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Spain, France Italy 2014

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A collection of places and ideas for my trip in June.
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Hiking the Cinque Terre is an extraordinary way to explore the Ligurian Coast. Five villages connected only by hiking trail and rail with breathtaking coastal views and colorfully quaint villages. The trails can be challenging at times and it is...
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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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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
If you find yourself on the Mediterranean Sea or in Italy then be sure you make your way to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre, or "The Five Lands" (in Italian), is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and...
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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 del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
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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 Santa Radegonda, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
There is a reason the locals line up down the block at this place come lunchtime: the pomodoro panzerotti. It's a perfect little pocket filled with fresh, warm, gooey mozzarella and local tomatoes. I tried several other sweet and savory items...
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Via Giovanni Boccaccio, 9, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
As a connoisseur of all things sweet, I was drawn to Shockolat's cioccolata calda or hot chocolate a mere three hours after arriving in Milan. Rich, creamy, and thick, it is hands down the best hot chocolate I have ever had. In fact, it is so...
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Galleria del Corso, 4, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
For the last decade, Peck was the only place in town to stock up on the best of the best Italian foodstuffs. Now there’s a new gourmet go-to: a sprawling emporium in the basement level of the Excelsior department store. Choose from thousands of...
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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 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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Via Ponte Vetero, 21, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Every city has an eatery that’s a mainstay for shoppers, and in Milan, it’s the tony Brera neighborhood restaurant Convivium. House specialties include complimentary rosemary flatbread, four-cheese pizza, and sea saltencrusted sea bass for two. ...
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Via Renato Birolli, 114, 19017 Manarola SP, Italy
Like so many touristy places, we found the food in Cinque Terre restaurants to be so-so, with one exception: the focaccia - and pizza! - from La Cambusa in Manarola. After sitting down with our selections, several locals came in to pick up their...
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Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Located in the famous Navigli neighborhood in Milan, Mag is a cozy space to relax with a good cafe and brioche by day, and by night a bustling local hangout. Never short on atmosphere or great jazz soundtracks, this bar is bursting with details...
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Piazza del Duomo, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Visiting the home goods shop on the lower level of the department store La Rinascente is like going to a friend’s dinner party and wishing you could copy her fabulous taste. More than 100 international designers, including Driade (pictured), are...
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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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Via Vittorio Emanuele, 23, 25030 Erbusco BS, Italy
This gorgeous dining room is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, with some of the most creative and exquisite dishes in northern Italy; my pasta course featured nine luscious ravioli. Just a half-an-hour drive from Brescia and Bergamo, and...
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16039 Sestri Levante, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Along the northern coastline of Italy there is a place where the mountains touch the sea. A place where the palm trees, pine trees and cacti grow together in the mild climate. A place where the aroma of the food is so robust that the Italians call...
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Via Spadari, 9, 20135 Milano MI, Italy
Before taking the train to Rome, we picked up a spread of antipasti at Peck, a vast and pristine food shop in Milan. In addition to a huge selection of cheeses, fruit, salumi, and bread, Peck sells prepared specialties like meatballs, potato...
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Via Trebbia, 26, 20135 Milano MI, Italy
This leather atelier off a leafy boulevard in the Porta Romana district is the epitome of chic. The only way to buy its coveted handbags and accessories, regularly spotted on celebrities, is to visit this white-hued, mirrored store. Designer...
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15066 Gavi AL, Italy
If it's possible to fall in love with a wine, it happened to me in Gavi. Rolling hill after rolling hill full of sunflowers and grapevines. Gavi is in the region of Alessandria, Piedmont and was named after a princess in the middle ages that...
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Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
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The avant-garde interiors of 10 Corso Como match the mod, edgy clothes—everything from kaleidoscopic Ferragamo sandals to python-skin Margiela wallets. This appeared in the May 2015 issue.
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
Between the sky and the sea is the village of Vernazza. One (1) of the Five (5) villages in Italy's famous Cinque Terra region. All five are worth the day long hike along this beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coast.
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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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Piazza Castello, 10121 Torino TO, Italy
Piazza Castello glistens in the sun after a sudden downpour. Much of the historic center of Torino is pedestrianized and easily explored in a couple of days. For Roman history enthusiasts the aqueducts, arches and ancient city walls are a treat....
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10066 Torre Pellice, Metropolitan City of Turin, Italy
Quiet, peaceful mornings in this small northwestern Italian town are lovely! I enjoyed sitting on the balcony outside my bedroom in the mornings, watching the line-drying clothing come alive in the breeze and the shades of the colorful houses...
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12060 Castellino Tanaro, Province of Cuneo, Italy
Four years ago, while driving aimlessly from Genoa, Italy toward Cuneo, Piedmont, I looked up on a nearby hill and saw a tower. I decided it should be explored. That glimpse changed my life. I found my way up the serpentine road covering two miles...
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Musei Reali di Torino, Piazzetta Reale, 1, 10124 Torino TO, Italy
Torino is a Roman-built city that is perfectly situated in the north of Italy. For its beauty and history alone, it should make your list of must-see cities in Europe. Interestingly, the Republic of Italy, the Slow Food Movement, the Fiat 500,...
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Via Circonvallazione, 17, 12053 Castiglione Tinella CN, Italy
"The albergo castiglione is operated by the Saracco family, which is also the main moscato wine producer in the area, so don't miss to ask for factory tour and take some bottles home. The hotel also offer some apartments with fuly equipped...
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Chef Marcello Trentini is innovative, intent on correcting perceptions that the cuisine of Italy's Piedmont region is heavy and old-fashioned. His combinations of sweet and savory, meat and seafood, and textures smooth and crunchy serve his...
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Piazza Risorgimento, 4, 12051 Alba CN, Italy
I have always hated the idea of raw beef. I'm not going to lie, it scared me. A lot. But living in Italy has taught me many things - perhaps most importantly, don't be scared to taste anything. Octopus. Anchovies. Olives. Those small pickled...
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Piazza della Consolata, 5, 10122 Torino TO, Italy
The Bicerin is a gastronomic speciality of Turin. I love both chocolate and espresso, and was delighted to discover this warming confection in a glass, also called a Bicerin. The drink is layered into the glass oh so carefully: espresso first,...
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12073 Ceva, Province of Cuneo, Italy
Three years ago I lived in a small village, less than 100 people, in the Piemonte of Italy. One evening, in the one business in the town, a bar, I was told by the only English speaking (tri-lingual) person there that a local farmer wanted to show...
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Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 2, 10123 Torino TO, Italy
Looking for a traditional Northern Italian food experience? Well, I'd suggest that you look no further. Porto di Savona, located at Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the cities largest piazza, offers thoroughly satisfying dishes of lamb, beef and veal,...
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12050 Lequio Berria, Province of Cuneo, Italy
...then you absolutely must take a day trip from Genova to experience the specialty hazelnuts of the Piemonte (Langhe) region. Growing sympathetically with the other delicacy of this region - the white truffle - these hazelnuts are prized the...
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Carrer de Provença, 79, 08029 Barcelona, Spain
Skip overpriced cured meats in Barcelona restaurants. Head to the nearest Xarcuteria (the local spin on a delicatessen, sometimes combined with a butcher shop) and order Catalan specialties like botifarra d'ou, a pork and egg sausage traditionally...
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To my taste, the best restaurant in town at all levels: the food is exquisite, they have a large traditional Catalan menu, the service is excellent (waiters know the menu and the wines very well), and the decoration is carefully thought out,...
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Carrer d'Aribau, 23, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Some of the best tapas I had in Barcelona where at a place called La Flauta. This restaurant has been around for years and came highly recommended by a local guide. Not only did I love the food and plan a work lunch there, but I also went back on...
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Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Forget Google Maps: You’ll quickly locate this venerable tapas bar in El Poble-Sec by the line out the door. With standing-room-only space for just 20 people, this sliver of a spot fills up fast—and stays that way until closing time....
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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 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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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 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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Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
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43 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France
Cafe La Palette is one of the iconic cafes in the Latin Quarter in Paris, located in the gallery and art district of Saint Germain. The cafe is known for its large terrace overlooking rue Jacques-Callot and is popular among Fine Arts students and...
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1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
Small enough to get around without being overwhelmed, the Musée d'Orsay is a favorite stop in Paris not just for its size but for its collection of impressionist, postimpressionist, and art nouveau art. Perfectly set in the center of the...
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8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Sainte Chapelle is a true Gothic masterpiece located on Île de la Cité. Sainte Chapelle was founded by King Louis IX as a chapel for the royal palace. Sainte Chapelle houses a small chapel downstairs that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The...
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5 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
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Frenchie (the restaurant) is nearly impossible to get into, but the wine bar across the street provides a taste of chef Gregory Marchand’s housemade charcuterie and pasta, as well as small plates such as homemade smoked trout and burrata cheese...
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39 Rue de l'Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris, France
A friend of my roommate is a chef in Paris. I asked him for a few recommendations for myself and a colleague on Tuesday night. We wanted a really great dinner. So after looking at each option, I headed over to Spring in my neighborhood. It ended...
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17 Rue Montorgueil, 75001 Paris, France
So, you think you know Paris? There are hundreds of memorable streets and boulevards in the City of Lights. But, for my money, Rue Montorgueil is the best. It is compact, only three blocks long, with a metro stop at each end. In between, you have...
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43 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France
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Now you can sample the cuisine of celebrated local chefs by visiting their walk-in wine bars. Braden Perkins eases his elegant culinary style at Verjus’s downstairs bar (47 Rue de Montpensier), where groups share small plates of succulent pork...
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47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
The Paris café scene has always been compelling, but the actual café (coffee) is often forgettable. That's all changing, thanks to places like Coutume, Kookaboora and Telescope, where obsessive (and often mustachioed) baristas are redefining the...
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34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France
Situated a block from the Canal St.-Martin in the 10th arrondissement, Du Pain et des Idées is your favorite corner bakery—only better. The owner, Christophe Vasseur, was named best boulanger in Paris in 2008, and for good reason....
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69 Rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris, France
Paris boasts an unusual elevated park, La Promenade Plantée, built atop an abandoned elevated railway viaduct in the 12th arrondissement. It starts a block east of the Place de la Bastille and stretches for 2.9 elevated miles. Landscape architect...
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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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6 Rue Victor Cousin, 75005 Paris, France
Context Travel offers history, architecture and culinary tours in various European cities. I went on the " foodie" tour that began on a beautiful fall Paris morning in the toney neighborhood of St. Germain- de- Pres by meeting our friendly English...
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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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Grandes-Carrières, 75018 Paris, France
Hotels in Paris are costly; prohibitively expensive particularly when you're trying to travel on a budget. Renting an apartment often ends up being a more cost effective option, especially if you snag a small kitchen. The Paris experience will be...
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08024 Barcelona, Spain
A pilgrimage to this enchanting park is a must for any Antoni Gaudí fan. Located atop Carmel Hill to the north of the city, the park was inspired by English landscape gardens, but its fantastical elements make sure you know it was...
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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...