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Vicolo Cellini, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At this speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar near Chiesa Nuova, hipster bartenders pour and shake American classics like Manhattans, Sazeracs and Old-Fashioneds in a smoky lounge. To gain admittance, make a booking and come armed with the secret...
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Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Here's the skinny: I'm not going to tell you the address, or the phone number. All I can tell you is, there's a gin mill somewhere in Milan that's the bees knees. You just need to know who to ask, once you know your onions then everything'll be...
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Riviera di Chiaia, 287, 80122 Napoli NA, Italy
Tiemaker Maurizio Marinella was 10 years old when his grandfather Eugenio and father, Luigi, began teaching him the essentials of tailoring. Now he oversees the waterfront salon, founded in 1914, that has created ties for style-conscious customers...
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Via Montebello, 58, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
During my last stay in Florence, I wanted to learn more about the artisan trades, and Bruscoli was recommended to me by a local. I am so glad it was. As I walked along the Arno River on my way to the workshop, I had no idea what an extraordinary...
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Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 7, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Staying in boutique hotels, with their homey feeling and personal attention, can enhance one's travel experience. That is definitely true of staying at J.K. Place. The beautiful décor, central location (right on Piazza Santa Maria Novella in the...
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Piazzetta dei Del Bene, 7/A, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Next door to the fantastic women’s boutique Marie Antoinette, this bright and welcoming spot is a mixed-use space for fresh juices, teas, made-to-order locavore tramezzini (crust-less, three-layer sandwiches), and cocktails. Enjoy all of the...
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Vicolo dell'Oro, 6r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This sky-high rooftop bar (a rarity around the area) can be found at the Lungarno’s Hotel Continentale. It received a redo in 2013, preserving its classic cocktails and views of the Arno River, church domes and steeples, and adding new...
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Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Not far from Florence’s Ferragamo and Gucci headquarters, this new indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant along the Arno has become a go-to spot for the city’s most fashionable, especially during aperitivo—the Italian post-work happy hour.
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Southern Europe
Ponza is an island destination mostly frequented by Italians (especially Romans and Neapolitans, as it's just a hop, skip, and a jump away by boat) that is largely undiscovered by foreign tourists. A must-do in Ponza: rent a motorboat on your own,...
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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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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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Riviera di Chiaia, 269, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy
Antonella Rossi and her husband, Corrado, offer seasonal locavore takes on traditional Neapolitan fare such as green zucchini with squid sauteed in olive oil with lavender. 39/081-552-2266. Read Tom Downey's "Tailor Made in Naples."
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Salita dei Crescenzi, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Armando Al Pantheon is right around the corner from the Pantheon, but it feels a world away. The interior is small, warm and inviting. They have many classic Italian dishes and a few specials of their own. The wine list is reasonable and...
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Via Giovanni Antonelli, 30, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Metamorfosi is the best of Rome's fine dining options at the moment, blending outstanding ingredients from Italy and abroad with the culinary creativity of Columbian-born chef Roy Caceres and Swedish sous chef John Regefalk.
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Via della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Gabriele Bonci's famous pizza-by-the-slice joint serves some of the best pizza in town. The slow-leavened dough is made from organic stoneground flour, and toppings change throughout the day. Pizzarium also sells excellent bread and supplì (fried...
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Via Trionfale, 36, 00195 Roma RM, Italy
Panificio Bonci, which opened in November 2012, is legendary baker Gabriele Bonci’s bread bakery. Located in the Trionfale district—not far from Bonci’s famous pizza-by-the-slice joint, Pizzarium—the bakery sells loaves, sandwiches, and a handful...
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Via Torino, 149, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The ground floor of the otherwise non-descript Rex Hotel near Stazione Termini is home to this one Michelin star restaurant named for its host and owner Alessandro Pipero. Let this food and wine expert guide you through a romantic meal in his...
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Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roscioli family, famous for their nearby bakery Antico Forno Roscioli, opened this restaurant/wine bar/gourmet shop in 2005. Book several days in advance for lunch or dinner and be sure to request a ground floor table near the back of the...
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Via del Casaletto, 45, 00151 Roma RM, Italy
Cesare al Casaletto is far off the well-beaten tourist track, but it is easy to get to: just take the 8 tram from Piazza Venezia or Largo Argentina and get off at the very last stop. Fifty yards from the tram tracks sits Rome's best trattoria,...
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A beloved institution of the Testaccio neighborhood, La Torricella serves Roman classics, including carciofi alla Giudia, carciofi alla Romana, and pasta cacio e pepe, at moderate prices in a simple dining room. Via Evangelista Torricelli 2/12,...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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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...
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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...
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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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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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84010 Ravello, Province of Salerno, Italy
Ravello has drawn writers, artists, and musicians to its green hills for years. I was there in the middle of a downpour, and didn't get a chance to explore the gardens the town is known for. Instead, I sat in a cafe on the main square, drank a hot...
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84010 Scala, Province of Salerno, Italy
Picture a historic village perched high above the sparkling Mediterranean, surrounded by lush mountains and stony cliffs. A charming, three hundred year old country home is nestled among the trees and warm breezes carry the tantalizing aromas of...
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Via Roma, 64, 84010 Ravello SA, Italy
In the pouring rain in Ravello, we saw this sign, laughed, and ducked into the storefront. Little did we know what damage we would do in 30 minutes. We tried Nero d'Avolos from Sicily, big Barolos, various vintages from the Antinoris, and what was...
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Str. di Certosa, 82/86, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
There is an intimate hotel in the hills of Tuscany near Siena called Certosa di Maggiano. It is pure magic. Tranquil and filled with old Italian charm, this is a place to go and chill out. Strada di Certosa 82/86, 39/0577-28-81-80. Rene Redzepi...
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Strada Comunale Serra, 1, 14055 Annunziata, Costigliole d'Asti AT, Italy
Winemaker Renato Ratti recently opened to the public his family’s 18th-century, 13-room villa in the Piedmont countryside. An old cellar stores decades’ worth of Ratti wines. Guided tastings can be arranged upon request, and bottles can be shipped...
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Via Tagliata, 32B, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Situated high up in the hills of Montepertuso and overlooking the magical town of Positano, each and every part of the family-owned, Trattoria La Tagliata, is truly local – from the organic vegetables grown in their own gardens, free-range meat...
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Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Lovers of furniture from past and present cannot leave Milan without stopping by the Triennale Design Museum. The permanent collection holds an interesting cross-section of Italian furniture and housewares, including the 1957 Superleggera...
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ABC, Fondamenta Toletta, 1169, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Osteria Enoteca ai Artisti in Venice served the best pasta I have ever tasted. Once wasn't enough—I had to go back to this place again during my stay in Venice. The osteria boasts a great view, great atmosphere, great people, and most importantly,...
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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...
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Campo San Giacometto, 122, 30125 Rialto, Venezia VE, Italy

At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you'll find a ground-floor wine bar serving...

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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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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Venice is extremely well supplied with bars selling the delicious local wine. But I'm more of a spirit girl, and limoncello does nothing for me. So, I was extremely happy to stumble upon this superb little bar in San Polo. It boasted a fantastic...
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Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The Baths of Caracalla, a third century bathing complex located near the Circus Maximus, was the center of social life for tens of thousands of Romans who would gather there—around 10,000 at a time—to exercise, bathe, and relax. Admission was...
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Piazza Mattei, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Step back in time and visit the ruins that lie deep beneath the Palazzo Valentini, located near the whirlwind Piazza Venezia. Modern technology fills in the missing mosaics and walls in this remarkable hidden attraction, once the home of a wealthy...
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Viale della Stazione di Ostia Antica, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
Hop on the commuter train at Lido Station (next to the Piramide Metro stop) and make the 25-minute trip to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port town and administrative center. The teeming city of up to 100,000 residents is relatively well preserved...
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Piazza Pio XI, 2, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
The Ambrosiana Library is an oasis for book lovers. Founded in 1609, the library contains over 800,000 books and 35,000 manuscripts, including writings by Dante and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus. The pinacoteca art gallery is a treasure as...
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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,...
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Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR, Italy
Relax in the warm volcanic water emerging from deep underground. These natural spas were known by the Romans, who came here for their yearly health retreat.
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Via Addolorata, 5, 98050 Valdichiesa ME, Italy
Just returned from four weeks in Sicily. The time we spent on the Aeolian Islands was incredible. Italy with no crowds, unbelievably fresh seafood, and days spent boating around the small islands (Salina was our favourite), stopping to swim...
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Giudecca, 810, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy
In Venice, it's hard to get a moment alone with a loved one or even with the city herself. The crowds of tourists reaching over your shoulder to snap shaky photos of the aged Rialto can become a nuisance as you try to realize the historical...
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Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This historic bakery in Campo de' Fiori serves good pizza bianca and excellent pizza rossa, as well as assorted slices, cookies, and pastries. The neighboring annex across the alley (Vicolo del Gallo 14) serves sandwiches and baked goods. Drop in...
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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...
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Via del Monte della Farina, 28, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At Pizzeria Emma in central Rome, siblings Francesco and Ilaria Roscino have teamed up with gourmet gurus the Roscioli brothers to open Emma. There are deceptively light fried starters like rice croquettes, mozzarella-filled squash blossoms, and...
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116, Via Statilio Ottato, 110, 00175 Roma RM, Italy
Excellent fried starters, delectable pizzas, and a large selection of craft beers make this one of Rome's best pizzerias. The style is Neapolitan with a high rim, as opposed to the thin crusted Roman style. The Greenwich (stilton and port...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
There are so many major sights to see in Rome that it is easy to get caught up in hurrying from tourist option A to Z! We hurried along with the best of them, but the favorite part of our time in the city was walking the neighborhoods in the...
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Piazza Santa Chiara, 1, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
The stories around St Francis of Assisi are relatively well-known, and of particular interest with the election of a Roman Catholic pope who took his name. St Francis was born wealthy and eventually had a spiritual awakening which let him to...
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Piazza de' Ricci, 144, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Romans flock to Pierluigi for the city's freshest seafood—all of the fish here is Italian (with the exception of the oysters and lobsters). Get a table outside on the Piazza de' Ricci and order the octopus carpaccio. It's the most thinly...
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Via Solferino, 33, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Contemporary mixology & authentic pizza! A new place to enjoy great pizza and focaccia accompanied by extraordinary cocktails. Contemporary art and more.
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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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Via Regina, 40, 22012 Cernobbio CO, Italy
The 152-room Villa d’Este resides about an hour north of Milan in the quiet surrounds of Lake Como. The 16th century palatial estate has 25 acres of manicured Italian gardens, and it’s been a favorite escape for Hollywood types (Alfred Hitchcock...
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Via Enrico Caronti, 69, 22020 Blevio CO, Italy
I sip a glass of prosecco on my rooftop terrace with a book by my side, but nothing can divert my attention from the sunset view of Lake Como and the mountains beyond. Opera music drifts from my neighbor’s suite, which is fitting, given the...
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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
You will likely see Bronzino's famous portrait of Eleonora (or Eleanor) de Toledo, in the Uffizi, during your visit to Florence. The Spanish noblewoman who became the duchess of Florence in 1539 when she married Cosimo I de' Medici was unusual for...
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Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Like most buildings in the heart of Florence, the building that houses Portrait Firenze comes from a much older time, around the 13th century. But the modern hotel is decidedly different than its counterparts in the luxury accommodation space,...
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Via Giulia, 131, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
An under-the-radar hideout in Rome’s historic district, the dark, moody Deer Club will surround you with enough glamorous Italians to make you feel like an extra in a Fellini flick. Don’t miss the trebbiano d’abruzzos on their regional wine list....
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Salita Baratta 16, Via Roma, 2, 16034 Portofino GE, Italy
The Belmond Hotel Splendido is a classic Ligurian villa that presides over the pine-covered slopes and deep blue waters of the Ligurian Sea. The hotel began as a 16th-century monastery. Repeated attacks on the picturesque, if evidently...
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Salita Baratta 16, Via Roma, 2, 16034 Portofino GE, Italy
I have seriously high standards on romance, and I'm telling you, this place is oozing romance. The antique charm, the intimacy of the port, the Italian Riveria lapping at the sea wall, fine Italian wine, authentic margherita pizza, the list goes...
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80/a, Via Fabio Massimo, 00192 Roma RM, Italy
Located in Prati, not too far from the Vatican, head here for a pre-tour, morning cappuccino at the wood-paneled bar. This very elegant bar also serves the prettiest cup of afternoon espresso. Before your espresso gets pulled, a generous dollop...
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Via degli Specchi, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The autumn sees the release of Italy's finest ales, beers made with live and cooked wine must. Brewers all over the country merge wine and beer making traditions, creating a uniquely terroir-driven product that is complex and completely Italian....
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Via degli Specchi, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This pub, owned by the Piedmont-based Baladin brewing company and Lazio's own Birra del Borgo, opened in September 2009 and was quickly canonized as the best place to drink Italian beers in Rome. There are over 120 labels to choose from, ranging...
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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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Fondamenta Marco Giustinian, 8, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
On the charming Venetian island of Murano, Museo del Vetro is an exemplary glass museum in a wonderful old palace that's worth exploring if you have an interest in the art of blowing glass. It's been a museum since the mid-1800s and features both...
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Viale Machiavelli, 18, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Since its construction in the late 1800s by architect Pietro Comparini, at the behest of Baron Oppenheim, Villa Cora has been known as one of the most beautiful residences in Florence. Guests arrive through wrought-iron gates, which reveal...
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Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Built into Positano’s hillside, with an eye-catching crimson facade laced with white trimming, Le Sirenuse sits amid the town’s tangle of pastel houses and stepped alleys that lead to charming boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and...
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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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Via degli Scavi, 87, 72010 Savelletri BR, Italy
Italy's Puglian region is off the beaten path, located along the southeastern Adriatic coast and far from the famous tourist attractions in the northern part of the country. In my opinion, the southern part of Italy offers some hidden treasures to...
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70044 Polignano a Mare, Metropolitan City of Bari, Italy
If narrow winding streets, lethargic cafes, and warm salt air rumble through your dreams, than Polignano should be in your plans. This seaside town on Italy's southern Adriatic shores is remarkable in every sense. Perhaps its best feature is that...
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72016 Montalbano BR, Italy
We weren't ready for lunch yet and saw a ruin icon on the map near Ostuni, Italy, so we headed north and found a tomb that dates back to the Neolithic period, around 7000 years ago. The Dolmen di Montalbano is a small stone structure, clearly made...
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70011 Alberobello BA, Italy
Lured by the promise of an off-the-beaten-path UNESCO World Heritage site, I ventured to southern Italy to see the magical trulli houses in Alberobello. And I was enchanted. Back in the 1600s, these limestone houses were built without mortar so...
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Looking for a breath of fresh air in a crowded city? Then look no further than Costa San Giorgio--one of those streets that look so familiar here in Florence. Starting from just behind the Ponte Vecchio, this road leads up, up, up and into the...
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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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Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Capitoline Museums house a collection of ancient sculptures in a pair of buildings designed by Michelangelo in the mid-16th century. The architecture on its own is stunning, but add to that brilliant frescoes and museum halls decked out with...
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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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Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
While a lot of people would go see the Sistine Chapel when visiting Rome, fewer travelers venture out to this grand church at the Piazza di San Ignacio near the Pantheon, which features an almost equally beautiful painted ceiling done by Andrea...
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Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Just behind the Pantheon hides the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, a gem in its own right. The only Gothic church in Rome's center, it's a breath of fresh air from over-the-top Baroque opulence. Plus, it has gorgeous frescoes by Filippo Lippi...
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Piazza di S. Luigi de' Francesi, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
In 1589, the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi became the official church of Rome’s French community, and with true Bourbon flair, the church's decorations are a celebration of France's power and wealth, with gilded stucco, lavish...
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Via Ostiense, 106, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
Tired of the crowds? Go to the Centrale Montemartini in Ostiense. No lines. In fact, no other people. At all. Usually I am the only one there. Wander the ancient Roman sculptures and extraordinary mosaic floor set in the former power plant;...
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Via di Santa Prassede, 9, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The 8th century Saint Zeno Chapel in the Church of Santa Prassede was built by Pope Paschal to serve as a funeral chapel for his mother Theodora. The Pope employed talented artisans to bedazzle the chapel in gold and glass mosaics, which can still...
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Via Raffaele Persichetti, 3, 00166 Roma RM, Italy
The 3rd century Aurelian Walls stretched for 12 miles around the city. Measuring a distance of 12 miles in circumference, the defensive circuit is Rome's largest ancient building. There a dozen gateways in the wall, each of which provided access...
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If you thought Ferragamo only made gorgeous Italian leather shoes, you would be sorely mistaken. Take a day trip from Florence and spend a few hours at Il Borro, his stunning medieval-village-turned-vineyard-and-luxury-hotel in the Tuscan...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza A restaurant built within Palermo’s ancient walls, where chariots were once housed. Under these enormous vaults there is a library, a garden, and a bar—it’s a fantastic place for drinks. Foro Umberto I This story appeared in the...
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Piazza Europa, 3, 91023 Favignana TP, Italy
Located on a small butterfly shaped island off the West Coast of Sicily is Cas’almare. A small, stylish 5 room boutique hotel with what has to be the best location on the island of Favignana. The property overlooks ancient Roman queries and has...
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Piazza Europa, 38, 91023 Favignana TP, Italy
Favignana is the largest of the Egadi Islands off the western coast of Sicily, the butterfly shaped island is small enough to easily explore by bicycle or moped. Stay: Cas’almare , a small boutique hotel adjacent to the sea and an ancient roman...
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07021 Porto Cervo, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy
This island lies in the Strait of Bonifacio, between Corsica and the top end of Sardinia. The Strait of Bonifacio is famous among sailors for its notorious weather and fantastic wind. It’s quite an art to navigate around the rocks along the coast....
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07028 Santa Teresa Gallura, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy
A quaint town located on the Northern tip of the Italian Sardinia Island. It boasts a brilliant white beach and a laid back atmosphere. Stay: Live like a local and rent a vacation apartment near the café lined piazza. Eat: Do not leave Sardinia...
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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...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 60/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I love Il Santino. It is the little food and wine bar adjacent to the restaurant Il Santo Bevitore which is one of the best restaurants in the world. Not in terms of Michelin, but in terms of balance. It has modern and traditional twists on...
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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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Via Santa Monaca, 3r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Know locally as S'forno, this vintage-look Santo Spirito bakery sells a fantastic selection of sweet and savoury goods and is one of the few 'panifici' in Florence to still have an on-site oven (most do their baking outside the city). The bread...
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Località San Felice, 53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga SI, Italy
This wonderful wine estate ticks all the right boxes. Set in a timeless landscape of gently rolling hills and vines, olives and cypresses in the southernmost part of the Chianti wine producing area, Borgo San Felice is a stone hamlet that once...
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Southern Europe
Our last day in Chianti, Rachael & I headed out in the Fiat to explore a couple more places on our list. One of these places was I Sodi, a local, family-owned winery very close to the Bed & Breakfast where we stayed. We turned off the main road...
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53017 Radda in Chianti, Province of Siena, Italy
Not sure how La Petraia remains a secret. Set in the hills and surrounded by cypress trees, this property offers all possible Tuscan delights. Everything, from honey to wine, that Chef Susan Grant prepares, from the honey to the wine, is produced...
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53011 Fonterutoli, Province of Siena, Italy
The aristocratic Mazzei family has been making wine on this estate, immersed in typically rolling Chianti countryside near Castellina, since 1435. Today, you can visit the state-of-the-art cellars, taste the award-winning wines and sample the...
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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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53011 Castellina in Chianti SI, Italy
The hilltop town of Castellina lies at the heart of Chianti with medieval fortifications and an imposing Torre presenting a formidable image to the world. Its raison d’etre these days is the production of wine and there is no lack of places to...
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If you are based in Florence and want to escape the city for a day of wine tasting and good food, Castello di Sonnino, home of the aristocratic Barone de Renzis Sonnino family, is only a twenty-minute drive away, and you can get there on the...
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Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 3, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Begun by the family of winemaker Gianluca Bisol, who is famous for his prosecco, the menu at this Mazzorbo restaurant is focused on seasonal and local ingredients, much of which is grown right on the estate, which is located 35 minutes from the...
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Via Brera, 23, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
My friend Andy says you can't go to Milan without having an evening in Brera, the tiny artsy area adjacent to Milan's fashion center. Bar Brera is the hangout of choice for expensive liquor and people watching.
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Via dell'Orso, 4, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Il Refettorio Simplicitas is my favorite place to eat when I visit Milan. The executive chef, Giovanni Ruggieri, uses simple, fresh, and local ingredients to consistently turn out powerful flavors you never knew you always wanted to taste. Echoing...
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Via S. Marco, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
in Venetian slang "ombra"(shadow) means "a small glass of wine". But this place is beautiful not just because you can drink good wine, but also because it comes within the refectory of the monks of San Marco. A feast for eyes and heart. Quoted by...
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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 Plinio, 39, 20020 Milano MI, Italy
Bar Basso is one of the oldest cocktail bars in Milan. It's appeared in many films and is a piece of history in the city. It's always been a privileged meeting place for designers, journalists, artists, and writers. Here you can taste the best...
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Via Chiese, 2, 20126 Milano MI, Italy
Located in a former rail services warehouse, Hangar Bicocca is a contemporary art space for site-specific projects funded by tire giant Pirelli. The space is more like a contemporary art concept that extends from the boards of its brick structure....
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Via Antoine Watteau, 7, 20125 Milano MI, Italy
Leoncavallo is both a cultural center and a concept. The buildings lining the run-down road are covered in amazing art by epic artists and upcoming writers. During the day, you'll find photographers documenting the work or shooting for fashion...
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Str. Plan de Gralba, 37, 39048 Selva di Val Gardena BZ, Italy
A 2010 renovation transformed a traditional lodge into a 12-room inn that’s both cutting- edge and cozy. Built by the former Olympic skier Gerardo Mussner in 1963, the hotel is now run by Gerardo’s daughters. His wife, Helga, serves South Tirolean...
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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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Via Civita, 28, 75100 Matera MT, Italy
I cannot recommend this hotel experience enough. Matera, the former cave-dweller's town, is really brought to life through this "Albergo Diffuso", literally "diffused lodgings", a series of original cave-dwellings that have been abandoned and now...
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Via San Giovanni Vecchio, 89, 75100 Matera MT, Italy
I'm not one to skip breakfast, especially in Italy, where thoughts of cappuccino, pastries, and local ham tend to rouse me early from slumber. But on my first morning at the Hotel Sant’Angelo, in the old quarter of Matera, I was having a hard time...
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Via Pardo, 29, 95131 Catania CT, Italy
Make a meal of fresh sea urchin at Osteria Antica Marina among the bustle of the fishmongers in Catania. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Osteria Antica Marina