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Via Vittorio Emanuele, 23, 25030 Erbusco BS, Italy
This gorgeous dining room is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, with some of the most creative and exquisite dishes in northern Italy; my pasta course featured nine luscious ravioli. Just a half-an-hour drive from Brescia and Bergamo, and...
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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 Giacomo Matteotti, 78, 51018 Pieve A Nievole PT, Italy

These small eateries, tucked away in small alleys, are the kind of places I look for when I travel for tasty, fresh and affordable food. We avoid tourist traps near the popular attractions at all costs! I'm the one tramping around and dragging my...

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53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
While traveling between Sienna and San Gimignano, we stopped for an organic farm to table lunch Fattoria Poggio Alloro. An active Agriturismo, the farm raises all of its own livestock, produces wine and olive oil and even offers cooking classes.
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Via Castruccio Buonamici, 352, 55100 S. Anna,Lucca LU, Italy
My husband and I visited Lucca, Italy, in May. Just when I thought the charming town couldn't get any more beautiful, the sun went down and the lights came on, exposing a whole new beauty. Lucca is not a place to be missed, and make sure to stick...
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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 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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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The best Crostones in Firenze! Great people, tasty wine and excellent food. Great to wander in for light snacks.
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50052 Certaldo, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Traveling to Italy had always been a dream of ours, and since we love culture, food and cooking more than we enjoy sightseeing, we wanted to find a place where we would be able to explore Italian cooking but have some freedom to go to other places...
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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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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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Via della Vigna Vecchia, 40r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Family style restaurant where you can sample virtually everything on the menu. Salad sampler, pasta sampler, meat sampler. GET IT ALL
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Piazza di San Giovanni, 19/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the mythological places in Florence is Scudieri cafe in Piazza di San Giovanni. Long marble bar and a lot of people around it having their espresso or cold cream coffee. Highly recommended! Their selection is great.
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Via Sant'Andrea, 23, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
This "Agriturismo" is owned and operated by Sarah Fioroni, author of "A Family Farm in Tuscany". Sarah travels to the United States to hold Italian cooking classes (we met her in San Antonio, Texas). This is a view of historic San Gimignano from...
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53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
One of the best things about the beautiful Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano - and there are many - is the wonderful street art offered for sale throughout the town. You can watch the artists at work, making the experience even more special....
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Via dei Neri, 20, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
With gelato shops on every corner and only a couple of hours in Florence, I wanted to make sure wherever we stopped for dessert was well worth it. Online reviews led me to Gelateria dei Neri—and we were not disappointed. Not only was it delicious,...
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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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Piazza de' Pitti, 16, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
With its emphasis on wine and a simple menu, we turned happy hour into a prolonged wine dinner at the Enoteca Pitti Gola E Cantina. It sits across the street from the Pitti Palace, with a commanding view from the covered street-side deck. Three...
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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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Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Buon appetito! We discovered this hole-in-the-wall trattoria 15 years ago, and we were delighted to find everything to be the same and the food as good. Not an upscale gourmet place, but popular with locals, and a place to practice my rusty...
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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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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 Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
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Via dei Neri, 74/R, 50100 Firenze FI, Italy
Fresh as you can get and a great price. The baker was bringing in steaming loaves of oven-fresh bread from the bakery down the street while we were standing in line!! Prosciutto on focaccia with warm Parmesan spread and arugula was delicious....
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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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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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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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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 dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
On a cool night in November, walking alone from an outdoor food market in the center of Florence, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth yet again. I stopped for a "snack," one that I would never eat just before dinner back home yet couldn't get...
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Florence is famous for many reasons: the Duomo, the David, the whole Renaissance thing.... Sure, these are great—but the pizza. Oh man, the pizza! I'm talking about a thin, doughy crust, fresh ingredients, and a flavor you can barely handle. I'm...
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Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
My search for the world's best ice cream took me to Italy, then to Florence, then to a gelateria called La Carraia, in the neighborhood of Santa Trinita across the river. There, I found a blissful, creamy mix of pistachio and chocolate, the same...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If a stay at The Westin Excelsior in Florence may not be in your budget, but the aperitivo menu may be. Stop by their posh bar and for 12 Euros get the house wine and all sorts of goodies—a cheese plate, a meat plate, flat bread, and samples of...
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Greve in Chianti, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
If you find yourself on a road trip from Florence into the Tuscan countryside, take the Chianti road and stop for lunch or a stroll in Greve in Chianti. The town square often hosts a market—we were there on the flower market day—and houses a Museo...
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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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Piazza S. Lorenzo, 50050 Limite Sull'Arno FI, Italy
Over ten years ago, I took my first trip to Florence. I bought 2 leather jackets there, one of which I still wear regularly today. The other one is in great shape but slightly out of style. So on this recent trip 10+ years later, I was bound and...
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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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Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Once home to the Medici princes, Palazzo Pitti is now our portal to Renaissance Florence. It is divided into six sections and, after three visits, I still cannot choose a favorite. The left wing is comprised of the Royal Apartments—a section that...
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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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Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
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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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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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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Via di Campestri, 19/22, 50039 Vicchio di Mugello FI, Italy

The olive reigns at Villa Campestri, a Renaissance villa built around a 13th-century fort. Activities include grove tours, oil tastings, seasonal cooking classes, and olive oil massages. The restaurant L’Olivaia serves farm-fresh Tuscan food with...
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Via Santa Radegonda, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
There is a reason the locals line up down the block at this place come lunchtime: the pomodoro panzerotti. It's a perfect little pocket filled with fresh, warm, gooey mozzarella and local tomatoes. I tried several other sweet and savory items...