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Funicolare Zecca-Righi, 16136 Genova GE, Italy
I love the funicular trains of Genoa, built at an angle to take you up the steep mountains. Take the Zecca-Righi line to the top for an incredible panorama of the city, and walk down into the center through narrow alleys, passing tiny gardens and...
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19, Corso Pietro Vannucci, 06123 Perugia PG, Italy
Like any destination worth seeing, Italy is more than meets the eye. Sure, you could visit on a cruise and see some highlights and landmarks in the big cities, but to experience authentic Italy, it takes time and a willingness to leave the...
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05018 Orvieto, Province of Terni, Italy
Orvieto is one of the most interesting villages of central Italy and one of the principal sights of the region of Umbria. From the first moment it comes into view, it shows all its magnificent beauty. The city sits high on a tuffaceous cliff on a...
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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...
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Via della Penna, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
I tell all my friends to stay here. It’s a great location, right off Piazza del Popolo. The hotel is not part of a chain. It’s family owned, which is charming. 39/06-361-0841. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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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 Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Fontana di Trevi is, as it should be, one of the most visited landmarks in Rome. Seeing it is worth the blind stumble through narrow stone streets and alleyways. But do so at night (and in the rain, if possible) to be rewarded with...
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Salina, 98050 Province of Messina, Italy
There is one place known for the best Granite on the island of Salina and it is called Da Alfredo. We took a scooter ride down to this hole in the wall cafe (scooter hire was AUD$30 for three days!) on the waterfront esplanade and did not regret...
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19017 Riomaggiore, SP, Italy
Having been to Italy before, I knew I would likely enjoy my maiden visit to Cinque Terre; I had no idea however, just how much. Riomaggiore is one of five picturesque villages that sit perched high above the Lingurain sea and make up what is...
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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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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 dei Re di Roma, 10, 00183 Roma RM, Italy
I hesitated posting this for fear of spreading even the slightest word because the cannolis, in my humble opinion, are THAT good.
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del Borghetto, Strada Comunale, 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...
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89038 Palizzi RC, Italy
Sardinia’s third-oldest lighthouse, which dates to 1866, is now a six-suite hotel, Faro Capo Spartivento. Accessible only via the hotel’s jeep, Faro Capo inspires visitors with Murano glass chandeliers, an offbeat library, and a Mediterranean...
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Galleria del Corso, 4, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
For the last decade, Peck was the only place in town to stock up on the best of the best Italian foodstuffs. Now there’s a new gourmet go-to: a sprawling emporium in the basement level of the Excelsior department store. Choose from thousands of...
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Via Giovanni Boccaccio, 9, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
As a connoisseur of all things sweet, I was drawn to Shockolat's cioccolata calda or hot chocolate a mere three hours after arriving in Milan. Rich, creamy, and thick, it is hands down the best hot chocolate I have ever had. In fact, it is so...
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Via della Cordonata, 6, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I got into Rome very late my first night, and I only knew my hotel was atop the Spanish Steps (Intercontinental De La Ville Roma)...needless to say I only knew the Spanish Steps were very popular and these indeed looked like them, but how could...
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Via degli Orti di Trastevere, 3, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
When in Rome, they say, do as the Romans do. So that's why I made my priority in Rome to EAT. To eat gourmet cheeses, drink fine wines, plenty of pasta and of course gelato. But Rome is a big city so finding the best places to eat on my short trip...
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97100 Ragusa, Province of Ragusa, Italy
We drove into Ragusa - Sicily in the late afternoon, walked the cobbled streets, devoured a locally made nougat gelato and on the drive back down from the old town were met with the beautiful sight of the traditional houses lit up by their...
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Via G. Marconi, 358, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Positano's unreal scenery and excellent limoncello reduce everywhere else to a distant, less attractive memory. Arguably one of the best views in town can be found at Hostel Brikette, Positano's only youth hostel, but book a private room if you're...
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Via S. Giovanni del Toro, 28, 84010 Ravello SA, Italy
Set in a 12th-century palace that looks like the setting for a Wes Anderson film, Palazzo Avino is skirted in flower-filled gardens terraced across a cliffside in Ravello. Interiors are as opulent as the storybook architecture, filled with...
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Piazzale Anita Garibaldi, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
Piazza Garibaldi is situated on a hilltop on the western side of Rome's city center. It's a scenic and lovely walk through tree-lined streets with kooky sculptures and children's jungle gyms up to the gorgeous view. A perfect place for a picnic!
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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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Via dei Condotti, 86, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Once the haunt of expat artists, poets, and dreamers, Antico Caffè Greco, on Rome's glamorous Via Condotti, is a must. At this 18th-century caffè, you'll learn that Romans can be very particular about their coffee. Cappuccino is a...
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Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Nestled within Positano’s hillside tangle of pastel residences and stepped alleys, Le Sirenuse is a legendary boutique hotel that feels more like a private home. Run by the Sersale family since its opening in 1951, the crimson-hued...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy

I saw this exquisite chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci's Lady With An Ermine on the ground in one of the main plazas in Firenze. It started drizzling and I just had to take this photo before the rain washed it away!

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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
When you go to Florence, don't forget to wander outside the "Centro Storico" to see how the "regular" people live. There are great photo opportunities in the outer neighborhoods that are both tranquil and "real".
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I can not resist this place. If I have errands in the neighborhood, I often have schedule them for a Tuesday, the only day of the week this shrine to pastry and sugar is closed. The Bavaresi - thin, crispy wisps of pastry filled with sweetened...
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Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
At a nondescript church in an unlikely neighborhood in Milan rests one of the greatest works of art ever created, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The 15th century mural was part of a renovation project at the Convent of Santa Maria della...
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Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11/a, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
For a coffee and pastry shop, Pasticceria Marchesi has an unexpected historic elegance. Since the 1800s, they've stuck with a formula that works—classic cookies, jars of sweets, and strong coffee in a gorgeous setting. I came for a cappuccino and...
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Via Spadari, 9, 20135 Milano MI, Italy
Before taking the train to Rome, we picked up a spread of antipasti at Peck, a vast and pristine food shop in Milan. In addition to a huge selection of cheeses, fruit, salumi, and bread, Peck sells prepared specialties like meatballs, potato...
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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The most beautiful view in Florence is undoubtedly high above the city on a rooftop watching the sunset splash across Florence with a 360 degree view. Experience what it's like to live like a local in one of the most beautiful cities in the world....
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80076 Capri, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
Capri is one of my favorite destinations. It is breathtakingly beautiful everywhere you look. There are many cliffs and crystal blue water everywhere you look. The highlight of the day was taking the funicular from the Marina Grande to Capri town...
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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 Laurina, 10, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Take a break from shopping or strolling between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo to try some of Rome (therefore the world's) best artisanal gelato made with all-natural ingredients. Many flavors are seasonal, but you will always find a...
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Centro Direzionale Isola E7, 80143 Napoli NA, Italy
As someone who is always looking for a chocolate stores while traveling to different places, I was thrilled to find Gay Odin. I’ve been eating good chocolates in different places in the world but Gay Odin is by far, the BEST chocolate I’ve ever...
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Calle del Mondo Novo, 5801, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
As the winter solstice approaches, the light in Venice becomes diffuse. Multistory buildings cast the city in deep cold shadows that allow the canals to reflect the clear blue sky. It's the off-season. Many shops will close after Christmas until...
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Sant'Elena, 30132 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
One of the best strolls through Venice begins in the neighborhood of Arsenale and finishes on the Island of Sant'Elena. Walk along the main drag of Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, a street full of shops and colourful local life until it dead ends. Make a...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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84017 Positano, Province of Salerno, Italy
Along the Amalfi coast, everybody is looking for that perfect view of the the colorful houses against the water. I stumbled across this unbelievable panoramic shot by pure accident as I was looking for a bus stop on my way from Positano to Amalfi....
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Via Benedetto Marcello, 77, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
One of the most amazing aspects of Italian life is the investment in fresh food, and the twice-weekly markets, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, offer up an unimaginable bounty of seasonal produce (as well as meat, cheese, fish, and household goods)....
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Southern Europe
The beautiful Tuscan hill town of Pienza is most famous for its world-famous pecorino cheese, made from rich sheep's milk. By far the best place to buy pecorino cheese in Pienza is the wonderful Bottega del Naturista...
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Via Duca Mansone I, 40, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
The best thing you can do a rainy afternoon in Amalfi is visit Andrea Pansa and try their delicious pastries. The place is beautiful, comfortable and charming. Their sweet recipes are delightful, the white china coffee services are lovely and the...
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Via del Boschetto, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Early fall is the ideal time to visit Rome. Locals return and reclaim the city, bringing a more authentic flavor and energy with them. It encourages a more symbiotic relationship between Romans and travelers.
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52100 Arezzo, Province of Arezzo, Italy
Whether it's a cappuccino, named after Franciscan friars, or a bracing caffe corretto with a shot of grappa to fend off the cold, or a caffe shakerato in the summer, iced sweetened coffee and cream always shaken, not stirred -- Italy is THE place...
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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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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you...
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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...
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Located across the Tiber River from the Centro Storico, Trastevere is a kaleidoscope of ivy-covered buildings, complicated Italian history, and bombastic nightlife. The heart of the neighborhood is Piazza Santa Maria, a large square where street...
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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...
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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...
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Via Paolo Ferrari, Modena MO, Italy
Now there is a new reason to visit Modena, the mother city of supercars in northern Italy. An inspiring museum for Enzo Ferrari has just opened. Enzo Ferrari was an Italian icon, a real genius that created the absolute myth in Formula 1 and the...
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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, 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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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...
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00120, Vatican City
When I walked into the World's largest Church, I had two feelings : I felt lucky and exhilarated. But when I started walking under the epitome of Renaissance art, I had a feeling that has no defination or boundaries.The Biblical narration of...
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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
The Roman Forum is where ancient Rome began. The sprawling archaeological park gives us just a hint of what the Roman Empire once was—a dominant and diverse society. The Forum itself was the political, social, religious, and commercial focal...
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Via Pignasecca, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy
La Pignasecca is renowned for its abundance of cheese, pastry, and fresh fish stalls. As you shop, don’t miss snacking on the biscuits (tarrale) from Panificio Vincenzo Coppola. Open daily, Via Pignasecca. Read Tom Downey's "Tailor Made in Naples...
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Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy
A Naples legend well before Julia Roberts (in Eat, Pray, Love) gave it celebrity sheen, Da Michele was opened by the Condurro family in 1930. The only pizzas are marinara and margherita, and they are pure classics. 39/081-553-9204. Read Tom...
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Via Francesco Caracciolo, Napoli NA, Italy
Via Caracciolo is one of the most beautiful and panoramic streets in the world. It has recently been made carfree, so pedestrians can enjoy walking, running, biking and skating nearby the sea. Grab your best shoes and walk from the majestic Castel...