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If you're looking for a light, delicious lunch in Padua, Italy, head straight for Brek Foccaceria on the charming Piazzetta Garzeria (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Focacceria-Brek-di-Padova/133180920044536). Brek has a more formal restaurant, but...
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Piazza del Santo, 11, 35123 Padova PD, Italy
This massive church was one of the most impressive in size, architecture, and collection of relics—for the art that is within and surrounding the building. Before you head inside, almost as an afterthought hidden in between kiosks selling St....
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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, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
During the day, the Piazza San Marco in Venice is an overwhelming flurry of activity, but once the sun sets, you'd be surprised at just how much a sense of ease and languor settles in. Life simply slows down as the crowds depart. Stop by...
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San Croce, 1992, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy
A five-minute walk from the Rialto Market, down winding streets, small campos, and alleyways, is the Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo. Restored and expanded in 2013, the museum is a window on to the lives of 17th- and 18th-century Venetian nobles: how...
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Calle del Scaleter, 2794, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Carlo Goldoni was born in Venice in 1707 and went on to become one of the Italy's most important playwrights. He spent many years living and working in Paris, where he died in 1793. Ca' Centani, the 15th-century gothic palace acquired by Goldoni's...
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Riva S. Biasio, 2148, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
So many of Venice's visitors walk right by the giant cast iron anchors in front of the Museo Storico Navale in Castello near the Arsenale and never step foot inside. Which is a shame because this small museum is a trove of fascinating information...
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Dorsoduro 50, località Zattere, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
You'll find the Spazio Vedova art space along the tranquil Zattare esplanade, facing Giudecca Island. It was originally used to store salt and later boats. In the 1970s, Vedova saved the building from demolition, and between 2006 and 2009, under...
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Santa Maria Formosa, 5252, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
This former residence belonged to Venice's Querini Stampalia family and is great to visit if you're interested in learning about how one of the founding families of the Venetian republic lived and luxuriated. Quiet, and rarely thronged with...
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Sestiere di S. Marco, 2603, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Venice's Museo della Musica in the Church of San Maurizi is an homage to the Italian art of making string instruments. The small exhibition highlights Venice's golden age of string instrument making. Visitors experience the sounds of instruments...
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The Gallerie dell'Accademia is the place to see Venice through the eyes of centuries of famous Venetians. The museum has a huge collection of paintings from the Byzantine and Gothic eras through the Renaissance and into the 18th century (including...
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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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Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
An ornate 15th-century private palazzo has been transformed into a lavish hotel (below) that faces the Rialto market. Artworks from the 1600s meet 21st-century amenities in the 42 rooms and suites, many of which overlook the Grand Canal. Doubles...
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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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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Basilica San Marco is Venice's crown jewel. Situated at the eastern end of Piazza San Marco, the cathedral was built around 1078 on the site of an earlier house of worship. It is famously the home of the remains of the apostle Mark, which were...
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Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
Two things you need to know about gondola rides in Venice: They're worth it; and the price is agreed beforehand. Knowing those two things, you can happily hop aboard this traditional Venetian mode of transport and relax, because, touristy as it...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
This pink-marble waterfront edifice in Piazza San Marco dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence and seat of government for the doges (rulers) of Venice. Today the ornate Byzantine- and Moorish-influenced Gothic Palazzo Ducale is...
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Calle Larga dei Bari, 1159, 30135 Santa Croce, Venezia VE, Italy
If you find yourself in Venice's Santa Croce neighborhood, and you're hot, or peckish, or both; try to locate the Alaska Gelateria on Calle Larga dei Bari. It's a quaint little place that serves up super fresh, artisanal scoops; possibly some that...
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30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
It may be one of the fastest growing gelato chains across Italy and greater Europe, but that hasn't seemed to put a dent in how delicious and creamy and always good the gelato is at Grom. As I write this there are three locations in Venice: On the...
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Salizada San Lio, 5661, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
La Boutique del Gelato in Venice's Castello district is a popular destination with locals and tourists alike. But depending on the time of year, or the person working behind the counter, the service and product can be hit or miss. The gelato is...
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Calle dei Fabbri, 929, 30124 S.Marco, Venezia VE, Italy
The venue might be a little garish, and the location is almost always a nightmare to visit in the high season. But this gelateria has its merits. Some of its unusual flavors like Sacher Torte, are major stand outs in the Pantheon of gelato...
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Fodamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo, 922, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Let's be honest; the gelato is OK in Venice, but it has nothing on the view. Some people require both, which means Gelateria Nico is the only place to come. Sure, one of Venice's best gelato joints, Grom, has Campo San Barnaba. But nothing beats...
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Calle S. Donato, 11, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
There is more to Murano Island than a wide collective of storied glass blowers. Make the journey to this lagoon island and be sure to pay a visit to the Chiesa dei Santi Maria e Donato to view its restored Byzantine mosaic pavements dating to the...
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Campiello dei Miracoli, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli is probably my favorite church in Venice. Surrounded by canals and small streets, the church looks like a fat piece of marble clad wedding cake that landed in Venice's Cannaregio neighborhood. It's one of the most...
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Campazzo S. Sebastiano, 1686, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
The Chiesa di San Sebastiano is one of Venice's more recent and elaborate restoration projects, thanks to contributions by the U.S. nonprofit Save Venice Inc. Fascinating details abound in this 16th-century church; among them, its recently...
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Calle Chibecchi, 521, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
This tiny Venetian bacaro (bar) is so popular that many of its patrons don’t even make it inside. Instead, they cluster around the entrance drinking wine. Sample cicchetti (bar snacks) that the locals come for, especially the meatballs. Calle del...
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Calle Lion, 3383, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
We spent the day walking around Venice and getting lost in its wonderful maze of streets. The end of the day found us facing this large church as the cat-in-the-cradle moon hung low in the sky. Randy went onto the bridge for a better view and...
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Via Baldassarre Galuppi, 221, 30142 Burano,Venezia VE, Italy
Let the wind blow through your hair as you take a 30-minute vaporetto ride to Burano, an island in the lagoons of Venice. Known for its brightly-colored fishermen's homes, the island is largely free of the tourist crush of the rest of Venice....
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Calle de la Malvasia Vechia, 6014-6015, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The front section of this small spot was crowded with locals having a quick drink and a plate of cicchetti. We had reserved one of the six tables in the back. The menu, written on a blackboard, was all almost all unknown to me. Thankfully my...
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30126 Lido, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
When the weather is warm off the coast of Italia, everything is right in the world. Spending a summer studying in Venice was a spectacular experience, and the weekend trips to Lido Island made my time there all the more "Euro." We passed the time...
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Calle degli Albanesi, 4250, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
It's like the Venetians knew we'd end up lost and hungry. This mosaic placard (a tradition that dates to the Roman period) pointed us in the direction, and we wound up at a restaurant—Taverna dei Dogi, which has a relaxed atmosphere, and...
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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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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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Calle del Mondo Novo, 5801, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
As the winter solstice approaches, the light in Venice becomes diffuse. Multistory buildings cast the city in deep cold shadows that allow the canals to reflect the clear blue sky. It's the off-season. Many shops will close after Christmas until...
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Via San Mauro, 296, 30142 Burano VE, Italy
Burano is quaint and touristy in the same breath. Some might argue that there is not much to see beyond the multi-colored buildings. But there is definitely something worth eating - sardines! Sit in the sun at Riva Rosa and enjoy along with...
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Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 3, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Begun by the family of winemaker Gianluca Bisol, who is famous for his prosecco, the menu at this Mazzorbo restaurant is focused on seasonal and local ingredients, much of which is grown right on the estate, which is located 35 minutes from the...
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Fondamenta Manin, 48, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
Murano Island is best known for its numerous glassmakers, and their respective factories, shops and boutiques. The island is not itself a foodie destination, though there are exceptions, like the charming and exceptionally good restaurant,...
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Rione S. Andrea, 597, Piazzetta Vigo, 30015 Chioggia VE, Italy
Chioggia Island is like miniature version of Venice, and has one of the biggest fresh fish markets in Italy. Here, at the Hotel Grande Italia, is a well priced, elegant restaurant called Alle Baruffe Chizzotte, with a dinning room of about 100...
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30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
While exploring Burano, break for a fabulous seafood lunch at Al Gato Nero. The "black cat" restaurant is the creation of Ruggero Bovo, who has been cooking up some of the tastiest fresh fish and seafood here since 1965. "I love the fish of the...
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Piazza Santa Fosca, 29, 30142 Torcello VE, Italy
Chef Cristian Angiolin heads up the kitchen at this Venetian lagoon institution, which is open year-round except for January and Tuesdays. The restaurant is no longer a part of the Cipriani franchise, which began in Venice and has since expanded...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100 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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Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Since few areas within the city of Venice afford high perspectives of the entire city, take the elevator (no stairs) to the top of San Marco's Campanile in Piazza San Marco. You may have to put up with a few elbows to get a spot against...