Things to Do in Italy

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Inspired by the sunny, Mediterranean lifestyle of Capri, Tony Aiello launched this label of handmade, ultra-light, linen wear for men, women, and... Read More

From Montepulciano, the most impressive Tuscan hill town, head to Pienza (the most romantic hill town). Continue on to San Quirico though the bucolic... Read More

The Abbey at Fiastra is one of the most serene, with a shaded portico and an ample courtyard that has a well at the center. The windows of the monks'... Read More

Guarded by vast sandstone cliffs and groves of dark cypresses, this monumental monastic complex, built all of brick, is one of the world’s most serene... Read More

An eighth-century monastery with an imposing vaulted interior. Read More

In absolute contrast to the elaborate three cathedrals above, this serene Romanesque church of travertine and alabaster—set below hills of olive trees... Read More

Built of dramatically white travertine and alabaster and standing below green hills, this elegant Romanesque church gained fame when, in 781,... Read More

There’s always a long line outside Florence’s Academy of Fine Arts, everyone waiting to see arguably the world’s most famous sculpture... Read More

The white-and-wood design store sells sleek housewares (bright orange showerheads; stainless-steel wall lights). Read More

Carved horse heads and Roman gods crowd the studio’s shelves. But collector-worthy contemporary pieces, such as transparent spiral candleholders... Read More

Do as the Modenese do and visit this covered market (open mornings only). Pick up lunch to go at Panini Schiavoni, a stall with unusual sandwich... Read More

The most visually impressive and romantic area of Tuscany is the Val D’Orcia: the valley of the Orcia River. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage... Read More

The only place where one can purchase women's clothes by Anna Fabiano, the former Fiorucci designer's store is located in Milan's trendy Porta Ticinese... Read More

Roman dandies flock to this Sartoria per Ecclesiastici in search of knee-high socks in cardinal red, bishop purple, or sober black; the fine-knits... Read More

Stop by for a degustazione in the bio-architectural headquarters, constructed with radon-free travertine stone. Taste the Montefalco Sagrantino red,... Read More

When the Spanish brought chocolate to Sicily in 1500s, they also brought Aztec preparation methods that still flourish on the island, especially at... Read More

Brother and sister Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri launched the chocolate company Amedei in La Rotta 18 years ago. Alessio sources the cocoa beans, while... Read More

Rome's oldest herbalist sells a vast selection of teas stored in wooden drawers beneath its original coffered ceiling.... Read More

Once farmacia to the 17th Century Papal court, this pharmacy is still run by Carmelite monks and remains adjacent to Trastavere's Santa Maria della... Read More

Carmelite monks will guide you through the 17th-century pharmacy where medicines were once concocted for popes. You'll find ornate cabinets filled with... Read More

Silk items may not be the most well-known Tuscan product, but Lucca’s and Florence’s wealth (which enabled the artistic explosion of the Renaissance)... Read More

The De Martino brothers bake terra-cotta-colored tiles in a 450-year-old wood oven. Read More

Ring the bell to gain access to the garden of this fabric workshop owned by the Pucci dynasty and opened in 1786. Wander past the climbing roses, palms,... Read More

Overlooking the Tiber River is the Ara Pacis Museum, which houses the eponymous Altar of Peace. The altar was built in 9 B.C. to celebrate Emperor... Read More

The musuem has held Medici collections of Etruscan, Roman, Greek, and Egyptian art since 1870. Read More

The most memorable of Tuscan beaches—dramatic coves, pebble shores with crystalline waters, and remarkable windswept vegetation. They are often isolated... Read More

Four floors and 4,800 square feet dedicated to Giorgio Armani's 40-year career in fashion. Giorgio himself oversaw the renovation of the converted grain... Read More

Arsenale caters to those seeking something different in fashion. Here, designer and owner Patrizia Pieroni showcases her creations, from pink, pale gray... Read More

In the center of the city, creative types flock to this pocket-size bar for its fresh-fruit cocktails. Inside, the red leather booths and pool tables... Read More

At the eight-room hotel, made up of two country-style houses, you can take art classes on the lawn. Read More

The town’s mayor, Fabio Tinti, loves the area’s Casentino wool overcoats, sold here. Read More

In transit business travelers make use of long layovers at this more than 9,000-square-foot temporary office space. There are six rooms in which to get... Read More

In a city full of classical architecture, Renzo Piano's über-modern classical music hall, shaped a bit like three computer mouses, has become... Read More

Avallone is located in the middle of downtown Vietri sul Mare, a coastal town known for its production of handcrafted ceramic tiles and tableware. The... Read More

Sniff out a whole world—licorice, citrus, tobacco—in slow twirlings of fabled Avignonesi vin santo on the winery’s property... Read More

Here, Carla Galli produces some of Modena's best traditional balsamic, aged for a minimum of 12 years in wooden barrels in her attic (warning: a 3.3... Read More

B&M is Florence’s answer to a full-service English language indie bookstore. The shelves here are piled with gorgeous books on art and design,... Read More

The Sicily-based school doesn’t teach much dialect, but there are plenty of ways to absorb local culture in the sun-soaked, seaside town of... Read More

This jewel of a hamlet built around a Roman vasca, or community baths. There are two main places here for partaking in the thermal waters—the Hotel... Read More

Just off the Piazza del Duomo in the medieval town of San Gimignano, near the cathedral’s bell tower, is the stone storefront of Balducci Ceramics. Part... Read More

At the peaceful piano bar in this 1962 hotel, everything from the floor-tiles to the furniture was designed by Milanese legend Gio Ponti.... Read More

Portofino's social scene revolves around Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta—known simply as La Piazzetta—where A-listers and celebrity-watchers... Read More

Built into a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, this full-service bar has a bright, simple interior and an outdoor wooden terrace, shaded by a canopy... Read More

What the Uffizi is to paintings, the Bargello is to sculpture: a storehouse of some of the greatest works in marble and bronze to come out of the... Read More

It’s a favored watering hole of the Roman leftist intelligentsia, but anyone is welcome at this funky Jewish Ghetto salon that shares its intimate... Read More

For a great view of the city, take the old funicular railway to this church. Read More

A multi-layered church and archaeological site, the Basilica of San Clemente is one of the best examples of how Rome is a layer cake of history. Entry... Read More

Part of a European chain, this blue-walled express spa is great if you need a quick beauty fix. Massages (as short as 10 minutes) and speedy mani-pedis... Read More

The company offers boating services on Lake Como. Read More

The cooking school at the elegant Belmond Villa San Michele Hotel offers two kinds of culinary instruction: group cooking classes using local and... Read More

The first spa from Acqua di Parma is at the seaside Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Our favorite indulgence: outdoor treatment cabanas overlooking the... Read More

The magnificent Boboli Gardens, once the playground of the Medici family, are laid out over the hill behind the Pitti Palace, a green oasis amid... Read More

This beautiful, coastal region south of Pisa is best known for the stellar success (and astronomical prices) of its Ornellaia and Sassicaia... Read More

This is as different from the rest of Tuscany as can be. Start from the many-towered town of San Gimignano (it had fifty-two towers in its twelfth... Read More

A 1950’s-vintage bar and beach club; with its concrete floors, high ceilings, industrial lamps, and pull-down glass doors. Beautiful young... Read More

The outstanding private collection of the noble Borghese family went public when they lost their fortune in the late 1800's; today it's the world's most... Read More

The outstanding private collection of the noble Borghese family went public when they lost their fortune in the late 1800’s; today it’s the... Read More

When planning a visit to the winding streets of the Trastevere neighborhood, earmark time to meander these ancient gardens. Locally known as Orto... Read More

Originally a medicinal garden designed for the Medici in 1545, the Botanical Gardens of Florence, also called the Giardino dei Semplici (Garden of... Read More

Hidden away off a quiet piazza in the Oltrarno neighborhood south of the river Arno, this small chapel packs a huge punch in artistic terms, for it was... Read More

Brancolini Grimaldi Arte Contemporanea, with locations in Rome and Florence, presents a program dedicated exclusively to contemporary photography and... Read More

Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, and Pierce Brosnan are among the fans of the classic, hand-tailored menswear sold here. The haberdashery has been creating... Read More

The satellite location of a chic city salon chain, Bunny’s offers a full menu of beauty services to revive bedraggled travelers: haircuts and... Read More

Beneath the vaulted showrooms of Busatti sit the original looms that the Busatti-Sassolinis have used to make linens since 1842. Traditional striped... Read More

There are no lavish, aspirational lifestyle displays à la Williams-Sonoma at this excellent back-to-basics cookware emporium; instead, the... Read More

There's no gold in this house, as the name would suggest, but the Ca' d'Oro—also known as the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti—is a treasure trove of artwork... Read More

Venice's main university is located in this extraordinary 15th century building, sitting on the widest curve of the Grand Canal. Hour-long tours, led by... Read More

Stop in at Caffé della Posta, on the main square, to try one of Bolgheri’s reds: first produced in the 1980’s, these wines now rival... Read More

Parco Uccellina, is a vast protected nature preserve on the most dramatic and pristine twenty-mile stretch of Tuscan coast. South of the Ombrone River’s... Read More

Two exquisitely frescoed rooms by Renaissance master and Emilia-Romagna native Antonio da Correggio. Read More

Jack Nicholson and Elton John are fans of the made-to-measure silk pajamas embroidered with Venetian lions.... Read More

Camper and Nicholsons is a company that specializes in all-things yachting, from the custom building and refitting of yachts, to yacht management... Read More

This is the best art festival in Tuscany. For the past thirty-eight years, the summer evenings and nights of Montepulciano have come alive with song,... Read More

This long-established producer makes chemical-free wines: Umbria Terra dei Preti has an intense, flinty flavor, and the bottles have charming old... Read More

Benozzo Gozzoli's representation of the Journey of the Magi was painted from 1459-1461 and is one of the most glorious frescoes in Florence. Almost... Read More

The jewelry shop is divine with a 17th-century safe, bright frescoes, and its outstanding collection of silver, watches, and unusual objects such as... Read More

Carlo Fagiani's leather workshop, specialising in shoes, handbags, belts, wallets and jackets, is one of the best in Tuscany. He makes shoes to... Read More

The Amatruda family has been sifting pulp in Amalfi since at least 1483, and theirs is one of the few remaining outfits in town still hand-making the... Read More

A fantastic art-supply store that carries thick drawing paper, paintbrushes, and oils. Read More

Parma has an embarrassment of remarkable shops selling salumi, Parmesan, and prepared foods. You’ll never see a tourist in this one. Read More

Fabrizia Lanza teaches at a 19th-century country house with four rustic rooms. You'll learn to make a sweet cassata, a traditional sponge-cake dessert... Read More

In the year 590, as he prayed for Rome's deliverance from a plague, St. Gregory the Great had an encouraging vision of an angel sheathing its sword... Read More

Follow the pathway up the Salita di San Giorgio, past the yellow Church of San Giorgio, to the 16th-century castle, named after a British consul in... Read More

There is the museum in Castello di Rivoli, about 45 minutes outside the city, where modern pieces such as Charles Ray's Revolution Counter-Revolution... Read More

The wine estate of Castello di Sonnino is only a 20-minute drive south of Florence, but it delivers you to the heart of the glorious Chianti... Read More

Conveniently located in the center of town, this large 15th century castle now houses several museums and art collections, with offerings ranging from... Read More

Architect Scarpa’s Museo di Castelvecchio is easy to find—it’s in a hulking 14th-century fortress along the Adige River. From 1958 to... Read More

Cooking classes are offered at the private estate of Gabriella Becchina, where the robust olio verde is produced. Read More

Serious collectors come for paintings and sculptures by top contemporary inter- national artists such as Toots Zynsky and Silvia Levenson. Read More

A treasure trove for vintage Gucci bags and other Italian designer goods, in the trendy Porta Ticinese district. Read More

Of all the Last Supper paintings in Florence (and there are 10), Domenico Ghirlandaio's 1480 work that decorates the back wall of the refectory in the... Read More

A satellite of the Capitoline Museums housed in a former power plant, Centrale Montemartini brilliantly juxtaposes gods and machines. More than 400... Read More

The hand-painted floor tiles and ceramic plates decorating the hotels and restaurants along the coast come from the famous workshops of Vietri sul Mare,... Read More

This spot never disappoints: the cheerfully decorated ceramics factory and garden are adorned with urns, plates, and tiles with fruits and flowers. Read More

Founded by Vincenzo Pinto in the 1800's, this is the oldest of the handcrafted tile and ceramic art production houses still operating in Vietri sul Mare... Read More

This ceramics shop is a home-goods and kitchenware-lover’s paradise in the historic center of Siena. Wall-to-wall mugs, plates, bowls, teapots, and more... Read More

Watch Pasquale Sorrentino create everything from lamps to tabletops in a light-filled studio. Look for vases, plates, and mugs with intricate floral... Read More

Part of the 18th-century seaside villa that houses Le Sirenuse hotel, this upscale bar is set on an open-air terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and... Read More

Amateurs can sign up for the July session (from $2,541); serious students have to enroll for at least a year ($10,692) and must submit artwork to be... Read More

In this classic Italian spa town, you can soak, veg out, eat like a king, then shop until you drop in classy boutiques. There are more than a dozen spa... Read More

This is the land of one-hill views, meaning the hilly terrain lets you see only the hill before you. Wonderful for gazing close up at vineyards, ruins,... Read More

The oldest and most respected part of the much larger Chianti region, this series of hills lies between Florence and Siena. The wines produced here are... Read More

The official French church in Rome, San Luigi dei Francesi was built in 1518 for the French community and named after King Louis IX. To this day, masses... Read More

Located in San Giovanni, this small, basilica-style church is dedicated to the virgin martyr Saint Bibiana. Originally built in 467, the church was... Read More

Built in 1504 and attached to the church of Santa Maria della Pace in Rome’s Centro Storico, Chiostro del Bramante was one of architect Donato... Read More

A few miles from this town’s small but densely packed Etruscan museum is the perfectly preserved, deep, and complex Tomb of the Monkey.  Discovered... Read More

A wild, romantic place to watch a Tuscan sunset. This tiny town atop limestone cliffs overlooks the spectacular Abbey of Monte Oliveto, and layers of... Read More

"The largest museum in Venice" is how this collection of 16 churches sell themselves, and they have a point: They combine unique architecture and... Read More

Head to the terrace for a drink under the stars. Cocktails, such as the pomegranate-and-spumante Tintoretto, are served at candlelit tables beneath a... Read More

Go to Monte San Giusto to see Lorenzo Lotto's Crucifixion, the altarpiece in a tiny church, Santa Maria in Telusiano. Read More

The parish church of Santo Spirito sports a blank, instantly recognizable facade that has become something of an icon for the area of Florence known as... Read More

The Cimitero Acattolico (Non-Catholic Cemetery), also known as the Protestant Cemetery, is home to one of the largest collections of notable graves in... Read More

For a fraying-at-the-edges window into that exalted era of the 19th-century grand tour, pop into Sorrento’s “Foreigner’s Club”... Read More

Reserve a tour of a privately owned palazzo through well-connected cultural association Città Nascosta, and you may get to meet the owner and try... Read More

Years as agent: 21. Other specialty: Italian countryside. Consulting fee: From $300. clareseyer@yahoo.com Read More

Multi-tasking travelers on can freshen up their laundry while on layover at Clean Life Dry Cleaning in the arrivals terminal Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino... Read More

The best way to enjoy the precipitous and beautiful Amalfi Drive is to avoid the hair-raising hassle of driving it yourself and instead take the public... Read More

Donated to the state by Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi in 1969, this 144-piece collection contains seminal paintings, sculptures, and ceramics from... Read More

Off the SP486 highway, a small sign for the museum points left, down a long driveway to what looks like a dairy farm. Owned by retired Italian business... Read More

Though there may no longer be gladiators and staged naval battles at Rome’s iconic Colosseum, it’s still a great hive of activity in central... Read More

To teach travelers about the ecological challenges facing the city, the sustainable-tourism organization organizes guided walking tours, where you&rsquo... Read More

Named one of the top European culinary vacations by the United Kingdom’s Observer newspaper, Casa Ombuto's cooking courses are held in two Tuscan... Read More

On the grounds of the 800-year-old estate you'll find Etruscan ruins dating to 600 B.C., a 12th-century fortress, a Gothic chapel, and an amazing... Read More

While waiting for graduate school to begin in 1980, Giambattista Cilia’s father gave him and two friends a few tons of nero d’avola grapes... Read More

On a remarkable bluff overlooking the sea, this enormous, ancient walled town is not to be missed. The architecture incorporates huge stones that have... Read More

While admittedly the single most impressive Roman structure in Tuscany is the theater of Fiesole 5 miles north of Florence that’s still in use today,... Read More

Moderate and challenging walks (and a few small-ship cruises) in 80 destinations around the world with a roster of insider guides, such as Morocco... Read More

This church and convent in the Centro Storico neighborhood of Rome is not for the faint of heart. Although the 17th-century church contains a reputed... Read More

Under the tutelage of chefs Elena Mattei and Lapo Magni—a mother-and-son team— you’ll learn to cook the sorts of dishes that Tuscan grandmas have been... Read More

Okay, get out your wallets! You’ll be thankful that you did. On a bank of the Arno River adjacent to the Ponte Vecchio is Davide Cerasi, specializing in... Read More

De Bondt concocts award-winning chocolates with everything from rose oil to fennel plus gives tasting tours. Read More

This artisanal chocolate shop near the Arno River in Pisa offers an array of luxurious chocolates, truffles, nut clusters, chocolate bars, and other... Read More

Located within Riccardo Barthel's interior design emporium, Desinare is more than just a cooking school. You can come here to learn how to make hand... Read More

Located in the countryside of southwest Sicilily, this Menfi winery is the largest of the Planeta family’s six. Approximately 300 acres of... Read More

During periods of acqua alta (high water), opt for a pair of stylish high-heeled rain boots in splashy red. Read More

The only airport outlets for this über-chic Italian fashion label are in Rome, so if you missed the dazzling main outlet on Via Condotti, head to... Read More

Sienese fashion tends to be less flamboyant than that of Florence, leaning toward a timeless elegance. So the owners of Dolci Trame, Elisabetta Terli... Read More

Dried fruits, truffles, 80 kinds of spices, and 100 varieties of chocolate fill the shelves at the best grocery store in town. Read More

Located on Via Camerelle, the most fashionable shopping street on the island, this upscale clothing store showcases the work of world-renowned design... Read More

Home of the Shroud of Turin. Read More

An absolute must. This magnificent, much-photographed cathedral complex includes a majestic dome, a freestanding graceful bell tower and a spectacularly... Read More

This is a twofer. Not only does a visit here let you see the enormous cathedral, made from slabs of sensuously pale marble set in an open green field... Read More

A marvel of alternating layers of pale and dark green marble, this cathedral has a façade—covered with opulent carvings and figures—that is worth its... Read More

The Romanesque cathedral features several examples of Sorrento's traditional craft of intarsio, or inlaid woodwork. There are also marble tombs and some... Read More

This is an international company that coddles you through a six-day, five-night bike tour of the most gorgeous parts of Tuscany. The level is active,... Read More

Crammed with Slow Food–sanctioned comestibles and various dining counters, this massive food bazaar in nearby Lingotto makes Whole Foods look like... Read More

You’ll amaze your friends at your next dinner party if you’ve spent a session with the chefs at Ecco La Cucina. The classes offered are either single... Read More

The best antiquities collection outside Cairo. Read More

With the possibility to offer custom designed vacations that may include any or all of the following services: qualified staff and full-service... Read More

The glowing turquoise waters in the half-submerged Grotta dello Smeraldo, along the coastal road between Praiano and Amalfi, don’t quite compare... Read More

The village's most upscale boutique is in a small space opposite Le Sirenuse hotel. Must-buys include colorful leather ballerina shoes by Porselli,... Read More

Onne of the Piedmont's most impressive enotecas: a long, vaulted brick chamber in a grand, turreted castle where sommeliers in black tie and long black... Read More

Beneath the unassuming storefront are block-long subterranean caves filled with unexpected finds, such as 1970’s California Cabernets. The vaults... Read More

Local artist Daniela Neri sells jewelry made from native sea salt, resin, and coral. Read More

EUR: Via Cristoforo Colombo at Piazza Guglielmo Marconi and surroundings.... Read More

Yacht and villa owners come to the 1970's-style Excelsior for the town's signature cocktail: a mix of pineapple, gin, and curaçao. But the bar is... Read More

Coffee in Italy (and the culture that surrounds it) is a completely different animal than what you’re used to back home (e.g., Starbucks). When in... Read More

Okay, so this is no cerebral event but colorful and noisy and fun. Dating back centuries of Easter Sunday mornings, a street procession of flag throwers... Read More

Years as agent: 35. Other specialties: Italy, the Iberian Peninsula. Consulting fee: From $350. tor@jensenworldtravel.com Read More

The oldest paper producer in Europe (founded in 1264), Fabriano not only invented the watermark, but also supplied artists like Michelangelo, Raphael,... Read More

The pre-Romanesque Farneta Abbey now doubles as a chic spot for weddings and a museum showcasing the wealth of local Roman-era artifacts from the church... Read More

Owner Francesco Antano organizes tastings by appointment amid metal and wooden barrels in a modern farmhouse cellar. The Sagrantino Colleallodole red is... Read More

The shop makes Tuscany's most exclusive, sought-after cheeses. Read More

Strips of sand—about 4 miles long each—and sand dunes and pine forests that connect the mainland to the Argentario Peninsula. Partially wild, with some... Read More

Ferrari-philes will find all manner of merchandise here related to their favorite performance autos. The shop carries everything from logo-emblazoned... Read More

The ancient Etruscan city of Arezzo is home to fabulous monuments and art museums; it’s also where this astounding flea market is held on the first... Read More

This store is a unique take on fashion: a combination of quality, elegance, and ethics. They feature rising designers, and dedicated craftsmen of small... Read More

To fill your eyes with wonder made by man, there is simply no Tuscan place like Florence.  It is of course in almost every church and palazzo you... Read More

The school runs an all-year drawing program and, in July, month-long courses taught in English, including Anatomy and the Figure: Drawing in the... Read More

Housed in a former industrial space dating back to 1886, Hangar Bicocca is now a spectacular exhibition space for contemporary art. The shows change... Read More

Created in 2006, the FPS has hosted a clutch of exhibitions that have earned international praise; 2010’s Bronzino retrospective—the most... Read More

Inaugurated in 2015, this multi-building complex on the site of a former distillery presents contemporary artworks from the famous fashion brand's... Read More

There's the new contemporary art _museum, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, a former industrial space that is evolving into Turin's version of the... Read More

On a 12-day Italian voyage on Oceania’s Regatta, you can sample bottles in Rome and Sicily and spend a day at Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, a 240... Read More

Located in the city's Diladdarno art district, the photography and video gallery, showcases cutting-edge talent such as Israeli street-art photographer... Read More

Instead of the basilica on San Marco, head for a far newer landmark: the showroom architect Scarpa created for the Olivetti company in 1957. Diagonally... Read More

At the foot of the Apuan Alps, lies Tuscany’s most famous beach town. Its stellar visitors go back to Thomas Mann, Henry Moore, and Visconti. Its villas... Read More

Siena’s large outdoor market runs every Wednesday outside the city’s massive fortress, Fortezza Medicea. You can find well-priced designer clothes here,... Read More

Legendary designer Mariano Fortuny assigned the colors for his fabrics’ poetic names: “Rembrandt rust straw and silvery gold,” &ldquo... Read More

Established in 1999, this minimalist Japanese-Italian bar at the Ferragamo’s Gallery Hotel Art is still the meeting point for Florence’s... Read More

The gallery displays contemporary artisanas' work. Read More

American Carole Biagiotti represents the likes of Italian street painter Ericailcane—known for his whimsical fauna-themed paintings and drawings. Read More

The world's greatest haul of Renaissance painting is housed in the ex-offices of the Medici family, a vast U-shaped building located on the Arno. In... Read More

The people who wait in line for hours to get into this gallery are here to see one thing and one thing only; Michelangelo's celebrated David, the world... Read More

Michelangelo’s Slaves, which seem to be trying to erupt form the coarse marble encasing them, are themselves worth a visit here. But of course, his... Read More

This large, privately owned art collection is housed in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. The estate includes works from Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Tiziano, and... Read More

This contemporary gallery showcases Tuscan artist Sandro Chia and avant-garde duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Read More

The museum contains Paintings by Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca. Read More

Houses most of the Savoys' collection of paintings. Read More

Opened in 1867 and recently refurbished thanks to grants from fashion houses Prada and Versace, the Galleria is famous for being one of the world's... Read More

Famous for its luxurious cotton socks in bright, multicolored stripes, this Italian label also makes similarly vibrant clothes and accessories for men,... Read More

The Garden of Orange Trees (Giardino degli Aranci) by the Santa Sabina church pays homage to the namesake Spanish tree. The first orange tree... Read More

Since 1909, Villa Aurelia has been the property of the American Academy in Rome. In 2002, the property reopened with much fanfare. Positioned on the... Read More

Here, tucked under the arid Lepini Hills, the ruins of a medieval town (razed by civil war in 1382) were gradually transformed over the course of the... Read More

Really a fortress, this sprawling 11th-century ridge-top ruin, set among dark hills, will ignite the imagination. It will have to, for there is not much... Read More

The place in Recco for outstanding gelato. Read More

Gracchi looks spare—clinical even. But a just-delivered crate of wild strawberries fragrantly reassures you. So does Gracchi’s pistachio... Read More

Best flavors: ginger, pumpkin, and saffron. Read More

Located between Sorrento and Naples, this popular latteria with a 1960's looking interior makes and sells cheese, gelato ice cream, and desserts. The... Read More

You’ll see fashionable people all over town—punky Japanese tourists to preppy Roman men—carrying these shopping bags. Italy doesn... Read More

You’ll see fashionable people all over town—punky Japanese tourists to preppy Roman men—carrying these shopping bags. Italy doesn... Read More

The inattentive observer might dismiss this minimalist white apparel store near the Duomo as just another fashion boutique. Fashion folk know that this... Read More

Located in Old Rome, just a short stroll from the Gothic, Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Piazza della Minerva, this little shop sells... Read More

Since its reopening in 2005 following 50 years of neglect, the 10-acre Gardens of the Villa Bardini in the Oltrarno have become a favorite with... Read More

A hidden gem of a garden, this green oasis stretches up the steep hill behind Via dei Bardi toward the old city walls and the Belvedere Fort. Views from... Read More

Set in the San Martino quarter of Pisa, this garden inside the walls of a medieval fortress provides a wonderful break from more touristy activities in... Read More

The downtown location of Gilda is considered among the best nightclubs in the city. Like many competitors, the owners of Gilda open a beachside version... Read More

Rome’s oldest ice cream parlor, Giolitti has a history dating back to 1890, when dairy farmers Giuseppe and Bernadina Giolitti opened a small... Read More

The contemporary art dealer's eponymous gallery. Read More

Slip your feet into a custom pair of shoes by avant-garde shoemaker Giovanna Zanella. Her wild designs run the gamut from lace-up boots in green and... Read More

Venture to sculptor Antonio Canova’s former home and the adjacent museum, partially designed by Scarpa, known as the Gipsoteca. The building... Read More

The weaving studio is located in a small workshop in Perugia's San Francesco delle Donne, a deconsecrated 13th-century church. Founded by Giuditta... Read More

Milliner Giuliana Longo has been creating her signature hats in her workshop since 1968. Pick up a brightly colored beret made of rabbit fur and felt. Read More

Warning! If you have a shoe fetish, do not go within a mile of Goccia Shoes. If you do, its vortex will suck you in, the quality and design of their... Read More

Treat yourself and stay overnight at Castello Ripa D’Orcia (very reasonable with good food) and start an unforgettable hike from here. From Ripa D’Orcia... Read More

The unification of Italy and fall of the Vatican political state reinstated the civil rights of the Jewish people of Rome, and they celebrated with the... Read More

In 2011 the House of Gucci, one of the most globally successful Italian luxury fashion brands, decided to celebrate its 90th birthday by opening a... Read More

The 49-acre gardens just three miles west of Ventimiglia on the French- Italian border was built by Thomas Hanbury, a wealthy Englishman who made his... Read More

An organic Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy (a tour finishes with a sampling of cheeses). Read More

The Scene: Home-cooked meals in Italy are a holy grail for any food-obsessed traveler, and thanks to Egeria Di Nallo, a sociology professor from Bologna... Read More

A company started ten years ago by passionate bike racer Marco Vignoli, I Bike Tuscany offers tours around Florence and the Tuscan hillside but with a... Read More

This wine store's deep selection of books (in many languages) on Piedmontese wine and food complements a cellar of excellent, hard-to-find bottles. Read More

This charming enoteca is presided over by a bookish couple and their cat, that offers all the best labels of Barolo and the better vintages. Read More

Make yourself at home at this lively bar where the spirited barkeeps Paola and Lori bring out glasses of Prosecco. Read More

Choose from over 450 wines and from a seemingly endless selection of whiskies to taste at the restored Renaissance building. The wine bar takes its name... Read More

Sorrentinos and tourists rub shoulders at the blue-and-green Bisazza-tiled bar on the main piazza. Join them for aperitifs (sparkling white wine; fresh... Read More

San Crispino gelato—considered by many locals to be the best in Rome—is made and served under exacting conditions. The company uses only all... Read More

This double-masted 1926 sailing vessel, is available for small groups. Read More

Twice each summer, July 2nd and August 16th, Siena undergoes a miraculous transformation. The town is festooned in medieval splendor of the seventeen... Read More

Started in 1982, this interior design shop takes its namesake from owner Ilaria Miani, an Italian interior designer who is known for her proficiency in... Read More

Artists pontificate over the latest exhibits while lounging on cream linen sofas at this contemporary gallery-cafe. During "spritz hour" (6 to 9 p.m.),... Read More

The tour operator organizes cooking excursions in the Calabrian coastal town of Tropea. Spend six days in Capo Vaticano, Monte Porro, Pizzo Calabro, and... Read More

Venice is swarming with classical music performances in venerable old buildings, but Interpreti Veneziani—founded in 1987—is head and shoulders above... Read More

Perhaps the finest example of 17th-century Italian Baroque garden art. When seen from the town of Stresa, the island looks like a giant ship: the... Read More

This sparsely inhabited island, population 1,400, is a place of easy day hikes with breathtaking views, punctuated by good eating. Isola del Giglio ... Read More

One of Tuscany’s true hidden treasures, this stupendous granite island off the Tuscan coast is home to just a handful of wine growers. They produce... Read More

It's been said that Janiculum Hill served as the center of the cult of the god Janus. Because of the hill’s advantageous position, the cult&rsquo... Read More

A peek in the window reveals light pink walls, soft lighting, and minimal decor because at Josephine de Huertas & Co., it’s all about the... Read More

The shop features modern glassware along with rare vintage finds, such as 1940’s glass vases by Carlo Scarpa. Read More

Rome's hippest nightclubs are located among the reclaimed industrial buildings in Testaccio. As of late, this sleek dance club is the favorite of the... Read More

On any given day, this renowned cobbler’s shop along a sloping, stone lane in the village of Positano on the Amalfi Coast stands ready to create... Read More

This fancy foods market in the center of Lucca stocks many local, high-quality cooking ingredients at affordable prices. You can bring back herbs and... Read More

Stock up on picnic supplies including cured tuna bresaola, then head out to Cala Rossa, a secluded cove framed by white, craggy cliffs. Read More

Select a bottle of syrupy black vinegar—make sure it’s labeled tradizionale, which means it’s made from aged grape must with no added... Read More

This modern Italian bookstore chain is probably the closest you’ll find to the expansive, brightly lit Borders (R.I.P.) experience in Tuscany. There are... Read More

Italian brands from Gucci to Pucci tout their latest collections of beach, cruise, and yachting wear in the tiny boutiques lining Portofino's Piazza... Read More

The century-old shop has unveiled a futuristic Design Supermarket with a whimsical collection of stylish tech toys, tableware, and more by the likes of... Read More

An Italian department store (with roots in Milan and an outpost in Florence), La Rinascente is Florence’s answer to Macy’s, where you can find... Read More

A flower shop on a side street in San Niccolo (the artisan's quarter of the Oltrarno), La Rosa Canina ("the dog rose") is run by a brother-sister team... Read More

On the edge of Parco Sempione, La Triennale is dedicated to showing contemporary art and design. The focus of the exhibitions include such topics as... Read More

Markets don't get more pungent and raucous than Palermo's labyrinth of narrow passageways piled with produce. Feisty matrons haggle with vendors in... Read More

Just a few blocks from the Pantheon in a fabulously secluded piazza, this indoor/outdoor lounge bar is one of the most congenial places for a drink in... Read More

Gelato aficionados can find some of Sicily’s most popular in a small kiosk outside the Giadini Inglese in Piazza Gentili. Everything is created... Read More

Stark and haunting, this enormous landscape sculpture is possibly the most dramatic and silent in all of Tuscany. From Siena, take a quick road to... Read More

An oarlock might not be at the top of your shopping list, but step inside this woodworking shop and you’re likely to change your mind. Designer... Read More

Vintage aficionados gravitate to Le Gallinelle, which sells a very broad selection of vintage clothing, including antique kimonos, seventies evening... Read More

Visit the "Florence of the Baroque," the lovely city of Lecce; its unique buildings—many with wild sculptures—are filled with workshops... Read More

Tucked away on a steep street in the medieval hill town of Montepulciano, Legatoria Koine specializes in unique handmade leather-bound journals, diaries... Read More

The owners of the 62-year-old workshop create their unique handmade papers using a collection of 300 antique Asian printing blocks. The duo specializes... Read More

This cheerful little bookshop off the Sieve River in Pontassieve—a small town outside of Florence—features a mix of contemporary literature, most of it... Read More

This gorgeous bookshop is nestled in a gorgeous location: right in Siena’s Piazza del Campo. The historic two-story space offers an English books... Read More

A swimming beach run by the same proprietors as A Casa tu Martinu. Read More

Sorrento’s main pedestrian street is lined with several shops handing out free samples of the Amalfi Coast’s famous sugary limoncello (lemon... Read More

Polka-dot-handled cutlery, 1950's-style oil and vinegar cruets, and glass beakers in turquoise, yellow, and pink are just a few of the whimsical pieces... Read More

Actor Anthony Hopkins once described Loretta Caponi as "the finest store in all of Italy," and it’s hard to disagree. Located in the flower... Read More

What began during the difficult post-World War II period as a way for fisherman Salvatore Lucibello to supplement his income is now a lucrative business... Read More

Since 1688, every 16th and 17th of June, Pisa stops and celebrates. The 16th is the eve of the city’s patron saint San Ranieri. Through the night, on... Read More

The park consists of seven mostly uninhabited islands, and is destination No. 1 for Sardinian vacationers. Read More

Upcoming Italian housewares designers showcase a variety of modern pieces—like streamlined, blown-glass bottles—in this chic white-and-wood... Read More

Made entirely in Italy, Malo is all about cashmere. This high-end brand was created in 1972 in Florence, and the original offices are still located... Read More

The boutique deals in delciate glassware. Read More

One-day market and culinary tours of Florence with Tuscan-food expert Faith Willinger. Read More

Founded by Italian designer Consuelo Castiglioni and her husband Gianni in 1994, this avant-garde clothing company now has almost 100 stores in fashion... Read More

For contemporary pieces by Salerno-born, London-trained artist Mariella Siano. Don't miss her spherical lamps with light filtering through pinholes and... Read More

The best women’s shoe stores in Rome are not the big-name boutiques on Via Condotti, but the mid-range, multilabel shops like this tiny store near... Read More

One of Rome’s premier destinations for bargain hunting, MAS (Magazzino allo Statuto) is a five-story shop on the north side of Piazza... Read More

A long neglected charmer close to the sea, Massa Marittima features mysterious Etruscan ruins and the esteemed wine district of Bolgheri. The central... Read More

Years as agent: 33. Specialties: Adventure, Spa, Hiking, Culinary. Consulting fee: From $100. Read More

This exceptional publisher of design books runs a shop and art gallery. Look for titles by Enzo Mari and Bruno Munari. Read More

One of the more charming examples of Rome’s lesser-known, world-class sights is this monumental complex of a late imperial burial chamber, an... Read More

On the banks of the Arno River, leather tanners have been plying their trade since the 13th century. To tan their leather, they used to soak the skins... Read More

Metaponto has sandy, uncrowded beaches and a collection of lidos. An ancient Greek settlement, it was a resting spot for Spartacus and Pythagoras. Read More

To avoid one of Italy’s most dangerous, curvy, congested roads along the jagged Amalfi coastline during the summer months, this regularly... Read More

The unpretentious boutique sells moccasins, ballet slippers, and bejeweled sandals crafted by Tuscan artisans from original thirties, forties, and... Read More

Located 30 miles outside downtown, the Miraggio Club, or Club Mirage, is a beachside escape for families to enjoy outdoor activities like swimming pools... Read More

A remote convent with a cloistered garden, where 75 Trappist nuns make natural wines under the guidance of Giampiero Bea. Sample the Coenobium Rusticum,... Read More

This is a country of wide, low hills and long, beautiful views. From our house, we see eleven layers of hills misting toward the sea. The region... Read More

When I first tasted Brunello di Montalcino, this region’s famous varietal, 30 years ago, I thought, “Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found you!”... Read More

Montechiello is a respite for the soul, a secluded, ultra-romantic version of Pienza, and a perfectly restored village in a fifteenth-century landscape.... Read More

This winding medieval hill town is one of the most dramatic seen from any direction—yet the best view is from the very top. Its lovely Piazza Grande is... Read More

Grown mostly in clay, the Sangiovese grapes of this medieval hill town yield a robust, signature wine—Vino Nobile di Montepulciano—that’s perfect with... Read More

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of Tuscany’s oldest wines dating back centuries. Vino Orcia is a fledgling appellation with interesting blends but... Read More

This vast fortressed village sits among the rolling hills of Siena. Its massive walls, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, are dotted with... Read More

The Museum of Cultures, opened in 2014 in the vibrant Tortona area, has an interdisciplinary focus on the cultures of the world, with shows devoted to... Read More

Senegal-born Moulaye Niang is the city’s first African glassmaker. His store sells contemporary jewelry that uses bright colors from his homeland.... Read More

When you've had your fill of frescoes, head over to the excellent Archaeological Museum to discover more abut Florence before the Medicis. The exhibits... Read More

The museum houses ancient artifacts, including the Coppa di Nestore (mentioned in Homer's Iliad), from the ancient Greek settlement of Pithecusae. Read More

The 18th-century villa on the narrow Via San Nicola houses a museum that highlights even more woodwork. The gift shop sells high-end housewares and... Read More

Housed in the restored 16th-century orangery of Villa Borghese, the Museo Carlo Bilotti features a 22-piece collection donated by the eponymous... Read More

Frescoes depicting the life of Saint Francis and others by Renaissance artist Benozzo Gozzoli, a pupil of Fra Angelico, fill this deconsecrated church. Read More

Start with these three museums in Siena; all three contain early works that predate Florence’s Renaissance. Among them are Duccio’s magnificent Maesta;... Read More

Wander round the verdant pathways of the open-air sculpture park on the hillside above the port; it's home to works by more than 100 contemporary... Read More

Florence's Cathedral Works Museum moved to magnificent new premises in November 2015, with double the floor space and a strikingly contemporary new look... Read More

The museum has a collection of paintings by Pietro Longhi, is a Modernist reprieve from the city’s Gothic architecture. In the 1960’s, the Veneto-based... Read More

Housed in the 17th-century Villa Bardini, this fashion museum showcases the innovative designs of world-renowned dressmaker Robert Capucci. After... Read More

Michelangelo’s Pietà, which he carved at the age of 80, is the showstopper here; a more somber highlight is Donatello’s heartrending Mary Magdalene,... Read More

The Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO) is a contemporary art museum comprised of two separate locations. The original museum is housed in the... Read More

The museum runs tours of the Jewish Ghetto. You can visit three of the five area synagogues, each with its own character and design. Read More

Housed in the basement of Palazzo Spini Feroni—the grand, ramparted palace where Salvatore Ferragamo first set up shop and where the Ferragamo family... Read More

Inside, racing lanes map the floor, where a half-dozen Formula One car sit side by side - small, sleek automobiles that resemble spaceships out of Star... Read More

In a former church, the museum houses 183 sculptures by mid-20th-century Tuscan artist Marino Marini, famous for stylized equestrian works. Read More

One of Florence's most important museums yet surprisingly under-appreciated, the Bargello houses one of the world's great collections of Florentine... Read More

The museum Abstract Expressionist sculptures by Costantino Nivola. Read More

The painter Fra (or Beato) Angelico lived and worked at the Friary of San Marco between 1436 and 1445, a period in which he created some of the most... Read More

Similar to the Frick collection in New York City, Museo Stibbert is the acclaimed personal collection of Frederick Stibbert, which was donated to the... Read More

Venture out to see Lorenzo Lotto's Annunciation at the small Colloredo-Mels museum in the historical center of town. Read More

Housed in a former 15th-century convent, this museum contains the largest collection of frescoes by Fra Angelico, a Dominican monk whose religious works... Read More

The displays at this tiny exhibit set out to prove that there is a place between heaven and hell. Among the items of "proof": fingerprints burned into a... Read More

A perennial stalwart of the coast’s quiet nightlife scene, this cavelike dance club with occasional live acts lies at the far end of Positano... Read More

For a healthy pick-me-up, head to My Juice in the MyChef food court at Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Airport in Rome. The focus here is on... Read More

The popular spot features a bottle-stacked bar, illuminated by Ingo Maurer lights, and outdoor chairs that overlook the Grand Canal. Read More

Don't miss the museum's collection of prized Baroque paintings. Read More

The museum houses an impressive collection of African and Asian art. Read More

Originally commissioned as a synagogue to celebrate the emancipation of non-Catholic religions under Victor Emmanuel II, the Mole eventually grew too... Read More

If the Palazzo Esposizioni is lots of things to a wide audience, the Museum for the Art of the Twenty-First Century, which opened in the summer of 2010,... Read More

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is one of five branch locations for the National Roman Museum, an incredible collection of Ancient Roman art. The palazzo's... Read More

Boat tours of the caves near Santa Maria di Leuca. Read More

To rent a costume for the February Carnevale, come here; The shop carries more than 10,000 period pieces. Read More

Officina Della Pelle (a recent name change from Legatoria D’Arte) began 40 years ago by Antonio Capuozzo, a binder of precious antique volumes for the... Read More

Just a 25-minute local train ride outside of Rome toward the coast is Ostia Antica, ancient Rome's port city. From the 4th century BC to the 5th century... Read More

The streets leading to the Rialto Bridge are lined with vendors selling wooden toys, shoes, bags, and hats. Best buys include the multihued furlane ... Read More

Along the western coast of Italy in the Campania countryside stand the remains of this ancient Greek colony. Relatively uncommercialized, the site... Read More

A cool new gallery with works by emerging contemporary artists. Read More

Brave the lines (or, better, book ahead) for the Doge's Palace, La Serenissima's most iconic building and the Republic of Venice's seat of power from... Read More

The museum has an incredible 18th-century clothing collection that includes the fur-trimmed crimson brocade tunics once worn by city councilmen. Read More

A hydrangea-scented refuge abutting the walls, and the most geometrically lovely spot in Lucca, a copse of bamboo reaching up to the San Frediano bell... Read More

Recent renovations at this sprawling Renaissance-Mannerist palazzo have opened up archives, grottoes, and sights that had been closed years. Among the... Read More

Inside a colonnaded 16th-century palace, you'll find Mannerist frescoes by Giulio Romano, a pupil of Raphael's. Read More

Dedicated to all the gods by Marcus Agrippa in 27 B.C., the iconic Pantheon in Rome's Centro Storico has twice burned and been rebuilt before assuming... Read More

This bakery with Art Nouveau murals serves a delicious crescente (Parmesan-topped focaccia). Read More

Eight centuries ago, Amalfi was home to the world’s best papermaking craftsmen, and the trade is slowly being revived in the shops along Valle dei... Read More

Tons of English-language titles—both new and used, fiction and nonfiction—are offered at this book exchange in Florence. It’s an especially great place... Read More

Located in the Olympic Village, the Parco della Musica (Music Park) is the largest and most visited concert facility in Europe. Designed by world... Read More

South of the Aurelian Walls, the traditional boundaries of Rome, begins one of the oldest and most important roads in the world: the Appian Way. Begun... Read More

Venetian pasticcerie, or cake shops, are legendary, and Didovich is one of the best—a family-owned bakery still run by the 70-something founder, Italo.... Read More

For 200 years, Pasticceria il Boccione has been baking kosher treats for Rome’s Jewish community. Its repertoire (and customer service) is limited... Read More

You'll feel like a Guggenheim as you take in the heiress's vast inventory of paintings and sculptures while wandering through her former palazzo on the... Read More

The Site: Today a busy traffic circle, the piazza centers on Bernini's masterpiece fountain of a Triton (merman) spouting water into the air from a... Read More

The Site: This long oval piazza—owing its shape to the ancient Stadium of Domitian, formerly on this spot, and often flooded in the 19th century... Read More

"The drawing room of Europe" is how Napoleon is said to have described Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark's Square. Today, make that the drawing room of the... Read More

The Site: The piazza before St. Peter's is a perfect ellipse; stand on one of the foci (marked red circles between each fountain and the central obelisk... Read More

For a quieter outdoor shopping experience in Florence, pop over to the Piazza Santo Spirito, where vendors set up shop each morning to sell local... Read More

For a designer shopping fix, stroll down the streets around the quaint Piazza Umberto I. You'll find capsule collections by top Italian designers, from... Read More

Sorrento's best address for locally made limoncello (lemon liqueur) is in a purple-and-green-walled store that also sells artisan-made products, like... Read More

Pienza is the ideal city. Commissioned by Pope Pius II—a humanist poet of the fifteenth century—as the epitome of Renaissance town planning, it’s set in... Read More

Situated in the heart of the charming, bohemian Brera neighborhood, in a beautiful 17th century building alongside the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy... Read More

The museum display ceramics from the 1500's to the present, including 1900's majolicas of Pesaro's Ferruccio Mengaroni. Read More

One of Tuscany’s most popular zoos, this attraction in the city of Pistoia is located outside of Florence and great for kids of all ages. All manner of... Read More

Start with the Galleria Palatina. If you can still remember your name after it, move on; you’ll find Titian’s sultry The Concert and sensuous Mary... Read More

Visitors to the Planeta Winery in Menfi do not just come for the wide range of classic Sicilian vintages like grecanico, moscato di noto, and frappato,... Read More

In the hip Diladdarno arts district, this long-established gallery has impressive rotating shows that include Patti Smith and David LaChapelle. Read More

Set among hundreds of acres of vineyards, olive groves, and lakes, this ninth-century castle has been sensitively restored. It’s modest in size, perfect... Read More

Where: Rio di Palazzo, Venice, steps from Piazza San Marco.... Read More

This imposing tenth-century castle looms over the medieval town of Poppi. It has perfectly preserved dungeons, and a unique library housing 25,000... Read More

This spectacular ruined city is one of the only Etruscan sites that overlooks the sea. Thought to have once been a major hub of metalworking in the... Read More

Let’s start with this ancient site of the Etruscans—and even pre-Etruscans—found behind a beautiful promontory off the Tuscan coast. It would be a... Read More