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Italian Adventures

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53024 Montalcino, Province of Siena, Italy
A sunset drive through the rolling hills of Tuscany is an experience I recommend for anyone visiting this beautiful region. The lush vineyards, grassy hills, and colorful sunsets make for some of the most scenic vistas you'll find in Italy. I took...
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53024 Montalcino, Province of Siena, Italy
While wine production has been a part of Montalcino life for centuries, it took the 1888 creation of Brunello di Montalcino—a gorgeous twist on Chianti blends made with 100 percent Sangiovese grapes—to put the medieval town’s...
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06081 Assisi, Province of Perugia, Italy
Best known as the birthplace of St. Francis, Italy's patron saint, the historic town of Assisi is a must-see on any trip through Umbria. Assisi is beautiful in so many ways, from its well-known Basilica of San Francesco (the burial place of St....
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Via Antonio Cavalieri Ducati, 3, 40132 Borgo Panigale, Bologna BO, Italy
When my husband and I visited Italy last year, we each chose one place we wanted to visit. I chose Venice: I wanted to see the famous canals and gondolas first-hand. My husband, a long-time lover of Ducati motorcycles, chose a tour of the Ducati...
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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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53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
Just outside the beautiful medieval Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano, my favorite in all of Tuscany, we came across these colorful water towers on an abandoned farm next to the road. Of course I had to stop for a photo. The bright red, yellow,...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Florence can unfortunately be a pricey place when you're looking to enjoy a good lunch. But look no further than I Fratellini, which offers a nice selection of fresh, delicious sandwiches, all of which are surprisingly affordable by Florentine...
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Lake Garda, Italy
At the very end of our 12-day trip to Italy last year, my husband and I visited the beautiful Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake, in the northern part of the country. The lake has a diverse landscape, with beaches covering the southern shore and...
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Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy
On a trip to Italy last year, my husband and I indulged in more than our fair share of gelato. But in the small town of Ravenna, we discovered an equally-delicious alternative: Italian custard. The best custard we came across was at Ravenna's...
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Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy
Ravenna, Italy, is perhaps best known for the beautiful mosaics that decorate the town, but an unexpected find my husband and I made in Ravenna was delicious Italian custard. We found the best selection of custards at the mind-blowing Forno...
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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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Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy
On a trip to Italy last year, my husband and I indulged in our fair share of gelato, but in the beautiful town of Ravenna, we discovered an equally-delicious alternative: Italian custard. The best custard we came across was at Ravenna's Forno...
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Southern Europe
The beautiful Tuscan hill town of Pienza is most famous for its world-famous pecorino cheese, made from rich sheep's milk. By far the best place to buy pecorino cheese in Pienza is the wonderful Bottega del Naturista...
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53026 Pienza SI, Italy
To celebrate his becoming Pope, the 15th-century Pius II commissioned Florentine architect Bernardo Gambarelli to reimagine his birthplace—then named Corsignano—as the ideal Renaissance town, using then-revolutionary humanist urban...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
One of the best bakeries in all of Italy has to be the Pasticceria Nannini (http://www.grupponannini.it/default.aspx), located in the gorgeous Tuscan hill town of Siena. Probably Siena's most well-known bakery and cafe, Pasticceria Nannini offers...
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Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy
While my husband and I ate our fair share of gelato in Italy, we also enjoyed the country's many bakeries. One of the best we found was the Forno Pasticceria San Rocco in the small town of Ravenna (http://www.fornosanrocco.it/). The pasticceria's...
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One of the things I looked forward to on my trip to Italy last year was visiting as many gelaterias as I could. And so every evening after dinner, and a few afternoons after lunch, my husband and I made our way to the local gelateria to taste what...
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Padua, Province of Padua, Italy
Few things are more synonymous with Italy than rich, creamy gelato, and nowhere did I find better gelato than at Los Andes Gelateria in Padua, located at 43 Via Monsignor Fortin. A husband and wife couple from South America own Los Andes, and...
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Padua, Province of Padua, Italy
By far the best place I found for a quick, delicious lunch in Padua, Italy, is Brek Foccaceria on the beautiful Piazzetta Garzeria (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Focacceria-Brek-di-Padova/133180920044536). The local students especially like the...
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If you're looking for a light, delicious lunch in Padua, Italy, head straight for Brek Foccaceria on the charming Piazzetta Garzeria (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Focacceria-Brek-di-Padova/133180920044536). Brek has a more formal restaurant, but...
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55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
One of the things that surprised me about the beautiful Tuscan town of Lucca is all the fresh produce vendors scattered throughout the town. The vendors offered an impressive array of fruit - strawberries, apricots, melons - and vegetables -...
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55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
The quaint Tuscan town of Lucca is filled with butcher shops similar to this one (known as a "macceleria" in Italian) selling delicious fresh meat like rabbit and pork, fresh poultry like pheasant and quail, and cured meats like salami and...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Wandering through Florence with my husband, we happened by a restaurant that was setting up for a large lunch party. The antipasto plate at each seat - piled with rich meats, cheeses, and vegetables - looked so enticing, and we were so hungry,...
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52044 Cortona, Province of Arezzo, Italy
The beautiful Tuscan village of Cortona might be best known as the setting for Francis Mayes' "Under the Tuscan Sun," but I'll always remember it as the city with the best raviolis in Tuscany. I pride myself as being a ravioli connoisseur of sorts...
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Sestiere Cannaregio, 3632, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
One of the cities I knew I had to see when my husband and I were planning our May trip to Italy was amazing Venice. Like many people who visit Venice, I was looking forward to seeing first-hand the things I'd always associated with the city: the...
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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 are abound in the city. You can find any type of mask you might want: from feminine doll-inspired masks, to masculine bird masks...
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Corso il Rossellino, 26, 53026 Pienza SI, Italy
During our May trip through beautiful Tuscany, my husband and I especially enjoyed a visit to the charming hill town of Pienza. Surrounded by the Val d'Orcia, which most people think of when they picture Tuscany - rolling hills, stately cypresses,...
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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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Via Mangiavacchi, 37, 53026 Piennza SI, Italy
One of the most delicious towns in Tuscany - and most beautiful - is the charming Pienza. Situated between Montepulciano and Montalcino in the scenic Val d'Orcia, centuries-old Pienza is best known for its rich pecorino cheeses. Many feel that the...
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Corso il Rossellino, 16, 53026 Pienza SI, Italy
The town of Pienza in beautiful Tuscany is a must-see on any trip to the region. The drive to Pienza winds you through the famed Val d'Orcia, whose postcard-perfect views most people associate with Tuscany: rolling green hills, stately cypresses,...
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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Basilico 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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56040 Castellina Marittima, Province of Pisa, Italy
In May my husband and I visited Italy for the first time. One of our favorite stops on our 12-day trip was the charming Tuscan town of Lucca. There were so many things we loved about Lucca: the friendly people, the colorful buildings. One of the...
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56040 Castellina Marittima, Province of Pisa, Italy
My husband and I visited Italy in May, and one of our favorite stops on our 12-day trip was the charming Tuscan town of Lucca. There were so many things to love about Lucca, from the friendly people to the colorful buildings. One of the best...
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Via Sant'Andrea, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
My husband and I visited Italy in May, and one of our favorite stops was the charming Tuscan town of Lucca. After wandering through the town for a few hours we decided to climb this tower, which offered a perfect view of Lucca from above. It's...
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Brandenberg Alps, 6234, Austria
My husband and I visited Italy in May, flying into and out of Milan. It was our first trip to Italy, and I knew as we flew over the stunning Italian Alps that it was going to be a trip to remember. We both love to be outdoors and have hiked in...
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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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Via del Proconsolo, 4, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
While in Florence, we visited one of the city's many art museums. I came across this open window as I wandered through the museum and though the view of the colorful building next door, framed so nicely by stained-glass windows, was almost as...
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Via Federico Stibbert, 26, 50134 Firenze FI, Italy
Frederick Stibbert was a wealthy Anglo-Italian art collector who used his inherited fortune to turn his home into a museum in the 19th century. Today, the Stibbert has one of the quirkiest collections you'll find in a city most famous for its...
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Via Castruccio Buonamici, 352, 55100 S. Anna,Lucca LU, Italy
My husband and I visited Lucca, Italy, in May. Just when I thought the charming town couldn't get any more beautiful, the sun went down and the lights came on, exposing a whole new beauty. Lucca is not a place to be missed, and make sure to stick...
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Via A. Gramsci, 522, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino FI, Italy
While wandering through Florence this May, my husband and I came across this policeman guarding the entrance of a building. I think his job might have been a bit tedious because he spent a good deal of time talking on his cell phone. I liked his...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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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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52044 Cortona, Province of Arezzo, Italy
While in Italy in May, my husband and I especially enjoyed our drives through Tuscany and Umbria. The hill towns throughout the region are wonderful to explore, and the views along the winding cypress-lined roads are picture perfect, like these...
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52044 Cortona, Province of Arezzo, Italy
While visiting Italy in May, my husband and I really enjoyed driving through Tuscany and Umbria and stopping at the many rustic hill towns dotting the regions. Cortona, the setting for Frances Mayes' novel "Under the Tuscan Sun," was one of our...
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Greve in Chianti, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
One of our favorite drives during our May trip to Italy was through the Chianti region in Tuscany, like this road outside Greve. It doesn't take that long to drive through the region - we did it in an afternoon and evening, stopping for an amazing...
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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 di S. Donato, 14, 53045 Montepulciano 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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Via dell' Anfiteatro, 5, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
While wandering through Lucca, Italy, in May, my husband and I were struck by the town's rustic beauty and rich history. But once the sun set and the lights went on, Lucca became a whole different type of beautiful. Definitely not a town to be...
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Via Carlo Cattaneo, 8/d, 37121 Verona VR, Italy
One of the things I liked most about Verona, Italy, was its great shopping. The shops all had interesting signs and window displays. I really liked this reflective window for the upscale "Scotch & Soda" clothing shop. I loved how the colorful...
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55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
My husband and I visited Italy in May, and one of our favorite stops during our 12-day trip was the charming town of Lucca in Tuscany. One of the things I liked most about Lucca was the bold colors of the town's buildings, like these...
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53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
Just outside my favorite hill town in all of Tuscany, San Gimignano, we came across these colorful water towers on and old abandoned farm. I had to stop for a photo. The still-brilliant red, yellow, and orange towers were eye-catching and...