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Italy

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Via Cristoforo Colombo, 39/e, 86039 Termoli CB, Italy
Termoli on the Adriatic is the kind of place where you can spend a week, and potentially not hear English the entire time. This small beach town is a destination for Italians who lounge under colorful umbrellas along the sand, in the shadow of a...
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Via dei Vecchietti, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When people think of Florence, they usually think of Renaissance art and crowded museums filled with altarpieces and "Madonna and Child" images. While the Renaissance is the biggest draw of this historic city, there is a lot more to its art-museum...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
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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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The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (to give its full name) is now a global brand, but this is where it all began, in a frescoed, 13th-century chapel in Florence. The place is as stunning as the products that are still made...
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Via dei Serragli, 22, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I got some fabulous red snake skin pants, and while trying on a tiger-print ballerina dress was fun, I'm glad someone stopped me. I walked up and down Florence to find vintage stores, and this was by far the best!
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Via dei Georgofili, 3r/7r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
A useful address for a snack after a visit to the Uffizi or Palazzo Vecchio, this gourmet sandwich bar and deli, hidden away down a narrow lane, serves delicious panini plus the odd salad. The sandwich selection (made with focaccia freshly-baked...
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Via de' Tornabuoni, 64R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The recipe for the delicious, tiny truffle-cream sandwiches at atmospheric old Procacci is a guarded secret but, oh boy, are they good, especially when accompanied by a glass of prosecco. Smart Florentine ladies-who-shop flock here for a pit...
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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked away in a tiny piazzetta just off the main Ponte Vecchio–Palazzo Pitti tourist drag, this bright, modern squeeze of a wine bar specializes in wines by small, lesser-known producers from all over Italy. Tempting snacks include fabulous...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 6, 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 dell'Ariento, 16r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If you are in the San Lorenzo market area around lunchtime, this little enoteca (wine bar) with its old-fashioned, wood-paneled interior is a good place to stop off for a glass of wine and a sandwich or crostino. It’s usually standing room only,...
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Borgo S. Jacopo, 12, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The scents that go into Ortigia’s gorgeous bath and beauty products are inspired by Sicilian plants (orange blossom, Sicilian lime, pomegranate, almond) and evoke the essence of this exotic, southern Mediterranean island. Beautifully presented in...
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Borgo la Croce, 44/r, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
For fabulous room fragrances, head for the Antica Officina del Farmacista where Dr. Paolo Vranjes works his magic producing perfume essences inspired by Florence’s long, rich history.
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Via de' Guicciardini, 1/red, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The only glove shop in the city to produce its stock on site, Madova’s exquisitely-crafted ‘guanti’ are made in a factory just behind the shop. There is a huge range of colours and styles range from simple, un-lined styles, silk or cashmere-lined...
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Via de' Bardi, 17, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The centuries old art of Florentine bookbinding and papermaking is kept beautifully alive here by the charming owner--Erin Ciulla, who came from Canada to Florence to study the craft and stayed on. Since part of the tiny store is her workshop, I...
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Via della Spada, 10r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Giacosa Cafe by Roberto Cavallli serves what is arguably the best coffee in town. Even if you are not in the mood for shopping, the coffee is worth the price of trekking it down to this super chic spot in town. You can also see many Clet...
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Borgo degli Albizi, 68/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Maestri di Fabbrica, or the Manufacturing Masters, store in Florence seeks to bring back quality artisanal crafts the way they used to be made. The store, located in an old Florentine house adorned with frescoes. boasts five sections: body...
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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...
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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 S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
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One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
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Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
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Cramped it may be, but rustic Da Mario, located at the back of the mercato centrale, serves up a menu of consistently reliable Florentine classics to a mix of stall workers, business folk and tourists, and it’s always packed. The choice changes...
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Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This is the only Gucci museum in the world. The company was founded in Florence in 1921, and different floors of the museum take you back through its history and designs. There are sections on clothes, shoes, luggage, and more. The museum is...
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Borgo degli Albizi, 11r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you love gelato and chocolate, no place will romance you quite like Vestri. Before you know what's inside, you'll be drawn in by the antique and elegant exterior and by the shiny packages peeking out. Inside, the small shop's allure consists of...
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Via Dè Cenci, 17, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
Tucked along a small cobbled road in the historic center of Arezzo - in the heart of Tuscany - is this small pasticceria. Family run for generations, this warm and cozy shop produces the best biscotti and pastries in Arezzo. And, as our...
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Via della Scala, 33, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Have you ever wanted to rent an apartment in Italy, but just didn't have the money or the time? Without looking, we landed in just the place. This was the view from the street of our hotel room in Florence. On our quick Rome, Florence, Venice hop...
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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 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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Via Talosa, 8, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
There are several enotecas in Montepulciano to get your file of Vino Noble, the local varietal. The tasting room at Talosa is special because of the friendly and knowledgable hosts - Christian and Andreas. These two are so enthusiastic about their...
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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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Via dei Georgofili, 11R, 50100 Firenze FI, Italy
If you weren't sure what you were looking for, you might miss Marco Stabile's Ora d'Aria restaurant on Via dei Georgofili. The hint of a large birdcage peeking through a tall window in an expansive and otherwise-unadorned wall is all that alerts...
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Piazzetta del Teatro, 4, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
The store may overwhelm you at first—there are handcrafted copper items covering every surface—but spend a little time here and you'll see each piece serves a purpose as a tool for the Italian kitchen. There are sauce pans in every size, wine...