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Italian Summer

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Via Clavature, 17/C, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
What makes a meal great? I like to think it is a combination of atmosphere, company and, of course, the food. Starving for carbs to keep me going for the day full of museum and church hopping. We stopped at an unassuming little restaurant with...
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Bologna, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Italy
Truly one of the most distinctive cities I've seen, Bologna is a treat. You hear about the food, you hear about the university, but there are just so many surprises around each corner. Just go, get lost...
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Piazza Galvani, 1, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
At the heart of Bologna is its ancient tradition of scholarship. Home to one of the oldest universities in the world, Bologna has long been known as a city of academics. At the heart of this tradition is the Archiginnasio of Bologna. This 15th...
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Bologna, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Italy
Bologna is a fantastic city in Italy, that not everyone has a chance to visit. I was lucky my friend was studying there so I looked at it as a fantastic opportunity to visit! The major landmark in Bologna is the Due Torri or the Two Towers. The...
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Via Ugo Bassi, 25, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy
This pork sausage has been made for at least 2000 years, today the name is protected, ensuring that authentic Mortadella is free from fillers, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Only finely ground pork, high quality fat squares and a...
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Piazza Galvani, 5, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
The main church of Bologna, San Petronio Basilica dominates the main plaza. Construction on the church began in the 14th century and was dedicated to a 5th century Bolognese saint. One of the most fascinating parts of the church is the elaborate...
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Via S. Petronio Vecchio, 15, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
I feel lucky for the Bologna rain that led me to hide under one of the city's many porticoes and run across Lestofante. This little bar is full of color, charm, warmth, and food that is true. The young owners, Nicola and Giulia, use seasonal...
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Piazza Maggiore, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
Just off the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna are block after block of picturesque shopping streets. A great restaurants scattered about, where you can eat in the open air.
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Bologna, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Italy
The historic and central district of Bologna is a medieval masterpiece filled with amazing architecture, landmarks and attractions. Here's a nice overview and highlights of a visit to this beautiful city in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy...
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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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Campo Santi Filippo e Giacomo, 4623, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Looking back at Venice from Murano, where you can shop for colorful glass. You know you are in a very special place. And you hope that it will still be there for a long, long time to come.
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Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Built in 1525 as the family home of Doge Andrea Gritti, this antique-stocked palazzo has rooms with mosaic floors, hand-painted furniture, and panoramic views of the Grand Canal. Murano glass chandeliers and sconces light up the hotel that Ernest...
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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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Calle Seconda de la Fava, 4196, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
I'm a sucker for an elegant drink at a hotel lounge in any country, and in Venice you can't do better than the Danieli. It's the hotel where John Ruskin wrote The Stones of Venice, and its grand, sweeping stairway will transport you straight back...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you...
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Piazza San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
During the day, the Piazza San Marco in Venice is an overwhelming flurry of activity, but once the sun sets, you'd be surprised at just how much a sense of ease and languor settles in. Life simply slows down as the crowds depart. Stop by...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
This pink-marble waterfront edifice in Piazza San Marco dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence and seat of government for the doges (rulers) of Venice. Today the ornate Byzantine- and Moorish-influenced Gothic Palazzo Ducale is...
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Piazza di Santa Croce, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Standing in the Piazza Santa Croce, a statue of Dante looms over the square from the corner. Florence, where Durante degli Alighieri's journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise was to begin but not end. In 1829 a tomb was built for him in the...
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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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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, 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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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I love immersing myself in Florentine luxury in this Medieval palace that the Grandpapa of Italian shoe design, Salvatore Ferragmo bought in 1938. The downstairs museum pays homage to the master with fantastic displays—including molds he made for...
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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
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Via de' Tornabuoni, 64R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The recipe for the delicious, tiny truffle-cream sandwiches at atmospheric old Procacci is a guarded secret but, oh boy, are they good, especially when accompanied by a glass of prosecco. Smart Florentine ladies-who-shop flock here for a pit...
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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 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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Piazza del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Designed by Giuseppe Mengoni in 1865, and named after the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, an arching cast-iron dome of vaulted glass arcades covers the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The Galleria is a popular...
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Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
La Scala, the world’s most famous opera house, is also home to an elegant restaurant, bar, and tea room. Modern but informal, the traditional dishes are unusually light, delicious, and beautifully prepared. The romantic atmosphere is set by a...
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Piazza della Scala, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Free museum in the heart of the city. Great escape on a hot day, nice selection of Italian art across history. However, the true gem is the building itself I think.
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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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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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Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Designed by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini, the glorious interior is quite the opposite from its austere exterior. Acoustics are amazing, not only from the exemplary construction of the venue but also thanks to the perfect...
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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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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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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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Campo San Giacometto, 122, 30125 Rialto, Venezia VE, Italy

At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you'll find a ground-floor wine bar serving...