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Italy

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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 6, 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...
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Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 7, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Staying in boutique hotels, with their homey feeling and personal attention, can enhance one's travel experience. That is definitely true of staying at J.K. Place. The beautiful décor, central location (right on Piazza Santa Maria Novella in the...
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There is a reason why renting a villa in Tuscany is so popular - rustic farmhouses, rolling hills filled with olive and plum trees, golden sunsets, locally-harvested wine, creamy cheeses, and cool evenings spent with friends and family. Renting a...
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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Castello di Poggio alle Mura, 53024 Montalcino SI, Italy
For nearly three centuries, workers serving the nobility at Castello Banfi in Tuscany lived in a small hamlet within the castle grounds. In 2007, however, the stone houses within their tiny village were completely renovated under the direction 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 Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
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Via Ciarliana, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
A walk on the vineyards, after the harvest, enjoying the sun of October. You don't need really a car, you can simply walk for a couple of kilometres out of the historic center and you will see the vineyards used for producing the famous Vino...
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Via Montebello, 58, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
During my last stay in Florence, I wanted to learn more about the artisan trades, and Bruscoli was recommended to me by a local. I am so glad it was. As I walked along the Arno River on my way to the workshop, I had no idea what an extraordinary...
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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...
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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 de' Pitti, 16, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
With its emphasis on wine and a simple menu, we turned happy hour into a prolonged wine dinner at the Enoteca Pitti Gola E Cantina. It sits across the street from the Pitti Palace, with a commanding view from the covered street-side deck. Three...
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Via Dè Cenci, 17, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
Tucked along a small cobbled road in the historic center of Arezzo - in the heart of Tuscany - is this small pasticceria. Family run for generations, this warm and cozy shop produces the best biscotti and pastries in Arezzo. And, as our...
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53035 Monteriggioni, Province of Siena, Italy
Renting a holiday house, outside our home Country, would be a complete new experience for us, and we were a little bit concerned about that. The result, on the other hand, was wonderful and we recommend that to anyone who is in doubt. Besides the...
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Via S. Martino, 17, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
Medieval hill towns in Italy were built for security. They endure for romance. San Gimignano, about 30 miles south of Florence and 35 miles north of Sienna, is one of a the best loved and most visited.
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
It was a late summer night in Siena, and I happened to discover that the iron gate by the side of Basilica of San Domenico, which was firmly closed during the day time, was slightly open. I stepped inside and it led me to a Tuscan night view of my...
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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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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 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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Piazza di San Giovanni, 19/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the mythological places in Florence is Scudieri cafe in Piazza di San Giovanni. Long marble bar and a lot of people around it having their espresso or cold cream coffee. Highly recommended! Their selection is great.
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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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Via A. Rollandi, 122, 19017 Manarola, Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Cinque Terre is a popular destination in Italy for a reason. Unfortunately, this can often lead to overpriced, under-quality restaurants. Trattoria dal Billy is an exception. Here you can enjoy fresh fish carpaccio, handmade pasta (with regional...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
If you find yourself on the Mediterranean Sea or in Italy then be sure you make your way to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre, or "The Five Lands" (in Italian), is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and...
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55047 Malbacco LU, Italy
Halfway between tourist hot spots Cinque Terre and Pisa, Malbacco's freshwater ponds are Tuscany's best-kept secret. Shaded by towering pines and refreshed by cool mountain stream waters, this series of ponds is a welcome respite from the hottest...
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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 Guidoni, 56, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
I was hungry and wanted to see the sunset. As a solo traveler, getting to do both -- eat well at a table with a view -- was tough. They wanted to save the best for duos. So after being given a lame table at a chic-chic (read: super expensive) spot...
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Via Roma, 54, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP, Italy
Having just spent the better part of 12 days eating nothing but focaccia, pasta, more focaccia and more pasta in Tuscany, this heaping helping of "frutti di mare" for my first meal in Cinque Terre was absolute heaven. With the exception of a small...
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Via dei Girolami, 28R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Armed with only a recommendation, a description, and the general location of the restaurant—but no actual restaurant name—we found Ristorante Buca dell’Orafo, near the Ponte Vecchio. The small restaurant is below street level off an alley-wide...
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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...
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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The most beautiful view in Florence is undoubtedly high above the city on a rooftop watching the sunset splash across Florence with a 360 degree view. Experience what it's like to live like a local in one of the most beautiful cities in the world....
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Dorsoduro, 701-704, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
There's plenty of art in Venice, from the churches to the Scuoli to the Accademia. But when you just can't look at another Caravaggio, and even Titian hair doesn't move you any more, refresh yourself with a visit to Peggy's house. The renowned...
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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...
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Calle Chibecchi, 521, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
This tiny Venetian bacaro (bar) is so popular that many of its patrons don’t even make it inside. Instead, they cluster around the entrance drinking wine. Sample cicchetti (bar snacks) that the locals come for, especially the meatballs. Calle del...
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Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221, 30142 Burano,Venezia VE, Italy
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Let the wind blow through your hair as you take a 30-minute vaporetto ride to Burano, an island in the lagoons of Venice. Known for its handmade lace and brightly-colored fishermen's homes, the island is free of the tourist crush of the rest of...
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Localita' Spannocchia, 167, 53012 Chiusdino SI, Italy
Spannocchia, an organic working farm, is one of my favorite places in Tuscany. Vacation rentals in rustic Tuscan farmhouses or in the main Castello are available on a weekly basis. We stayed in Palazze Torre which we were convinced was haunted –...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Once home to the Medici princes, Palazzo Pitti is now our portal to Renaissance Florence. It is divided into six sections and, after three visits, I still cannot choose a favorite. The left wing is comprised of the Royal Apartments—a section that...
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51015 Grotta Giusti PT, Italy
Italy is full of SPAS--a word that stands for Salus Per Aqum=Health Through Water, or in my experience Spa==Ah, it feels so good. Just as the Romans indulged in the curative natural springs that pop up all over Italy, I find a day of rejuvenation...
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Borgo S. Frediano, 167R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
IO Osteria Personale is a small, elegant, and innovative restaurant in Florence. It's a foodie's delight, with an à la carte menu of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, but no pasta! You can choose three or five dishes plus dessert to create...
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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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PR-110R, Aguadilla Pueblo, Aguadilla 00603, Puerto Rico
We found the best spot for the freshest açai bowl on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Da Bowls in Aguadilla beats anything in Rincon or anywhere else on the island. Mix and match your own, or go with their selection. We chose the Reef Bowl, which...
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PR-115, Añasco, 00610, Puerto Rico
Kaplash is located on the curve of Road 115 as you head toward the town of Rincon. The little unassuming orange and blue building boasts a beautiful view of the ocean and—in the opinion of myself and others—the best empanadillas on the whole...
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208 Calle O'Donnell, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
A favorite with the locals, especially government workers at lunch, this place is always packed, and with good reason. For $10 or less for an authentic and delicious lunch special (with a drink), this place is a steal. Try the asopao de camarones...
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Guavate, Cayey, Puerto Rico
Guavate, a section of Cayey better known as the Ruta del Lechon ("Pork Highway"), bursts into a rush of food-infused ecstasy every Friday and Saturday. People from all parts of the island come to watch someone roast a whole pig over the open fire...
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PR-617, Morovis 00687, Puerto Rico
In 1862, the Panaderia La Patria (The Homeland Bakery) was established in the mountain town of Morovis. One of the oldest bakeries in the island, La Patria offers a variety of traditional Puerto Rican sweets like flan and quesitos (a pastry filled...
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55 Cll Aguadilla, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico
O:live Boutique Hotel opened in 2012 in Condado, the stylish quarter of San Juan, and has already been touted as one of the world's best small boutique hotels. The owners dreamt up the idea for the 15-room hotel while honeymooning on Italy’s...
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262 Calle Sol, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
From your centrally located accommodations at La Terraza de San Juan in the Puerto Rican capital's Old Town, explore historic monuments like El Morro Fortress and San Cristobal Castle. Then shop for fresh Caribbean produce (fist-sized avocados,...
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142 Calle Flamboyan, Vieques, PR 00765
Just sayin'... As far as beach bars go, this town's one-street scene is all bananas. After my trip, I called one of my awesome friends from college (go Providence!) who has frequented Vieques for work (lucky her), and when I told her how shocked I...
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(when gates closed, entrance at corner of Calle McLeary and Calle Santa Ana), 1 Calle Tapia, San Juan, 00911, Puerto Rico
I decided I wanted to turn 30 on a stretch of beach, alone with nothing but the wind and the waves to comfort me during what was a very confusing time. A dear friend had just died, and I really didn't know how I felt about THIRTY. I'd heard it...
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Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián, PR, Puerto Rico
In Calvache, a smaller subdivision of Rincon, in Puerto Rico, is a house made entirely of bamboo. A labor of love by two artists living in the area, this place is up close and personal with nature. The house itself features two outdoor bedrooms,...
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Bahía Sucia, Puerto Rico
If you'd like to forgo San Juan for an equally beautiful but much less touristy area, head to Cabo Rojo and stay at Bahia Salinas. The resort, located off a road lined by cotton plants and salt flats, is also minutes away from Bahia (or Playa)...
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Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Suppose I told you there was a small, remarkably idyllic and fairly unpopulated island in the Caribbean just a short distance from the mainland United States, an island so immaculate, plans were in the works to make it a National Wildlife Refuge,...
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Hotel Búðir - with its extraordinary location - is undoubtedly one of the most surreal places in the world. On the other hand - and striking a very ‘real’ note - it serves some of the best food in Iceland!
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The Horse Shoe, Iceland
My husband and I just returned from a trip to Iceland for my 40th birthday. We were lucky enough to be in Iceland during a somewhat-rare solar storm that made the Northern Lights much brighter and more active than usual, and since that's what I...
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Akureyri, Iceland
Although it’s home to only about 20,000 souls, Iceland’s second biggest city is often referred to as the capital of northern Iceland. A functioning port and fishing center, it has a surprisingly lively infrastructure with a slew...
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Látrabjarg, Iceland
Látrabjarg is home to millions of puffins, but you must have a good day for taking photos and most importantly must be available during the evening. During the day they are on the ocean looking for fish. Our time there was very rainy and extremely...
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Jökulsárlón, Iceland
This lake filled with giant, translucent chunks of iceberg is one of Iceland’s most distinctive and photogenic sights. Featured in high-profile movies, including two of the James Bond series and Batman Begins (as well as many local TV...
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Northern Europe
My husband and I traveled around the periphery of Iceland (on Ring Road) over a 9-day trip this summer. I find turf homes very cute, so I had planned to visit a few. To visit the Glaumbær Farm in rural northwest Iceland, it was a small detour off...
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66.046407, -17.343459, Garðarsbraut, 640 Húsavík, Iceland
Try something different and experience wildlife on board a traditional Icelandic schooner operated by North Sailing Húsavík.The crew is fun and very knowledgeable. They take you to Lundey, the Puffin Island, as well as the traditional whale...
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Ludlow, VT, USA
a few years ago, some friends suggested a Memorial Day bike tour that would explore the dirt roads of Vermont. It was three days of fast descents, beautiful farmland and very few cars. in the photo above, while finishing up breakfast outside of a...
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Ripton, VT 05766, USA
On rides in New England, there are always country stores, and most of these stores boast some form of local rootbeer. Unfortunately, in many cases, these aren't actually home made but are usually brewed in some central plant then sold to different...