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European Port Cities: Insider Guides

Chef Viki at Mordisco in Bercelona.

Photo: Paula Ospina/Courtesy of El Mordisco

Pisa, Italy

Designer Cecilia Iacobelli and chocolatier Paul de Bondt, husband-and-wife team behind Pisa’s De Bondt Chocolate: “This place is so much more than the Leaning Tower. There’s also a buzzing food and art scene.”

8 a.m.: The couple start their day with cappuccinos and cornetti at Keith Art Shop Café (breakfast for two $6), which recently opened opposite a colorful Keith Haring street mural.

10 a.m.: De Bondt concocts award-winning chocolates with everything from rose oil to fennel at the De Bondt Chocolate Workshop, which offers tasting tours. Meanwhile, Iacobelli checks in at the De Bondt Cioccolato e Affini, their shop downtown. In stock: artisanal teas, jams, and (yes) chocolates.

Noon: Lunch at Il Montino (lunch for two $35), a tiny restaurant with a delicious cecina (chickpea pancake) and thin-crust pizzas, is always first-rate.

2 p.m.: They visit the nearby Parco di San Rossore—a conservation zone with a racetrack—to source pine nuts and honeys.

4 p.m.: For an ice cream break, they are wild about Gelateria De’ Coltelli. Best flavors: ginger, pumpkin, and saffron.

5 p.m.: A cool new gallery to see works by emerging contemporary artists? Palazzo Blu.

8 p.m.: On weekends, Pisans love Ristorante Artilafo (dinner for two $100), which serves traditional dishes such as wild-boar tagliatelle.

10 p.m.: A postprandial stroll across the Piazza dei Miracoli reveals an illuminated Leaning Tower. “It looks like a surreal dreamscape,” Iacobelli says. —Valerie Waterhouse


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