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Italy 2015

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Piazza Santo Spirito, 5/red, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
When the sun sets, Piazza Santo Spirito wakes up and the large square fills with college students and young professionals. Volume is where they gather for strong cocktails and live music. Located in the former workshop of Alfonso...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If a stay at The Westin Excelsior in Florence may not be in your budget, but the aperitivo menu may be. Stop by their posh bar and for 12 Euros get the house wine and all sorts of goodies—a cheese plate, a meat plate, flat bread, and samples of...
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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 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...
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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...
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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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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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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...
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Viale Manfredo Fanti, 4, 50137 Firenze FI, Italy
Soccer fans should try to catch home team Fiorentina (also called ‘Viola’ thanks to their purple shirts) on their own turf, the Artemio Franchi stadium. The season runs through the winter, and home games are normally held on alternative Sundays....
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50144 Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
At weekends, the locals head for the Cascine park, which stretches three kilometres along the north bank of the Arno just west of the city centre, a green, fresh air-filled lung amongst Florence’s urban sprawl. Families with kids and dogs in tow,...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Via dei Georgofili, 3r/7r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
A useful address for a snack after a visit to the Uffizi or Palazzo Vecchio, this gourmet sandwich bar and deli, hidden away down a narrow lane, serves delicious panini plus the odd salad. The sandwich selection (made with focaccia freshly-baked...
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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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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Reserve an outside table at this popular enoteca, located on a quiet piazza around the corner from the crowded Ponte Vecchio. You can order a predinner snack or, better still, cobble together a full meal from the selection of crostini with...
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Via Lambertesca, 14, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This brick-vaulted restaurant and bar is a great venue for jazz fans and the line-up of live acts on Thursday and Fridays nights includes well-known Italian musicians. You can eat a full meal here (try the Risotto Caruso with clams, shrimp and...
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r, Via dei Sassetti, 5, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This most central of the city’s clubs is a popular hang-out with young Florentines and foreign students. Dance sounds come from top Italian DJs with the odd global star, and once you’ve done your stuff on the dance floor, there’s a restaurant to...
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Piazza della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The Piazza Della Repubblica was the place to be in Florence in the evenings. Tourists and locals alike dined at the restaurants lining the square, student groups gathered, families enjoyed the Carousel, and gypsies and other migrants tried to sell...
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Via dello Sprone, 16r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Located on one of the prettiest little squares in the Oltrarno, this caffè has a few tables on the sidewalk, a tiny bar area, a room in the back for sit-down meals and snacks and a cosy, Bohemian atmosphere. It’s a great place for either...
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Greve in Chianti, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
If you find yourself on a road trip from Florence into the Tuscan countryside, take the Chianti road and stop for lunch or a stroll in Greve in Chianti. The town square often hosts a market—we were there on the flower market day—and houses a Museo...
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Strada Pietracupa, 31, 50028 Madonna di Pietracupa FI, Italy
One of the best affordable country restaurants within spitting distance of Florence, this place offers creative Tuscan cuisine (plus four comfortable bedrooms) and a lovely terrace with a view. Menus change with the seasons but expect dishes like...
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Sint-Katelijneplein, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
The most interesting part of Brussels' Christmas Market is in St Catherine's Square, where there are not only food and drink stalls, as well as those to buy gifts, but also a chance to go ice skating and ride a very big Ferris wheel. The square is...
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Via del Porrione, 33, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
One of the best places to eat in Siena lies a few minutes’ walk from historic Piazza del Campo and inhabits an atmospheric room lined with old glass and wood cabinets full of books and wine bottles. It may be informal, but the gourmet food is top...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
One of the best bakeries in all of Italy has to be the Pasticceria Nannini (http://www.grupponannini.it/default.aspx), located in the gorgeous Tuscan hill town of Siena. Probably Siena's most well-known bakery and cafe, Pasticceria Nannini offers...
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Il Campo, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Considered one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, the Piazza del Campo—or, simply, Il Campo—has been at the heart of life in Siena since it began as a marketplace and meeting spot for the area’s villages; the...