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Italy 2015

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55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
My husband and I visited Italy in May, and one of our favorite stops during our 12-day trip was the charming town of Lucca in Tuscany. One of the things I liked most about Lucca was the bold colors of the town's buildings, like these...
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52044 Cortona, Province of Arezzo, Italy
While visiting Italy in May, my husband and I really enjoyed driving through Tuscany and Umbria and stopping at the many rustic hill towns dotting the regions. Cortona, the setting for Frances Mayes' novel "Under the Tuscan Sun," was one of our...
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Piazza Garibaldi, 1, 52044 Cortona AR, Italy
If you've just arrived in Cortona, Italy (the Tuscan hill-town made famous in Frances Mayes' memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun), I recommend dining on your first night at Ristorante Tonino. Your seat on the outdoor terrace guarantees a spectacular...
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52044 Cortona, Province of Arezzo, Italy
While in Italy in May, my husband and I especially enjoyed our drives through Tuscany and Umbria. The hill towns throughout the region are wonderful to explore, and the views along the winding cypress-lined roads are picture perfect, like these...
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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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Piazza Grande, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
Once a month, Arezzo plays host to an antiques fair that is centered in the Piazza Grande and branches out into the adjacent streets, seemingly engulfing most of the small town. I enjoyed looking at the old furniture, jewelry, and books for sale,...
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53045 Montepulciano, Province of Siena, Italy
Montepulciano is a charming hill town in Tuscany. Walk the streets to get a feel for its appeal. On the outskirts of town visit San Biagio, a 16th-century church. This late-Renaissance building was constructed on the site of a pre-existing...
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Via Camollia, 69, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Try and catch the weekly market in Siena which is open every Wednesday from early in the morning till around 1.30 p.m. Lots of stands which sell all you can imagine and very cheap: clothes, shoes, bags, crafts, furnishings, linen, trinkets,...
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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...
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Piazza del Duomo, 1, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Founded in the 9th century, Santa Maria della Scala was one of Europe’s first hospitals. It was also one of the first hospitals anywhere to disinfect its equipment and only stopped taking in patients in the 1980s. (The writer Italo Calvino died...
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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 Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people head to this ex-art school to ogle the world’s most famous nude statue. Michelangelo’s David was carved from a single five-meter-high block of milky-white marble in 1504 and originally stood in Piazza della Signoria....
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Via di Santo Spirito, 64, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This busy, buzzy Oltrarno restaurant continues to be a personal favorite for its lively atmosphere and dependable cooking at reasonable prices. The menu offers ever-present favorites such as pasta with sweet tropea onions and cherry tomatoes as...
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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The best Crostones in Firenze! Great people, tasty wine and excellent food. Great to wander in for light snacks.
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Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Just off the main square, Piazza della Signoria, in Florence, this open air museum was beautiful in the morning as light spilled down and over the statues and general gorgeousness that is Florence. Walking through Florence was so different to...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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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 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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Via dell'Orto 18, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
The first weekend of every month, the historic cobble-stoned streets in the center of our hometown, Arezzo, are off-limits to cars while they're filled with vendors selling furniture, paintings, glassware, jewelry, linens and vintage clothing at...
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52100 Arezzo, Province of Arezzo, Italy
Whether it's a cappuccino, named after Franciscan friars, or a bracing caffe corretto with a shot of grappa to fend off the cold, or a caffe shakerato in the summer, iced sweetened coffee and cream always shaken, not stirred -- Italy is THE place...
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Piazza Duomo, 1, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
While you won't hear it talked about quite as often as many of the other Cathedrals in the area, the Cattedral di San Donato is well worth a visit. It has a vast interior with a beautifully ornate series of murals on the ceiling. It is also home...
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52100 Arezzo, Province of Arezzo, Italy
One of the most important cities during the Etruscan period, then later made rich by its goldsmith traditions, this city, just a short drive southeast from Florence, is something of an insider’s favorite when visiting Tuscany. With fewer crowds,...
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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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84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
A friend and I were walking down the road, lugging our suitcases and looking for our hotel when I glanced up and saw this view. It was one of those moments when I realized how insanely beautiful the Amalfi Coast is, especially in peak summer. The...
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84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
Along the Amalfi coast, everybody is looking for that perfect view of the the colorful houses against the water. I stumbled across this unbelievable panoramic shot by pure accident as I was looking for a bus stop on my way from Positano to Amalfi....
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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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Via Cristoforo Colombo, 137, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Stores specializing in hand-painted ceramics are all over the Amalfi Coast. At this family-run outlet in Positano, I picked up some small limoncello glasses and egg cups for friends. The store will happily ship large platters and vases back to the...
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Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Tasting menu, wine pairings, spotless service, and sunset views. All the perfect ingredients for an extraordinary culinary experience. Reasonably priced for the quality, and a well deserved spot on the list of Michelin star restaurants.
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84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
Panoramic view from San Pietro hotel of Positano.
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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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Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy
I loved exploring the winding cobblestone streets of Perugia. This charming town is positioned on a hill filled with historic buildings, lively squares, and wonderful cafes. It was a great place for people watching and photography.
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19, Corso Pietro Vannucci, 06123 Perugia PG, Italy
Like any destination worth seeing, Italy is more than meets the eye. Sure, you could visit on a cruise and see some highlights and landmarks in the big cities, but to experience authentic Italy, it takes time and a willingness to leave the...
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06132 Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy
One of the biggest names in Italian family-owned wines is Frescobaldi. They have wineries all over Umbria and Tuscany and if you've rented a car it's worth the trip to tour the grounds and have a tasting--it was our favorite stop outside of ...
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Via Campo di Marte, 134, 06124 Perugia PG, Italy
Perugia, home to Perugina chocolates like Baci (chocolate "kisses" with hazelnut bits that come in starry wrappers with love sayings in several languages), is also home to Eurochocolate, Europe's largest chocolate festival. For nine days every...
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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
The Roman Forum is where ancient Rome began. The sprawling archaeological park gives us just a hint of what the Roman Empire once was—a dominant and diverse society. The Forum itself was the political, social, religious, and commercial focal...
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00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
No matter how many postcards you've seen of Rome's iconic Colosseum, you just don't get it until you pass beneath its crumbling arches. Built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 C.E., the huge amphitheater held 50,000 spectators and marked its...
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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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Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This 1st-century wonder will take your breath away. Not only is it one of the city's most ancient sites, it's been in continuous use for centuries. Originally built as a private temple, today it is a Catholic church and the resting place of...
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Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Even with Segway tours rolling through and street performers loudly competing for audiences, the 15th-century Piazza Navona somehow retains a shred of grace and elegance in modern Rome. Calm Renaissance palazzi face the piazza’s centerpiece,...
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Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
One of my most memorable stops in Rome was of course the Piazza San Pietro and with it, the Basilica, and Vatican City. This huge square was laid in 1657 and holds the 400,000 worshippers and visitors who crowd this vast area in times of...
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00120, Vatican City
When I walked into the World's largest Church, I had two feelings : I felt lucky and exhilarated. But when I started walking under the epitome of Renaissance art, I had a feeling that has no defination or boundaries.The Biblical narration of...
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Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Monument of Victor Emmanuel II in Rome, nicknamed the Wedding Cake (and, alternately, the Typewriter) for its distinctive boxy shape, offers some of the most stunning panoramic views to be had of the Eternal City, in every direction. There is...
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Piazza del Campidoglio, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
I had my epiphany in the fall of 2012 when I spent five weeks in Rome. Before I departed, everyone inquired what I would "do" there, to which I replied "nothing". This generally had the effect of a curious expression and a blank stare. I just...
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The Ponte dell'Accademia is one of four bridges that span the Grand Canal, and will get you quickly from San Marco to the labyrinthine Dorsoduro neighborhood. Originally built in 1854 out of steel, the current wooden bridge was built in the 1930s...
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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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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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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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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Basilica San Marco is Venice's crown jewel. Situated at the eastern end of Piazza San Marco, the cathedral was built around 1078 on the site of an earlier house of worship. It is famously the home of the remains of the apostle Mark, which were...
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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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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...
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Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30100 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...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
This pink-marble waterfront edifice in Piazza San Marco dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence and seat of government for the doges (rulers) of Venice. Today the ornate Byzantine- and Moorish-influenced Gothic Palazzo Ducale is...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
I am a sucker for architecture. Especially old architecture...Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque. And churches are the best representation of these styles. Europe is filled with cool churches and Italy takes the cake. I got up close to the cathedral in...
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Via Porta Giustizia, 39, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
This is Orto de Pecci, a green area in the back side of Piazza del Mercato. A place so close but yet so far from the noise of the city. When you arrive here along a gravel road as those you can see in the Chianti area it seems to be catapulted...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
After a restoration in 19th century, the interiors of the Basilica of San Francesco looks quiet, sober. But the dim lights bring out the beauty of the colourful stained glass windows. I found as exciting as the artwork which is housed here.
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Via di Monna Agnese, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
When I want to feel like I am on travel while I live and work in Siena I go to this special little restaurant located at walking distace from the Chathedral Square. It is characterized by a wide choice of champagne, typical Tuscan meat menu and...
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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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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
The floor of the Cathedral of Siena, 'the most beautiful... largest and magnificent... that ever was made' (Giorgio Vasari) worth a visit by sure, believe me! Every year I come back there when it is open, two months a year from the week after the...
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Via S. Pietro, 29, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Active from the 13th to 15th centuries and considered an influence on the pre-Renaissance movement, the Sienese School of painting is identifiable by its themes—always religious, and usually with a focus on Biblical miracles—and its signature...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
It is so easy to get lost here, and to find yourself. I walked on cobbled stones through a quiet neighbourhood - every turn looks like a postcard.
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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Paintings under the Cathedral of Siena discovered accidentally in 1999 and dated back to the 70/80 of 1200. A unique experience to see with your eyes what scholars have always knowm but never seen that is to say how the medieval churches were...
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Via Val di Montone, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Believe me, the best way to know, understand and love the Sienese people which during the Palio days seem crazy is to visit one CONTRADA (contact them direct trough their site) You will be fascinated by the historical vicissitudes it took in...
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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
During my visit to the Cathedral of Siena, I learned that in 1339, a project began to expand the church, but the Black Death and some structural defects led to its suspension. The remains of the development are called the New Cathedral and include...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
During a day of driving through Tuscany, we stopped in Siena for a lunch break. Parking on the outside of town is required, and venturing in by foot, all the way to the central square (where the horse races take place, pictured above), will take...
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Piazza di S. Francesco, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
Simply watching at this increbile blue sky from the deck of Locanda San Francesco's wine bar "E lucevan le stelle"
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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Friends with a home outside of Rome had told me on my first trip to Italy, that one of the crown jewels of visiting Tuscany would be to spend the entire day in Siena. Really? A whole day? Yes they said. You will go to the Duomo Siena and be...
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Il Campo, 21, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Fonte Gaia was named joyous because the fountain was met with joy upon its construction, and it continues to bring joy. Its water is not only gorgeous, but also thirst-quenching to locals and tourists alike who stoop down to drink from the sides...
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Piazza del Campo, 1, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
During my time in Siena, I learned of the 17 contradas that divide this small city. It is hard to imagine that in city of this size, there were originally 59 contradas in the Middle Ages when they were established for military purposes. Over time,...
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Il Campo, 37, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Zero crowds meant sitting in an iconic plaza and just enjoying the atmosphere.
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05018 Orvieto, Province of Terni, Italy
Orvieto is one of the most interesting villages of central Italy and one of the principal sights of the region of Umbria. From the first moment it comes into view, it shows all its magnificent beauty. The city sits high on a tuffaceous cliff on a...
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05018 Orvieto, Province of Terni, Italy
It's a little over the top, I'll admit. A real "wedding cake" of a cathedral, the Duomo's facade is resplendent with Italian Gothic architectural elements that some might find just a little too rich. But that's perhaps the source of its charm. The...
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Loc. Fossatello, 50, 05019 Orvieto TR, Italy
It was a rainy, chilly Umbrian day in May last year. Somehow, right before our wine tasting, the sun broke and the clouds cleared-- making it the perfect atmosphere to walk through the vineyards.
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Corso Cavour, n° 87, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
Make Torre del Moro your first stop in Orvieto! Climb the Torre del Moro in the center of the medieval city for a great view of Orvieto! You'll look down on rooftops to see the layout of the city, gain a new perspective on the size of Orvieto's...
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05018 Orvieto, Province of Terni, Italy
Beneath the modern city of Orvieto, Italy, lies a mystery. A series of grottoes and meandering paths that were carved out of living stone centuries ago by hands long-since dead can now be explored by tourists today. An hour-long guided tour of the...
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Via del Duomo, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
Orvieto, a gorgeous medieval town, was a treat to visit on the tail end of the tourist season. This, the Cathedral or "Duomo" is the city's star attraction. Intricately, ornately, devotedly decorated, this building sparkled in the crisp autumn...
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Piazza del Duomo, 26, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
It was love at first sight. Everything about Orvieto is charming, with the exception of the Duomo (Cathedral) which more appropriately would be described as elegant and grand, especially the facade. Originally a thriving center of Etruscan...