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Places I Visted

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Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This boutique stay from the Ferragamo family-owned Lungarno Collection of hotels and charter yachts opened in May 2014. It brings highly personalized service and 34 pied-a-terre-like suites designed in glam 1950s style to the north end of Ponte...
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Chiasso dei del Bene, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This women's fashion shop, tucked away on a quiet street just behind Portrait Firenze, is where contemporary finds by smaller local designers sit beside vintage clothing and accessories by the big-branded likes of Prada, Gucci and Marni.
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Piazzetta dei Del Bene, 7/A, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Next door to the fantastic women’s boutique Marie Antoinette, this bright and welcoming spot is a mixed-use space for fresh juices, teas, made-to-order locavore tramezzini (crust-less, three-layer sandwiches), and cocktails. Enjoy all of the...
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Vicolo dell'Oro, 6r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This sky-high rooftop bar (a rarity around the area) can be found at the Lungarno’s Hotel Continentale. It received a redo in 2013, preserving its classic cocktails and views of the Arno River, church domes and steeples, and adding new...
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Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Not far from Florence’s Ferragamo and Gucci headquarters, this new indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant along the Arno has become a go-to spot for the city’s most fashionable, especially during aperitivo—the Italian post-work happy hour.
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Borgo Santissimi Apostoli, 40r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Alternating shows by artists emerging and established, this seven-year-old contemporary art space represents a roster of talents both Italian and international. It hosts frequent performances, openings and events in its verdant courtyard so check...
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Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK
On its own, the architecture of the Natural History Museum is enough of a reason to walk through its doors one afternoon. The stunning archways and staircases create a grand backdrop to equally impressive exhibits, and you could spend countless...
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Cranbourn St, London WC2H 0AP, UK
If the theater prices are a little steep for your budget, or you're just wanting to catch a last-minute show, the half-price ticket booth on Leicester Square is a must. As a local, I've used it often to get discounted tickets to shows. Although...
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Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DA, UK
The blue plaques dotted on the walls of buildings across London are little delights, a small reminder of just how historic this city is. From Mozart to Charles Dickens to Winston Churchill and beyond, the plaques commemorate the places where...
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157 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB, UK
Take a walk in one of London's most diverse and interesting neighborhoods. Find excellent Bengladeshi and Bengali food, wander into uber-cool vintage shops, and hit up the Brick Lane market. There's a bit of a creepy vibe, too, as it's where Jack...
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London's Chinatown, wedged between Shaftesbury Avenue and Leicester Square, is the go-to destination for locals wanting to grab some great food before a show, or after a big night out. There are endless good restaurants along these backstreets,...
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Hampstead Heath is a legend: 800 acres of wide-open space dotted with ponds, woods, walking tracks, and the odd stately home. North Londoners take pride in this place, where you will find dog walkers, picnickers, Saturday soccer players, and hardy...
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London, UK
OK, you'll be lucky if you ever find a carriage this empty. But the tube is without a doubt a defining charm of London (even if it's the bane of the lives of those forced to commute on it during rush hour). If you're unsure where you want to...
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Oxford St, London, UK
The West End can sometimes be a crummy place to do any actual shopping—the crowds are overwhelming and so too, on occasion, are the shops themselves. But that does not dim the joy of standing in front of the artfully arranged windows of the big...
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Tower Bridge, United Kingdom
This is a landmark that is so familiar, so often seen, that to visit it -- even for the first time -- feels almost ordinary. You know the Tower Bridge. You've seen it in storybooks and on movie screens. You get it. Right? Nope. Because even if it...
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Woolwich, London, UK
The Capital Ring is a 75-mile walking route that encircles London and that you can join for as much or as little as you want. It's a little-known gem—I'm one of the few Londoners I know who've walked it—and depending on which segment you pick, it...
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Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1C 4QP, UK
Sure, once you're in London you'll probably never want to leave. But the high-speed train to Paris is just one of the cool things London can offer with a nonchalant shrug of its shoulders. It's easy to buy tickets, easy to get to (Kings Cross/St...
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Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX, UK
This is actually three theaters—the Lyttleton, the Cottesloe, and the Olivier—in one incredible 1960s complex on the Southbank. It's the absolute epicenter of London's vibrant theater culture, putting on both the classics and the most...