Collected by Ginny Heidel
19018 Corniglia, SP, Italy
All through the town of Corniglia--one of the five small towns that compose Cinque Terre, Italy--there are signs that say "to the sea" with an arrow pointed off the cliff at the edge of town. This tiny town ought to be on everyone's must see list...
Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 handmade lace and brightly-colored fishermen's homes, the island is free of the tourist crush of the rest of...
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 –...
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...
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...
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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