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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
While in Florence this May, my husband and I decided not to walk to the top of the dome of the Duomo but, instead, to make the climb to the top of the tower next to the Duomo to get a great view of the dome itself. I shot this from the stairwell...
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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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Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you have time to see just one piece of art, make it David. Carved in 1501-4 from a single piece of milky-white Carrara marble, Michelangelo’s magnificent statue, an icon of power and wealth, originally stood in Piazza della Signoria, but...
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Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When you visit the area of the Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Republica in Florence, don't miss this interesting attraction. From Piazza della Signoria, walk towards Piazza della Republica, and on the left side, you'll see Piazza del...
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Via Lambertesca, 18/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You can’t visit Florence without indulging in ice cream once at the very least, but it’s not so easy to find the real deal. Carapina, gelateria of choice for cognoscenti (but often overlooked by tourists), is located a stone’s throw from the Ponte...
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Greve in Chianti, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
In May my husband and I visited Italy and one of our favorite drives was through the Chianti region in Tuscany. There are so many beautiful roads lined with stately cypress trees like this one winding through the rolling hills outside Greve, with...
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Via XX Luglio, 11, 50022 Panzano In Chianti FI, Italy
Dario Cecchini is the most famous butcher in Italy and is probably the only one who recites Dante while carving up his carcasses. His small shop on the outskirts of the medieval village of Panzano is a Mecca for carnivores seeking quality meat...
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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I was walking around taking photos at the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, while waiting for my friend. As the evening draws near, I found myself enjoying the sculptures inside the Loggia dei Lanzi, which I was not able to visit in detail...
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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
When French writer Stendhal saw Giotto's frescoes in Florence's Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross), he wrote: "Ero giunto a quel livello di emozione dove si incontrano le sensazioni celesti date dalle arti ed i sentimenti...
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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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Piazza Antelminelli, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
Dedicated to St. Matthew, Lucca’s beautiful cathedral was built in typical Romanesque style in the 12th century and has a curious asymmetrical, tiered façade covered with fantastically complex carvings. The dim interior houses one of the town’s...
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Via del Monte alle Croci, 10, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
There are around 600 wines from all over Italy (and 50 by the glass) to choose from at this wood-panelled wine bar which has a pretty terrace overlooking the old city gate of San Miniato in the buzzy San Niccolò neighbourhood. Lunchtimes are good...
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Venice is one of the most romantic cities in Italy, and some might even consider it to be the most romantic city in the world. There are only four bridges that cross the Grand Canal in Venice, and Ponte dell'Accademia is one of them. Since the...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
As it's one of the most popular sights in Venice, you may have to wait for the perfect spot to view the Bridge of Sighs, but it's so beautiful that it's worth the effort. Part of the Doge's palace, the bridge leads to the prison, and it was said...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Most tourists get to Venice's famous Rialto Bridge, but how many cross to the right bank of the Grand Canal to experience the Erberia (vegetable market) and the Pescheria (fish market)? Elbowing my way through the crowds on the Rialto was worth...
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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
When planning a May trip to Italy with my husband, magical Venice was one of the cities I knew I wanted to visit. I was really looking forward to seeing all the things typically associated with Venice: gondolas, the Grand Canal, St. Mark's Square,...
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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, 30125 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
A must-see in Venice is the Doge's Palace in Piazza San Marco. The palace dates from the 14th century, and was the residence of the Doges of Venice. On view is the splendor of high Venetian style—Byzantine and Moorish architectural...
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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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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

This meal was delicious - the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the seafood was fantastic. Best part of the meal though, was when our waiter brought us small shot glasses of bootlegged homemade limoncello to finish off our meal!

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Sant'Elena, 30132 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
"You're going to get lost in Venice regardless, so stick your map in your map pocket and just wander." Our tour manager couldn't have been more right. This was one of the narrowest alleyways we went down when we had lost ourselves in a seemingly...
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Calle degli Albanesi, 4250, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
It's like the Venetians knew we'd end up lost and hungry. This mosaic placard (a tradition that dates to the Roman period) pointed us in the direction, and we wound up at a restaurant—Taverna dei Dogi, which has a relaxed atmosphere, and...
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The Gallerie dell'Accademia, located quite close to the Rialto along the Grand Canal, offers a sweeping look at nearly hundreds of years of Italian art, including works by Tintoretto and Titian. Not to be missed.
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Dorsoduro, 2, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Controlled by the François Pinault foundation, the same trust in charge of Christie's auction house, this is a museum-worthy gallery in the heart of Venice. Set inside a 17th-century customs house, it showcases Pinault's impressive private...
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Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Since few areas within the city of Venice afford high perspectives of the entire city, take the elevator (no stairs) to the top of San Marco's Campanile in Piazza San Marco. You may have to put up with a few elbows to get a spot against...
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Piazza Santa Fosca, 29, 30142 Torcello VE, Italy
Chef Cristian Angiolin heads up the kitchen at this Venetian lagoon institution, which is open year-round except for January and Tuesdays. The restaurant is no longer a part of the Cipriani franchise, which began in Venice and has since expanded...
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30015 Chioggia, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

Some fresh octopus with polenta in Chioggia

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Piazza Eremitani, 8, 35121 Padova PD, Italy
Built in 1307, Giotto's Arena Chapel, aka Scorvegni Chapel, should not be missed when visiting the Veneto. In Padua, it is often overlooked, which can mean smaller crowds during certain times and seasons. After a video in English and Italian...
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Bologna, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Italy
Truly one of the most distinctive cities I've seen, Bologna is a treat. You hear about the food, you hear about the university, but there are just so many surprises around each corner. Just go, get lost...
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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...
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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Against our middle child's protests that we were going in a ramp that stated “Exit Only,” we rambled into the Roman Forum area after hours. Which is why we found ourselves at the top of a hill, overlooking the city, with only two young...
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Via di San Gregorio, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Palatine Hill was home to an early Roman settlement and had major significance for the city's history. Legend states that Romulus founded Rome on that hill in 753 B.C.E., and Romans even maintained a cult site sacred to the founding father for...
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Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Pantheon is a spectacular structure, and one of the oldest and best preserved in Rome. The light changes throughout the day—this was taken about 12:30 p.m. in April. Be ready for big crowds, but looking at all the architectural details can...
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00120, Vatican City
No, you are still not allowed to take photographs of the Sistine Chapel while visiting Vatican City. Yes, I did it anyway just to try and capture the awesomeness of the accomplishment by good ol' Michelangelo. Like so many incredible artistic...
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Via dei Chiavari, 34, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
One of Rome's best bakeries and among the city's most historic institutions, Antico Forno Roscioli is a family-run business. Depending on the time of day, you might find patriarch Marco or his son Pierluigi hard at work. There are a variety of...