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Italy 2014

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Piazza Inferiore di S. Francesco, 2, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
The Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi is the Catholic mother church of the Franciscan Order and is an important Christian pilgrimage site. Partially destroyed in the 1997 earthquake the restoration is complete. After visiting the Giotto and...
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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...
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Via della Penna, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
I tell all my friends to stay here. It’s a great location, right off Piazza del Popolo. The hotel is not part of a chain. It’s family owned, which is charming. 39/06-361-0841. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Hiking the Cinque Terre is an extraordinary way to explore the Ligurian Coast. Five villages connected only by hiking trail and rail with breathtaking coastal views and colorfully quaint villages. The trails can be challenging at times and it is...
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Piazza Cappuccini, 1, 90129 Palermo PA, Italy
Walking through Palermo you get the feeling that much hasn't changed in the last hundred years or so. That is especially true at the Capuchin Catacombs. The catacombs contain skeletons and mumified bodies of various citizens of Palermo. The...
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Strada Comunale Serra, 1, 14055 Annunziata, Costigliole d'Asti AT, Italy
Winemaker Renato Ratti recently opened to the public his family’s 18th-century, 13-room villa in the Piedmont countryside. An old cellar stores decades’ worth of Ratti wines. Guided tastings can be arranged upon request, and bottles can be shipped...
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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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Viale della Marina, 40-42, 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 Marina Piccola, 118, 80076 Capri NA, Italy
When going to Italy there are so many beautiful and breathtaking things that have such historical relevance and striking beauty. Venezia, Firenze, and Roma all have very powerful histories from the rule of Venetians to the birth of the Renaissance...
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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Fontana di Trevi is, as it should be, one of the most visited landmarks in Rome. Seeing it is worth the blind stumble through narrow stone streets and alleyways. But do so at night (and in the rain, if possible) to be rewarded with...
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Via Regina, 40, 22012 Cernobbio CO, Italy
The 152-room Villa d’Este resides about an hour north of Milan in the quiet surrounds of Lake Como. The 16th century palatial estate has 25 acres of manicured Italian gardens, and it’s been a favorite escape for Hollywood types (Alfred Hitchcock...
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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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01030 Calcata Vecchia VT, Italy
Abandoned in the 1960s for fear its cliffs were crumbling, Calcata, Italy was discovered by hippies and artists soon after and today, the "paese dei fricchettone," is still made up of the same "freaks." I lived in Calcata, wedged between Tuscany...
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Vocabolo Cascata, 05100 Marmore TR, Italy
When near Terni, stop by this man made waterfall created by the ancient Romans. The controlled water flow is used to power the surrounding area so best to arrive in the early morning when the falls are at their most powerful.
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Calle Lion, 3383, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
We spent the day walking around Venice and getting lost in its wonderful maze of streets. The end of the day found us facing this large church as the cat-in-the-cradle moon hung low in the sky. Randy went onto the bridge for a better view 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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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100 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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When it comes to ice cream, there is still only one place in Rome. It has been the best since 1900. I love Giolitti not only for the great gelato, but also because it hasn’t changed since I was a little girl. 39/06-699-1243. By Pepi Marchetti...