Stephanie Irwin’s Italy
Collected by Stephanie Irwin
18038 Sanremo, Province of Imperia, Italy
Cinque Terre may get all the glory when the topic of the Riviera is brought up but I think the lesser-known Sanremo is delightful in its own way. Because it's a town that stretches for such a great distance along the Mediterranean and has...
Via Renato Birolli, 114, 19017 Manarola SP, Italy
Like so many touristy places, we found the food in Cinque Terre restaurants to be so-so, with one exception: the focaccia - and pizza! - from La Cambusa in Manarola. After sitting down with our selections, several locals came in to pick up their...
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 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 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...
19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Sometimes it's nice to get off the beaten path. You can take the normal pathways around Cinque Terre (and they are spectacular in their own right) but you can also veer a bit off the normal journey and take the 'high road' to catch a glimpse of...
Piazza Rio Finale, 8, 19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
One of the highlights of my trip to Italy was walking Cinque Terre. I would travel back to Italy just to do this walk again. My favorite part was the Via dell'Amore, or Walk of Love that went from Riomaggiore to Manarola. This is a picture of one...
19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
We made friends with some locals in Monterosso who told us about Vernazza's nighttime party. They set us up with homemade mojitos and then we boated over around midnight (after dipping into the eerie caves). Live bands, no tourists, and wine. Lots...
Via Gavino, 34, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
After a day of hiking through the beautiful Cinque Terre region, the best thing to do before devouring a delicious seafood dinner is to relax under the sun. Vernazza may not have a proper beach, it does however, feature large rocks around the...
Via Savona, 50, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
An interesting place to have lunch with a friend, talking about work, reading a newspaper, or sipping very good wine. Chef Kokichi Takahashi elaborates on the Italian food culture. Taste fresh ravioli and oven-roasted cockerel or omori chocolate...
Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Triennale is dedicated to the extremely rich history of design in Italy since the end of World War II. The museum is large, with many concurrent exhibitions, and the bookstore has a great selection, but the park outside offers a chance for...
Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Parco Sempione is Milan's biggest park and it has everything- cute caffès, picturesque setting, a medieval castle, a modern museum, a pond and charming foot bridges. If the sun is shining, this is the perfect place for a morning or afternoon walk,...
Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 34, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
While few in number, Milan's canals can be charming. Naviglio Grande, the largest, is my favorite to walk along. Lined by shops, outdoor cafes and bars, there is life alongside the water anytime of day. If you're lucky you'll catch the Antique...
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Located in the famous Navigli neighborhood in Milan, Mag is a cozy space to relax with a good cafe and brioche by day, and by night a bustling local hangout. Never short on atmosphere or great jazz soundtracks, this bar is bursting with details...
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Matias Perdomo is an Argentinian with a preference for Molecular Gastronomy, influenced by such greats as the Roca Brothers and Ferran Adrià, running a kitchen and a dining room overflowing till late into the night in an unusual part of Milan. Far...
Via Alessandro Stradella, 4/A, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
This wine bar in the Buenos Aires neighborhood is a wonderful example of Italy's drinking culture—reasonably priced, carefully chosen, enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Here you can also take a bottle home for under 3, if you like what you tried in the...
Viale Piave, 1, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
Italy's No.1 chef Massimo Bottura described Nottingham Forest as a blend of "Hemingway and the TV show C.S.I." for its eclectic vibe. But for its cocktails, Bottura and many others feel Nottingham Forest is Milan's main innovator. Mixologist Dario...
Via Carmagnola, 5, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Morning, noon or night, Blu is a great place to hang out. Breakfast hour brings in a swank group of stylish parents and styling hipsters, while aperitivo hour is a just gorgeous mix of everyone. Located in Isola, it is the perfect place to meet up...
Via Mozart, 14, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
The Villa Necchi Campiglio, just to the east of the historic center of Milan, may look familiar. The house had a turn on the silver screen in the 2009 Italian movie "I Am Love," starring Tilda Swinton. Even if you didn't see the film, anyone...
55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
There is magic in the cobblestone streets of Lucca, Italy. Surrounded by its original city walls, this enchanting city in Tuscany is rich in history and has a casual, elegant feel. Sophisticated, older women in black suits and pink glasses ride...
55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
If the trees seem taller here in Lucca than is usual, perhaps it's because they actually grow on top of the massive walls surrounding the fortified city. And you can walk amongst them—or picnic, play with your children, roller-skate, ride a bike,...
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...
Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Made from chickpea (ceci) flour, olive oil, water, and salt, this delicious 'flat bread' is a specialty of the entire Ligurian coast. Find these warm breads topped with rosemary, garlic, and/or other more traditional pizza toppings. Enjoy straight...
19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
If you think you've reached the end of Monterosso Al Mare after passing the last boardwalk gelateria, you're sorely mistaken. Just keep going --- and find this massive Atlas carved into the rock outcropping at the end of the beach! If you are...
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...
Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Food in Italy is still largely about seasonality, and never more so than in late fall when the new olive oil (‘olio nuovo’) begins to arrive in the shops. Take a drive into the Tuscan countryside anytime between late October and December and you...
Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66 r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This busy, buzzy Oltrarno restaurant continues to be a personal favorite for its lively atmosphere and dependable cooking at reasonable prices. The menu offers ever-present favorites such as pasta with sweet tropea onions and cherry tomatoes as...
Piazza della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The Piazza Della Repubblica was the place to be in Florence in the evenings. Tourists and locals alike dined at the restaurants lining the square, student groups gathered, families enjoyed the Carousel, and gypsies and other migrants tried to sell...
Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Piazza della Repubblica in central Florence has three of the city's most historic cafes. Gilli is one of them, and when you walk in, you feel like you are entering a piece of the city's history. The cafe was founded in 1733 but moved to its...
Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
255 Viale Castracani, Arancio, LU 55100, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
Whenever you visit a country where you don't speak the language, one of the first tasks you have is finding enough key phrases to get by. On our recent trip to Italy, one of our favorite phrases was "un cono di gelato per favore." For three weeks,...
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...
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,...
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