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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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6 Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Florence FI, Italy
Escaping the crowds around Florence Cathedral one afternoon, I decided to wander along the Arno River and was rewarded with stunning views from the water's reflection. The picture highlights not only the clear, nearly symmetrical reflection cast...
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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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Via della Scala, 18, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Hundreds of years ago, at the height of Florence’s Renaissance heyday, visitors to this cultural capital wouldn’t have stayed in the kinds of luxury hotels that now line its picturesque streets. Rather, the well-heeled would have come...
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Via Baccio Bandinelli, 98, 50142 Firenze FI, Italy
You know the daydream where you’re in a colorful vintage car zipping along cypress-lined Tuscan roads that line the Arno? Well, here it is. You turn off onto a gravel path ending at a sunny complex of restored 19th-century Italian factories...
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Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people head to this ex-art school to ogle the world’s most famous nude statue. Michelangelo’s David was carved from a single five-meter-high block of milky-white marble in 1504 and originally stood in Piazza della Signoria....
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Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When you visit the area of the Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Republica in Florence, don't miss this interesting attraction. From Piazza della Signoria, walk towards Piazza della Republica, and on the left side, you'll see Piazza del...
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Via Lambertesca, 18/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You can’t visit Florence without indulging in ice cream once at the very least, but it’s not so easy to find the real deal. Carapina, gelateria of choice for cognoscenti (but often overlooked by tourists), is located a stone’s throw from the Ponte...
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Greve in Chianti, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
One of our favorite drives during our May trip to Italy was through the Chianti region in Tuscany, like this road outside Greve. It doesn't take that long to drive through the region - we did it in an afternoon and evening, stopping for an amazing...
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Southern Europe
Our last day in Chianti, Rachael & I headed out in the Fiat to explore a couple more places on our list. One of these places was I Sodi, a local, family-owned winery very close to the Bed & Breakfast where we stayed. We turned off the main road...
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Via XX Luglio, 11, 50022 Panzano In Chianti FI, Italy
Dario Cecchini is the most famous butcher in Italy and is probably the only one who recites Dante while carving up his carcasses. His small shop on the outskirts of the medieval village of Panzano is a Mecca for carnivores seeking quality meat...
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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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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 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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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
It is so easy to get lost here, and to find yourself. I walked on cobbled stones through a quiet neighbourhood - every turn looks like a postcard.
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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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Piazza del Campo, 1, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
During my time in Siena, I learned of the 17 contradas that divide this small city. It is hard to imagine that in city of this size, there were originally 59 contradas in the Middle Ages when they were established for military purposes. Over time,...
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Il Campo, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Considered one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, the Piazza del Campo—or, simply, Il Campo—has been at the heart of life in Siena since it began as a marketplace and meeting spot for the area’s villages; the...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
Each spring as a child, I looked forward to the annual Derby Day party in our family backyard when my parents’ friends donned odd hats and downed mint julips. Somehow, I thought Il Palio was going to bring back childhood memories, but the Kentucky...
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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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Via S. Pietro, 29, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Active from the 13th to 15th centuries and considered an influence on the pre-Renaissance movement, the Sienese School of painting is identifiable by its themes—always religious, and usually with a focus on Biblical miracles—and its signature...
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Piazza Antelminelli, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
Dedicated to St. Matthew, Lucca’s beautiful cathedral was built in typical Romanesque style in the 12th century and has a curious asymmetrical, tiered façade covered with fantastically complex carvings. The dim interior houses one of the town’s...
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55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
There is magic in the cobblestone streets of Lucca, Italy. Surrounded by its original city walls, this enchanting city in Tuscany is rich in history and has a casual, elegant feel. Sophisticated, older women in black suits and pink glasses ride...
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Via Sant'Andrea, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
My husband and I visited Italy in May, and one of our favorite stops was the charming Tuscan town of Lucca. After wandering through the town for a few hours we decided to climb this tower, which offered a perfect view of Lucca from above. It's...
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Via del Monte alle Croci, 10, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
There are around 600 wines from all over Italy (and 50 by the glass) to choose from at this wood-panelled wine bar which has a pretty terrace overlooking the old city gate of San Miniato in the buzzy San Niccolò neighbourhood. Lunchtimes are good...
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Viale Manfredo Fanti, 4, 50137 Firenze FI, Italy
Soccer fans should try to catch home team Fiorentina (also called ‘Viola’ thanks to their purple shirts) on their own turf, the Artemio Franchi stadium. The season runs through the winter, and home games are normally held on alternative Sundays....
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53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
Forty-five minutes to an hour away from Florence awaits the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bordered by 13th-century walls and featuring a triangular central square lined with historic houses, the town is...
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Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
Pisa’s famous leaning tower (the campanile of the adjacent Duomo) is part of the Piazza del Duomo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the Duomo, baptistery and cemetery. Begun in 1173, the tower began to lean almost immediately thanks...
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Arno, Italy
I knew Pisa would be crowded with Leaning-Tower-gawkers. I, of course, was one of them. But as evening fell, I was amazed at how quiet the banks of the Arno were, just a few blocks away. This trip to Italy was the 'last hurrah' of my...
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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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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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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The grand Boboli Gardens are one of my favorite places in Florence, but they can be crowded. I like to start directly behind the Palazzo Pitti and climb to the top of the gardens. This section includes the Porcelein Museum and a small formal...
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Via Federico Stibbert, 26, 50134 Firenze FI, Italy
Frederick Stibbert was a wealthy Anglo-Italian art collector who used his inherited fortune to turn his home into a museum in the 19th century. Today, the Stibbert has one of the quirkiest collections you'll find in a city most famous for its...
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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 San Felice, 8, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Ultra-romantic poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (famous for "How do I love thee, let me count the ways") and her husband Robert spent happy years in this Oltrarno apartment, that is now open to visitors. Thanks to a painting done when they lived...
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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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Piazza dei Cavalleggeri, 1, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I completely stumbled upon this gorgeous library in Florence on accident while wandering around the city by myself. It's about a 3 Euro entrance fee but being a book lover, there are few things more impressive than a reading library designed by...
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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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Via Borgo Ognissanti, 42, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Domenico Ghirlandaio's beautiful fresco representing the Last Supper is one of my favorite paintings in Florence, and luckily, most tourists ignore it, so you may find you have the place to yourself.
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50144 Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
At weekends, the locals head for the Cascine park, which stretches three kilometres along the north bank of the Arno just west of the city centre, a green, fresh air-filled lung amongst Florence’s urban sprawl. Families with kids and dogs in tow,...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Really good, authentic ethnic food is hard to come by in Florence, so it's worth making a little effort to seek out this off-radar newcomer in the east of the city. Stylish, wood-lined Cucina16 is mainly a popular lunch-spot offering traditional...
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53017 Villa SI, Italy
In the hills of Tuscany, protected by reserve status and hidden by ancient trees, deer roam wild and a spring -- with water so fresh it was the preferred source by the famous Medici family -- flows for 15 years before emerging to become the...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 1, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Celebrated Tuscan chef Valeria Piccini took over the fine-dining restaurant at the St. Regis hotel in 2014 and was soon awarded a Michelin star. Dividing her time between the St. Regis and her famous restaurant Da Caino in the Maremma, Piccini has...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The rooftop restaurant of the Westin Excelsior hotel wins top prize for being the most panoramic spot for a meal in Florence; floor-to-ceiling, wraparound windows permit 360-degree views over the entire city and the hills beyond....
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Piazza del Carmine, 8, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
The setting of Da' Pescatore –a deconsecrated chapel-turned nightclub-turned restaurant-may be a little strange, but Daniele Pescatore’s accomplished fish and seafood cooking is seriously good. His menus betray his Neapolitan roots but dishes are...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 64, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This busy, buzzy Oltrarno restaurant continues to be a personal favorite for its lively atmosphere and dependable cooking at reasonable prices. The menu offers ever-present favorites such as pasta with sweet tropea onions and cherry tomatoes as...
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Borgo S. Jacopo, 62/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This Ferragamo-owned restaurant is located on the river with in-your-face views of the Ponte Vecchio for the lucky few who manage to book one of the tables on the terrace. Chef Peter Brunel has been making waves with his creative menus: Borgo San...
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Viale Europa, 4, 50126 Firenze FI, Italy
Some of the best gourmet experiences in Florence are to be found way off the tourist radar; chef Beatrice Segoni's superb food is a case in point. Part gourmet deli, part 'gastro-bistrot and wine bar', elegant Convivium is located in an eastern...
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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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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 del Gelsomino, 99, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
By day it’s the canteen of a the small Pampaloni silver factory (‘fabbrica’), by night this tiled, ‘60s room is transformed into a unique -and decidedly eccentric- restaurant. The tables are laid with grand silver candelabra, silver platters and...
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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 Senese, 89/R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Family-run Ruggero is a bit of a hike from the centre of town, but in my mind, it is the best traditional trattoria in Florence, so worth the effort. You can expect textbook versions of Florentine classics from ribollita (a hearty...
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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
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
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 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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Piazza del Carmine, 18, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
A dependable neighbourhood trattoria with a loyal local following and a daily-changing list of seasonal specialities, Carmine is a regular haunt of mine. It serves one of the best beef carpaccios in town (topped with arugula and parmesan...
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Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Hidden away behind the stalls in the San Lorenzo market, Da Sergio turns out wholesome, unpretentious food to locals and tourists. Last time I was here I ordered tortelli di patate (potato-stuffed ravioli) with meat sauce and deep-fried calamari...