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Italy 2015

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Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
Pisa’s famous leaning tower (the campanile of the adjacent Duomo) is part of the Piazza del Duomo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the Duomo, baptistery and cemetery. Begun in 1173, the tower began to lean almost immediately thanks...
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Piazza Garibaldi, 11, 56127 Pisa PI, Italy

Our group eating gelato in Pisa. During a heat wave, this is just what we needed! When it comes to gelato, I always go for a cone - it's more fun and a challenge not to drip on yourself.

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Arno, Italy
I knew Pisa would be crowded with Leaning-Tower-gawkers. I, of course, was one of them. But as evening fell, I was amazed at how quiet the banks of the Arno were, just a few blocks away. This trip to Italy was the 'last hurrah' of my...
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Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy
On our way to see the Leaning Tower, my sister told us to park "a few blocks" away from the tower to avoid all the people. That "few blocks" ended up being about a mile and a half. Although that was a seriously long way to walk in the 90 degree...
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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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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8, 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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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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Florence is famous for many reasons: the Duomo, the David, the whole Renaissance thing.... Sure, these are great—but the pizza. Oh man, the pizza! I'm talking about a thin, doughy crust, fresh ingredients, and a flavor you can barely handle. I'm...
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Via dei Neri, 37/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
If you can't stand the thought of another plate of ribollita (and it happens to the best of us), this contemporary dim sum restaurant is a good place to come for a cheap lunch: 12 euros will buy you two courses plus unlimited tea and water. The...
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Via di Camaldoli, 2r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
This natural soup-n-burger joint lies far from the tourist hordes, on a quiet residential street in the San Frediano neighbourhood. The kitchen and takeaway operation (open lunch and dinner) stands on one side of the road while opposite there is a...