Collected by JR
Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Hiking the Cinque Terre is an extraordinary way to explore the Ligurian Coast. Five villages connected only by hiking trail and rail with breathtaking coastal views and colorfully quaint villages. The trails can be challenging at times and it is...
Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
Via Mangiavacchi, 37, 53026 Piennza SI, Italy
One of the most delicious towns in Tuscany - and most beautiful - is the charming Pienza. Situated between Montepulciano and Montalcino in the scenic Val d'Orcia, centuries-old Pienza is best known for its rich pecorino cheeses. Many feel that the...
Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Strada Comunale del Borghetto, 53026 Pienza SI, Italy
For two weeks, I volunteered as a WWOOFer at Podere Il Casale where after a day in the gardens, milking goats, or serving cheese tastings to tourists, we all gathered for a staff meal. We ate simple, delicious food like chestnut linguini with...
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...
Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
Via del Cancello, 15, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Get a handmade leather wallet, purse, or passport holder—without breaking the bank. Since 1949, local secret Armando Rioda (hidden on the 2nd floor of a building near the Spanish Steps) has been turning out top-notch, handcrafted leather goods....
53026 Pienza SI, Italy
One of the most charming towns we visited during our May trip to Italy was Pienza, situated in Tuscany between Montepulciano and Montalcino (also worth a visit if you're in the area). Pienza is best known for its delicious pecorino cheeses,...
Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
We spent the day exploring the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. Since there are no cars in any of the villages, choose to travel by train, ferry or foot to connect you from one village to the next. We opted to hike in and ferry out to take...
Murano, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
If you are looking for colorful Venetian glass, go to the worldwide source—the island of Murano, a breezy, 15-minute vaporetto ride into the lagoons of Venice. Murano has a staggering array of shops selling everything from grand chandeliers to...
Cannaregio, 1045, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
Gold is their specialty....purveyours of gold smalti to kings, sheiks and popes since the 1880's. Bling takes on a whole new meaning while visiting the Orsoni Factory, on the Island of Murano, a short traghetto ride from Piazza San Marco....
Ponte Longo, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
Considering my 13-year-old friend had a collection of glass animals at home, I thought Murano, the island that's home to Venice's traditional glass industry, was an obvious place to go. We enjoyed the glass blowing demonstration at one of the...
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...
Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the best views of Florence can be savored from the Piazzale Michelangelo, a short walk across the Arno River from downtown Florence. For a fun afternoon head to the square and enjoy an enchanting panorama of the city, followed by a relaxing...
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...
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...
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 Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Boboli Gardens are a green oasis in the midst of Florence’s stony Renaissance architecture. Laid out on the hillside behind the Pitti Palace, this is a wonderland of fountains and statues, formal gardens, and secret lawns. Stroll along...
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...
Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked behind the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence is Scuola del Cuoio—the school of leather. To get into the school, one must go through the church's side door, walk under the church's tunnels, and climb up a nondescript set of stairs. There,...
Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I love immersing myself in Florentine luxury in this Medieval palace that the Grandpapa of Italian shoe design, Salvatore Ferragmo bought in 1938. The downstairs museum pays homage to the master with fantastic displays—including molds he made for...
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