Collected by Gina Bloome
Via della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Gabriele Bonci's famous pizza-by-the-slice joint serves some of the best pizza in town. The slow-leavened dough is made from organic stoneground flour, and toppings change throughout the day. Pizzarium also sells excellent bread and supplì (fried...
Via Statilio Ottato, 110/116, 00175 Roma RM, Italy
Excellent fried starters, delectable pizzas, and a large selection of craft beers make this one of Rome's best pizzerias. The style is Neapolitan with a high rim, as opposed to the thin crusted Roman style. The Greenwich (stilton and port...
Via degli Specchi, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This pub, owned by the Piedmont-based Baladin brewing company and Lazio's own Birra del Borgo, opened in September 2009 and was quickly canonized as the best place to drink Italian beers in Rome. There are over 120 labels to choose from, ranging...
Via Trionfale, 36, 00195 Roma RM, Italy
Panificio Bonci, which opened in November 2012, is legendary baker Gabriele Bonci’s bread bakery. Located in the Trionfale district—not far from Bonci’s famous pizza-by-the-slice joint, Pizzarium—the bakery sells loaves, sandwiches, and a handful...
Via Lago di Lesina, 9/11, 00199 Roma RM, Italy
A few blocks from Villa Ada and the Via Salaria, Gelateria Fatamorgana sells Maria Agnese Spagnuolo’s edible works of art. Each flavor is made from all natural ingredients, without chemical additives or artificial flavors, and many are lactose...
Via del Casaletto, 45, 00151 Roma RM, Italy
Cesare al Casaletto is far off the well-beaten tourist track, but it is easy to get to: just take the 8 tram from Piazza Venezia or Largo Argentina and get off at the very last stop. Fifty yards from the tram tracks sits Rome's best trattoria,...
Foro Traiano, 82, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
In spite of its reputation as a city of local, seasonal dining, these characteristics of Roman cuisine are actually under threat and in widespread decline. For this reason, the government has stepped in with the hopes of saving local farms and...
Via Senese, 89/R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Family-run Ruggero is a bit of a hike from the centre of town, but in my mind, it is the best traditional trattoria in Florence, so worth the effort. You can expect textbook versions of Florentine classics from ribollita (a hearty...
Via dei Girolami, 28, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Located a few steps away from the Ponte Vecchio in what was at one time a medieval palace, this restaurant serves a traditional menu of dishes made with regional ingredients. Their beef is sourced from a farm in the Maremma countryside and...
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...
Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Cramped it may be, but rustic Da Mario, located at the back of the mercato centrale, serves up a menu of consistently reliable Florentine classics to a mix of stall workers, business folk and tourists, and it’s always packed. The choice changes...
Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
A reservation is an absolute necessity at this very traditional and very popular Florentine trattoria. The white-tiled walls are hung with photographs and prints; hard wooden benches and tables run along the perimeter, and more tables...
Piazza del Carmine, 18, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
A dependable neighbourhood trattoria with a loyal local following and a daily-changing list of seasonal specialities, Carmine is a regular haunt of mine. It serves one of the best beef carpaccios in town (topped with arugula and parmesan...
Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Hidden away behind the stalls in the San Lorenzo market, Da Sergio turns out wholesome, unpretentious food to locals and tourists. Last time I was here I ordered tortelli di patate (potato-stuffed ravioli) with meat sauce and deep-fried calamari...
Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Piazza della Repubblica in central Florence has three of the city's most historic cafes. Gilli is one of them, and when you walk in, you feel like you are entering a piece of the city's history. The cafe was founded in 1733 but moved to its...
Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
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...
Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Elevate the normally mundane experience of shopping for medicine-cabinet basics like soap and toothpaste with a visit to one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. In this 13th-century chapel with early Renaissance frescoes, Gothic carved wooden...
Via dei Vecchietti, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When people think of Florence, they usually think of Renaissance art and crowded museums filled with altarpieces and "Madonna and Child" images. While the Renaissance is the biggest draw of this historic city, there is a lot more to its art-museum...
Campo San Giacometto, Ponte di Rialto, 122, 30125 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...
Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
An ornate 15th-century private palazzo has been transformed into a lavish hotel (below) that faces the Rialto market. Artworks from the 1600s meet 21st-century amenities in the 42 rooms and suites, many of which overlook the Grand Canal. Doubles...
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
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 Caffè...
Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Two things you need to know about gondola rides in Venice: They're worth it; and the price is agreed beforehand. Knowing those two things, you can happily hop aboard this traditional Venetian mode of transport and relax, because, touristy as it...
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Venice is extremely well supplied with bars selling the delicious local wine. But I'm more of a spirit girl, and limoncello does nothing for me. So, I was extremely happy to stumble upon this superb little bar in San Polo. It boasted a fantastic...
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