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Switzerland and Italy

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3, Rue du Levant, 1201 Genève, Switzerland
Midnight: Although the nightclub Silencio lies in the artsy neighborhood of Paquis, it doesn’t feel a bit pretentious. Local Genevois and the city’s many out-of-towners unite under swinging chandeliers and soak up electronic music from renowned...
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Chez Lucien, 1345 Le Lieu, Switzerland
7 p.m., Early On: Kick things off with some very Swiss starters at Chez Lucien, a waterfront wine bar. Order the platter of raw milk L’Etivaz cheese and the dried beef that has been cured for six weeks in the barn of a nearby village. Look for any...
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Rue Pierre-Fatio 6, 1204 Genève, Switzerland
8 p.m., Feeding Time: Le Relais de L’Entrecote isn’t the hot new spot. It’s the opposite: a classic steakhouse where locals have come for the past 30 years to partake of the strip steak soaked in melted herb butter. This appeared in the October...
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Rue des Savoises 19, 1205 Genève, Switzerland
10 p.m., Cocktail Hour: The new bar Le Verre à Monique is a popular choice among bartenders. The staff concocts cocktails from odd ingredients like strawberry jam and pink peppercorn syrup. Ask for the Malice in Wonderland, a mix of Oolong tea–...
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Quai du Mont-Blanc 19, 1201 Genève, Switzerland
2 a.m., One Last Drink: Good news: Your bed is just blocks away at Hotel Kempinski. Before crashing, ride the elevator to Floor Two Bar and top off the night with a Feldschlösschen (Switzerland’s answer to Budweiser) and the dreamiest sight in...
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Brunch, The Morning After: Your recovery should start with a mid-day meal and go one of two ways. The healthy choice is Swiss muesli with fruit and yogurt, of course. “Squeeze lemon on top for extra flavor and to keep apples from darkening,” says...
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Hintergasse 9, 9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein

By Eric Weiner

Owned by the prince, Torkel serves classic Swiss fare (veal cutlets, fish in Riesling sauce) matched with a superb wine list. Dine on the covered terrace looking out to the Alps. This appeared in the July/August 2012 issue. Read Eric...

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Mareestrasse 29, 9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein

By Eric Weiner

All of the 29 rooms at the Sonnenhof offer views of Vaduz Castle and the Rhine Valley. After falconry lessons, a mountain bike ride, or a round of golf, dine on veal-stuffed raviolini or glazed pork with champagne risotto in the...

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Mythenquai 9, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
The most centrally-located mixed badi boasts a prime spot on Lake Zurich, though not too much swimming actually goes on here—it’s more about sunbathing, people-watching, and the occasional dip. There’s also a sauna, massage treatments and outdoor...
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Theaterstrasse 22, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Locals all agree this is the home of Zurich’s—perhaps Europe’s—best sausage. What they’re divided on is which is better, the St. Galler bratwurst or the Servelat—both superbly juicy, flavorful, and with excellent snap—and divine with a crusty...
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Heimplatz 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Rodin’s iconic “Gates of Hell,” an intricate sculptured bronze door marked by a central “Thinker,” stands at the entrance of the Kunsthaus, home of Zurich’s most important collection of modern art. Inside, there are works by Van Gogh, Munch and...
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Münsterhof 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This small, elegant church near Paradeplatz has been around since 853, but it wasn’t until 1970 when it received its crowning touch: five glorious stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall when he was in his 80s. Also not to be missed: Augusto...
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Talstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Baur au Lac, the grande dame of Bahnhofstrasse hotels open since 1844, is home to the city's most beautiful restaurant, with a stunning glass gazebo with Lalique chandeliers overlooking the hotel’s private park. Chef Laurent Eperon’s dishes are...
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Bahnhofstrasse 28A, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
$$$$
Sure, the menu comes in a dozen languages, but Zeughauskeller is no mere tourist trap. Occupying a 15th century building on Paradeplatz, the setting—arched windows, wooden ceiling beams and stone columns—is transportive, while traditional dishes...
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Via dei Servi, 66/68R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Even with all the noted thinkers, artists, politicians, and powerful families who’ve called Florence home, Leonardo da Vinci is arguably the city’s most famous son. This homage focuses less on his artwork and more on Da Vinci’s forward-thinking...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the best views of Florence can be savored from the Piazzale Michelangelo, a short walk across the Arno River from downtown Florence. For a fun afternoon head to the square and enjoy an enchanting panorama of the city, followed by a relaxing...
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Piazza dei Cavalleggeri, 1, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I completely stumbled upon this gorgeous library in Florence on accident while wandering around the city by myself. It's about a 3 Euro entrance fee but being a book lover, there are few things more impressive than a reading library designed by...
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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The best Crostones in Firenze! Great people, tasty wine and excellent food. Great to wander in for light snacks.
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Get up early to avoid the crowds and catch some beautiful, soft light while experiencing a quiet Florence devoid of its midday chaos.
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Piazza della Signoria, 5/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Start your day with a cappuccino and melting pastry on the terrace of ex–chocolate factory Rivoire, now one of Florence’s historic cafés. You will pay for the privilege, but the ringside view of the comings and goings in the open-air museum that...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy

I saw this exquisite chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci's Lady With An Ermine on the ground in one of the main plazas in Firenze. It started drizzling and I just had to take this photo before the rain washed it away!

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Via dei Girolami, 28R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Armed with only a recommendation, a description, and the general location of the restaurant—but no actual restaurant name—we found Ristorante Buca dell’Orafo, near the Ponte Vecchio. The small restaurant is below street level off an alley-wide...
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Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Buon appetito! We discovered this hole-in-the-wall trattoria 15 years ago, and we were delighted to find everything to be the same and the food as good. Not an upscale gourmet place, but popular with locals, and a place to practice my rusty...
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Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When you visit the area of the Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Republica in Florence, don't miss this interesting attraction. From Piazza della Signoria, walk towards Piazza della Republica, and on the left side, you'll see Piazza del...