists at work, making the experience even more special....
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Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Giambolgna's sculpture The Rape of the Sabine Women stands under the arched Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
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Via di Campestri, 19/22, 50039 Vicchio di Mugello FI, Italy

The olive reigns at Villa Campestri, a Renaissance villa built around a 13th-century fort. Activities include grove tours, oil tastings, seasonal cooking classes, and olive oil massages. The restaurant L’Olivaia serves farm-fresh Tuscan...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy

I saw this exquisite chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci's Lady With An Ermine on the ground in one of the main plazas in Firenze. It started drizzling and I just had to take this photo before the rain washed it away!

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Str. di Certosa, 82/86, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
There is an intimate hotel in the hills of Tuscany near Siena called Certosa di Maggiano. It is pure magic. Tranquil and filled with old Italian charm, this is a place to go and chill out. Strada di Certosa 82/86, 39/0577-28-81-80. Rene Redzepi...
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Piazza di Santa Croce, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Piazza di Santa Croce is a place for old friends, new friends, romance in the form of true love and puppy love, the old and the young. There is a bench for every type. There is a time a day, where the sun shines just right, to make Santa Croce the...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

On the Ponte Vecchio with two of my bother and our close friend.

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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
While visiting Florence in May, my husband and I made the trek to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a panoramic view of the city. We wandered around a bit to try to find a quieter place from which to enjoy the view of Florence and came upon this...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Most tourists get to Venice's famous Rialto Bridge, but how many cross to the right bank of the Grand Canal to experience the Erberia (vegetable market) and the Pescheria (fish market)? Elbowing my way through the crowds on the Rialto was worth...
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Giudecca, 810, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy
In Venice, it's hard to get a moment alone with a loved one or even with the city herself. The crowds of tourists reaching over your shoulder to snap shaky photos of the aged Rialto can become a nuisance as you try to realize the historical...
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Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
With its prime setting on the Grand Canal, the 15th-century Venetian Gothic palazzo-turned- hotel was for years the go-to getaway for such cultural luminaries as Ernest Hemingway and Julian Schnabel. Its recent $45 million restoration has...
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Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
As a boat whisk you away to your destination and your journey through the Grand Canal is both hectic and enchanting, your first impression of Rialto Bridge is magical.
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Cannaregio, 1045, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
Gold is their specialty....purveyours of gold smalti to kings, sheiks and popes since the 1880's. Bling takes on a whole new meaning while visiting the Orsoni Factory, on the Island of Murano, a short traghetto ride from Piazza San Marco....
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Viale Galileo Galilei, 30/1, 30173 Venezia VE, Italy
On a humid morning in August, I landed at Aeroporto Marco Polo, hired a water taxi using my fragmented Italian, and struggled to carry my three suitcases down to the airport's dock. Tired and hot, I found my water taxi and collapsed on the seats...
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Piscina S. Moise, 1459, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
An important Venetian holiday is held on the third week in July. It is the Feast of the Redentore, commemorating the end of the plague that killed fifty thousand people including Titian. The fireworks display is so extensive and significant that...
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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
When planning a May trip to Italy with my husband, magical Venice was one of the cities I knew I wanted to visit. I was really looking forward to seeing all the things typically associated with Venice: gondolas, the Grand Canal, St. Mark's Square,...
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5174/B/517 Castello, Venezia, VE 30122, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
One of the things Venice is best known for, after its gondolas and canals, is enchanting handmade masks—and mask shops abound in the city. One standout is Gottardo Stefano, where you can find any type of mask you might want: from feminine...
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Calle Briati, 8b, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
The Abate Zanetti Glass School has been home to masters of Murano glassblowing for 150 years. Giancarlo Signoretto teaches a five-day primer in the furnace room on how to gather glass from the kiln and use blowing pipes, tweezers, and molds to...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

This meal was delicious - the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the seafood was fantastic. Best part of the meal though, was when our waiter brought us small shot glasses of bootlegged homemade limoncello to finish off our meal!

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Via Claudia, 15, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The Paolo Parisi egg has become an Italian status symbol. The perfect whites look like those of any other egg, but the Day-Glo orange yolks have an incredible creamy texture and sweet almond flavor that fetch nearly $2 per egg. The extraordinary...
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Via degli Orti di Trastevere, 3, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
When in Rome, they say, do as the Romans do. So that's why I made my priority in Rome to EAT. To eat gourmet cheeses, drink fine wines, plenty of pasta and of course gelato. But Rome is a big city so finding the best places to eat on my short trip...
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Long known for serving the best gelato in Rome, Giolitti's offers an amazing selection of flavors including my favorite, pink grapefruit. Be aggressive as you approach the counter; the wait can be long and unorganized, especially on a Friday or...
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Via Giulia, 62, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Left unfinished by Donato Bramante (chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica), the 16th-century Palace of the Courthouses has been converted into the contemporary St. George Roma Hotel. At the in-house spa, relax the way the ancients did, in...
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Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
by Jocelyn C. Zuckerman The art collection of Angelo Guido Terruzzi, owner of the Rome Cavalieri, has been valued at $700 million; the Old Masters in the hotel’s public spaces alone suggest that figure may be an underestimate. Stunners range from...
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Piazza della Rotonda, 73, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
There are a lot of good hotels in Rome. And there are a lot of bad ones. So finding the right one is a treasure. This one is. Albergo del Senato. Right smack dab in front of the Pantheon and the perfect Piazza della Rotonda. Hard to find a better...
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The largest church by area in the world, the St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Italy. Remember the themes from the movie "Angels and Demons"? One thing I want to point out is when you visit there, the line to get in is usually long (don't be...
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Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
In 1857, the prior of the Basilica di San Clemente thought there might be something underneath his 12th-century church, already renowned for its relics and striking mosaic of the Crucifixion. When he excavated, he found not only the original,...
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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Many city parks offer green grass, fresh air, and open space (that's kind of their m.o.), but few include ancient Roman ruins! Villa Borghese is as breathtaking as it is vast, and it's the ideal place to lounge with a book or get in a quick run to...
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Viale della Marina, 41, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM, Italy
According to legend, Rome’s first orange tree—St. Dominic’s gift to the pope—was planted in Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of the Oranges) in the 13th century. The secluded park provides a panoramic view of the city, from...
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Via Guido Reni, 4/a, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Maxxi, Rome’s first major contemporary art museum, cost 150 million and took renowned architect Zaha Hadid 10 years to complete. The result—a vast, bold space with exhibits on architecture and art—proves that modern Rome can produce masterpieces,...
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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
of three roads (tre vie), the Trevi Fountain in Rome marks the terminal point of the Aqua Vergine, Aqua Virgo and one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the world.