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Karen ′s Wishlist
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Via Federico Ozanam, 30-32, 00152 Roma RM, Italy
Monteverde's vibrant pizzeria and trattoria is an enclave of local flavor—from its excellent menu of fritti (fried starters), sfizi (delicious antipasti), and pizzas to its busy clientele. Owner Giancarlo Casa is a pizza perfectionist, and...
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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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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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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30122 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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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
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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 della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Gabriele Bonci's famous pizza-by-the-slice joint serves some of the best pizza in town. The slow-leavened dough is made from organic stoneground flour, and toppings change throughout the day. Pizzarium also sells excellent bread and supplì (fried...
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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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Campo San Giacometto, 122, 30125 Rialto, Venezia VE, Italy

At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you'll find a ground-floor wine bar serving...

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Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Dorsoduro, Venezia VE, Italy
If you are in Venice, you will surely get familiar with local spritz (a fizzy, refreshing aperitif) and cicchetti, or small snacks. If you want to have a local experience, be sure to stop by Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi while walking around La...
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Via della Chiesa, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This authentic neighborhood bar, Il Chicco di Caffè (aka Lola’s), is run by Maurizio whose Mom, Lola, cooks for a truly egalitarian mix of local artisans, staff from the nearby Gucci headquarters, students and people like me (I live next door!) at...
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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 Giuseppe Lunati, 25/31, 00149 Roma RM, Italy
Excellent dough and creative toppings make La Fucina one of Rome's premier pizzerias. Pizzas are served to the table pre-sliced and one at a time (don’t even think about asking for them all at once, you’ll get an earful from owner Edoardo Papa!),...
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Via Valle Corteno, 31, 00141 Roma RM, Italy
Opened in the summer of 2011, Tonda quickly became the hottest pizzeria in town. The place serves thick-rimmed Neapolitan style pizza (like at Sforno) and trapizzini (like at Trapizzino). The owners are the same for all three renowned pizzerias....
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Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This historic bakery in Campo de' Fiori serves good pizza bianca and excellent pizza rossa, as well as assorted slices, cookies, and pastries. The neighboring annex across the alley (Vicolo del Gallo 14) serves sandwiches and baked goods. Drop in...
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Via degli Scipioni, 248, 00192 Roma RM, Italy
La Pratolina, a pizzeria in Prati that is open for dinner only, serves some of the best fritti (fried starters) in town. I dare say the sfizi (mixed croquette plates) are worth a trip alone. But you should stay for the pizza—or as they call it...
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116, Via Statilio Ottato, 110, 00175 Roma RM, Italy
Excellent fried starters, delectable pizzas, and a large selection of craft beers make this one of Rome's best pizzerias. The style is Neapolitan with a high rim, as opposed to the thin crusted Roman style. The Greenwich (stilton and port...
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Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice, 44, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Arrive at this classic Roman pizzeria before 8pm or be prepared to queue for its scrocchiarella (crispy thin crust) Roman style pizza. Start with a few fritti (fried starters) and a plate of beans, the traditional starters to Roman pizza meals....
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Via dei Santi Quattro, 24, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
This busy pizzeria in the Celio, the neighborhood adjacent to the Colosseum, is decked out in kitschy Roman decor. The dining room resembles a piazza of sorts, surrounded by old school storefronts anchored to the walls. Six nights a week, Li Rioni...
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Via del Monte della Farina, 28, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At Pizzeria Emma in central Rome, siblings Francesco and Ilaria Roscino have teamed up with gourmet gurus the Roscioli brothers to open Emma. There are deceptively light fried starters like rice croquettes, mozzarella-filled squash blossoms, and...
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Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Just down the street from the Anne Frank House is the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. It feels more like a shop, shelves filled to the ceiling with a huge variety of Dutch cheeses, including the world-famous gouda and edam varieties. If you are strolling...
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37 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris, France
The historic Androuet fromagerie has been sourcing and maturing exceptional cheeses since 1909. Their shop on rue Mouffetard is staffed by friendly English-speakers who will be happy to explain and vacuum-seal your selections, including the...
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3926 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
You wouldn’t know there was a store there unless you lived in the neighborhood, but the owner, Chris, has an amazing list of cheeses. I love his shop because he sells what he likes, not what people tell him is good. He’s also got an...
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97 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris, France
A near-daily ritual was a visit to this nearby Marais fromagerie, featuring an outstanding selection of cheeses and knowledgeable help. In the U.S., one often sees Brie, Camembert, Boursin, and Roquefort, but most of the 350-400 kinds of French...
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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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856 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
There is always time for a cheese plate, especially at Say Cheese. Sample away at cheeses with ingredients like "triple cream" and "made with the finest goat's milk in France." Say Cheese has a cheese cooler packed with all shades of cheese—they...
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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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100 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Gooey, crispy, cheesy, buttery: The list of adjectives goes on for this Lower East Side grilled cheese purveyor. Don't expect the sammies Mom made for your after-school snack; no Wonderbread or Kraft singles here. Billed as "Super Fancy Grilled...
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103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
South Bank has both the best river walk in London and the city's liveliest cultural centers, so a walk along it is a must. The path takes you from the Globe and the Tate Modern along the Thames—passing Gabriel's Wharf with its...
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45 Blood Alley Square, Vancouver, BC V6B 1C7, Canada
This little hideaway in a back alley, with its communal tables and chalkboard menus, is where I go with friends when we want to share snacks. They match wines to "tasting trios" selected from their cheese and charcuterie cellar. It’s best to let...
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80 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
Did you know that only 25% of French people buy their cheese from a fromagerie? And of that 25, only 3-4% go to an affineur (cheese refiner). Both are the sad realities of a dying tradition in France of sourcing provisions from neighborhood...