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cathy′s Wishlist
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Long known for serving the best gelato in Rome, Giolitti's offers an amazing selection of flavors including my favorite, pink grapefruit. Be aggressive as you approach the counter; the wait can be long and unorganized, especially on a Friday or...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy

I first laid eyes on Portofino watching an episode of the Bold and the Beautiful they had shot on location.  From that moment, I knew I had to see this breathtaking scene firsthand. 

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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

On the Ponte Vecchio with two of my bother and our close friend.

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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
While visiting Florence in May, my husband and I made the trek to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a panoramic view of the city. We wandered around a bit to try to find a quieter place from which to enjoy the view of Florence and came upon this...
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Vicolo delle Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Here is one of Rome’s best restaurants: Al Moro is very traditional and is well known for the quality of its seasonal ingredients, including porcini mushrooms, wild strawberries, artichokes, and asparagus. 39/06-678-3495. By Pepi Marchetti...
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53026 Pienza SI, Italy
One of the most charming towns we visited during our May trip to Italy was Pienza, situated in Tuscany between Montepulciano and Montalcino (also worth a visit if you're in the area). Pienza is best known for its delicious pecorino cheeses,...
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Via della Penna, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
I tell all my friends to stay here. It’s a great location, right off Piazza del Popolo. The hotel is not part of a chain. It’s family owned, which is charming. —Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli.  ...
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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Many city parks offer green grass, fresh air, and open space (that's kind of their m.o.), but few include ancient Roman ruins! Villa Borghese is as breathtaking as it is vast, and it's the ideal place to lounge with a book or get in a quick run to...
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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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Viale della Marina, 41, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM, Italy
According to legend, Rome’s first orange tree—St. Dominic’s gift to the pope—was planted in Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of the Oranges) in the 13th century. The secluded park provides a panoramic view of the city, from...
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Vicolo del Bottino, 8, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I love to go to this restaurant and wine bar for a glass of prosecco and to enjoy the unique view out over the Spanish Steps and the rest of Rome as the sun sets. 39/06-699-341000. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Against our middle child's protests that we were going in a ramp that stated “Exit Only,” we rambled into the Roman Forum area after hours. Which is why we found ourselves at the top of a hill, overlooking the city, with only two young...
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Via Borgognona, 11, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I often take out-of-town guests here for lunch because it feels—and is—so authentic. Whenever I go in, I have ‘my’ table, as do all the other Roman regulars. One of the restaurant’s specialties is the Francovich soup, which is a delicious Tuscan...
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00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
What else can you say, it's THE Colosseum. Impressive on every count. Long live Caesar.
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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Piazza di Santa Croce, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Standing in the Piazza Santa Croce, a statue of Dante looms over the square from the corner. Florence, where Durante degli Alighieri's journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise was to begin but not end. In 1829 a tomb was built for him in the...
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Via Mauro Comite, 9, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
At the casual lunchtime restaurant at the Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi, Ristorante al Mare, there is a dish on the menu that defies expectations. Calzoncello con ricotta, mozzarella e salame, translated as folded-over pizza stuffed with ricotta...
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Str. di Certosa, 82/86, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
There is an intimate hotel in the hills of Tuscany near Siena called Certosa di Maggiano. It is pure magic. Tranquil and filled with old Italian charm, this is a place to go and chill out. Strada di Certosa 82/86, 39/0577-28-81-80. Rene Redzepi...
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Via Marmorata, 47, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
We stopped at Volpetti to pick up a few items for a picnic on Aventine Hill in the Garden of Oranges. Problem is, you can't just pick up a few things here. Everything is wonderful. The food combined with the view from the Aventine makes for a...
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Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 2, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I recently savored a week in Rome. During a lunch break on a partly cloudy day in March, I decided to walk down Via Sistina to the Spanish Steps, and then continue along Piazza Trinita dei Monti to see what lay beyond this local hub of tourist...
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Piazza Rio Finale, 8, 19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
One of the highlights of my trip to Italy was walking Cinque Terre. I would travel back to Italy just to do this walk again. My favorite part was the Via dell'Amore, or Walk of Love that went from Riomaggiore to Manarola. This is a picture of one...
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Piazza Antonio Mancini, 55, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Maxxi, Rome’s first major contemporary art museum, cost 150 million and took renowned architect Zaha Hadid 10 years to complete. The result—a vast, bold space with exhibits on architecture and art—proves that modern Rome can produce masterpieces,...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Tuscany is deeply connected to the land—the crops that grow here, from fruit and vegetables to olives and wine grapes, are central to Tuscan cuisine. Mercato Centrale, housed in the original 1874 market building, is a working showcase for...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
While in Florence this May, my husband and I decided not to walk to the top of the dome of the Duomo but, instead, to make the climb to the top of the tower next to the Duomo to get a great view of the dome itself. I shot this from the stairwell...
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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 Claudia, 15, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The Paolo Parisi egg has become an Italian status symbol. The perfect whites look like those of any other egg, but the Day-Glo orange yolks have an incredible creamy texture and sweet almond flavor that fetch nearly $2 per egg. The extraordinary...
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Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Piazza della Repubblica in central Florence has three of the city's most historic cafes. Gilli is one of them, and when you walk in, you feel like you are entering a piece of the city's history. The cafe was founded in 1733 but moved to its...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
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Via dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
On a cool night in November, walking alone from an outdoor food market in the center of Florence, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth yet again. I stopped for a "snack," one that I would never eat just before dinner back home yet couldn't get...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
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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Via di Santo Spirito, 64, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Offering good value for money alongside a creative riff on Tuscan and Italian classics, Santo Bevitore continues to be one of Florence’s hottest restaurants. The slow food ethic of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients is evident in a menu that...
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Borgo S. Frediano, 167R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
IO Osteria Personale is a small, elegant, and innovative restaurant in Florence. It's a foodie's delight, with an à la carte menu of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, but no pasta! You can choose three or five dishes plus dessert to create...
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Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Giambolgna's sculpture The Rape of the Sabine Women stands under the arched Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
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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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Banchi di Sotto, 63, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
My husband and I visited Italy in May and one of our favorite things was the amazing gelato! In every town we visited - from Venice to Pisa to Florence - we had to try the gelato to see which town's was best. This vanilla bean gelato in Sienna was...