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Italy 2016

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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 S. Francesco, 5, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
Sunsets on Val D'Orcia are one of the most incredible views for those who are looking for an unforgettable Tuscan experience. From Piazza San Francesco in Montepulciano, you can admire an infinity of colors, changing every season. This hotel...
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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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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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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 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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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, 52, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Few people know about the Museo Correr and yet it is in plain sight within San Marco square. For those looking for quality time within a museum dedicated to the history of Venice - from ships flags, to visiting Popes, books, maps and old coins (to...
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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 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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Campiello Traghetto, 2467, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
The Gritti Palace's Bar Longhi is possibly one of the hottest tickets in Venice. It's where Hemingway drank his way through evenings while he was staying upstairs finishing his novel, Across the River and Through the Trees. Many other celebrated...
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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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Fondamenta Zitelle, 86, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy
It seems like a miracle that anything in Venice could be affordable. But now that the 36-room Generator Hostel opened on Venice's Guidecca Island, the budget-minded can breathe more easily when dropping anchor in Venice. Better yet,...
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Via dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
On a cool night in November, walking alone from an outdoor food market in the center of Florence, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth yet again. I stopped for a "snack," one that I would never eat just before dinner back home yet couldn't get...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The olive tree exhibit in front of the Duomo. Florence Culture & Heritage Week takes place in November every 2 years. For 10 days, there are exhibitions, food festivals, speakers & events throughout the city. Most are free to attend.
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Via Roma, 18, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
If you come to Arezzo in the heart of Tuscany in late November and you awake to a light, but wet, dusting of snow, "non ti preoccupare" (don't worry) - everyone will be up and out - and you can even still rent a bike to go sight-seeing. Just don't...
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Via de' Tornabuoni, 64R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The recipe for the delicious, tiny truffle-cream sandwiches at atmospheric old Procacci is a guarded secret but, oh boy, are they good, especially when accompanied by a glass of prosecco. Smart Florentine ladies-who-shop flock here for a pit...
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Località Ferraia, 53015 Tocchi- Monticiano SI, Italy
The magnificent Villa Ferraia is located about 20 minutes from Siena. To reach it I had to drive for a few kilometres on an unpaved road in the woods. I stopped a few times: once to let a fox to cross the road, then, a minute later, to look at two...
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Via della Rocca, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
Around this time last year I made a trip to Assisi that still stands out as one of the best days of my seven months in Italy. It was a beautiful fall day in Assisi and my friends and I filled it by visiting the town's major churches, watching...
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06081 Assisi, Province of Perugia, Italy
Best known as the birthplace of St. Francis, Italy's patron saint, the historic town of Assisi is a must-see on any trip through Umbria. Assisi is beautiful in so many ways, from its well-known Basilica of San Francesco (the burial place of St....
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06081 Assisi, Province of Perugia, Italy
The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular Christian pilgrimage site. Take some time to admire the frescoes by Giotto and Cimabue. The 1997 earthquake destroyed many of the Giotto murals but restoration was...
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Piazza Chiesa Nuova, 6, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
Wander the streets of Assisi after visiting the primary sights and grab an Italian pastry or gelato. Many bakeries near the main sights so take a break and enjoy some sugary goodness!
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Piazza San Rufino, 3, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
View from atop Assisi, no words to explain the beauty of the Tuscan landscape.
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Via Montecavallo, 19, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
Wonderful, family-run restaurant. Tucked in a corner of a small street. Michelin-starred. I had the chestnut soup and homemade gnocchi with sausage -- the best gnocchi I've ever had in Italy.
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Via della Rocca, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
For a view of the Medieval town of Assisi (birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi), hike up to Rocca Maggiore. The old castle, which dates back to 1174 or earlier. You can go inside and climb the tower to the top, but if you're on short on time...
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50135 Settignano, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
The Belmond Villa San Michele knows something about history. Michelangelo designed its facade, Franciscan monks tended its gardens, and Brigitte Bardot stayed here. But, like any elegant host, it’s not brash about its pedigree. Manicured...
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Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
It should come as no surprise that, in the heart of historic Florence, a 15-minute walk from the Duomo, presides a Renaissance palazzo—the home of Florentine nobility for centuries. Decorated with ornate frescoes, gilded chandeliers, and...
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Via del Salviatino, 21, 50137 Fiesole FI, Italy
The problem with 15th-century villas would be the 15th-century plumbing. And the 15th-century water, and maybe even some of the 15th-century eating habits, depending on your taste.

Fortunately, the only thing that’s 15th-century about Il...
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Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 7, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
JK Place Firenze is a far cry from Florence’s obsession with all things Renaissance. Set amid the buzz of Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, this onetime private mansion is decked out in black, white, peach, gray, and chrome, with inflections of...
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Borgo S. Jacopo, 14, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Somewhere between a luxury yacht and a royal residence, the Hotel Lungarno seems like the sort of place where Audrey Hepburn’s Princess Ann, of Roman Holiday, would have felt right at home. A 16th-century private residence on the southern...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 1, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If every Renaissance palazzo had been as luxurious as the St. Regis Florence, it seems unlikely the Renaissance would ever have ended. Designed in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi, this riverside palace just northwest of Florence’s centro...
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Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 6, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Since its founding in 1893, the Hassler has been a pillar of luxury accommodation in Rome.
This five-star hotel is perched theatrically atop Trinità dei Monti, the hill at the apex of the Spanish Steps, providing dazzling vistas over...
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Via Giulia, 131, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The D.O.M., which opened in late 2013, is a five-star boutique hotel in the heart of Rome’s historic center. Originally built as a 17th-century noble palace, the property was subsequently converted into a monastery, then Ministry of Justice...
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Piazza di Pasquino, 69, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The newest addition to Rome’s growing number of boutique luxury accommodations opened in central Rome in March 2015 on a square just off the exuberantly Baroque Piazza Navona. The suites-only hotel is the work of hoteliers Emanuele Garosci...
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Via Bocca di Leone, 23, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
The doorway of the Portrait Roma is one of a growing number of blink-and-you-miss-it boutique hotel entrances behind which contemporary luxuries await. Tucked behind an unassuming facade on a side street off the busy Via dei Condotti, the Portrait...
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Via della Penna, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Hotel Locarno occupies two adjacent buildings in the cosmopolitan district between the Tiber River and Piazza del Popolo. The original property, built and inaugurated in the 1920s, houses the majority of the standard and deluxe rooms, while...
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Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, 3, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
Opened by Carlo Ritz in 1894, the St. Regis belongs to a particular category of five-star hotels in Rome in which Old World glamour is alive and well. While the current trend in town is toward boutique hotels and converted townhouses, the St....
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Calle Tiepolo Baiamonte, 1364, Palazzo Papadopoli, 30125 Sestiere San Polo, Venezia VE, Italy
Aman hotels recently opened a 25-suite resort along Venice's Grand Canal in the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli, one of the city's most stunning waterfront palaces. What's great about this destination is that, unlike many of the resorts in Aman's...
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Ramo Grassi, 3247, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
In this contemporary pied-à-terre on the Grand Canal in San Marco, get a taste of living like a local. Well, a local with a waterfront address and the means to hire Philippe Starck as interior designer. The historic three-story house is a...
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San Marco, 1243, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
An understated, private landing stage for gondolas and water taxis on a side canal of the lagoon marks the entrance to the lovely Luna Hotel Baglioni in San Marco. Steeped in history, the palazzo, with lagoon-facing windows and charming Juliet...
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Via Roma, 51, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
There's not much that can improve upon this view, except maybe a cappuccino and a slice of focaccia bread. Lucky for me, I had both of those things with me. This is the view at the very beginning of the Vernazza-Monterosso hiking trail in the...
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00060 Capena RM, Italy
The original settlement of Capena was founded on the site nowadays known as La Civitucola, some three kilometres north of present-day Capena. Ancient Capena was a thriving town, situated close to the Tiber river and the sanctuary and commercial...
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Vicolo del Bottino, 8, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I love to go to this restaurant and wine bar for a glass of prosecco and to enjoy the unique view out over the Spanish Steps and the rest of Rome as the sun sets. 39/06-699-341000. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...