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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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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
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Vicolo del Bottino, 8, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I love to go to this restaurant and wine bar for a glass of prosecco and to enjoy the unique view out over the Spanish Steps and the rest of Rome as the sun sets. 39/06-699-341000. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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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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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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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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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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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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Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 2, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Ciampini has all the required three Ps (that's a thing, right?): People-watching, prime piazza location, and perfect cappuccini to make it the most coveted caffè bar in Rome. From 8 a.m. to after dark, Rome's best-dressed flock to Piazza...
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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 Marina Piccola, 118, 80076 Capri NA, Italy
When going to Italy there are so many beautiful and breathtaking things that have such historical relevance and striking beauty. Venezia, Firenze, and Roma all have very powerful histories from the rule of Venetians to the birth of the Renaissance...
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74, Via di S. Teodoro, 00186 Roma RM, 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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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8, 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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Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Like all outdoor markets in Rome, Campo de' Fiori is a bustling social center where locals push past throngs of tourists to complete their errands. Every morning you can find nonni shopping for produce with their grandchildren, feisty butchers...
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Via Claudia, 15, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Caffe Propaganda is just a short 3-4 minute walk from the Colosseum; but instead of being another tourist spot, it's a spot for locals and has some of the best hand-crafted cocktails in Rome. In the direction opposite from the hub-bub on the quiet...
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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...
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Via dei Girolami, 28R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Armed with only a recommendation, a description, and the general location of the restaurant—but no actual restaurant name—we found Ristorante Buca dell’Orafo, near the Ponte Vecchio. The small restaurant is below street level off an alley-wide...
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52044 Cortona, Province of Arezzo, Italy
Agritourism has become a big business in Tuscany from cooking schools to farm rentals. Alessandra Federici (far right) took a non-traditional route to building her agritourism business. She opened a cooking school in her own home. This deeply...
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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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84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
In its ten miles from Positano to Amalfi, the celebrated corniche road known as the Amalfi Coast Drive clings to rugged cliffsides, weaving torturously in and out and up and down gorges, through lemon groves and olives, past whitewashed villages...
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Via Chiaia, 1/2, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy
The most famous café in town, this historic spot oozes period charm and maintains much of its original Belle Epoque decor. The main bar is for stand-up coffees and aperitivi, but there are several cozy salons for a sit-down treat. The terrace is 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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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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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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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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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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Traversa Punta Capo, 80067 Sorrento NA, Italy
About 2 km outside of the town center of Sorrento, Italy is a natural pool set behind the bluffs that characterize the Amalfi coast. You can only reach it on foot (or Vespa) by turning right off of Via Capo at the sign on a red building that...
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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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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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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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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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Via Francesco Passino, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
At the Mercato Contadino dei Castelli Romani, a farmers' market in the hilltop town of Ariccia, farmers, bee keepers, cheese makers and other producers of artisanal foods gather on weekends to sell directly to consumers. The farm-direct sales cut...