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Off the Beaten Path in Italy

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Italy is the world' most popular tourist destination and for good reason. Besides the usual list of things to do, there is a wealth of cultural and historic sights that are well off the beaten path and therefore less crowded.
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01030 Calcata Vecchia, VT, Italy
Abandoned in the 1960s for fear its cliffs were crumbling, Calcata, Italy was discovered by hippies and artists soon after and today, the "paese dei fricchettone," is still made up of the same "freaks." I lived in Calcata, wedged between Tuscany...
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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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Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Elevate the normally mundane experience of shopping for medicine-cabinet basics like soap and toothpaste with a visit to one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. In this 13th-century chapel with early Renaissance frescoes, Gothic carved wooden...
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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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Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
A recent refurb hasn’t destroyed the old-world charm of this hotel, housed on the top floor of a magnificent 16th century palazzo. Most of its 15 comfortable, pastel-hued rooms have wonderful rooftop views and are furnished with antiques....