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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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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....
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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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5174/B/517 Castello, Venezia, VE 30122, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
One of the things Venice is best known for, after its gondolas and canals, is enchanting handmade masks—and mask shops are abound in the city. You can find any type of mask you might want: from feminine doll-inspired masks, to masculine bird masks...
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Calle de la Malvasia Vechia, 6014-6015, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The front section of this small spot was crowded with locals having a quick drink and a plate of cicchetti. We had reserved one of the six tables in the back. The menu, written on a blackboard, was all almost all unknown to me. Thankfully my...
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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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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Basilico San Marco is Venice's crown jewel. Situated at the eastern end of Piazza San Marco, the cathedral was built around 1078 on the site of an earlier house of worship. It is famously the home of the remains of the apostle Mark, which were...
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Santa Croce, 2063, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is a charming 10-room hotel that transports visitors back to 18th-century Venice thanks to its gilded antiques, Murano chandeliers, rich fabrics and palazzo marble floors. The hotel has modern conveniences, too (such as...
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Via Capodimonte, 19a, 80131 Napoli NA, Italy

This summer Eddy Bourdages, 33, and his mother, Mireille Anderson, 57, made their first trip to Italy. “We wanted to open an authentic Neapolitan wood oven pizzeria, so we went to the source,” says Bourdages. Anderson has owned L’Odyssée Bistro &...

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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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The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo, occupies a site that’s been holy since the time of the Romans, but it wasn’t until the early 19th century when the finishing touches were finally placed on this massive building. The Duomo is the fifth largest...
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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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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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Vicolo delle Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Here is one of Rome’s best restaurants: Al Moro is very traditional and is well known for the quality of its seasonal ingredients, including porcini mushrooms, wild strawberries, artichokes, and asparagus. 39/06-678-3495. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Via Borgognona, 11, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I often take out-of-town guests here for lunch because it feels—and is—so authentic. Whenever I go in, I have ‘my’ table, as do all the other Roman regulars. One of the restaurant’s specialties is the Francovich soup, which is a delicious Tuscan...
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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...
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Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano MI, Italy
The café Erba Brusca sits on a plot of land at the city’s edge, where concrete blocks meet grassy meadows. Italian staples such as buttery white polenta and roasted speziata sausage are made with herbs and greens grown on-site. Reserve a table on...
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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 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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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Every Saturday and Sunday on Via S. Teodoro, tucked just off Circus Maximus, Rome's best farmer's market takes place. It's run by Campagna Amica, an Italy-wide organization that promotes local, sustainable agriculture—so all of the products sold...
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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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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 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
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Via Stella, 22, 41121 Modena MO, Italy
In the region of Emilia-Romagna, eat at Massimo Bottura’s three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana. From there, take a day trip to Massimo Spigaroli’s farm estate, Antica Corte Pallavicina; visit his charcuterie, and buy some culatello [a prized...
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Viale Cavalleggeri D'Aosta, 84, 80124 Napoli NA, Italy

Pescheria Mattiucci is a fish store by day that transforms itself into a small standing-room-only restaurant a few nights of the week. Mattiucci is an old family operation, but this place is the brainchild of a young son, Luigi Mattiucci. Luigi...

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Via Ponte Vetero, 21, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Every city has an eatery that’s a mainstay for shoppers, and in Milan, it’s the tony Brera neighborhood restaurant Convivium. House specialties include complimentary rosemary flatbread, four-cheese pizza, and sea saltencrusted sea bass for two. ...
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Borgo S. Frediano, 167R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
IO Osteria Personale is a small, elegant, and innovative restaurant in Florence. It's a foodie's delight, with an à la carte menu of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, but no pasta! You can choose three or five dishes plus dessert to create...
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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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Southern Europe
by Fabrizia Lanza People line up at seven or eight in the morning to order a big dish of soup made with tripe and intestines. You can getpanelle(pancakes made from chickpeas) hot from the vendor. They also sell the most famouspanino—spleen stuffed...
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Via Dante, 40, 34071 Cormons GO, Italy
D’Osvaldo is one of the only remaining producers of the smoked ham known as prosciutto di Cormòns, a local specialty. Visit the smoking room behind the family estate, where legs of prosciutto hang above smoldering cherry wood gathered from the...
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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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Bastioni Marco Polo, 41, 07041 Alghero SS, Italy
Located near farm and sea, the northwest city of Alghero is the place to try regional specialties. The restaurant Angedras expresses the city’s Catalan influences with local ingredients; try the mussel-and-clam soup, or the grilled pecorino...
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Via delle Belle Arti, 17/A, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy
Bologna is well known for its culinary expertise, and one of the best restaurants in town to taste authentic Bolognese cuisine is at the Trattoria Anna Maria. This little restaurant serves only the best food from the Emilia-Romagna region of...
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Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221, 30142 Burano,Venezia VE, Italy
Let the wind blow through your hair as you take a 30-minute vaporetto ride to Burano, an island in the lagoons of Venice. Known for its brightly-colored fishermen's homes, the island is largely free of the tourist crush of the rest of Venice....
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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 Ombrone, 1, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
Where's the beef? Who cares - when you come to Orvieto the thing to eat is "porchetta" and they do it in so many different ways that you'll just have to try them all. Either hit a restaurant or just go to one of the butcher shops and try a bit of...
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Via dell'Opio Nel Corso, 34, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
[CLOSED] A Gambe di Gatto is a tiny restaurant in Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy with fabulous food. The service is very slow as it just a husband and wife team. Laura cooks, Emanuel serves. Using only local products, mostly organic, they do a...
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Tucked in an alley near the historic downtown you'll find this small restaurant serving traditional, regional dishes (at a great price especially for the area). With open-air courtyard seating surrounded by vines, it makes for a relaxing lunch....
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I love Florence: it's one of my favorite cities in Italy and in the world. But, the downside is that it can get ridiculously crowded. In fact, the last time I visited it was so crowded on the 'main side' of Florence, where the Duomo and all of the...
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07041 Alghero, Province of Sassari, Italy
Al Tuguri, in Alghero’s old town, specializes in Sardinian dishes like costolette di agnello ai finocchietti selvatici, local lamb ribs with wild fennel.Via Maiorca 113, Alghero, 39/(0) 79-976-772, altuguri.it
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Via della Chiesa, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This authentic neighborhood bar, Il Chicco di Caffè (aka Lola’s), is run by Maurizio whose Mom, Lola, cooks for a truly egalitarian mix of local artisans, staff from the nearby Gucci headquarters, students and people like me (I live next door!) at...
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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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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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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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Chef Marcello Trentini is innovative, intent on correcting perceptions that the cuisine of Italy's Piedmont region is heavy and old-fashioned. His combinations of sweet and savory, meat and seafood, and textures smooth and crunchy serve his...
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They don't call this northern Italian city "Bologna the Fat" for nothing. I recently ate my way through this arcaded city, sampling the city's namesake pasta sauce--Bolognese (about which an article will be coming to the pages of AFAR someday...
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Fondamenta Manin, 48, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
Murano Island is best known for its numerous glassmakers, and their respective factories, shops and boutiques. The island is not itself a foodie destination, though there are exceptions, like the charming and exceptionally good restaurant,...
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Via Giudecca, 88, 30142 Burano, Venezia VE, Italy
If you're planning to spend a full day island hoping from Murano, to Burano and on to Torcello, this is a good spot to stop for a fast lunch between islands.This Burano eatery is a no frills, straight forward trattoria that began as a small inn...
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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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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 di Santa Croce, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Standing in the Piazza Santa Croce, a statue of Dante looms over the square from the corner. Florence, where Durante degli Alighieri's journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise was to begin but not end. In 1829 a tomb was built for him in the...
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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
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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...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Palau Güell is an early Gaudí masterpiece, designed for his longtime benefactor, Eusebi Güell. The mansion, one of Gaudí's first big projects, was recently restored and re-opened to the public. The centerpiece of the building is the amazing...
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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...