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55047 Malbacco LU, Italy
Halfway between tourist hot spots Cinque Terre and Pisa, Malbacco's freshwater ponds are Tuscany's best-kept secret. Shaded by towering pines and refreshed by cool mountain stream waters, this series of ponds is a welcome respite from the hottest...
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80045 Pompeii, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
We were offered the chance to visit Pompeii or Herculaneum when we docked at Sorrento. People rave about Pompeii because it's absolutely huge and gives you a great sense of just how sophisticated Roman civilisation was. Herculaneum, by contrast,...
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16034 Portofino, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Getting to Portofino from Genoa is quite easy. Take the train from Genoa's Brignole Station to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then catch the 82 bus to Portofino (a 12-minute trip around the bay). While I'm not a huge bus person, this is one of the...
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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 San Marco, 1, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
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Piazza San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
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Italy’s oldest cafe has been serving coffee on a silver tray with a water chaser and a cookie since opening in 1720. Caffè Florian features a series of ornate gilded Neo-Baroque salons with frescoes and red velvet banquettes, as well...
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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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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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Dorsoduro, 2, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Controlled by the François Pinault foundation, the same trust in charge of Christie's auction house, this is a museum-worthy gallery in the heart of Venice. Set inside Venice's old 17th-century customs house, it showcases Pinault's...
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Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Since few areas within the city of Venice afford high perspectives of the entire city, take the elevator (no stairs) to the top of San Marco's Campanile in Piazza San Marco. You may have to put up with a few elbows to get a spot against...
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Rio Terà de le Carampane, 1911, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
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If you're looking for some of the most authentic and delicious seafood in Venice, pay a visit to Antiche Carampane. Located in an unassuming building a few minutes' walk from the Rialto Bridge, this trattoria is where the locals eat when they're...
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Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221, 30142 Burano,Venezia VE, Italy
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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 handmade lace and brightly-colored fishermen's homes, the island is free of the tourist crush of the rest of...
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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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Via dell'Orto, 49, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Located in the nether reaches of the Oltrarno, this lively, up-market trattoria serves up Tuscan cuisine (plus a few fish dishes) with a bit of a twist. Try the sublime fillet of beef in a rich, vin santo reduction or the padella di mare, a spicy...
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Via de' Ginori, 8/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
It's difficult to know what to call new Florence opening La Ménagère: it's a café, flower shop, tapas and cocktail bar, bistrot, purveyor of gorgeous homeware and restaurant all under the same roof. Done out in the retro, shabby-chic style that...
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Via Romana, 70/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
‘The Holy Grail’ offers an innovative take on the local cuisine in a stylish, low-lit brick-vaulted room. While he has his culinary feet planted firmly in his native Tuscany, young chef Simone Cipriani (definitely one to watch) is not afraid of...
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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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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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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
One of the best bakeries in all of Italy has to be the Pasticceria Nannini (http://www.grupponannini.it/default.aspx), located in the gorgeous Tuscan hill town of Siena. Probably Siena's most well-known bakery and cafe, Pasticceria Nannini offers...
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Via Camollia, 69, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Try and catch the weekly market in Siena which is open every Wednesday from early in the morning till around 1.30 p.m. Lots of stands which sell all you can imagine and very cheap: clothes, shoes, bags, crafts, furnishings, linen, trinkets,...
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Il Campo, 21, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Fonte Gaia was named joyous because the fountain was met with joy upon its construction, and it continues to bring joy. Its water is not only gorgeous, but also thirst-quenching to locals and tourists alike who stoop down to drink from the sides...
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Via Porta Giustizia, 39, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
This is Orto de Pecci, a green area in the back side of Piazza del Mercato. A place so close but yet so far from the noise of the city. When you arrive here along a gravel road as those you can see in the Chianti area it seems to be catapulted...
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Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
The floor of the Cathedral of Siena, 'the most beautiful... largest and magnificent... that ever was made' (Giorgio Vasari) worth a visit by sure, believe me! Every year I come back there when it is open, two months a year from the week after the...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
If you find yourself on the Mediterranean Sea or in Italy then be sure you make your way to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre, or "The Five Lands" (in Italian), is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and...
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Via Roma, 51, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
There's not much that can improve upon this view, except maybe a cappuccino and a slice of focaccia bread. Lucky for me, I had both of those things with me. This is the view at the very beginning of the Vernazza-Monterosso hiking trail in the...
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Via A. Rollandi, 122, 19017 Manarola, Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Cinque Terre is a popular destination in Italy for a reason. Unfortunately, this can often lead to overpriced, under-quality restaurants. Trattoria dal Billy is an exception. Here you can enjoy fresh fish carpaccio, handmade pasta (with regional...
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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 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 Renato Birolli, 114, 19017 Manarola SP, Italy
Like so many touristy places, we found the food in Cinque Terre restaurants to be so-so, with one exception: the focaccia - and pizza! - from La Cambusa in Manarola. After sitting down with our selections, several locals came in to pick up their...
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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 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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Via dei Michelozzi, 9/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In spite of featuring in all the guide books, this Santo Spirito favourite has a loyal local following, and the place is always packed out with a mix of tourists and Florentines who line up for good value, homecooked food. I would recommend...
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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...