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There is a reason why renting a villa in Tuscany is so popular - rustic farmhouses, rolling hills filled with olive and plum trees, golden sunsets, locally-harvested wine, creamy cheeses, and cool evenings spent with friends and family. Renting a...
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Via dei Biscottari, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza In the area of the Norman palace, near the market, there are still some little medievalbotteghe(shops) below the level of the palace. Via dei Biscottari is where they used to make the pastries and cookies for the king. There is...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza A restaurant built within Palermo’s ancient walls, where chariots were once housed. Under these enormous vaults there is a library, a garden, and a bar—it’s a fantastic place for drinks. Foro Umberto I This story appeared in the...
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Southern Europe
by Fabrizia Lanza People line up at seven or eight in the morning to order a big dish of soup made with tripe and intestines. You can getpanelle(pancakes made from chickpeas) hot from the vendor. They also sell the most famouspanino—spleen stuffed...
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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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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s most lively square is dominated by the blank, unfinished facade of Brunelleschi’s last church. Lined with trees and centered around a pretty fountain, the piazza plays host to a small daily market (where local ladies do their shopping)...
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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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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 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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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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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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The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (to give its full name) is now a global brand, but this is where it all began, in a frescoed, 13th-century chapel in Florence. The place is as stunning as the products that are still made...
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The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo, occupies a site that’s been holy since the time of the Romans, but it wasn’t until the early 19th century when the finishing touches were finally placed on this massive building. The Duomo is the fifth largest...
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Central Station area, Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
You could spend days exploring Milan, but be sure to also allow time to explore many of the other great towns and regions nearby. Just an hour away is one of my favorite Italian cities, Bologna. The people here are famous for their prowess in the...
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Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
At a nondescript church in an unlikely neighborhood in Milan rests one of the greatest works of art ever created, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The 15th century mural was part of a renovation project at the Convent of Santa Maria della...
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Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
We finally found it! Officine Del Gelato Milano; a modern, absolutely delicious gelato parlor. They had us coming back (three times in one day) until we had tried every flavor—including every kind of gelato popsicle. It was a guilt-free treat and...
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Via Teatro Greco, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
The Island of Sicily has many wonders. Taormina is a popular resort town on Monte Tauro and has an old Greek Theatre that is still used for performances. The sitting has awesome views of the coast and Mount Etna. I would like to go back and actual...
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Southern Europe
Yes the island of Vulcano is always erupting! If you go to Sicily - you must go to the islands Vulcano, Lipari, & Panaera. These little islands will take your breath away! I stayed in Lipari and is the best place to stay within these little...
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Via Addolorata, 5, 98050 Valdichiesa ME, Italy
Just returned from four weeks in Sicily. The time we spent on the Aeolian Islands was incredible. Italy with no crowds, unbelievably fresh seafood, and days spent boating around the small islands (Salina was our favourite), stopping to swim...
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Piazza Europa, 38, 91023 Favignana TP, Italy
Favignana is the largest of the Egadi Islands off the western coast of Sicily, the butterfly shaped island is small enough to easily explore by bicycle or moped. Stay: Cas’almare , a small boutique hotel adjacent to the sea and an ancient roman...
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Viale Regina Elena, 90151 Palermo PA, Italy
Entering the bustling city of Palermo, you would never imagine that just a short local bus trip away is the beautiful Mondello Beach. Known as the spot for the 'in' crowd or potentially the 'out' crowd - if you include Burlesconi who apparently...
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98055 Vulcano Porto ME, Italy
Just off the coast of Sicily you'll find the archipelago of the Aeolian Islands noted for its volcanoes and rugged beauty. The islands can be reached by hydrofoil or ferry boat from Milazzo. Lipari is the largest of the islands, but is still only...
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97100 Ragusa, Province of Ragusa, Italy
We drove into Ragusa - Sicily in the late afternoon, walked the cobbled streets, devoured a locally made nougat gelato and on the drive back down from the old town were met with the beautiful sight of the traditional houses lit up by their...
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Piazza S. Rocco, 89058 Scilla RC, Italy
We finally got a chance to visit Calabria in 2011, on our way back up from Sicily. Scilla was our destination and paradise awaited us. This old fisherman's town has more charm than you could hope for with a postcard setting to boot. If you're...
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07021 Porto Cervo, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy
This island lies in the Strait of Bonifacio, between Corsica and the top end of Sardinia. The Strait of Bonifacio is famous among sailors for its notorious weather and fantastic wind. It’s quite an art to navigate around the rocks along the coast....
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Via Ercole, 52, 09040 Torre Delle Stelle (Maracalagonis) CA, Italy
When I was planning my trip to Sardinia, I heard that the north of the island was where the yachts and the European fanciness resided. I wanted the exact opposite in my Sardinian vacation. I looked for a town to relax in, where the vibe was chill,...
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07028 Santa Teresa Gallura, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy
A quaint town located on the Northern tip of the Italian Sardinia Island. It boasts a brilliant white beach and a laid back atmosphere. Stay: Live like a local and rent a vacation apartment near the café lined piazza. Eat: Do not leave Sardinia...
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Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano MI, Italy
The café Erba Brusca sits on a plot of land at the city’s edge, where concrete blocks meet grassy meadows. Italian staples such as buttery white polenta and roasted speziata sausage are made with herbs and greens grown on-site. Reserve a table on...
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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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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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84010 Scala, Province of Salerno, Italy
Picture a historic village perched high above the sparkling Mediterranean, surrounded by lush mountains and stony cliffs. A charming, three hundred year old country home is nestled among the trees and warm breezes carry the tantalizing aromas of...
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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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SP94, 07021 Arzachena OT, Italy
There are few places that blend dramatic scenery, old-world history, and stellar food culture as beautifully as Sardinia. In early summer, wildflowers color the island, cherries are at their juiciest, and many regions are surprisingly tourist...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Dominican friars mixed medicines at the original workshop in Florence starting in 1612. The Venice branch is also a traditional apothecary, selling herbal elixirs. Most shoppers, however, come here to buy modern perfumes and gaze at the antique...
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Strada Comunale Serra, 1, 14055 Annunziata, Costigliole d'Asti AT, Italy
Winemaker Renato Ratti recently opened to the public his family’s 18th-century, 13-room villa in the Piedmont countryside. An old cellar stores decades’ worth of Ratti wines. Guided tastings can be arranged upon request, and bottles can be shipped...
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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 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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Via Tagliata, 32B, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Situated high up in the hills of Montepertuso and overlooking the magical town of Positano, each and every part of the family-owned, Trattoria La Tagliata, is truly local – from the organic vegetables grown in their own gardens, free-range meat...
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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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Via Paolo Ferrari, Modena MO, Italy
Now there is a new reason to visit Modena, the mother city of supercars in northern Italy. An inspiring museum for Enzo Ferrari has just opened. Enzo Ferrari was an Italian icon, a real genius that created the absolute myth in Formula 1 and the...
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Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Lovers of furniture from past and present cannot leave Milan without stopping by the Triennale Design Museum. The permanent collection holds an interesting cross-section of Italian furniture and housewares, including the 1957 Superleggera...
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Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
An ornate 15th-century private palazzo has been transformed into a lavish hotel (below) that faces the Rialto market. Artworks from the 1600s meet 21st-century amenities in the 42 rooms and suites, many of which overlook the Grand Canal. Doubles...
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ABC, Fondamenta Toletta, 1169, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Osteria Enoteca ai Artisti in Venice served the best pasta I have ever tasted. Once wasn't enough—I had to go back to this place again during my stay in Venice. The osteria boasts a great view, great atmosphere, great people, and most importantly,...
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Largo Piero Calamandrei, 13a, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Academia Barilla is housed on the grounds of an old pasta factory in Parma, the northern Italian city made famous by its prosciutto and cheese. Customized courses focus on pasta making, regional Italian recipes, and secrets such as how to pair...
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18038 Sanremo, Province of Imperia, Italy
Cinque Terre may get all the glory when the topic of the Riviera is brought up but I think the lesser-known Sanremo is delightful in its own way. Because it's a town that stretches for such a great distance along the Mediterranean and has...
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Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Sforza name is well known even to those of us not intimately familiar with Italian history. Originally built in the 15th century, this massive citadel was at one time one of the largest in Europe and even today you can just imagine the...
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Via Arsenale di Terra, 5, 16126 Genova GE, Italy
She sits overlooking the harbor, and the train station; from her rooftop, the view of Genoa at sunrise or sunset, both, please the viewer immensely. Inside, she gleams with not modernity but a traditional elegance that hasn't lost its shimmer to...
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Via della Penna, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
I tell all my friends to stay here. It’s a great location, right off Piazza del Popolo. The hotel is not part of a chain. It’s family owned, which is charming. 39/06-361-0841. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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Murano, 30141 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Famous for its long history of handblown glassmaking, Murano sits just a few minutes' ferry ride offshore in the Venetian Lagoon. The main attraction is the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro), which recounts the history of glass through the centuries,...
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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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Monte Solaro, 80071 Anacapri, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
The summit of Monte Solarno, the highest point in Capri is almost 2,000 feet high! You can choose to climb it or opt for the considerably easier chairlift. Along the ride and at the top, you will enjoy an incredible 360-degree...
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Piazzale Anita Garibaldi, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
Piazza Garibaldi is situated on a hilltop on the western side of Rome's city center. It's a scenic and lovely walk through tree-lined streets with kooky sculptures and children's jungle gyms up to the gorgeous view. A perfect place for a picnic!
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Verona, VR, Italy
Verona is often buried in its Romeo & Juliet lore, however the city has much more than a classic romance to offer. Truly shaped under Roman rule, at times it can seem like a younger sister to Rome, especially with the Colosseum-esque Arena in the...
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Salita Baratta 16, Via Roma, 2, 16034 Portofino GE, Italy
I have seriously high standards on romance, and I'm telling you, this place is oozing romance. The antique charm, the intimacy of the port, the Italian Riveria lapping at the sea wall, fine Italian wine, authentic margherita pizza, the list goes...
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Lake, Via E. Caronti, 69, 22020 Blevio CO, Italy
I sip a glass of prosecco on my rooftop terrace with a book by my side, but nothing can divert my attention from the sunset view of Lake Como and the mountains beyond. Opera music drifts from my neighbor’s suite, which is fitting, given the...
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Molo dei Pescatori, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP, Italy
While in Cinque Terre on a Angelo's Boat tour, I discovered how fun it is to see coastline towns and cities from the water. Especially when there are great places to stop and swim. I've since done similar tours in Sorrento, Italy and Barcelona, ...
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19017 Manarola, SP, Italy
A romantic and warm aura rushes over you as you walk the Via Dell'Amore or Lover's Lane from Riomaggorie to Manorola. Like an artists palette houses jostle each other for space on the steep slopes and spill down to the sea. Narrow streets and...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
Few will argue that Vernazza is the most picturesque of the Cinque-Terres towns. Rent an apartment for a couple of night, and use it as your base camp for exploring the other towns nearby. The views are impressive from the hiking trails, and a...
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Via Capo Pino, 8, 16031 Sori GE, Italy
Bagni Sillo is an open secret of the Ligurian coast. Just off the beach of Sori, the summer bar is perched precariously on the rocky cliffs, with a young, international crowd and a genial collection of bartenders. There is even a shower for...
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Via Pagana, 19, 16038 Santa Margherita Ligure GE, Italy
Hot days and comfortable nights. One of the most beautiful places I've been to. EVER
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Funicolare Zecca-Righi, 16136 Genova GE, Italy
I love the funicular trains of Genoa, built at an angle to take you up the steep mountains. Take the Zecca-Righi line to the top for an incredible panorama of the city, and walk down into the center through narrow alleys, passing tiny gardens and...
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12060 Roddi CN, Italy
The tiny hamlet of Monforte d'Alba in the Piedmont wine region south of Turin is so picture perfect and the views down into the vine-laced valley below so striking, it can feel more like a movie set than real life. That surreal feeling continued...
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08022 Cala Gonone NU, Italy
Renting a boat in Cala Gonone was just amazing. We went up and down the beautiful coastline with white washed rocks and water that continuously changed different shades of brilliant blue. Stopping to discover beaches and caves, diving in the clear...
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Via Flavia, 4, 16147 Genova GE, Italy
Located 15 minutes outside of downtown Genoa, Boccadasse/Santa Chiara is a gorgeous spot to sit by the sea and enjoy a sunset apertivo of a glass of Ligurian white wine (many delicious varieties are made in Cinque Terre—make sure you ask your...
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Boccadasse, Genoa, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
If you have a gorgeously sunny afternoon, walk the Corso Italia to the small fishing village of Boccadasse, still considered to be part of Genoa. About an hour's walk from central town, this seaside stroll will take you past black stone beaches,...
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19025 Porto Venere, SP, Italy
If you are exploring the Ligurian Coast, to include Cinque Terre, keep going south and spend some time in Porto Venere. Yachts and fishing boats dot their harbor. There are plenty of historic sights to include the fortress and ancient cliff top...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
We spent the day exploring the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. Since there are no cars in any of the villages, choose to travel by train, ferry or foot to connect you from one village to the next. We opted to hike in and ferry out to take...
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Calle Larga dei Bari, 1159, 30135 Santa Croce, Venezia VE, Italy
If you find yourself in Venice's Santa Croce neighborhood, and you're hot, or peckish, or both; try to locate the Alaska Gelateria on Calle Larga dei Bari. It's a quaint little place that serves up super fresh, artisanal scoops; possibly some that...
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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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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...