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Italy 2014

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wont be long now, italy in May !!
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90010 Ficarazzi PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza This central square is famous for carts that serve Sicilian antipasti in front of the Oratorio di San Lorenzo, which has amazing 18th-century sculptures, perhaps the most extravagant art Sicily produced at the time. Via dell’...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza A restaurant built within Palermo’s ancient walls, where chariots were once housed. Under these enormous vaults there is a library, a garden, and a bar—it’s a fantastic place for drinks. Foro Umberto I This story appeared in the...
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Via Teatro Greco, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
The Island of Sicily has many wonders. Taormina is a popular resort town on Monte Tauro and has an old Greek Theatre that is still used for performances. The sitting has awesome views of the coast and Mount Etna. I would like to go back and actual...
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Piazza Indipendenza, 90129 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza Within the Palace of the Normans, there’s a chapel of the kings. “It’s sumptuous,” Fabrizia says, “all covered with mosaics. It’s like getting inside a golden box of jewelry.” Piazza del Parlamento 1 This story appeared in the...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza Palermo’s art museum, which houses medieval and modern works, is around the corner from the Mura delle Cattive (Wall of Widows). It’s in a well-preserved palace of the 15th-century Gothic Catalan epoch—we belonged to Spain at the...
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Corso Umberto, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
Taormina is an ancient town, with an at-times Bohemian reputation (the writer Harold Acton once referred to Taormina as "a polite synonym for Sodom"). The town sits atop a steep seaside promontory roughly an hour or so south of the port city of...
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84010 Ravello, Province of Salerno, Italy
Ravello has drawn writers, artists, and musicians to its green hills for years. I was there in the middle of a downpour, and didn't get a chance to explore the gardens the town is known for. Instead, I sat in a cafe on the main square, drank a hot...
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Vibrant handpainted ceramics are on display here to ooh and ahh over, made under the direction of the artist Pascal, including marvelous platters, coasters, dinner sets--in designs ranging from traditional to modern. He'll even custom make pieces...
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75100 Matera, Province of Matera, Italy
Walking through Matera, one feels as if they are a living part of history. It is impossible to feel 'outside the moment' in this city. The underground caves and ancient byzantine frescoes are complimented by traditional trattorias, cafes, and...
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Via San Giovanni Vecchio, 89, 75100 Matera MT, Italy
I'm not one to skip breakfast, especially in Italy, where thoughts of cappuccino, pastries, and local ham tend to rouse me early from slumber. But on my first morning at the Hotel Sant’Angelo, in the old quarter of Matera, I was having a hard time...
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Via Camerelle, 10, 80076 Capri NA, Italy
All the perfumes, soaps, and candles sold at Carthusia are scented using flowers grown on the garden-covered island of Capri. The Gelsomini fragrance is the purest jasmine I've ever smelled in a bottle. The rich, milky soaps make your luggage...
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80076 Marina Grande, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
First thing you should do upon your first visit to Capri Island is take a tour boat surrounding the island. It may seem a bit touristy but Capri has been an island that has attracted tourist-types for 2000 years, one of which was the tyrannical...
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80071 Anacapri NA, Italy
Spectacular 360 degree view of Capri on top of Mount Solaro attainable by chair lift ride 589 meters above sea level. Takes your breath away...
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Monte Solaro, 80071 Anacapri, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
The summit of Monte Solarno, the highest point in Capri is almost 2,000 feet high! You can choose to climb it or opt for the considerably easier chairlift. Along the ride and at the top, you will enjoy an incredible 360-degree...
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Piazz San Nicola, 80071 Anacapri NA, Italy
When in Anacapri take the time to visit the tiny church of Saint Michele Arcangelo. The floor is all tile and depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is breathtaking.
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80045 Pompeii, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

Witness the destruction wrought by Mt. Vesuvius nearly 2,000 year ago at the archaeological site of Pompeii. The ancient village was frozen in time beneath a blanket of hot ash during an eruption in 79 C.E. Among the ruins that have been uncovered...

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Via Chiaia, 1/2, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy
The most famous café in town, this historic spot oozes period charm and maintains much of its original Belle Epoque decor. The main bar is for stand-up coffees and aperitivi, but there are several cozy salons for a sit-down treat. The terrace is a...
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Naples, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
Naples was my favorite city among those that I visited in Italy. The people are warm and gracious, and the bit of dirt and grit that repels some tourists gave the city an edge that I absolutely loved. English is not as widely spoken in Naples,...
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84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
Having a custom pair of Italian shoes made has probably been one of the highlights of my adult life. It's a must in Positano, if you can make up your mind what style you want! Even more exciting than having the shoes made before my eyes was seeing...
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Piazza del Plebiscito, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy
San Francesco di Paola Church is located in Piazza del Plebiscito, which is one of the largest squares in Naples. The Church was constructed as an imitation to the Pantheon in Roma and was built as a tribute to Napoleon. It is one of the elegant...
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Via Tagliata 63, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
The day my boyfriend and I arrived in Positano, Italy, we headed up to the tiny village of Nocella to start our trek on the Path of Gods, which winds along the moutain's edge. This was one of our first views stepping outside of Nocella onto the...
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84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
Savor the wind in your face, as it whips the wildflowers and the tall grass on the mountainside, high above the town of Praiano. The hike called Sentiero degli Dei, or The God's Pathway, runs from Bomerano via Nocelle down to Positano. The hike...
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Via Posillipo, 80123 Napoli NA, Italy
After a dizzying van ride through streets as narrow as U.S. sidewalks and deafeningly abuzz with Vespas and constantly honking mini-cars, our driver stopped at this terrace for a quick photo op on our way out of town. The weather was cold, the...
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Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Built into Positano’s hillside, with an eye-catching crimson facade laced with white trimming, Le Sirenuse sits amid the town’s tangle of pastel houses and stepped alleys that lead to charming boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and...
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Traversa Punta Capo, 80067 Sorrento NA, Italy
About 2 km outside of the town center of Sorrento, Italy is a natural pool set behind the bluffs that characterize the Amalfi coast. You can only reach it on foot (or Vespa) by turning right off of Via Capo at the sign on a red building that...
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80061 Marina di Puolo NA, Italy
My husband, our two daughters, and I rented a small boat with captain for the day to motor from Sorrento to Amalfi and back. We stopped in Amalfi for about an hour to do a bit of shopping including for ingredients for a picnic lunch. We got back...
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Piazza Fossia, 7, 98038 Savoca ME, Italy
This little village is completely charming and worth a visit on its own, but there's also the Godfather connection. Francis Ford Coppola chose Savoca, Sicily as one of the filming locations for his first Godfather film. The bar where Michael...
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84010 Scala, Province of Salerno, Italy
Picture a historic village perched high above the sparkling Mediterranean, surrounded by lush mountains and stony cliffs. A charming, three hundred year old country home is nestled among the trees and warm breezes carry the tantalizing aromas of...
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Via S. Giovanni del Toro, 28, 84010 Ravello SA, Italy
Set in a 12th-century pink fairy-tale palace that looks like it’d make a prime setting for a Wes Anderson film, Palazzo Avino is skirted in flower-filled gardens terraced across a cliffside in Ravello. Interiors are as decadent as the...
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Via Marina Piccola 118, 80073 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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Via Matteotti, 80076 Capri NA, Italy
When I go to Capri for a day trip I wake up thinking about this drink. When we are staying in Capri I sometime have one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Made to order with freshly squeezed orange juice and tart, icy, lemon granita. You can...
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84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
In its ten miles from Positano to Amalfi, the celebrated corniche road known as the Amalfi Coast Drive clings to rugged cliffsides, weaving torturously in and out and up and down gorges, through lemon groves and olives, past whitewashed villages...
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Via Cesare Battisti, 4, 98079 Castel di Tusa ME, Italy
Many of the Atelier sul Mare rooms have been designed by a different artist and no two are alike. Most of the rooms are minimal and incorporate a water theme (which makes sense: the property overlooks the sea). Picking your room in advance is...
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SP94, 07021 Arzachena OT, Italy
There are few places that blend dramatic scenery, old-world history, and stellar food culture as beautifully as Sardinia. In early summer, wildflowers color the island, cherries are at their juiciest, and many regions are surprisingly tourist...
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Via Capodimonte, 19a, 80131 Napoli NA, Italy

This summer Eddy Bourdages, 33, and his mother, Mireille Anderson, 57, made their first trip to Italy. “We wanted to open an authentic Neapolitan wood oven pizzeria, so we went to the source,” says Bourdages. Anderson has owned L’Odyssée Bistro &...

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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...

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The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo, occupies a site that’s been holy since the time of the Romans, but it wasn’t until the early 19th century when the finishing touches were finally placed on this massive building. The Duomo is the fifth largest...
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Via Tagliata, 32B, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Situated high up in the hills of Montepertuso and overlooking the magical town of Positano, each and every part of the family-owned, Trattoria La Tagliata, is truly local – from the organic vegetables grown in their own gardens, free-range meat...
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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...
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Vicolo delle Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Here is one of Rome’s best restaurants: Al Moro is very traditional and is well known for the quality of its seasonal ingredients, including porcini mushrooms, wild strawberries, artichokes, and asparagus. 39/06-678-3495. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Via Borgognona, 11, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I often take out-of-town guests here for lunch because it feels—and is—so authentic. Whenever I go in, I have ‘my’ table, as do all the other Roman regulars. One of the restaurant’s specialties is the Francovich soup, which is a delicious Tuscan...
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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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Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano MI, Italy
The café Erba Brusca sits on a plot of land at the city’s edge, where concrete blocks meet grassy meadows. Italian staples such as buttery white polenta and roasted speziata sausage are made with herbs and greens grown on-site. Reserve a table on...
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Via Pignasecca, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy
La Pignasecca is renowned for its abundance of cheese, pastry, and fresh fish stalls. As you shop, don’t miss snacking on the biscuits (tarrale) from Panificio Vincenzo Coppola. Open daily, Via Pignasecca. Read Tom Downey's "Tailor Made in Naples...
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Via dei Chiavari, 34, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
One of Rome's best bakeries and among the city's most historic institutions, Antico Forno Roscioli is a family-run business. Depending on the time of day, you might find patriarch Marco or his son Pierluigi hard at work. There are a variety of...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Every Saturday and Sunday on Via S. Teodoro, tucked just off Circus Maximus, Rome's best farmer's market takes place. It's run by Campagna Amica, an Italy-wide organization that promotes local, sustainable agriculture—so all of the products sold...
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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...
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Galleria del Corso, 4, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
For the last decade, Peck was the only place in town to stock up on the best of the best Italian foodstuffs. Now there’s a new gourmet go-to: a sprawling emporium in the basement level of the Excelsior department store. Choose from thousands of...
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Via Pardo, 29, 95131 Catania CT, Italy
Make a meal of fresh sea urchin at Osteria Antica Marina among the bustle of the fishmongers in Catania. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Osteria Antica Marina
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Via Stella, 22, 41121 Modena MO, Italy
In the region of Emilia-Romagna, eat at Massimo Bottura’s three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana. From there, take a day trip to Massimo Spigaroli’s farm estate, Antica Corte Pallavicina; visit his charcuterie, and buy some culatello [a prized...
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Viale Cavalleggeri D'Aosta, 84, 80124 Napoli NA, Italy

Pescheria Mattiucci is a fish store by day that transforms itself into a small standing-room-only restaurant a few nights of the week. Mattiucci is an old family operation, but this place is the brainchild of a young son, Luigi Mattiucci. Luigi...

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Via Ponte Vetero, 21, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Every city has an eatery that’s a mainstay for shoppers, and in Milan, it’s the tony Brera neighborhood restaurant Convivium. House specialties include complimentary rosemary flatbread, four-cheese pizza, and sea saltencrusted sea bass for two. ...
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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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Southern Europe
by Fabrizia Lanza People line up at seven or eight in the morning to order a big dish of soup made with tripe and intestines. You can getpanelle(pancakes made from chickpeas) hot from the vendor. They also sell the most famouspanino—spleen stuffed...
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Via Dante, 40, 34071 Cormons GO, Italy
D’Osvaldo is one of the only remaining producers of the smoked ham known as prosciutto di Cormòns, a local specialty. Visit the smoking room behind the family estate, where legs of prosciutto hang above smoldering cherry wood gathered from the...
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Riviera di Chiaia, 269, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy
Antonella Rossi and her husband, Corrado, offer seasonal locavore takes on traditional Neapolitan fare such as green zucchini with squid sauteed in olive oil with lavender. 39/081-552-2266. Read Tom Downey's "Tailor Made in Naples."
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Bastioni Marco Polo, 41, 07041 Alghero SS, Italy
Located near farm and sea, the northwest city of Alghero is the place to try regional specialties. The restaurant Angedras expresses the city’s Catalan influences with local ingredients; try the mussel-and-clam soup, or the grilled pecorino...
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Via delle Belle Arti, 17/A, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Bologna is well known for its culinary expertise, and one of the best restaurants in town to taste authentic Bolognese cuisine is at the Trattoria Anna Maria. This little restaurant serves only the best food from the Emilia-Romagna region of...
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Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221, 30142 Burano,Venezia VE, Italy
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 brightly-colored fishermen's homes, the island is largely free of the tourist crush of the rest of Venice....
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Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roscioli family, famous for their nearby bakery Antico Forno Roscioli, opened this restaurant/wine bar/gourmet shop in 2005. Book several days in advance for lunch or dinner and be sure to request a ground floor table near the back of the...
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Via Ombrone, 1, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
Where's the beef? Who cares - when you come to Orvieto the thing to eat is "porchetta" and they do it in so many different ways that you'll just have to try them all. Either hit a restaurant or just go to one of the butcher shops and try a bit of...
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Via dell'Opio Nel Corso, 34, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
[CLOSED] A Gambe di Gatto is a tiny restaurant in Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy with fabulous food. The service is very slow as it just a husband and wife team. Laura cooks, Emanuel serves. Using only local products, mostly organic, they do a...
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Tucked in an alley near the historic downtown you'll find this small restaurant serving traditional, regional dishes (at a great price especially for the area). With open-air courtyard seating surrounded by vines, it makes for a relaxing lunch....
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I love Florence: it's one of my favorite cities in Italy and in the world. But, the downside is that it can get ridiculously crowded. In fact, the last time I visited it was so crowded on the 'main side' of Florence, where the Duomo and all of the...
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07041 Alghero, Province of Sassari, Italy
Al Tuguri, in Alghero’s old town, specializes in Sardinian dishes like costolette di agnello ai finocchietti selvatici, local lamb ribs with wild fennel.Via Maiorca 113, Alghero, 39/(0) 79-976-772, altuguri.it
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Via della Chiesa, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This authentic neighborhood bar, Il Chicco di Caffè (aka Lola’s), is run by Maurizio whose Mom, Lola, cooks for a truly egalitarian mix of local artisans, staff from the nearby Gucci headquarters, students and people like me (I live next door!) at...
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Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Dorsoduro, Venezia VE, Italy
If you are in Venice, you will surely get familiar with local spritz (a fizzy, refreshing aperitif) and cicchetti, or small snacks. If you want to have a local experience, be sure to stop by Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi while walking around La...
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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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Chef Marcello Trentini is innovative, intent on correcting perceptions that the cuisine of Italy's Piedmont region is heavy and old-fashioned. His combinations of sweet and savory, meat and seafood, and textures smooth and crunchy serve his...
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They don't call this northern Italian city "Bologna the Fat" for nothing. I recently ate my way through this arcaded city, sampling the city's namesake pasta sauce--Bolognese (about which an article will be coming to the pages of AFAR someday...