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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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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 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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Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Just off the main square, Piazza della Signoria, in Florence, this open air museum was beautiful in the morning as light spilled down and over the statues and general gorgeousness that is Florence. Walking through Florence was so different to...
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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 della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The Piazza Della Repubblica was the place to be in Florence in the evenings. Tourists and locals alike dined at the restaurants lining the square, student groups gathered, families enjoyed the Carousel, and gypsies and other migrants tried to sell...
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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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Via Santa Monaca, 3r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Know locally as S'forno, this vintage-look Santo Spirito bakery sells a fantastic selection of sweet and savoury goods and is one of the few 'panifici' in Florence to still have an on-site oven (most do their baking outside the city). The bread...
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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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La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Great all-day dining option. This place was recommended to us by many, even the bellboy at our hotel. The food is very good and their specialty is tapas. Waiters are friendly enough and it's usually very crowded but there are plenty of seats with...
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Plaça Portal de la pau, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed for the 1888 Universal Exposition, El Mirador de Colom reminds locals and visitors alike that Spain’s Catholic Kings, Isabella and Ferdinand, received Columbus in Barcelona after his first trip to the Americas. A 24-foot statue of the...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best places to wander in Barcelona is the city's charming Gothic Quarter, right off the famous La Rambla. A highlight is the area's beautiful Gothic cathedral, one of the few interesting buildings in the city that was not designed by...
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Plaça de Catalunya, 1-4, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This café is a meeting point for locals. If we are meeting in Plaça Catalunya, there are two points of reference: either you meet in front of Corte Inglés, or you meet in front of the Zurich. It is great for people watching (but you'll be paying...
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Barcelona, Spain
Marta, a petite Barcelona native fluent in three languages, welcomes any and all into her home for the joyous culinary experience of paella. The Spanish dish often frightens many due to its overwhelming nature of ingredients, but Marta brings such...
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Rambla de Catalunya, 61, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
This was one of my best experiences in Barcelona. You can by and eat in small tables the best pata negra Jamon and get a wine or champagne. Very good prices!!!!!
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locales 466- 470, Mercat de la Boqueria, Carrer la Rambla, 89, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Pinotxo, which stands for Pinocchio in Catalan, is a longtime family-owned restaurant in the Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona's most important central market. Reasonable prices and fresh produce entice tourists and locals for breakfast, lunch, or...
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Carrer del Vidre, 8, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is home to countless tapas joints. They sit on street corners and back alleys all over the city. Many are commercialized and target tourists, while others are homegrown, centuries-old locations. There are plenty to choose from. After...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
These geese have guarded Barcelona's Cathedral for hundreds of years. They make lots of noise if anyone comes anywhere near them. I'm sure they always did a very good job of alerting the Cathedral about intruders. They are unusual looking geese....
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Carrer de Tamarit, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Not a secret any longer, but still a great surprise. We ended our brief stay near Barcelona recently at Lolita, Taperia in Barcelona. Outstanding food, and tons of fun. We felt like adults, even with three kids under age 6 in tow.
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Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
This Gothic monastery houses collections from Barcelona's City History Museum, but if you've got only an hour or so, skip the exhibits in favor of a walk around. Founded by King James II of Aragon in 1326, the monastery (or monestir in...
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La Rambla, 65, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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In this long, flat park built in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games, visitors can run and play frisbee or kickback. Would-be photographers may want to snap shots of outdoor art like the "Power of the Word" by Dutch sculptor Auke de Vries....
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08034 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
This is a great place for some down time in Barcelona. Located close to the University of Barcelona's Campus on Diagonal, and children's hospital Sant Joan de Deu, this park is a beautiful place for a stroll, or to sit outside and play with your...
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C. d'Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Imagine the crowds cheering on the home team at the Football Club Barcelona’s stadium, check out a space dedicated to Argentinean superstar Leo Messi, admire the Club’s many trophies, your favorite players’ jerseys, and learn about the history of...
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Passatge de Mercader, 10, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
In Barcelona's fashionable El Born neighborhood, unassuming neighborhood shops can surprise you with unique finds. At Antic & Modern, collectors can buy original works of art by world-renowned Catalan artists like Dalí, Miró and Tàpies, as well as...
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Carrer dels Banys Nous, 20, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
L'Arca, formerly known as L'Arca de l'Avia, specializes in recreating historical clothing, especially ball gowns and wedding dresses, but it's a great place to pick up antique and vintage accessories like lace gloves, Spanish fans, and jewelry, as...
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Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, Spain
One of Barcelona's most exclusive streets, Passeig de Gràcia is home to modernista masterpieces like La Pedrera and Casa Batlló as well as the massive luxury storefronts of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Mandarina Duck, and...
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Carrer de Còrsega, 231, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Despite this restaurant's claims of "low-cost haute cuisine," 3 Food's tapas are elegant—but considering the tiny portion sizes, fairly expensive, especially if you want try a variety of the restaurant's more creative dishes. There is a very...
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Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
In the middle of a fairly ordinary looking plaza en Cuitat Vella, savvy visitors can spot evidence of Barcelona's Roman history. Once a road with funerary monuments on either side, gradually the road was surrounded by the city. You can see the...
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Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 33, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
The Catalan capital has plenty of places to cozy up with your loved one and enjoy your drink of choice, be it a meaty Tarragona red or a café carajillo—the Spanish spin on Irish coffee. Lean your elbows on the marble tables of Casa Almirall,...
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Plaça Comercial, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
The ruins of the Barcelona that suffered the seige of 1714 lay buried underneath the cast-iron 19th century Born Market for centuries. WIth the opening of El Born Centre Cultural, visitors can explore the beautiful wrought iron market, examine the...
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Carrer del Parlament, 13, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona's Parlament street is an up-and-coming part of the city's San Antoni neighborhood. Packed with cozy bakeries, restaurants and cafés, the street and surrounding area is also home to some of Barcelona's more interesting boutiques. One of...
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Passeig de Santa Madrona, 16, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Learn about Catalonia's culture via a collage of objects from its past in this small but curious collection. Religious artifacts, pottery, tools, jewelry, furniture from Catalonia's diverse heritage are all on display here. Pose for pictures with...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Palau Güell is an early Gaudí masterpiece, designed for his longtime benefactor, Eusebi Güell. The mansion, one of Gaudí's first big projects, was recently restored and re-opened to the public. The centerpiece of the building is the amazing...
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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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La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona's famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It's just one of...
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Carrer del Consell de Cent, 292, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Make sure to sample some hot drinking chocolate in Barcelona. I chose a mug from Cacao Sampaka, a gourmet chocolate shop where you'll find all sorts of delightful dessert concoctions. The rich, velvety drink is nothing like American hot chocolate....
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Carrer de la Diputació, 249, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
This ultramodern space—part wine bar, part restaurant—has a daunting wine list with more than 3,000 labels, plus a rotating list of 50 that you can try by the glass before committing to a full bottle. Skip the iPad and put yourself...
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08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
Located a short drive out of Barcelona, Montserrat Monastery is a must see while in Barcelona. Try the honey and fig cakes. There are many tour operators that offer this day trip from Barcelona. Take your time and hike some of the trails. The...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 120, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
This is my favorite table at my favorite restaurant in Barcelona, Buenas Migas in the Gothic Quarter. I spent my days in Barcelona wandering through the city with my camera while my husband was working and I enjoyed every minute of it. I planned...
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La Rambla, 115, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This is Mark Bittman's favourite sandwich ever: a flauta d’ibéric jabugo at Cafe Viena on La Rambla in Barcelona. I can attest to the fact that it is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had! The ham is just delicious and the bread is crispy...
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Carrer de Pau Claris, 192, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
"First stop in Barcelona is Bar Mut. Great vibes, wine, and this house classic of egg yolk, prawns, and crispy potatoes. Hot damn, it's good to be here."—Matt Duckor
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Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
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Carrer de Marlet', 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Head to the Gothic Quarter—once home to Barcelona's storied Jewish neighborhood, El Call—and look for the Sinagoga Major (Major Synagogue). The museum, built on the site of the city's oldest temple, is only two rooms, but it...
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Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Barcelona, Spain
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La Casa de l'Ardiaca, Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
For good luck in Barcelona, go to La Casa de l’Ardiaca and touch this turtle. If you look closely you'll see this is really a letterbox. The birds symbolize the hope that you'll get your mail soon, but the turtle is a nod to the reality of how...
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Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed in the 17th century but heavily modified a century later, this castle—actually more of a fortress—lords over Montjuïc hill. Its use as a military bastion spans from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, when Barcelona...
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Carrer d'Aragó, 255, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Perhaps less well known than Catalan artists like Dalí and Miró, Antoni Tàpies was a delightfully strange painter, sculptor and art theorist, and Barcelona's museum dedicated to his work is located just off Passeig de Gracia, making it much more...
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Carrer Claudi Güell, 08690 La Colònia Güell, Barcelona, Spain
The church where Gaudi was finally buried after he died suddenly after being hit by a trolley car, the church at Colonia Güell looks like it was built directly into the hill. Inside, it's a cross between the drama of striking buttresses and a...
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53024 Montalcino, Province of Siena, Italy
There are a few places in this world that I return to time and time again due to their magic. Montalcino is one of those places for me. From its sweeping vistas of the surrounding countryside to its peaceful medieval ambiance, the little village...
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52043 Castiglion Fiorentino, Province of Arezzo, Italy
Castiliogn Fiorentino is a medieval walled village in the heart of Tuscany. Approachable by train less than an hour south of Florence. It was a rainy Sunday. Almost deserted of tourists but full of lovely and welcoming locals. We hiked to the...
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58043 Castiglione della Pescaia, Province of Grosseto, Italy
Last summer we spent an unforgettable week in Tuscany, in the little town of Castiglione della Pescaia. It's a typical small coastal town, with people on scooters everywhere, terraces full of people enjoying cappuccinos, and fishermen going out to...
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Via S. Martino, 17, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
Medieval hill towns in Italy were built for security. They endure for romance. San Gimignano, about 30 miles south of Florence and 35 miles north of Sienna, is one of a the best loved and most visited.
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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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53012 Chiusdino, Province of Siena, Italy
A short drive from the charming wine-lovers town of Montalcino is the beautiful ruins of San Galgano. Once an abbey from the 12th century, the structure stands in ruin today. The church is well-preserved enough to get a sense of the Gothic...
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Piazza della Repubblica, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Paszkowski's historic interior was originally founded in 1848 in what is now Piazza della Repubblica in the center of Florence. A great place to stop for a hot chocolate, espresso, or one of the cafe's beautiful sweet treats, Paszkowski not only...
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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 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 S. Giovanni, 91, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
There are two rewards to climbing San Gimignano's steep steps and pathways. You lose yourself within the walls of medieval Italy and you find beauty and serenity beyond the walls.
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Piazza Garibaldi, 1, 52044 Cortona AR, Italy
If you've just arrived in Cortona, Italy (the Tuscan hill-town made famous in Frances Mayes' memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun), I recommend dining on your first night at Ristorante Tonino. Your seat on the outdoor terrace guarantees a spectacular...
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53024 Montalcino, Province of Siena, Italy
One recent trip through Tuscany I made the day trip from Siena to Montalcino and it was incredible. A small, historic little town, set up on a hill, Montalcino is of course famous for their red wine: brunello di montalcino. Stroll around, take...
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Via Cavour, 23, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
Nestled in the "centro storico" or historic center of our medieval-walled town, this charming hotel is where all our friends have stayed whenever someone's visiting us here in Arezzo. Each room is tastefully and uniquely decorated, there's a...
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Via dell'Orto 18, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
The first weekend of every month, the historic cobble-stoned streets in the center of our hometown, Arezzo, are off-limits to cars while they're filled with vendors selling furniture, paintings, glassware, jewelry, linens and vintage clothing at...
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Piazza Grande, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
Hordes of tourists may descend upon Siena's annual historic Palio horse race, but our hometown, Arezzo, has a medieval festival of its own: "La Giostra del Saracino" or The Joust of the Saracen. Twice a year, the city's four "quartieri" or main...
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52100 Arezzo, Province of Arezzo, Italy
Whether it's a cappuccino, named after Franciscan friars, or a bracing caffe corretto with a shot of grappa to fend off the cold, or a caffe shakerato in the summer, iced sweetened coffee and cream always shaken, not stirred -- Italy is THE place...
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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 S. Francesco, 1, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
If you want a quiet anonymous dinner on your holiday, Buca Di San Francesco is NOT the place. But if you crave a warm personal Tuscan-style welcome, then carefully climb down the four wide stone steps and duck your head to enter the Mario de...
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Via Madonna Laura, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy
In our adopted Tuscan hometown Arezzo, stands a monument to the 14th century poet and Father of Humanism, Petrarch - Petrarca in Italian. That statue is in Parco Prato a couple of hundred steps from here - the home where he was born. Inside is a...
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The main square of the Tuscan town of Arezzo transforms into a jousting track when the bi-annual Joust of the Saracen - (a medieval term for the 'infidels' the Crusades sought to convert) takes place. The "primary" joust is in June, with the main...