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Florence
Overview
Introduction
Florence, Italy, is one of the most beautiful cities in the worldand for many visitors, it is the most splendid. While travel to the city usually centers on its attractions, including museums, palaces and churches that overflow with masterful paintings and sculpture, it is not limited to those destinations. Visitors encounter the spirits of da Vinci, Dante, Boccaccio, Michelangelo and the Medicis, and the days of the Renaissance seem close at hand. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence combines unequaled beauty with centuries of history in a heady mix. Visitors' first glimpse of the Duomo, set incongruously in the midst of streaming traffic, is likely to take their breath away. Florence is essentially a proud, provincial town, with a conservative mentality yet very liberal Florence Building On Bridge politics. Visitors can sense that its citizens pay a price for living in what has become, essentially, an open-air museum. Florentinesespecially those who deal with masses of tourists dailycan be haughty and standoffish toward visitors. But there are many who will offer visitors a warm smile and a helpful gesture. The vitality of this small city, the robustness of its cuisine, the enduring beauty of its architecture and the richness of its treasures cannot fail to educate, exhilarate and dazzle those who visit Florence.

Highlights
SightsThe Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) and its dome; Battistero di San Giovanni (the Baptistery) and its intricate doors; Palazzo Pitti; Ponte Vecchio; Basilica di San Miniato al Monte with the splendid view from the Piazzale Michelangelo; the tomb sculptures by Michelangelo at the Cappelle Medicee; the view of downtown from the rooftop of The Continentale hotel. MuseumsDavid and Michelangelo's other sculptures at the Galleria dell'Accademia; the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (with the original door panels of the Baptistery); the Museo Nazionale del Bargello (with works by Cellini, Donatello and Michelangelo); the Uffizi Gallery; the Galleria Palatina and Royal Apartments in the Pitti Palace. Memorable MealsA massive, rare bistecca alla fiorentina at Il Latini; fritto del convento (Florentine chicken and vegetables lightly fried) at the superb Il Francescano in the shadow of Santa Croce's convent; any of the restaurants on Piazza Santo Spirito. Late NightA stroll around Ponte Vecchio, with the lights reflected in the Arno; jazz at the Jazz Club; hot beats and top DJs at YAB. WalksA leisurely stroll along the terraced paths of Boboli Gardens; walking through Cascine Park and its enormous Tuesday market; a sunset stroll from Piazzale Michelangelo to Ponte Vecchio; exploring the Piazza Duomo pedestrian-only zone. Especially for KidsThe Museo Stibbert and its park; the Gozzoli fresco in the Cappella dei Magi in Palazzo Medici-Riccardi; the Duomo's bell tower and dome; Galileo's telescope in the Museo Galileo (formerly Museo della Storia delle Scienze).

Geography
The historic city center of Florence, the Centro Storico, is where you'll find most of the city's monuments and attractions. The area was once encircled by medieval city walls. In the 1860s, when Florence was briefly capital of the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, the walls were replaced by large boulevards that today form a ring road (viali di circonvallazione) around the old city. The city falls naturally into two

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher sections: the Duomo side of the Arno River, called di qua d'Arno, andacross the riverthe Oltrarno side. (Oltrarno means "beyond the Arno.") On the Duomo side, where visitors usually spend most of their time, Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo itself are grand, historic centers of religious and political power. The Oltrarno has its share of monuments such as the Palazzo Pitti and the churches of Santo Spirito and Santa Maria del Carmine, but it is less imposing and can feel more accessible. The last bastion of old Florentine popular culture is in the Oltrarno: The San Frediano neighborhood is still known for its artisans who handcraft shoes, restore furniture and practice goldsmithing, although their workshops are slowly disappearing. A note about Florentine addresses: A street number such as 36/R means "36 red." All storefront commercial properties are marked with red street numbers (the coloring is usually worn off, making them simply stone-colored); residences have black numbers (sometimes they may look blue). Don't be surprised if the sequence of numbers is not continuous between the two colors: You may have 5/R followed immediately by 27/B. If there's no letter designation, the address is probably in the black sequence.

History
Julius Caesar established Florentia, the "flourishing one," in 59 BC as a military post along the banks of the Arno River, and Roman walls embraced what is now the city center. The city did not truly come into its own until the 12th and 13th centuries, becoming an independent republic in 1198. In this period, a few merchant and banking families began to distinguish themselves in the world market, establishing guilds and bringing international commerce to the city. The florin, named after the city, became a standard unit of currency in Europe. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the Guelphs (supporters of the pope) and the Ghibellines (upholders of the Holy Roman Emperor) battled each other. After these factions faded into history, the Medici family of bankers ruled the city. Their courts employed artists, designers, architects, artisans, musicians and poets, fostering an explosion of artistic production that has shaped the city to this day. Their dynasty lasted, on and off, until 1737, when Florence came under the rule of Maria Theresa of Austria. At this time, a pact was drawn up in Vienna to guarantee the longevity and integrity of the Florentine artistic patrimony. The masterpieces of the Austrian crown and the private collections of the Medici family were handed over to the Tuscan government. The agreement stipulated that no work of art could be taken from the enormous collection. It also emphasized that the priceless works would be showcased to attract visitors to the region. Italy itself was unified in 1860, and Florence became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy from 1865 to 1870. (Rome later became capital of the Republic of Italy.) The city had several setbacks in the 20th century: During World War II, all the bridges were blown up except the Ponte Vecchio, and many buildings along the river were destroyed. In 1966, a particularly devastating flood swept through the city, causing an incredible amount of damage to buildings and artworks. (You can still find markers throughout the city that indicate the water level that day.) More works were lost or seriously damaged in 1993 when a car bomb exploded in front of the Uffizi Gallery. After all three events, Florentines quickly rallied to restore the city and preserve its vital Renaissance legacy.

Potpourri
Although there is no shortage of torture museums in Tuscany, Florentines were the first people in the world to outlaw the death penalty through the reforms of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo in 1786. The great medieval poet Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy, bitterly complained about the "shameless" Florentine women who freely showed their bare breasts in public. Rest assured, they don't do that anymore. The "Stendhal Syndrome" (fainting from an overdose of art exposure) was first described by the French author Stendhal who experienced dizziness after visiting the church of Santa Croce. Florence is extremely popular with language students because Florentines are said to speak the purest Italian. The Uffizi is the busiest museum in Italy, with more than 1.5 million visitors per year. If you don't have a reservation, expect to wait many hours before you can enter. After Oscar Wilde was arrested and tried in the U.K., in 1895, many affluent gay and lesbian British intellectuals flocked to Florence to enjoy the tolerant lifestyle there.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher It is only mildly surprising that Florence was the birthplace of Pinocchio creator Carlo Lorenzini, also known as Carlo Collodi (but not in the Tuscan village from which he took his name). Another Florentine native was Realist painter John Singer Sargent, born to American parents in Florence in 1856. Florence's leather and its beef steak, the famous bistecca alla fiorentina, come from the Chianina cow, a huge, pure white animal with large, expressive brown eyes.

Hotel Overview
Because Florence is one of the most visited cities in Italy, advance booking is highly recommended. The center does have a good number of hotels, and they'll put you within walking distance of just about everything. Staying in the center of the city will obviously be the costliest option, but even Florence's suburbs are expensive. The hotels on the hillsides at the outskirts of the city are relaxing, but your trip into the city may be slowed by traffic. Note that most hotels in the center do not have parking areas, but instead have agreements with private garages that charge about 25 euros per day, on average.

See & Do
Sightseeing
Visitors rarely allot enough time for Florence, partly because until you've been there, it's difficult to comprehend how much there is to experience in the city. Any visit, brief or extended, should begin with the magnificent Duomo. Don't be content with admiring its stunning exterior: Go inside and gaze at the frescoes and take in the view from the top of the dome. Afterward, check out the exquisite detail of the famed bronze doors of the adjacent Baptistery. The striking Palazzo Vecchio on Piazza della Signoria still functions as city hall. Take a tour and learn about the palace's integral role in Florentine historyas well as the reason for its unusual trapezoidal dimensions. The most celebrated art museum in the city is the Uffizi Gallery, considered by many to be, along with the Louvre and El Prado, one of the most important museums in the world. The Uffizi has 13th- to 18th-century Italian and European masterworkspaintings by Botticelli, Hugo van der Goes, Titian, Rubens, Caravaggio, Raphael and Rembrandt, among others. The line at the Uffizi can get very long, so we strongly encourage advance reservations. Another fabulous art museum is the Bargello, with its impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance armor, furnishings and sculpture including Donatello's lion sculpture, the Marzocco, the symbol of Florence. The Accademia, near Piazza San Marco, is chiefly known for housing Michelangelo's David, although his many other sculptures there are worth the visit in their own right. Cross the Arno on the Ponte Vecchio, which has spanned the river since 1345. The bridge still has shops and rooms jutting out over the sidesa common feature in the Middle Ages, although few examples remain today. The Vasari Corridor, which runs above the bridge, links the Uffizi with the Palazzo Pitti. Sights on the other side of the Arno include the Palazzo Pitti, the archetype of all European royal residences and one of the best preserved, with beautifully decorated baroque interiors and the gorgeous Boboli Gardens on the hillside behind it. Be sure to see the Palazzo's Palatine Gallery, which contains 16th- and 17th-century paintings by Raphael, Titian, Veronese, Rubens and Van Dyck. The fully furnished Royal Apartments date back to the last kings of Italy. Don't confuse the Palazzo Pitti with the Medici Palace by Michelozzo on Via Cavour or the Medici Chapels, which are connected to the Church of San Lorenzobut both are also well worth a visit.

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Historic Sites
Basilica di San Miniato al Monte A five-minute walk from Piazzale Michelangelo in the Oltrarno takes you to the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte. One of the most beautiful examples of Romanesque churches in Italy, it offers a breathtaking view of Florence. The church contains a number of treasures, such as Spinello Aretino's 14th-century frescoes in the sacristy depicting scenes from the life of St. Benedict. During the siege of 1529 and 1530, Michelangelo designed the battlements that surround the property. Also, a number of notable people are buried there, among them Carlo Lorenzini, who wrote Pinocchio under the pen name Collodi.
Via del Monte alle Croci (also accessible from the travertine stairs on Viale Galileo Galilei, or take a 12 or 13 bus to the Piazzale Michelangelo and walk from there) Florence, Italy

Open in winter Monday-Saturday 8 am-noon and 3-6 pm, Sunday 3-6 pm; in summer daily 8 am-12:30 pm and 3-7 pm. Free. Battistero di San Giovanni There are few buildings in Florence older than the Baptistery of St. John, which is thought to Piazza San Giovanni date back to the sixth or seventh century. Its present look, however, stems from 11th- and 12thFlorence, Italy century renovations, and its monumental doors trace the development of Florentine sculpture from Gothic to Renaissance style. Examine the doors in an order that traces this development: Phone: 055-230-2885 Start with the south set (facing Via Calzaiuoli) designed by Andrea Pisano, and then move to http://www.operaduomo.firenze.it the north doors (facing Via de Martelli). Finally, examine the gilded east doors, which Michelangelo declared worthy of being the "Doors of Paradise," and that is how they are known. The work of Lorenzo Ghiberti (who also designed the north doors), the east doors represent a revolutionary introduction of perspective into relief sculpture. Those on the Baptistery are reproductionsthe originals are on display at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo to protect them from pollution and too much contact. Inside the Baptistery, the ceiling is covered in beautiful, Byzantine-style mosaics. Monday-Saturday 12:15-7 pm (first Saturday of the month 8:30 am-2 pm), Sunday and public holidays 8:30 am-2 pm. Easter Monday, 25 April and 1 May 8:30 am-7 pm. 1 and 2 December 8:30 am-6:30 pm. Closed 1 January, Easter, 8 September, 24 and 25 December. 4 euros, last entry 30 minutes before closing. Enter through the north door. Boboli Gardens Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I of the Medici family, had the garden built behind the Behind the Palazzo Pitti, Oltrarno Palazzo Pitti in 1549. The greatest talents of the day were summoned to the task, and the result Florence, Italy is a true giardino all'Italiana, with lush hedges, evergreen trees, narrow paths, grottoes, fountains, ponds, citrus trees in terra-cotta pots, and a number of antique and late-Renaissance Phone: 055-238-8786 statues. It is today one of the most-visited sights in the city. Also on the grounds are the Museo http://www.firenzemusei.it/boboli delle Porcellane (Porcelain Museum) and an amphitheater that Edith Wharton called one of the triumphs of Italian garden architecture. A coffeehouse on the premises invites you to sip an espresso or an expensive drink and to enjoy the unforgettable view. There are three entrances (and ticket offices): on the right side of the Palazzo Pitti courtyard; on Via Romana, the street to the right of the palace; and on Piazzale di Porta Romana, through a gate in the city wall to the right of Porta Romana. If there's a long line at the palace entrance, try one of the othersthey're usually less crowded. The gardens are open 8:15 am until dusk; closed the first and last Monday of the month, 1 January, 1 May and Christmas. 6 euros (admission includes entrance to the Bardini Gardens, the Museo delle Porcellane, the Museo degli Argenti and the Costume Gallery) or you can purchase a combined ticket for the entire museum complex, good for three days, for 11.50 euros. Campanile The bell tower of the Duomo, built by Giotto, provides picturesque views of the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Church of San Lorenzo and more through its imposing mullioned windows. And you only have to climb 414 steps. Daily 8:30 am-7:30 pm (6 January 8:30 am-2 pm). Closed 1 January, Easter, 8 September, 25 December. 6 euros; last entry 40 minutes before closing.
Adjacent to the Duomo, Piazza Duomo Florence, Italy Phone: 055-230-2885 http://www.operaduomo.firenze.it

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Cappella Brancacci One of the less publicized jewels of Florence, the Brancacci Chapel is a side chapel of the rather somber church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Inside is some of the very best work of Masaccio (with contributions from Filippino Lippi and Masolino): a series of frescoes (restored in the 1980s) depicting scenes from Genesis and the life of St. Peter. Only 30 visitors allowed in the cappella at one time. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday 1-5 pm. Closed Tuesday. The ticket office closes at 4:30 pm. Reservations suggested during high season and for large groups. 4 euros. Cappella dei Magi The Chapel of the Wise Men is a small family chapel within the Palazzo Medici Riccardi: It's a little jewel, thanks to Benozzo Gozzoli's gorgeous frescoes. Restoration of the chapel in the early 1990s revealed the vibrant colors of the original, especially the gold leaf used on the figure of Balthasar. The Medicis and their contemporaries of note are represented as part of a procession of wise men that winds around three walls of the chapel toward the nativity scene above the altar. Entrance to the chapel is limited to a maximum of eight visitors every seven minutes.
Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Via Cavour 3 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-276-0340 http://www.palazzo-medici.it Piazza del Carmine 14 (in the Oltrarno, northwest of the Palazzo Pitti) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-238-2195 http://www.museicivicifiorentini.it/en/branc acci

Daily except Wednesday 9 am-7 pm. 7 euros. Admission includes the courtyard garden and Galleria di Luca Giordano (one of the finest baroque interiors in town) of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi. Cappelle Medicee The Medici family commissioned the Medici Chapels, part of a larger complex that includes the Church of San Lorenzo, as its own memorial. Some of Michelangelo's most famous and moving sculptures (some unfinished) adorn the tombs of the Medici within the New Sacristy, which he designed. The chapels also contain some of the finest examples of pietre dure (hard-stone inlay), also calledinaccuratelyFlorentine mosaic. Daily 8:15 am-5 pm; closed the second and fourth Sunday and the first, third and fifth Monday of the month as well as 1 January, Easter, 25 December. 6 euros. Duomo The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiorethe Duomois one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It's topped by Filippo Brunelleschi's dome, a stupendous feat of 15th-century engineering. The architect used a method of his own creation to build it, inventing equipment and machines to meet his needs. The interior vault of the dome features Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari's The Last Judgment. It's the largest fresco painting in the world, and it took 16 years to restore.
Piazza del Duomo Florence, Italy Phone: 055-230-2885 http://www.duomofirenze.it Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini 6 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/medicee

You can go beneath the nave to visit excavations of the earlier Romanesque church on the site; Brunelleschi's tomb is there. A climb to the top of the dome affords a wonderful panorama of Florence from the base of the lantern, but the 463-step ascent (no elevator) is not for everyone. Enter through the Porta della Mandorla of the Duomo (north side). Lines are shortest around 4 pm. Visitors can climb the cathedral's dome Monday-Friday 8:30 am-7 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-5:40 pm, closed Sunday and holidays. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) is open Monday-Wednesday and Friday 10 am-5 pm, Thursday 10 am-4:30 pm (JulySeptember 10 am-5 pm, May and October 10 am-3:30 pm), Saturday 10 am-4:45 pm, Sunday and holidays 1:30 pm-4:45 pm. Entrance to the Duomo is free. Admission to the dome itself is 8 euros; last entry 40 minutes before closing.

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Loggia della Signoria Also called the Loggia dei Lanzi, this arcade along the side of the Piazza della Signoria shelters a number of important sculptures, including Cellini's Perseus Slaying Medusa and Giambologna's Rape of the Sabines. In the square itself are copies of several famous statues that are housed elsewhere in Florence, including Michelangelo's David and Donatello's Judith and Holofernes. Palazzo Pitti Originally built in 1458 by the influential banker Luca Pitti, the palace was purchased about a century later by Cosimo I of the Medici family. He and his wife enlarged it, commissioned the Vasari Corridor (Il Corridoio Vasariano), which connects the palace with the Uffizi across the river, and designed the adjacent Boboli Gardens. Successive generations of Medicis enlarged the palace further in order to house their courts. The palace's museums are located inside The Royal Apartments.
Palazzo Pitti 1 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 or 055-238-8611 http://www.palazzopitti.it Near the Palazzo Vecchio, on the Uffizi side of the Piazza della Signoria Florence, Italy

There are eight separate museums in this huge edifice. The most important is the Palatine Gallery, which houses works by old masters. Among the others are museums devoted to silver and other precious materials, porcelain, art from the Napoleonic era to the 1940s and period dress, which, frankly, aren't that impressive when compared to the Palatine. The ticket office for the museums is on the right side of the courtyard. Open daily except Monday 8:15 am-6:50 pm. There are two ticketing options; both get you into the different areas of Palazzo Pitti. 12 euros grants admission to Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Galleria Palantina and special exhibits. 10 euros grants admission to the Galleria del Costume, Museo degli Agrenti, Museo della Porcellane, the Boboli Gardens and the Bardini Gardens. Audio guides cost 5.50 euros. No credit cards. Palazzo Vecchio The palace and surrounding square have been at the heart of Florentine political life since the 1200s. The palace is still the city hall and plays a vital role in Florentine life. The building took on its trapezoidal shape because of the Guelph government's reluctance to build on the soil of the formerly Ghibelline neighborhood, which they, as victors, had razed to the ground. Part of the building is open to visitors, including the impressive Salone dei Cinquecento, decorated for Cosimo I by Vasari. In addition to other beautifully decorated rooms, don't miss the original bronze sculpture of Judith and Holofernes by Donatello and the Cherub with a Dolphin fountain by Verrocchio.
Piazza della Signoria Florence, Italy Phone: 055-276-8325 http://www.museicivicifiorentini.it/en/palaz zovecchio

Thursday 9 am-2 pm, Friday-Wednesday 9 am-7 pm (open until midnight most nights in summer). The ticket office closes one hour before the building does. 6 euros. Family tickets available for four people (14 euros) and five people (16 euros). For 8 euros, you can visit the Brancacci Chapel, as well. Piazzale Michelangelo This panoramic terrace on a hill overlooking Florence from the Oltrarno offers a splendid view encompassing not only the city, but also the surrounding hills. This area was one of the hot spots in the siege of 1529 and 1530, when Michelangelo was appointed military engineer. To commemorate the artist's role in defending Florence, in the 1800s the city named the open square and avenue after him. The Piazzale, as it's known to Florentines, gets very crowded on weekend afternoons and evenings, especially in fine weather. Try to catch the view at sunsetit's stunning. The walk up from the Arno is steep, but a No. 12 or 13 bus can take you there. For a pleasant walk down, take the steps from the front of the balustrade.

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Ponte Vecchio The "old bridge" is an enduring symbol of Florence. It spans the most narrow point of the Arno, on the site of the original Roman bridge, with a unique structure dating back to 1345. The jewelers' shops you see today housed butcher shops and grocers until 1593, when Ferdinand I de' Medici decided that such humble (and smelly) shops were unsuitable for a bridge connecting the Medici residence (Palazzo Pitti) and the government offices (the Uffizi). The two lines of shops break in the center, affording views of the river in both directions. The bridge crosses the Arno River at Via Por Santa Maria. Heading into the city center (di qua d'Arno), Via Por Santa Maria and Via Calimala take you directly to the Duomo; on the other side of the river (Oltrarno), Via de' Guicciardini leads to the Palazzo Pitti. Santa Croce This masterpiece of Florentine Gothic architecture is a basilica run by Franciscan monks. Construction of the church began in the late 13th century and took nearly a century to complete. Beautiful pillars are topped by sweeping Gothic arches. The many altars and small chapels that line the walls of the basilica are filled with tombs, sculpture and paintings. Because many notable Italiansincluding Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and othersare buried in the church, it ranks as a national shrine. The marble facade is a relatively recent addition, dating from the 19th century.
Piazza Santa Croce 16 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-246-6105 http://www.santacroceopera.it

Open Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-5 pm, Sunday and church holy days 1-5:30 pm. 5 euros (includes entrance to the basilica and the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce). Last entrance 30 minutes before closing. Free for children younger than age 11 and the disabled. Santa Maria Novella Visitors arriving by train have the church of Santa Maria Novella as their first, impressive introduction to Florentine art and architecture. The airy nave contains a striking crucifix painted by Giotto, the Trinity by Masaccio, and Brunelleschi's wooden Crucifix (also called the "egg crucifix" because legend has it that Donatello was so impressed by it, he dropped the satchel of eggs he was carrying). Monday-Friday 9 am-5:30 pm and Saturday 9 am-5 pm. 3.50 euros. Ticket office closes 30 minutes before the church closes. Santo Spirito This stark but beautiful Renaissance church is Filippo Brunelleschi's last great work. Inside, Il Crocifisso (the Crucifixion), attributed to the young Michelangelo, is on display. Daily except Wednesday 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 4-5:30 pm. Free. Sinagoga Florence's synagogue is also the location of the Museo di Arte e Storia Ebraica (Museum of Jewish Art and History). The synagogue was completed in 1882, and the museum was established in 1981. The two-story museum gives an overview of the Jewish community and a history of its relationship with the city of Florence. English-language guided tours run every hour.
Via Luigi Carlo Farini 4 Florence, Italy 50121 Piazza di Santo Spirito (in the Oltrarno, northwest of the Palazzo Pitti) Florence, Italy 50100 Piazza Santa Maria Novella 18 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-282-187 or 055-219-257 http://www.chiesasantamarianovella.it

Sunday-Thursday 10 am-6 pm, Friday 10 am-2 pm (till 3 pm October-March). 5 euros for adults, 3 euros for students.

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Museums
Museum times and prices change frequently, and museums occasionally close for renovation, trade union meetings, lack of personnel, strikes or to take inventory. Some close for the day at 1 or 2 pm, and most are closed during religious holidays. Check with any of the tourist offices for the latest information. Entrance tickets for state-run museums can be booked in advance by calling Firenze Musei. A service fee of 3 euros is charged (even for reduced-price or free tickets). The service fee for the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell'Accademia, the two sights where lines for entrance are the longest, is 4 euros. Having your tickets in hand will save time, especially during peak tourist season (late spring and summer). Book tickets at least a day in advance. Monday-Friday 8:30 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-12:30 pm. Phone 055-294-883. For more information, visit http://www.firenzemusei.it. The Firenze Card offers admission to more than 30 museums in Florence, as well as bus and tram transportation throughout the city. The card is valid for 72 hours and costs 50 euros. In many cases you can avoid ticket lines by using the card. Check the advantages of the card against your planned itinerary carefully; it is not guaranteed to save money. For more information, visit http://www.firenzecard.it. Galleria d'Arte Moderna Art of the modern era, from Napoleon's time to the 1940s. Perhaps the most interesting paintings are those by members of the Macchiaioli SchoolItaly's answer to the Impressionistsincluding Martelli, Fattori and Signorini. Daily except Monday 8:15 am-6:50 pm. Closed 1 January, 1 May, 25 December. 13 euros (includes admission to the Galleria Palantina and special exhibits). Galleria del Costume Displays period costumes, clothing and accessories, allowing you to follow the development of Italian fashion over the past 200 years. Costumes are displayed chronologically and set within the context of their time period. Daily except Monday 8:15 am-6:50 pm. Closed 1 January, 1 May, 25 December. 10 euros (includes admission to the Museo degli Agrenti, Museo della Porcellane, the Boboli Gardens and the Bardini Gardens). Galleria dell'Accademia Of the three statues of Michelangelo's David in Florence, the original can be admired there. In 1873, it was moved from its original position in front of Palazzo Vecchio, where a copy stands today. You may also view Michelangelo's four Prigioni (prisoners) in the Accademia. In their unfinished form, the statues seem to struggle to emerge from the marble. There's also a notable collection of 13th- to 18th-century paintings that would constitute a remarkable museum collection on their own.
Via Ricasoli 60 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/accademia Palazzo Pitti Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/moderna Palazzo Pitti Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/moderna

Daily except Monday 8:15 am-6:50 pm. Ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time, but you will have to stand in a very long line to get there. Better to reserve almost a week ahead for an appointment. 6.50 euros. Galleria Palatina The main gallery in the Palazzo Pitti, the Palatine Gallery is full of works by Titian, Raphael, Rubens, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and others. Make sure you look up: The ceiling decorations are masterpieces in their own right. Daily except Monday 8:15 am-6:50 pm. Ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time. 13 euros (includes admission to Galleria dell'Arte Moderna and special exhibits).
Palazzo Pitti Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/palatina

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Museo Archeologico The Archaeological Museum of Florence is one of the most important in Italy. Originally a Medici collection, it was expanded by the Lorraine dynasty in the late 18th century. There are many priceless remains from the Etruscan period, including the Chimera of Arezzo, the Orator and the Minerva of Arezzo. Greek and Egyptian artifacts are also on display. Tuesday-Friday 8:30 am-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8:30 am-2 pm. Ticket office closes 45 minutes before closing time. Closed on 1 January, 1 May, 25 December. 4 euros, 5 euros for an audioguide. Museo degli Argenti This museum gets its name from its silver collection, but it contains many other treasures collected by the ruling families of Florence: vases of lapis and other rare gemstones, jewelry, carved ivory and paintings. The setting itself, in rooms designed by artist Giovanni da San Giovanni in 1634, is spectacular.
Palazzo Pitti Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/argenti Via della Colonna 36 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/archeologico

Daily 8:15 am-4:30 pm November-February; open till 6:30 pm March-May and September; till 7:30 pm June-August; till 5:30 pm October. Closed the first and last Monday of the month, also 1 January, 1 May, 25 December. 10 euros (includes entrance to the Galleria del Costume, Museo della Porcellane, the Boboli Gardens and the Bardini Gardens). Museo dell'Opera del Duomo This museum keeps most of the major works of art from the Baptistery and the Duomo safe from the elements and crowds. Included in its collection are Michelangelo's Pieta (made for his own tomb) and Donatello's renderings of Mary Magdalene, St. John the Evangelist and the prophets Habakkuk and Jeremiah. The original eastern doors from the Baptistery are on display there. The Baptistery's stunning silver altara masterpiece of Florentine silversmithingis there as well.
Piazza del Duomo 9 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-230-2885 http://www.operaduomo.firenze.it

Monday-Saturday 9 am-7:30 pm, Sunday and holidays 9 am-1:40 pm. Closed 1 January, Easter, 1 September and Christmas. Ticket office closes 40 minutes before the museum closes. 6 euros. Museo di San Marco This beautiful museum is in the former convent adjoining the church of San Marco. It is best known for the numerous frescoes by Fra Angelico within the monks' cells and elsewhere. Don't miss the Last Supper by Ghirlandaio. Because it's located across the square from the Accademia, it's easy to visit both in one day. Monday-Friday 8:15 am-1:50 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8:15 am-4:50 pm. Closed the first, third and fifth Sunday and the second and fourth Monday of every month. Ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum closes. 4 euros (7 euros with reservation). Museo Galileo This recently renevated museum was formerly the Museo della Storia delle Scienze. After two years of renovations, this museum reopened in June 2010 with all new rooms and a new name, Museo Galileo. It houses the Medici collection of scientific instruments and has a whole section dedicated to Galileo Galilei. Daily 9:30 am-6 pm (till 1 pm Tuesday). Closed 1 and 6 January, Easter, 1 May, and 8, 25 and 26 December. 8 euros. Family ticket (two adults and maximum of two children under age 18): 20 euros. Video guide: 5 euros.
Piazza dei Guidici 1 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-265-311 http://www.museogalileo.it Piazza San Marco 1 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/sanmarco

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Museo Nazionale del Bargello The Bargello is impressive, powerful, foreboding and hostile. Once the judicial offices and prison of Florence, it was the scene of many hangings. Now a museum, it holds one of the finest collections of Renaissance sculpture in Italy, with masterpieces by Michelangelo, Verrocchio, Giambologna and Cellini, among others. Daily 8:15 am-5 pm; closed the first, third and fifth Sunday and the second and fourth Monday of the month, as well as 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. Ticket office closes 40 minutes before closing time. 4 euros (with reservation 7 euros). Museo Stibbert This is a great place for childrenMuseo Stibbert features lots of knights in armor on horseback and a park that surrounds the building. The museum is the city's legacy from the Englishman Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906), who amassed some 50,000 pieces in his beautiful estate on the hillside of Montughi. Arms and armor from around the world make up the bulk of the collection, but you'll see art from Europe, the Middle East and Pacific Asia, as well as porcelain, furnishings, tapestries and relics from Napoleon I. The bonus is the Arts and Crafts-style villa itself.
Via Stibbert 26 (in the hills north of the city center; take a No. 4 bus from Piazza dell'Unita) Florence, Italy 50134 Phone: 055-475-520 http://www.museostibbert.it Via del Proconsolo 4 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883 http://www.firenzemusei.it/bargello

Monday-Wednesday 10 am-2 pm, Friday-Sunday 10 am-6 pm; ticket office closes one hour before the museum closes. Closed Thursday and 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August and 25 December. 6 euros. 4 euros for children younger than 12, free for children younger than 4. Uffizi Gallery One of the greatest museums in the world, this collection was originally the private property of the Medici family. As the Medici dynasty was ending in the early 1700s, Anna Maria Ludovica de' Medicithe last of the familydetermined that the museum would become the eternal birthright of the city of Florence and its citizens.
Loggiato degli Uffizi 6 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-883

The museum contains the greatest collection of Italian Renaissance paintings and sculpture in http://www.firenzemusei.it/00_english/uffiz the world, starting with pre-Renaissance masters such as Giotto and progressing through i/index.html Masaccio, da Vinci, Michelangelo and innumerable others. Don't miss the Botticelli rooms Spring and The Birth of Venus are breathtaking. There's also an excellent selection of northern masters, especially Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. The Uffizi also has an entire wing devoted to works by Caravaggio and others that were previously relegated to storage. The terrace cafe atop the Loggia della Signoria affords wonderful views of the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio and the town of Fiesole on the horizon. Various rooms close on occasion because of staff shortages or cleaning, so check the list of closures at the entrance if you're hoping to see a particular work or works by a particular artist. Also note that some pieces from the collection occasionally go on loan. Split up your visit if you have time to do so. Lines can be horrendous, especially in high seasonmake life easier with advance reservations if at all possible. Daily except Monday 8:15 am-6:50 pm. The ticket office closes at 6:05 pm. Closed 1 January, 1 May, 25 December. Reservations can be made online (http://www.b-ticket.com/b-ticket/Uffizi/default.aspx). 6.50 euros. Zoologia "La Specola" This science museum displays some creepy sights: perfectly accurate wax replicas of the human body, inside and out. Impressive in their precision, the bodies and their organs are presented from all angles. Other rooms are dedicated to taxidermied animals from all over the world. Zoologia "La Specola" opened to the public in 1775. Daily except Monday 10:30 am-5:30 pm. 6 euros.
Via Romana 17, Third Floor (just down the street from Palazzo Vecchio) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-234-6760 http://www.msn.unifi.it/CMpro-l-s-11.html

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Parks & Gardens


Cascine Park Situated a walkable distance west of the city center along the north bank of the Arno, the largest park in Florence was once a game preserve and royal farm. The grounds were opened to the public in 1791 by Pietro Leopoldo I, who embellished them with sculptures and fountains. Shelley wrote his Ode to the West Wind while gazing at the Narcissus fountain. The park's buildings are undergoing a lengthy renovation, so they may not be quite as inspiring. Cascine Park is populated by joggers and children at play during the day (as well as the big Tuesday market), but be aware that after dark it becomes an open-air bordello. Bus 17-C stops at Piazzale Kennedy in the center of the park. On weekends, the park is served by a special bus line, designated with a P, that departs from Piazzale Vittorio Veneto. Orto Botanico Also called the Giardino dei Semplici, this botanical garden was founded in 1550 by Cosimo I. It was the second herbal garden to be established in Europe (the first was in Padua, Italy) and contains 6,000 plants from all over the world. Particularly interesting are the ferns, palms and, around Easter, the show of azaleas. Daily except Wednesday 10 am-7 pm. 4 euros.
Via Micheli 3 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-275-7402 http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/itineraries/pla ce/MuseoStoriaNaturaleFirenzeOrtoBota nicoGiardinoSemplici.html

Recreation
Because the historical center of Florence is compact, there's little room for recreation besides a walk or jog in the park. You'll need to head for the outskirts to find many of the relaxing (or strenuous) activities you might be looking for.

Bicycling
Florence by Bike Renting bikes, bike gear and scooters, this shop also offers a guided bike tour of the Chianti region. Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm, 3:30-7:30 pm.
Via Zanobi 120/R (near Piazza San Marco) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-488-992 or 055-480-814 http://www.florencebybike.it

Mille e Una Bici With pick-up and drop-off locations all around Florence, this city-run bike rental is convenient. The best location is in front of the train station; other locations include Piazza Annigoni, Stazione Campo di Marte and Piazza Santa Croce. The bicycles are all basic street bikes; make sure to inspect yours before riding away (there are 100 to choose from). Open daily May-October, daily except Sunday November-April. 1.50 euro for one hour; 4 euros for five hours; 8 euros for full day.
Piazza della Stazione Florence, Italy Phone: 347-788-7519 http://www.firenzecittaciclabile.org/milleeu nabici.html

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Golf
To get to the golf courses closest to Florence, you'll need a carthey are all a good hour's drive from the city. Golf is not a popular sport in Italy, and you may find that playing can be quite expensive. The courses are in pleasant settings and can provide a whole day's recreation. All require a membership card from a golf club in your home country, as well as a reservation. Golf dell'Ugolino Originally the Florence Golf Club, established by British expatriates in 1889, the 18-hole course is in a picturesque location outside Florence. It's open year-round and has an attractive clubhouse and swimming pool. Greens fees 50 euros-60 euros for juniors, 80 euros-95 euros for adults for the day; club and cart rental available for an additional fee. Poggio dei Medici Golf & Country Club This 18-hole course lies in a prime scenic location on the grounds of a hotel a few miles/kilometers outside Florence. Open year-round. Greens fees day rates are 45 euros-80 euros for 18 holes, 35 euros-65 euros for nine holes; club and cart rental available for an additional fee.
Via San Gavino 27 Scarperia, Italy Phone: 055-843-5562 http://www.golfpoggiodeimedici.com Via Chiantigiana 3 Grassina, Italy Phone: 055-230-1009 http://www.golfugolino.it

Hiking & Walking


It's not advisable to jog in the streets of Florence, especially in the city center. They are narrow and crowded, the road surfaces are very uneven and the pollution is bad. Determined joggers head to Viali dei Colli or Cascine Park (but avoid Cascine after dark). There are lots of great walks along the hilly country roads outside the city, though. One enjoyable stroll is along the Costa San Giorgio. Start at Piazza Santa Felicita, on the Oltrarno side of Ponte Vecchio. When you reach Forte di Belvedere, take Via di San Leonardo to its intersection with Viale Galileo Galilei. From there you have two options: Head to the right, and the Viale winds down to Porta Romana (the name of the street will change to Viale Machiavelli en route); or head to the left and you'll arrive at Piazzale Michelangelo, from which you can get back to town either by the travertine steps at the end of Viale Galilei, which lead to San Niccolo (St. Nicholas' city gate and church), or by the stepped ramps that lead from the Piazzale down to the riverside. If you've had enough, you can pick up a No. 12 or 13 bus at the Piazzale.

Swimming
Nannini Bellariva The Nannini pool complex, southeast of the city along the Arno River, has certain times when it is open to the public. It has its own grounds with lawns and trees, plenty of lounges for sunbathing, and a rooftop terrace restaurant that serves inexpensive pizzas and three-course meals. It has an Olympic-size pool, as well as a children's pool that's open in the summer. Phone for hours. 7 euros for the day.
Lungarno Aldo Moro 6 (take a No. 14 bus to the RAI building and walk to the river) Florence, Italy

Nightlife
Early summer evenings are tranquilFlorentines and visitors alike stroll the narrow streets with an ice-cream cone in hand, or sip aperitivi or iced tea in the piazzas. Although there are places to go as the night goes on, the town doesn't have a big local nightlife scene. The Florentine idea of a pleasant evening is a good meal, a pizza, an evening at the opera or visiting with friends at home.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher The bars and discos that do exist generally shut down around 3 am and mainly attract young people, especially foreign students. In the past few years, some British- and Irish-style pubs have sprung up, and if you have energy left after a day of sightseeing, you may well enjoy yourself there.

Bars, Taverns & Pubs


Fuori Porta This unobtrusive, cozy wine bar is hidden away in a very untouristy area on the Oltrarno. White, red and dessert wines are sold by the glass. You can drop in for a quick drink or make an evening of it, tasting wines from every producing region of Italy or, if you prefer, from France or the U.S. A wide range of sandwiches, crostini and primi (pasta dishes) are also available. You can purchase bottles of wine and have them shipped from there. Daily 12:30-3:30 pm and 6:30 pm-12:30 am, open all day during summer. La Dolce Vita This sleek cafe-turned-club is favored by the beautiful people who, on summer evenings, spill out into the piazza with their drinks in hand and Prada sunglasses still on their heads well after dark. Live Brazilian, jazz and contemporary music is offered throughout the week; schedules vary. Daily 5 pm-2 am in the winter, 10 am-2 am in the summer. Happy hour with buffet from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Open later on weekends. The Continentale The Continentale bills itself as a "contemporary pleasing hotel," but it is best-known for its rooftop terrace and the 270-degree panorama over the Arno. It is one of those rare Italian bars that knows how to make a vodka martini, and the price (13 euros) reflects this. Like the Dolce Vita, it caters to a Saint-Tropez-chic crowd, but even if this isn't your cup of Veuve Cliquot, there is no better place to witness the sunset.
Vicolo dell'Oro 6/R (right at the foot of the Ponte Vecchio) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-272-64000 http://www.lungarnohotels.com Piazza del Carmine 6/R (in the Oltrarno) Florence, Italy 50124 Phone: 055-284-595 http://www.dolcevitaflorence.com Via del Monte alle Croci 10/R Florence, Italy 50100 Phone: 055-234-2483 http://www.fuoriporta.it

The Fiddler's Elbow One of a number of Irish pubs, this spot is popular with locals, visiting students and tourists alike. Guinness and McFarland on tap. Snacks served. Big-screen TV and game room. Daily noon-1 am (2 am on weekends), with happy hour until 9 pm.
Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7/R (close to the central train station) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-215-056 http://www.thefiddlerselbow.com

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Dance & Nightclubs


Cover charges at most dance clubs will set you back roughly 15 euros-20 euros. Jaragua Dance to Caribbean, salsa, mambo and merengue music at this club that offers lessons during the day. Dancing 9 pm-3 am. No cover.
Via dell'Erta Canina 12/R (in the San Niccolo area) Florence, Italy 50100 Phone: 055-234-3600 http://www.jaragua.it

Salamanca This Latin American disco club also serves food. Live music plays on Monday, and tables are cleared for dancing most nights after the kitchen closes. Daily from 6:30 pm. No cover.
Via Ghibellina 80/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-234-5452 http://www.salamanca.it

Tabasco One of the major Florentine gay clubs, Tabasco does not admit women. Nightly 10 pm-4 am (Friday and Saturday till 6 am).
In Piazza Santa Cecilia, just off Piazza della Signoria Florence, Italy 50122 Phone: 055-213-000 http://www.tabascogay.it

Tenax Still the most fashionable nightspot in Florence, this club lies on the outskirts of the city. DJs arrive from all over Europe to spin, but there are five or six live shows a month, too. Saturday nights are best, with lots of house, progressive and drum 'n' bass. Nightly from 10:30 pm. Closed Monday. Cover varies (Thursday is free for students with valid ID).
Via Pratese 46 (you can get there with a No. 29 or 30 bus, but you will need to take a taxi back) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-632-958 http://www.tenax.org

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YAB A central location, great disco music, live acts and a lively atmosphere draw crowds to this club. Monday is reserved for hip-hop and R&B, which attracts a U.S. crowd. Tuesday focuses on house music, and Saturday is always packed. March-September the club is only open Monday and Saturday, beginning at midnight, and dinner is not offered. Reservations recommended for big-name acts. The 25-euro fixed-price meal served ThursdaySaturday includes entrance to the disco (by reservation only). Otherwise, there's a minimum charge of 10 euros-20 euros (sometimes more for big-name acts).
Via Sassetti 5/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-215-160 http://www.yab.it

Live Music
Girasol Cafe Run by a young Brazilian, this is one of the most exclusive Latin bars in town. It offers live entertainment and tropical cocktails as well as pizza and Argentine beef. Expect Latin and bossa nova sounds. Daily except Monday 7 pm-2 am (happy hour 8:30-9:30 pm).
Via del Romito 1/R Florence, Italy 50134 Phone: 055-474-948 http://www.girasol.it.

Jazz Club Jazz musicians and singers perform almost every night of the week, but on Friday you'll find the top performers. This classic joint is usually packed after 10:30 pm with a boisterous crowd. Tuesday and Wednesday are devoted to jam sessions. Beer, cocktails and a selection of table games to play between acts. Tuesday-Saturday from 9 pm. A mandatory year's membership costs 8 euros.
Via Nuova de' Caccini 3/R Florence, Italy 50121 Phone: 055-247-9700 http://www.jazzclubfirenze.com

Performing Arts
Because Florence isn't a large metropolitan city, its entertainment options are limited, with the exception of classical music. Jazz and ethnic music are slowly catching up. A noteworthy classical event is the annual Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which offers the best in opera, concerts and ballet, with performers from all over the world. It runs April-June at locations throughout the city. http://www.maggiofiorentino.com. The Comunale also hosts a fall opera season September-December. Major internationally recognized pop and rock bands frequently stop in Florence during their tours. English-language theatrical productions are rare, with the exception of occasional top-notch U.S. musicals on tour. In general, theater tickets are available from the theaters' own ticket offices. Most performances take place at Teatro Verdi. The season for all sorts of local music, dance and theater starts in November and ends in May or June. Of course, summer is the domain of street musicians, whose quality may vary widely. Piazza della Republica and Piazza del Signore are typical spots to find a classical trio or an opera singer. You may stumble across a chamber-music or opera concert just by walking into one of the town's many churches. Some of the best-known are the organ concerts given daily except Monday in the church of Santa Maria dei Ricci and the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentino in San Jacopo Soprarno Church. For concert listings, check the the local papers La Nazione or La Repubblica.

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Music
Amici della Musica This organization hosts classical concerts, chamber music and recitals on Saturday afternoons at La Pergola theater in Via della Pergola. Most events are sold out to season subscription holders, but a few are open to the public, and it is also worth inquiring about tickets that have been turned in. It also produces the Settembre Musica, a music festival that gives exposure to young or unknown artists throughout the month of September. September-March. Single tickets cost 12 euros-25 euros. O.R.T. Orchestra della Toscana This orchestra performs symphonies and the occasional oratorio with guest conductors. Concerts are at major concert halls and theaters in town: Teatro Verdi is a favorite. The concert season usually runs November-May.
Via Verdi 5 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-234-0710 http://www.orchestradellatoscana.it Via Pier Capponi 41 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-607-440 http://www.amicimusica.fi.it

Ticket Brokers
The Box Office A reliable source for tickets to all sorts of sporting events, concerts and dance or theater offerings. Monday-Friday 10 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 9 am-2 pm.
Via Alamanni 39/R (near the central train station) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-210-804 http://www.boxol.it

Venues
Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Florence's grandest classical venue, built in 1882 and last renovated in 1957, has approximately 2,000 seats. For the best acoustics, chose seats in the second gallery. People who prefer to show off pay dearly for the boxes, called palchi. The theater employs a full orchestra and chorus (with Zubin Mehta as principal conductor), plus a ballet company.
Corso Italia 16, Santa Maria Novella Florence, Italy Phone: 055-277-9350 http://www.maggiofiorentino.com

Teatro Verdi Beautifully renovated, but with uncomfortable designer seats, the city's largest theater is the home of the Orchestra della Toscana. Musicals, light comedies and dance shows are staged there.
Via Ghibellina, Santa Croce Florence, Italy Phone: 055-212-320 http://www.teatroverdionline.it

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Spectator Sports
A major source of discussion among Italians is soccera topic they feel very passionate about. It's very much a part of Italian culture. Games take place on Sunday afternoons. Another spectacular sporting event you shouldn't miss is calcio storico. These Renaissance-era football gamessometimes violent rugbystyle gamesare held in Piazza Santa Croce select weekends in June. Teams dress in traditional costumes. Tickets aren't required: Just show up early for seats on the bleachers. Tickets for the finals (held toward the end of June) can be purchased through The Box Office. Phone 055-210-804. http://www.boxol.it

Soccer
La Fiorentina Florence's top soccer club was renamed La Florentia after a bankruptcy, but no one could get used to it, so it's now La Fiorentina again. The team has slipped in stature, so tickets are easier to come by (and cheaper) these days. Season runs September-June. When playing at home, Florence's team plays at Stadio Comunale Artemio Franchi. Tickets can be purchased through The Box Office (http://www.boxol.it), at the Chiosco degli Sportivi on Via Anselmi, or through Ticketone (http://www.ticketone.it).
The stadium is at Viale M. Fanti 4/6 (in the Campo di Marte area; take a No. 6 or 10 bus) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-503-011 http://en.violachannel.tv

Shopping
The city of Florence has always thrived on its mercantile activity and still does today, even though you'll find that Florentine shopkeepers tend to maintain an air of stolid indifference. The city is a shopping mecca, for better or for worse: Just as some visitors feel overwhelmed by the wealth of artistic treasures Florence has to offer, others feel that the pressure to consume overshadows all other experiences. Shopping at small, independently run Italian stores might be different than you're used to. It is customary to greet the owner or shopkeeper with the appropriate buongiorno or buona sera as you enter. Italians treat their shops as an extension of their own homes, and you'll create a better shopping experience if you are friendly and responsive. An important shopping (or window-shopping) destination for any visitor is a stroll over Ponte Vecchio, where jewelers still exercise their trade behind fantastic and brilliant display windows. Leather goods are a great buy: Those with little time to search them out should head for the Santa Croce area. (There's a selection of leather souvenirs from an actual leather-making school inside the church of Santa Croce itselfthey are well-made with tourists in mind, but can be quite pricey.) The stalls near the Central Market of San Lorenzo in Via dell'Ariento carry wares that are well-made and reasonably priced. Anything made of colorful Florentine marbleized paper makes a nice gift or keepsake. Other popular souvenirs are antique prints depicting the city and the surrounding hills, classic posters from a museum shop and wooden Pinocchio dolls. The markets of Florence display a vast array of leather goods, and most of it is quality Italian leather; however, there are some cheap imitations slipping in. Be sure to check all the stitching and seams. Remember that under current Italian law, buyers of fake goods are regarded as accomplices to a crime and can be fined on the spot for such purchases. If you have the time and inclination, browse the shops on such streets as Via Calzaioli, Via del Corso, Via Roma and the upscale Via Strozzi, which leads to Via Tornabuoni, the Fifth Avenue of Florence. Fashion-seekers will find major Italian and European designers Armani, Ferragamo, Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Hermes and trendy Roberto Cavallialong Via Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna Nuova. Shopping Hours: Most shops are generally open in winter 9 am-1 pm and 3:30-7:30 pm; in summer, the afternoon hours are 4-8 pm. Some large department stores and supermarkets stay open during the lunch break, as do some shops in the city center. Certain types of shops, such as clothing boutiques, supermarkets and large stores, are closed all day Sunday and on Monday morning.

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Antique Stores
The number of antiques shops has declined over the years, with small bric-a-brac shops being replaced by upmarket, specialized dealers, who handle anything from 1600s rarities to art-deco items. There are many shops along Via Maggio and Via Santo Spirito, located in the Oltrarno, near the Ponte Vecchio. Another good place to explore is the Borgo San Frediano as far as the gate tower. You may catch a glimpse of antiques restoration work being carried out in the many workshops hidden in the narrow back streets of Oltrarno. On the north side of the Arno, you'll find antiques shops on Borgo Ognissanti (from Piazza Ognissanti to Piazza Goldoni) and Via de' Fossi. Most dealers can arrange shipping and give information on rules and regulations governing exporting antiques. A permit may be required for specialized items or for large quantities of merchandise. Archaeological objects and antiquities have severe restrictions on export, and precise documentation of provenance is required. A reputable dealer will be able to tell you whether a permit is required or not.

Bookstores
BM American British Bookshop Great selection of English-language books, many with Italian and Florentine topics. Monday-Saturday, 9:30 am-7:30 pm.
Borgo Ognissanti 4/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-294-575 http://www.bmbookshop.com

Edison This cozy bookshop has an oft-crowded coffee and pastry bar. It is now a fashionable venue for the intelligentsia. TVs hanging from the ceiling are tuned to CNN. Monday-Saturday 9 am-midnight, Sunday 10 am-midnight.
Piazza Repubblica 27/R Florence, Italy 50123 Phone: 055-213-110 http://www.libreriaedison.it

Feltrinelli International Spread over two floors, mostly dedicated to foreign-language titlesEnglish, French and German. The English floor has many works of classic and modern literature, as well as nonfiction texts covering business, politics, cooking and travel. Daily 9 am-7:30 pm.
Via Cavour 12/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-219-524 http://www.lafeltrinelli.it

Libreria Martelli A stone's throw from the Duomo, the revamped former Libreria Marzocco is the largest bookstore in town. Its shelves contain practically every book currently in print in Italy. There's also a large English-language section. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. Monday-Saturday 9 am-8 pm, Sunday 10 am-8 pm.
Via Martelli 22/R Florence, Italy 50123 Phone: 055-265-7603 http://www.libreriamartelli.it

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Paperback Exchange Proprietors Emily and Maurizio stock strictly English titles, new and used, fiction and nonfiction, covering most subjects. Many in the expat community trade in all kinds of used books, so you can usually pick up a well-thumbed treasure, although the price may be as high as a new book. Monday-Friday 9 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 10:30 am-7:30 pm, closed Sunday.
Via della Oche 4/R Florence, Italy 50122 Phone: 055-293-460 http://www.papex.it

Department Stores
Coin A stylish department store with men's and women's clothing and footwear, household furnishings, cosmetics and more. A good place to shop for larger sizes, which are often hard to come by in Italy. Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-8 pm.
Via dei Calzaiuoli 56/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-280-531 http://www.coin.it

La Rinascente Cosmetics, fashion accessories, lingerie, kitchenware and two floors of classic men's and women's clothing, with Missoni knitwear and Versace home furnishings. Great selection of perfumes. Do not miss the great view from the roof terrace, where you can have a coffee. Monday-Saturday 9 am-9 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-8 pm.
Piazza della Repubblica 1 Florence, Italy 50123 Phone: 055-219-113 http://www.rinascente.it

Oviesse Firenze Sells reasonably priced clothing for men, women and children. It will handle the paperwork for IVA tax refunds for tourists returning to non-European Union countries. [There is a second location at Via Nazionale 29/R (Phone 055-215-346).] Monday-Saturday 9 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 10 am-7:30 pm.
Via Panzani 31/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-239-8963 http://www.oviesse.com

Factory Outlets
Many factories where goods are produced (fabbrica) are near Florence. It's easiest to rent a car or to take a regional train to the nearest stop and continue by taxi for most locations. CAF Incoming Tours also offers an outlet-shopping tour. Phone 055-210-612. http://www.caftours.com Dolce & Gabbana Prices on its ultrafashionable clothing and accessories are usually 50% off boutique prices. Daily 10 am-7 pm.
Via S. Maddalena 49 (about 20 mi/30 km southwest of Florence) Florence, Italy

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Fendi Chic leather handbags and accessories at around 30% off the luxury Italian brand's retail prices make this worth the drive. Daily 10 am-7 pm, Sunday 3 pm - 7pm. I Pellettieri d'Italia A clearing house for the cool, sleek stylings of Prada and its associated lines, Miu Miu and Helmut Lang. Sunday-Friday 10:30 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-8 pm, December 10 am-12:30 pm. The Mall Outlet Center This mall outside Florence has outlets for most major Italian designers, including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Armani, Ungaro, Ferragamo, Valentino and many more. You can reach it by shuttle bus or by train. Open daily 10 am-7 pm.
Via Europa 8, Leccio Reggello Florence, Italy Phone: 055-865-7775 for information http://www.themall.it Localita Levanella 68/A (about 30 mi/50 km southwest of Florence.) Montevarchi, Italy Via Pian dell'Isola 66/133 (about 20 mi/30 km southwest of Florence.) Rignano Sull'Arno, Italy

Markets
Mercato delle Cascine If bargains are your thing, don't miss this famous Tuesday-morning market. You'll find clothing, sheets, towels, kitchenware, wicker, lingerie, perfume and food for sale. Much of the clothing is tatty, but keep an eye out for the occasional brand-name item at knock-down prices. Keep a close eye on your wallet or purse, too: Pickpockets and purse snatchers frequent the market. Tuesday 8 am-2 pm.
The market stretches for about 1 mi/1.6 km along the banks of the Arno River, from Ponte della Vittoria to Ponte all'I (take a No. 1 bus to the end of the park closest to the center, a No. 17-C bus to the far end) Florence, Italy

Mercato delle Pulci Florence's flea market, where you'll find some really off-the-wall items. Daily 9 am-12:30 pm and 3:30-8 pm (all day the last Sunday of the month).
Piazza dei Ciompi (a little east of the city center) Florence, Italy

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Mercato di San Lorenzo Probably the most popular market in town, it's much more tourist-oriented than the Cascine Via dell'Ariento (near Piazza San market, partly because of its location. On sale are leather jackets, bags, costume jewelry, Lorenzo) scarves, belts and small gift items. Prices are fairly reasonable, and the leather goods are wellFlorence, Italy made. (Check for natural suede inside and "Made in Italy" stamped on real leather and not a postage-stamp-sized square attached to fake leather.) Visit the indoor fresh-produce market, which is an enjoyable experience even if you're not buying anything. You can also get a meal inside the market at the famous Nerbone, or picnic fixings from Perini. The outdoor stalls are open daily 9 am-7:30 pm in summer, daily except Monday 9 am-7:30 pm in winter. The indoor food market is open Monday-Saturday 7 am-2 pm year-round. Mercato Nuovo Also called the Mercato del Porcellino, after the bronze boar statuerub his snout and you'll be sure to return to Florence. Look for intricate handmade embroidery and lace, many straw articles and Florentine wood carvings, together with good-quality leather goods at reasonable prices. Daily except Monday 9 am-7:30 pm, till 8 pm in summer.
Loggia Mercato Nuovo (north of Ponte Vecchio) Florence, Italy

Specialty Stores
Alessi Paride A great selection of Tuscan and other wines, along with vin santo and grappa. Tasting room. Shipping services are available. Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 3-8 pm.
Via delle Oche 27-31/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-214-966 http://www.enotecaalessi.com

Bojola Chic, high-quality leather goods produced by an established Florentine company. Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 am-7:20 pm.
Via dei Rondinelli 25/R (at the top of Via Tornabuoni) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-211-155 http://www.bojola.it

Borsalino The Ferrari of hats, most famous for men's hats of all types. In the summer, a light straw version is a classy alternative to a baseball cap. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-7:30 pm.
Via Porta Rossa 40/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-218-275 http://www.borsalino.it

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Bottiglieria Bussotti In operation since 1937, this enoteca sells domestic and imported wines, along with a variety of Tuscan culinary specialties such as truffle sauces and locally produced olive oil. Shipping services are available. Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-1 pm and 4-7:30 pm. Hours change in July and August, so call ahead in those months. Ceramiche Luca della Robbia This shop carries Florentine ceramics, including the classic Della Robbia style (white figures on a pale-blue background). Daily until 6 pm. Enoteca Per Bacco This Florentine wine shop carries a large selection of top-flight Tuscan and other domestic wines, along with imports, champagne and spumanti. Shipping services available. Open daily 10:30 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-8 pm.
Via Borgo SS. Apostoli 21-23/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-292-646 http://www.perbaccofirenze.it. Via del Proconsolo 19/R Florence, Italy Via San Gallo 161/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-483-091 http://www.enotecabussotti.it

Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella A shopping adventure where you can explore a whole range of soaps, perfumes and herbal cures in what looks like a medieval apothecary. It's in a beautiful building. Daily 9:30 am-7:30 pm.
Via della Scala 16/R Florence, Italy 50123 Phone: 055-216-276 http://www.smnovella.it

Il Papiro This company's exquisite handmade, marbleized Florentine paper and other stationery make wonderful presents. Additional locations throughout the city, including a stall at the San Lorenzo market.
Piazza Duomo 24/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-281-628 http://www.ilpapirofirenze.it

La Bottega del Cioccolato Andrea Bianchini's shop is full of artisan chocolate goodness, including chocolates incorporating Szechuan pepper or mango.
Via dei Macci 50 Florence, Italy http://www.andreabianchini.net/ab

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Loretta Caponi This shop is an icon of Florentine taste. It carries exquisite lace, embroidered clothing, children's clothing and household linens. Pricey but unparalleled in quality.
Piazza Antinori 4/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-213-668 http://www.lorettacaponi.com

Officine Panerai Collectors across the world seek out this shop's legendary luxury watches (3,000 euros-25,000 euros), which were first producedin limited quantitiesfor the Italian Navy during World War II. Monday 4-7 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
Piazza San Giovanni 16/R (near the Church of San Giovanni Battista, next to the Duomo) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-215-795 http://www.panerai.com

Papini Pelletterie Founded in the late 19th century, this shop sells leather suitcases, bags and purses, some with map prints and all of them quite elaborate. Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 am-6 pm, Monday noon-6:30 pm.
Lungarno Archibusieri 10-12/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-287-879 http://www.papinileather.com

Passamaneria Toscana If rich brocades and beautiful Renaissance upholstery fabrics are your passion, head for this shop, located in the 14th-century Palazzo della Stufa. It sells fabric, hand-woven wall tapestries and some presewn items, such as gold-braid-trimmed cushions. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-1 pm and 3-7:30 pm, Sunday 10 am-1 pm and 3-7:30 pm.
Piazza San Lorenzo 12/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-214-670 http://www.ptfsrl.com

Itinerary
Day Trips
To Fiesole. This small, picturesque town in the hills above Florence has important Roman and Etruscan archaeological sites, including a Roman amphitheater. The central square is located on the former spot of the Roman Forum. On a small road just to one side of the square, you'll find the entrance to a Roman theater, still used today for a delightful summer performingarts festival. The archaeological museum nearby presents finds from the area. If you happen to be in Fiesole when a Mass is being held in the Cathedral of San Romolo (in the main square), it's worth going inthe choir's Gregorian chant is exquisite. To get a magnificent view of Florence, walk up the small stone-paved road to the left of the cathedral to reach the Monastery of San Francesco.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Fiesole is just a 20-minute ride from Florence on a No. 7 bus from Piazza San Marco, the Duomo or Santa Maria Novella station. (It runs every 20 minutes 8 am-8 pm, then every half-hour until midnight.) The Roman amphitheater and archaeological museum, located on Via Portigiani, are open daily 10 am-7 pm (till 6 pm in March and October). Closed Tuesday November-February. 10 euros. Phone 055-5961293. To Pistoia. Just 19 mi/30 km west of Florence, this town gave its name to the pistol. A Renaissance gem, Pistoia seems like a more compact Florence. From the train station, follow signs to the Piazza del Duomo, a 10- to 25-minute walk after a 50-minute train ride. Once you're there, there's really no need to move around much; Pistoia delights in advertising its "seven museums within 100 meters," and they're all around the Piazza del Duomo and its 12th-century San Zeno Cathedral and Gothic Baptistery of San Giovanni in Corte. You don't have to go far for lunch either; the back entrance of La BotteGaia Restaurant is just off the Piazza del Duomo adjacent to the ancient and central open-air market, and offers excellent Tuscan cuisine. To Montecatini Terme. A 40-minute train ride from Florence takes you to the spa town of Montecatini Terme, where treatments for beauty or well-being are to be found all over town. To get a taste of the elegant and healthy life, spend an afternoon "taking the waters" at the elegant, Liberty-style Terme Tettuccio Spa. Music, relaxing and strolling the manicured grounds are all part of the cure. If you show up in the afternoon, they'll let you have the experience for a mere 6 euros. Take in the views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside by riding the funicular up to Montecatini Alto, which offers a variety of cafes and restaurants in its tidy main square. Montecatini Terme is also known for its shopping opportunitiesand is the place to go for cocktails in the evening, in some places accompanied by live music. To Siena. Like most medieval towns in Tuscany, Siena is fiercely proud of its heritage. As in Florence, the central part of the city was established in the 12th century. The cathedral and Palazzo Pubblico (city hall) are particularly impressive. Siena also has the Piazza del Campo, the large area designated for the famous Palio horse races that take place every year. The Campo is now also the traditional place to stroll, chat and drink coffee. From the Torre del Mangia, there are spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside. The Palazzo Pubblico contains Lorenzetti's allegorical frescoes, The Effects of Good and Bad Government, a fascinating socio-historical document that could still apply to modern politics. Another must-see in Siena is the cathedral, under which a secret crypt was discovered in 2003, along with its 13th-century frescos painted by an unknown, pre-Giotto master. Don't forget to sample the typical local specialtiespanforte (a very rich cake made with candied fruit and nuts) and cavallucci (similar to spice cookies). The most famous producer of these treats is Nannini, which operates its own cafe and pastry shop right in the center of town, on Via Banchi di Sopra. The best way to get to Siena from Florence is with the SITA bus. The direct route (corsa rapida) takes 90 minutes from the heart of Florence to the heart of Siena. Buses leave once or twice an hour, depending on the time of day, starting at 6:30 am (last bus back is 8:30 pm). On Sunday and holidays, buses run less frequently; check beforehand. The SITA station in Florence is located next to the Santa Maria Novella station, on Via Santa Caterina da Siena. To San Gimignano . If you want to spend a day in a little medieval city perched on a hill overlooking an expanse of acres/hectares of fields filled with olive trees and vineyards, San Gimignano is the place. But be warned: It can be inundated with hordes of tourists, especially in summer. First inhabited by the Etruscans, it is known for its numerous and well-preserved medieval towers and the Roman wallsmostly still intact that have surrounded the city since the third century. In the center, Piazza della Cisterna sets an austere and noble tone, and the Collegiata and the Church of San Agostino are famous for their frescoes. The SITA bus line, located on Via Santa Caterina da Siena near the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence, offers round-trip service daily. http://www.sitabus.it. To Lucca. Lucca, the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, is a bit far for a day trip, but a fast train will get you there from Florence in 70 minutes. The draw here is Lucca's 16th century walls, which encircle the city and have kept modern urban sprawl away from the historic center. You can stroll the walls or rent a bike and see the city from the tree-lined periphery. Then, for the ultimate view, head up the 230 steps of the Guinigi Tower and see Lucca's settingit's quite spectacular. Lovers of chocolate and coffee can indulge their fantasies with a Caffe Maraccino at Lucca's oldest caffe, the Antico Caffe di Simo, then have lunch near the botanical gardens at Ristorante Gli Orti di Via Elisa. To Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa), once a highlight of the Grand Tour, has always been near the top of many travelers'

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher must-see lists. Climbing the 294 dizzying, worn steps is truly a surrealistic experience. Only 30 visitors are allowed in the tower at the same time. Listen for the chiming of the tower bells, which were silenced for 11 years during the restoration process. Other worthwhile sights in Pisa are the Romanesque cathedral, the Camposanto Cemetery and the Campo dei Miracoli, an enormous, grassy piazza adjacent to the tower. If you have time, a walk around the city to the north of the river will take you to the old part of the city. There you will find the cramped shops and cafes of Borgo Stretto, the Piazza and Palazzo dei Cavalieri and the National Museum of San Matteo. At the Church of San Michele degli Scalzi, you can see Pisa's other "leaning tower," completed in the 13th century. Trains run frequently between Florence and Pisa. The trip takes about an hour.

Local Tours
CAF Incoming Tours Bus tours of Tuscany and the Chianti region, day and evening tours of Florence, a tour of the Medici villas outside the city, outlet-shopping tours, and trips to Rome and Venice. Tours offered daily. Rates vary.
Via degli Alfani 151 (near the Uffizi) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-210-612 http://www.caftours.com

Citysightseeing The city of Florence has its own sightseeing tour buses. They are red double-deckers with open tops, and you can hop on and off at one of 16 major tourist attractions. Look for signs marked Citysightseeing, which also list the schedule. Buses leave from Florence's central train station and run every half-hour year-round. Daily 9 am-6:30 pm; till 6 pm in April; till 10 pm in summer. Purchase tickets on board: 22 euros adults, 11 euros children (valid for 48 hours). Optional audio commentary is free. . Context Travel For a more scholarly tour, Context offers interesting walking tours covering various aspects of Florentine art, cuisine and history. You can learn about the daily life of Renaissance Florentines or take a fresco workshop. Cost varies with the length of the tour.
Florence, Italy http://www.contexttravel.com/city/Florenc e Florence, Italy Phone: 055-290-451 http://www.firenze.city-sightseeing.it/eng

Guided Florence Tours Customized itineraries as well as private and group tours of Florence. A two-hour group tour for a minimum of five people and maximum of 10 is around 35 euros. A two-day customized itinerary is 25 euros.
Florence, Italy http://www.guidedflorencetours.com

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Open Tour This hop-on, hop-off bus tour is much like Citysightseeing. Yellow and green double-decker buses shuttle among 26 sights within Florence's city center. Optional audio commentary is offered free of charge.
Florence, Italy Phone: 348-881-4984 http://www.florenceopentour.it/index-

Buses run every 30 minutes daily year-round, and stop at A.T.A.F. public bus stops. You have en.asp the option to purchase tickets that are valid for either 24 or 48 hours. Tickets valid for 24 hours: 20 euros for adults, 10 euros for children ages 6-12, 16 euros for seniors. Tickets valid for 48 hours: 25 euros for adults, 12 euros for children ages 6-12, 19 euros for seniors. Purchase online or by phone. . Walking Tours of Florence Offers personalized walking tours of Florence and of other parts of Tuscany, as well as wine, gourmet, artisans' workshops and shopping tours. Monday-Saturday 8 am-6 pm. 25 euros for adults.

Via Sassetti 1 (north of Ponte Vecchio) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-264-5033 http://www.italy.artviva.com

Dining
Dining Overview
Florentines, like people of other regions of Italy, are very proud of their cuisine. "Italian cooking" as such does not existFlorentine, Roman and Milanese cuisines do. In Florence, you might say that the cuisine mirrors the character of the city's inhabitants: no-frills, solid and dignified. Bistecca alla fiorentina is a traditional thick, high-quality, grilled T-bone steak served very rare. But steak was not the staple diet of the people whose culinary arts made Florentine cooking what it is today. The staple fare was stick-to-the-ribs, vegetable-based soups served with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Among the soups, two traditional Florentine favorites are pappa al pomodoro (tomato, basil and bread soup) and ribollita (bean and vegetable soup with bread). Porcini mushrooms, a real delicacy, are a staple in risotto ai funghi porcini (risotto with porcini mushrooms), tagliatelle ai funghi porcini (egg pasta with porcini sauce) and porcini alla griglia (grilled porcini caps). And it would be a disservice not to elaborate on haricot beans when talking about Tuscan food. Classic preparations include cooking with fresh sage and tomato (fagioli all'uccelletto) or with sausage (fagioli e salsiccia). The prosaic sound of these dishes belies their irresistible flavor. Tuscany is undeniably one of the greatest wine-producing regions in the world. Chianti is the most ubiquitous, although quality can vary. Deviation from Chianti's traditional recipe guidelines has given rise to a new regionally-specific classification called "Super Tuscan" you should try. In addition to sampling the Chianti, you should not leave without tasting the exquisite and expensive Brunello di Montalcino or the more moderately priced, but very good, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Navigating the seas of Florentine dining sitesfrom the inexpensive fiaschetteria to the pricey enoteca, from the ristorante to the trattoria and pizzeriacan be as bewildering as it is exhilarating. Once upon a time, the trattoria was an everyday establishment offering simple, hearty fare. Nowadays, because the charm of these places has acquired a price tag, a meal in a well-known trattoria may be just as elegant and expensive as one in a ristorante. Pizzerias frequently offer a whole gamut of choices, from steak to fish, but it's worth remembering that the pizzeria's specialty is pizza usually cooked in a wood-burning oven. In Florence, pizza is baked in large rectangular baking sheets, and you decide the size of your slice. Price is by weight. The fiaschetteria and enoteca are specialized wine shops that frequently serve light meals, including sandwiches made with porchetta (roast pork), soup and crostini. If you'd like to try a takeout specialty and are not too squeamish, try a lampredotto or tripe sandwich from one of the tripe stands (trippaic) in the markets of San Lorenzo, San Ambrogio or Il Porcellino.

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The trend for people who work in the city to have lunch near their workplace rather than at home has meant a surge in inexpensive lunch places. Paradoxically, the same restaurant may offer the identical menu for dinner that it does for lunch, but at double the price. Also, in order to be competitive at lunchtime, elegant cafes will provide a splendid buffet lunch for the same price as their scruffier counterparts. Italians don't usually bother with breakfast (apart from a cappuccino and maybe a pastry). However, some of the hipper bars and restaurants now offer what they call an English or American breakfast or even an American-style Sunday brunch. Most restaurants open for lunch noon-2:30 pm, with the rush 1-2 pm. Dinner hours begin at 7 pm at the very earliest (more typically at 7:30 pm) and continue until at least 10 pm; many places stay open until midnight. Florentines dine punctually at 8:30 pm, so if you want to enjoy your meal at a quieter time or avoid lines, plan to dine a bit earlier. Here is a sampling of restaurants in town. Expect to pay the following for dinner for one, excluding drinks and tip: $ = less than 20 euros; $$ = 20 euros-35 euros; $$$ = 36 euros-65 euros; $$$$ = more than 65 euros.

Local & Regional


Angiolino The friendly staff and reliably delicious food make this old-style trattoria an unfailingly pleasant place to dine. Among the pastas, the penne all'Angiolino (pasta with tomato, meat and redwine sauce) is an institution. The kitchen also makes a mouthwatering, massive bistecca alla fiorentina. For vegetarians, the dish of fried artichokes and other vegetables is a house specialty.
Via Santo Spirito 36/R (in the Oltrarno, halfway between Piazza Santo Spirito and Piazza del Carmine) Florence, Italy 50129

Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations highly recommended for dinner. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Bronzino Bronzino is an elegant, understated restaurant in the San Marco area. It was the art studio of the painter Bronzino's student, Santo di Tito, in the 16th century. The outstanding cuisine varies between Florentine and international and is considered unequaled for fish dishes. Attentive service, beautiful presentation and a great choice of wines add to the experience.
Via delle Ruote 27/R Florence, Italy

Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for lunch only. Reservations recommended. Business dress. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Cantinetta Antinori Wine bar and restaurant managed by the Antinori family, which has been producing wines since 1385. Savor locally produced wine, olive oil and goat cheese, along with other Tuscan dishes, in the small but elegant restaurant. Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner. Closed in August and Christmas week. Reservations recommended. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards.
Piazza degli Antinori 3/R (near Stazione Santa Maria Novella) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-292-234 http://www.antinori.it

Cantinetta dei Verrazzano This elegant enoteca was created by the family that owns Castello da Verrazzano, a well-known Chianti producer. The atmosphere is warm and charmingterra-cotta floors, marble counters and dark wood furnishings. The locationa stone's throw from Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomocouldn't be better. Make a light lunch or dinner out of a good wine and warm focaccia baked on the premises with thyme and pecorino (sheep's cheese) or porcini mushrooms. Monday-Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. $-$$. Most major credit cards.
Via dei Tavolini 18/R Florence, Italy

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Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo The supper club is a great splurge; the owner, Osvaldo, does all the cooking. The menu changes monthly. Wine lovers will appreciate the list of Super Tuscans; your server will help with choosing one that will go with your meal. Call for reservations; the place is small and popular amongst locals. It's not easy to find, so allow some extra time to get there.
Florence, Italy Piazza dei Peruzzi 3/R

Dinner only Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday. $$$-$$$$. Phone 055-217-919. Piazza dei Peruzzi 3/R. Coco Lezzone You can eat typical Florentine fare at communal tables in this well-hidden restaurant whose name comes from a dialect phrase meaning "dirty cook." Florentines say the food reminds them of Grandma's home cooking. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner to 10:30 pm, Tuesday for lunch only. $$$. No credit cards.
Via del Parioncino 26/R (near the Duomo) Florence, Italy 50123 Phone: 055-287-178 http://www.cocolezzone.it

Enoteca Pinchiorri Considered by some to be the best restaurant in Florence and one of the best in Italy. (The prices reflect this: You can spend more than 1,000 euros for a meal if you choose the best wines.) It is part of the Relais & Chateaux chain, and some claim it is now trading on its name to attract foreigners. The food can be overworked, but no one disputes that its wine cellar is still first-class. Choose from Tuscan specialties or more international offerings. Tuesday-Saturday for dinner, sometimes open for lunch. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Harry's Bar Although the original bar and restaurant is in Venice, Harry's Bar Firenze is considered an elegant second location and frequented by a dwindling crowd of nostalgics. You'll find classic food theretry the curried chicken breasts or the Milanese-style cutlets. Daily for lunch and dinner, until midnight; closes 3-7 pm. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Lungarno A. Vespucci 22/R (along the river) Florence, Italy 50123 Phone: 055-239-6700 http://www.harrysbarfirenze.it Via Ghibellina 87/R (near Piazza Santa Croce) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-242-777 http://www.enotecapinchiorri.com

Il Francescano Dining there is like having a personal chef welcome you into his elegant but understated home to sample his personal favorite dishes. The pastas are excellenttry the handmade garganelli with Tuscan sauce. Alberto Sabatini and Libero Bonanno care about freshness and quality (they have a local farm provide the olive oil; they often welcome diners with a complimentary glass of prosecco; and the fritto del convento is good enough to make you want to become a monk). Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards.
Largo Bargellini 16 (near Piazza Santa Croce) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-241-605 http://www.ilfrancescano.com

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Il Latini Even though the place is usually packed with tourists, it's still a favorite of Florentine residents and offers communal-style dining at its best. Tuscan meats, especially bistecca alla fiorentina, are the specialty, and no one makes pappa al pomodoro better. Don't miss the antipasti. Lines can be long. Daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards. Il Santo Bevitore A very serious-looking wine bar that doubles as a restaurant with inventive dishes. The great wine cellar includes reasonably priced, good wines. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner only. $$. Visa and MasterCard accepted.
Via Santo Spirito 64/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-211-264 http://www.ilsantobevitore.com Via dei Palchetti 6/R (near Piazza Goldoni) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-210-916 http://www.illatini.com

I'Raddi This interesting restaurant serves updated Tuscan cuisine and occasionally ventures into other regions such as Sardinia for inspiration. For now, it has the best lunch deal in town, as each plate on the lunch special is priced at (are you ready?) 2 euros. And it's good enough to fill the place 15 minutes after it opens. $-$$. La Casalinga This is one of the best values in the city for a sit-down, well-prepared meal. It has become very popular among locals and tourists alike as a lunch destinationget there before 1 pm and there may be no line. Evenings are less crowded. The lasagna will make your mouth water, and save room for some dessert sorbet. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed for three weeks in August and Christmas week. Reservations recommended. Most major credit cards.
Via dei Michelozzi 9/R (on the Piazza Santo Spirito, two minutes from the Palazzo Pitti) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-218-624 http://www.trattorialacasalinga.it. Via dell'Ardiglione 47/R Florence, Italy

Lo Strettoio This Tuscan restaurant is in a restored olive-oil processing center built in the 16th century. The press is the centerpiece of the dining room. Located a short drive from the city center, it has stunningly beautiful views of Florence from the terrace. There is an excellent wine selection and a grapperia with more than 200 varieties of grappa. Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch only. $$$. Most major credit cards. Osteria Cipolla Rossa This attractive restaurant, tucked away on a side street near the Medici Chapel, is about locally sourced meat and vegetables combined in some not-so-traditional ways. The namesake red onions appear vinegar-macerated atop a perfectly grilled pork chop creating a fabulous contrast with the richness of the pork. The pastas are equally interesting. Open for lunch and dinner daily except Tuesday. Visa and MasterCard accepted.
Via dei Conti, 53/R Florence, Italy Via di Serpiolle 7 Florence, Italy 50141 Phone: 055-425-0044 http://www.lostrettoio.com

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Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco This place in the Oltrarno, close to Ponte Vecchio, is always packed in the evenings, with good reason. Its excellent Tuscan cuisine is complemented by an intimate yet unpretentious atmospherestone walls from the 14th century illuminated by candlelight. Don't miss the strozzapreti (literally, "priest chokers"), light and delicate spinach dumplings. For the adventurous, we recommend homemade egg noodles (pappardelle) in wild boar sauce (the cinghiale of the restaurant's name). Desserts are all homemade, including the mascarpone cream served with a buttery biscuit.
Borgo San Jacopo 43/R Florence, Italy 50125 Phone: 055-215-706 http://www.cinghialebianco.it

Saturday and Sunday for lunch and dinner to 10:30 pm; Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for dinner only. Reservations required. $$. Most major credit cards. Osteria di Giovanni This restaurant near the Arno is a Buon Ricordo Ristorante. That means they'll send you home with a commemorative Buon Recordo plate for the signature dish, squab stuffed with fennel sausage and kale (Piccione del Valdarno). It's very good, as is the tortelli stuffed with pear and pecorino cheese with leeks and sweet paprika. Lunch and dinner Friday-Monday, dinner only Tuesday-Friday. Closed the first week of February. $$$-$$$$. Pitti Gola e Cantina This charming little enoteca offers an excellent selection of fine Chianti reserves, with delicious Tuscan snacks to go with your choice of wine. The chefs buy their pork from one of Tuscany's most famous meat slayers and man of lettersDario Cecchini, the so-called "poet butcher" of Chianti. Closed Monday. Open Tuesday-Sunday 11 am11 pm. $-$$. Most major credit cards. Relais le Jardin The atmosphere at this charming place is both refined and intimate, thanks to two small, attractive dining roomsone overlooking the garden. Service is excellent, and most importantly, the food is of the highest quality. The Tuscan and Italian menu changes every two weeks to accommodate seasonal variations in ingredients. Homemade pasta and desserts are a constant, as is the excellent selection of wines. Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended for lunch, required for dinner. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Sostanza-Troia Dal 1869 This tiny trattoria has a long history, as you might guess from the faded photos of prominent guests that cover the walls. Nothing could be less pretentious than the atmosphere and the country-style home cooking. Try the vegetable soup (zuppa alla paesana), the homemade tortellini and the boiled meats. This trattoria attracts an international clientele.
Via della Porcellana 25/R (a few blocks south of Stazione Santa Maria Novella) Florence, Italy Piazza d'Azeglio 3 (in the Regency Hotel) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-245-247 http://www.regency-hotel.com Piazza de' Pitti 16 (in the Oltrarno, across the street from Palazzo Pitti) Florence, Italy 50125 Via del Moro 22 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-284-897 http://www.osteriadigiovanni.com

Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner; closed 2-7:30 pm. Closed during the month of August. Open Saturday for lunch and dinner April, May, September and October. Reservations highly recommended for dinner. $$-$$$. No credit cards.

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Trattoria Mario A favorite among locals and foreigners alike, Mario is as much theater as restaurant. The cooks in the glass-enclosed kitchen, the friendly service and the crowds sitting at communal tables create a festive atmosphere. Its location, in the heart of the colorful San Lorenzo market district, is an added plus. Friday is fish day (the grilled salmon is heavenly). Monday-Saturday for lunch. Closed during the month of August. Reservations not accepted. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Rosina 2/R (near Stazione Santa Maria Novella) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-218-550 http://trattoria-mario.com

Cuisines
Asian
India Specializing in northern Indian (tandoori and Mughlai) cuisine, this restaurant in the outlying town of Fiesole is an unusual find in this part of the world. It's an exact replica of a roadside Indian restaurant. Daily except Tuesday for dinner. Reservations recommended. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Kome With a Japanese sushi bar downstairs and an excellent barbecue grill upstairs, Kome is very popular with locals and tourists alike. Daily 7-11 pm. Reservations required for the barbecue grill. $$-$$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via dei Benci 41/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-200-8009 http://www.komefirenze.it Via Gramsci 43/R Fiesole, Italy

Osir The low prices and very good dishes (the excellent Beijing duck should be ordered a day in advance) make this popular Chinese restaurant worth the long walk from the city center, although the service is hit-or-miss. Note for non-Italian speakers: The pictures on the menu do not always correspond to the dishes they are advertising. Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations required. $$. Most major credit cards.
Viale Lavagnini 22/R (1 mi/1.6 km from Stazione Santa Maria Novella following Via Nazionale) Florence, Italy 50129

Mediterranean
Rose's Rose's is a pleasant and conveniently central restaurant-cum-art gallery (just off boutique-lined Via Tornabuoni) to stop off for a drink or a light pasta lunch. It's much-favored by students and Florence's young professionals, Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. $-$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Parione 26/R Florence, Italy 50129 Phone: 055-287-090 http://www.roses.it

Vegetarian

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Enoteca Baldovino This popular meeting place offers snacks and a wide selection of vegetarian dishes with its fine wine offerings. Reasonably priced, decent-sized portions satisfy a fashionably alternative crowd. Don't confuse the cafe with its sister restaurant next door at 22/R, Enoteca Trattoria, which is a bit more serious for meals. Daily for lunch and dinner (till midnight). $-$$. Most major credit cards. Il Vegetariano Florence's first vegetarian restaurant has the classic vegan-restaurant feel with brick walls and rough wooden tables and chairs. Go to the counter and make your menu choices from the internationally inspired selections. The menu changes daily but always includes a vegan dish. Pasta, soup, couscous, quiche, salads, seitan, tofu. Also organic beer, wine, fruit juice and an amazing number of herbal teas. Don't miss the desserts. Smoke-free room and summer dining in the garden.
Via delle Ruote 30/R (off Via Santa Reparata near Piazza dell' Indipendenza) Florence, Italy 50100 Via San Giuseppe 18/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-247-6420 http://www.baldovino.com

Daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. It can get crowded, so go early. Closed for several weeks in August and Christmas week. Reservations not accepted. $-$$. No credit cards. Ruth's Serves kosher vegetarian food in a family-friendly atmosphere, as well as a few fish dishes. Almost next door to the synagogue, it's under the supervision of the chief rabbi. Offerings include pita filled with falafel or kefte, salad, bagels and couscous. Meat is available on request. Sunday-Thursday for lunch and dinner, Friday for lunch only. $-$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Luigi Carlo Farini 2/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-248-0888 http://www.kosheruth.com

Cafes & Tearooms


Cafes in the center of Florence may offer a choice of table service or ordering at the bar. Table-service prices are higher, but sometimes it's worth spending the extra money to take a load off your feet or just to sit and people-watch. These places offer an array of sandwiches, savory snacks, cakes, tea and coffee. Some now have lunch offerings, too. Giacosa A smart cafe right off Via Tornabuoni, and owned by fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, this is the perfect place for a light lunch or a superb cappuccinoeven an excellent cocktail. A great place to take a break from shopping. Monday-Friday 7:30 am-10:30 pm, Saturday 8 pm-2 am, Sunday 12:30 pm-8:30 pm. $-$$. Most major credit cards.
Via della Spada 10/R (corner of Via Tournabuoni) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-277-6328 http://www.caffegiacosa.it

Giubbe Rosse In the large Piazza della Repubblica, this outdoor cafe, once famous as the literary hangout of writers, poets, artists and intellectuals, has an excellent lunch buffet with pasta as a first course and hot and cold main courses. It also serves an "American breakfast." Daily 8 am-midnight. $-$$.
Piazza della Repubblica 13-14/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-212-280 http://www.giubberosse.it

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Procacci This jewel, once a haunt of Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly, was founded in 1885. Order the traditional truffle sandwich and a cool glass of vernaccia. Procacci also serves tea. Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm. Closed in August. $-$$. Most major credit cards.
http://www.antinori.it/ita/attorno_al_vino/p rocacci.htm Via Tornabuoni 64/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-211-656

Rivoire This famous cafe, founded in 1872, is the "in" place for intellectuals, politicians and visiting celebrities from all over Italy and the world. The best cappuccino in town (about 1 euro standing, about 4.75 euros seated) and a wonderful selection of delicious pastries and chocolates. Light lunches are available. Cocktails and aperitivi, too. View of the Palazzo Vecchio from the outdoor tables in front. Daily except Monday 7 am-midnight (til 9 pm in winter). $-$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Vacchereccia 4/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-214-412 http://www.rivoire.it

Late Night
Angels This cool restaurant and bar blends a clean, modern style with tradition. Chef Simone Bernacchioni presents a daily menu, as well as a seasonally based menu that focuses on classic Mediterranean dishes. Try the simple and elegant zuppa di gusu (shellfish soup) paired with a recommended wine for a light lunch. Hit Angels in the evening for an aperitivo and a complimentary spread of delicacies, or late weekend nights when a live DJ spins laid-back lounge and techno for a well-dressed, beautiful crowd.
Via del Proconsolo 29/31 Florence, Italy Phone: 055-239-8762 http://www.ristoranteangels.it

Open daily for lunch and dinner until 11:30 pm, Sunday for American-style brunch. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards.

Other Options
If you like ice cream, Italian gelato can be a little bit of heaven. Italians make a late afternoon or early evening habit of it. Although prices do range from store to store, it's usually a very affordable indulgence. Don't fight the urgegive in and enjoy. Although there are many gelaterie (ice-cream shops) to choose from, Vivoli wins hands-down as the local favorite. Carabe Great choice of gelato flavors and Sicilian ice-cream specialties.
Via Ricasoli 60/R (between the Duomo and Piazza San Marco) Florence, Italy Phone: 055-289-476 http://www.gelatocarabe.com

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Grom This wildly popular newcomer from Tornino challenges Vivoli for the best gelato in Florence. You'll find it on Via del Campanile where it intersects with Via delle Oche near the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. April-September 10:30 am-midnight, October-March 10:30 am-11:00 pm. Vivoli Small, like many shops in Florence, but it's worth enduring the cramped quarters for a scoop or two of Vivoli's high-quality gelato, family-made since the 1930s. Enjoy small portions for about 2 euros or a serving of multiple flavors for around 10 euros. Daily except Monday 7:30 am-midnight in summer (till 9 pm in winter). Closed January. $. No credit cards.
Via Isola delle Stinche 7/R Florence, Italy Phone: 055-292-334 http://www.vivoli.it Florence, Italy http://www.grom.it/eng/index.php

Security
Etiquette
Contrary to the relaxed image many have of Italy, the Italian business world emphasizes formality and procedure. Get assistance from a local contact, go through proper channels, and always present yourself and your firm as well-polished and accomplished. AppointmentsHaving an intermediary is essential. Without someone to make the appropriate contacts, you'll find it hard to get much accomplished. Your go-between can help schedule meetings, which should be set up well in advance. It is very difficultnearly impossible, in factto call on a businessperson unannounced. Confirm your meetings a day or two before they're set to take place, but expect lastminute changes, and if you're meeting outside of an office, don't expect punctuality. Personal IntroductionsGreet others with a handshake and a slight nod. Titles are important: Use any professional titles that are supplied on introduction or, better yet, ask for a list of the participants and their official titles in advance of the meeting. Continue to use the title and last name unless you are instructed otherwise. NegotiatingThe pace of negotiations is slow, and final decisions are not made by lower-level functionaries. The chain of command in Italian business is both vertical and horizontal, and decision-making can take a long time. Last-minute demands can be made by a person who enters the negotiations late in the game. In fact, this is sometimes used as a negotiating tool. Remain patient and calm at all times. Business EntertainingBusiness dinners are common but will typically involve only a few key players. If you are hosting the dinner, ask your Italian contact whom to invite. If you want to pay, tip the waiter ahead of time and ask that the bill be quietly given to you. If you do not make such arrangements in advance, you will have to ask for the check; it will not be brought to you automatically. Body LanguageItalians typically converse while standing close to one another. They tend to gesture when talking, and handshakes can extend longer than in other cultures. There is an entire system of hand signs that they use all the time, though none are likely to be made inadvertently by a foreigner. More often, visitors to Italy will start to imitate the gestures used by the locals without understanding the precise meanings of the movementsa practice we'd caution against. Gift GivingSmall but high-quality gifts are appropriate in some situations: Ask your intermediary for advice. If you are invited to a home, take flowers or chocolates. Exercise caution in giving wine: Many Italians are experts; if you're not, you may want to select a different gift. ConversationVery little is off-limits in Italian conversation, but avoid being critical of Italian society and culture, even if your host is. Soccer is a passion and an easy topic, as are art, travel and Italian culture. The less positive sides of Italy, including Mussolini, World War II and the Mafia, are probably better avoided.

Personal Safety

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher In Florence, as elsewhere, the best safety guideline is to use common sense. Florence is a lively place, and even on weekday evenings especially during high seasonthe streets are relatively full until about 11:30 pm (later on weekends). Although there's no reason to avoid going out at night in the center of town, women traveling alone should take extra precautions. Avoid the Santa Maria Novella train station and the surrounding area at night: Transients congregate there. Do not cross any parks or large grassy squares, such as the Fortezza del Basso, in the dark. Pickpocketing, unfortunately, is quite common. Pickpockets and purse snatchers often target tourists in crowded places, such as public buses, the train station or even churches. The Cascine street market is notorious. Italians often carry day packs backwards, with the pack in front of them where they can keep an eye on it. This way it is unlikely that a backpack can be slashed with a knife and the contents removed without the holder even being aware of the action behind them, a rather common way to separate tourists from their cameras or other valuables. Watch out for packs of "gypsy" children who tend to come out of nowhere to create a small scene. While some distract you by harassing you or asking for money, another one of themor a parentmay be making off with your wallet or purse. Keep a good lookout for peopleeven childrencarrying a wrapped newspaper, a piece of cardboard or a raincoat on their forearm: That's a typical method of concealing the action. And keep your purse or bag tightly closed with single-minded determination. Men should put wallets in either an inside zippered pocket or a front trouser pocket. (Gripping a wallet tells thieves where the wallet is located and makes things easy for them.) Another thing to watch out for is purse snatchers on motorbikes: They may grab your purse as they ride by (more common on relatively isolated residential streets). A purse strap slung diagonally across your body, with the purse away from the road, will help you avoid being a target. When stopping at traffic lights, watch for children cleaning your windshield. They are sometimes used to distract you while others clear the backseat and trunk of your car within seconds. For the latest information, contact your country's travel-advisory agency.

Health
Hygienic standards are generally similar to those in other industrialized nations. The water is safe to drink, although most Italians prefer the bottled variety. The water at public fountains on public squares is safeand a boon in hot weather. Food sold on the streets is usually fine, but trust your instincts. Only buy gelato advertised as made in-house from shops with a high turnover so you are sure that the stock each day is fresh. Medical facilities are generally very good in Florence. The Tourist Medical Service offers English-speaking doctors in two locations. The clinic at Via Porta Rossa 1 is open 1-3 pm; the clinic at Via Lorenzo il Magnifico 15 is open 10 am-noon and 5-6 pm. A visit costs a minimum of 50 euros. Phone 055-212-222 . Pharmacies (farmacias) are located throughout Florence and are indicated with a red or green neon cross that is lit when the store is open at night. (The door will sometimes be closed; ring the buzzer for service.) Regular hours are Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 3-7:30 pm, with a few minor variations. Pharmacies open 24 hours are listed on the city-run Web site http://www.en.comune.fi.it/quick_links/pharmacies.htm. Pharmacists in Italy can be of more help for minor ailments than pharmacists in the U. S. For major concerns, call the toll-free medical emergency number: 118. Visitors to Italy are advised to write down the scientific or generic name of prescription medicines and keep them in a safe place during travel. If medicines are lost or a prescription runs out, making a trip to the pharmacy might be all you need to do to fill it. During off hours and on Sunday and holidays, at least one pharmacy is open in every neighborhood. These are called farmacia di turno and are listed in the newspapers La Nazione and La Repubblica (in the Florence section). A window outside each pharmacy lists the closest farmacia di turno. For the latest information, contact your country's health-advisory agency.

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Disabled Advisory
In general, Florenceand the rest of Italyis not an easy place for the disabled because not all structures are equipped with ramps. Sensitivity to this issue is growing, however, and a few of the most important museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello) are accessible. The Santa Maria Novella train station is also fully accessible. All tourist offices offer up-to-date listings. Some public restrooms are wheelchair accessible, especially in the larger establishments. There's extensive information about the accessibility of public buildings at http://giubileo.comune.fi.it/nobarr/welcome.asp.

Facts
Dos & Don'ts
Do wear comfortable shoes, as the pavements in Florence are a nightmare for high heels. Don't ignore Florence's traffic rulesauthorities have made sure that tourists won't escape the hefty fines. Do visit the aperitivi bars of Florence in the early evening. They are the places to be seen at these hours, and most serve free nibbles of food with your drink, which is welcome when you're not used to Italy's later dining hours. Don't buy brand-name articles from street vendors, as they are bound to be fake. You may even face hefty fines when caught at the border or an Italian airport with a fake Rolex watch or Gucci bag. Do enjoy the great view of Florence from the neighboring town of Fiesole. Don't order a cappuccino after a meal, as you will get a blank stare from the waiter. Italians only drink cappuccinos in the morning; after meals, they drink espresso. Do visit the historic center at 5 am to enjoy an hour of almost tourist-free Florence.

Geostats
Passport/Visa Requirements: Citizens of Canada and the U.S. need only a passport for stays of less than three months. Check travel document requirements with your carrier before departing. Population: 378,957. Languages: Italian, but English is usually spoken in places most frequented by tourists. Predominant Religions: Christian (Roman Catholic). Time Zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Voltage Requirements: 220 volts. Two- and three-prong round plugs are used. Telephone Codes: 39, country code; 055, city code;

Money

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Currency Exchange
Italy uses the euro as its currency. ATMs accept a range of foreign bank and credit cards for dispensing currency and are the most convenient way to get money. They usually give better rates than money-changing stands. Cash and traveler's checks may be exchanged at banks, commercial exchange offices and post offices, but be prepared for an ordealthis is no longer a common way to get cash. A detailed list of banks and commercial exchange services is available at the tourist information office at Via Cavour 1/R. They also have an updated list of post offices where you can exchange money. The post office charges a fairly low commission (about 0.50 euros for cash and 1 euro for checks) if you're exchanging a relatively small amount of money. Banks often pay a higher exchange rate than the post office, but they may also charge a higher commission. Because this commission is a flat charge, it may be worthwhile to exchange relatively large sums at a bank. Banks are open Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm; most reopen for an hour in the afternoon, from about 2:30.

Taxes
Italy imposes a value-added tax, known as IVA, on the price of most items, ranging from 4% for essential items (such as food) to 20% for nonessentials (such as leather goods). If you make a large purchase (more than about 155 euros) in a store and plan to take the items out of Italy, it may be possible to receive a refund of the IVA. Participation in this program is left up to the individual stores, so you may have to look around. Stores participating in the program usually have a special sticker or sign in the window, but it's still a good idea to verify participation before making your purchase. The refund can be claimed when you leave the last European Union country through which you are traveling.

Tipping
Tipping is not obligatory. All restaurants include a cover charge per person (pane e coperto) that ranges from about 1 euro to about 3 euros. They sometimes add a 10%-12% service charge (servizio) as well. However, if you wish to reward especially good service, you might leave an extra 5%-10%. In hotels, you might consider leaving the housekeepers 3 euros per day, per person, at the end of your stay. Porters and room-service personnel can be given 5 euros-10 euros. For taxi drivers, it's usually appropriate to tip about 1 euro unless it's an especially large fare.

Weather
Summers are hot, with July being the hottest month. Temperatures can easily surpass 100 F/38 C, but 89-93 F/32-34 C is more the norm. Spring and fall tend to be mild, but don't be surprised to see the odd 80 F/27 C day even in April. A good time to visit is in late September or Octoberthe sky is clear, the vineyards are in harvest, and the long, hot, muggy summer is over. Rain tends to be infrequent but heavy; it is most common in February and March and in the fall. Although winter temperatures are not very low, dampness makes the cold penetrating. Winter temperatures can drop to just below freezing at night and warm up to 46-50 F/8-10 C during the day. Snow is rare.

What to Wear
Italians dress very well and are extremely fashion-conscious. For visitors who want to be taken seriously, neat, casual attire is appropriate for everyday situations. Italians tend to find tourists who sightsee in beach or sports attire rather amusing. You'll feel more comfortable (and get more attention) shopping in expensive clothing stores or patronizing more-refined restaurants if you're dressed well, but if you do any walking in Florence, opt for comfortable shoes. Show respect for religious places by dressing appropriately. If you're wearing short skirts, sleeveless tops or shorts, you will not be allowed to enter. Business meetings require a suit and tie for men and equivalent apparel for women.

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Communication
Telephone
There are few public phones left in Florence. Those that remain require a card issued by the phone company, Telecom, although a few accept change. The cards (carta telefonica) are sold in various amounts. Before they can be used, the perforated corner needs to be torn off. A telephone card may be purchased at tabacchi (tobacco shops) and newspaper stands. A wide range of international phone cards now offer fixed rates, regardless of the time of day you call. Remember that all Florence numbers begin with the prefix 055. Of course, to make an outside call from hotels, you may have to start with an additional 0 or 9, which should be included in the calling instructions. Almost every Italian uses cell phones, called telefonino. GSM 900/1800 phones are used in Italy, and coverage is almost 100% in Florence. Roaming is very expensive, so it is best to sign up for a prepaid plan in Italy. If you have an unlocked GSM 900/1800 phone, you can purchase Italian SIM cards at a phone store or at many newsstands. Once you put in an Italian SIM card, you can buy minutes (ricarica) and only pay 0.20 euros for calls within Italy. Major providers are TIM (http://www.tim.it), Wind (http://www.wind.it) and H3G (http://www.tre.it). The 3 or Tre store is also the best place to fine inexpensive sim cards for your 3G enabled iPad or other mobile devices, and are very helpful in the installation and activation of the SIM. The SIM is only available for use after midnight of the day it is purchased. Currently you'll pay 5 euro per month for 3GB of Internet traffic.

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Internet Access
Internet cafes are extremely popular in Florence. There are a number of walk-in Internet centers around the university area, especially around Via San Gallo. At peak times they can be crowded; those outside the city center tend to have more space. Most places charge about 2 euros for an hour to surf the Web or check e-mail. Internet cafes open and close rather quickly, and the Tourism Office across from the train station and the APT office keep a reasonably up-to-date list of about two dozen places. If you have a laptop, many cafes and bars in Florence now have free Wi-Fi access for customers. Because of security laws, however, you will often need to provide a photo IDoften a passport is requestedto get a username and password. Internet Train With six branches scattered from the Ponte Vecchio to the train station underpass, it's the largest Internet chain in the city. Besides enjoying Internet access and e-mail, you can make photocopies, download pictures from digital cameras and burn CDs. Monday-Friday 10:30 am-8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am-8 pm. 1 hour is 3.20 euros for students, 4.30 euros for nonstudents. Borgo S. Jacopo 30/R (near Ponte Vecchio). Florence, Italy. Phone 055-265-7935. http://www.internettrain.it.

Mail & Package Services


You can save time and trouble by purchasing stamps at a tobacco shop (tabacchi), marked with a big white T against a black background. The tobacconist will weigh letters for you. At post offices, a machine near the entrances dispenses tickets; don't forget to take a number, or you'll end up waiting forever. If you are mailing a letter or package, press the spedizione button (it will probably have a picture of an envelope next to it). The number on your ticket will have a P beside it. If you're mailing something important, skip the post office and use a private delivery service. DHL and Mail Boxes Etc. have a handful of shops in the city. Central Post Office The city's main post office. Monday-Friday 8:15 am-7 pm, Saturday 8:15 am-1:30 pm. On the last Saturday of the month, all post offices close at noon. Via Pellicceria 3 (near Piazza della Repubblica). Florence, Italy.

Newspapers & Magazines


The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and USA Today, as well as such magazines as Time, Newsweek and The Economist, are all regularly available at newsstands at the main train station, the Duomo, Via Martelli, Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza della Signoria. The Rome-based daily La Repubblica (http://www.repubblica.it) has a very handy section about Florence with up-to-the-minute information. The best local news and events are to be found in Florence's top daily, La Nazione (http://lanazione.ilsole24ore.com). Also, the monthly Firenze Spettacolo (http://www.firenzespettacolo.it) is a useful guide to goings-on in the city, listing everything from video art to opera. The Florentine is an english-language newspaper written by students and expats living in Florence. It's a good source of local information. You can find it in many bars, bookstores and hotels, or you can check the online outlet. http://www.theflorentine.net.

Transportation
Most visitors arrive in Florence by either plane or train, or sometimes a combination of both (there's a convenient rail link with the nearby Pisa airport). Getting around Florence became a lot easier when the city center closed to traffic (except to residents). Florence is a driver's nightmare, with its tiny, narrow streets perennially clogged with parked cars, bicycles, mopeds, dumpsters and recycling containers. Because the areas of most interest to visitors are all within a pleasant walk from one another, the important sights are better reached on foot. (You'll notice that mopeds dominate the city-center streets, so use caution when crossing.) Those few attractions not easily reached on foot are on main public bus routes. Taxis are an optionan expensive option.

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Air
Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR) lies on the northern outskirts of the city. Locally, the airport is referred to as "Peretola," the name of the neighborhood where it's located. It has been modernized, with a good self-service restaurant added. Even though it's larger, the airport is still small enough to navigate easily. Phone 055-30615. http://www.aeroporto.firenze.it.

Connecting Transportation Best way: The ATAF and SITA bus services for Peretola are now as convenient as a taxi for getting into town. The buses pick up passengers outside the Arrivals terminal at the stop marked "Vola in Bus." Daily 6 am-11:20 pm. Service into town is express and takes 20-30 minutes. From town, the most convenient spot to catch the bus to the airport is just outside the central train station. (If you are getting off a train, take the station's left-side exit to find the stop; upon exiting, turn left again and look for the nearby stop marked "Vola in Bus.") Buses depart the train station every half-hour 5:30 am-11 pm. Their marquees display Aeroporto in large letters. A ticket costs 5 euros, and you can buy it onboard. http://www.ataf.net or http://www.sitabus.it. Although not the cheapest way to get into town, a taxi is convenient. Expect a ride to the center of Florence to cost around 20 euros. There's an extra charge for each piece of luggage and a supplemental airport charge. Additional charges may be incurred. Other options: Some of the larger hotels have courtesy vans or limos, but be sure the hotel knows exactly when you're arriving at the airport. Rental car agencies have offices at the airport. Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) in Pisa (http://www.pisa-airport.com) is so well-linked to the central train station in Florence that it practically serves as a second airport. When you exit the baggage claim, turn left and walk to the end of the terminal, where you'll find train information andjust outsidethe airport's train station. Tickets to "Firenze, Santa Maria Novella" may be purchased inside the airport terminal at the information desk. Remember to validate your ticket at the appropriate machine. A bus service, Terravision, also connects Pisa's airport to the Florence train station. The trip generally takes about an hour, but allow 90 minutes. 10 euros one-way, 16 euros round-trip. http://www.terravision.eu.

Bus
The CAP system (http://www.capautolinee.it) offers dependable service to Prato and many other small towns in Tuscany. Lazzi (http://www.lazzi.it) has extremely reliable service that reaches even farther than the CAP system. These buses have service to Lucca, Pistoia and more. SITA buses (http://www.sitabus.it) run to San Gimignano and Siena. All three bus lines' stations are very close to the Santa Maria Novella train station.

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Car
The recent profusion of automatic ticketing machines called "Autovelox" and the need to find new revenue sources to bolster Italy's faltering economy have all but eliminated the verve which Italians once brought to the simple act of driving on the highways. Today, speed limits (80 mph/130 kph) on clear stretches of the AutostradaItaly's toll road systemare almost reverently respected. With traffic not moving as it once did and with construction projects underway, the Autostrada near Florence is often found to be at a standstill. You must be particularly alert when you drive on Italian roads. Having a car in the center of Florence is completely unnecessary and inconvenient, so we recommend renting a car only for those days when you'll be exploring areas outside the city. If you do choose to drive, bear in mind that there is virtually no place to park in the center of Florence. Unless you're staying on the outskirts or your hotel has its own parking area, you'll find yourself hunting endlessly for the ever-elusive parking spot. Practically all spots in the city center need a permit, and the area of the Piazza del Duomo is now a pedestrian-only zoneno cars allowed. Illegal parking will result in your car being towed, which is inconvenient and costly. Major public parking lots in the city are located under the Santa Maria Novella station and all along the inner ring road. Using a hand-held cell phone while driving is illegal in Italy and subject to a hefty fine.

Public Transportation
ATAF city buses Orange city buses, run by ATAF, serve the entire city and many outlying areas. You need a ticket in hand before you board the bus, and tickets can be purchased at bars, tobacconists, newspaper stands and kiosks. Tobacconists display a sign with a large white T against a black or blue background. Other establishments that sell bus tickets display the orange ATAF logo. When there's no other optionfor example, in the evening when no ticket sellers are openyou can buy one from the bus driver, but it will cost slightly more. All bus tickets in Italy must be validated at the start of a trip, as must train tickets. Having an unstamped ticket is the same as not having one at all and is liable to land you with a fine. Stamp bus tickets in machines at the back or front of the bus. Tickets are valid for 90 minutes, regardless of how many different lines you take or where you go. Depending on the route, buses run every four minutes to every half-hour. Most buses finish service by midnight. The basic ticket for the local ATAF bus service costs 1.20 euros. Tickets purchased in fours cost 4.70 euros, but a better deal is a pack of 10 for 10 euros. A full-day ticket costs 5 euros and is valid until midnight the day it is activated. . Florence, Italy. Phone 055-56501. Toll-free 800-424-500. http://www.ataf.net.

Taxi
Taxis operate 24 hours a day and are metered. There are surcharges at night, on Sunday and holidays, for trips originating at the airport, for baggage, and when you order a cab by phone. Fares are outrageous: Even a rather short ride will rarely cost less than 10 euros, thanks to a high minimum fare. However, because the number of public buses is greatly reduced after 9 pm, taxis are indispensable for going long distances late at night. You can get a taxi either by going to a taxi stand or by phoning; you won't have much luck hailing one on the street. Taxi stands are located in the following city-center piazzas: San Marco, Repubblica, San Giovanni, Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. There are also stands in front of the Hotel Baglioni and at the corner of Via Oriuolo and the Duomo. Stands are marked with blue-and-white signs. When you telephone for a cab, the switchboard operator will tell you the number of the cab that is coming to pick you up. Don't get in unless the number correspondswait for your proper taxi to arrive. Phone 055-4242, 055-4390 or 055-4499.

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Train
Train service in Italy is run by the state-owned Ferrovie dello Stato. There are two main stations in Florence: Santa Maria Novella and Campo di Marte. The central station is Santa Maria Novella (abbreviated SMN on most signs), and Campo di Marte lies to the east of the Viali and predominately serves trains that are merely passing through the city without stopping. Always check which station your train stops ata surprising number of night trains, for example, stop only at Campo di Marte. The information desk at Santa Maria Novella, located in front of tracks 10 and 11, has English-speaking personnel. All train times can be found online at http://www.trenitalia.com. Before you hop on your train, make sure you validate the train ticket in the yellow stamping machines located at the end of almost every track. Fines for not doing so are hefty, and you'll be required to pay on the spot.

For More Information


Additional Reading
Living Abroad in Italy by John Moretti (Avalon). A guide for day-to-day living in Italy. Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King (Penguin). The history and people behind the great architectural feat.

Tourist Offices
APT Information Office This office is run by the Azienda di Promozione Turistica, the tourist authority for the Province of Florence. There is also a small tourist office at the airport near the Arrival hall, open 8:30 am-6:30 pm. Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-6:30 pm, Sunday 8:30 am-1:30 pm. Via Cavour 1/R (next door to the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi). Florence, Italy. Phone 055-290-832 or 055-290-833. http://www.firenzeturismo.it. Florence City Tourist Information Offices The city council operates two tourist information offices. The one across the street from the front of the train station is convenient. MondaySaturday 8:30 am-7 pm, Sunday and holidays 8:30 am-2 pm. Piazza Stazione (near Santa Maria Novella station). Florence, Italy. Phone 055-212-245. http://en.comune.fi.it.

Events
Calendar
Florence is a visual feast with its distinctive architecture and world-famous sculptures and paintings. In addition to their magnificent permanent collections, the Uffizi Gallery, the Bargello Museum and other sites occasionally add traveling exhibitions to their treasure houses. Florence also provides an extensive array of musical and dance performancesonly a few of which are represented in these listings. For detailed information about upcoming events in the Florence area, contact Agenzia per il Turismo. Phone 055-23320. http://www.firenzeturismo.it. Alternatively, contact the regional tourist board, Turismo in Toscana. http://www.turismo.toscana.it. If you dial any of the Florence numbers listed in this calendar from outside Italy, you must first dial your country's international access code, then Italy's country code, 39, and Florence's city code, 055. Even if you're calling from within Florence, you must now dial the city code, 055, before the rest of the (four- to eight-digit) phone number. We've included the city codes in the phone numbers listed in this calendar. Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.

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May 2012
Early MaySoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season concludes early May Mid MayFabbrica Europa An annual international festival of contemporary music, dance, theater and visual arts from a variety of cultural traditions. In the former Leopolda Railway Station. For information, call 055-263-8480. http://www.ffeac.org. Mid MayInternational Iris Competition This juried flower show has featured varieties of iris from around the world since 1954. More than 150 types are in bloom at Il Giardino del'Iris (the Iris Garden), Pizzale Michelangelo. For information, call 055-483-112. http://www.irisfirenze.it. 1 MayLabor Day Public holiday. 17 MayAscension Religious holiday. Following a parade, crickets are ceremonially released in the Parco delle Cascine. The insects are also placed in decorated cages and sold as part of this tradition. Late MayFiorita The death of Fra Girolamo Savonarolazealous religious reformer of the 15th centuryis commemorated with a ceremony and procession. Palagio di Parte Guelfa, Parte Guelfa 1. For information, call 055-261-6029.

June 2012
Early-Late JuneFlower Display Midsummer in Florence sees a carpet of flowers covering the main square, the Piazza della Signoria. Perfectly arranged and meticulously tended, they provide a riot of color and are a great source of civic pride. Continues through late July Mid-Late JuneEstate Fiorentina A series of arts and culture events in Florence promoting the city's diversity. The festival lasts throughout the summer and takes place at various locations throughout the city. Events include public outdoor movie screenings, theater, dance, concerts, art exhibits and games. Continues through late September 24 JunFeast of San Giovanni Public holiday honoring the patron saint of Florence, St. John. A traditional gioco del calcio (soccer match) takes place. At 9 am, a costumed procession of Florentine guild officials leaves from the Society of St. John headquarters at Via del Corso 1, joined by the competing teams from each of the four quarters of the city. Members of noble Florentine families follow on horseback. Games are played at the Piazza San Croce. A fireworks display takes place in the evening, lighting up the Piazzale Michelangelo.

July 2012
2 JulIl Palio Traditional, famed bareback horse races around the Piazza del Campo, Siena's main square. The races are preceded by three days of trial runs, parades and feasting, and are followed by a day of feasting and accolades for the winning horse and rider. Siena is 90 minutes from Florence on the SITA bus. For information, call 057-280-551. http://www.sienaol.it/sienapal.htm or http://www.siena.turismo.toscana.it. Late JulyFortezza d'Estate Fortezza d'Estate is Florence's annual summer festival, which features concerts, food, music and international culture. The festival celebrates the "global community of Florence," and includes sessions and short classes on language, design, photography, cooking and more (although all are held in Italian). The festival is held at Giardini della Fortezza, a local park not too far from the city center. Admission is free. I Giardini della Fortezza, Viale Filippo Strozzi 1. Phone 055-895-3651. http://www.infortezza.com. Continues through mid August Throughout JulyFlower Display Midsummer in Florence sees a carpet of flowers covering the main square, the Piazza della Signoria. Perfectly arranged and meticulously tended, they provide a riot of color and are a great source of civic pride. Concludes late July Throughout JulyEstate Fiorentina A series of arts and culture events in Florence promoting the city's diversity. The festival lasts throughout the summer and takes place at various locations throughout the city. Events include public outdoor movie screenings, theater, dance, concerts, art exhibits and games. Continues through late September

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August 2012
Early-Mid AugustFortezza d'Estate Fortezza d'Estate is Florence's annual summer festival, which features concerts, food, music and international culture. The festival celebrates the "global community of Florence," and includes sessions and short classes on language, design, photography, cooking and more (although all are held in Italian). The festival is held at Giardini della Fortezza, a local park not too far from the city center. Admission is free. I Giardini della Fortezza, Viale Filippo Strozzi 1. Phone 055-895-3651. http://www.infortezza.com. Concludes mid August 15 AugFeast of the Assumption Public holiday. 16 AugIl Palio Traditional, famed bareback horse races around the Piazza del Campo, Siena's main square. The races are preceded by three days of trial runs, parades and feasting, and are followed by a day of feasting and accolades for the winning horse and rider. Siena is 90 minutes from Florence on the SITA bus. For information, call 057-280-551. http://www.sienaol.it/sienapal.htm or http://www.siena.turismo.toscana.it. Late AugustSoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May 2013 Throughout AugustEstate Fiorentina A series of arts and culture events in Florence promoting the city's diversity. The festival lasts throughout the summer and takes place at various locations throughout the city. Events include public outdoor movie screenings, theater, dance, concerts, art exhibits and games. Continues through late September

September 2012
Early-Late SeptemberOpera Productions are frequently staged at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through early February 2013 Early-Late SeptemberConcert Amici della Musica produces a music festival that gives exposure to up-and-coming artists during the month of September. For information and tickets, call 055-609-012. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. 6-9 SepGreve Chianti Classico Festival This wine festival and tasting occurs the second weekend in September. Greve is about 20 mi/30 km south of Florence. http://www.greve-in-chianti.com. 7 SepFesta della Rificolona Cultural events at the Festival of Lanterns take place in Piazza Annunziata, along the Arno River and in all four quarters of the city. For information, call 055-23320. 9 SepLa Giostra della Stella Four neighborhoods in the nearby town of Bagno a Ripoli compete in a tournament that incorporates everything from a three-legged race to feats of skill on galloping horses. Citizens parade in Renaissance costumes. Fireworks conclude the festivities. Bagno a Ripoli is 15 minutes from Florence by car. http://www.giostradellastella.it. Throughout SeptemberSoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May 2013 Throughout SeptemberEstate Fiorentina A series of arts and culture events in Florence promoting the city's diversity. The festival lasts throughout the summer and takes place at various locations throughout the city. Events include public outdoor movie screenings, theater, dance, concerts, art exhibits and games. Concludes late September

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October 2012
Early-Late OctoberConcert The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione sponsors frequent concerts at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through late March 2013 Mid-Late OctoberConcert Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) presents classical music concerts at Teatro della Pergola, Via Sirtori 49. Phone 055-609-012 or 055-607-440. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. Continues through early April 2013 Throughout OctoberSoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May 2013 Throughout OctoberOpera Productions are frequently staged at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through early February 2013

November 2012
1 NovAll Saints' Day Public holiday. 25 NovFlorence Marathon Long-distance runners take to the streets of Florence. The route begins at Piazzale Michelangelo and finishes at Piazza Santa Croce. For information, call 055-552-2957. http://www.firenzemarathon.it. Late NovemberChristmas Markets Florence's Christmas markets feature Italian and international vendors selling handcrafted gifts. Mercato Tedesco di Natale, the German Christmas Market, is held in Piazza Santa Croce. Florence Noel is located at Stazione Leopolda near Porta al Prato. Continues through late December Throughout NovemberConcert Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) presents classical music concerts at Teatro della Pergola, Via Sirtori 49. Phone 055-609-012 or 055-607-440. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. Continues through early April 2013 Throughout NovemberSoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May 2013 Throughout NovemberOpera Productions are frequently staged at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through early February 2013 Throughout NovemberConcert The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione sponsors frequent concerts at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through late March 2013

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December 2012
8 DecFeast of the Immaculate Conception Public holiday. 25 DecChristmas Public holiday. 26 DecSt. Stephen's Day Public holiday. Throughout DecemberOpera Productions are frequently staged at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through early February 2013 Throughout DecemberConcert Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) presents classical music concerts at Teatro della Pergola, Via Sirtori 49. Phone 055-609-012 or 055-607-440. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. Continues through early April 2013 Throughout DecemberConcert The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione sponsors frequent concerts at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through late March 2013 Throughout DecemberSoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May 2013 Throughout DecemberChristmas Markets Florence's Christmas markets feature Italian and international vendors selling handcrafted gifts. Mercato Tedesco di Natale, the German Christmas Market, is held in Piazza Santa Croce. Florence Noel is located at Stazione Leopolda near Porta al Prato. Concludes late December

January 2013
1 JanNew Year's Day Public holiday. 6 JanEpiphany Public holiday. Throughout JanuaryConcert Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) presents classical music concerts at Teatro della Pergola, Via Sirtori 49. Phone 055-609-012 or 055-607-440. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. Continues through early April Throughout JanuarySoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May Throughout JanuaryOpera Productions are frequently staged at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through early February Throughout JanuaryConcert The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione sponsors frequent concerts at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through late March

February 2013
Early FebruaryOpera Productions are frequently staged at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Concludes early February Throughout FebruarySoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May Throughout FebruaryConcert The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione sponsors frequent concerts at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Continues through late March Throughout FebruaryConcert Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) presents classical music concerts at Teatro della Pergola, Via Sirtori 49. Phone 055-609-012 or 055-607-440. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. Continues through early April

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March 2013
29 MarGood Friday On Good Friday, a full re-enactment of Christ's life and Passion is performed in Grassina, a municipality just outside Florence. For information, call 055-646-051. http://www.rievstoricagrassina.it. 31 MarEaster Sunday Public holiday. 31 MarScoppio del Carro One of Florence's biggest festivals is the Scoppio del Carro, literally "Explosion of the Cart," an event that dates back to medieval times. The Scoppio del Carro takes place following mass on Easter Sunday in front of the Duomo. Throughout MarchConcert Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) presents classical music concerts at Teatro della Pergola, Via Sirtori 49. Phone 055-609-012 or 055-607-440. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. Continues through early April Throughout MarchSoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May Throughout MarchConcert The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione sponsors frequent concerts at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16, and other venues. Concludes late March

April 2013
Early AprilConcert Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) presents classical music concerts at Teatro della Pergola, Via Sirtori 49. Phone 055-609-012 or 055-607-440. http://www.amicimusica.fi.it. Concludes early April 25 AprLiberation Day Public holiday. Throughout AprilSoccer AC Fiorentina plays regularly scheduled Series A matches. Communal Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti 14. For tickets, call 055-553-2803. http://www.acffiorentina.it. Season continues through early May

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Milan
Overview
Introduction
From the enchanted rooftop world of the Duomo, you can see the graceful porticoes and ornate friezes of medieval Milan, Italy, fade into the sharp lines and angles of the modern city. It's a clear reminder that Milan isn't just a relic from the past. This magical yet understated city is bursting with a perfect mix of history, polished style and urban energy. Although it's Italy's most prosperous city, Milan doesn't draw the tourists that may overrun Rome, Florence and Venice. But its streets are lined with famous sites, from the beloved opera house La Scala and the spired Gothic splendor of the Duomo to the beaux arts filigree of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Its museums and galleries hold many treasures, from Da Vinci's The Last Supper to Michelangelo's Rondanini Pieta. And even when willowy models wearing the latest designer confections aren't rushing through the streets to get to casting sessions and runway shows, Milan is a powerhouse of smart, ubercool shops and trendy restaurants filled with dressed-to-kill locals, right in the heart of its ancient past.

Milan Public Gardens

Highlights
SightsThe Duomo and Piazza del Duomo; Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II; Leonardo da Vinci's famous work The Last Supper; the 15thcentury Castello Sforzesco. MuseumsPinacoteca di Brera; Museo Bagatti Valsecchi; Museo Poldi Pezzoli; Museo Teatro alla Scala. Memorable MealsIngenious vegetarian fare at Joia; soaking up the ambience at Trattoria dei Cacciatori; hob-nobbing with the glitterati at Trussardi alla Scala; fine dining at Cracco; affordable culinary perfection at Chic 'n' Quick. Late NightThe Brera area; the Corso Como area; the Navigli area. WalksFrom the Duomo down Via Dante to the Castello Sforzesco, then to the castle grounds and through Parco Sempione; through the ultrachic designer area framed by Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni and Via della Spiga; along Corso Garibaldi between Via della Moscova and Via De Cristoforis and through the Porta Garibaldi arches. Especially for KidsThe Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo da Vinci.

Geography
As a glance at the map reveals, Milan radiates out from its amazing cathedral and the splendid Piazza del Duomo. A ring of streets, known as the cerchia dei navigli, marks the limits of the medieval city. Beyond that, another ring roadfollowing the boundaries of more recent city limitsdistinguishes central Milan from its outskirts. Within the inner ring and northeast of Piazza Duomo are the chic shopping areas of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the area referred to as the "golden rectangle" (bordered roughly by Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga, Via Sant'Andrea and Via Montenapoleone). West of the rectangle and behind La Scalabut still within the inner ringis the chic area known as the Brera, surrounding the splendid art gallery Pinacoteca di Brera.

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To the southwest of the city center lies the Navigli area. This area is named for the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese, the two canals that were built so goods could be shipped into this landlocked city. The Naviglio Grande extends 30 mi/50 km to the Ticino River. The Naviglio Pavese provides a link to the city of Pavia, where the Ticino meets the Po River.

History
Milan's name is derived from mediolanum, Latin for "middle lands"an appropriate choice, as the city is located at the point where northern and southern Europe meet. It has a long history of changing governments, rulers and cultures. The original Celtic village became part of the Roman Empire around the first century BC; in AD 313 the emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, making Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Roman Empire and centuries of barbarian rule, Milan once again became independent and prosperous as a city-state, rising to political and cultural prominence under the Visconti and Sforza families (considered among Europe's royalty) in the 13th and 14th centuries. Milan's more recent history is no less turbulent. Spanish, French and Austro-Hungarian rule finally gave way to independence in 1861, when Milan became part of the kingdom of Italy. The city was the birthplace of fascism in Italy in the early years of the 20th century. Vestiges of that autocratic period survive today in its architecture; the massive Central train station is an excellent example. After World War II, Milan drew workers from the poorer southern regions of Italy and overflowed its prewar borders to become a sprawling metropolis. In the 1970s and 1980s, the city prospered, becoming the industrial, financial, fashion and design center of the country. Times have changed, however, as the world economy has inevitably slowed Milan's push to be one of the financial powerhouses of Europe. Even though some of the dazzle may be gone, the city maintains its head start on the rest of the country as its business sectors continue to bustle.

Potpourri
During the Middle Ages, the best ladies' hats were made in Milan. In English, the hat makers were called "Milaners," a term that eventually evolved into the term "millinery." Cappuccino, or cappuccio as it is also called in northern Italy, is never sipped after a meal. It's a breakfast drink, drunk on an empty stomach. If you want to have it after a meal, you won't get arrested, but you will be a topic of conversation. A number of mysteries surround The Last Supper, including the idea that the person to the right of Jesus is Mary Magdalene and not the apostle John. This proved inspirational to author Dan Brown, whose book The Da Vinci Code went on to sell more than 80 million copies worldwide. When the city's various canals were eventually covered over, the bridges that spanned them were also removed. Only one remains. Called il ponte delle sirenette, "the bridge of the little mermaids," it found a new home in Parco Sempione when the canal it forded was closed in 1930. All of the shops in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II are required to have signs in gold lettering on a black background. For once, the McDonald's cafe really does have "Golden Arches"as well as perhaps the most chic interior of any McDonald's anywhere. In 1918, Ernest Hemingway was treated in Milan for wounds sustained on the front during World War I (he was an ambulance driver). At the Red Cross hospital on 10 Via Alessandro Manzoni, Palazzo Anguissola Antona Traversi (now the property of Intesa Sanpaolo bank), he met American nurse Agnes von Kurowsky; their courtship was the inspiration for the love story in A Farewell to Arms. The first captain of the AC Milan soccer team and one of the founding fathers of Italian soccer was an Englishman from Nottingham, Herbert Kilpin. He led the team to three championship titles in the early 19th century and is buried in Milan's monumental cemetery. One of many amusing anecdotes about his career concerns his practice of leaving a bottle of whiskey in a hole dug behind the goal. That way, whenever he missed a chance to score, he could console himself with a stiff drink. Gaspare Campari opened a bar (now Zucca in Galleria) in front of the Duomo in 1862, and there he sold his bitter aperitif. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but the drink's bright red color comes from a colorant derived from the dessicated bodies of Mexican female cochineal insects.

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Hotel Overview
Because Milan attracts more business travelers than tourists, there is a greater preponderance of four-star hotels, and fewer smaller, inexpensive places. There is also a tendency for many hotelsand not just the smaller onesto be closed during the Christmas holidays and throughout the month of August. Booking a room during major trade shows can be costly, especially near the Milan Fairgrounds. Book early if you're planning to attend. Note that the city's hotels are likely to be sold out during fashion-show periods (mid-January, late February, late June and late September) and throughout the Milan Furniture Fair (mid-April). Indeed, during the Furniture Fair, many Milanese make money by renting their apartments to exhibitors and buyers. A number of hotels are clustered in the area around the Duomo, near the Piazza Repubblica and Central train station. If you're in Milan to see the sights, a hotel near the Duomo is the most convenient. If that's not an option, choose a hotel near a metro stop; you can hop on a train and be in the center of things in a matter of minutes. Remember that "star" ratings are national. Consider a three-star as the minimum standard: The one- and two-star categories may only offer rooms with shared baths. In addition, outside of the center and in residential areas, the one- and two-star establishments may be little more than brothels. Hotel rates may include breakfast. This may be a mixed blessing. You may be paying as much as 10 euros for a cup of coffee and a croissant, which would cost you about 2 euros in the bar up the street. If you are watching your budget, ask how much breakfast costs, and if necessary see if you can pay just the room rate.

See & Do
Sightseeing
The major landmarks of Milan can be seen on foot, and most are within an easy walk of Piazza Duomo, the heart of the city. Start your exploring with the Duomo itself (and its museum, if you have the time) and then plan some short walks from there. Heading north from Piazza Duomo, through the elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (built in 1865 as perhaps one of the world's first indoor shopping arcades), you'll reach Piazza della Scala, home of the famous La Scala opera house. Turn on Via Manzoni and head for Via Montenapoleone, Milan's premier shopping and design area. Alternatively, head north into Via Verdi, which leads to Via Brera and the Pinacoteca di Brera, one of the city'sand the world'smost celebrated art galleries. Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Raphael, Piero della Francesca and Caravaggio are just some of the artists whose work is in this vast gallery. Another option is to walk northwest from Piazza Duomo on Via Mercanti, which becomes the pedestrian-only street Via Dante. This will take you to Castello Sforzesco, home of the Renaissance rulers of Milan. The castle now contains several museums that are well worth visiting. Even just a stroll around the grounds is a memorable experience. Following Via Torino from Piazza del Duomo, you will reach the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, a small but important gallery. It houses works by Raphael, Leonardo, Titian and Breughel. If you really feel like walking, head west to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. In the refectory is Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Last Supper. Make sure you get a reservation to view.

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Historic Sites
Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio This church was built in the fourth century by St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan and Milan's patron saint. It has been enlarged and rebuilt over the centuries, but the stunning fourth-century chapel (Sacello di San Vittore in Ciel d'Oro) with its fifth-century gold mosaic dome is still standing and has been restored. The basilica is open Monday-Saturday 10 am-noon and 2:30-6 pm, Sunday 3-5 pm. Entrance to the basilica is free. Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio This 11th-century church was almost entirely rebuilt in the 12th and 13th centuries. The facade was reconstructed in 1863. Under the raised apse of this typical Lombard-style basilica is the magnificent Portinari chapel. Although in need of restoration, the scenes from the Life of Saint Peter Martyr by Vincenzo Foppa (painted 1466-68) constitute the most important Renaissance fresco cycle in the city.
Corso di Porta Ticinese 95 (MM1/3 Duomo, MM2 Sant'Ambrogio) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-5810-1583 http://www.santeustorgio.it Piazza Sant'Ambrogio 15 (MM2 Sant'Ambrogio) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8645-0895 http://www.basilicasantambrogio.it

Basilica San Lorenzo One of the oldest central-plan churches in the world (from the fifth century), this impressive site reused (in the church's portico) 16 Roman columns from the second century. The central plan also has many eastern, Byzantine elements. Though heavily renovated in the 16th century, much of the early structure is visible, including some of the finest early frescoes and mosaics in northern Italy. Next to the basilica are the fifth-century chapels of St. Aquilinus (with its original mosaics) and St. Hippolitus, and the sixth-century mausoleum of St. Sixtus. To view the chapel of St. Aquilinus (2 euros), call ahead or find the church custodian. Open Monday-Saturday 7:30 am-12:30 pm and 2:30-6:45 pm, Sunday 7:30 am-6:45 pm. Casa di Riposo per Musicisti Fondazione Giuseppe Verdi Giuseppe Verdi and his wife were buried there after a brief stay at Cimitero Monumentale following his death in January 1901. This foundation for retired musicians is somewhat outside the center of Milan itself. Crypt open 10 am-6 pm daily. (The entrance is through the office to your left.) Free.
Piazza Buonarroti 29 (MM1 Buonarroti) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-499-6009 http://www.casaverdi.org Corso di Porta Ticinese 39 (Bus 94; Tram 3) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8940-4129 http://www.sanlorenzomaggiore.com

Castello Sforzesco Built in the mid-15th century, this redbrick castle is one of the city's most imposing landmarks. It has been rebuilt and altered many times over the centuries. When Milan was under French rule, the castle was used as a military barracks. It now houses several museums, including the Museo d'Arte Antica, whose most notable piece is the Rondanini Pieta, Michelangelo's last work (left unfinished at his death); and the fine Pinacoteca, which houses works by Mantegna, Antonello da Messina, Foppa, Cesare da Sesto, Procaccini, Cerano, Bellotto and Canaletto. There are also Egyptian and prehistoric collections.
Piazza Castello (MM1 Cairoli) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8846-3700 http://www.milanocastello.it

November-March the castle is open daily 7 am-6 pm; April-October daily 7 am-7 pm. The museums are open daily except Monday 9 am5:30 pm. Admission to the castle grounds is free. Admission to the museums is 6 euros.

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Chiesa di San Bernardino Make an effort to visit the chapel in this church, especially if you enjoy a touch of the macabre. In 1695, monks took more than 3,000 human bones from suppressed cemeteries and used them to create intricate patterns all over the walls. Walk into the church and turn right; a sign points you through the double doors to the ossario.
Entrance on Piazza Santo Stefano Milan, Italy

You can visit Monday-Friday 7:30 am-noon and 1-6 pm, Saturday 7:30 am-12:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-12:30 pm. Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie Although its claim to fame is Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper in the refectory next door, the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie merits a visit in its own right. The church of Milan's ruling classes, it was begun in late-Gothic style in 1465. At the end of the century, Ludovico "il Moro" (The Moor) Sforza, the Duke of Milan, commissioned the architect Bramante to complete the dome and apse in the Renaissance style. (Ludovico was later ousted from Milan by the French and died in exile.) The church also has elaborate frescoes and carved wooden paneling. Monday-Saturday 7 am-noon and 3-7:15 pm, holidays 7:30 am-12:15 pm and 3:30-9 pm. Free. Cimitero Monumentale The monumental cemetery of Milan dates from 1866 and is the final resting place of many illustrious Milaneseand the extravagant tombs and monuments let you know it. It's a fascinating place to lose yourself for an hour or so from the bustle of the city, map in hand. Seek out the tombs of conductor Arturo Toscanini, the Campari family (in the shape of a lifesize bronze rendition of The Last Supper) and of one of Italy's most famous writers, Alessandro Manzoni, among others. There are some stunning Art Nouveau tombs, while the derelict Jewish cemetery is particularly moving. Open daily except Monday 8 am-6 pm, closed at 1 pm on certain public holidays. Free. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Built in 1865, this beaux arts architectural beauty was the precursor to today's shopping malls. The Galleria connects Piazza Duomo and The cruciform gallery, with its soaring glass-and-steel roof and mosaic floors, has many small Piazza della Scala (MM1/MM3 Duomo) shops worth browsing. Check out the first Prada store, established in 1913 and with its original Milan, Italy fixtures intact, as well as more recent additions such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tod'sand McDonald's. The mosaic bull in the central area of the Galleria has become a magnet for those wanting good luck, which is apparently achieved by twisting one's heel on a specific part of the bull's anatomyyou'll see the depression that marks the spot.
Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale (MM2 Garibaldi, and walk) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8846-5600 http://www.monumentale.net Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie (MM1/MM2 Cadorna or MM1 Conciliazone) Milan, Italy

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The Duomo Almost five centuries in the making, the Duomo is the most recognizable symbol of Milan. Piazza del Duomo (MM1/MM3 Duomo) Begun in the late 14th century, the cathedral is a combination of Gothic and baroque styles. Milan, Italy More than 2,000 statues and 135 marble spires stand on its exterior, and almost 500 more statues adorn the interior. Visitors who go inside can view the splendidly attired remains of St. Phone: 02-7202-3375 Charles Borromeo, a cardinal of the 1500s known as an advocate for the poor, and the tomb of http://www.duomomilano.it Gian Giacomo Medici. The baptistry and the treasury, for which a fee is payable, are also well worth seeing. A climb to the rooftop provides one of the finest views of the city and a closer look at the statue of the Virgin Mary atop the Duomo's spire, affectionately called La Madonnina by locals. (This statue commands such reverence that laws used to prohibit the construction of buildings higher than its perch at 354 ft/108 m.) The Duomo was the first cathedral in the world to be lit from within. The eco-friendly lighting system can be enjoyed on weekends and religious holidays. Daily 7 am-7 pm. The rooftop is open March-October daily 9 am-5:45 pm; November-February daily 9 am-4:45 pm. Last admission 45 minutes before closure. The Vestry Board of the Duomo keeps the roof terrace open later in spring and summer through the "Sunset over the Spires" initiative; closing times vary April-September, depending on the time of sunset. To go up on the roof, you'll pay 5 euros to take the 500 stairs or 8 euros to take the elevator. Before heading back down, look for the elevated terrace. You'll need to climb a further 70 steps, but it's worth it. The Last Supper Leonardo da Vinci painted this famous work, known in Italian as il Cenacolo, between 1495 and 1498 on the wall of a monastery's refectory attached to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. As familiar as the Mona Lisa, the picture shows Christ celebrating a last meal with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion. The painting's setting and its history make a visit all the more special.
Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie 2 (MM1/MM2 Cadorna or MM1 Conciliazione) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-9280-0360 for reservations

During the World War II bombing of Milan, the refectory was almost completely destroyed. One http://www.cenacolovinciano.net of the few parts left intact was the wall with the painting, which had been sandbagged from floor to ceiling. The Last Supper has had five restorations (it began to deteriorate only 20 years after it was completed), in 1908, 1924, 1953, 1977 and 1999. The last restoration brought out luminous colors and vivid details that had not been seen for centuries, such as more accurate facial features and the creases of the tablecloth. Now, small groups of visitors (maximum of 25) can enter the refectory to admire the painting for 15 minutes. Advance reservations are a must; in summer call or reserve online at least one month ahead of your visit. To avoid losing your reservation, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your reserved time to claim your ticket. In the off-season, sometimes it's possible to get same-day tickets (lines are shortest 6-7 pm), or you can stop by the ticket office to see if there are any unsold tickets. Daily except Monday 8 am-7:30 pm (last entrance is at 6:45 pm). Admission is 8 euros, which includes a mandatory 1.50 euro reservation fee. Guided tours in English are offered daily except Monday at 9:30 am and 3:30 pm. The fee for a guided tour is 3.50 euros, and tickets can be purchased online or via phone. Audio guides are also available for 2.50 euros. Torre Branca This 1933 landmark, Milan's answer to the Eiffel Tower, lets visitors ascend 590 ft/108 m to the top for a bird's-eye view of the city, but it is only open when the weather is fair. When you're done, stop in at Just Cavalli Hollywood Cafe downstairs. Opening times vary; call ahead. 4 euros.
Via Camoens, Parco Sempione Milan, Italy

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Museums
Although hours vary with the season, museums are typically closed on Monday. Last admission is generally 30 minutes before closing time. Civico Museo Archeologico This former monastery provides an impressive display of artifacts, some dating back to Greek, Etruscan and Roman times. And given the number of invasions the city suffered over time, it's not surprising to find collections of objects originally belonging to the Gothic, Germanic and Lombard peoples. Daily except Monday 9 am-5:30 pm. Sometimes free entrance, otherwise 2 euros. Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta This foundation, established in a 19th-century textile factory in 1988, presents three exhibits of contemporary art per year. It also has a permanent collection of works on paper by such artists as Goya, Amedeo Modigliani, Umberto Boccioni, Wassily Kandinsky, Matisse and Warhol. Daily except Monday 10 am-7:30 pm. Closed August. Free.
Between Castello Sforzesco and the Piccolo Teatro, Foro Bonaparte 50 (MM1 Cairoli or MM2 Lanza) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-878-197 http://www.mazzotta.it Corso Magenta 15 (MM1/MM2 Cadorna) Milan, Italy

Galleria d'Arte Moderna (GAM) Once Napoleon's summer home, this modern art museum now contains not only the Vismara collection of works by such greats as Picasso, Renoir and Matisse, and fine 19th-century works in the Grassi collection but further collections of paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. After you've taken in the art, wander through the surrounding gardens. Daily except Monday 9 am-1 pm and 2-5:30 pm. Free. Museo Bagatti Valsecchi This striking house, circa 1883, was owned by brothers Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi, who were lawyers in late-19th-century Milan. Intrigued by the Renaissance, they turned their home into a showplace of that era, with furnishings and art they collected throughout their lives. The museum shop is one of the best in town. Daily except Monday 1-5:45 pm. Closed during August and on many local and national holidays. 8 euros adults (4 euros on Wednesday); English audio guides are free with admission. Most major credit cards. Museo del Duomo The Duomo Museum is closed indefinitely for renovation. It contains exhibits relating to the building of the cathedral. You probably never gave the gargoyles and statues on the Duomo's facade much thought, but the museum has the casts that made them, as well as scale models of the church during various phases of its construction. Church vestments from over the centuries are also on display.
Piazza del Duomo 14 (MM1/MM3 Duomo) Milan, Italy 20122 Phone: 02-860-358 http://www.duomomilano.it Via Gesu 5; there's another entrance on Via Santo Spirito 10 (MM1 San Babila, MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy 20121 Phone: 02-7600-6132 http://www.museobagattivalsecchi.org Via Palestro 16 (MM1 Palestro or MM3 Turati) Milan, Italy

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Museo di Milano If you are interested in seeing what Milan looked like with canals, make a stop at this museum. The paintings, most of them from the Luigi Beretta bequest, provide a fascinating picture of Milan from the early 19th century, when Napoleon was king of Italy, to the end of Austrian dominion (1860). Open daily except Monday 9 am-1 pm and 2-5:30 pm. Free. Museo Diocesano The second cloister of the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio provides a home for the Museo Diocesano, which documents, with permanent and temporary exhibits, the history of Christianity in Milan from the time of St. Ambrose to the present day. Daily except Monday 10 am-6 pm. Extended summer hours July-September Tuesday-Saturday 7 pm-midnight. Entrance to the basilica is free, to the chapel and museum is 12 euros for adults. Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo da Vinci Both children and adults enjoy the National Museum of Science and Technology, a homage to Leonardo da Vinci and the largest museum of its kind in Italy. Although it highlights Da Vinci's scientific work, with models and plans of his many inventions, the museum also covers a wide span of modern technology, including trains, cars, airplanes and even an Italian submarine. Hands-on displays let you experiment with how things work. Note: Most of the exhibit descriptions are in Italian. The spacious Renaissance monastery setting is an experience in itself.
Via San Vittore 21 (MM2 Sant'Agostino) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-485-551 http://www.museoscienza.org Corso di Porta Ticinese 95 (MM1/3 Duomo, MM2 Sant'Ambrogio) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8942-0019 http://www.museodiocesano.it Via Sant'Andrea 6 (MM1 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy

Wednesday-Friday 9:30 am-5 pm; Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am-6:30 pm. (It's very crowded on school days, and some lab activities are booked for school groups Wednesday-Saturday morning, so weekends are probably best.) 10 euros adults, 7 euros for those 25 and younger, free for children younger than 3. Museo Poldi Pezzoli Strolling through these rooms, you can appreciate the refined tastes of a Milanese aristocrat in the late 1800s. Count Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli dedicated his life to acquiring Italian art and creating a beautiful setting to display his collection. He bequeathed the building and its contents to the public, and it has been a museum since 1881. Among the many riches contained in his elegant home are works of art by Vincenzo Foppa, Bernardino Luini, Botticelli and Tiepolo. Antonio Pollaiolo's Portrait of a Lady is one of Milan's most beloved treasures and the inspiration for the museum's logo.
Via Manzoni 12 (MM1/3 Duomo, MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy 20121 Phone: 02-794-889 http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it

Daily except Tuesday 10 am-6 pm. 9 euros adults. One of the few musuems that is open on Monday, it's also the day when a ticket for the Pozzi museum allows free entrance to the museum at La Scala. Free audio guides in Italian, English and Japanese available. Museo Teatro alla Scala The La Scala Museum contains a collection of artifacts having to do with opera, including theater costumes, stage sets, puppets and instruments. One of the most fascinating items is the death mask of composer Giuseppe Verdi. Daily 9 am-noon and 1:30-5:30 pm. Last entrance 30 minutes before close. 5 euros.
Largo Ghiringhelli 1 (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8879-2473 http://www.teatroallascala.org

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Osservatorio Astronomico The observatory, one of 12 in all of Italy, has been located in the Palazzo Brera since 1765. Make your way through throngs of students to visit the museum of antique astronomical instruments, in the observatory where the canals on Mars were first charted, and the rooftop where meteorological measurements have been made for more than 200 years. Guided tour times vary by season; appointments can be made online. Monday-Friday 9 am-4 pm. Museum free. Observatory by guided tour only (book online) 8 euros adults, 6 euros students, seniors and children younger than 18. Palazzo Reale Just to the south of the cathedral, this handsome palazzo was built in the 1770s for Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, the ruler of Milan at that time. Both Napoleon Bonaparte and King Vittorio Emanuele were residents, and Mozart performed there as a child. Most of the original interiors were bombed in World War II, but the spectacular Sala delle Cariatidi survived. The Palazzo Reale is open only for art exhibitions, of which there are many throughout the year.
Piazza Duomo 12 (MM1/3) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-875-672 http://www.comune.milano.it/palazzoreale Via Brera 28 (MM2 Lanza) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7232-0301 http://www.brera.inaf.it

Monday 2:30-7:30 pm; Tuesday-Sunday 9:30 am-7:30 pm (till 10:30 pm Thursday and Saturday). Hours and ticket prices may vary according to individual exhibits, but expect to pay 9 euros. Credit-card payment accepted only by phone. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana Established in the early 1600s by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, this collection of paintings is in a 17th-century palazzo that is superb in itself. The impressive collection of mostly Italian art is grouped in rooms by century, providing an intimate viewing experience. Caravaggio's The Fruit Basket, Italy's first still-life painting, is probably the most important work in the collection. Another rare treasure is a series of small paintings by Jan Brueghel. Raphael's cartoon for the School of Athens gets a room to itself. The adjacent library, which houses Leonardo's Codice Atlantico and Petrarch's own copy of the works of Virgil, is open to scholars. The bookshop has postcards of some of the more intriguing illustrations from the library's holdings.
Piazza Pio XI 2 (MM1/MM3 Duomo or Cordusio) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-806-921 http://www.ambrosiana.eu

Daily except Monday 9 am-6 pm. 15 euros adults. Tickets can be purchased online though the procedure involves registration and a 1.5 euro booking fee. Pinacoteca di Brera Considered one of the finest galleries in Italy, it contains works by such luminaries as Raphael, Bellini, Veronese, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and Tiepolo. Andrea Mantegna's Cristo Morto (Dead Christ), an eerie exercise in perspective, is a major attraction. The moderns are not excluded, however: The first room houses works by the Italian futurist painters, such as Umberto Boccioni, Mario Sironi, Giacomo Balla and Giorgio Morandi. Although some exhibits are always out on loan somewhere in the world, and others are away because they are being restored, the 40-odd rooms will likely consume more than one day's visit.
Via Brera 28 (MM3 Montenapoleone, MM2 Lanza) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-722-631 http://www.brera.beniculturali.it

Daily except Monday 8:30 am-7:15 pm (last entry 6:30 pm). 9 euros adults. An audio guide is available for 5.50 euros. Reservations can be made online.

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Prada Foundation Originally the site of a bank archive, this gallery has been a key player on the contemporary-art scene in Italy for many years. With featured artists such as Thomas Friedman, Anish Kapoor and Carsten Hoeller, the gallery shows two exhibitions a year. Prada also hosts the Milan edition of the Tribeca Film Festival. The Foundation has also commissioned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to develop a second site in the south of Milan.
Via Fogazzaro 36 (on the corner of Via Cadore) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-5419-2230 http://www.fondazioneprada.org

Triennale di Milano/Palazzo dell'Arte Inaugurated in 1933, the Palazzo dell'Arte was built by Giovanni Muzio to provide a home for the triennial international exhibitions of the applied arts and design. These exhibits were commonly known as the Triennale di Milano, and the building is better known by this name. The building itself is a prime example of early modern architecture and a true tribute to Milan's commitment to cutting-edge design. The triennial exhibitions were abandoned in the early 1990s, and the magnificent spaces are now used for exhibitions of design and architecture.
Viale Alemagna 6 (MM1/MM2 FNME Cadorna) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-724-341 http://www.triennale.org

Daily except Monday 10:30 am-8:30 pm (till 11 pm Thursday and Friday). Last admission 1 hour before closing. Price depends on exhibition; average price is 8 euros. Thursday and Friday evening 13 euros gets you entrance and an aperitivo.

Parks & Gardens


Giardini Pubblici This is the oldest (from 1786) and largest park in Milan, also known as Indro Montanelli. It was originally planned by Giuseppe Piermarini, the architect who designed the Teatro alla Scala opera house and Palazzo Reale. As one of the only green spots for miles/kilometers, the park offers a pleasurable break from the city streets, but it is in no way a major attraction in itself. Daily 6:30 am-sunset. Free. Orto Botanico These lovely gardens are in the heart of the chic Brera neighborhood, on the grounds of the Palazzo Brera, and offer a calming haven from the streetlife. They're hardly known to the Milanese and thus unlikely to be crowded. You can combine a visit there with stops at the Brera art gallery and the observatory. Access through Exit 19 at the back of Palazzo Brera. Monday-Friday 9 am-noon and 3-5 pm. Free.
Via Brera 28 (MM3 Montenapoleone, MM2 Lanza) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-5031-4698 http://www.brera.unimi.it/museo/orto Corso Venezia (MM1 Porta Venezia or Palestro, MM3 Turati) Milan, Italy

Parco Sempione This large, English-style park is home to the Castello Sforzesco, the Palazzo dell'Arte and the Torre Branca. On Sunday, it's a major meeting place, filled with people walking, playing ball, lounging on the grass or playing music. A large monument, the Arco della Pace (Peace Arch), sits at the northwest end of the park. This was originally commissioned to mark Napoleon's victorious entrance into Milan, but the Austrians assumed power before it was finished.
Starts at Piazza Cairoli and stretches about 1 mi/1.6 km (MM1 Cairoli) Milan, Italy

Open daily year-round from 6:30 am; in October, till 9 pm, November-February till 8 pm, March and April till 9 pm, May till 10 pm and JuneSeptember till 11:30 pm. Free.

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Recreation
Milan is intensely urban, and the locals flee on weekends to the nearby lakes, mountains and seaside for recreation. In the winter, skiing is available about an hour from Milan. There is a growing interest in health clubs and such activities as tennis, aerobics and racquetball. If your hotel does not have a gym, it may have a special arrangement with a local palestra.

Golf
Castello de Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club This club, set on the grounds of a 16th-century fortress about 12 mi/20 km south of Milan, has a 36-hole, par-72 course designed by Arnold Palmer. It has a pro shop, putting green, restaurants and accommodations. To play, you must be a member of a private club at home: Take a letter of introduction on club letterhead. Open all year. Greens fees: 50 euros Monday-Friday, 80 euros Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Le Rovedine Just on the outskirts of Milan, this club has an 18-hole, par-72 course as well as a nine-hole executive course. It also has a pro shop with equipment rentals. Open year-round. Practice green open daily. Greens fees are 45 euros Tuesday-Friday, 70 euros Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Via Karl Marx 18 (MM Porta Romana; walk to Ripamonti and take Bus 99 to the last stop) Noverasco di Opera, Italy Phone: 02-5760-6420 http://www.rovedine.com Pieve Emanuele Tolcinasco, Italy Phone: 02-9042-8035 http://www.golftolcinasco.it

Spas and Health Clubs


Downtown Palestre This popular health club offers aerobics, water gymnastics, a sauna, a Turkish bath and much more. A veritable oasis of wellness, it has the facilities to train your body and relax your mind. The crowd is mixed, with a loyal gay following. It has a bar and a fine restaurant that's great for Sunday brunch. A second location has opened at Piazza Diaz 6 (phone 02-8631-181). Monday-Friday 7 am-midnight, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-9 pm. Day fee 60 euros; month pass 200 euros. Skorpion Club Just steps from the Duomo, this is the most centrally located gym in town. Check out the solarium on the 11th floor for fabulous views of the city. There are Turkish-bath facilities for men and women, and a great swimming pool. Under the same ownership as Downtown Palestre. Monday-Friday 7 am-11 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-7 pm. Day rate 70 euros.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele 24 (MM1 San Babila) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-781-424 http://www.skorpioncenter.com Piazza Cavour 2 (MM3 Montenapoleone or Turati) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7601-7162 http://www.downtownpalestre.it

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Tennis & Racquet Sports


There are a number of tennis courts in and around the city. We recommend calling ahead to book court time and get directions. Associazione Sporting Club Corvetto In addition to 13 indoor courts and five grass courts, you'll also find a squash court and a gym in this club. Monday-Friday 9 am-midnight; weekends and holidays 9 am-8 pm. Closed August. From 13 euros per hour. Tennis Club 5 Pioppi This club has four year-round courts. Monday-Friday 8 am-11 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-7 pm. 18 euros-20 euros per hour.
Via Marostica 4 (MM1 Gambara/De Angeli) Milan, Italy Via Fabio Massimo 15/4 (MM3 Porto di Mare) Milan, Italy

Nightlife
Thanks to its ties to the fashion and design industries, Milan has a vibrant nightlife. The city's young professionals work hard during the day and play even harder at night. Whether directly before dinner or on the way home after work, stopping for an aperitivo, or early-evening drink with friends, is routine: Many bars in the city center offer a happy-hour buffet of bruschetta or other cold snacks. Bars and clubs stay open until 2 am and sometimes later. The Brera has several bars and restaurants that cater to the chic set. The more bohemian Navigli area is increasingly popular, with funky bars and nightclubs that attract artists and musicians.

Bars, Taverns & Pubs


Bar Basso Classic bar serving wonderful cocktails. Try the signature Negroni Sbagliato, made with sparking wine and Campari. The sbagliato ("mistake") in question is that the Negroni is made with sparkling wine instead of vermouth. Daily except Tuesday 9 pm-1:30 am.
Via Plinio 39 (MM1 Lima) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-2940-0580 http://www.barbasso.com

Bar Magenta A major meeting place for young foreigners who want to mingle with each other and young students. Its art-nouveau interior has remained the same for more than a century, and it has a convivial circular bar in the center. Sandwiches and snacks as well as drinks and a good selection of beers. Often packed and noisy, particularly when a significant football match is being played. Tuesday-Friday 8 am-3:30 am, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-3:30 am.
Via Carducci 13 (MM1 Cadorna) Milan, Italy 20123

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Cafe Trussardi Think cool, hip and fashionable. Great cocktails, and it serves an aperitivo (pre-dinner drink served with appetizers). Monday-Friday 7:30-11 pm, Saturday noon-11 pm.
Piazza della Scala 5 (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8068-8295 http://www.trussardiallascala.it

Circle Lounge Bar The ubercool Diesel-brand lounge bar has a resident DJ. This bar and restaurant with a discrete, elegant interior is set in a former industrial zone slightly west of the city center. Attracts a young, well-dressed crowd. A good spot for an aperitivo with cocktails priced at around 10 euros. Open daily 7 am till late. h club>diana Located in the Sheraton Diana Majestic Hotel and overlooking gorgeous gardens, this celebrated and very discreet bar takes you from the busy urban scene to one of Milan's coolest and smartest bars. A trendy spot for fashion mavens, it is one of the alternative hangouts for the international set. Enjoy your aperitivo against a backdrop of eclectic music, including the Diana Garden CD series commissioned by the hotel.
Viale Piave 42 (MM1/passante Porta Venezia) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-205-81 http://www.sheratondianamajestic.com Via Stendhal 36 Milan, Italy Phone: 02-4229-3745 http://www.circlemilano.com

Il Foyer Located in one of Milan's loveliest hotels, the Four Seasons, Il Foyer bar offers subdued elegance and comfort, far away from the stress of the city outside. The bar is decorated with antique prints and furnished with sofas and armchairs. There is not a disco beat to be heard, though there is live piano music nightly Monday-Saturday. The Foyer serves a light menu till the bar closes. Open 8:30 am-1 am.
The Four Seasons Hotel, Via Gesu 6 Milan, Italy Phone: 02-770-88 http://www.fourseasons.com/milan/dining/ il_foyer

Il Gattopardo Cafe This deconsecrated church has a large bar in place of the apse. Good food and the great architecture make the cocktails taste even better. This disco-bar is popular with out-of-towners and tourists and increasingly attracts an older crowd. Daily except Monday from 6 pm.
Via Piero della Francesca 47 Milan, Italy Phone: 02-3453-7699 http://www.ilgattopardocafe.com

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Just Cavalli Hollywood Cafe At the foot of Parco Sempione's Torre Branca, stop in at fashion designer Roberto Cavalli's lounge bar and restaurant. Under a glass ceiling that is shaded by the park's centuries-old oaks, the furnishings are a mix of high-tech and ethnic: antelope-skin-covered chairs around a bar lit by fiber-optic lights. Doormen make it notoriously difficult to get inexcept when nobody else wants to. The lounge is open Monday-Saturday 6:30 pm-2 am; Sunday from 12:30 pm until midafternoon. La Banque You'll see celebrities, from models to soccer players. Dress well to get in. Crowded, fun and over the top; don't go there if you want to talk. Daily except Monday. Cover 10 euros-18 euros, includes one drink.
Via Bassano Porrone (MM1 Cordusio) Milan, Italy Phone: 39-8699-6565 http://www.lebanque.it Via Luigi Camoens (Tram 1, 29 or 30 or Bus 61) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-311-817 http://www.justcavallihollywood.it

Radetzky Cafe When you see lots of expensive cars double-parked and crowds of fashionistas, you'll know you're in the right place. In the afternoon when it's less crowded, it's a nice place to recharge your batteries in the Brera. Daily from 8 am. Closed two weeks in August. Roialto What was once a local covered market is now one of the best places for aperitivo. Relax on Indian furniture to quiet music. In summer, enjoy the large roof terrace. Daily except Monday from 6 pm; Sunday brunch 12:30-2:30 pm (though not in the summer season). Reservations required for brunch.
Via Piero della Francesca 55 Milan, Italy Corso Garibaldi 105 (MM2 Moscova) Milan, Italy

Dance & Nightclubs


Cafe l'Atlantique Frequented by designers and models, it's an upscale disco, bar and restaurant in one. Look your best and dress to impressthe bouncers are notoriously picky. Also a very popular corporate event spot. Usually open Friday and Saturday but check Web site for hours, which vary according to events. Closed July and August. Cover 10 euros-20 euros. Hollywood Rub elbows and maybe more with the beautiful peopleespecially on a Friday. Not the greatest disco, but it's packed with so many VIPs and models you'll think you're in Cannes. Daily except Monday from 10:30 pm. Closed August. Cover 25 euros, includes one drink.
Corso Como 15 (MM2 Garibaldi F.S.) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-659-8996 http://www.discotecahollywood.com Viale Umbria 42 (Tram 12, 27) Milan, Italy 20135 Phone: 199-111-111 (toll call) http://www.cafeatlantique.it

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La Nuova Idea No banners outside announce this famous gay disco, but the crowd of people makes it hard to miss, especially on Saturday night. A long corridor takes you to two different rooms: The one with a live orchestra is dedicated to tango and ballroom dancing; the second is a more typical disco. Thursday-Sunday from 9:30 pm. Loolapaloosa What was once an Irish pub in the Corso Como area has become one of the most popular clubs in the city, especially for the frat crowd. Brave the wait and you might see gals dancing on tables and more. Daily from 7 pm. Cover 15 euros, includes one drink (no cover before 9 pm). Tocqueville 13 In the Corso Como area, you'll find one of the hot spots of the Milanese night. You can have dinner in the upstairs restaurant before the disco opens. Disco open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 pm. Closed August. Cover around 20 euros, includes one drink.
Via A. de Tocqueville 13 (MM2 Garibaldi F.S.) Milan, Italy Phone: 335-681-9631 http://www.tocqueville13.it Corso Garibaldi 15 (MM2 Garibaldi F.S.) Milan, Italy Via A. De Gasperi, 14 (MM2 Gioia) Milan, Italy 20124 Phone: 33-3481-6780 http://www.lanuovaidea.com

Victoria Cafe Decked out in stile Liberty (the local take on art nouveau), this bar and club's architecture will make you think of 19th-century Paris. The low lights will soothe you after a long day, but then the loud music will get you going for a night out. Because it's located in the financial district, just behind the Scala, the crowds spill over from nearby offices for a boisterous happy hour. It's a good place to dine, too. Monday-Friday 7:30 pm-2 am, Saturday 5 pm-2 am. Closed for three weeks in August.
Via Clerici 1 (MM1 Cordusio, MM3 Duomo) Milan, Italy

Live Music
Blue Note This is the first franchise of the Blue Note jazz club in Greenwich Village and the epicenter of jazz in Milan. Dinner is served at tables in a room that seats 300. Two sets are played most nights, with an additional set during Sunday brunch. Concerts begin at 9 and 11 or 11:30 pm Monday-Saturday; noon, 6 and 9 pm Sunday. Italian artists on Monday evenings. Tickets 15 euros-40 euros. A surcharge of 2.50 euros is added to tickets purchased by phone. Online purchase also available. NordEst Caffe Popular bar and music venue that also hosts art exhibitions. During the day it can be a quiet spot for lunch or a midafternoon drink, but it is also a good place for an aperitivo or after-dinner drink. Sunday brunch costs 20 euros and is served noon-3:30 pm. Live jazz presented regularly. Tuesday-Saturday 8 am-1 am. Sunday 8 am-9:30 pm.
Via Borsieri 35 (Tram 4 or 11 or Bus 82) Milan, Italy Via Borsieri 37 (MM2 Porta Garibaldi) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-6901-6888 http://www.bluenotemilano.com

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Puerto Alegre There's live music and dance shows some nights at this bar-restaurant in the Navigli area. Heavily inspired by Maya themes and Latin American flavors. Daily except Monday 7 pm-2 am. Cover varies.
Via Borsi 9/2 (Tram 3 or 15) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8942-0969 http://www.puertoalegre.com

Scimmie Open for more than three decades, this is a very popular bar-restaurant with live jazz, rock and blues. It's located alongside a canal in Navigli on an anchored old barge. English-language stand-up comedy shows are held there a couple of times a month. Nightly 7 pm-3 am. The restaurant is alongside and open Monday-Saturday 8 pm-2 am. No cover, but there's a one-drink minimum (first drink 8 euros-15 euros).
Via Ascanio Sforza 49 (MM2 Porta Genova or Romolo) Milan, Italy 20136 Phone: 02-8940-2874 http://www.scimmie.it

Performing Arts
Although Milan has performing-arts companies, they generally are attended more by locals than by tourists. Visitors who are interested (and read Italian), however, can check for the latest events in the arts, theater, cinema, concert and sports scenes at http://milano.corriere.it.

Dance
Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company This company has been in existence since La Scala's opening in 1778. Many of the world's greatest dancers have performed there. The company performs at the La Scala opera house.
Piazza della Scala (MM1/3, Duomo) Milan, Italy http://www.teatroallascala.org

Music
Milan Symphonic Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi The symphony performs September-June in the Auditorium di Milano (the former Cinema Teatro Massimo). Tickets are available from the box office, on the Web site or through ticket brokers. The box office is open daily except Monday 2:30-7 pm.
Largo Gustav Mahler (Tram 3 or 15) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8338-9401 http://www.laverdi.org

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Opera
Teatro alla Scala Seeing an opera at the historic 1778 opera house La Scala involves a combination of tenacity and luck. The program can be seen at the La Scala Web site, and tickets can also be purchased online. Reservations are available two months before the date of the performances. Seats are usually sold out the day they are released. Any tickets that happen to be unsold one month before the performance are available at the La Scala box office, located in the Duomo metro station. Uncollected tickets are sometimes available for half-price two hours before the start of the performance at the La Scala ticket office, which also sells about 140 tickets for the second gallery. The system for the sale of these tickets is fairly complexsee Web site for details.
Piazza della Scala (MM1/3, Duomo) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7200-3744 for information daily 9 am-6 pm. Operators may speak English http://www.teatroallascala.org

The ticket office is open daily noon-6 pm. Tickets bought online or via the automated telephone service attract a fee of 20%.

Theater
Piccolo Teatro This theater is considered to have one of Italy's best repertory companies. If you want to explore theater in Italian, then this is a fine opportunity. The box office is open Monday-Saturday 9:45 am-6:45 pm, Sunday 1-6:30 pm.
Via Rovello 2 (MM1 Cordusio) Milan, Italy Phone: 8488-00304 or 02-4241-1889 from outside Italy http://www.piccoloteatro.org

Teatro Nuovo If Broadway musical favorites in Italian are your bag, then this is the place for you. The box office is open Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm. No performances in August. Restricted hours in the summercheck online.
Piazza San Babila (MM1 San Babila) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-794-026 http://www.teatronuovo.it

Ticket Brokers
There is no main source for tickets, so if one ticket broker is sold out, try another. Tickets for La Scala performances can only be purchased from the theater box office. FNAC A French store that, in addition to offering an amazing selection of books, CDs and electrical gadgets, sells tickets to concerts and theater events. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-8 pm; Sunday 10 am-8 pm. No credit cards accepted for ticket purchases.
Via Torino 47 (MM3, Missori) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-869-541 for ticket information only http://www.ticketone.it/spl-fnac

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Hello Ticket This Web site sells tickets for various events, including theater and music. http://www.helloticket.it.
Milan, Italy http://www.helloticket.it

Mondadori Multicenter Events for all manner of events at this huge book and music store in Piazza del Duomo. Open daily 9 am-11 pm.
Piazza del Duomo 1 (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-4544-110 http://www.negozimondadori.it

Ricordi Box Office Events tickets available at the lower level of this huge music store, in partnership with the famous Feltrinelli bookstore Monday-Saturday 10 am-11 pm; Sunday 10 am-8 pm. Tourist Office (APT) Tickets to occasional concerts, theater performances and sporting events. Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm; Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 2-6 pm; Sunday 9 am-1:30 pm and 2-5 pm.
Piazza Castello, on the corner of Via Beltrami Milan, Italy Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy

Spectator Sports
Auto Racing
Autodromo di Monza September's annual Formula One Italian Grand Prix is the main event at this world-famous stadium. You can also drive your own car on the track with fees starting at 2,000 euros. Open daily. Summer 7 am-8:30 pm, winter 7 am-7 pm. Admission 5 euros when no major events are scheduled, free for children age 11 and younger. Ticket prices for sporting events vary but generally are 10 euros-20 euros.
Parco di Monza (about 8 mi/13 km from central Milan; reach Monza by train from Milan, and then take a taxi or a bus to the track) Monza, Italy Phone: 039-248-2212 (agencies) or 039-248 2239 (individuals) http://www.monzanet.it

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Horse Racing
Ippodromo di San Siro The racing season runs March-November. The racetrack is located about 4 mi/6 km from central Milan.
Via Piccolomini (MM1 Lotto) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-482-161 http://www.ippodromimilano.it

Soccer
Soccer, or calcio, is part of life in Italy. Serious rivalries exist, and fights break out inside and outside the stadiums; unfortunately, these have on occasions in recent years led to major incidents, including fatalities. On game days, people wear the colors of their favorite teams, and honking motorcades of fans of the victorious team cruise the city well into the night. San Siro Stadium Both of Milan's hometown soccer teams, AC Milan and Inter, play at the San Siro Stadium, which is also known as the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. Built in 1926 and expanded for the 1990 World Cup, it is located between the Ippodromo and Via Novara. Ticket booths (small round buildings with small windows) are located in front of the Ippodromo and close to the Piazza Axum. You can also purchase tickets for AC Milan games at any INTESA Bank. Tickets for Inter games are available at any branch of the Banca Popolare di Milano. A soccer museum in the stadium (located at Gate 14) displays a century of memorabilia, cups and team photos.
Via Piccolomini 5 (MM1 Lotto) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-404-2432 for museum information http://www.sansiro.net

The soccer museum is open 10 am-5 pm and, for gamegoers with tickets, two hours before the games. Museum admission, including a tour of the stadium, is 12.50 euros adults, 10 euros children. It is no longer possible to walk on the pitch.

Other Options
Running The Stramilano Agonistico Internazionaleor Stramilano as it is more simply knownis a very popular international half-marathon held at the end of March or the the beginning of April every year. The course goes around the streets of central Milan, beginning and ending at the Castello Sforzesco.
Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8474-2380 http://www.stramilano.it

On the same day, the city organizes the Stramilano dei 50,000, a less competitive "fun run," first held in 1972. It begins in the Piazza Duomo and ends at the Arena Civica on the northern side of Parco Sempione. With a distance of 6.2 mi/10 km and a maximum of five hours to complete the course, this race appeals even to people who might like a nice stroll and perhaps not take it as seriously as those running in the speedier event.

Shopping
The most popular and certainly the most elegant shopping is in and around Piazza San Babila and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in what's called the quadrilatero d'oro, or the "golden rectangle"Via Manzoni, Via Montenapoleone, Via Sant'Andrea and Via della Spiga. An excellent jumping-off point, the streets in and around the area are dotted with the best names in fashionfrom Armani to Versace to Gucci to Prada. Another hot spot for shopping, particularly for women's fashions, is in the Brera. Check out Via Madonnina and Via Solferino, for example. To the southwest of the Duomo, you'll find wonderful shops filled with goodies from young designers around Via Savona, Via Tortona and Via Bergognone.

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Scouring outlet stores (often referred to as "stock houses") is a favorite activity of locals and visitors alike. That being said, take a sizeconversion chart as well as measurements of your family members. A tape measure marked in both inches and centimeters is very helpful, too. Remember that designer clothes are cut generously, so don't make your suggestions just based on the size printed on the tag. (For example, an Armani or Versace size 38 is a perfect fit for someone who usually takes a 42.) Many outlet stores are located outside the city, but the bargains are worth the effort to get there. Call to confirm hours, directions and forms of payment accepted. If you're a diehard bargain hunter, plan your trip in mid-January or in early July, when the big sales beginyou'll be able to save as much as 70% off regular prices. However, be sure to check what the original price was: You may not always be getting as much of a bargain as you expected. Shopping Hours: Although the stores in the central area of Milan, including the fashion district, are open Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm and some even longerthe rest of the city is more traditional, with hours running Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 3:30-7:30 pm. Some smaller shops close for the better half, if not all, of August. If you're traveling through any part of Italy during these periods, we suggest calling ahead to a shop to see if it is open for business.

Antique Stores
The Via Pisacane in the vicinity of the Porta Venezia is the place to go shopping for antiques. Renowned antiques dealers in this street include Fabrizio Pazienza (No. 53), Franco Solzi (No. 55) and Giglio Antichita (No. 53), who specializes in Italian furniture. No. 49 is a showroom for antiques dealers from all over Italy (MM1 Porta Venezia, Tram 23). Roberta e Basta This is the place to go shopping for beautiful objects of the 1920s and 1930s. Monday 3-7 pm; Tuesday-Friday 9:30 am-1 pm and 3-7 pm; Saturday 10 am-2 pm and 3 pm-7 pm.
Via Fiori Chiari 2 (MM2 Moscova) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-861-593 http://www.robertaebasta.com

Bookstores
American Bookstore The city's largest English-language bookstore, with everything from popular novels to coffeetable books to children's books. Used and antique books, too Monday 1-7 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm. English Book Shop A small, intimate English-language bookstore on two floors. The store also rents Englishlanguage videos. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-7:30 pm. Closed three weeks in August.
Via Mascheroni 12 (enter around the corner, on Via Lodovico Ariosto; MM1 Conciliazione) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-469-4468 http://www.englishbookshop.it Via Camperio 16 (MM1 Cairoli) Milan, Italy

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Feltrinelli International As the name implies, this shop focuses on international publications. A large selection of books and magazines are in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. Monday-Friday 9 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-7:30 pm.
Piazza Cavour 1 (MM3, Turati) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-659-5644 http://www.lafeltrinelli.it

Libreria Feltrinelli This large store has a selection of English fiction, nonfiction and guidebooks. Monday-Saturday 10 am-11 pm, Sunday 10 am-8 pm.
Piazza Duomo, Via Ugo Foscolo 1/3 (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8699-6903 http://www.lafeltrinelli.it

Department Stores
Corso Como 10 Surely one of the hippest department stores on earth, with sister stores in Seoul and Tokyo. Housed in a 19th-century building transformed into an emporium, it features a magical array of clothing, a bookshop, a record store and an art gallery specializing in photography (phone 02653-531). It will be hard to leave empty-handed. The bar and restaurant attract fashionistas for drinks, lunch or dinner (phone 02-2901-3581). There's also a three-room bed-and-breakfast tucked in one corner, aptly named 3Rooms (phone 02-626-163). To get a reservation, you'll have to compete with every celebrity in the world.
Corso Como 10 (MM2 Garibaldi) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-2900-2674 http://www.10corsocomo.com

Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday and Friday-Sunday 10:30 am-7:30 pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10:30 am-9 pm. Open also Monday morning during Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair. Closed a week in mid-August. La Rinascente The largest and chicest of the Italian department-store chains, with one-stop shopping on seven levels. Stocks Italian and international designers and has an excellent housewares department in the basement. A bonus is the view from the terrace of the newly chic, high-end upgraded food hall on the seventh floor. Diners get a fantastic view of the west side of the Duomo from up high. Open daily 9:30 am-10 pm.
Piazza Duomo (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy 20121 Phone: 02-88521 http://www.rinascente.it

Factory Outlets
A number of factory outlets are located outside of Milan, especially in the Lake Como area. Albisetti Dior, Valentino, Fendi and more. Ties and scarves are the big bargainsas is fabulous silk by the yard. Tuesday-Friday 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 2-7 pm, Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
Via Nazionale 3 (near Como) Vertemate, Italy

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Armani Factory Store Bargains, mostly seconds and sometimes disappointingly old, from the famous designer. Located about 25 mi/40 km from Milan, near Lake Como. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-7 pm. In the height of summer closed for an hour mid-afternoon. Diffusione Tessile Inside the Galleria San Carlo, an outlet for MaxMara and its sister brand, Marina Rinaldi (fabulous women's clothes in larger sizes). Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7:30 pm.
Galleria San Carlo 6 (MM3 Duomo, MM1 San Babila) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-0829 http://www.diffusionetessile.it Strada Provinciale per Bregnano 12 (near Como) Vertemate, Italy

Etro Outlet When you have seen what the flagship store at Via Montenapoleone 5 has to offer, try this outlet (ring the bell to enter). Although paisley is Etro's signature pattern and is used extensively, the look is subtle. Monday 3-7 pm; Tuesday-Friday 10 am-1:45 pm and 2:45-7 pm; Saturday 10 am-1 pm and 3-7 pm.
Via Spartaco 3 (Trams 29 and 30; get off at Via Spartaco) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-5502-0218 http://www.etro.com

Fratelli Rossetti Shoe Outlet At the Via Montenapoleone store, you can expect to pay at least 200 euros for a pair of shoes. This outlet, about 15 mi/26 km northwest of Milan, can net you shoes discounted 30%-50% and even more on the one-pair-only racks. Monday 2-7 pm; Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 am-7 pm.
Via Cantu 24 Parabiago, Italy Phone: 033-155-2226 http://www.fratellirossetti.com

La Tessitura The first concept store in Italy to be dedicated to the art of silk. Located in Como, La Tessitura sells a range of high-quality products made by Mantero, a leading name in silk in Italy. Particularly good for bags and scarves but also homeware. Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-7 pm.
Viale Roosevelt 2/A Como, Italy Phone: 031-321-666 http://conceptstore.latessitura.com

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McArthurGlen Designer Outlets Serravalle The first designer outlet mall in Italy, this center is designed like a small town and houses 150 shops. The discounts on fashion, sporting goods and housewares are 30%-50% and sometimes more. It is located in the Piemonte region, about 50 mi/80 km from Milan. There's also a shuttle service from Milan which takes about 90 minutes. A bus leaves at 10 am from the Foro Bonoparte (MM1, MM2) and leaves Serravalle at 5 pm; it costs 20 euros. Daily 10 am-8 pm.
Via della Moda 1 (take the train to Serravalle Scrivia and a 15-minute taxi ride to the mall) Serravalle Scrivia, Italy Phone: 0143-609-000 http://www.mcarthurglen.it/serravalle

Ratti One of a handful of excellent silk warehouses found in Como. Not only fabric but fashion signature items, tooat deeply discounted prices. Daily 9 am-12:30 pm and 2-6 pm. Salvagente The largest and most popular of Milan's stock houses, Salvagente offers significant discounts on last year's collections of major designers. Still, be prepared to pay: At 750 euros, a Jil Sander jacket is obviously a bargain, but not within every budget. Don't worry, though, there's also plenty of stock from top-line boutiques, as well as shoes, bags and accessories. There's also a men's department. Monday 3-7 pm; Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm. Closed in August and 25 December-6 January. No credit cards.
Via F.lli Bronzetti, 16 Milan, Italy 20133 Phone: 02-7611-0328 http://www.salvagentemilano.it Via Cernobbio 17 Como, Italy

Markets
Antiquario Sul Naviglio This Milan tradition is a must if you are in town. Hundreds of vendors hawk antiques, estate jewelry and more. By afternoon it's jam-packed, but the surrounding cafes and bars offer rejuvenating repasts. The last Sunday of every month 9 am-5 pm. Not held in July.
From the Naviglio Grande to the Viale Gorizia and Via Valenza (MM2 Porta Genova) Milan, Italy http://www.navigliogrande.mi.it

Cordusio Market This Sunday-morning market specializes in coins, stamps and postcards. Sunday 9 am-3 pm. Fiera di Senigallia In the Navigli area, this Saturday market has seen better days. Famous for military memorabilia, it also has plenty of jewelry, used clothing, household goods and imported novelty items. Apparently, bicycles stolen during the week are sold there, tooit's that kind of place. Saturday 9 am until evening.
Strada Alzaia Naviglio Grande (MM2 Porta Genova) Milan, Italy Piazza Cordusio (MM1 Cordusio) Milan, Italy

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Viale Papiniano Every Tuesday and Saturday morning. Huge and very crowded, especially on Saturday. (If you don't like crowds, steer clear.) This may have something to do with the fact that it has a reputation for being a good place to get designer clothing, including shoes, at good prices. It's best to have a clear idea of your size, because many vendors frown upon trying anything on even gloves. Go with an expert and watch out for pickpockets. Tuesday and Saturday 8:30 am-1 pm.
Viale Papiniano (MM2 Sant'Agostino) Milan, Italy

Specialty Stores
Armani Superstore A megastore of Armani products, including clothing, furniture and books. One of the two restaurants inside is a branch of the wildly popular Nobu, the New York sushi phenomenon. Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-7:30 pm.
Via Manzoni 31 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7231-8600 http://www.armani.com

Blumarine Fun, feminine and unique items for women. Monday 3-7 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
Via della Spiga 42 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-795-081 http://www.blumarine.com

Bottega Veneta An extremely popular leather-goods store. Fabulous handbagsits signature handbag made of woven strips of leather is probably better known outside of Italy. Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
Via Montenapoleone 5 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7602-4495 http://www.bottegaveneta.com

Dolce & Gabbana Cutting-edge fashion favored by the glitterati.


Via della Spiga 2 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-1155 http://www.dolcegabbana.it

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Fabriano Named after the town where the world's first paper mill was built in the 13th century, this shop sells wonderful stationery and myriad gift items. Monday 2-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7:30 pm.
Via Ponte Vetero 17 (MM1 Cairoli) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7631-8754 http://www.fabrianoboutique.com

Gianni Versace This four-story boutique is the flagship of the Versace empire and the ultimate in cool. The Home Collection, which used to be at Via San Pietro all'Orto 11, has been incorporated into the main store. Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
Via Montenapoleone 11 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-8528 http://www.versace.com

Gio Moretti Stylish boutique for men, women and children. A local favorite. Also sells books and CDs. Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
Via della Spiga 4-6 (MM3 Montenapoleone, MM1 San Babila) Milan, Italy

La Perla Exquisite and expensive underthings, resort wear and beachwear from one of the world's best manufacturers. Monday 3-7 pm; Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
Via Montenapoleone 1 (MM1 San Babila) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-0460 http://www.laperla.com

L'Armadio di Laura Even trust-fund babies and aristocrats browse in this exceptional secondhand store. And Ferragamo sometimes sends over end-of-season returns. Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm. Love Therapy Still reflecting the fun and funky mood that made Elio Fiorucci's creations such icons, this store carries T-shirts, jeans, candles, key rings and other similar items. Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm, Sunday 1-8 pm.
Corso Europa, corner of Galleria Passarella (MM1 San Babila) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7639-0631 http://www.lovetherapy.it Via Voghera 25 (MM2 Porta Genova) Milan, Italy

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Madina Cheap and cheerful cosmetics with a firm following. Ready for eye candy? It carries more than 300 shades of eye shadow. Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7:30 pm.
Via Meravigli 17 (MM1/2, Cadorna) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8691-5438 http://www.madina.it

Missoni Colorful, costly, clingy apparel. Check out the crystal-encrusted belts and necklaces.
Via Montenapoleone 8 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-3555 http://www.missoni.com

Peck This gourmet food store offers Italy's best, including the finest olive oils and balsamic vinegars, truffle oil, porcini mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, prosciutto di Parma and things you have never heard of. A second location is at Malpensa airport. Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Friday 9:15 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 8:45 am-7:30 pm.
Via Spadari 9 (off the Via Torino, MM1/MM3 Duomo) Milan, Italy 20123 Phone: 02-802-3161 http://www.peck.it

Prada Several stores in Milan, each a study in elegance, with the clean, spare look Prada is known for Milan, Italy around the world. The original shop, in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (phone 02-876-979), has dark wood fittings dating from 1913, when Mario Prada began selling fine walrus-leather trunks http://www.prada.com to Italian gentry. The newer flagship shop (menswear, shoes and accessories) is at Via Montenapoleone 6 (phone 02-7602-0273). The shop down the street, at Via Montenapoleone 8, sells women's fashions (phone 02-7771771). The store in Via Spiga 18 also sells womenswear and accessories (phone 02-780-465). http://www.prada.com. Roberto Cavalli Sexy, flashy and eccentric, Madonna's favorite designer offers two floors of shopping space.
Via della Spiga 42 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7602-0900 http://www.robertocavalli.com

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Vetrerie di Empoli Step inside for an amazing selection of antique and modern handblown glass objects, plus outstanding Venetian glasses and chandeliers dating back several centuries. Its splendid Christmas decorations make great gifts.
Via Montenapoleone 22 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-8791 http://www.vetreriediempoli.it

Itinerary

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Day Trips
To Como. This town on the southern edge of beautiful Lake Como is about 20 mi/30 km from Milan. The 14th-century cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore is at the core of Como's Roman street plan. Behind it, in Piazza Del Popolo, is a treat for fans of Italian Rationalist architecture: Giuseppe Terragni's Casa del Fascio. Even if you don't know it, have a lookthe proportions are perfect. Also, check out the boat trips. There is a passenger ferry that zigzags up the long lake and provides a commuter service for the people who live there. It takes about 40 minutes by hydrofoil to get to Bellagio. However, there are plenty of delightful places much closer, such as Cernobbio, which is two stops and about 10 minutes away. If you are in the mood for living in the lap of luxury, have a drink or a quick bite to eat at the (very expensive) cafe in Cernobbio's glamorous Villa d'Este hotel. There are special tourist tickets, as well as special cruises for visitors. Schedules and price lists are posted at the landing dock. To plan ahead, check out http://www.navigazionelaghi.it. To get to Como via train, you can take the very regular service from Central Station for a 30-minute ride into Como San Giovanni Station. This means a short, 10 minute-walk into town. Or, take the service from the Cadorna Station, which is slightly longer, less regular and terminates at the Como Nord Station, just 1,500 ft/465 m from the lake. If you're driving, take the A8 northwest out of Milan, turn onto the A9 toward Como, and then take the Como Sud exit. Follow the signs to the Centro (the city center, which may also be indicated by a sign that looks like a bull's-eye). To Bergamo. Situated 30 mi/50 km east of Milan, the picturesque walled city of Bergamo was once part of the Venetian Republic, as is evident from the lionthe symbol of Veniceadorning the city's gates. The old city, set high on a hill overlooking the sprawling new sections of town, is where you'll want to spend most of your time. Once in the old city, stroll through the narrow streets lined with shops. Make sure to see the cathedral and the small chapel next door, with its gruesome paintings of the beheaded John the Baptist, as well as Piazza Vecchia (the old square) and the medieval Palazzo della Ragione. Don't forget Citta' Bassa, where the outstanding Pinacoteca dell'Accademia Carrara is located. When you are done, take a stroll along the Sentierone between Piazza Matteotti and Piazza Vittorio, bordered by many shops and cafes. Trains for Bergamo leave regularly from Central Station and Garibaldi Station. By car, take the A4 east out of Milan and watch for the Bergamo exit. To Stresa. A 50 mi/80 km journey from Milan (less than an hour by train), this beautiful Piedmont resort town on the almost subtropical Lake Maggiore has the snow-capped Alps as its backdrop. Stroll along the palm-studded promenade in town or make plans to hike in the hills above the lake. Be sure to visit the Borromean Islands as wellIsola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori (take a scheduled ferry or hire a boat). The Borromeo family still uses Isola Madre as a place of retreat. Back on the mainland, for spectacular views of Lake Maggiore as well as of Lake d'Orta, take a 20-minute cable-car ride to the top of Mount Mottarone. From there, you can see both. Trains run to Stresa from Central Station every hour or so for a one-hour ride. If you are driving, take highway A8 to A26, Genova-Gravellona Toce to Lake Maggiore. To Pavia. The compact medieval center of Pavia makes for a pleasant day's sightseeing. This city, 22 mi/35 km south of Milan on the banks of the Ticino River, was once the capital of the Lombard Kingdom. It boasts one of the oldest universities in Europe (while he was a professor of physics there in 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the battery) and retains a lively, youthful atmosphere. It also has a grand Visconti castle (Castello Visconteo) and three medieval towersthe only ones that remain in what was once known as "the city of 100 towers." The Certosa of Pavia, about 5 mi/8 km north of the city, is a masterpiece and one of the most remarkable religious buildings in Italy. It draws tourists by the bus load, too. Work began on the family mausoleum of the powerful Visconti family toward the end of the 14th century and progressed in the early 15th century under Duke Francesco Sforza. A massive Carthusian monastery was finally completed toward the middle of the 16th century. You could spend hours absorbing all the art in the church and wandering around the small cloister. The Cistercian monks have an on-site shop where they offer vegetables, honey and chocolate as well as carved icons. The Certosa is relatively isolated but is reachable by a 10minute bus ride from just outside Pavia railway station (turn left up Via Trieste) followed by another 10-minute walk to the monastery from the main road. Alternatively, you can travel directly by bus from Milan (viale Bligny/Famagosta). Open daily except Monday 9-11:30 am and 2:30-5:30 pm.

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Local Tours
Tour outfitters are easy to find in the city. You can purchase tickets for the usual bus tour of the city's main sights at the Tourist Office (look for the APT symbol) at Piazza Duomo, 19/A. A Friend in Milan Spend the day (up to eight hours) visiting some of Milan's best designer outlet stores in a chauffeured Mercedes with a guide and interpreter. 550 euros for two people. Walking or car tours of major sights in Milan can be tailored to your interests and include some unusual sights as well as the more standard ones. From 50 euros for a three-hour walking tour. . ATMosfera Restaurant Tram An antique tram made into an Orient Express-style restaurant called ATMosfera. The tram, which offers dinner (and lunch if you're booking the entire tram). Runs daily except Monday, and the tour lasts around two hours. Reservations required and cancellations to your booking must be made within 48 hours. 65 euros per person. Autostradale Tours Three-hour guided tours in English in an air-conditioned bus, with stops at the city's best sites, such as the Castello Sforzesco, the monastery housing Leonardo's The Last Supper, and the Museo Teatro alla Scala. (If you were unable to find tickets to The Last Supper, this is an excellent way to get to see it.) The company also offers two-hour walking tours. Tours leave at 9:30 am and 1 pm from the Piazza Duomo. Tickets cost 55 euros and may be purchased from the Tourist Information Office (APT) or online. City Sightseeing Milano The big red bus leaves from the Piazza Castello for a 90-minute tour of the city center. There's a choice of route. Tours depart daily every 90 minutes 9:30 am-5:45 pm. 20 euros. Pre-purchased tickets are valid for 48 hours. . Marion Harber-Radice Tours A personal shopper service, including guided visits to designer outlets in and around Milan. Also offers sightseeing to the lakes, Portofino and Venice, in addition to vineyard tours.
Milan, Italy Phone: 333-323-6244 http://www.shoppingwithmarion.com Milan, Italy Phone: 02-867-131 http://www.milano.city-sightseeing.it Piazza Duomo 19/A (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8058-1354 http://www.autostradale.com Piazza Castello (on the corner of via Beltrami) Milan, Italy Milan, Italy Phone: 02-2952-0570 http://www.friendinmilan.co.uk

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Day Plans
Day 1Arrive Milan. Shop in the Fashion District, the Triennale di Milano and Via Durini. If shopping is not your thing, visit the Brera Gallery or the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Day 2Visit the Duomo and go see The Last Supperbooked weeks in advance. Stroll around the Cimitero Monumentale or chill out in the unpretentious Navigli district. Day 3Take a train to Stresa to explore the town's palm-studded streets and the nearby Borromean Islands. Or, if it's winter and you want to go skiing, make the one-hour drive to Piano di Bobbio near Lecco or the slopes of Foppolo.

Dining
Dining Overview
The local dishes of Milan, when prepared well, can make for some wonderful eating experiences. Risotto Milanese, the city's signature dish, is a creamy rice dish infused with saffron. Other local specialties include cotoletta alla Milanese, a veal cutlet that's been pounded thin, breaded and fried, and osso buco, stewed marrowbone usually served with risotto. Breakfast for most Italians is coffee and a brioche eaten standing up at a bar. For people who work, lunch often consists of a sandwich taken the same way. Italians tend not to snack, so evening meals are quite substantial. An antipasto is followed by a pasta dish, then the secondo (a meat or fish course) and a salad. If you order pasta for dinner, the server will undoubtedly ask "And then?" Although the wines of Lombardy, which include some fine reds from the Valtellina as well as some interesting sparkling reds and whites from the Oltrepo Pavese, are very palatable, wine lists also include offerings from the other regions. When they go out for dinner, the Milanese dine at 8 pm or even later, and many restaurants don't open until 7:30 or 8 pm. If you arrive at opening time, you'll probably have the place to yourself. It's best to make reservations at well-known places. A coperto, or cover charge, of 1 euro-5 euros per person is usually added to your bill. It's used to cover the cost of bread, which is always served with Italian meals. Sometimes (rarely) it appears as pane (bread) on the bill or even (very rarely) coperto and pane. This is standard practice. Your bill may also include a service charge which is not standard practice at all but perfectly legal if in writing on your menu. Unfortunately, it is the case that an increasing number of stories of tourists have been hit with an unexpected 15% service chargebut the locals would never pay such a thing. Tipping is far less common in Italy. Most Italians, if they tip at all, leave 1-2 euros, irrespective of the bill. If you have enjoyed the service it is courteous to do the same if you have not already been charged for service. Keep in mind that credit cards aren't used as commonly in Italy as elsewhere, but most major restaurants accept them readily. If you are having a sandwich and a glass of water in a bar, you will be expected to pay in cash. And not with a big euro note, either: Bars almost invariably struggle to change large denomination notes. Keep small notes and coins aside for snacks and drinks. When dining in Milan, keep in mind that shorts, athletic shoes, T-shirts and other very casual clothes aren't appreciated in restaurants. Few restaurants go as far as requiring a jacket and tie for men, but it never hurts to dress up a bityou'll get better service. Expect to pay within these general guidelines for a dinner for one, not including drinks, tax or tip: $ = less than 35 euros; $$ = 35 euros-60 euros; $$$ = 61 euros-85 euros; $$$$ = more than 85 euros.

Local & Regional

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Be Bop Pizzeria Close to the Navigli district, this is one of Milan's most popular pizza restaurants. There's a huge choice of pizzas, including nonwheat or gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian pizzas. Also serves pasta and other Mediterranean-style dishes. Open daily. $. Most major credit cards. Bice Traditional Tuscan-Milanese menu for the swank crowdyou might see Donatella Versace or Giorgio Armani there. The quattro formaggio pasta and chocolate semifreddo are outstanding, or try the ribollita (vegetable soup). Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch only. Reservations required. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Borgospesso 12 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-2572 http://www.bicemilano.it Viale Col de Lana 4 Milan, Italy

Chic 'n' Quick Run by renowned chef Claudio Sadler, this place sits next to its pricier sister restaurant, Sadler. Chic 'n' Quick offers the same superb quality though in a less formal atmosphere and with less Michelin-starred detailing and a smaller bill. There's also a great choice of wine by the glass.
Via Cardinale Sforza 77 Milan, Italy

Open Monday for dinner; Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Corso Como 10 Caffe If you have gone to see the store, then make sure you stay for lunch. A fashionista favorite for everything with creative fusion cuisine from carpaccio and blini to caviar and sushi. (The sushi di salmone is a legend.) Some very eclectic drinks, too. Monday for dinner only, Tuesday-Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Closed two weeks in August. Reservations recommended. Most major credit cards. Cracco A Michelin-starred restaurant, Cracco offers some of the best food to be had in the city if not the entire country. Chef Carlo Cracco serves traditional Milanese cuisine with a modern, innovative twist. With its elegant interior and wine list of 1800 bottles, the restaurant attracts foodies with style.
Via Victor Hugo 4 (MM1 Duomo) Milan, Italy Corso Como 10 (MM2 Garibaldi) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-2901-3581 http://www.10corsocomo.com

Open Monday-Saturday for dinner, Tuesday-Friday for lunch. Closed in August. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Da Giacomo Elegant and fashionable, this family-owned restaurant is loved for its fish dishestry the spaghetti allo scoglio. Service is excellent. Closed late December-early January and for three weeks in August. Reservations a must. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Pasquale Sotto Corno, 6 Milan, Italy

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Don Carlos This cozy restaurant is tucked away inside the luxurious Grand Hotel et de Milan. Expect great food, fabulous wine and opera-star sightings. Options include tagliatelle all'uovo with sea urchins and fresh tomatoes, or the roast lamb with coffee sauce. Daily for dinner only. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Manzoni 29 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7231-4640 http://www.ristorantedoncarlos.it

Don Lisander It's more than its fabulous location just up the street from La Scala: Lush flowers, sunny outdoor dining in warm weather, and a long list of Milanese and international favorites make this a perfect choice for a special occasion. Delicious risotto alla Milanese. Monday-Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Closed late December-early January and three weeks in August. Reservations required. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Giacomo Arengario Located in Milan's Museum of the 19th Century and under the same ownership as Da Giacomo. No understated minimalism here: the interior is sumptuous, the clients glamorous. From the terrace there's a view over the rooftops and the Duomo, and it is this in particular that attracts hungry visitors. Regional and Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Not for those who like space between their tables. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Giglio Rosso A few steps from Central Station, this elegant place, with an elegantly neutral interior, is a firm favorite with the locals. Tuscan-inspired cuisine, Giglio Rosso offers a menu of traditional and innovative pasta dishes, fish and meat. Vegetarians are well-looked after. Open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday dinner only. Closed for much of August. $$$. Most major credit cards. Il Verdi Consistently popular with locals, Verdi is elegant but not stuffy, keeping with the Milanese desire for tasteful surroundings, service and food. The menu includes traditional Italian dishes (excellent risotto) as well as meal-size saladsunusual for an Italian menu. Il Verdi offers a great fixed-price menu every day except Saturday: a choice of three courses and a drink for 18 euros. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed August and Christmas Eve-6 January. Reservations not accepted. $$. Most major credit cards. L'Osteria del Treno What started as a co-operative for railway workers from the nearby Central Station is now a Slow Food restaurant that serves fantastic food at reasonable prices; the setting is low-key and welcoming. Try the aubergine tortellini pasta in olive oil, thyme and pecorino, followed by merluzzo in caseruola (cod and cherry tomatoes).
Via San Gregorio 46 (MM2 Centrale) Milan, Italy Piazza Mirabello 5 (MM2 Moscova) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-659-0797 http://www.ilverdi.it Piazza Luigi di Savoia 2 (MM2/3 Stazione Centrale) Milan, Italy Via Guglielmo Marconi 1 (MM1 Duomo) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7209-3814 http://www.giacomomilano.com Via Manzoni 12-A (MM1/2 Duomo, MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy

Daily for lunch and dinner (no a la carte menu at lunch). Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards.

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Nicola Cavallaro Foodies love the chef's contemporary spin on classic Italian dishes at the former L'Ape Piera. Try the tempura-fried zucchini flowers splashed with yogurt sauce and cucumber petals. Cooking lessons offered. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed August and late December-early January. Reservations required. $$$. Most major credit cards. Trattoria dei Cacciatori You'll need to hire a taxi or drive yourself to visit this trattoria located just outside the city limits. It's in a historic building that was once a hunting lodge for the Duke of Milan. Whether you sit outside under an arbor or in one of the dining rooms next to a massive fireplace, you get a sense of the ruling-class lifestyle from bygone days. Very traditional Milanese dishes. Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch. Closed most of August and late December-early January. Reservations required. $$. Most major credit cards. Trattoria Milanese No nonsense, uncomplicated and excellent. Traditional Milanese cuisine, including risotto giallo with saffron, mondeghili alla verza, nervetti and cotoletta alla Milanese. The seafood specialties are also outstanding.
Via Santa Marta 11 (MM1 Cordusio) Milan, Italy Via Trieste 2 Peschiera Borromeo, Italy Phone: 02-753-1154 http://www.trattoriacacciatori.it Via Lodovico il Moro 11 (Tram 2) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8912-6060 http://www.nicolacavallaro.it

Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner. Closed mid-July to August. Reservations required. $$. Most major credit cards. Trussardi alla Scala Overlooking Teatro alla Scala (hence the name), this Michelin-starred place is one of the city's best restaurants. The innovative Italian cuisine gets rave reviews, the interior has a subdued elegance and the service is good. On the ground floor there's the significantly more casual (and equally as chic) Trussardi Cafe.
Piazza della Scala 5 (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy

Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner; Saturday dinner only. Closed Sunday and first Monday of the month. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards.

Cuisines
American
Juleps New York Housed in an old warehouse close to the Navigli area, it serves an elaborate brunch on Sunday, as well as more than 150 different cocktails. Daily for dinner from 7:30 pm, Sunday for brunch noon-4 pm. Closed one week in August. Reservations recommended, particularly for brunch. $$. Most major credit cards.
Via Evangelista Torricelli 21 Milan, Italy Phone: 02-8940-9029 http://www.julepsmilano.com

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Asian
Armani/Nobu Innovative. Fabulous. What more can we say? Like its New York sister and London cousin, both called Nobu, this Japanese eatery (located in the giant Armani flagship store) is the talk of the town. The tasting menu is 90 euros. For those who prefer less food, the ground-floor level has a snack menu with sushi and oysters. Daily for lunch and dinner. Unusual for Milan, Nobu is open in August. Reservations are a must. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Shiva An Indian restaurant close to the Porta Ticinese. The interior is richly decorated, the staff cordial and the dishesno surprises for those familiar with Indian cuisineare well-priced. Serves dishes from the north of India, including a small selection of vegetarian dishes. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards. Tandur Cozy Indian restaurant, close to the Duomo. Well-regarded and offering good value for money. Music and dance show on Friday and Saturday evenings. Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner only. Closed two weeks in August and 1-6 January. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Maddalena 3-5 (MM3 Missori, MM1 Duomo) Milan, Italy Viale Gian Galeazzo 7 Milan, Italy Via Manzoni 31 (MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-6231-1645 http://www.armaninobu.it

Fusion
Shambala Thai fusion meets Italian farmhouse with a Vietnamese twistfrom a Japanese chef. One of the city's see-and-be-seen dining rooms. Monday-Saturday for dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Ripamonti 337 (MM3 Porta Romana, then taxi) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-552-0194 http://www.shambalamilano.it

Mediterranean
L'Amour Close to the Brera, this is a cozy, elegant place with excellent Mediterranean dishes and an extensive French wine list. It also offers a special service: If you can't live without the Internet for a few hours, the staff will bring a laptop to your table so you can surf the Web. Daily except Monday noon-1 am. Closed in August and for Christmas. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Solferino 25 (MM2 Moscova) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-6590-176 http://www.lamour.it

Vegetarian

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Joia This is nothing like your typical sprouts-and-tofu vegetarian cafe. Joia's chefs produce hautecuisine vegetarian and seafood dishesincluding a handful of vegan optionsusing topquality ingredients in ingenious combinations. All the dishes have poetic names. Try the taglioni with fresh tomato sauce. Fans of sophisticated eggplant dishes will also love the place. Excellent wine list. The ambience and clientele are elegantly hip. Monday-Friday dinner customers can book a bistro-style meal by quoting Joia Kitchen. Main restaurant open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Closed late December-early January and three weeks in August. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Latteria Cucina Vegetariana This popular spot is really an excellent grocery store jam-packed with tables for the lunchtime crowd. Monday-Saturday for lunch. $$. Most major credit cards.
Via dell'Unione 6 (MM1/3 Duomo) Milan, Italy Via Panfilo Castaldi 18 (MM1 Porta Venezia, MM3 Repubblica) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-2952-2124 http://www.joia.it

Cafes & Tearooms


Rinomata Gelateria One of the best ice-cream places in the Navigli district, with an amazing range of flavors stored under special copper lids. Daily 2 pm-1 am. Closed Monday afternoon October-May. Cash only.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese 1 (MM2 Porta Genova) Milan, Italy

Coffeehouses
Cova At the intersection of two of the world's best shopping streets, Cova is one of the most elegant cafes in town and has been around since 1817. Antonio Cova invented pan di toni, which became today's well-known Christmas cake panettone. You can take your coffee standing at the bar, but the real deal is to sit at one of the tables with pink linens and have the server bring your cup to you (though, for this you'll pay handsomely). Also serves cakes, sandwiches and snacks. Open Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-8:30 pm. Closed August and the first week of January. $$. Sant'Ambroeus One of the oldest and best-established pastry and coffee shops in town. Fashionably dressed locals flock there for superb baked goods and excellent espresso, especially on Saturday mornings. Don't forget to buy a box of the cafe's famous chocolates. There is also a restaurant on-site. Daily 7:45 am-8:30 pm. Closed for three weeks in August. $-$$. Most major credit cards.
Corso Matteotti 7 (MM1 San Babila) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-0540 http://www.santambroeusmilano.it Via Montenapoleone 8 at Via Sant'Andrea (MM1 San Babila, MM3 Montenapoleone) Milan, Italy Phone: 02-7600-0578 http://www.pasticceriacova.it

Continental

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Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia Updated light Italian dishes by the Michelin-starred owner-chef. Impeccable service in an elegantly modern setting. Tasting menus for 90 euros or 120 euros include the chef's daily specialties. Try the guinea-fowl-liver pate with white truffles or any of the wonderful desserts. The wine list has more than 200 choices. The taxi ride to this rather remote location is worth it. Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner only. Closed August and the first 10 days of January. Reservations a mustit's often booked solid for weeks. Jacket and tie suggested. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Montecuccoli 6 (MM1 Bande Nere) Milan, Italy 20147 Phone: 02-416-886 http://www.aimoenadia.com

Seafood
Da Giulia Fish restaurants are notoriously expensive in Milan and quality can vary widely. Da Giulia is an exception. With a cozysome might say kitschyinterior and friendly and relaxed service, Da Giulia specializes in southern Italian (particularly Sicilian) dishes with an emphasis on fish. The extensive menu includes a very well-priced tasting menu at 40 euros. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Piazza Gramsci 3 Milan, Italy

Security
Etiquette
Contrary to the relaxed image many have of Italy, the Italian business world emphasizes formality and procedure. Get assistance from a local contact, go through proper channels and always present yourself and your firm as well-polished and accomplished. AppointmentsHaving an intermediary is essential. Without someone to make the appropriate contacts, you'll find it hard to get much accomplished. Your go-between can help schedule meetings, which should be set up well in advance. It is very difficultnearly impossible, in factto call on a businessperson unannounced. Confirm your meetings a day or two before they're set to take place. Punctuality is expected from visitors. Your Italian counterparts may or may not be prompt. People in the northern part of the country generally are; those in the south less so. Personal IntroductionsGreet others with a handshake and a slight nod. Titles are important: Use any professional titles that are supplied on introduction or, better yet, ask for a list of the participants and their official titles in advance of the meeting. Continue to use the title and last name unless you are instructed otherwise. If you're a graduate, be prepared to introduce yourself as "Dr." (dottore if male, dottoressa if female), even if you don't hold a Ph.D. You may find it pretentious, but Italians do not. Present your business card but do not expect your Italian counterparts to have one. The practice is not as common in Italy. If anything, cards will be distributed at the end of a meeting. NegotiatingThe pace of negotiations is slow, and final decisions are not made by lower-level functionaries. The chain of command in Italian business is both vertical and horizontal, and decision-making can take a long time. Last-minute demands can be made by a person who enters the negotiations late in the game. In fact, this is sometimes used as a negotiating tool. Remain patient and calm at all times. Business EntertainingBusiness dinners are common but will typically involve only a few key players. If you are hosting the dinner, ask your Italian contact whom to invite. If you want to pay, tip the server ahead of time and ask that the bill be quietly given to you. If you do not make such arrangements in advance, you will have to ask for the check; it will not be brought to you automatically. Body LanguageItalians typically converse while standing close to one another. They tend to gesture when talking, and handshakes can extend longer than in other cultures. Gift GivingSmall but high-quality gifts are appropriate in some situations: Ask your intermediary for advice. If you are invited to a home, take flowers or chocolates. Wine is not an acceptable gift and may offend your hosts, as they might think you suspect them incapable of

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher picking out wine. ConversationAlthough it may seem that very little is off-limits in Italian conversation, you should avoid personal questions, as well as any that imply you are being critical of Italian society and culture. Even if your host is critical, you are not allowed to be so. You may be asked if you like Italy and the Italians. Soccer is a passion and an easy topic, as are travel and Italian culture. In general, Italians are culturally very well-educated and can discuss art, literature, film, food and all other "cultural" topics with confidence. The less-positive aspects of Italian history, including Mussolini, its role in World War II and the Mafia, should obviously be avoided.

Personal Safety
Pickpockets do exist in Milan. Watch your belongings very carefully, particularly at the train station, the metro, trams and at tourist sites. Be particulary alert around groups of gypsy children. Burglary is also a problem. Put valuables in the safe in your hotel room or ask the front desk to secure them for you. Never leave anything of value in a parked car; suitcases, purses and backpacks aren't safe, even in a locked trunk. Violent crime is not a serious problem in Milan, but walking in areas where drug dealers might congregate, such as Parco Sempione, underground passageways or in the area around the train station, is discouraged after dark. Try not to consult your map on the street, which can make you a target for purse snatchers who prey on tourists. If you're carrying a shoulder bag, cross the strap over your chest. Haversacks (backpacks) make you a prime target for pickpockets (which is why Italian kids traveling abroad like to wear theirs on their front). The metro is safe, usually even in the evening. Be vigilant on crowded buses and trains, where jostling may disguise pickpocketing. The line of Filobus 91/92 is especially notorious for pickpockets. Do not fall for shell games and do not buy tickets from black-market sellers (bagherini); they will either be overpriced or fake. For the latest information, contact your country's travel-advisory agency.

Health
No vaccinations are required to enter Italy, and food and water throughout Milan are safe to consume. General sanitation is excellent. In the case of a medical emergency, dial 118. Don't assume that an English-speaking operator will be on duty. It's important to ask for an ambulance with a doctor onboard; otherwise, the ambulance will arrive for the mere purpose of driving you to the hospital, and you might as well take a taxi. A few doctors speak enough English to communicate, but you may want to contact the Milan Clinic at Via Cerva 25 (phone 02-7601-6047), the American International Medical Center on Via Mercalli 11 (phone 02-5831-9808), or the International Health Center in Galleria Strasburgo, 3, in front of Via Durini 17 (phone 02-7634-0720). Outside clinic hours, a recorded message will provide a cell phone number to contact the doctor. If you have no other alternative, there is a 24-hour emergency room at the Ospedale Fatebenefratelli on Corso Porta Nuevo, near the U.S. Consulate. Pharmacies in Milan are plentiful, located in every neighborhood and open 8:30 am-12:30 pm and 3:30-7 pm. They stay open late and on a rotating basis on Sunday. However, because all medicines are stored behind the counter, it helps to know a few Italian words to tell the pharmacist what you need, such as medicina. The small pharmacy within Central Station, Farmacia della Stazione, is open 24 hours a day. Pronto Farmacia is a free emergency service that can deliver urgent medicines. The service also gives advice and information about pharmacies open at night or on Sunday. Phone 800-801-185. The biggest natural health problem in Milan stems from poor air quality. Most years, the city has around two dozen days that fail to meet recommended health standards because of the density of particulate matter in the air. But experts say that limited exposure to such conditions is unlikely to be harmful to those without respiratory problems. The use of sunscreen is advised for those with fair skin JuneAugust. Mosquitos are not only ubiquitous but, in Milan, they are vicious. Wear plenty of insect repellent and don't leave windows open at night.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher The general emergency number to call for the police is 113; for the fire brigade, 115. The Carabinieri (a form of police) can be reached on 112. For the latest information, contact your country's health-advisory agency.

Disabled Advisory
Italy provides less access for the disabled than you might expect, and though Milan is better equipped than most large cities in the country, disabled visitors will not find it an easy city to visit. Some curb ramps exist in Milan, but they're more for the benefit of delivery carts than for wheelchairs, and unfortunately tramlines, parked cars and holes in the roads make life tricky. However, every year there are improvements. As of 2011, the metro is 50% accessibile for disabled travelers: line MM3 is handicapaccessible in principle, and some stops on older MM1 and MM2 metro lines are following suit (newer metro maps indicate which stops are readily accessible to those in wheelchairs) though in practice, you may find the elevators out of order. The new, low-level trams (colored green) that are appearing all over the city are accessible for those in wheelchairs. Trasporti Accessibili gives information (in English, too) on public transport in Milan and the region of Lombardy for the disabled. http://www.trasportiaccessibili.org Milano per Tutti is another site with useful information and itineraries for disabled tourists. An English-language version is available. http://www.milanopertutti.it. For further information about accessibility and services available for disabled travelers, contact the Tourist Office (APT). Piazza Duomo, 19/A corner of Via Silvio Pellico. Phone 02-7740-434. http://www.visitamilano.it/turismo_en/default/settore_turismo.html.

Facts
Dos & Don'ts
Don't forget to tour the city streets. Though Milan's traffic might be a little off-putting, if you only visit the indoor museums, you'll be missing a lot of great architecture. Do recall that you may be on holiday but the people of Milan are not. Think "smart casual" and leave the beach attire for the beach regardless of how hot it may be. Italians are famed for their elegance, and the Milanese are considered the most elegant in the country. Don't make appointments that would require people to miss a meal: Food is important in Italy, and mealtimes are sacred. Lunch is taken in Milan between 1 and 2 pm, and dinner is eaten usually around 8 pm. Do note that many elevators in Italy do not "memorize and prioritize." So if several people get in and each pushes his or her preference, the elevator will travel to the floor chosen by the first person to push, not the floor closest to where one started. That's why Italians get into elevators and tell the other occupants where they're going. Then, one person "does the honors." Do avoid shopping on a Saturday, if you can. Every shop will be full of people, and even the expensive designer shops will have queues in front of the changing rooms. Don't smoke in public restaurants or bars, or you may face a hefty fine. Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to ban smoking in public places, and to everyone's surprise the Italians accepted the restriction. Very few places have separate smoking areas. Most restaurants, bars and hotels will have a smoking area to the front of the building (look for the ashtrays). Do say buongiorno when you enter a shop, even if you then have to wait your turn. When you have finished, say thanks and then buongiorno before you leave. Use ciao as a greeting with friends and acquaintances, not with people you don't know. If pronunciation is a problem, you can get away with salve, which is midway between the two in terms of formality. Don't be surprised when leaving a shop if you are asked by an official of the Italian Guardia de Finanza (tax authority) to produce the receipt for the goods you just bought. This is done to stem tax fraud. If you don't have the receipt, you could have to pay a fine (although this is rarely enforced with tourists).

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Don't order your espresso on the terrace of the cafe, unless you really want to sit down for some time and watch the world go by. It may cost you three times more than at the counter of the bar.

Geostats
Passport/Visa Requirements: Citizens of Canada and the U.S. need passports but not visas. Proof of onward passage and sufficient funds are needed by all travelers. Reconfirm travel document requirements with your carrier before departure. Population: 1,326,571. Languages: Italian. Basic English is spoken by the majority in Milan as it has been an obligatory part of the school curriculum for many years. In fact, Italians often start to learn English at elementary school. Fluent English, however, is spoken by a minority. Predominant Religions: Christian (Roman Catholic). Time Zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Voltage Requirements: 220 volts. Telephone Codes: 39, country code; 02,city code;

Money
Currency Exchange
You can withdraw euros from ATMs (bancomat in Italian) using a bank card or major credit card. ATMs are located either outside or just inside most banks. If you need to exchange hard currency, do so at banks or currency-exchange counters at the airport and train station. (Major hotels will also exchange money, but they offer the least desirable rate.) Opening hours vary from bank to bank but are generally Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-3:45 pm. Banks generally close by 11 am the day before a holiday, and closing times are strictly adhered to. Banca Cesare Ponti This bank is in a location convenient for tourists, and you'll likely get a better rate there than at the train station or airport. Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-4 pm. Piazza Duomo 19. Milan, Italy 20121.

Taxes
A value-added tax (VAT; in Italy, IVA) of 20% is included in the price shown on merchandise. Visitors from non-European Union countries can get this tax refunded on purchases more than 155 euros at participating stores. Forms are completed at the time of purchase. You present these, along with the merchandise, at the customs office at the airport from which you depart the EU. The items purchased must be unused. The forms will be stamped, and a check will be mailed to you. Some vendors are reluctant to provide the refund paperwork and will sometimes offer an immediate discount instead. For more information on this process, visit http://www.globalrefund.com.

Tipping
In restaurants, a cover charge is nearly always added to the bill while a service charge is rare. The service charge must be stated in writingon the menu, for exampleto be legal. A tip of an additional 5%-10% of the bill is appreciated for good service, although it is absolutely not obligatory. For taxi drivers, no tip is expected unless they have been particularly helpful, in which case you should round up to the nearest euro. Tip hotel porters about 1 euro per bag, housekeeping staff 1 euro per day, and the concierge an amount in proportion to service given.

Weather

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Summer temperatures, which often extend into September, average in the 80s F/high 20s C but can feel warmer because of the humidity. Winter is cold, with little rain and temperatures usually in the 40s F/5-10 C. Snow is uncommon but does sometimes happen. April and May tend to be rainy. The best time to visit Milan is perhaps in autumn, when the weather is crisp, cool, sunny and breezy. Smog is a constant problem. The fog that plagues the entire Po valley, though not a problem in the city, makes driving in the countryside problematic NovemberMarch.

What to Wear
The Milanese are very conscious of appearance, even when engaged in casual activities. People are judged by their clothing and shoes. For business occasions, men should wear dark suits, and women should don dresses or suits. When relaxing the Italians wear casual clothing, but this does not mean that rules do not applyapparel is still pristine. As a visitor, you should avoid shorts, athletic shoes and Tshirts that are not in good condition. If necessary, look at what others are wearing and, for the time you are there, make adjustments. Women should be particularly attentive and try to avoid exposing large amounts of flesh, even if they are on vacation. Italy is not the place to let it all hang out. November-February temperatures require a heavy coat. In spring and autumn, a lightweight jacket will suffice. Spring is the rainy season, so you might want to take a raincoat. The summer months are hot and humid, and air-conditioning tends to be set lower than in the U.S., for example. Clothing should be lightweight but not sleeveless in any business setting. Such is the emphasis on style that Italians frown on shortsleeved shirts in a business setting, preferring to roll up their sleeves. Many churches require that arms and legs be covered (shoulders and knees, at least). Covering up will also help prevent bites from the swarms of mosquitoes that invade the city every summer.

Communication
Telephone
Note that the number of digits for numbers within Milan varies, but all numbers begin with the prefix 02, which must be dialed even within the city. For directory assistance, dial 187 for Italy (Italian spoken). Toll-free numbers ("green" numbers, in Italian) have the prefix 800. Phone numbers starting with 199 have a fee attached to them. Prepaid phone cards of various kinds are available from newsstands. You can use them for pay phones, or you can use coins. If you are going to be in the country for an extended period of time or will be returning to Europe often, it might be worth buying a cell phone with a prepaid card from one of Italy's four cell phone operators (TIM, Vodafone, 3 and Wind). Prices for cell phones start at about 35 euros, and you can purchase prepaid cards for as many or as few minutes as you desire, beginning at around 2 euros. Cell phone coverage in Milan is good, and virtually everyone has a cell phone.

Internet Access
Access is widely available, whether plug-in or Wi-Fi. If you plan on plugging in at the hotel (and it doesn't have Wi-Fi), remember to use an adaptor for the Italian phone socket. These usually are available at the reception desk or in telephone shops. Computer users in Parco Sempione can have free Wi-Fi coverage. "Wireless Castle" allows people to work online in this lovely central parkland behind Castello Sforzesco, connecting to the Internet and e-mail or making calls (using Skype). Users will have only to obtain a free registration card from one of the distributors around the park. Phone 02-8846-3397. http://www.comune.milano.it. Internet cafes exist but tend to be used by the immigrant community and pop up and disappear with regularity. Identification is usually asked in Italy when using an Internet cafea passport or an ID card will suffice.

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Mail & Package Services


Stamps may be purchased at bars that also sell cigarettes (look for the illuminated T, for tobacco, symbol outside). Alternatively, you can get them from the post office, but you'll usually have to wait in line. If the clerk suggests you pay and then he will stick on the stamps later, ask that it be done right away. If this creates a problem, ask for the package back. The Italian postal service is not as efficient as that of other countries. Many Italians prefer to cross the border into Switzerland if they have something important to mail. The city's main post office is at Via Cordusio 4 (MM1 Cordusio). Monday-Friday 8 am-7 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-1:30 pm. Phone 02-72482126.

Newspapers & Magazines


Corriera della Sera and La Repubblica are the two main national newspapers. Published only in Italian, they can be found at all newsstands and hotels. The English-language International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today are available daily at newsstands and hotels. HelloMilano, an English-language entertainment guide, is sometimes available at hotels. Ask for it at the desk. It can also be picked up from the Tourist Office (APT) in Piazza Duomo. http://www.hellomilano.it. Easy Milano is a bi-weekly publication geared toward English speakers spending extended time in Milan. It features apartment rentals, items for sale and job opportunities (http://www.easymilano.it). The Tourist Office publishes Milano Mese, a monthly English- and Italianlanguage listing of art events, concerts and more. Publication dates can be erratic. Online magazines Vivi Milano and Tutto Milano give upto-date information about cultural activities in the city and surroundings. Other Web sites include http://www.aboutmilan.com and http://ciaomilano.it. International newspapers and magazines are available at most of the newsstands in Piazza del Duomo.

Transportation
Central Milan is quite small, and most of it can be covered easily on foot. But if you prefer to spend time seeing the sights rather than walking, Milan's extensive transportation system is a convenient way to get from place to place. Trams are fun, easy and inexpensive. Some of the old ones date from the 1930s and add local color to the city. The three metro linesMM1 (red), MM2 (green) and MM3 (yellow)service most of the central area, although buses and trams are the best ways to get to Milan's outskirts. A metro ticket costs 1 euro, is valid for 75 minutes and can be used for bus, tram and metro though it cannot be used twice on the metro within the 75 minutes. The day ticket, or abbonamento giornaliero, costs 3 euros and is valid for 24 hours for unlimited use on all public transport in the city. Tickets cannot be purchased on board. Buy them at newsstands, tobacconists and automatic vending machines, which in theory operate with both coins and banknotesthough all too often need the correct coins to be used. In Italy, taxis only pick up passengers at designated stands. Milan is no exception. You can try to hail one with a light on, but be aware that the drivers are not on the lookout for potential passengers and may not see the traditional raised-arm signal. If you are close to a hotel and need a cab, head there. If you are in a restaurant, ask the staff to call one for you. If you speak Italian, phone 024-040 or 028-585.

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Air
Malpensa Airport All intercontinental and most international flights land at Malpensa Airport (MXP), which is approximately 30 mi/50 km northwest of the city. It's about an hour by car or train from the city. Malpensa is notorious for baggage handlers who are not above stealing valuable items from checked baggage. Phone 02-7485-2200. http://www.seamilano.eu. Connecting Transportation Best way: FNME (Ferrovie Nord Malpensa Express) trains run to and from Milan's Cadorna Station and Malpensa's Terminal 1 every 30-60 minutes. Trains leave the airport every 30 minutes 6:45 am-9:45 pm, then a direct shuttle bus takes over until 1:30 am. Trains from Milan depart 5:50 am-8:20 pm, with the bus taking over until 11:10 pm. Trip time is approximately 40 minutes. Tickets are 11 euros for adults and can be bought at the FNME counter near the airport exit. Buy your ticket before boarding. No tickets are sold onboard, and you might be fined if caught without a ticket. Be sure to "stamp" your ticket in the yellow time-clock machine on the platform before boarding. (The train makes additional stops at Bovisa/Politecnico metro and Saronno train stations.) Phone 800-500-005 for English-speaking information daily 7 am-9 pm. http://www.malpensaexpress.it. Other options: Malpensa Shuttle/Air Pullman makes the trip between Terminal 1 and Milan's Central Station every 20 minutes 1:20 am-12:15 am. (The bus will stop at Terminal 2 upon request.) The trip time is approximately 50 minutes but can double in rush-hour traffic. Tickets are 7.50 euros for adults one way, 12 euros round-trip. Tickets are available on the bus, at the airport arrival terminals, at the SAP office at Piazza Luigi de Savoia 3, close to the Central Station, or the Tourist Office (APT) at Piazza Duomo 19/A (MM1/3 Duomo). Phone 02-5858-3185. http://www.malpensashuttle.it. The Malpensa Bus Express coach service runs from Milan Central Station, Piazza Luigi di Savoia, to Malpensa Airport every 20 minutes 4:30 am-11 pm. It runs from the Malpensa Airport to the Milan Central Station every 20-30 minutes 6 am-12:30 am. Travel time is approximately 50 minutes, and it costs 7.50 euros one-way. Buy tickets from the Passaggi agency opposite the coach stop. Phone 0331519-000 or 02-3391-0794. Taxis to and from Malpensa are convenient but expensive, around 90 euros. If you order by phone, cheaper fares can be negotiated. Milano Taxi charges from 70 euros (phone 02-3669-7595; http://www.milanotaxi.it). Trip time is 45 minutesthough rush-hour traffic can make it considerably longer. You'll find plenty of cabs outside the arrival areas. Use only white taxis lined up in ranks. Avoid solicitations from drivers as you exit the terminal. When going to the airport, be sure the car has the sticker taxi autorizzato per il servizio aeroportuale lombardo on the windscreen. Other taxis may charge you a lot more. Milan, Italy. Linate Airport Linate Airport (LIN), 4 mi/7 km to the east, is used for domestic and some European flights. Refurbishing is planned, but it's still quite rundown. Phone 02-7485-2200. http://www.milanolinate.eu. Connecting Transportation Best way: Bus 73 (ATM) runs between Linate Airport and the San Babila Station every 10 minutes. Travel time is approximately 20 minutes. Tickets cost 2.50 euro (http://www.atm-mi.it) and cannot be purchased on boardthere's an automatic machine at the bus stand. Alternatively, four privately owned shuttle bus companies run between Linate Airport and the main train station in Milan, Stazione Centrale. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes and costs 4 euros-5 euros. Star Fly Bus is the best known. Phone 02-5858-7237. Other options: Taxis to and from Linate are about 20 euros-30 euros. There is a surcharge of 3 euros after 9 pm, as well as one for luggage handling. Use only white taxis lined up in ranks. Avoid solicitations from drivers as you exit the terminal. Milan, Italy.

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Orio al Serio-Milan Orio al Serio handles charter flights from across Europe, though with only one terminal, crowds and queues can be commonplace. Close to Bergamo, it is about 30 mi/50 km northeast of Milan. Phone 035-326-111 or 035-326-323. http://www.sacbo.it. Connecting Transportation Best way: Buses from Central Station link Milan to Orio al Serio airport every hour. Journey time is 60 minutes. Autostradale charges 8.90 euros (phone 02-3391-0794 or 02-300-891; http://www.autostradale.it), and Orio Shuttle costs 9 euros (phone 035-319-366; http://www.orioshuttle.it). Orio al Serio is 5 km/3 mi from Bergamo. A bus service is also available to the airport from Bergamo Station. Phone 035-678-678. http://www.zaniviaggi.it. Other options: Car rental agencies are located at all three airports. Milan, Italy.

Bus
For long-distance trips in Italy, trains will almost always be preferable to buses. Many long-distance bus services are designed for commuters, as opposed to visitors. The main departure point for buses heading to other Italian and European cities is the Garibaldi bus station, adjacent to the Garibaldi train station. The Autostradale (bus station) office sells tickets. Phone 02-3391-0794. http://www.autostradale.it.

Car
We strongly suggest that you avoid driving in the city unless it's absolutely necessary. Congestion in the city center is intense, and parking is difficult. Most residential areas now have resident-only parking, and illegally parked cars are removed swiftly. Should you be so unlucky, call 02-7727-0280 to retrieve yours. If you do drive into the city, park your car at your hotel and plan to use public transportation. Moreover, not only is signage erratic, but the Milanese drive fast, cut off other cars and change lanes without signaling. By road, the city is approached on one of the two orbital highways: the Tangenziale Est (east) and the Tangenziale Ovest (west). Look for your exit and get into position in plenty of time. Note that some of the exits are to the left and not, as elsewhere, on the right. If you are going into town by car, at all costs avoid rush hours at 7:30-9:30 am and 5:30-7:30 pm.

Public Transportation
Milan's public transportation system is known as the ATM (pronounced ah-tem). This stands for Azienda Trasporti Milanesi, or Milan Transit Company. In Milan, public transport consists of buses, trolley cars, trams and the metro subway. The latter consists of four lines: MM1 (red), MM2 (green), MM3 (yellow) and the passante (blue). The metro system is fairly safe, even at night. Public transport operates 6 am-midnight. The same ticket allows you to ride trams, buses, trolley cars and the metro. Tickets are purchased prior to boarding. You can buy them at newsstands and bars that sell cigarettes (look for the T symbol). Some metro stations have ticket machines. A single ticket costs 1 euro, and books of 10 tickets (carnet) are 9.20 euros. The carnet (five sheets, to be stamped on the front and back) must be kept intact but can be used by several people traveling together. The ticket is valid for 75 minutes. Remember to stamp your ticket the first time you board. Uniformed inspectors randomly board buses, trains and subway cars to check tickets. Hefty fines are charged on the spot to those who don't have valid tickets. An alternative to buying tickets and validating them is to buy a pass: A 24-hour pass costs 3 euros, and a two-day pass costs 5.50 euros. Validate the pass the first time you use it, and then show it to the attendant at the turnstiles on the metro or upon request to the inspectors. For information, see http://www.atm-mi.it.

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Taxi
Metered taxis are white. They will not stop on the street except at designated taxi stands, which are usually located near hotels, train stations and sometimes major squares or intersections. There's no guarantee that a cab will be waiting, so it's advisable to call for a taxi (or have someone call for you if you don't speak Italian). If you do call for a taxi, be aware that you'll be charged from the time the driver receives the call to the time you're delivered to your destination. The price is always that shown on the taxi meter and no other charge can be added. Taxi tariffs change frequently in Milan, but current tariffs are posted inside the taxi. Fares start at 3 euros. After 10 pm, a surcharge of 3.10 euros applies, making the base rate 6.10 euros until 6 am. Tipping is not expected. Round up to the nearest euro if you really want to leave something. Some taxi companies to try are Autoradiotaxi (phone 02-8585), Taxi Blu (phone 02-4040) and Yellow Taxi (phone 02-6969).

Train
If you're arriving from another European or major Italian city, you'll greet Milan at the massive Central Station (Stazione Centrale) on Piazza Duca d'Aosta. Central Station recently underwent a restoration, and a system of ascending and descending moving walkways takes the place of the usual escalators. Stazione Garibaldi, another regional station, handles trains heading to smaller cities within two hours of Milan. The smaller Cadorna Station, also known as the Stazione Nord, handles trains heading to smaller cities to the north and the lake cities of Como and Stresa. Note that the latter station is part of a different railway service from the other two. (For more on this railroad company, see http://www.ferrovienord.it.) Stazione Centrale and Garibaldi are part of the nationwide service, which is officially now called Trenitalia, but everyone still calls it the Ferrovie dello Stato (FS). For more, see http://www.trenitalia.com. Buying a train ticket doesn't guarantee you a seat. To be assured of this, you should make a reservation, and on many trains a reservation is mandatory. Another surcharge is added for trains labeled intercity (IC) or eurocity (EC), which are more comfortable and sometimes faster. If you don't have the correct ticket and surcharge for your train, you'll be fined the difference plus a penalty. Another train, the Eurostar (ES), does guarantee your seat; you must have a reservation to board. It links Milan, Bologna, Rome and Naples. You must stamp your ticket on the platform before boarding the train, unless you have a paper ticket, which is not designed to be stamped. (There are usually several yellow validating machines on each platform.) If your ticket is not validated, you'll be charged a penalty by the conductor.

For More Information


Tourist Offices
Azienda Promozione Turistica (APT) Offers information about what's happening in Milan, as well as maps, books and brochures. Additional information is available at http://www.visitamilano.it/turismo. Monday-Saturday 8:45 am-1 pm and 2-6 pm, Sunday 9 am-1 pm and 2-5 pm. Piazza Duomo 19/A (with a branch at Stazione Centrale). Milan, Italy. Phone 02-7740-4343. http://www.ciaomilano.it..

Events
Calendar
With the exception of August, when most Italian inland cities turn into ghost towns, Milan offers a varied calendar of events throughout the year. Although there are other tickets to be had in the city, those to performances put on by the La Scala opera company are first and foremost in many visitors' minds. Without planning in advance, you may find yourself out of luck.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Soccer fans will kick themselves if they're in town on a game day and miss it. Tickets for matches can also be hard to come by, especially if the two hometown rivals, Inter Milano and A.C. Milan, are playing each other. For detailed information about upcoming events in the Milan area, contact the Milan Tourist Board, Azienda Promozione Turistica del Milanese. Phone 02-7740-4343. http://www.visitamilano.it/turismo_en. Another resource for events in Milan is Ciao Milano, an online compliation of goings on in the city. http://www.ciaomilano.it. To call any of the numbers listed in this calendar from outside Italy, you must first dial your country's international access code, followed by Italy's country code, 39. Milan's city code, 02, must always be dialed, regardless of whether you are calling in Milan or outside the city. Note that phone numbers may not have the same number of digits. Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.

May 2012
Early-Mid MaySoccer A.C. Milan plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. For information, call 02-6228-4545. Tickets are available at the stadium. http://www.acmilan.it. Season concludes mid May Early-Mid MaySoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season concludes mid May 1 MayLabor Day Public holiday. Late MayMilano Cortili Aperti Historic private homes, palaces, courtyards and gardens that are normally closed to the public open their doors for tours one day in the spring. Sponsored by the Association of Historic Dwellings. For information, call 02-763-18634. http://www.italiamultimedia.com/cortiliaperti. Throughout MayPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July Throughout MayConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June

June 2012
Early-Mid JuneConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Concludes mid June Early-Late JuneLatino Americando This annual celebration of Latin American culture showcases ethnic and folk dances and music ensembles from around the world. Mediolanum Forum, Via G. Di Vittorio. For information, call 0322-47679. http://www.latinoamericando.it. Continues through late August 3 JunFesta del Naviglio Music, torchlight parades, dancing, fireworks, crafts and food in the Naviglio (Canal) area of the city. Phone 027252-4301. Late JuneVilla Arconati Festival This annual music festival presents a variety of genres including symphonic, chamber, choral and pops concerts. Castellazzo di Bollate estate. For information, call 02-350-05575. http://www.festivalarconati.it. Continues through late July Throughout JunePerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July

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July 2012
Early-Mid JulyPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Concludes mid July Throughout JulyLatino Americando This annual celebration of Latin American culture showcases ethnic and folk dances and music ensembles from around the world. Mediolanum Forum, Via G. Di Vittorio. For information, call 0322-47679. http://www.latinoamericando.it. Continues through late August Throughout JulyVilla Arconati Festival This annual music festival presents a variety of genres including symphonic, chamber, choral and pops concerts. Castellazzo di Bollate estate. For information, call 02-350-05575. http://www.festivalarconati.it. Concludes late July

August 2012
15 AugFeast of the Assumption Public holiday, also called Ferragosto. Late AugustSoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May 2013 Throughout AugustLatino Americando This annual celebration of Latin American culture showcases ethnic and folk dances and music ensembles from around the world. Mediolanum Forum, Via G. Di Vittorio. For information, call 0322-47679. http://www.latinoamericando.it. Concludes late August

September 2012
Early-Late SeptemberPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July 2013 Mid-Late SeptemberConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June 2013 14 SepCelebration of the Holy Nail Milan's archbishop ascends toward the ceiling of Milan's Duomo cathedral in a rickety mechanical basket to bring the holy relicsupposedly coming from the cross on which Christ dieddown to the crowd. Milan Duomo. For more information, phone 02-720-226-56. http://www.duomomilano.it. 19-25 SepMilan Fashion Week Gucci, Armani, D&G, Prada and many other international top designers offer a preview of the trends to come. Although you need an invitation to see the catwalk shows, Milan is booming with fashion tourists and glamorous parties throughout the week. Milano Fashion Center. http://www.cameramoda.it. Throughout SeptemberSoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May 2013

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October 2012
Early-Late OctoberMusical Teatro Ventaglio Nazionale presents a series of popular international and Italian musicals. Piazza Piemonte 12. For information, call 02-3663-9300. http://www.smeraldo.it. Continues through mid April 2013 Throughout OctoberPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July 2013 Throughout OctoberSoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May 2013 Throughout OctoberConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June 2013

November 2012
1 NovAll Saints' Day Public holiday. Throughout NovemberMusical Teatro Ventaglio Nazionale presents a series of popular international and Italian musicals. Piazza Piemonte 12. For information, call 02-3663-9300. http://www.smeraldo.it. Continues through mid April 2013 Throughout NovemberSoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May 2013 Throughout NovemberPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July 2013 Throughout NovemberConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June 2013

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December 2012
7, 8 DecO Bei, O Bei To celebrate the feast of the town's patron saint, Sant'Ambrogio (St. Ambrose), the Milanese throw a large street festival that has been held since medieval times. The festival is somewhat commercial, with stalls selling everything from candy to furniture, but the mood is lively and there are good dishes to taste. Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio and Piazza Sant'Ambrogio. For information, call the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio at 02-8645-0895. 8 DecFeast of the Immaculate Conception Public holiday. 25 DecChristmas Public holiday. 26 DecSt. Stephen's Day Public holiday. Throughout DecemberMusical Teatro Ventaglio Nazionale presents a series of popular international and Italian musicals. Piazza Piemonte 12. For information, call 02-3663-9300. http://www.smeraldo.it. Continues through mid April 2013 Throughout DecemberPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July 2013 Throughout DecemberSoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May 2013 Throughout DecemberConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June 2013

January 2013
1 JanNew Year's Day Public holiday. 6 JanEpiphany Public holiday. 6 JanCorteo dei Re Magi On Epiphany, this traditional costumed procession re-creates the biblical journey of the three kings. The route begins at Piazza Duomo and ends at the Basilica of Saint Eustorgio. Throughout JanuaryPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July Throughout JanuarySoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May Throughout JanuaryMusical Teatro Ventaglio Nazionale presents a series of popular international and Italian musicals. Piazza Piemonte 12. For information, call 02-3663-9300. http://www.smeraldo.it. Continues through mid April Throughout JanuaryConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June

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February 2013
Throughout FebruaryMusical Teatro Ventaglio Nazionale presents a series of popular international and Italian musicals. Piazza Piemonte 12. For information, call 02-3663-9300. http://www.smeraldo.it. Continues through mid April Throughout FebruaryPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July Throughout FebruarySoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May Throughout FebruaryConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June

March 2013
Throughout MarchMusical Teatro Ventaglio Nazionale presents a series of popular international and Italian musicals. Piazza Piemonte 12. For information, call 02-3663-9300. http://www.smeraldo.it. Continues through mid April Throughout MarchSoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May Throughout MarchPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July Throughout MarchConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June

April 2013
Early-Mid AprilMusical Teatro Ventaglio Nazionale presents a series of popular international and Italian musicals. Piazza Piemonte 12. For information, call 02-3663-9300. http://www.smeraldo.it. Concludes mid April 25 AprLiberation Day Public holiday. Throughout AprilPerformance Teatro alla Scala's world-renowned program of ballet, opera and classical music is performed in the Piermarini building. Via Filodrammatici 2. For information and tickets, call 02-861-827. http://www.teatroallascala.org. Continues through mid July Throughout AprilConcert The Milan Symphony Orchestra performs classical music concerts at Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler, 20136 Milano. For information, call 02-83389, ext. 401. http://www.laverdi.org. Continues through mid June Throughout AprilSoccer Inter Milano plays home games at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, better known as San Siro, Via Piccolomini 5. Tickets are available at the stadium and at branches of Banca Popolare di Milano. Or call 02-54914. http://www.inter.it. Season continues through mid May

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Naples
Overview
Introduction
There are as many stories about Naples, Italy, as there are sides to the city, but there's one thing almost everyone can agree on: You either love it or hate it. Unlike other Italian cities, Naples does not offer calm cobblestoned streets or a leisurely passeggiatta. Its streets are painted with graffiti, and to the untrained eye, there is very little leisure to be had. Although Naples appears dirty and chaotic, luxury is prevalent in some areas. Scratch the surface and you will find spas, designer shopping and fine-dining restaurants with some of the best views in the world. Each Neapolitan neighborhood has its own character. Naples is located in the beautiful Campania region, and many visitors use the city as a base to explore the surrounding areas, particularly Mount Vesuvius, the amazingly preserved cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri. Naples Ruins

Within Naples itself, historic sights are so numerous that you can't help but come across them. The National Archeological Museum is one of the best in the world, and the Museo di Capodimonte houses a collection of art that includes the Farnese Collection and rivals the Uffizi in Florence. Strolling along the Gulf of Naples with Mount Vesuvius in the background, you can quickly forget the chaos of the Centro Storico. Then, of course, there's the food. Naples has some of the best cuisine in all of Italy. From espresso and biscotti to dishes of pasta overflowing with fresh seafood, Naples does it like no other city. True Neapolitan pizza cannot be found anywhere else, and even the street food is worth sampling, especially when served piping hot from storefronts. The stress of Naples can be overwhelming, and the city is not for everyone. But if you can pick up the pace, it's possible that you might just fall in step.

Highlights
SightsCastel dell'Ovo; Napoli Sotterranea (Naples Underground); Pompeii; Herculaneum.

MuseumsMuseo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli; Museo del Capodimonte; MADRE. Memorable MealsPizza with double mozzarella at Antica Pizzeria "Da Michele" Dal 1870; elegant Neapolitan cuisine at Palazzo Petrucci, a refurbished palace; a splurge with incredible water views at George's Restaurant; the seafood risotto and a carafe of house white wine on the waterfront at Ristorante La Bersagliera. Late NightLive jazz and a whiskey at Bourbon Street; a glass of good Campanian wine at Enoteca Belledonne; a nonstop night of food, cocktails, live music and dancing at the elite La Garconne. WalksThrough Naples's authentic Centro Storico neighborhood, along either Via Tribunali or Via Benedetto Croce; the seaside promenade; along Via Chiaia, an avenue of shopping delight, to Piazza dei Martiri, surrounded by the best names in fashion. Especially for KidsMuseo Ferroviario Nazionale; Naples Aquarium; running around the Castel dell'Ovo while catching great views of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples; Liberty City Fun amusement park.

Geography
Naples wraps along the coast of the Bay of Naples. The central train station is on the eastern edge of the city, and the hilly Posillipo

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neighborhood constitutes the western side. The Vomero neighborhood is located on the hills that compose the northern portion of the city. The city's center is large and contains numerous alleyways, nooks and crannies. The most important neighborhoods are the Centro Storico, Chiaia and San Ferdinando. Via Toledo runs north to south and divides the city in two with Centro Storico to the east and Chiaia and San Ferdinando to the west. The Centro Storico and San Ferdinando neighborhoods are where most historical monuments and museums are found, including Castel Nuovo and Castel dell'Ovo, Piazza Plebiscito, the Duomo, Sotterranea (Naples Underground) and the National Archeological Museum. The Centro Storico is the best place to find true Neapolitan pizza, although its tiny streets and hectic traffic can make it stressful to walk in. Alternatively, Chiaia is more modern and relaxed, featuring Villa Comunale and Naples' best waterfront area, which is full of fine-dining restaurants. From the central train station, a 30-minute walk through the Centro Storico gets you to Via Toledo; from there, it takes another 20 minutes to walk to the heart of the Chiaia neighborhood, which is accessed by taking Via Chiaia. For this reason, using Naples' public transportation is paramount when crossing the city.

History
The Greeks founded Naples in the sixth century BC. The settlement was located in what is today the Centro Storico neighborhood, and it was named Neapolis, which literally means "new city." The Romans claimed Neapolis in 326 BC and ruled until AD 800, when Naples became an independent city. This independence lasted until AD 1100, when the city was briefly controlled by the Lombards before falling under Norman rule. The Normans began to make Naples a world-renowned cultural center. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II built the first state-run university in Europe, the University of Naples, in 1224. Subsequently, the Angevin dynasty built Sant'Elmo and Castel Nuovo. Artists of all kinds came to Naples during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating an influx of Spanish Gothic and Renaissance-inspired works. Byzantine-influenced art also entered the region when fugitives from Constantinople came to the city. These three styles are still present in the city's architecture. Because the city drew musicians, poets, philosophers, writers and scientists, such people as Handel and Goethe held it in high esteem. The Golden Period came when the Spanish Bourbons took control in 1734. They named Naples the capital of their southern kingdom, which included southern Italy and Sicily. Charles of Bourbon, better known as King Charles III of Spain, became "king of the two Sicilies." He was king of Naples from 1734 to 1759, during which he accomplished an extraordinary number of artistic feats. He united the Farnese Collection, financed the unearthing of Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as the retrieval of their impressive artworks, and built Capodimonte palace, Regina di Caserta palace and Teatro San Carlo. Also, for the first time, Naples developed its own unique school of painting, exemplified by Ferdinando Galiani, Pietro Giannone and Giambattista Vico. Charles of Bourbon left Naples in 1759, when he became king of Spain, passing down the throne of Naples to his son, Ferdinand I. In the late 18th century, Naples's political allegiance switched from Spain to Britain, just in time to unite against Napoleon. The Bourbons were forced to flee in 1798. They returned a few years later, after signing an agreement with Napoleon, and promptly broke the agreement by ruthlessly executing everyone sympathetic to the French. These atrocities and others are attributed to the royal leaders King Ferdinand I (son of Charles of Bourbon) and Queen Maria Carolina, who is known to have greatly influenced her husband. (Perhaps some of their cruelties toward the French can be explained by the death of her sister, Marie Antoinette.) Public opinion eventually turned against the iron-fisted Bourbons, making the city sympathetic to Giuseppe Garibaldi, who united Italy in 1860. This marked the beginning of the downfall of Naples. The Piedmont region confiscated the city's massive gold reserves, and heavy taxes were leveled by the north. This downfall was further facilitated by a cholera outbreak in 1884 and the severe destruction of World War II. However, things have begun to look up for Naples. The city's museums and tourist sites have been revitalized. Former mayor Antonio Bassolino spent more than 30 million euros on the tourist industry and fixing inner-city traffic congestion. He also has been blamed for the famous garbage strikes of the 1990s and 2000s, for which the Camorra (the local organized crime ring) shared the blame. The strikes have since stopped. This is attributed to the 2008 election, when the People of Freedom party (PDL), headed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, won the majority of the seats in Campania. Berlusconi was pushed out of office in 2011, in part because of his inability to find a lasting solution to the city's garbage problems.

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Port Information
Location
Ferries and super-fast hydrofoils serve Naples from various departure points, the most popular of which are Molo Beverello and Mergellina. Molo Beverello is the main ferry terminal in Naples, and ferries run to the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Ponza, Ischia, Sardinia and Sicily. Catch a bus to the Molo Beverello marina from the central train station and get off at the Piazza Municipio stop, or take a tram, car or taxi. A taxi is sure to give you an exciting ride, as Naples is notorious for its traffic. Major ferry companies running out of Naples are MedMar Group and Tirrenia. Ferries from the Mergellina terminal run to the Aeolian Islands, Palermo and Cagliari. Mergellina is reachable by car, bus, train, tram and taxi.

Potpourri
The Margherita pizza is named for Queen Margherita, the wife of King Umberto I. In the late 1800s, Raffaele Esposito, the owner of Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi (now Antica Pizzeria Brandi), made a pizza for the queen, on request. He prepared three pizzas; she preferred the pizza with mozzarella and basil, which reminded her of the Italian flag. (He left off the traditional garlic, thinking it unsuitable for the queen's refined palate.) In 1818, Naples launched the first steamboat ever to grace the Mediterranean Sea. Naples was originally founded by Greek settlers from the city of Partenope, which was located on the isle of Megaride where Castel dell'Ovo sits today. Legend says that Partenope was named after a mermaid who was one of the sirens in Homer's Odyssey. Early settlers said they found her corpse on the isle of Megaride; she had committed suicide after failing to entrap Ulysses with her intoxicating songs. An episode of The Sopranos was filmed inside Sybil's Cave, which is located in the city of Cuma in Campi Flegrei. Sybil was an oracle that the Greeks believed lived inside the cave. She was granted immortality by the gods, but she forgot to ask for eternal youth; legend has it that she was hideous to behold. In Naples, the nativity scene is more important than the Christmas tree, which was only introduced in the 1950s. Elaborate displays feature not only Mary, the baby Jesus and the three wise men but also ordinary Neapolitans. When a law was passed in Naples requiring all passengers in a car to wear their seatbelts, a wildly popular fashion took hold in the city: shirts with seatbelts stenciled across the front. In December 2008, the women of Naples protested the use of fireworks, which maims hundreds of men each year, by refusing to have sex with any man who did use them.

Hotel Overview
Accommodations of all styles and prices can be found in Naples. Hotels commonly offer in-house spas and regional tours. The most convenient hotels are located along the waterfront between the San Ferdinando and Chiaia neighborhoods. Less-than-savory hotels are located around Naples Central Station, as well as the part of the Centro Storico closest to the train station. These areas are noisy and unsafe after midnight.

Hotel rates may include breakfast; if so, it can be a mixed blessing. You may be paying as much as 10 euros for a cup of coffee and a croissant, which would cost you about 2 euros in the bar up the street. If you are on a budget, ask how much breakfast costs, and if necessary, see if you can pay just the room rate.

See & Do

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Sightseeing
Naples has an astonishing number of museums and churches. If you have only a day or two, make sure to visit both Pompeii and the National Archeological Museum. The oldest of its kind in Europe, this museum houses the most impressive artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum, greatly complementing a visit to the ancient cities. Visit Pompeii first for a complete appreciation of the museum. Naples is famous for its Farnese art collection, begun by Pope Paul III and inherited first by Elisabeth Farnese, then by her son Charles of Bourbon. When Charles of Bourbon inherited it, the collection was scattered across Rome, Pisa and Naples; he brought it to Naples. The bulk of its works, numbering more than 200 and including works by Botticelli and Raphael, is divided between the Capodimonte Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace), located in the sweeping Piazza del Plebiscito, contains the National Library and many important works of art. Contemporary Naples is built upon Greek and Roman foundations, which have been unearthed over the years. Archaeological remains are visible in both the Duomo and the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, and a tour of underground Naples gives insight into the city's long and eventful history. Most of Naples' churches appear unremarkable from the outside; however, they are rich in art and history on the inside. Make sure to pop in one or two when passing. With so many options, a traveler with a tight schedule can easily become overwhelmed. To make planning easier, purchase a Campania Artecard, which groups sites into 11 cultural itineraries and offers considerable discounts. Different versions of the Campania Artecard specialize in specific sites and attractions. The most comprehensive Campania Artecard is the three-day "Tutta la Regione" (Entire Region) card. It costs 27 euros and includes free access to two sites and 50% off all subsequent sites. The seven-day version of the card is a bargain at 30 euros, with free access to the first five sites and 50% off all subsequent sites. Both cards also take care of corresponding public transportation for three days. The rechargeable card is activated upon entry to the first site or first use of public transportation. It can be purchased online, through the call center, at all participating museums and archaeological sites and at the information booth in the central train station (open Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday 9 am-2 pm). Phone 800-600-601; from cell phones and abroad 06-399-676-50. http://www.campaniartecard.it. Pierreci books visits to museums and landmarks in the city. Whether you book by phone or over the Internet, get a confirmation number for your reservation and take it with you. You will be charged a booking fee (1.50 euros), but it's worth it for the convenience. Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm, Saturday 9 am-1:30 pm and 2-6 pm. Phone 06-390-8071. http://www.pierreci.it.

Historic Sites
Castel dell'Ovo Inseparable from mythology, this castle is thought to rest on the original location of the Greek Borgo Marinari city Partenope. It gets its name ("castle of the egg") from the poet Virgil, who was thought to Naples, Italy have magical powers during the medieval era. He allegedly placed an egg beneath the castle, and if the egg ever breaks, it will spell the doom of Naples. Constructed by Frederick II on the island of Megaride, which is connected with the Santa Lucia neighborhood by a short bridge primarily for pedestrians, the castle ramparts afford views of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. The heart of the castle is inaccessible, however. Upon entering, follow the signs to the elevators, which will take you to the top of the castle. Monday-Saturday 8 am-7:30 pm (October-April until 6:30 pm), Sunday 8:30 am-2 pm. Free entrance to the castle. Fees vary for special exhibitions.

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Castel Nuovo Built in 1279, this castle is strikingly ornate. Indeed, it's difficult to imagine a more picturesque Maschio Angioino, Piazza Municipio castle. A giant white-marble arch over the entrance is an example of Renaissance sculpture Naples, Italy and was built in the 15th century by King Alfonso V of Aragon, in honor of his military victories. Inside are the Palatine Chapel, the Baron's Hall, the Museo Civico (which contains local art from the 15th-19th centuries), the Armory and the remains of a villa, visible beneath glass flooring. It was in the Baron's Hall that Ferrante I massacred a host of his barons. Supposedly, he poured boiling oil from the ceiling during a dinner party. This castle, more than any other in Naples, retains its ancient architecture. Monday-Saturday 9 am-7 pm (ticket office closes at 6 pm). 6 euros. Castel Sant'Elmo The castle towers above Naples, visible from points throughout the city. Located beside the Certosa e Museo di San Martino, it is the work of 16th-century architect Luigi Scriva. The walls are shaped into a six-point star; some were actually carved directly into the rocky hilltop. The views, however, are the primary reason for visiting. The city thoughtfully installed a series of escalators and elevators from Piazza Vanvitelli along the steep hill leading to the castle. Daily except Tuesday 8:30 am-7:30 pm (ticket office closes at 6:30 pm). 5 euros adults, 2.50 euros ages 18-25, free for seniors older than 65 and children younger than 18. Napoli Sotterranea (Naples Underground) A 90-minute tour takes you on a don't-believe-it-until-you-see-it system of underground tunnels that runs beneath Naples. Learn about the city's ancient underground aqueducts, which actually run all the way to Rome. Highlights include a candlelit tour through very tight passageways (those with claustrophobia be warned), underground ponds, contemporary art exhibits and remnants from when the tunnels were used for protection during World War II. Wear a longsleeved shirt. Tours daily every hour 10 am-6 pm. 9.30 euros adults, 6 euros children younger than 10. Palazzo Reale Aside from the statues of Naples' monarchs glaring down from their alcoves, the exterior of the Piazza del Plebiscito 1 Royal Palace doesn't hold a candle to its interior. With more than 30 rooms on the first floor Naples, Italy alone, the interior displays the best in 17th- and 18th-century architecture. The Royal Living Quarters form the core of the palace and contain their original furniture and decorations. A Phone: 848-800-288 mammoth marble staircase transports visitors to the mid-18th century. During this time period, http://palazzorealenapoli.it architect Fernando Fuga turned an old ballroom into the rococo-style Small Court Theatre. Later, Carolina Bonaparte added the palace's neoclassical ornamentation. The National Library is also located there; it contains more than 1.5 million volumes, including the legendary papyrus of Herculaneum. The palace caught fire in 1837 and was subsequently renovated. Its impressive collection of paintings makes it a must-see for classical-art lovers. Daily except Wednesday 9 am-7 pm. 4 euros admission; 4 euros for audio guide. Palazzo Zevallos Originally designed by Cosimo Fanzago, this 17th-century palazzo has undergone a muchneeded renovation. Its unique Neapolitan baroque design alone is worth a visit. Besides architectural charm, the palazzo houses a small art gallery displaying an exquisite collection: Caravaggio's final work, The Martyrdom of St. Ursula, is found there, as well as works by Van Wittel and Pitloo. Tuesday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-8 pm, Sunday 10 am-6 pm. 4 euros.
Via Toledo 185 Naples, Italy Phone: Toll-free 800-1605-2007 http://www.palazzozevallos.com Piazza San Gaetano 68 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-296-944 http://www.napolisotterranea.org Via Tito Angelini 20 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-229-4401 or 848-800-288 http://www.polomusealenapoli.benicultura li.it

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Museums
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli Built in 1734 by Charles of Bourbon, this is the oldest archaeological museum in Europe. The first floor is dedicated to the immensely important Farnese Collection, which was accumulated by Charles of Bourbon. Many of the collection's sculptures are there, including those found in the Roman Baths of Caracalla. On the second floor, room after room displays the most impressive murals and sculptures recovered from Pompeii and Herculaneum. A prior visit to Pompeii greatly enhances the power of this museum. Give yourself at least three hours. Audio guides contribute little to the experience, mainly reiterating what is written on the plaques.
Piazza Museo 19 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-442-2149 http://marcheo.napolibeniculturali.it

Daily except Tuesday 9 am-7:30 pm (ticket office closes one hour before). 6 euros, additional 3.50 euros for special exhibitions, audio guide 4 euros. Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina (MADRE) Located inside Palazzo Donnaregina, this is the most important contemporary-art museum in Naples. Three floors wrap around a quiet courtyard. The first floor features "site-specific" exhibits, created in Naples by world-renowned artists. The second floor has the historical collection, and the third floor features temporary exhibits. The museum's evolving collection is surprising in its versatility, making it worth a hunt for your favorite artists. Special exhibits change regularly.
Via Settembrini 79 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-1931-3016 http://www.museomadre.it

Monday and Wednesday-Saturday 10:30 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-11 pm. 7 euros (free entry on Monday); audio guide 4.50 euros. Museo del Capodimonte Designed and built by Charles of Bourbon specifically to house the Farnese Collection, the museum features the collection's best paintings. Many rooms retain their original decor; to visit is to see both an art museum and a palace. The paintings that compose the collection are located on the first floormore than 200 pieces created by masters such as Botticelli, Raphael, El Greco, Brueghel and Titian. Original sketches of Michelangelo's Pauline Chapel in the Vatican are also found there. On the second floor, the museum's 13th- to 19th-century gallery includes works by Caravaggio, Ribera and Solimena. The third floor includes contemporary art, notably the colorful Vesuvius by Andy Warhol. Allow at least three hours for the museum; it is surrounded by staggering views and the luscious Parco di Capodimonte.
Via Miano 2 (take bus C67 or 178, which stops in front of the National Archaeology Museum; get off at the Porto Grande stop) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-749-9111 or 848-800-288 http://museodicapodimonte.campaniaben iculturali.it

Daily except Wednesday 8:30 am-7:30 pm. Ticket office closes one hour before. 9 euros adults, 8 euros after 2 pm (slight fee for exhibitions); audio guide 5 euros. Museo del Novecento The museum located inside Castel Sant'Elmo offers contemporary works of art connected with social movements. It begins with works from Italy's futurism movement in the 1910s and ends with the poetic-visual experimentations of the 1980s. Its long, winding hallways truly make it feel like an exploration. Daily except Tuesday 9 am-7:30 pm (last entry 6 pm). 5 euros.
Via Tito Angelini Naples, Italy

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Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro The entrance to the Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro, in which this museum is housed, is located to the right of the duomo. San Gennaro's skull and clotted blood can be found inside. The Saint's blood allegedly runs two times a year during the Miracle of the Liquefication of San Gennaro's Blood: the first Sunday of May and 19 September. The celebration is more than 600 years old. San Gennaro's treasure includes jewels, religious objects and old documents; the museum houses the most famous paintings and valuable statues, many of which are made of silver and gold. Daily except Tuesday 9 am-6 pm. 10 euros adults, 8 euros children. Museo Ferroviario Nazionale The National Train Museum, located on the waterfront, is a great place to take kids. In 1839, unification of Italy began with the first train line, from Naples to Portici. Trains were produced and serviced in a factory in the Pietrarsa area of Naples, now home to the museum. Tour the factory and view trains from various points in Italy's history.
Traversa Pietrarsa Naples, Italy Via Duomo 149 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-294-980 http://www.museosangennaro.com

Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday by appointment (for groups of at least 30 people). 5 euros; free for children younger than 6.

Neighborhoods & Districts


Centro Storico This neighborhood retains the classic Neapolitan image more than any other. It is where you'll find most historical sites and churches. Two parallel streets, Via dei Tribunali and Via San Biagio dei Librai, compose the heart of the neighborhood, where the city's best pizzerias and bars are located. Though streets are narrow (some might consider them alleyways), this doesn't stop locals from whizzing by on mopeds at breakneck speeds. Bordered by Via Foria to the north, Piazza Garibaldi to the east, Corso Umberto to the south and Via Toledo to the west, the neighborhood makes up the eastern section of Naples. It gets seedier the closer you get to the train station. Even though some of the best restaurants in Naples can be found there, including the world-famous Pizzeria Da Michele, don't stay around after midnight. Chiaia Chiaia is where you'll find the high-end retailers such as Armani, Prada and Gucci, as well as antiques stores and art galleries. It also offers the prettiest waterfront area in Naples. On a nice day, walk along the promenade or find a bench in Villa Comunale; farther east, look out over the Bay of Naples from Castel dell'Ovo. Shopping is located just behind Villa Comunale, around Piazza dei Martiri and along Via Belledonne. It is a good place for nightlife, wine bars, nightclubs and live music. Posillipo This western neighborhood includes the coastal hillside of Naples, offering some the best views of the coast and Mount Vesuvius, especially from Parco Virgiliano. Unless you are staying nearby, it's best to access the area by taxi or public transportation (metro line 2 or bus 140). Restaurants in the area specialize in views of the coast as much as in Italian cuisine. The steep roads make foot travel grueling. The ferry terminal Mergellina is located at the base of the hill and takes travelers to nearby Capri, Ischia and Procida. San Ferdinando Bordered by the Centro Storico to the east and the Bay of Naples to the south, this neighborhood is home to bargain shopping and the bestknown government buildings and castles. Piazza Municipio and Piazza Plebiscito are found there. Within the northwest portion of the neighborhood is the Spanish Quarter. To access this lively, market-filled area, take any one of the streets that go west off Via Toledo. Plenty of good, inexpensive restaurants are tucked away there. The neighborhood was originally created to house Spanish troops during the 16th century and features a chessboard layout.

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Vomero This neighborhood, with its square city blocks and popular retail stores, is located on one of the western hills overlooking Naples. It is easily accessible by the Funicular. Loads of shopping can be found around Piazza Vanvitelli. Also in the neighborhood are Castel Sant'Elmo and the park Villa Floridiana.

Parks & Gardens


Orto Botanico Naples' botanical gardens were created in 1807 by Giuseppe Bonaparte, king of Naples and older brother of Napoleon. Originally, their purpose was to study plants of agricultural, economic and medicinal value. Now they are home to an astounding variety of plants: around 25,000 (10,000 species) spread over nearly 30 acres/12 hectares. The desert garden displays an impressive collection of succulents; the beach garden exhibits species that grow along the coasts of Italy.
Via Foria 223 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-253-3937 http://www.ortobotanico.unina.it

Open Monday-Friday 9 am-2 pm and Sunday in May, but call first. Entrance to the gardens is free but requires a reservation (same-day reservations are accepted). Parco di Capodimonte The most stately of Naples' parks, it houses the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte and boasts beautiful views of the city. Rolling lawns and more than 400 species of plants make it an idyllic escape from the bustle of the city. Couples picnic and children play soccer on the grass facing the museum. The vast park also contains the hunting lodge of Vittorio Emanuele II, the Chapel of San Gennaro, a working porcelain factory built by Charles of Bourbon in the 18th century and a pheasant breeding ground. Open daily 9 am till one hour before sunset. Parco Virgiliano e Posillipo No better views can be found of Naples than those from this spectacular park, located a 20Via Tito Lucrezio Caro minute bus ride from the city center. The ride is rocky, but you'll forget all your troubles once Naples, Italy you've entered the park, which is popular with joggers. Find a bench and take in the breathtaking views of Vesuvius, the Phlegrean Fields and the Gulf of Naples. Indeed, the views inspired a generation of painters in the 1800s; the School of Posillipo was founded by Anton Sminck Pitloo and included his student Giacinto Gigante. Take bus 140 toward Capo Posillipo to the end. Turn back, walk up the road 200 ft/62 m, and take the first road on the right. Follow the road uphill until you've reached the gates to the park. Don't let the name fool you: This is not the site of Virgil's tomb. That park, much smaller (and more difficult to find), is called La Tomba di Virgilio e Leopardi. Open daily 8 am till one hour before sunset. No phone. Villa Comunale Running along the waterfront from Piazza Vittoria to Piazza della Repubblica, the park dates Via Riviera di Chiaia 200 back to 1778, when Ferdinando IV of Bourbon decided he wanted a garden for the royal family. Naples, Italy It was originally called the Royal Gardens; eventually, it became open to the general public. Today, it is ideal for people-watching or a leisurely stroll. It is popular among joggers because of its long, narrow shape. It houses the Anton Dohrn Aquarium, and there is a small playground, making it an excellent place for children. Those looking for green space will not find it there; it has surprisingly few trees and very little grass. Open daily except Tuesday 8:30 am till one hour before sunset. No phone.
Via Miano 1 (take bus C63 to the Porto Grande stop) Naples, Italy

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Villa Floridiana This large park in the Vomero neighborhood contains manicured paths and lush green lawns. It houses the Duca di Martina Ceramics Museum, in a building once given to the Duchess of Floridia by her husband, Ferdinand of Bourbon.
Via Cimarosa 77 Naples, Italy

Open daily 8:30 am till one hour before sunset. The museum is open daily except Tuesday 8:30 am-2 pm. Free.

Religious Sites
Cappella Sansevero This baroque chapel features the stunning Cristo Velato, a sculpture of a veiled Christ on his deathbed created by Sammartino, as well as other highly impressive and valuable sculptures. Originally built in 1590, the chapel was renovated by the famous alchemist Raimondo de Sangro in 1742. The Catacombs of San Severo, only open during one week in May, are located beneath the chapel Monday and Wednesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm (doors close 20 minutes before); Sunday 10 am-1:10 pm. 7 euros (5 euros with Artecard). Catacombs of San Gaudioso This tomb features seditoi, seats where the dead were placed to "dry" to preserve the bodies before they were laid to rest. The Santa Maria della Sanita Church, in which these catacombs are located, features twin ornamental staircases as part of its impressive decor. Daily 10 am-1 pm (guided tours every hour). 8 euros adults, 5 euros seniors older than 65 and children ages 6-18, free for the disabled and children younger than 6. Price includes entrance to Catacombs of San Gennaro; keep tickets for discounted entry to Museo Diocesano. Catacombs of San Gennaro In these catacombs that date from the second century, paleo-Christian paintings adorn the walls of the tombs. Madre del Buon Consiglio church, in which the tombs are housed, is a miniature version of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and features views of Naples, spread out below. Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday 10 am-1 pm (guided tours every hour). 8 euros adults, 5 euros seniors older than 65 and children ages 6-18, free for the disabled and children younger than 6. Price includes entrance to Catacombs of San Gaudioso; keep tickets for discounted entry to Museo Diocesano. Certosa e Museo di San Martino Located on a hill high above Naples, the church and museum offer views challenged only by those from Parco di Capodimonte. Built for Robert of Anjou, also called Robert the Wise, in the 14th century, the church's architecture has evolved from its original design by famed architect Tino di Camaino to its present state, the work of 15th- and 16th-century architects Dosio and Fanzago. It touts elaborate marble paneling, sculptures, frescoes and paintings, including Luca Giordano's The Triumph of Judith.
Largo San Martino 5 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-229-4502 http://www.polomusealenapoli.benicultura li.it Via Tondo di Capodimonte, 13 (take bus C63 and exit at the Capodimonte stop) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-744-3714 http://www.catacombedinapoli.it Piazza della Sanita 14 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-744-3714 http://www.catacombedinapoli.it Via Francesco De Sanctis 19 (on an alley off Vico San Domenico) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-551-8470 http://www.museosansevero.it

The National Museum of San Martino is located inside the complex, featuring world-famous paintings and sculptures as well as uniquely Neapolitan artifacts. A collection of cribs and wooden figurines from the 14th-18th centuries is particularly interesting. To see Naples as its politicians once did, visit the Prior's Apartment, which provides panoramic views. Daily except Wednesday 8:30 am-7:30 pm (ticket office closes one hour before). 6 euros (may vary with special exhibitions).

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Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo Its strikingly austere facade makes this church of one the most noticeable in Naples. Formerly Sanseverino Palace, the church is composed of ashlars (large black stones) in a style that introduced baroque architecture to the city. It's worth taking a look inside; the church is elegant and stunningly expansive. Daily 7 am-12:30 pm and 4-7:30 pm. Free. Chiesa di San Domenico Maggiore This grand church was the original location of the University of Naples, the oldest state university in the world. Frescoes by Cavallini and 45 sepulchers of members of the Aragonese family, including King Alfonso V, make it worth popping in. The Treasures Hall features clothing and valuable religious possessions of the Aragonese family.
Piazza San Domenico Maggiore Naples, Italy Piazza del Gesu 2 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-557-8111 http://www.gesunuovo.it

Church open daily 9:30 am-noon and 4:30-7 pm. Treasure Hall open daily except Monday 9:30-noon, Friday and Saturday 4:30-7 pm also. 3 euros adults for Treasure Hall, free for church. Complesso San Lorenzo Maggiore (Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore alla Pietrasanta) When Charles I of Anjou decided to build the Castel Nuovo, he unfortunately chose to build it on Via Tribunali 316 (Piazza San Gaetano) top of the church of the Franciscan order. Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore, part of this Naples, Italy complex, is their compensation. To give an idea of how important the church is, it was built on top of what was then the city hall of Naples. The church includes sculptures, 14th-century Phone: 081-211-0860 frescoes and paintings by prominent Neapolitan artists. Its original Gothic interior, which dates http://www.sanlorenzomaggiorenapoli.it back to the 12th century, has been maintained, and the wooden doors date from the 14th century. Catherine of Austria's sepulcher is located near the front, featuring two statues by Tino da Camaino that symbolize Hope and Charity, and the eye-catching majolica cloister is beautifully tiled. One room features an archaeological area with the remains of a fourth-century market and Greek agora, or public meeting place. To see more of what lies beneath Naples, take an underground tour in the Sotterranea; it begins to the left of this complex. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-5:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-1:30 pm. 9 euros (includes guided tour). Duomo Sandwiched between buildings, the Duomo is far less impressive than those found in other Via Duomo Italian citiesfrom the outside, that is. Because it was destroyed and rebuilt multiple times, the Naples, Italy inside reveals a mixture of architectural styles. The naves are decorated with mosaics, paintings and statues, and several contain sepulchers. On the left side is the Chapel of San Phone: 081-449-097 Gennaro, which, besides ancient mosaics, offers glimpses of the archaeological remains of the http://www.duomodinapoli.it Greek and Roman foundations upon which the church rests. Walk to the front of the church and look for stairs descending beneath the altar to the crypt of San Gennaro. The saint's remains and famous clotted blood, which allegedly liquefies twice a year, can be viewed in the nearby Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro, located outside and to the left of the duomo. (Archaeological area closed for refurbishment until 2013.) Duomo open daily 8:30 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-8 pm. Free.

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Quadreria dei Girolamini Comprising six rooms in the Girolamini Church complex (across from the duomo), the cloister contains works of art from the 15th-17th centuries, with a focus on works from the naturalist movement during the Renaissance. The church itself displays precious pieces, among them a sculpture by Bernini (located in the transept). Daily 10 am-1 pm; other times by appointment only. 7 euros.
Via Duomo 142 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-294-444 http://quadreriagirolamini.campaniabenic ulturali.it

Santa Maria Donna Regina Comprising two churches, Santa Maria Donna Regina old and new, the complex also houses the Museo Diocesano, where religious themes and stories come to life in the form of truly Neapolitan paintings, sculptures and frescoes. Inside the old Donna Regina, you will find Mary of Hungary's sepulcher, featuring the queen being held up by the four virtues. Inside the new Donna Regina, discover six chapels rich with marble decorations. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday 9:30 am-4:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-2 pm. 6 euros.
Largo Donnaregina Naples, Italy Phone: 081-557-1365 http://www.museodiocesanonapoli.com

Amusement Parks
Liberty City Fun This large amusement park has games for both adults and kids, including video games, table tennis, billiards and bowling. The Summer Village opens each May, offering two huge pools for adults, wading pools for children, and lounge chairs. Pizzerias and a Disney store are part of the fun. April-September daily 9 am-2 pm and 4-11 pm (till midnight Saturday and Sunday). Closed Monday October-March. Bowling stays open until 1 am (2 am on Saturday). Free entrance. Prices vary for individual attractions.
Via Monteoliveto 48 Volla, Italy Phone: 081-774-0186 http://libertycityfun.com

Zoos & Wildlife


Naples Aquarium The Zoological Station that houses the Naples Aquarium was built in 1870 on a wave of Via Caracciolo 1 (in Villa Comunale) Darwinism. Located in the picturesque Villa Comunale and with views of the bay, the aquarium Naples, Italy is the oldest in Europe. It is home to antique sketches of and more than 200 species of marine life, including tortoises, octopuses and starfish. Thanks to a complex underground system that draws water from the Bay of Naples directly to the aquarium's tanks, it is home to many rare species difficult to keep in captivity. November-February Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 9 am-2 pm; March-October Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Sunday 9:30 am7:30 pm (ticket office closes 30 minutes before). 1.50 euros adults, 1 euro children ages 5-12.

Recreation
Naples is famous for its healing thermal springs (generated by volcanic activity), and you will find an abundance of health clubs and rejuvenating day spas.

Hiking is available at Vesuvius National Park, and traversing Parco Virgiliano e Posillipo amounts to a moderate hike. Joggers have plenty

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher of options: In the morning or late evening, Via Partenope and Via Carracciolo offer fairly level terrain with glorious views of the waterfront. Joggers also frequent Parco Virgiliano. Bicycling in the city, however, is out of the question.

Naples is stingy with its public swimming pools and tennis courts; they are generally for members of a circolo, or club. There is a golf course in Castel Volturno, outside the city.

Some 90% of Naples' Darsena Actin Marina, in front of Castel dell'Ovo (near Molo Beverello), is made up of sailing charter companies. They offer daily and weekly boat rentals; it is best to visit the marina and negotiate a price in person. Same-day rentals are often available.

Beaches
The Bay of Naples offers more in the way of views than sunbathing, but for those looking to spend a day at the beach, there are a couple of options. Clamber with locals along the rocks in front of Villa Comunale, on Via Caracciolo. Posillipo's beaches are popular in summer, especially the area beneath Palazzo Donn'Anna. Take the metro to the Mergellina stop or bus 140 to Capoposillipo, then bus C23 down to Marechiaro, a fishing village with a picturesque public beach. If you'd prefer to walk, it takes about 30 minutes to get from Capoposillipo to the beach.

Boating & Sailing


Azimuth Charter This company operates out of Darsena Acton Marina and offers several rental options. It specializes in three-day voyages around the local islands or the Amalfi Coast and weeklong sails to the Aeolian Islands. Weeklong rentals begin at 1,800 euros. . Sail Company Specializing in Capri, Ischia and Procida, this company operates out of Darsena Acton Marina. Also a sailing school. Weekly rentals of sailboats start at 1,500 euros a week; trained skippers are available for 150 euros per day.
Via G. Palermo 5 Naples, Italy Phone: 334-832-7777 http://www.sailcompany.eu Naples, Italy Phone: 349-433-5335 http://nuke.azimuthvela.it

Golf
VolturnoGolf The 18-hole golf course, connected to a Holiday Inn, is a 30-minute drive from Naples. Open year-round. Call to book; the golf course is busier on weekends, and reservations are essential. Mid-February to May and mid-September to mid-November greens fees 55 euros; 45 euros the rest of the year. 20 euros club rental.
Via Domitiana Km 35 + 300 Castel Volturno, Italy Phone: 081-509-5150 http://www.volturnogolf.com

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Hiking & Walking


Vesuvius National Park Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, is still activein fact, it's the only active volcano in continental Europe, although it's been dormant since 1944. The next eruption is predicted to be catastrophic, yet there are residential areas halfway up the 4,200-ft/1,302-m volcano.
Piazza Municipio 8 San Sebastiano Vesuvio, Italy Phone: 081-771-0911

http://www.parcovesuvio.it Mount Vesuvius is 8 mi/13 km from Naples. An easy 20-30 minute walk from the parking lot takes visitors to the top of the crater, although you cannot climb inside. To get there, take Circumvesuviana to Ercolano Scavi, then a Vesuvio Express bus to the crater. Buses depart from outside the station. Phone 081-739-3666. http://www.vesuvioexpress.it.

Alternatively, take EAV Bus, which leaves Piazza Garibaldi (near Hotel Terminus) daily at 9:25 and 10:40 am. The trip takes an hour and 15 minutes, and buses return to Naples 12:30-2 pm. Trips cost 7.30 euros one way. http://www.eavbus.it. If you're ready for a big hike, there's a trail that takes dedicated hikers from Herculaneum to the crater. It is only 5 mi/8 km round-trip but takes three hours. Unparalleled views of the region make the trip well worth it. Take lots of water and sunscreen. Nine hiking trails take visitors through Vesuvius National Park. The hikes vary in difficulty, ranging from one to five hours round-trip. The Vesuvius area of the park is dry and stark, while the Somma area is alive with pine trees and 23 species of orchid. One trail takes visitors through the vineyards that produce the famous Lacryma Christi wine. Daily 9 am-one hour before sunset. 8 euros park entrance, 4.20 euros Circumvesuviana round-trip, 18 euros Vesuvio Express (includes park entry but not Circumvesuviana). 14.60 euros EAV bus round-trip.

Jogging
In the early morning and early evening, jogging along the waterfront is ideal; locals frequent Via Partenope and Via Carracciolo. The paths within Parco Virgiliano and Parco Capodimonte are also popular. Villa Comunale serves the purpose, but it lacks atmosphere and shade.

Spas and Health Clubs


Echia Club This luxurious club has a fitness area, relaxation area (sauna, steam bath and whirlpool) and pool area. Treatments include massage, tanning, showers, personal training and manicures. Services are reserved for guests of the Hotel Vesuvio. Monday-Friday 7:30 am-9 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-8 pm. Pool hours vary. 35 euros for day pass, includes full access, as well as changing room, towels, toiletries and refreshments. 15 euros for a single area (fitness, relaxation or pool). Additional fees for aesthetic treatments and massages. Eracles Lines Club Exclusively for women, this gym offers a solarium and Pilates and aerobics classes, including step, BodyBlast and Kardio Kombat. Monday-Friday 8:30 am-10 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-5 pm. 11 euros for day pass, 15 euros for day pass and Pilates, 6 euros for individual class.
Calata Trinita Maggiore 4 (enter the courtyard and take the door on your left; the gym is up one flight) Naples, Italy Via Partenope 45 (in Grand Hotel Vesuvio) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-0044 http://www.vesuvio.it

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Mirage Day Spa The spa offers beauty services, massage, a temperature-controlled pool and whirlpool, micromassage, neck massage, water therapies and aromatherapy in a serene setting. A cafe serves light dishes, tea and juices ideal after a sauna or Turkish bath. A fitness room offers cardio and weights, although the staff is adamant that this is a spa, not a gym. Advance booking required. Open daily 8:30 am-11 pm. Prices vary. 40 euros entrance to wellness center and includes access to the fitness room, sauna, Turkish baths, "relax zone" and pool. Combination body scrub and massage starts at 75 euros; prices go up to 230 euros. Terme di Agnano Agnano, the oldest of the volcanoes in the Phlegrean Fields, was once surrounded by a lake, although today the lakebed is dry. The volcano takes its name from the Latin word for snakes, and it was believed that snakes quenched their thirst in the lake. Ancient Romans once had thermal baths in the area. Visitors go to the Terme di Agnano for a naturally heated sauna and thermal baths drawn from the area's 72 mineral springs. The healing waters are used in treatments for arthritis, respiratory problems and other ailments. The spa has state-of-the-art technology and a fitness area with bicycles and stepping machines. It also offers manicures, pedicures, facials and massage.
Via Agnano-Astroni 24 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-618-9242 http://www.termediagnano.it Via Porta Posillipo 135 d/e Naples, Italy Phone: 081-769-1436 http://www.miragespa.eu

Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 10 am-8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am-10 pm; Sunday 10 am-7 pm. Prices vary with services; 35 euros for basic day-spa access. Terme Stufe di Nerone You couldn't ask for a more relaxing experience. This spa in the Phlegrean Fields offers thermal baths and a variety of massage options (including shiatsu, reiki and reflexology). Reservations recommended. Open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 8 am-8 pm; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8 am-11 pm; Sunday 8 am-3 pm. Hours vary in July and August. Reservations required. 48 euros for one-day admission to the thermal park; 75 euros for three days. Fees for spa services vary and are in addition to the entrance fee. The Body Gym Next door to Eracles Lines Club, this gym has up-to-date equipment in excellent condition, as well as an English-speaking staff. Personal trainers are available. Monday-Friday 9 am-10:30 pm, Saturday 9 am-3 pm. 8 euros for day pass.
Calata Trinita Maggiore 4 (enter the courtyard and take the door on your left; the gym is up one flight) Naples, Italy Via Stufe di Nerone 45 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-868-8006 http://pacchetti.termestufedinerone.it

Tennis & Racquet Sports


Green Park Posillipo Near Parco Virgiliano, this tennis club allows nonmembers to rent a court. Courts are not always available, especially during the high season, but same-day reservations are accepted. The staff does not speak English, so it helps tremendously to know a little Italian. Call for hours. 16 euros, including racquet.
Viale Virgilio 12 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-248-3184 or 334-806-3260 http://www.greenparkposillipo.com

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Nightlife
Naples has a vibrant nightlife during the winter months (October-March). In the summer, many clubs close their doors, prompting an explosion of outdoor parties that fill the streets, piazzas and parks. Most clubs are located in two areas: Chiaia and Centro Storico.

Chiaia is home to top-of-the-line nightclubs, and most have strict policies when it comes to what to wear. Many clubs are located around Piazza dei Martiri and Piazza San Pasquale. Doors close around 3 am, but that doesn't mean that the party stops. Clubbers stay inside until dawn and beyond. The most popular wine bars in Naples are also there, with decors as refined as their wines. In the Centro Storico, Via Bellini is lined with clubs and bars, many offering live music. With an alternative, university crowd, this area is always busy and offers a more funky style of nightlife than Chiaia.

Bars, Taverns & Pubs


Enoteca Belledonne This warm and cozy wine bar has a wide selection of wines by the glass, from Campania and other Italian regions. The friendly, tavernlike atmosphere and reasonable prices make this the best wine bar in the city. The walls are lined with wines rather than art. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm and 5 pm-2 am, Sunday and Monday 7 pm-1 am. No cover charge. Fonoteca: Half music shop, half lounge, this bar is designed for music fans. Grab a beer or cocktail and mingle among Naples' music connoisseurs. If you're staying in Vomero, this is a good place to meet up before heading out for a night on the town. Monday-Thursday 10 am-1 am, Friday and Saturday noon-2 am, Sunday 6:30 pm-1:30 am. No cover charge. Perditempo Its name means lost time, and this is indeed a place to while away the hoursif you can stand the smoke, that is. This gritty bar doubles as a bookstore and triples as a record shop, drawing a bohemian crowd. There is free Wi-Fi, best utilized in the early afternoon, as the music turns up around 7 pm. On warm (and even not-so-warm) nights, the crowd spills into the street. Open Monday-Saturday noon-midnight, Sunday 6:30 pm-midnight. No cover charge.
Via San Pietro a Maiella 8 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-444-958 http://www.perditempo.org Via Morghen 31 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-556-0338 http://www.fonoteca.net Vico Belledonne a Chiaia 18 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-403-162 http://www.enotecabelledonne.com

Dance & Nightclubs


Boudoir Club This club is all about the music, with world-renowned DJs playing the best house, drum-andbass and electronica. It's sure to keep you dancing until the sun comes up. Thursday-Saturday 11 pm-6 am. Cover ranges free to 20 euros; prices increase after midnight.
Via Francesco de Sanctis 15 Naples, Italy

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Discoteca La Mela This club has been a local hot spot since the 1970s, and its high standards require dressing better than the best (it also hosts fashion shows). Famous DJs spin in packed rooms. Dancing is more of a requirement than an option. Thursday-Saturday 11:30 pm-4 am. Cover varies.
Via De Mille 40 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-410-270 http://www.lamelaclub.it

Illo Momah On Thursday-Saturday nights, a chic crowd dances to house music at this hot spot on the edge of the Chiaia neighborhood. The fun starts at midnight and continues into the wee hours. Disco open midnight-4 am October-March. Cover varies.
Via Vito Fornari 15 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-422-334 http://www.momah.it

Kinky Klub This reggae and hip-hop club took over the historic Kinky Bar. Its admirable mission is to "spread positive vibes" through reggae music, and it succeeds: With two rooms for live music and dancing, as well as a colorful lounge area, this is a place to chill out and get happy. The scene is lively, although those in search of serious dancing may want to head to nearby Velvet. Tuesday-Saturday 10 pm-4 am. One-time fee of 10 euros for a year-long membership. La Garconne and Circolo Rari Nantes One of the most elite clubs in Naples, it changes location for the summer and winter seasons. Dress your best and prepare for a unique night. La Garconne (October-March) has an industrial decor that's alive with neon lighting. At the Rari Nantes location (April-September), you can party on the waterfront near Castel dell'Ovo. Both venues feature dinner, which begins at 10 pm, an a la carte Italian and Japanese menu and more than 100 unique cocktails. Tasting menu available for 40 euros, not including wine. Live music, often jazz, begins the night; then one of several resident DJs carries the party into the dawn. The disco begins at midnight (later on Saturday). Call or visit the Web site for specific events and parties.
La Garconne: Vico San Maria a Cappella Vecchia 10 (near Piazza dei Martiri) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-3826 or 348-335-3243 http://www.lagarconne.it Vico della Quercia 26 Naples, Italy Phone: 335-547-7299 http://www.kinkyjam.com

Thursday-Saturday midnight-4 am. Reservations are required for dinner; you can also reserve a table at the discotheque. 20 euros; tables cost the price of a bottle, usually 150 euros-200 euros. Pensammece Dimane Part disco, part restaurant, it serves traditional Neapolitan food for dinner, followed by dancing. Make a reservation to ensure your share of free sangria. The atmosphere is festive and welcoming. Open Thursday-Saturday evenings. Cover ranges free to 15 euros (one drink included).
Via Crispi Gradini Amedeo 12 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-1927-2955 or 338-2473877 http://www.pensammecedimane.it

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Velvet DJs spin house and drum-and-bass in this popular club in the historic center. Three floors provide ample space for drinking, snacking and dancing. Stay until closing and you may just see the sunrise. October-March daily except Monday 12:30-4:30 am. 10 euros (includes one drink).
Via Cisterna dell'Olio 11 Naples, Italy

Live Music
Bourbon Street This jazz club offers excellent live jazz in just the right setting: dim, sultry, take it as it comes. Stop in for a nightcap or spend a few hours nursing a grappa (or two). Open daily noon till late. The bar opens at 10:30 pm; aperitivo starts at 7:30 pm. Casa della Musica Located inside Teatro Palapartenope, this nightclub hosts many events and big-name performances, from disco nights to rock concerts and tattoo expos. Book tickets for concerts online. It is west of the Phlegraean Fields, out of range of public transport, so you'll need a car or cab to get there. Check Web site for events and times. Cover varies (free-30 euros for shows).
Via Barbagallo 115 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-570-0008 http://www.casadellamusicanapoli.it Via Bellini between 52/53 Naples, Italy

Performing Arts
Performing arts are not Naples' strong suit, but those in search of opera or traditional Italian music won't be disappointed. Book well in advance for an opera at Teatro San Carlo. Tickets can be purchased through venue Web sites or from one of Concerteria's box offices. For listings, pick up a copy of Qui Napoli from any tourist-information point. It offers event listings in English and Italian.

Film
Modernissimo This theater sometimes shows movies in original language (indicated by VO). Check Web site for listings. Tickets 7.50 euros.
Via Cisterna Dell'Olio 23 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-580-0254 http://www.modernissimo.it

Music
Associazione Alessandro Scarlatti Founded in 1919, this company is dedicated to bringing traditional Italian music to the public. Performance locations vary, from the Duomo to Castel Sant'Elmo. Ticket prices 15 euros-40 euros. Purchase tickets through Concerteria.
Piazza dei Martiri 58 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-406-011 http://www.associazionescarlatti.it

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Centro di Musica Antica Pieta dei Turchini The company performs baroque music in settings throughout Naples, including Chiesa di Santa Caterina da Siena and Palazzo Reale. Concerts have included a night of music by Scarlatti and Handel, and music from the time of Caravaggio. Tickets cost around 10 euros (reduced prices with Artecard).
Via Santa Caterina da Siena 38 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-402-395 http://www.turchini.it

Ticket Brokers
Box Office Napoli Tickets are sold online for concerts and sporting events throughout Naples. Monday-Friday 9:30 am-1:30 pm and 3:30-7 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-1:30 pm.
Galleria Umberto I 17 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-551-9188 or 081-401-588 http://www.boxofficenapoli.it

Concerteria Purchase tickets for sports, concerts and other events online or in person. Open Monday-Friday 10 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-7:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm.
Via M. Schipa 23 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-761-1221 http://www.concerteria.it

Go2 Tickets are sold online for concerts, shows and sporting events in Naples and environs. http://www.go2.it.
Naples, Italy http://www.go2.it

La Feltrinelli Concerteria A branch of Concerteria, it sells tickets for concerts and theater. Open Monday-Saturday 4:30-8 pm.
Via San Caterina a Chiaia 23 Naples, Italy

Venues
Mostra d'Oltremare The enormous complex in the Phlegraean Fields area contains conference halls and an outdoor arena. Every summer, it hosts Overseas Summer, a music festival. Past concerts include B. B. King, Bob Dylan, David Byrne and Tori Amos. Conventions are frequent.
Piazzale Tecchio 52 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-725-8000 http://www.mostradoltremare.it

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Teatro Augusteo The theater originally opened in 1929, showing silent films with orchestral accompaniment. Restored in the early 1990s, it now offers concerts by both Italian and international musicians, as well as musicals in Italian. Box office open Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-7:30 pm.
Piazzetta Duca D'Aosta 263 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-406-698 (information); 081414-243 or 081-405-660 (tickets) http://www.teatroaugusteo.com

Teatro Bellini Performances by both Italian and international musicians take place in this beautiful historic theater. Box office open Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-1:30 pm and 4-7 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-1 pm and 4:30 pm until start of show.
Via Conte di Ruvo 14 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-549-9688 http://www.teatrobellini.it

Teatro Diana The theater in the Vomero district offers performances of classical music. Box office open Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-7:30 pm, Sunday 11 am-1:30 pm. 30 euros-50 euros.
Via Luca Giordano 64 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-578-4978 or 081-556-7527 http://www.teatrodiana.it

Teatro Mercadante The program at the historic theater used to focus on Beckett and Shakespeare but now just presents Italian shows. Box office open Monday-Friday 10:30 am-1 pm and 5:30-7:30 pm, Saturday 10:30 am-1 pm. Tickets 8 euros-25 euros (reduced prices with Artecard).
Piazza Municipio 1 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-551-3396 http://www.teatrostabilenapoli.it

Teatro San Carlo The world's oldest opera house, it was built in 1737 and rebuilt in 1816 after being destroyed by a fire. A guided tour takes you through its lavishly decorated rooms. Performances are scheduled daily except Monday. Box office hours Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm, Sunday 10 am-4 pm. Tours Monday-Saturday 10 am-4 pm, Sunday at 11 am and noon. Tours 5 euros. Performance tickets 30 euros-400 euros. Book well in advance for ballet and opera.
Via San Carlo 98 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-553-4565 for information; 081-797-2331 or 081-797-2412 for tickets http://www.teatrosancarlo.it

Spectator Sports
Naples does not have much in the way of North American spectator sports, but visitors can catch a soccer match, or a horse or sailboat

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Horse Racing
Ippodromo Agnano Napoli Offering trotting and galloping races, this internationally renowned track is located just outside of Naples. Reachable by car and bus C2. The Gran Premio Lotteria, one of the most important trotting races in the world, takes place the first Sunday of May. Most races take place May-September Wednesday and Friday-Sunday. Tickets are typically free.
Via Raffaele Ruggiero 1 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-735-7111 http://www.ipponapoli.com

Soccer
Societa Sportiva Calcio Napoli Located in the Fuorigrotta, a western neighborhood, the stadium is home to SSC Napoli soccer team, better known as The Blues (their colors are white and blue). One of the premier Class A teams in Italy, its roster once boasted Diego Maradona, one of the most famous retired players in the world. The team is still one of the leading teams in Italy, and fans are extreme. Violence sometimes breaks out, particularly when playing rival AC Milan, though it is usually contained to those seeking it. If you do encounter violence, immediately walk away.
Stadio San Paolo, Piazzale Vincenzo Tecchio Naples, Italy Phone: 081-509-5344 http://www.sscnapoli.it

The season runs late August to mid-May. Ticket office open Monday-Friday 9 am-1 pm and 2-6 pm. Tickets 25 euros-170 euros. Purchase tickets through the stadium's official Web site or at the stadium itself. Buying tickets in advance is recommended.

Other Options
Sailboat racing The Bay of Naples is a sailor's dream, and sailboat racing is common in the summer, usually taking place two to four times a month. Many races are viewable from the waterfront in front of Villa Comunale. The annual Rolex Capri Sailing Week takes place the last week of May. For a schedule, visit or call Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, located near Castel dell'Ovo on Banchina Santa Lucia 13.
Borgo Marinari Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-6162 (yacht club) http://www.ryccsavoia.it

Shopping
Top fashions and their knock-off equivalents duke it out in Naples (make sure your Armani isn't an Armano) making it both a fun and an elegant place to shop. Much of Via Toledo is closed to traffic; the street offers a plethora of shopping options, from clothing to jewelry to specialty items. The Chiaia area is Naples' high-fashion neighborhood; Piazza dei Martiri, Via Calabritto and Via Filangieri are home to numerous designer shops, including Prada, Cartier, Gucci, Armani, Hermes and Bulgari.

Via Alessandro Scarlatti in Vomero is ideal for a late-afternoon stroll, stopping into midrange shops along the way. Galleria Umberto I contains clothing stores and cafes. After closing, children take over the galleria, playing soccer late into the night. The Chiaia area brims with antiques shops; they line Via Carlo Poerio and Via Santa Maria di Costantinopoli, and venturing onto a small side street is likely to turn up a hidden gem. For novelty items and a real taste of Naples, walk along Via dei Tribunali in the Centro Storico: Although many of the shops offer kitschy souvenirs, some are filled to the brim with artisan creations and whimsical antiques. Naples is known for its street markets, offering deals that seem too good to be trueand half the time, they are. Electronics and DVDs

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should be avoided; it's not unheard of to buy a camera, open the box and find a piece of pavement. With this in mind, shopping can be a true pleasure, as long as you don't expect an 8-euro Gucci bag to be the real thing. Shopping Hours: Most shops are open 9 am-1:30 pm and 4-7:30 or 8 pm. Generally, shops close on Sunday and are only open in the afternoon on Monday.

Antique Stores
Errico Mario e Carlo This established antiques store sells carpets, lamps, art and beautiful wood furniture. Daily 10 am-1:20 pm and 4:30-8 pm, closed Monday morning. Galleria D'Arte Visconti This charming shop displays and sells antique paintings from the 1800s-1900s. It is well worth stopping in to browse. Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-8 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-1:30 pm, closed Monday morning.
Via Carlo Poerio 27 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-1936-3137 http://www.viscontigalleriadarte.com Via Giosue Carducci 10 Naples, Italy

Le Fripier di Natale Bursting with silver, this quaint antiques store will catch your eye. Its collection focuses on Sheffield silver dinnerware. It does one thing, and it does it right. Open Monday 4:30-8 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-8 pm. Serrao This expansive antiques store features the best of the best, including paintings, statues and large furniture pieces. Monday-Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-8 pm. Stefano Cavedagna Antiquario Ring the bell and wait for Mr. Cavedagna to usher you in. His two-story establishment contains a collection of furniture, statues, paintings and elegantly framed mirrors from the 1700s. Open Monday 4:30-8 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10:30 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-8 pm.
Via Carlo Poerio 92/A Naples, Italy Piazza San Pasquale a Chiaia 8/9 Naples, Italy Via Carlo Poerio 85/86 Naples, Italy

Bookstores
La Feltrinelli This large bookstore has a good selection of English-language books located downstairs, near the info desk. Monday-Friday 10 am-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-11 pm, Sunday and holidays 10 am-2 pm and 410 pm.
Via Santa Caterina 23 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-240-5411 or 081-240-5450 http://www.lafeltrinelli.it

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Department Stores
Coin With locations throughout Italy, the large department store sells inexpensive yet stylish clothing and products for the home. Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm, Sunday 10 am-2 pm and 4:30-8:30 pm.
Via A. Scarlatti 86-100 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-578-0111 http://www.coin.it

Factory Outlets
La Reggia Designer Outlet Less than 19 mi/30 km from Naples, near Caserta, this outlet offers sizable discounts on designers such as Guess, Valentino and Calvin Klein. Daily 10 am-10 pm.
Strada Provinciale 336, Ex Sannitica Marcianise, Italy www.mcarthurglen.it/marcianise

Galleries
Naples has a number of art galleries; pick up a copy of artshow.it, which lists galleries in Naples and their currently featured artists. Alfonso Artiaco This gallery features various artists in clean, white spaces. Ring the bell, go through the courtyard, take the staircase on the right; it's on the first floor. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm and 4-8 pm. Closed Saturday June-September.
Piazza dei Martiri 58 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-497-6072 http://www.alfonsoartiaco.com

Markets
Mercatino Antignano One of the most popular and important markets, it offers food, clothing and miscellaneous items. You never know what you'll find, but there's a good chance that it will be a bargain. Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-1:30 pm. Mercatino di Posillipo This trendy market in the beautiful Posillipo neighborhood offers both deals and views. Tables covered with inexpensive clothing, accessories and miscellaneous items for the home offer plenty of opportunities for the savvy (and patient) shopper to find a bargain. Parking is available. Afterward, stroll through nearby Parco Virgiliano. Thursday 8:30 am-1 pm.
Viale Virgilio Naples, Italy Piazza Antignano Naples, Italy

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Mercato dei Fiori (Flower Market) Every morning, Piazza Municipio is in full bloom. Stalls selling flowers and plants are set up among grand city buildings, with views of Castel Nuovo and the waterfront. Daily, early in the morning. Piazza Garibaldi Until recently, the streets near Piazza Garibaldi were jam-packed with this popular market. A parking lot has since taken over; however, many merchants still set up shop between Corso Umberto I and Via Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, particularly along Via Santa Candida. Find clothing and knock-off designer bags and shoes at a great bargain. Haggling is expected. Carefully examine all products before purchasing. Beware of pickpockets. All day, every day (busiest in the morning). Porta Nolana Fish Market This quintessentially Neapolitan market near the train station features a striking display of live fish and shellfish, as well as olives, cheeses, vegetables and local staples. Take in the scene or make purchases from the freshly caught selection. Monday-Saturday 7 am-1 pm. Villa Comunale Antiques Market More than 100 dealers set up stalls in Villa Comunale for this bimonthly antiques market. Spend a weekend morning browsing books, silver and furniture; you may find a treasure for several eurosor, if you are serious about antiques, you could easily spend a small fortune. Last two weekends of the month, Saturday and Sunday 8 am-2 pm.
Piazza Sannazaro 57 (Villa Comunale) Naples, Italy Porta Nolana Naples, Italy Piazza Garibaldi Naples, Italy Piazza Municipio Naples, Italy

Shopping Areas
Galleria Umberto I Built in 1887, this exquisite galleria boasts a mosaic floor and a beautiful dome. It houses a number of cafes, shops and ATMs, although it is more of a gathering place than a mall. Shop hours vary. Via Toledo 213/214.

Specialty Stores
Brinkmann This long-standing shop on Piazza Municipio sells and repairs fine watches and jewelry. Although the founder was not Italian, he became such a fixture of Naples that he was declared a "real Neapolitan." Monday-Friday 9:30 am-1:30 pm and 4-7:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-2 pm.
Piazza Municipio 21 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-552-0555 http://www.brinkmann-napoli.com

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Bruno Acampora Profumi The founder of this perfume store has been photographed by Andy Warhol; his collections are innovative and evocative, inspired by the world's most exotic locales. Monday-Saturday 10 am-2 pm and 4-8 pm.
Via Gaetano Filangeri 72 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-401-701 http://www.brunoacampora.com

Casuccio & Scalera Leather shoes, bags and belts vie for space on the shelves. There are also locations on Via Chiaia and Via Scarlatti. Daily 10 am-8 pm. Cigar House by Sarnacchiaro Smoke From the outside, it looks like your typical tabacchi, but its selection is much more extensive. It sells Italian cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smoking accessories. Monday-Saturday 8 am-10 pm, Sunday 10 am-2 pm. Cristallerie di Toledo Open since 1954, the store sells unique gift items and whimsical glassware. Although many of the items may be hard to pack in a suitcase, it's worth a browse. Monday 4-8 pm, Tuesday-Friday 9:30 am-1:30 pm and 4-8 pm, Saturday 4:30-8 pm.
Via Toledo 62 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-552-1947 http://www.cristallerieditoledo.it Via Bernini 6 Naples, Italy Via Roma 101/102 Naples, Italy

Eddy Monetti Founded in 1887, the small shop sells classic men's and women's clothing that never goes out of style: button-down shirts, blouses, sweaters and scarves. Shirts can be made to measure. Monday-Wednesday 10 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-8 pm, Thursday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm.
Via Dei Mille 45 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-407-064 http://www.eddymonetti.it

Enoteca Dante This is one of the most centrally located wine stores, with an excellent selection of wines from Campania and throughout Italy. It also offers several types of vino sfuso, local wine from the tap. Monday-Saturday 9 am-9 pm.
Piazza Dante 18/19 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-549-9689 http://www.enotecadante.it

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Enoteca Vinorum Historia This small shop on bustling Via Tribunali sells unique wines from Campania. It also offers a large selection of vino sfuso, wine from the tap. Try the Falanghina, a light white D.O.C. There are wine tastings Friday and Saturday 9 pm-midnight. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-8:30 pm, Sunday 10 am-2 pm. Gay Odin This shop is famous for its specialty chocolates. There are nine stores throughout the city, some of which also sell gelato. Daily 9:30 am-8 pm (often later on weekends), Sunday noon-8 pm.
Via Benedetto Croce 61 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-551-0794 http://www.gay-odin.it Via Tribunali 33 Naples, Italy

Leonetti Giocattoli This toy store is much larger than it looks from the outside. Two floors are filled with toys, both classic and cutting-edge, including an enormous selection of board games, stuffed animals, brand names and specialty items. Monday-Saturday 10 am-2 pm and 3:30-8 pm. Louis Vuitton This shop sells shoes, handbags, sunglasses and other accessories bearing the mark of the famous brand. Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm.
Via Calabritto 2 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-6606 http://www.louisvuitton.com Via Toledo 350 Naples, Italy

Mario Valentino Playful women's footwear in bright colors will make you want to kick up your (high) heels. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-1:30 pm and 4-8 pm.
Via Calabritto 10 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-4262 http://www.mariovalentino.it

Matermatuta In a tiny shop set back from the street, artisan Renato Maresca sells his funky rings, bracelets and earrings. Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-7:30 pm.
Via Benedetto Croce 38 Naples, Italy

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Salvatore Ferragamo Men and Salvatore Ferragamo Women Shop for clothing and accessories by the famous designer. Daily 10 am-2 pm and 3-8 pm. Closed the last Sunday of each month.
Piazza dei Martiri 56 (women) and 60 (men) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-412-123 (shop for men); 081-415-454 (shop for women) http://www.ferragamo.com

Tod's This small branch sells luxury leather shoes and accessories by the famous designer. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm and 4-8 pm.
Via Calabritto 3 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-3694 http://tods.com

Touring Club Italiano This store provides driving maps and guides. Stop in before an automotive excursion. Monday-Friday 9:30 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-1 pm.
Via Cesare Battisti 11/13 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-420-3485 http://www.touringclub.it

Voyage Pittoresque This store offers old maps and paintings depicting Naples as it was hundreds of years ago, as well as a high-quality jumble of books, prints and stationery. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-1 pm and 4:30-8 pm.
Via V. Colonna 15 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-407-309 http://www.voyagepittoresque.it

Itinerary
Day Trips
To Pompeii and Herculaneum. In AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and burying their 24,500 inhabitants beneath ash and cinder. Today, most of Pompeii has been excavated. Wander its streets for glimpses into the lives of its residents. Most interesting are the homes of wealthy merchants, particularly the House of the Faun and the House of Vettii, which feature amazingly well-preserved mosaics and the ancient equivalent of wallpaper. Other highlights include the Thermal Baths, the Atrium, the House of Mysteries, the Forum and the Brothel, which is decorated with erotic graffiti. Plaster casts of victims of the eruption are displayed in the Garden of the Refugees. A trip to the National Archaeology Museum greatly complements this day trip: Most of the artifacts from these sites are found there. Visitors tend to be surprised by the size of Pompeii; it is truly a city, and it is easy to spend a full day navigating its streets. Take water and sunscreen.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Less famous but better preserved, Herculaneum offers a more complete picture of life before Vesuvius erupted. The city of 4,500 was covered by mud and lava; the mud preserved everything. Herculaneum was a getaway for wealthy Romans, and the excavations there are accordingly grand. Furniture remains in its original location in the House of the Carbonized Furniture; the House of the Mosaic of Neptune and Amphitrite contains, as the name suggests, a glorious mosaic. Visit the Villa of Papyri (only partially excavated), the Thermal Baths, the House with the Large Gate and the Forum. Although it is much smaller than Pompeii, you should be prepared to spend a good half-day there.

Pompeii and Herculaneum are open daily 8:30 am-7:30 pm April-October and daily 8:30 am-5 pm November-March (ticket offices close at 3:30 pm). Admission to a single site: 11 euros adults, 5.50 euros ages 18-24, free for children younger than 18 and seniors. Audio guides 6.50 euros. Three-day pass 20 euros and includes admission to both Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as Oplontis, Stabia and Boscoreale. Phone the Herculaneum tourist office at 081-788-1243 or 081-857-5347. Phone Pompeii's tourist office at 081-850-7255 or 081-857-5347. http://www.pompeiturismo.it or http://www.pompeiisites.org. To the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida. These islands are all just an hour away by ferry, and each deserves at least one day. They offer relaxing walking trails, jagged cliffs, thermal baths, sea caves, beaches and luxury homes. Ferries leave from Molo Beverello and Mergellina in Naples. Take sunscreen and water. Capri is famous for its ancient ruins and most impressive is Villa Jovis, built by Emperor Tiberius. The cliffs next to the villa are known as the Jump of Tiberius, where his enemies (or, basically, anyone he didn't like) are rumored to have been thrown into the sea. Reachable on foot from Piazza Umberto I (a beautiful 45-minute walk), the villa is open daily 9 am-one hour before sunset. Winter hours Thursday-Monday 10 am-4 pm. Admission 2 euros. Phone 333-372-9669. Visitors can also take a boat into Capri's iridescent Blue Grotto, a large sea cave lit blue when the sun shines through. In good weather, boats leave daily from Marina Grande (11 euros-13 euros; don't hesitate to haggle for the best price). You can also take a bus to Anacapri, then walk or take a bus (15 minutes). Open daily 9 am-one hour before sunset. 11 euros. Phone 081-837-5646. Capri Tourist office is open Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-8:30 pm, Sunday 9 am-3 pm. Winter hours Monday-Saturday 9:15 am-1:15 pm and 3-6:15 pm. Phone 081-837-0686. http://www.capritourism.com. Ischia is the largest and most-visited island. It has an extensive network of natural thermal basins that draw visitors from around the world for their healing effects. The spas there are legendary, and the foot pathswhich traverse fishing villages, an Aragonese castle and nearperfect beachesmake Ischia ideal for touring by foot. Procida is the least-visited of the three islands, and therefore the most quiet and pristine. It is ideal for those in search of stunning scenery away from the crowds. The city of Terra Murata has remained nearly unchanged for 300 years. The movie Il Postino was filmed there. Ischia and Procida share a phone number. Phone 081-507-4231. http://www.infoischiaprocida.it. To Campi Flegrei. The volcanic Campi Flegrei, also call Phlegraean Fields, are so magnificent that they were once thought to be the entrance to hell. More of a two-day trip, they cover a large geographical area that stretches from the Naples neighborhood of Posillipo to the city of Cuma and the western coast of the Bay of Naples; they also encompass numerous islands, including Ischia and Procida. Entrance costs 4 euros and grants visitors access to most sights in the region for two days, including the crater lakes, Cuma Archeological Park, the Temple of Serapis, the Flavian Amphitheater and the Baia Archaeological Museum. A notable exception is the Solfatara, a bubbling pool of lava and the location of hell's entrance; entrance there costs 6 euros. Navigating the sights requires taking 5- to 20-minute rides on buses and trains; an all-day ticket (6.30 euros) gives you access to both modes of transporation. Do not mistake this all-day ticket (Unico U2) for that of intra-city Naples (Unico Na): The two tickets are distinct and do not cover the same regions. Getting to the Phlegraean Fields from Naples' city center takes about 20 minutes. Take the Metronapoli toward Pozzuoli and get off at the Montesanto stop; there you will find the Circumflegrea and Cumana railways. The Circumflegrea takes visitors to Licola and Cuma, where the cave once inhabited by the oracle Sybil can be visited. The Cumana goes to Pozzuoli, Baia and Fusaro. Main sights in Pozzuoli include the Solfatara, the Flavian Amphitheater (closed Tuesday), and the Temple of Serapis; main sights in Baia include the Archaeological Museum (closed Monday), located inside the Castello di Baia; the main sight in Fusaro is the beautiful Lake Fusaro, separated from the ocean by thin strip of land that has created a unique, thriving ecosystem. Sights open daily 9 am until one hour before sunset. The tourist office in Pozzuoli has lots of helpful information. Open daily Monday-Friday 9 am-3 pm (phone 081-526-1481 and 081-526-6639; http://www.icampiflegrei.it/index-eng.htm). Alternatively, for more information or to make reservations for guided tours, call the central tourist office. Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday 9 am-2 pm. Phone 063-996-7050.

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Local Tours
Your best bet for a comprehensive view of Naples and environs is the official CitySightseeing bus. It offers a variety of itineraries at reasonable prices. Horse cabs cluster around Castel Nuovo and take tourists for jaunts along the waterfront, but don't bother: Traffic makes this ride less than relaxing. Rides cost around 20 euros for 20 minutes. CitySightseeing Double-decker buses operate hop-on, hop-off tours of Naples. Tours originate at Piazza Municipio, although you can join the tour at any stop. Disposable earphones are included in the price, offering commentary in eight languages. There are four itineraries in Naples: Art, The Bay of Naples, San Martino (only on Saturday and Sunday) and Donnaregina (only on Sunday JuneSeptember). Tours last 45 minutes-2 hours, depending on the itinerary. 22 euros adults, 11 euros children ages 6-15. 66 euros family ticket (two adults, three children). Tickets are valid for 24 hours and offer access to all four lines.
Largo Castello, Piazza Municipio Naples, Italy Phone: 081-551-7279 or, on Saturday and Sunday, 335-780-3812 or 329-0557313 http://www.napoli.city-sightseeing.it

Dining
Dining Overview
Naples is known as the home of the true pizza (pizza vera napoletana), and a trip to the city can easily be eaten away at its many pizzerias. Pizzaioli (pizza makers) do not toss the dough in the air; they work it with their hands into a very thin crust, then top it with sauce or tomatoes and mozzarella. The Italian government classifies pizzas in a similar way to wine: Pizzas can be D.O.C. (denominazione d'origene controllata). To qualify, the pizza must be made according to precise standards, including the thinness of the crust and the weight. Try the pizza fritta (fried pizza), which resembles a calzone and is filled with tomatoes and mozzarella or ricotta and pancetta. When you arrive at a busy pizzeria, push through the crowd to get your name on the list; there's no such thing as a line in Naples. Locals eat their pizza al fazzoletto (folded and eaten with the hands). Buffalo mozzarella is one of Campania's most delectable specialties, made with milk from buffaloes that graze in the nearby countryside. Order it on pizza (most pizzerias will make any of their pizzas with mozzarella di bufala, for a slight surcharge), but it is also delicious on a sandwich or on its own. Look for D.O.P. (denominazione d'origine protetta). Fior di latte is another local cheese, similar to mozzarella di bufala but made with cow's milk. Breakfast, as in the rest of Italy, consists of coffee and a pastry, generally eaten while standing at the bar (al banco). Food and drinks al tavolo (at the table) often cost twice the price, so if you're not staying long, do as the locals do and stand. Espresso napoletano is arguably the best espresso in Italy, richer and creamier than most. Just order un espresso or un caffe; the napoletano part is understood. Pastries in Naples are also some of the best, especially the sfogliatella (a flaky pastry, shaped like a seashell, filled with ricotta and a touch of lemon) and the biscotti all'amarena. Baba, a rum-soaked, spongy pastry, is very popular among Neapolitans, although it may be an acquired taste. Around Easter and Christmas, pastry shop windows feature glorious and strange concoctions, such as the casatiello (bread with hard-boiled eggs, salami and cheese). For lunch on the go or a midday snack, the street food in Naples is unbeatableand cheap. Stop at a street vendor for arancini (breaded, deep-fried balls of risotto stuffed with mozzarella). They generally cost 1 euro-2 euros. Any deli or supermarket will make you an inexpensive sandwich (2 euros-3 euros) with cheese and meat (try salame di napoli, the traditional salami of Naples) or vegetables; just ask for un panino and choose your fillings. Most Neapolitans eat dinner after 9 pm. The seafood in Naples is outstanding; try the risotto alla pescatora (seafood risotto) or frittura (fried seafood) at one of the restaurants on Borgo Marinari, near Castel dell'Ovothey look touristy, but they serve delicious seafood, and their prices are surprisingly reasonable.

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Pair your meal with one of Campania's excellent white winesin fact, it is hard to find a bad one. Falanghina, Fiano di Avellino D.O.C.G. and Greco di Tufo D.O.C.G. are especially notable. The reds are also delicious, especially Lacryma Christi ("tears of Christ") and Taurasi D.O.C.G. Keep in mind that credit cards aren't used as commonly in Italy as elsewhere, but most major restaurants accept them readily. If you are having a sandwich and a glass of water in a bar, you will generally be expected to pay in cash. Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of a dinner for one, excluding drinks, tax and tip: $ = less than 20 euros; $$ = 20 euros-35 euros; $$$ = 36 euros-65 euros; $$$$ = more than 65 euros.

Local & Regional


Antica Osteria Pisano In a small piazza not far from Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, locals flock for traditional Neapolitan cuisine. The menu changes regularly. Dishes may include fresh pasta with clams, roasted baccala (salt cod) and fried Parmesan and artichokes. On warm nights, tables overflow onto the piazzetta. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. $. No credit cards. Antica Pizzeria Brandi The pizzeria that invented the Margherita pizza in 1889 is touristy and overpriced, but its pizzas are still good. The menu extends to pastas and other dishes, but there's no need to bother with anything other than the pizza. Daily for lunch and dinner. $$. Most major credit cards.
Salita Santa Anna di Palazzo 1/2 (corner of Via Chiaia) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-416-928 http://www.brandi.it Piazzetta Crocelle ai Mannesi 1 Naples, Italy

Antica Pizzeria "Da Michele" Dal 1870 The most famous pizzeria in Naples, and arguably the best, it only offers two styles of pizza: marinara (without cheese) and Margherita (try the doppia mozzarella, or "double mozzarella," for the ultimate pizza experience). There is usually a wait, but don't let this deter you; the fact that locals opt to wait for a table is a sign of how good (and inexpensive) the food is. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Also open Sunday in December and May. $. No credit cards. Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba You might mistake this for a street food vendor, thanks to the counter filled with pizze fritte (fried pizzas) and other snacks. Located beneath Port'Alba, the oldest pizzeria in Naples (and, some say, in the world) started out as a snack cart. It now has indoor and outdoor seating, but it retains a casual, amiable atmosphere. In their words, they are "open always." The menu includes a variety of fresh seafood, but the real lure is the pizza. Daily until midnight. $. Most major credit cards.
Via Port'Alba 18 Naples, Italy Via Cesare Sersale 1/3 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-553-9204 http://www.damichele.net

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Coco Loco There are plenty of tables, but you'll want to have a reservation at this popular restaurant near Piazza dei Martiri. Whimsical yet stylish decor complements creative Neapolitan cuisine. Try the sea bass, prawn and eggplant flan or insalata di aragosta e gamberi alla catalana (lobster and prawn salad). Outdoor seating is available in nice weather.
Piazza Giulio Rodino 31 Naples, Italy

Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch only. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Di Matteo A favorite among locals, this pizzeria is no-nonsense and authentic. A counter in front sells fried pizza and other snacks; you may not think the restaurant itself is open, but it is. Get your name on the list. All that's left is to order one of the fried snacks to tide yourself over and join the waiting locals. Try the pizza fritte (deep-fried pizza filled with ricotta and prosciutto). Monday-Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. $. Most major credit cards. Hosteria Toledo A few steps from Via Toledo, traditional Neapolitan food is served in a cozy family restaurant, founded in 1951. Try the cozze al gratte (mussels au gratin), sfizietto Toledo (mixed fried Naples specialties) or the risotto alla pescatore (seafood risotto). There is a good selection of meat dishes and wines. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Tuesday for lunch only. $$. Most major credit cards. Palazzo Petrucci Housed in a 15th-century palace that once belonged to Antonello Petrucci, secretary to King Ferdinand of Aragon, this is one of Naples' premier restaurants. The entrance is tucked in a corner of picturesque Piazza San Domenico Maggiore. Visually stunning, delicious dishes are created using ingredients from Campania; they include the divine lasagnetta di mozzerella di bufala, a tower of creamy buffalo mozzarella and delicate shrimp on a sauce of zucchini flowers, and timpano di paccheri, baked pasta filled with ricotta, served with slow-cooked meat ragu.
Piazza San Domenico Maggiore 4 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-552-4068 http://www.palazzopetrucci.it Vico Giardinetto 78a Naples, Italy Phone: 081-421-257 http://www.hosteriatoledo.it Via dei Tribunali 94 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-455-262 http://www.pizzeriadimatteo.it

Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday lunch only, Monday dinner only. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Pizzeria Lombardi Dal 1892 Very near the Archaeological Museum, this pizzeria has a variety of specialty pizzas. The Gigi and Nando pizzas feature buffalo mozzarella, the Nando adding a bonus of ricotta made with buffalo milk. Generous portions; unlike other Naples pizzerias, two people can comfortably split a single pizza. Daily except Monday for lunch and dinner (until 1 am). $. Most major credit cards. Sorbillo You'll know you've arrived when you see the crowd outside. The pizza is authentic and cheap (a Margherita costs 3.50 euros). Choose from the multitude of options. If your hotel is in the Centro Storico, the restaurant will deliver; place the order through the Web site. If you go, allow plenty of time to wait for a table. Open daily for lunch and dinner. $. Most major credit cards.
Via Tribunali 32 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-446-643 http://www.accademiadellapizza.it Via Foria 12 Naples, Italy

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Trianon da Ciro Dal 1923 It makes a D.O.C. pizza that substitutes high-quality tomatoes for sauce. A good place to go if you can't stand the wait at Da Michele. Daily for lunch and dinner. $. Most major credit cards. Umberto Ristorante This family restaurant's menu is traditional Neapolitan with a contemporary twist. Dine on tubettoni d' 'o treddeta (with clams, black olives, capers and tomatoes con polpetti). Neapolitan meatloaf with potatoes and rosemary is a specialty. The menu changes according to season, and tasting menus are based around holidays and local festivals. If you're in the mood for something simple, dine in the pizzeria portion of the restaurant. The colorful decor is complemented by contemporary art, which changes throughout the month. A gluten-free menu is available.
Via Alabardieri 30/31 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-418-555 http://www.umberto.it Via Pietro Colletta (across the street from Antica Pizzeria "Da Michele") Naples, Italy

Daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards.

Cuisines
Asian
Kukai Nibu Located very near Piazza del Plebiscito, this elegant restaurant serves contemporary Japanese cuisine based on seasonal produce. Choose among tartars, tofu dishes, sushi, sashimi and tempura. Unique dishes include teriyaki al foie gras, Kobe beef with teppanyaki vegetables, and tuna in garlic sauce. Sake and wine round out the meal. Daily for lunch and dinner (until 1 am). Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards.
Via Carlo De Cesare 52 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-411-905 http://www.kukai.it

Italian
Fantasia Gelati Prize-winning gelato is cheerfully served in multiple locations throughout the city. Daily 7 am-midnight (until 1 am Saturday and Sunday). $. No credit cards.
Via Toledo 381 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-551-1212 http://www.fantasiagelati.it

La Stanza del Gusto Its name means tasting room, and it offers a variety of tasting menus at different price levels. You might find a vegetarian menu for around 35 euros, a menu with buffalo fillet for 45 euros and a surprise menu for 65 euros. The plates are small and the wine list extensive. There is also a more casual cheese bar, with wines by the glass and a blackboard listing the day's selections. The decor is playful, perfectly complementing the spirit of innovation and experimentation.
Via Costantinopoli 100 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-401-578 http://www.lastanzadelgusto.com

Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Monday for lunch only. Reservations required. $$$. Most major credit cards.

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Ristorante Ciro Sharing space with Castel dell'Ovo on the isle of Megaride, the restaurant offers traditional Italian and a wood-burning pizza oven; the seafood is excellent. Although the atmosphere inside is a bit bland, it offers a charming view of the water, especially when lit up at night. Open since 1936. Daily except Wednesday for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Luculliana 29/30 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-6006 http://www.ristoranteciro.it

Mediterranean
George's Restaurant At this luxurious restaurant, Naples-born chef Vincenzo Baciot creates Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Enjoy exquisite flavor combinations such as local fish with truffles, zucchini flowers stuffed with buffalo-milk ricotta and served with a bitter chocolate sauce, or sfogliatella (pastry) "puffs" with curly endive served over beans with a spicy sauce. The extensive wine list focuses on Italian wines. Breakfast is a buffet of fruit, croissants and coffee. If the weather permits, request a table on the terrace for unparalleled views of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. Daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations required. Evening attire. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele 135 (inside Grand Hotel Parker's) Naples, Italy Phone: 081-761-2474 http://www.grandhotelparkers.it

Vegetarian
Un Sorriso Integrale This restaurant in the vicinity of Piazza Bellini offers vegetarian food with a Mediterranean slant. For 20 years it has focused on serving food in harmony with nature. The menu changes daily. Dine on tofu, seitan (wheat gluten meat substitute), black-eyed peas with greens or artichoke risotto amid local art, fliers for Buddhist events and pamphlets for yoga classes. A section of the cafe functions as an organic food store. Gluten-free food is available. Open daily for lunch and dinner. The store is open 10:30 am-midnight. $. Most major credit cards.
Vico San Pietro a Majella 6 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-455-026 http://www.sorrisointegrale.com

Cafes & Tearooms


Cafe Intra Moenia In the university neighborhood, this cafe and bookstore has a relaxed literary vibe. The books are in Italian, but that shouldn't stop you from ordering a ham-and-cheese or vegetarian omelette, a salad or coffee. Find a seat in the garden and absorb the local music scene, which gathers in the piazza. Wi-Fi is available, and food is served all day. At night, wine glasses take the place of coffee mugs. Daily 10 am-2 am. $-$$. Most major credit cards. Il Fornaio On your way to or from the train station, stop for a pastry at this hole-in-the-wall bakery. It is tradionally Neapolitan in every sense, from its delicious biscotti all'amarena, sfogliatelle and panini to its unpredictability; you never know what it will bake on any given day, but it's sure to be good. Daily until 8 pm. $. No credit cards.
Via Maddalena 34/35 Naples, Italy Piazza Bellini 70 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-290-988 or 081-557-1190 http://www.intramoenia.it

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Ranaldi Pasticceria Artisanal, traditional chocolates and pastries are sold in this small corner shop on a twisting street in the Spanish Quarter. Daily 8 am-8 pm. $. No credit cards.
Vico Lungo Gelso 97/99 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-400-773 http://www.pasticceriaranaldi.it

Scaturchio For more than a century, Scaturchio has produced exceptional Neapolitan pastries. Today, it is a bustling cafe with some of the best pastries in Naples. Try the sfogliatelle or the baba. Also known for velvety, rich ministeriale chocolates (unique chocolates with a rum filling). In the evenings, drop in during the lively aperitivo, which includes an assortment of finger foods. Open daily 7:20 am-8:40 pm. $. Most major credit cards. Tarallificio Leopoldo Specializes in taralli, a traditional Neapolitan snack: small, doughnut-shaped snacks made of simple ingredients, referred to as arte povera, or poor-man's art. The sfogliatelle is also renowned. Choose from a variety of pastries, sweet and savory. There are locations all over Naples; the flagship store is located on Via Foria. Open daily except Tuesday 8 am-9 pm. $. No credit cards.
Via Foria 212 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-451-166 http://www.leopoldo.it Piazza San Domenico Maggiore 19 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-551-6944 http://www.scaturchio.it

Coffeehouses
Anhelo Cafe Part coffeehouse, part wine bar, part cafeteria, this cafe offers a selection of refreshments in a chic yet casual setting. The coffee is made from high-quality Arabica beans; other options include Belgian hot chocolate and a selection of tea. Free Wi-Fi. Croissants are made inhouse. The lunch menu includes soups, tapas and pastas. Daily aperitivo. An English breakfast is available on Sunday morning. Daily 8 am-midnight. $. Most major credit cards. Azar Cafe This popular coffeehouse has an upscale cafeteria atmosphere. Its secluded location, with outdoor seating available in the garden, offers a respite only a few feet/meters from Vomero's shopping. Aperitivo includes a large selection of finger foods, pastas and vegetables. $. Most major credit cards. Gran Caffe Cimmino Popular with locals, this centrally located bar is close to many designer stores and a great place to recharge with a powerful coffee. In the evening, its small but award-winning aperitivo is served, and the place fills to the brim. Open daily 7 am-10 pm. $. Most major credit cards.
Via G. Filangieri 12-13, Piazza dei Martiri Naples, Italy Phone: 081-418-303 http://www.caffecimmino.com Via Scarlatti 139 Naples, Italy Carlo Poerio 47 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-5764 or 335-722-6405 http://www.anhelocaffenapoli.it

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Gran Caffe Gambrinus Since 1860, this has been the place to socialize and sip hazelnut-cream coffee. Once frequented by Hemingway and Wilde, it is popular among tourists and locals alike. It was restored by architect Antonio Curri in 1890 and is decorated with exquisite paintings and statues. Daily 7 am-2 am. $. Most major credit cards. Il Vero Bar del Professore Coffee connoisseurs the world over go to this famous cafe. There, coffee is art; it's where the nocciolato was invented (coffee with hazelnut cream). It offers 63 decadent coffees, such as the croccantino, a coffee mousse with shaved chocolate and hazelnut cream. Open daily 8 am-2 am. $. Most major credit cards.
Piazza Trieste e Trento 46 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-403-041 http://www.ilverobardelprofessore.com Via Chiaia 1/2 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-417-582 http://grancaffegambrinus.com

Seafood
Ciro a Mergellina This restaurant by the water, near Mergellina station, is a staple of the Naples dining scene. The pizza is excellent, but local seafood is the star; opt for pasta with lobster or Polipetti in umido. Daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Mergellina 21 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-681-780 http://www.ciroamergellina.it

Da Dora Located a block from the water, the restaurant is famous for its seafood. Specialties include a fritto misto antipasto, featuring fresh fried seafood, and linguine alla Dora, a variety of shellfish over pasta. It is famed for its traveling guitarist and its outgoing owner Tony, who knows all the U.S. state capitals. Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday lunch only, Monday dinner only. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. La Cantinella This lively restaurant near the waterfront is a favorite of Italian VIPs, from Pavarotti to Antonioni. Neapolitan seafood (try the frittura, an assortment of fried seafood) and an extensive wine list are served along with views of Vesuvius and Sorrento. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Cuma 32 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-8684 http://www.lacantinella.it Via F. Palasciano 29/30 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-680-519 http://www.dadora.it

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Ristorante La Bersagliera Located on the pier in front of Castel dell'Ovo, La Bersagliera has served delectable Neapolitan seafood to the world's stars, from Elizabeth Taylor to Italian actor Toto. Those were better days, but it still retains its charm. Famous for cooking with humility, the chefs prepare complex, wellseasoned dishes made with simple ingredients. Specialties include octopus salad, spaghetti with clams and a melt-in-your-mouth seafood risotto. The house wine is excellent. Daily except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards. Terrazza Calabritto Sleek and stylish and situated on the waterfront, the restaurant offers breezy views and light, refined cuisine, with a focus on seafood. The wine list contains nearly 300 labels, from Campania and beyond; the sommelier is happy to help you weed through and choose the perfect pairing for your meal. The adjacent lounge is ideal for an aperitif or a post-beach drink. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch only. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Piazza Vittoria 1 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-240-5188 http://terrazzacalabritto.it Borgo Marinari 10/11 Naples, Italy Phone: 081-764-6016 http://www.labersagliera.it

Security
Etiquette
Contrary to the relaxed image many have of Italy, the Italian business world emphasizes formality and procedure. Get assistance from a local contact, go through proper channels, and always present yourself and your firm as polished and accomplished.

AppointmentsHaving an intermediary is essential. Without someone to make the appropriate contacts, you'll find it hard to get much done. A go-between can help schedule meetings, which should be set up well in advance. It is very difficultnearly impossible, in factto call on a businessperson unannounced. Confirm your meetings a day or two before they're set to take place. Punctuality is expected throughout the country. Your Italian counterparts may or may not be as prompt: Those in the northern part of the country generally are; those in the south are less so.

Personal IntroductionsGreet others with a handshake and a slight nod. Titles are important: Use any professional titles supplied on introduction or, better yet, ask for a list of the participants and their official titles in advance. Use the title and last nameplus the formal third-person address if you speak any Italianuntil instructed otherwise. On a social level, Italians often bestow two cheek kisses to friends of friends. Be alert and follow cues.

NegotiatingThe pace of negotiations is slow, and final decisions are not made by lower-level functionaries. The chain of command in Italian business is both vertical and horizontal, so decision-making can take a long time. Last-minute demands can be made by a person who enters the negotiations late in the game. In fact, this is sometimes used as a negotiating tool. Remain patient and calm at all times.

Business EntertainingBusiness dinners are common but will typically involve only a few key players. If you are hosting the dinner, ask your Italian contact whom to invite. Tip the waiter ahead of time and ask that the bill be quietly given to you, should you wish to pay. Otherwise, you will have to request the check; it will not be brought to you automatically.

Body LanguageItalians typically converse while standing close together. Handshakes can extend longer than in other cultures, and locals tend to gesture when talking. The hand signs are continuous and nuanced, though none are likely to be made by a foreigner inadvertently. More often, visitors start to imitate the gestures without understanding the precise meaningsa practice we'd caution against.

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Gift GivingSmall but high-quality gifts are appropriate in some situations: Ask your intermediary for advice. Take flowers, chocolates or lavishly wrapped pastries to someone's home. Exercise caution in giving wine: Many Italians are experts; if you're not, select a different gift.

ConversationVery little is off-limits in Italian conversation, but avoid being critical of Italian society and culture, even if your host is. Soccer is a passion and an easy topic (though discussing individual players rather than teams may be safer), as are art, travel and Italian culture. The less-positive side of Italy, including racism charges, Mussolini, World War II and the Mafia, is probably better avoided.

Personal Safety
Naples is notorious for pickpockets, and petty crime is definitely prevalent. Spread money around on your person and do not flash big bills when paying. Do not take your passport outside of the hotel. We recommend taking only a backpack and keeping it slung over both shoulders. Do not leave your jacket hanging or slung over the bench next to you. Thieves operate from mopeds, so whenever possible walk on the inside of the sidewalk, away from traffic. When sitting in parks or in outdoor cafes, loop purses about chair legs or other safe places. If you carry a purse or camera, keep it looped on your shoulder and not in your hand. Walking alone, especially at night, is not advised. There are several types of scams used in Naples. One of the most common is for a person to pretend to have been knocked over and to blame you as responsible. Naples police do not fall for this tactic and neither should you. Ignore such behavior and move on. At night, it is common for thieves to offer to show you a great club or bar around the corner. Do not fall for this: The only thing around the corner is a mugging. Finally, it is common to see families with young children begging. Do not let the children approach you; they are trained pickpockets. In the worst situations, mothers beat a child until receiving money. Obviously this type of behavior should not be encouraged. Be alert. Make eye contact with potential pickpockets. Should an incident begin, shout and point while gripping your belongings. Don't be afraid of causing a scene: Locals and transit workers will quickly come to your defense. Note: Street musiciansmany of them classically trained Romanians or self-taught Romaare largely innocent of such scams. Many support large families. Locals consider it bella figura (good style) to donate spare change to talented buskers and sincerely needy beggars. After midnight, avoid the part of the Centro Storico nearest to the train station and the area around the station itself. Use caution there during the day. Be wary of fast-talking "guides" or "hotel representatives" in the train station or at tourist sites. They are either swindlers or serving as a diversion, as another crook strips you of your possessions. You can appeal to the police if there is a dispute over the price for any type of service. Changes to the taxi charter have put caps on prices, so be sure you check the printed price list or ask for an estimated price before entering the cab. In Naples, there are four different law-enforcement organizations: the city police, polizia municipale (in blue and white); the state police, polizia di stato (also in blue and white); the paramilitary police, carabinieri (in designer black and red); and the finance police, guardia di finanza (in brown and green). Although each has a specialization, they all cover the same jurisdiction. Appeal to any of them, regardless of the problem. All four types tend to speak at least basic English and are eager to ensure that tourists are not cheated. Finally, do not be alarmed by machine guns at the airport or in the hands of traffic cops: The heavy weaponry is routine. In an emergency, phone 113 for the police, 115 for fire and 118 for medical assistance. For the latest information on travel safety, contact your country's travel-advisory agency.

Health
No vaccinations are required to enter Italy, but general sanitation is subpar in Naples. Likely the water is safe to drink inside your accommodations, but it's best to ask the front desk. Likewise, bars often provide water when you order an espresso, and this is safe to drink. However, tap water outside reputable establishments is questionable, as are the fountains on the street. Naples is hot in the summer, so make sure to drink enough water to avoid sunstroke. Most pharmacies are open Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1 pm and 3:30-7 pm. They stay open late and on a rotating basis on Saturday and Sunday. Pharmacists can sometimes aid travelers with basic prescriptions such as birth control refills or medicine for conjunctivitis (pink

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher eye); for a minor ailment, ask first before tracking down an English-language doctor. All medicine is given over the counter, so it helps to know the Italian name for your malady. For medical emergencies, call 118. Don't assume that an English-speaking operator will be working. Cardarelli Hospital has high-quality facilities, and many doctors speak English. In case of emergency, go to the hospital and follow signs to the pronto soccorso (emergency room). The hospital is located just outside of Naples and is reachable by public transportation. Via A. Cardarelli, 9. Toll-free 800-019-774. http://www.ospedalecardarelli.it. There is also a U.S. Naval Hospital, which focuses on providing care to members of the military. Reach the hospital by taking highway A1 South. Take exit Villa Literno, then exit Gricignano d'Aversa. Via Contrada Boscariello and Via Contrada Boscariello. For emergencies, phone 081-811-6000. http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/napoli/Pages/default.aspx.

Disabled Advisory
As an ancient city with limited auto access, Naples can be exceptionally difficult for disabled travelers to navigate. Public transportation tries to offer disability services, but the services are sadly nonfunctioning. Naples Centrale Station does not have operational lifts to the metro, but it is in the process of installing them. Bus-stop signs show the handicapped sign, but you shouldn't trust them. Many buses simply have spaces for wheelchairs without safety straps or lifts onto the bus. Most sights are accessible, however. Ask at the tourist office or pick up a copy of Qui Napoli or the Campania Artecard brochure for sightby-sight information. Call museums and sights in advance to reserve particular services and to ensure that existing services are currently functional. Trenitalia Disability Office is located inside Naples Central Station. It provides information on access within the station and on regional trains, but it does not have information on inner-city transportation. The friendly staff members speak English. Open daily 7 am-9 pm. Phone 199-30-3060. For up-to-date information on accessibility for trams, buses and the metro, visit http://www.trenitalia.it or http://www.turismoaccessibile.it/trasporti_en.htm.

Facts
Dos & Don'ts
Don't be surprised if you're hugged by the stranger standing next to you when The Blues soccer team scores a goal. Don't expect traffic to stop when you cross the street. Locals appear fearless: Follow them across the street. Do try the street food, particularly arancini (deep-fried risotto balls). Do order a glass of Campania's white wine, which is some of the best in Italy, particularly the Fiano di Avellino D.O.C.G. Don't be surprised if a moped brushes you while walking in the Centro Storico. Do order an entire pizza per person: They are thinner and more delicious than you might think.

Geostats
Passport/Visa Requirements: Citizens of Canada and the U.S. need only a passport. Check travel-document requirements with your carrier before departing. Population: 952,980. Languages: Italian. English is spoken in tourist offices, luxury hotels and many smaller hotels. Predominant Religions: Christian (Roman Catholic).

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Time Zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Voltage Requirements: 110 volts. Telephone Codes: 39, country code; 081,city code;

Money
Currency Exchange
Italy's currency is the euro, and credit cards with the Cirrus symbol are accepted almost anywhere. To change cash and traveler's checks, banks charge a commission of about 3 euros. Post offices charge a fee of 3.13 euros. Exchange rates are generally better at downtown banks and exchanges (ufficio di cambio) than at the airports or hotels. Cambio hours are generally 8:30 am-7:30 pm. At the airport, try to avoid changing more money than you may need to get into town. You'll also find 24-hour automated exchange machines dotting the city for extra convenience. ATMs, called bancomats, are available 24 hours a day outside almost all banks and at many other locations, especially in Chiaia, San Ferdinando and Via Toledo, as well as near the train station. They are the preferred way of getting cash, because they do not usually add the 2.5%-4% fees that credit cards charge for advances. Although ATMs accept foreign debit cards, be aware that many banks charge a fee for foreign withdrawals. Use caution when withdrawing cash near the train station. Try to use ATMs located inside banks; many require you to swipe your debit card and let only one person in at a time, for safety purposes. Bank hours are generally Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-4 pm (with some variation), but some of the larger banks are open throughout the day. In winter, banks often have reduced hours.

Taxes
A value-added-tax (IVA in Italy) ranges 3%-22% and can be refunded to non-European Union visitors. The amount added varies from country to country within the EU, and not all stores participate. Check first or look for the sign in the store window. In addition, only luxury goodssuch as clothing and wineare eligible. Refunds usually amount to about 13%-16% of the purchase price.

Present three things to the refund officer at the airport before departure: your purchase, the receipt and the customs division's stamped refund form (which must be picked up at the place of purchase). Without these, your refund will be denied. Note that only unused articles are eligible for a refund: If the article looks used, you won't get your money back. If everything is in order, the IVA refund officer will give you a final form to be mailed. (Ideally, jump through all these hoops before checking your bags, and have your purchases in an easy-to-reach place.)

Some larger stores have a streamlined process: They handle most of the paperwork and then mail the refund to you, usually minus a fee. Private IVA-refund services, located at the airport, also pay immediately minus a fee, usually a percentage of the refund. The two largest such services are Global Refund and Cashback; you'll see their signs in store windows. For more information, check Global Refund's Web site. It provides information, a tax calculator and a location map, showing its refund offices in 34 countries and all major exit points in Italy (airports, harbors and roads). http://www.globalrefund.com.

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Tipping
Tipping is not mandatory. At times a service charge (servizio) is tacked onto restaurant bills. Don't confuse this with the cover (coperto), which is a charge for bread and table settings. If the service charge is included and you are pleased with the service, leave an additional 5%; if the service charge is not included, leave a 10% tip. Be aware that if you write your tip on the credit card, there is a good chance your waiter won't get the gratuity. It's always best to hand the tip directly to the person for whom it is intended.

Hotel staff typically receive 2.50 euros-5 euros. Tipping in taxis is not obligatory, either, but a tip of 1 euro or so is usually given to the driver.

Weather
May and June are the best times to visit, as far as the weather goes. Spring weather can be quite changeable, especially in March and April, with sunny skies in the morning and storms in the afternoon. April is a good month to beat the crowds and gamble on good weather.

Temperatures often climb above 85 F/30 C in July and August. High humidity (around 85%) causes most locals to flee the city toward the end of summer. Fall remains sunny, with October and November quite mild but sometimes rainy.

September-November is also a nice time to visitthe weather is good for touring, and you'll miss the early-summer crowds. Winters are generally mild, with January lows around 40 F/5 C, but the wind off of the Mediterranean can be chilling, and rain is prevalent.

What to Wear
The streets of Naples may be rough-and-tumble, but that doesn't mean elegant dress is not an art form. As a rule, Italians are very conscious about clothes, and they have a highly developed sense of style. Casual dress is fine for most occasions, but a suit and tie are recommended for business meetings. Jackets for men and smart attire for women are wise for dining out. Wrinkled shirts will be noticed. Shorts are uncommon except in July and August, and bare feet are taboo except at the seaside or swimming pools. Women should be aware that shorts, skirts and tank tops attract stares. When visiting major cathedrals, men should wear long pants and women should wear long skirts or long pants. Sleeveless shirts are not permitted in churches, and shorts are frowned upon. Use a scarf to cover exposed shoulders if no other covering is available.

Communication

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Telephone
Public phones are getting harder and harder to find (cell phones have taken over the country). Most accept only phone cards issued by Telecom Italia, the state-run company. Purchase these at newsstands, tobacconists (marked by a blue or black sign with a large white T), post offices and many bars. Ask for a carta telefonica. Tear the corner off, insert it into the phone and dial away. International calling cards can be purchased at most tobacconists and bars. Most offer about 300 minutes' worth of talk time for 5 euros. Actual cost-per-minute is determined by which country you are calling. Call the switchboard numberlisted on the calling cardfrom any phone and they'll connect you to your desired number.

Cell phone coverage is variable. Don't expect to get any signal whatsoever when inside ancient buildings or ruins. If you are traveling for an extended period of time and would like an Italian number, TIM and Vodafone stores, located throughout the country, sell SIM cards starting at 5 euros. SIM cards are compatible with most unlocked cell phones.

If you're calling a number in Naples from outside Italy, first dial your country's international access code and then Italy's country code, 39, followed by the Naples city code, 081. Within Italy or Naples, you'll need to dial 081 and then the local number. Mobile numbers begin with 3 and have no city code (outside Italy, you still must dial the prefix 39).

Internet Access
Naples does not have many public Wi-Fi zones, and in general, carrying your laptop around the city is not recommended. Many hotels are equipped with Wi-Fi, as are many cafes. Otherwise, use a computer at an Internet point; rates tend to be very reasonable, compared with other Italian cities. Cafe Letterario Liberty A cafe located inside Galleria Principe di Napoli (near Piazza Bellini). The menu includes coffee, pastries and tea. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-6 pm. Free Wi-Fi with purchase, or use the on-site computer. 4 euros per hour. Galleria Principe di Napoli. Naples, Italy. Centro Servizio In a quiet street off Via Benedetto Croce, this Internet point has 13 computers and excellent rates. Open daily 9 am-9 pm. 2 euros per hour. No phone. Via San Sebastiano 44. Naples, Italy.

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Internet Napoli It offers all computer-related services, including Internet, printing, fax and Skype. Monday-Friday 9 am-10 pm. 1.50 euros per hour. Piazza Cavour 146. Naples, Italy. Phone 081-298-877. http://www.internetnapoli.it.

Mail & Package Services


Most tobacconists, in addition to the post office, sell stamps. If you're mailing something important, skip the post office and use a private delivery service. DHL and Mailboxes Etc. have a handful of shops in the city. Poste Italiane All post offices accept international parcels, but packaging requirements apply. Padded envelopes are the safest bet. Boxes should be cleanly wrapped and sealed. Priority mail (posta prioritaria) and express mail (posta celere) have sped up Italy's infamously slow mail. A machine at post office entrances dispenses tickets; don't forget to take a number, or you'll end up waiting forever. If you are mailing a letter or package, press the spedizione button (it will probably have a picture of an envelope next to it). The number on your ticket will have a P beside it. Monday-Friday 8 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 8 am-12:30 pm. Piazza Matteotti (just off Via Toledo). Naples, Italy. Phone 081-4289814. Toll-free 800-003-322 (from outside Italy). http://www.poste.it.

Newspapers & Magazines


Il Messaggero, La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera and Il Tempo are Italian-language dailies that cover metropolitan news. Il Sole 24 Ore is the daily business newspaper.

Popular newsstands in the city center stock the International Herald Tribune, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Financial Times and many international magazines. You will find more British newspapers than American.

Qui Napoli is a monthly publication that includes both English and Italian listings for museums, restaurants, special exhibits and events. It is free of charge and available from tourist offices and most hotels.

Transportation
Naples' transportation is hectic but efficient once you get the hang of it. Trains and trams come in all shapes and sizes, and it's important to distinguish the intercity trams from the intracity. Intracity trains include the Metronapoli and the Funicular. Intercity trains include the Metro Campania (the Metronapoli becomes the Metro Campania outside the city limits), the Circumvesuviana and the Italian national rail service (Trenitalia). Naples' main train station, located in Piazza Garibaldi, is divided into upper and lower levels: Napoli FS, or Napoli Centrale (Naples Central Station), is the upper level. The Piazza Garibaldi station is the lower level, served by local and regional trains, including the Metronapoli, the Metro Campania and the Circumvesuviana. Pay careful attention to which station your train leaves from. We highly recommend giving yourself plenty of time before your scheduled departure. You cannot buy tickets for all trains at the main ticket booths or automated ticket machines in Naples Central Station. Metronapoli, Funicular, Metro Campania and Circumvesuviana tickets are sold elsewhere. Buy Metronapoli, Funicular and Metro Campania tickets at tobacconists in the train station or throughout the city. Unfortunately, these stores' clerks rarely have helpful information on travel times or departure locations, so it is helpful to get information online or from a concierge. Circumvesuviana tickets must be purchased at the Circumvesuviana ticket booths, located on the lower level of the train station. The employees are knowledgeable and usually speak English.

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Air
The city of Naples is served by Naples Capodichino International Airport (NAP), which is located 4 mi/6 km from the city center. Although this sounds close, Naples traffic makes the trip to and from the airport surprisingly long. It is a small airport and easy to navigate. A customer-service booth with English-language information is available in the arrivals area. Open daily 5:30 am-11:30 pm. Disability services are available upon request. For airport information in English or to reserve disability services, call 848-888-777. Most of the information is automated. http://www.gesac.it. Connecting Transportation Best Way: Alibus leaves from in front of arrivals every 20 minutes and costs 3 euros. It stops at Naples Central Station and Piazza Municipio. Buy tickets on the bus. The price includes access to all forms of urban public transportation for 90 minutes. Leaves airport daily 6:30 am-11:30 pm. Leaves for the airport from Piazza Municipio (in front of the castle) and Piazza Garibaldi (in front of McDonald's, next to Naples Central Station) daily 6 am-11:40 pm. Phone 800-639-525. http://www.anm.it. Other Options: Taxis cost 25 euros and take 10-20 minutes (always use official taxis with Comune di Napoli on the side). They shouldn't charge for extra luggage or for late-night service. Taxis are the only way to get to the airport between 11:40 pm-6 am. Phone 081-2222 (centralized service). There is a standard rate from Central Station to the airport for 15.50 euros if arranged by phone. Many major hotels have courtesy vans. Let the concierge know your arrival time and flight details prior to traveling. Branches of major rental car agencies have desks at the airport.

Bus
Several bus lines serve the greater Naples area, and the most important are SITA and CTP. SITA runs direct to destinations along the entire Amalfi Coast. The SITA arrives in Naples at Varco Immacolatella located near Molo Beverello ferry terminal. Phone 081-752-7337. http://www.sitabus.it. CTP runs from Caserta to Naples and arrives at the Naples central train station in Piazza Garibaldi. Phone 800-482-644. http://www.ctpn.it.

Car
If there's one city in Italy that you shouldn't drive in, it's Naples. Road construction, traffic jams, a general disregard for traffic rules and a lack of road signs make it nearly impossible to navigate the city. For excursions, take the train out of the city first, and then rent the car. If you must rent a car, the best place is the airport. There's no shortage of rental agencies, and it's located outside of the city, with highway A1 easily accessible. Driving in Italy is on the right.

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Ferry
Ferry travel is popular because of the proximity of Naples to popular islands. The two major ferry terminals are Molo Beverello, which is the main port, and Mergellina. From Molo Beverello, ferries run to the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Ponza, Ischia, Sardinia and Sicily. Hydrofoils run to Capri, Ischia and Procida. Long-distance ferries also run to Palermo, Cagliari, the Aeolian islands, Tunisia, Croatia and Greece. To get to the terminal from Naples Central Station, catch a bus and get off at the Piazza Municipio stop. Walk three blocks toward the waterfront. Tickets can be purchased onsite or from a multitude of online agencies.

The sweeping port of Mergellina is located on the western side of the city. Ferries and hydrofoils depart for Capri, Ischia and Procida. Take Metro 2 from the central station to the Mergellina station. If arriving from outside the city, Trenitalia trains run directly to Mergellina. Tickets can be purchased on-site or from online agencies. Ferries and hydrofoils run year-round. Most companies allow cars (for a fee), but book in advance, as spaces fill up. Tickets can be purchased through the companies' Web sites or at the ticket windows at the ports. If buying tickets at the port, leave yourself plenty of time, and do your research beforehand; each ferry company has its own window, and prices vary. Credit cards are accepted. Schedules can be found in Qui Napoli. Since schedules change frequently, it is worth buying a copy of Il Mattino (1 euro), a daily paper with the most up-todate schedules.

Public Transportation
Intercity public transportation includes buses, the metro and the Funicular, and one ticket gets you access to all of them. Sold at tobacconists, tickets cost 1.20 euros and are valid for 90 minutes. Validate tickets in the validation machines on the buses or by slipping them through the turnstiles at the stations. If you plan on using public transportation regularly, buy several tickets in advance to save time later: Many tobacconists close in the afternoon and on Sunday. It's important to note that when the metro travels longer distances, you need to purchase more-expensive tickets. Simply tell the tobacconist your destination, and they'll give you the correct ticket. The most common transportation area, which includes all of the urban and suburban area of Naples, is known as Unico Napoli. Day-long tickets for this area, which are valid until midnight on the day of validation, cost 3.60 euros Monday-Friday and 3.00 euros Saturday and Sunday. Make sure to specify which ticket you want when purchasing. There are no weekly passes; monthlong passes cost 40 euros. Popular destinations outside of Unico Napoli are Sorrento, Salerno, Pozzuoli and the Phlegraean Fields. These destinations require different tickets. Tickets are often checked by ticketing agents, so make sure to purchase the right one. All intercity transportation is run by Unico Campania. Phone 081-551-3109. http://www.unicocampania.it. Buses Buses run everywhere in Naples and are usually dependable. Get a route map from the tourist office in the Central Station. The main bus station is located in Piazza Garibaldi, in front of the Central Station. Buses from there go all over the city, as well as to the airport. Buy tickets from the tobacconists inside the station. Buses R2 and 201 take visitors to many major sights and destinations. Beware of pickpockets. We do not recommend taking night buses after 1 am. Daily 24 hours; night buses midnight-6:30 am, running once per hour. . Naples, Italy. Phone 081-551-3109. http://www.unicocampania.it. Funicular These trams take visitors up the steep hillsides in Naples. All trams lead to different parts of the Vomero neighborhood. Strangely isolated, the three Funicular trams are more like elevators than trains, merely running up and down on one track. All stations are easy to locate and save you a lot of huffing and puffing up steep roads and stairs. Daily 6:30 am-midnight. . Naples, Italy. Phone 081-551-3109. http://www.unicocampania.it.

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Metronapoli The metro is the easiest, fastest way to get from one side of the city to the other. There are three lines, Line 1, Line 2 and Line 6. Line 2 originates at the Naples Central Station. Its most popular stops are Cavour, where the National Archaeology Museum is located; Amedeo, in the swank Chiaia neighborhood; and Campi Flegrei (the Phlegraean Fields). The popular stops on Line 1 are Piazza Dante, in the Centro Storico; Vanvitelli, in the Vomero neighborhood; and Cavour. The Cavour stop, which often features modern art, is the only place where Line 1 and Line 2 cross. Daily 6 am-11 pm. . Naples, Italy. Phone 800-568-866. http://www.metro.na.it.

Taxi
Official taxis are white and have Comune di Napoli on the side. Make sure they have meters; however, all fares should be determined beforehand. Shop around, because overcharging is common. Cabdrivers are not accustomed to being hailed and may not stop. Instead, find official stands in piazzas around the city or order by phone: 081-2222 (centralized service), 081-570-7070, 081-556-4444 or 081-0101. Catch a taxi from the Naples Central train station by exiting through the main entrance and going left. Taxis line up at a stand that is organized by an official representative. Fares double when traveling beyond the city limits.

Train
The Italian national rail service is fairly cheap and reliable. Naples's primary station is Napoli Centrale, or Naples Central Station. It has easy-to-use interactive kiosks where travelers can choose a destination, print a ticket and reserve seats on the faster, more-expensive services, such as Eurostar. Most train tickets can be booked online. http://www.trenitalia.it. If you research train times and routes online before arrival, make sure to identify which type of train you need to buy tickets for, and go to the appropriate ticketing location in the station. You cannot buy tickets for the Metro Campania or Circumvesuviana at the automated kiosks or the main Ferrovia ticket booths. Take with you plenty of patience and time. Be sure to validate your ticket using the yellow machines on the platform before boarding a train. We do not recommend leaving luggage in the station's storage area. It often disappears inexplicably and compensation is not offered. Circumvesuviana The Circumvesuviana operates independently of the Italian national rail service and has its own entrance within the Central Station, as well as its own station on Corso Garibaldi. It operates in the area around Mount Vesuvius, including Sorrento, Pompeii and Herculaneum, and it is the most popular way to get to these destinations. When approaching the Central Station, look for a stairway going to the lower level. Turn right and follow the signs to the Circumvesuviana ticketing area. Alternatively, immediately upon entering Naples Central Station, turn right and find the escalators going down. The Circumvesuviana's old entrance on Corso Lucci is permanently closed. Buy tickets at tobacconists or the ticket windows just inside the Circumvesuviana entrance. Tickets cost 1.20 euros-4 euros. . Naples, Italy. Phone 081-772-2444. Tollfree 800-053-939. http://www.vesuviana.it. Metro Campania The extended version of the Metronapoli, these trains leave from the lower level of the Central Station and go to nearby destinations such as Pompeii, Salerno, Caserta, Sorrento, Pozzuoli and Campi Flegrei. Look for television screens showing times and destinations. There are four tracks, and finding the right track can be tricky, because there aren't ticketing booths dedicated to Metro Campania. Tickets must be bought at tobacconists, which are located in the station and throughout the city. Train destinations are shown on marquees beside the tracks. Ticket prices vary depending on your destination. . Naples, Italy. Toll-free 800-053-939. http://www.metrocampanianordest.it.

For More Information


The most comprehensive and helpful official tourist office is located inside Naples Central Station, near track 22. Maps, brochures, the Campania Artecard and current event listings are offered. Ask for Qui Napoli, a bimonthly publication published by the Naples Tourism Board focusing on tourist sights, museums, nightlife and events. Other tourist offices are located in Piazza del Gesu and Piazza del Plebiscito. Open daily 9 am-7 pm. Phone 081-551-2701. http://www.regione.campania.it or http://www.incampania.com.

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Tourist Offices
Azienda Autonoma di Cura Soggiorno e Turismo di Napoli Provides maps and helpful information in English about events and sightseeing. Daily 9 am-6 pm. Inside the Naples Central Station, near track 24. Naples, Italy. Phone 081-402-394. http://www.inaples.it.

Events
Calendar
The Mostre d'Oltremare hosts many events throughout the year, including concerts and conventions. http://www.mostradoltremare.it. In May, the city of Naples transforms into an art gallery for Maggio dei Monumenti (Monuments in May). Throughout the month, monuments that are generally closed open to the public, and private art collections are put on display. Schedules are available in tourist offices. Of note are the Catacombs of San Severo, which are closed year-round except for weekends in May. Entrance is free. Piazzetta San Severo a Capodimonte. Call to arrange a visit. Phone 081-744-3714. http://www.catacombedinapoli.it. The annual Rolex Capri Sailing Week takes place the last week of May, too. The Miracle of the Liquefaction of San Gennaro's blood takes place the first Saturday in May and 19 September, in the Duomo. San Gennaro was beheaded in the year AD 305. His skeleton and blood rest in a chapel beside the Duomo. During the event, his blood allegedly liquefies. Legend has it that the miracle occurs only when there are no impending disasters. A procession through the Centro Storico precedes a Mass; afterward, the area around the Duomo turns into a small festival, with food vendors and celebration. In September, the birthplace of pizza holds a celebration. Pizzaioli (pizza makers) sell their creations, and demonstrations give a glimpse into the art of the pizza. During the Christmas holidays, Piazza del Plebiscito displays works by famous contemporary artists. For detailed information about upcoming events in the Naples area, contact the Naples Tourist Board. http://www.inaples.it or http://www.regione.campania.it. Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.

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Rome
Overview
Introduction
Rome, Italy, seems to have its own gravitational pull, attracting not only millions of tourists each year, but also the most creative artists and thinkers of every era. All that surrounds a visitor in Romethe stunning art and architecture, the terrible traffic, the grandeur of scale and the lively (almost hyperanimated) citizensguarantees an unforgettable trip. Known as "The Eternal City," Rome is a supreme palimpsest. The ruins of pagan temples have become the foundations of Christian churches, ancient theaters have been made into medieval family fortresses, and Corinthian columns support new walls. The ages are layered, one atop the other, but the flow of Roman life is ever forward, with a respect for its glorious past. Rome wasn't built in a day, so don't expect to see it in one. The historic center alone could Detail of the Colosseum, Rome absorb a week: the Michelangelo-designed Campidoglio, the Pantheon, the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, as well as the nearby Colosseum and Baths of Caracalla. The basilicas take a little longer because they are spread throughout the city. If it's Rome's views you're after, climb up into the dome of St. Peter's or admire the panorama from the top of the Spanish Steps (better yet, from the Pincio Gardens above it) at sunset. Or survey the Forum at night from the Capitoline. Bustling, beautiful Rome, sprawling among its seven hills, is fascinating for both its ancient and its modern wonders. Of course, not everyone immediately loves Rome: Some dislike the city's untidiness and seeming disorganization. But give la citta eterna a chance to charm or else risk missing something magnificent.

Highlights
SightsThe ancient Forums, the Palatine Hill, Trajan's Markets, Piazza del Campidoglio and Colosseo (the Colosseum); Basilica di San Pietro; the fountains of Piazza Navona; the Spanish Steps; the Pantheon; Trevi Fountain; Circo Massimo; the catacombs and monuments along the ancient Appian Way; Piazza del Popolo and the Pincio Gardens above it; Castel Sant'Angelo. MuseumsThe Musei Vaticani and the Sistine Chapel; sculptures, frescoes and the Tabularium of the Musei Capitolini; phenomenal art at the Museo e Galleria Borghese; the privately owned Galleria Doria Pamphilj; the unique paintings in Palazzo Barberini; the modern works at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna; the Etruscan treasures at the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia; history's layers at the Museo Nazionale RomanoCrypta Balbi. Memorable MealsLinguine with lobster sauce followed by baked turbot at Ristorante da Vincenzo; Mediterranean sushi at F.I.S.H.; fried fillet of codfish with zucchini flowers and artichokes guida at Piperno; sliced, aged beef with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese at Da Tullio; brusque service and celebrities in the Spartan Pizzeria Panattoni "Ai Marmi"; nouvelle cuisine at L'Antico Arco, atop the Gianicolo Hill; wandering the ancient streets with slices from any pizzeria al taglio (takeaway); a picnic from the gourmet deli Volpetti. Late NightFine jazz at Alexanderplatz; kitsch at Jonathan's Angels; a quiet drink at the swanky Antico Caffe della Pace; dancing at Zoobar or other Testaccio hot spots; late-night vistas from atop the Gianicolo Hill, at the electric Piazza Navona or while walking from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. WalksA leisurely walk from the top of the Spanish Steps to the Pincio Gardens at dusk; a daytime walk through the outdoor market at Campo dei Fiori; an excursion from the Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon before or after dinner; a nighttime trek to view the Colosseum and the ruins of the Forums beautifully illuminated; a midnight adventure through the medieval streets of Trastevere; a stroll in the picturesque open spaces of Villa Borghese and Villa Pamphilj. Especially for KidsA visit to the Museo della Civilta Romana; the Bioparco zoo in Villa Borghese and its Children's Farm; the Explora

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Children's Museum; go-karts on the Pincio; climbing the dome of St. Peter's; sticking your hand in La Bocca della Vertia (the Mouth of Truth) at Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin; searching for animals and other hidden pictures on fountains and monuments; indulging in gelato and pizza.

Geography
For urban planners and traffic managers, Rome is a headache. Streets originally designed for horses now have to accommodate SUVs. Fortunately, visitors need only focus on navigating the city, not solving its traffic problems. The city's historic center is the Centro Storicoit's on the left bank (east side) of the Tiber River (called the Tevere in Italian), and home to the original seven hills. The ancient political, spiritual and commercial heart of this area is the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) and the adjacent Foro Romano (Roman Forum). Nearby are the most important monuments of ancient Rome, including Trajan's Markets, the Imperial Forum, the Colosseum and the Arches of Constantine, Septimus Severus and Titus. To the south are Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus and, a bit farther, the Baths of Caracalla, the Appian Way and the Christian catacombs. The city's main piazzas are also helpful for orientation. Piazza Venezia and the adjoining Piazza Campidoglio are just northwest of the Roman Forum, and Piazza Navona is still farther northwest. Piazza del Popolo is on the western edge of Villa Borghese, a large park northeast of the Centro Storico. Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps are just south of Piazza del Popolo. Connecting Via del Popolo and Piazza Venezia is Via del Corso, the city's main street. On the right (west) bank of the Tiber, west of the Centro Storico, is Vatican City. To the south of the Vatican are Villa Doria Pamphilj and Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill). The medieval neighborhood of Trastevere (literally, "across the Tiber") is between the Gianicolo and the river, nestled in the westward bend of the river across from Isola Tiberina, an island in the Tiber. On the east side of Tiberina is the old Jewish ghetto, which contains one of the largest synagogues in Europe along with some of the best restaurants serving traditional Roman fare.

History
Rome is nicknamed The Eternal City not merely for surviving almost 3,000 years but for retaining political, religious and artistic significance throughout that time. Legend has it that Rome was founded by Romulus in 753 BC, but archaeologists have found evidence of a much earlier Etruscan settlement. Fact and myth are difficult to untangle, but it's clear that Rome was already the major power in Latium by the time of the Republic's foundation in 509 BC. By the first century AD, Rome was dominating the Mediterranean through military conquest, cunning diplomacy and innovative political organization. During the period of the late Republic, Julius Caesar and other generals extended the boundaries and glory of Rome, while simultaneously destroying its principles of government. The Roman Empire followed, remaining a heavyweight power for hundreds of years. Initially, literature flourished with great writers such as Cicero, Virgil, Catullus and Ovid. As the arts bloomed, however, the political structure crumbled. Squabbles and coupsas well as increased debaucheryeventually led to the Empire's division and fall. In the first century AD, the apostles Peter and Paul arrived in Rome to proselytize, but they were martyred, along with hundreds of other Christians. Persecutions continued, on and off, until the Emperor Constantine legalized the faith in AD 312. The first Christian emperor also gave the Catholic Church temporal powers, beginning the papal state, which continued until the end of the 19th century (with occasional periods of foreign occupation). Papal coffers funded the projects of Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini, the University of Rome and much of the city's infrastructureas well as the infamous inquisitions, beginning in the 12th century. Benito Mussolini descended on Rome in 1922 and formed the world's first fascist government. When World War II broke out, the nation allied itself with Nazi Germany, but the Partigiani (Resistance) soon convinced most Italians to support the Allies. Rome's open-city status spared it from the destruction of bombing but did little to stop the massacres and pillaging by the Germans. American troops liberated Rome on 4 June 1944, yet the city and country were destitute. The 1950s economic boom revived both, triggering the dolce vita, era of glamour. The capital steadily grew in cultural and political power. The city had a makeover for the Vatican's 2000 jubilee and now has a revitalized urban plan, improved infrastructure and massive restoration projects under way. Rome continues to bloom with art, architecture, culture, tourism and fine living.

Potpourri
The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed on 17 March 1861, but it was not finally unified until 1870.

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The calendar we use today is more than 2,000 years old and was started by Julius Caesar. The month of July is, in fact, named after the emperor himself. Italy celebrates 1 May as a national holiday, akin to the U.S. Labor Day; during this time, Rome hosts numerous music concerts, and international celebrities congregate in the city. The games held to mark the inauguration of the Colosseum lasted for 100 days and nights, during which more than 5,000 animals were killed. The historical center of Rome was constantly flooded by the Tiber River until retaining walls were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since then, the river has flooded the city only once, in 1937. It came within a few feet/meters of flooding the city center again in early 2009. Italian children do not receive gifts only from Santa Claus. Until the last decade or so, Italian children primarily received presents from the Befana witch on the eve of 6 January, which is Epiphany or Twelfth Night. The tradition traces to pre-Christian times. Befana leaves a lump of coal (mostly candy shaped as coal) since no children are thought to have been good all year. Romans have traditionally used "talking statues" to voice their opposition to corruption and abuses by tacking notes onto statues on busy streets. Although the practice has been largely abandoned, four important talking statues remain: The Pasquino (Piazza Pasquino), Marforio (Capitoline Museums), Babuino (Via Babuino) and Il Facchino (Via Lata). Romans are among the most superstitious Italians. When Romans see a nun, they immediately touch iron to ward off bad luck; bird excrement on the shoe and hearing a cat sneeze are considered signs of good luck. In a restaurant, pouring from a bottle with your hand on the bottom, or failing to look your companion in the eye while clinking glasses together for a toast are both said to bring bad luck.

Hotel Overview
Rome is a popular international business and vacation spot. Its accommodations cover every category, from small family-style pensions and bed-and-breakfasts to international luxury hotels. Most hotels are located in the city center or near the airport. Hotels near the Forum and in Trastevere tend to be noisy at night, and although the area near Termini station is cheap and convenient, it's not completely safe at night. For charm and convenience, look in the Navona-Pantheon areas. Younger visitors may prefer funky Monti or chic Trastevere.

See & Do
Sightseeing
Rome is a great open-air museum with a high concentration of monuments, churches and artwork, enmeshed in a modern city with a lot of fast cars, mopeds and people strolling around in very stylish shoes. Even the smallest courtyard hidden in the narrowest street may hold a tiny, wonderful detaila decorated sidewalk or a stray column, fresco or fountain. To get the most out of your visit, you'll need to walk (but we recommend you wear comfortable shoes). Before setting off, stop by one of the information kiosks that dispense maps, brochures and advice in several languages. Start in the historic heart of the city, called the Centro Storico. That's where you'll find the Imperial Forums, including the Roman Forum, Trajan's Column and Markets, and the Palatine Hill. Nearby are the Arch of Constantine, the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus. Then detour a bit to visit the palaces around Piazza del Campidoglio, which contain the Capitoline Museums. On another day, explore the area between the Forums and Piazza del Popolo: You'll pass the facades of noble palaces and churches and stroll through elegant squares. Along the way, be sure to turn off the Via del Corso to visit the Pantheon to the west and the Trevi Fountain to the east. Once you reach Piazza del Popolo, take time to enjoy the green expanse of the Pincio Gardens. The nearby Villa Borghese is home not only to umbrella pines but also to three world-class museums: Galleria Borghese, Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna and Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia. World-famous examples of Christian and pre-Christian art and architecture are contained in St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums in Vatican City. The medieval district of Trastevere, across the river from the oldest part of Rome, has one of the oldest churches in

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Christendom, Santa Maria in Trastevere. But it's also a great place to stroll, dine or shop, especially at night, when the bohemian streets come alive. Back across the river, on the left bank, the Jewish Ghetto is another medieval area full of ambience. If time permits, you can also visit the Catacombs of San Sebastiano or San Callisto or, invariably, one more church. Be forewarned: Hours of admission for museums and historic sites sometimes change without notice. To save yourself stress, call to check times or reserve a time slot for something that is important to you. Booking at the Vatican Museums can save hours in waiting time, and reservations are compulsory at the Galleria Borghese. Women must have their shoulders covered and men must have their knees covered to enter churches. As a rule, most churches are open in the morning, close around 12:30 pm for lunch and reopen at 3:30 pm. Keep these guidelines in mind and you'll avoid the dreaded chiuso (closed) sign. One way to make planning easier is to use a ticket broker that specializes in booking museums and historic sites. Pierreci books visits to museums and guided tours to landmarks in the city (phone 06-3996-7700 Monday-Friday 9 am-1 pm and 2-6 pm; http://www.pierreci.it). Ticketeria books tickets to museums and landmarks as well (phone 06-32810 Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday 9 am-1 pm; http://www.ticketeria.it). Whether you book by phone or over the Internet, get a confirmation number for your reservation and take it with you. You will be charged a booking fee, but it's worth it for the convenience. The city of Rome has a wide selection of passes that offer discounts on admission to many of the most popular historic sites, museums and galleries. The Roma Pass is the most popular option: 25 euros gets you free admission to two sites (including the Colosseum, with the added benefit of getting to skip the long line), three-day public transportation passes and reduced rates at subsequent sites. Purchase passes at tourist offices, most participating museums and galleries or online at http://www.romapass.it.

Historic Sites
Arch of Constantine On this triple triumphal arch immediately outside the Colosseum, sculptural friezes commemorate the first Christian emperor's important military victory over Maxentius in AD 312. Many of the sculptures and medallions were taken from earlier monuments. The arch stands at the west side of the Colosseum, where the piazza meets Via di San Gregorio VII. Excavations have uncovered parts of the early Flavian wall, which are visible from the piazza. Basilica di San Clemente This Irish Dominican church is a microcosm of Rome, with the many layers of Roman history visible in its structure. At street level is a 12th-century church with Renaissance and baroque additions. Below are excavations of a fourth-century basilica, atop a Roman house from Nero's era and a Mithraic temple from the first century BC. The church also has magnificent mosaics, frescoes and pavements. All in all, it illustrates the evolution of Christian art between the first and 19th centuries. The enclosed medieval courtyard is a quiet oasis from the roaring traffic outside. The church is open Monday-Saturday 9 am-12:30 pm and 3-6 pm, Sunday noon-6 pm. Enter the street-level church for free, but a visit to the lower levels costs 5 euros.
Piazza di San Clemente on Via di San Giovanni (around the corner from the Colosseum) Rome, Italy 184 Phone: 06-774-0021 http://www.basilicasanclemente.com

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Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano Saint John Lateran holds the distinction of being Rome's cathedral, as well as the oldest of the city's four major basilicas. The churchsaid to have been founded in 313 by Emperor Constantine the Greathas, of course, been rebuilt many times over the centuries, but its fourth-century floor plan is still honored. As the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the church contains the papal throne, and it ranks above all other churcheseven above St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano (east of the Colosseum) Rome, Italy

Borromini is responsible for much of the interior visible today; the coffered, carved and painted ceiling and the Cosmati mosaic floors are spectacular. Outside, the octagonal baptistery dates from the fourth century. The famous Scala Sancta (sacred steps) are also at this piazza. Some, who still venerate it as the staircase from Pilate's house that Jesus ascended, climb it on their knees, praying at each step. All that remains of the 16th-century Lateran Palace, residence of the popes until 1377, is the staircase and the papal chapel, with precious 13th-century frescoes, at its top. The cloister, all that's left of the Benedictine monastery that serviced the basilica, is also open to the public. The basilica is open daily 7 am-6:30 pm. The cloister is open 9 am-6 pm. The baptistery is open 7 am-12:30 pm and 4-7:30 pm. The Scala Sancta is open 6:15 am-noon and again 3-6:15 pm (3:30-6:45 pm April-September). Admission is free for the basilica and the Scala Sancta (although a donation is expected for those who wish to climb the sacred stairs on their knees), 2 euros for the cloister. Call for a guided tour, available Monday-Friday 9 am-1 pm.

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Basilica di San Pietro As the spiritual center of the Catholic Church, St. Peter's is the ultimate destination for Catholic pilgrims, but it also draws visitors with its masterpieces of art and architecture. Most noticeableat least from a distanceis the dome, designed by Michelangelo, which is the world's second largest. An outer shell protects the gold-encrusted interior dome. Between the shell and the dome is a spiraling walkway that guests can climb to the cupola, which overlooks Rome and Vatican City. Walk the whole way or take an elevator to the terrace, which is lined with statues of Jesus, the apostles and other saints. The tight, slanting stairway that ascends from there is not for the claustrophobic but definitely worth the effort.
Piazza San Pietro (metro: Ottaviano-San Pietro) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-6988-2350 for the Prefettura http://www.vatican.va

Another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pieta, lies behind bulletproof glass in the basilica. Perhaps appropriately for its subject matter, it seems quite smalljust as most visitors feel in this massive structure. Also noteworthy are the tomb of Clement XIII by Canovathe sculpted lions almost roarand a stunning mosaic by Giotto in the grottoes on the lower level. Much of the artistic glory belongs to architect-sculptor Bernini: He designed the huge semicircular colonnades that surround the piazza in front of the basilicathey reach out like two arms to envelop visitorsand the gilt bronze baldachin, a canopy on tall pillars, which he placed over the papal altar. Don't miss his other works: the breathtaking Throne of St. Peter in Glory, with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove surrounded by angels and gilded rays of light; the tabernacle made of gold, silver and lapis in the prayer room; the equestrian statue of Constantine to the right of the front portico; and the flamboyant monument to Pope Alexander VIIthe skeleton as a symbol of death may be a bit much, but the marble "fabric" draped over it seems so real, you expect it to rustle. Free English-language tours of the Basilica are offered Monday-Friday at 9:45 am and 2:15 pm. Meet in the information office to the left of the Basilica; tours cannot be reserved, so it is advisable to arrive early. Alternatively, the audio guide is very helpful (available at the information desk to the right of the portico's entrance for 5 euros). When the pope is in residence, he blesses the crowds in Piazza San Pietro at noon on Sunday. With a little planning, it's also possible to attend a papal audience, held Wednesday at 10:30 am in Piazza San Pietro (or in the Paul VI Audience Hall in the winter). Order free tickets in writing, well in advance (fax 06-6988-5863) for reserved seating. Pick up tickets at the Bronze Door, to the right of Basilica San Pietro. It is best to be in line two hours ahead of the audience to beat the school and tour groups. Standing-room-only access is open on a first-come, first-served basis and is rarely filled, except on special occasions such as Easter and Christmas. Contact your local Catholic priest for more information. The church remains closed during the audience. Make a separate reservation to visit the Scavi, the excavations of a remarkably intact necropolis underneath St. Peter's. They contain a firstcentury street with tombs, including the possible burial place of St. Peter himself. The site lies below the basement crypt of the popes. Currently only a few 90-minute tours run each day, but it's worth trying to reserve a spot. Apply in person or in writing to the Ufficio Scavi at the Arco delle Campane (Arch of the Bells), to the left of the basilica. The Swiss Guards can direct visitors to the office, which is open Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm. Requests may also be faxed to 06-6987-3017. Tickets are 12 euros (children younger than 16 are not admitted). Phone 06-6988-5318 for more information (reservations cannot be made by phone). The dress code for all indoor areas at the Vatican is strictly enforced: Both men and women must have their knees and shoulders covered (men should wear long pants). Switch off your mobile phones, and expect strict security controls (including metal detectors) and long lines. The basilica is open daily 7 am-7 pm (6 pm in winter). Mass is held by visiting priests Monday-Saturday at 8:30, 10 and 11:30 am, and noon and 5 pm, and on Sunday at 9, 10:30 and 11 am, and 12:15, 1, 4 and 5:45 pm. Admission to the basilica is free; ascending to the dome is 5 euros by foot or 7 euros for the elevator to the terrace. Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere This 12th-century church, built over a third-century basilica, is believed to be Rome's oldest dedicated Catholic Church (the first in which Mass was openly celebrated) and the first dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It has been adorned with stunning mosaics, 22 Ionic columns taken from the Terme di Caracalla, frescoes and entire chapels from several centuries. The medieval gold mosaic apse depicting the life of the Virgin is particularly impressive.
Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere Rome, Italy

Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-8:15 pm, later on religious holidays. The church is closed to visitors during services.

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Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore As one of Rome's four major basilicas, this one, between Piazza della Repubblica and Saint John Lateran, deserves a look. The original structure dates from the fourth century and is still very visible, but it has had many transformations and additions, including a glorious gold coffered ceiling (made with the first gold shipped over from the New World), 13th-century mosaics and two splendid chapels: Paolina (for Pope Paul V) and Sforza (designed by Michelangelo). It also houses Gian Lorenzo Bernini's tomb, located to the right near the altar. Daily 7 am-7 pm, later on religious holidays. Audio guide 5 euros. Castel Sant'Angelo This round fortress rises over the banks of the Tiber, a cannonball's shot from the Vatican. Emperor Hadrian built it as his mausoleum between AD 135 and 139. Later it became a papal stronghold, linked since 1277 to the Vatican by a concealed passageway (the passetto) in the defensive walls. Strolling around its many levels, ages and stagesboth dark and gloriousis fun and informative. The site also includes an interesting museum and a lovely park, which often hosts fairs and exhibitions. The fortifications are famous as the setting for the third act of Puccini's Tosca, in which the heroine throws herself over the parapet.
Lungotevere Castello 50 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-681-9111 http://www.castelsantangelo.com Via Liberiana 27 (at Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore) Rome, Italy

Open daily except Monday 9 am-6:30 pm. Admission fee is 8 euros. Guided tours are available upon request. Catacombs of San Callisto These five floors of intricate passageways were the first official cemetery of the Roman church between the second and eighth centuries. Guided tours include a look at early Christian frescoes and imagery (but no bonesthe remains were either stolen or long since transferred to the Pantheon). Open daily except Wednesday 9 am-noon and 2-5 pm. Closed February. 8 euros.
Via Appia Antica 110 (take Bus 218 from Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, a 15minute ride, or Bus 118 from Circo Massimo) Rome, Italy http://www.catacombe.roma.it

Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin This basilica is famous for La Bocca della Verita (the Mouth of Truth). Once a Roman sewer cover, this huge marble disk is now embedded in the portico wall of the church. According to tradition, the mouth will bite off a liar's hand, but it's more likely that, in medieval times, a man with a sword on the other side helped the "miracle" along. The church itself is often overlooked, but its early medieval architecture, frescoes, mosaic floors and Masonic imagery are well worth a look. Daily 9:30 am-4:50 pm. Chiesa di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Rome's only significant Gothic church (the facade dates from Renaissance times), this was built Piazza della Minerva (near the Pantheon) on top of a Roman temple to the goddess of wisdom. Inside, stunning lapis-and-gold ceiling Rome, Italy mosaics glimmer between its intersecting Gothic arches. The interior shelters the tomb of St. http://www.basilicaminerva.it Catherine of Siena and The Risen Christ statue by Michelangelo. Many other artistic treasures are difficult to see in the dim lighting, so take a couple of 0.50-euro coins for the timed lights (one coin buys one minute of visibility). Bernini's playful elephant sculpture, which holds up Rome's smallest obelisk, is the centerpiece of the piazza outside. Monday-Friday 7 am-7 pm, Saturday 7 am-1 pm and 3:30-7 pm, Sunday 8 am-1 pm and 3:30-7 pm.
Piazza della Bocca della Verita 18 (between the Circo Massimo and the Tiber) Rome, Italy

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Chiesa di Sant'Andrea al Quirinale After you've seen the splash Bernini made at St. Peter's, stop at this church to see what he Via del Quirinale 29 could achieve on a smaller scale (Bernini considered it his only perfect work). It's an oval Rome, Italy structure with the altar on the long side, close to every seat. The martyred St. Andrew, who appears in the painted altarpiece and in a stucco sculpture above it, seems to look up toward the symbol of the Holy Spirit. The daylight streaming through the clerestory windows plays off the gilding, making the dome glow. Open daily except Tuesday 8:30 am-noon and 3:30-7 pm, Sunday 9 am-noon and 4-7 pm (usually closed in August). Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola Jesuits commissioned this church at the height of the baroque period, but their funds were exhausted before the dome's completion. Instead, they painted the ceilings with striking trompe l'oeil, inducing centuries of neck-strain as visitors gape. Andrea Pozzo's Triumph of St. Ignatius is a triumph of light and perspective, creating a perfect two-dimensional impression of a dome.
Piazza de Sant'Ignazio on Via del Seminario Rome, Italy

Monday-Saturday 7:30 am-7 pm, Sunday 8 am-6 pm with the exclusion of when masses are being held (11:30 am daily and 6 pm MondaySaturday. Chiesa Santa Maria della Concezione de Cappuccini Don't miss the church itself (which is technically called Santa Maria Immacolata), with its painting of St. Michael and the devil, but the big draw there is the adjoining crypts. The five rooms are filled with intricate ornamentation, mosaics and sculptures, all made with the bones of Capuchin friars who served the church over the centuries. It's a spooky but fascinating sight. Open daily except Thursday 9 am-noon and 3-6 pm. A voluntary contribution is requested (1 or 2 euros per person is adequate). Circo Massimo The Circus Maximus was built in 600 BC. One of the largest structures ever dedicated to Between Palatine and Aventine hills entertainment, it could hold an audience of 385,000. The long, oval field hosted chariot races Rome, Italy and contests between gladiators and wild beasts. Today, with the exception of some crumbling ruins at the south end, all that remains is a large parkthe ancient track now trod only by joggers and courting couplesso you'll have to use your imagination and recollections of Ben Hur to piece it back together. It is still occasionally used for large concerts and important political protests. The Palatine Hill provides an emperor's-eye view of the flower- and trash-strewn ruin. Colosseo Originally called the Flavian Amphitheater and the site of gladiatorial combat, the Colosseum is the most frequently evoked symbol of Rome. Begun in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian, it was finished eight years later by his son Titus and could seat 80,000 spectators. Unfortunately, various popes quarried its marble, so this majestic building is more dilapidated than it should be. Even so, its size and history are still quite breathtaking. Underground dungeons opened to visitors for the first time in October 2010, and an upper area that had been closed since the 1970s reopened. Plays, concerts and demonstrations are staged in and around the Colosseum throughout the year.
At the southern end of Via dei Fori Imperiali Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3996-7700 http://www.pierreci.it/it/musei-emonumenti/colosseo.aspx Via Veneto 27 Rome, Italy http://www.cappucciniviaveneto.it

Daily 8:30 am till one hour before sunset. Tours in English (45 minutes long, five tours offered daily), audio tours and guided archaeological tours are available. 5 euros guided tour, 5.50 euros audio tour. Admission 12 euros (the same ticket gains you entrance to a small museum, as well as to the nearby Palatine Hillsave time by buying the ticket there), with an additional 1.50 euros for preregistration (skip the long line).

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Foro di Traiano Trajan's Markets, Forum and Column are part of the Imperial forums, now separated from the Via IV Novembre 94 (the entrance is Roman Forum by the intrusive Via dei Fori Imperiali. The unmistakable semicircular shape of north of the column) the markets was determined by Quirinal Hill, which was cut away so that the emperor could Rome, Italy build his complex near the Roman Forum. Trajan's Column marks the height of the original hill; its scrolling friezes tell of his victories over the Dacians (in modern-day Romania). Visitors are http://en.mercatiditraiano.it allowed to roam the ancient street of the forum. An exhibit hall inside the forum has regular art exhibits, many dealing with Imperial Rome. Nearby forums include the Forum of Nerva, the Forum of Julius Caesar and the Forum of Augustus. Open daily except Monday 9 am-7 pm. 11 euros, or 12 euros for reserved tickets. Online booking through. Foro Romano Once the political and religious epicenter of the Western world, the Forum today appears as fragmented columns and ancient streets. However, even in ruins, it's a testament to Roman and, indeed, all Western civilization. The best view is from the Capitoline at night, thanks to the skillfully placed lighting. Within the Forum are the Sacred Way, the Via Trionfale (an avenue where victorious generals paraded with their soldiers and prisoners) and the ancient Senate House, among a great clutter of basilicas, temples, monuments, arches and stray cats. On the south side of the Forum is the Palatine Museum.
Largo Romolo e Remo and Via dei Foro Imperiali Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3996-7700 http://www.pierreci.it/it/musei-emonumenti/foro-romano.aspx

The ruins are open daily 8:30 am until one hour before sunset. Audio tours are available for 5 euros. Nightly tours are offered June to mid-September (check dates at the information desks and ask for "Roma sotto stelle," or "Rome under the stars"). Combination ticket with the Palatino and the Colosseum 12 euros. Palatino Hill and Museo The Palatine Hill was the site of aristocratic residences for centuries. Among the ruins of private palaces, such as the Domus Augustana and the House of Livia, a garden offers shady nooks and spectacular views of the Circus Maximus below. The little museum at the top houses mainly local archaeological finds. A vaulted cavern, discovered in November 2007 when a camera was lowered through a hole in the hill, is believed by some scientists to be a shrine of the Lupercale, the sacred cave where Romulus and Remus are said to have been suckled by a wolf. Daily 8:30 am-6:15 pm. A one-hour English tour departs at noon (4 euros). Admission of 12 euros also applies to the Colosseum and the Forum (the ticket kiosk lines are usually shorter at Palatine Hill). Piazza del Campidoglio The historic, spiritual and political center of the city, this hilltop was long known as caput mundi, the head of the world. On this spot, Petrarch was crowned poet laureate, Cola di Rienzo was lynched and, according to legend, Romulus killed his brother Remus. The founding twins are commemorated in a happier moment: A bronze statue shows them as foundling infants suckling a she-wolf (this mythological image is the city's crest). The star in the center of the plaza is the point from which distances to Rome are measured.
On Capitoline Hill (behind Piazza Venezia and the Vittoriano Monument) Rome, Italy 186 http://www.pierreci.it Via di San Gregario 30 (near the Arch of Titus in the forum) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3996-7700 http://www.pierreci.it/it/musei-emonumenti/palatino-e-museopalatino.aspx

Michelangelo designed the current piazza and its monumental approach in 1536, although he only lived long enough to see the Cordonata staircase finished. Many consider the site to be the ideal embodiment of Renaissance architecture, blended with elements of ancient Rome. Guarding the entrance to the piazza are gigantic statues of Castor and Pollux. The circular star set in the pavement focuses attention on the gilded bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius (a copythe adjacent Capitoline Museums display the original). From the church perched above the piazza, Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, you can get a good view of Rome, and on the road to the right (south) side of the piazza, you'll find one of the best views of the Forum. The plaza also houses the Musei Capitolini.

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Piazza del Popolo This vast, well-designed square greeted 18th-century travelers from the north, together with the North of the Spanish Steps, near Villa Porto del Popolo (the arched gateway leading into the piazza). Today, it borders a popular Borghese shopping area. Three major arteries extend from the piazza, giving the area its name, the Rome, Italy 187 Tridente. An Egyptian obelisk and a lion fountain stand in the piazza's center. At one end are two baroque churches that seem to match, though a close inspection reveals one to have a round dome and the other, oval. At the other end is a third church, Santa Maria del Popolo, which contains masterpieces representing the full range of the Renaissance: frescoes by Pinturicchio, two remarkable paintings by Caravaggio and the dramatic marble statue Daniel and the Lion, by Bernini. Piazza Navona Once the Emperor Domitian's athletic stadium, this lively piazza retains its distinctive shape. Just west of the Pantheon Terra-cotta and ocher-stucco buildings flank Borromini's baroque church dedicated to St. Rome, Italy Agnes, whose skull is displayed in a small chapel in the back. The star attraction, however, is Bernini's legendary Fountain of the Four Rivers, with its colossal marble figuresrepresenting the Danube, the Nile, the Ganges and the Rio de la Platathat writhe and twist, and his Fountain of the Moor. A third fountain has a 19thcentury rendering of Neptune. The ancient Romans flooded the square and held mock naval battles there. Today, the Piazza Navona is drier but still entertaining: It's the perfect spot for eating gelato, drinking a negrito (a typical Roman cocktail) and people-watching. Street artists, clowns, toy peddlers and vendors crowd the cobblestones. During the Christmas season, there's a fair with numerous stalls dedicated to La Befana, the Italian Christmas witch. Piazza Venezia and the Vittoriano This huge, bustling square unites the city's main arteries. The traffic jam is framed by Palazzo At the south end of Via del Corso, just Venezia (from the balcony, Mussolini harangued the crowds below), Palazzo San Marco and north of the Roman Forum the much-maligned Vittoriano Monument. Because the city is building a third underground line Rome, Italy among the buried ruins, you are likely to encounter construction in and around the piazza. The Piazza Venezia subway station is scheduled to open by 2015 and will house many Roman http://www.060608.it/it/cultura-eartifacts found during the construction. The multistoried memorial to the Unknown Soldier and svago/beni-culturali/sediItaly's first king, Vittorio Emanuele II (inaugurated in 1911), houses a museum of the espositive/complesso-del-vittoriano.html Risorgimentothe Italian unification movement. Popularly known as the Wedding Cake, the frilly marble edifice is open to the public. The higher levels and cafe terrace offer great views of the city (considered the bestthey're the only vistas that don't include the Vittoriano itself). Near the cafe is the entrance to a glass elevator takes visitors to the highest rooftop for an even better view. A tourist information office is housed around the left side (as you face the front of the monument). Monday-Thursday 9:30 am-5:45 pm, Friday-Sunday 9:30 am-6:45 pm. Free. Elevator 7 euros. Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna The piazza is the heart of Rome's most fashionable shopping area, familiar to residents and The Piazza is found south of Piazza del visitors alike because of its grand and distinctive steps. They're a greatif crowdedplace to Popolo, at the southern cusp of Villa rest and watch street musicians, vendors, lovers and other tourists. Young people gather there Borghese to see and be seen, chatting in groups or on their ubiquitous telefonini (cell phones). The Rome, Italy spectacle is most impressive in spring, when brilliant azaleas line the steps. At the base sits a fountain by Bernini (father and son), and the house (now museum) of 19th-century poet John Keats overlooks the steps. At the top there's a grand view of the city and just to the right, you will find Palazzetto Zuccari (Via Gregoriana 28), known as The House of Monsters because of the sculptures that adorn the facade.

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Terme di Caracalla The ruins of these baths evoke the majesty of ancient times, when Romans bathed, lifted weights, wrestled, had massages and socialized there in baths and saunas. Guided tours explain the extensive, sophisticated heating and plumbing systems, as well as the social function of the vast complex. Call to make a reservation. You can also wander through the beautiful gardens surrounding the ruins.
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 52 Rome, Italy

Open Monday 9 am-2 pm, Tuesday-Sunday 9 am till one hour before sunset. The ticket office shuts down an hour before closing. A ticket costs 6 euros and is valid for seven days. An audio guide is available for 5 euros. Free guided tour Sunday at 3 pm (in Italian). The Pantheon This monumental round temple was dedicated to all the Roman gods. It is considered the bestPiazza della Rotonda 1 preserved ancient structure in the city. Rebuilt in the second century by Emperor Hadrian, it has Rome, Italy the largest (unreinforced) concrete dome ever built, spanning more than 142 ft/43 m in width and heighta perfect sphere in a cylinder with walls nearly 20 ft/6 m thick. Sunlight pours through the oculus in the center of the dome, casting a spotlight against the dome. Hadrian only entered the building when the spotlight was cast on the entrance. (When a light rain falls, the effect can be equally enchanting; some visitors claim they've seen a rainbow inside.) Barbarians took the bronze tiles that originally lined the dome. However, it was Pope Barberini who authorized Bernini to remove the massive bronze bas-relief from the portico. Melted down, it became St. Peter's baldachin. The painter Raphael and the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, are buried inside, along with hundreds of early Christian martyrs whose remains were transferred from the catacombs in the seventh century, when the pagan temple was dedicated as a church, Santa Maria ad Martyres. Open Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 9 am-6 pm, holidays 9 am-1 pm. Masses are usually held Saturday at 5 pm and Sunday at 10 am; no visits during religious services. Free. Trevi Fountain The iconic, highly theatrical fountain is usually thronged with tourist groups repeating the tradition inspired by the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain, of throwing in a coin before leaving Rome. Turn your back to the fountain, toss a coin over your left shoulder into the water, and your return to the city is assured. Even with the crowds, you should get a good view of the mighty god Neptune riding his winged chariot through gushing waters supplied by the ancient Acqua Vergine aqueduct. Watch out for pickpockets, though. Nicely illuminated at night.
Two blocks east of the Corso and Piazza Colonna Rome, Italy

Museums
Centrale Montemartini One of the most peculiar of all of Rome's museums, this old electric plant outside the city center now houses sculptures from the Musei Capitolini set against restored machinery that was used in early electrical production. The effect is superb, pitting stark white marble statues against massive, shiny, blue-and-black machinery. Open daily except Monday 9 am-7 pm. Admission 4.50 euros, plus 1.50 euros for exhibitions. A combination ticket to Musei Capitolini is 9.50 euros (valid for seven days).
Via Ostiense 106 (Piramade) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-0608 http://en.centralemontemartini.org

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Musei Vaticani The Vatican's extensive and awe-inspiring collection of art is housed in several museums, nearly two dozen galleries and period rooms and, of course, the Sistine Chapel. The huge collections are so spread out, it's impossible to see everything in one visit. You could take several days to appreciate just the Hellenistic and Roman sculpture, and the excellent Egyptian collection.
Viale Vaticano 8 (follow the Vatican walls from St. Peter's, but keep in mind this is a 0.5-mi-/1-km-long walk; the closest metro stop is Cipro-Musei Vaticani) Vatican City, Italy

The Sistine Chapel is the obligatory highlight of a tour through the Vatican Museums: The restored frescoes are glorious. Opera glasses or binoculars can help reveal the details of http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Mu Michelangelo's famous ceiling. The themesdrawn from the Bible, pagan prophecy and church sei.html historygenerate what many consider the greatest pictorial decoration in Western art. (Be aware that video recorders and cameras are not allowed in the Sistine Chapel, and the guards strictly enforce a no-talking rule.) Visitors can skip all the other art and go directly to the Chapel, but they must leave the museums afterward. Re-entry requires another ticketand the lines into the Vatican Museums are bad enough to tackle even once a day. Time permitting, press on to other important sights: the Raphael rooms, filled with the painter's frescoes in religious themes; the Borgia apartments, with their rich frescoes; the chapels; and the Pio Clementino Museum, where you'll find the famous Apollo Belvedere and Laocoon sculptures. If you have the staminaor, better yet, on another visitinspect the Greek, Roman and Egyptian rooms; the Pinacoteca, which is filled with paintings from the 12th-19th centuries; the cartographic hall, which is lined with historical mural maps of regions of Italy; the hall of busts, which is lined with statues of emperors and other Romans of note; the rooms of contemporary artincluding works with religious themes by Van Gogh, Monet and Rodin, as well as a set of spectacular liturgical vestments by Matisse; the ethnographic museum; and the collection of historic carriages. The ticket counter also books two-hour tours of the Vatican Gardens. Admission 31 euros (includes the Vatican Museums). To book, look for the window marked "Garden Guided Tours" or reserve online, at least 24 hours ahead. The museum complex has a snack bar, serving pastry and pizza, and a cafeteria with reasonably priced meals. Note that the museum coat check may store only very large backpacks, not coats, jackets, umbrellas or smaller bags. The best time to visit the museums is early in the morning, especially on Wednesday when many pilgrims are in St. Peter's Square attending the papal audience. The worst time to visit, as far as crowds go, is on the last Sunday of the month, when admission is free. The Vatican Museums are open Monday-Saturday 9 am-6 pm (last admission 4 pm). Admission 15 euros. Audio guide 7 euros. Free admission the last Sunday of each month, 9 am-12:30 pm; the museums close for the rest of the day. Tickets can be purchased online, allowing you to skip the line. Explora-Il Museo dei Bambini di Roma While it pales in comparison to children's museums in other parts of the world, Rome's only children's museum does offer enough interesting exhibits for the kids to make it a worthwhile trade-off to a day of dragging them through adult museums. The venue is divided into four areasthere are hands-on exhibits dealing with the body, society, nature and communication. Most exhibits are in Italian, but the language is simple enough for non-speakers to understand.
Via Flaminia 82 (Villa Borghese) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-361-3776 http://www.mdbr.it

Open daily except Monday. Ticket office is open 9:30 am-7:30 pm. Visits are planned to last an hour and 45 minutes, with starting times of 10 am, noon, and 3 and 5 pm. Reservations recommended. Admission 7 euros adults and children age 4 and older, 3 euros children ages 1-3. On Thursday afternoon, children's tickets are reduced to 6 euros.

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Galleria Doria Pamphilj This museum, located in the sumptuous Doria Pamphilj family home, contains works by such greats as Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael and Velasquez. Daily 10 am-5 pm, last entrance at 4:15 pm. Admission 10 euros, which includes an audio guide.
Via Corso 305 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-679-7323 http://www.dopart.it

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna This museum has a collection of works by the most important Italian artists of the 19th and 20th centuriesneoclassicists, futurists, surrealists, cubists and pop artists. The futurist collection is particularly impressive, and the fascist art is as chilling as it is fascinating. Works by non-Italians include notable paintings by Gustav Klimt. Open daily except Monday 8:30 am-7:30 pm. Last admission 6:45 pm. 8 euros for the permanent collection; additional 2 euros for temporary exhibits. Audio guide 4 euros. Keats-Shelley Memorial House and Museum More than 8,000 books, letters and related works of John Keats, Percy Shelley, George Gordon (Lord Byron) and their contemporaries are on display, including the rather haunting death mask of Keats, who was only 25 when he died of tuberculosis. Open Monday-Friday 10 am-1 pm and 2-6 pm, Saturday 11 am-2 pm and 3-6 pm. 4.50 euros. Guided tours available upon request.
Piazza di Spagna 26 (entrance at the right at the foot of the Spanish Steps) Rome, Italy 187 Phone: 06-678-4235 http://www.keats-shelley-house.org Viale delle Belle Arti 131 (in Villa Borghese) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-322-981 for information http://www.gnam.beniculturali.it

Musei Capitolini The renovated palaces framing Piazza del Campidoglio house the Capitoline Museums. The Piazza del Campidoglio Palazzo dei Conservatori contains paintings by Titian, Paolo Veronese, Peter Paul Rubens and Rome, Italy 186 Michelangelo da Caravaggio, as well as fragments of a colossal statue of Constantine and the original of the bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius that crowns the Piazza del Campidoglio Phone: 06-0608 outside. The Palazzo Nuovo houses outstanding Roman sculpture, including the Capitoline http://en.museicapitolini.org Brutus, the Dying Gaul and the Capitoline Venus. The museums flank the Palazzo Senatorio, which was built over the ancient Tabularium and used to store government records in imperial Rome. Michelangelo designed its double staircase. The terrace bar and restaurant overlooking the piazza are popular evening spots. Open daily except Monday 9 am-8 pm. Last admission 7 pm. Around the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the hours are reduced to 9 am-2 pm. Admission 12 euros (to all three buildings plus temporary exhibits). Audio tour 5 euros. Combination ticket with Centrale Montemartini costs 9.50 euros (vaild for seven days). Museo della Civilta Romana The Museum of Roman Civilization depicts the history of Roman civilization through dioramas, plastic models and special exhibitsideal for children. It's on the south side of the city where there isn't much else to do, but the 1:250 scale model of Imperial Rome makes the trip worthwhile. Open daily except Monday 9 am-2 pm (Sunday till 1:30 pm). The ticket office closes one hour earlier. 7.50 euros adults, 5.50 euros children. Admission to the museum plus a show at the planetarium and a visit to the astronomical museum: 9.50 euros adults, 7.50 euros children.
Piazza G. Agnelli 10 (in the EUR corporate district) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-0608 http://en.museociviltaromana.it

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Museo dell'Ara Pacis People either love or hate American architect Richard Meier's stark museum around Rome's "peace altar" next to the Augustus mausoleum along the Tiber River. When the project was finished in 2007, most Romans likened it to a space-age gas station set among some of the city's most beautiful landmarks. But the venue has evolved since its tumultuous opening and is now home to some of Rome's most important exhibits. Designer Valentino held his 40 Years of Style show there and a host of exhibits are scheduled for coming seasons.
Via Ripetta (Lungotevere di Augusta) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-0608 http://en.arapacis.it

The altar itself was dedicated by Augustus in 9 BC. It was eventually destroyed and its tiny pieces scattered across the city of Rome. Efforts began in the 16th century to rebuild the altar after many of its fragments were found in excavations throughout the city. The renovation was completed in 1938. Open daily except Monday 9 am-7 pm. Ticket office closes at 6 pm. Admission 7.50 euros, plus up to 2.50 euros for temporary exhibitions. Audio guide 3.50 euros. Museo delle Mura The Museum of the Walls is small, but mighty. Located in the gate of the Aurelian Wall at Via Appia Antica (Porta San Sebastiano), it allows visitors to see the fortifications inside and out. A small collection of artifacts, information and diagrams exists, but the real draw is walking a portion of the actual wall. Daily except Monday 9 am-2 pm. The ticket office closes 30 minutes earlier. 4 euros, plus 1.50 euros for exhibitions. Museo e Galleria Borghese This jewel box of a gallery is a must-see. It offers a feast of Bernini sculptures, from Davidthe biblical lad biting his lip as he gets ready to hurl the stoneto Apollo and Daphnethe wood nymph morphing into a laurel tree. Equally beautiful is Canova's reclining Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister, who caused a scandal when she agreed to pose in the nude. Dozens of other sculptures, along with paintings and ceiling frescoes, will mesmerize you on the first floor. Upstairs, in the picture gallery, are masterpieces by Titian, Raphael and Michelangelo da Caravaggio (including his famous Bacchus and the hauntingly dark St. Jerome). Keep your ticket handyvisitors must exit the building and re-enter to go upstairsand also be quick: Visits are limited to two hours, which will fly by quickly. You may want to plan several visits to appreciate this collection in its entirety.
Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5 (at the east corner of Villa Borghese, near the Via Veneto exit from the Spagna metro stop) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-328-10 to book reservations, or go online http://www.galleriaborghese.it Via di Porta San Sebastiano 18 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-7047-5284 http://en.museodellemuraroma.it

Open Tuesday-Saturday 8:30 am-7:30 pm. Tickets have assigned entry times every two hours starting at opening time, with the last entry two hours before closing. 8.50 euros. Advance reservations are required. An audio guide is 5 euros. Guided tours in English are offered at 9:10 and 11:10 am for 6 euros, or at other times by appointment for groups of at least 10. Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia The country's best-preserved Etruscan ruins all end up in the Villa Giulia, which was, until the late 19th century, a decadent papal palace. The museum is divided by geographical area, with detailed maps of ancient Etruria and multilanguage signs providing significant historical information about this pre-Roman era. Many pieces date back to the 6th century BC. Villa Giulia also houses many artifacts that have been recovered from American museums, whose curators years ago bought the pieces from tomb raiders who pilfered Italy's best Etruscan sites. Open daily except Monday 8:30 am-7:30 pm; last entry one hour before closing. 8 euros.
Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9 (Villa Borghese) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-320-1951 http://www.villagiulia.beniculturali.it

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Museo Nazionale Palazzo Altemps Part of the Museo Nazionale Romano, this museum houses the Ludovisi, Mattei and Altemps families' art collections, including many ancient sculptures. The 15th-century palace, with its frescoes and painted ceilings, is a gem of the Roman Renaissance. The palace is also a venue for evening concerts in the summer. The terrace cafe is a perfect lunch spot during the summer months. Daily except Monday 9 am-7:45 pm. Ticket office closes at 6:45 pm. 7 euros; valid three days, includes admission to Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme and Terme di Diocleziano. An additional 3 euros is charged when there are exhibitions. An audio guide is available for 5 euros. Museo Nazionale Romano-Crypta Balbi This archaeological gem peels back Rome's layers. The crypta (lobby) of the Teatro di Balbi has multimedia displays explaining the rising tide of history. Best of all, the ruins are interleaved with Plexiglas, demonstrating what excavators actually find (rather than what they putty together). Open daily except Monday 9 am-7:45 pm. 7 euros plus three euros for temporary exhibitions; valid 3 days, includes admission to Terme di Diocleziano, Palazzo Altemps and Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. Palazzo Barberini Two rival baroque architects and sculptors, Bernini and Borromini, worked on this grand residence, which now shelters the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica. You will see gems by Michelangelo da Caravaggio, Titian and Jacopo Tintoretto or the portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein, as well as the spectacular baroque ceiling fresco by Pietro da Cortona and the finest collection of El Greco's work outside of the Prado. Nine newly renovated rooms allow more of the collection to be viewed, so reservations are no longer essential. Open daily except Monday 8:30 am-7:30 pm. 5 euros. Reservation fee 1 euro. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme Part of the Museo Nazionale Romano, this restored palace displays a number of Roman paintings, coins, bronze statues, marble busts, floor mosaics and an entire frescoed room from Villa Livia. Open daily except Monday 9 am-7:45 pm. 7 euros; valid three days, includes admission to Terme di Diocleziano, Palazzo Altemps and Crypta Balbi. Call for reservations and to ask about guided tours.
Largo di Villa Peretti 1 (across Piazza dei Cinquecento from the Terme di Diocleziano) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3996-7700 http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/musei/m useo-nazionale-romano-palazzomassimo Via delle Quattro Fontane 13 (metro: Barberini) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-482-4184. For guided tours, call 06-32810 http://galleriabarberini.beniculturali.it Via delle Botteghe Oscure 31 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3996-7700 http://www.pierreci.it/it/musei-emonumenti/crypta-balbi.aspx Piazza Sant'Apollinare 44 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3996-7700 http://www.pierreci.it/it/musei-emonumenti/palazzo-altemps.aspx

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Terme di Diocleziano These ancient Roman baths, part of the Museo Nazionale Romano, house an impressive collection of ancient Roman mosaics, coins, artifacts and statues. Open daily except Monday 9 am-7:45 pm. Ticket office closes at 7 pm. 7 euros; valid three days, includes admission to Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Palazzo Altemps and Crypta Balbi. Entrance fee may vary when there are special exhibitions.
Viale E. de Nicola 78 (at the Piazza dei Cinquecento) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3996-7700 http://www.pierreci.it/it/musei-emonumenti/terme-di-diocleziano.aspx

Neighborhoods & Districts


Campo Marzio This part of the historic center contains much that is great about Rome: the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori and Via Giulia. Bordered by the Vatican and the Tiber to the west, it's a dense cluster of ruins, churches, monuments, squares, alleys and shops. Rich in sights, much of the area is not the best option for dining ("tourist menus" and solicitors are common, as well as high tariffs for cafe seats). The best bets are on small side streets. Jewish Ghetto This neighborhoodtucked between Via Arenula and Via del Teatro di Marcello and bordered by Largo Argentinawas historically the ghetto of the Roman Jews. Today, its winding narrow streets retain more of the flavor of medieval Rome than any other part of the city. It also has a stunning synagogue on the bank of the Tiber, the best kosher Italian restaurants in the world (along Via del Portico d'Ottavia) and some of the trendiest nightspots in Rome. L'Aventino One of the seven hills on which Rome was founded is now one of the city center's most cosmopolitan residential areas, with fabulous villas and lush gardens. Legend says that Romulus chose the Palatine hill and his twin Remus chose the Aventine hill. Peek through the keyhole at the door to the Knights of Malta to see a perfect view of the dome of St. Peter's basilica, or catch a panoramic view of Trastevere from one of several lookout points. The neighborhood is a great place to stroll during the springtime when the scents of orange blossoms from Giardino degli Aranci and fresh roses from Roseto Comunale rose gardens offer a dizzying olfactory experience. Monti Ancient Rome's shantytown (Suburra) is now gentrifying under the design of artists and hipsters. Ethnic restaurants, galleries, bars and funky shops flank its narrow alleys. The area stretches east from the Forum between Via Nazionale and Cavour. Parioli Sheep pastures were interspersed among the medieval and Renaissance buildings in this area at the beginning of the 20th century. Now it's one of the most expensive and cosmopolitan suburban areas of Rome. Many foreign embassies and consulates are located there, along with some very fine restaurants. It lies just north of Villa Borghese and west of La Sapienza (Rome's central university). Trastevere Literally meaning "across the Tiber," this was Rome's first suburb, and many residents insist it's the "real" Rome. The district is a thriving tangle of charming medieval streets, vibrant outdoor restaurants and trattorias, intimate bars and cafes. Trastevere is home to an array of galleries and artisans' shops, plus the large Sunday flea market, Porta Portese. The Church of Santa Maria dominates the piazza of the same name. The steps of the central fountain there are a good place to watch the area's colorful characters. To the west rises the Gianicolo Hill, which offers magnificent views from a ridgeline park.

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Parks & Gardens


Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) This long, thin hill near the west bank of the Tiber River has wonderful viewsit's the highest spot in the city. To get there from the Centro Storicoa steep but pleasant walkcross the river on Ponte Sisto and climb Via Garibaldi. At the top is an equestrian statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi and, farther north, another of his wife, Anita, on a rearing horse, brandishing a baby and a gun. The lovely Passeggiata del Gianicolo is lined with other statues of national heroes. Every day at noon, a cannon (a howitzer, no less) is fired from below the Garibaldi statue. On the hill between Piazza San Pietro and the Trastevere neighborhood. Orto Botanico Rome's botanic gardens are near the center of town, and their easy access makes them a relaxing break in what may be an otherwise crowded tourist schedule. They contain a wide variety of palms, a lovely terraced rose garden, enchanting stands of bamboo and a Japanese garden complete with pagoda. The gardens occupy part of Queen Christina of Sweden's former villa, of which there are a few deteriorated reminders: Look for the fragment of a monumental staircase next to a grand, 350-year-old plane tree. Also of interest is a small garden for the blind with plants noted for their distinctive aromas and textures. Open Monday-Saturday 9 am-6:30 pm. Closes at 5:30 pm in the winter. 4 euros. Roseto Comunale Covering 2.5 acres/1 hectare of land between the Aventine and Palatine hills, Rome's communal rose gardens are among the best in Europe. More than 1,200 varieties of ancient, botanical and modern roses are divided into two sectionsone for competition and another for collection. The gardens, which were built on the site of an old Jewish cemetery, are laid out in the shape of a candelabrum. Open daily 8 am-7 pm in May and June. Free. Villa Borghese This large, peaceful city park has several museums, leafy walks, statuary, an artificial lake, stands of impressive umbrella pines and Rome's zoo, called Bioparco. Several foreign academies dot its boulevards. The park is a welcome reprieve from the noise and heat of the city. It's a favorite spot for strolling, jogging and walking dogs. In-line skates, go-karts and electric golf carts can all be rented there, usually near the main street that leads to the Pincio Gardens, which include the famous water clock and a fabulous view of Piazza del Popolo and St. Peter's Basilica in the distance (one the most famous spots in Rome to admire a summer sunset). In the triangle formed by Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo and Via Veneto. Villa Doria Pamphilj This large park is one of the best places for exercising or relaxing, and it is especially popular with joggers, although it can get crowded on Sunday afternoons. Each turn and corner offers a glimpse of a delightful garden, fountain or cluster of statues. A beautiful villa and private garden stand in the center of the park.
South of the Vatican and west of Gianicolo (enter through the gates near Porta San Pancrazio) Rome, Italy Via di Valle Murcia (Aventino) Rome, Italy Largo Cristina di Svezia 24 (between the Gianicolo and the Tiber) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4991-7107 http://www.ips.it/musis/muort_f0.html

Recreation
Rome's mild climate permits year-round outdoor activity, but the city's recreational pickings are pretty slim. City parks, especially Villa Borghese and Villa Pamphili, are the best spots for walking, running, in-line skating or biking. Tennis and golf are a bit more challenging: They're relatively expensive and inaccessible.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Out of the city, Lago Bracciano and the coastal town of Lido di Ostia are two good spots for watersports, and the thermal spa Terme dei Papi in Viterbo is a favorite getaway for Romans. On Sunday, Via Appia Antica is closed to traffic, and the Appia Antica Park becomes a wonderful place to picnic, stroll among the monuments and bike.

Bicycling
Rome has several cycling options, including the 9-mi/15-km track that runs from Ponte Castel Giubileo to Ponte Risorgimento at its south end. Some paths wind from Ponte Risorgimento through Villa Borghese, Villa Borghese to Villa Ada and, south of Rome, from Ponte Sublico to Ponte della Magliana. Another trail flanks the Tiber River, from Ponte Milvio to Prati, though potholes and debris can make this route challenging. It is also pleasant to tour the city center on Sunday, when it's closed to automobile traffic. Bicycles are welcome on any regionale, diretto or intercity train (but not on the Eurostar trains) as long as the train isnt overbooked, providing an excellent way to enjoy the Castelli villages near Rome, or Lago Bracciano to the north. Bike rentals are available at different points across the city and within Villa Borghese Park. A good deal is found around the midpoint of the Via del Corso, near Largo San Carlo al Corso and Largo dei Lombardi: 3 euros per hour or 10 euros for the day. Along the Appia Antica, bike rental companies cluster around the Sede il Parco (Park Seat), which itself charges 10 euros per day or 3 euros per hour for the first three hours. Get there early for children's models. Daily 9:30 am-1:30 pm and 2-4:30 pm (5:30 pm in summer). Phone 06-513-5316. http://www.parcoappiaantica.it. To the east is the Largo Tacchi Venturi, Comitato per la Caffarella, which charges 15 euros per day or 3 euros per hour for the first three hours. Open Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am-4:30 pm (6 pm in summer). Phone 333-713-7257. Bici & Baci Located near Termini Station, this rental company allows you to reserve bicycles and scooters online. Bicycles 4 euros per hour or 11 euros for the day. Scooters start at 6 euros per hour.
Via del Viminale 5 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-482-8443 http://www.bicibaci.com

Roma 'n Bike This pay-as-you-go self-service rental is the best biking deal downtown; it has 19 pick-up and drop-off points around the city center. Cost is 0.50 euros every 30 minutes. Purchase a bikesharing card at ticket offices at the Lepanto, Spagna and Termini stops on the Metro A line, Monday-Saturday 7 am-8 pm, Sunday and holidays 8 am-8 pm. Drop off the bike at any of the parking stations.
Rome, Italy Phone: 06-57003 http://www.bikesharing.roma.it

Golf
Golf courses aren't very accessible from Rome. Without a car and a good map, don't bother trying to find one. Be prepared to spend some time in traffic en route. Unless you're staying at a hotel adjoining the course, take along your home club membership card. Circolo Golf di Roma Roman pines and cypresses dot this pastoral setting along the Appian Way. The 18-hole course dates back to 1903. Home membership card required. Daily except Monday 8 am-8 pm. Greens fees for foreign guests are 100 euros TuesdayFriday. Closed to nonmembers Saturday and Sunday. Golf cart 50 euros for 18 holes.
Via Appia Nuova 716A Rome, Italy 178 Phone: 06-780-3407 http://www.golfroma.it

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Olgiata Golf Club Amenities include a putting green, pro shop, bar, restaurant and swimming pool. The 18-hole course is outside the ring road, en route to Viterbo, so be prepared for a drive. Home membership card required. Daily 8 am-midnight (till 8 pm on Monday). Greens fees are 100 euros Monday-Friday, 160 euros Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Sheraton Golf This 18-hole, par-72 course is connected to the Starwood hotel called Parco de' Medici. Home membership card required. Daily except Tuesday 8 am-7 pm. Greens fees are 80 euros on weekdays and 85 euros on Saturday and Sunday. Golf clubs are available for rent: A full set costs 50 euros, a half-set is 25 euros.
Viale Salvatore Rebecchini 39 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-65288 http://www.starwoodhotels.com Largo Olgiata 15 Rome, Italy 123 Phone: 06-3088-9141 http://www.olgiatagolfclub.it

Hiking & Walking


The parks Villa Borghese, Villa Pamphilj and Villa Ada (off Via Salaria) are good for in-town walks. More invigorating hikes, however, are outside the city. The lakes just north of Rome are great for hiking and are easy to reach by train. Tiny Lago di Vico, surrounded by a nature preserve, is a good choice. Also nearby is the Riserva Statale Naturale del Litorale Romano (State Nature Reserve of the Roman Coast), a protected stretch of coastline that includes the pinewoods of Castel Fusano, where you can hike (or bike or ride horses) among pines, junipers and sand dunes. The area is just south of Lido di Ostia. Open Monday and Saturday 9:30 am-12:30 pm, Wednesday and Friday 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 3-6 pm. http://www.riservalitoraleromano.it.

Horseback Riding
The Gianicolo and Pincio parks both offer miniature-pony rides. Circolo Ippico Acqua Santa Welcomes riders at Appia Antica Park. Centered on a 1904 manor hotel and holiday farm, the club has steeplechase fields, a pony club, jumping school and courses on equine therapy. Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm, Sunday 8 am-12:30 pm. Reservations required. Lessons are 20 euros per half-hour.
Via di Vallericcia Rome, Italy Phone: 06-7128-9148 http://www.circoloippicoacquasanta.it

Maneggio Cavalieri dell'Appia Antica Adults and children alike can trot there. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 9 am-1 pm and 3-6 pm in winter, 9 am-1 pm and 4-7 pm in summer. Also offers moonlight rides. Reservations required. 30 euros per hour; daily rates available by arrangement.
Via dei Cercenii 15 Rome, Italy Phone: 328-208-5787 http://www.cavalieriappia.altervista.org

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Jogging
Joggers mainly avoid Rome's streets, which are narrow and often clogged with parked cars and elegant, disdainful pedestrians. Before the morning rush hour (about 9 am), running along the Tiber is pleasant, or try the Villa Borghese, Villa Pamphilj Circo Massimo or Villa Ada (off Via Salaria). At lunchtime, the path along Viale delle Terme di Caracalla (near Circo Massimo) is popular among joggers.

Spas and Health Clubs


Dabliu Barberini Close to the Via Veneto and Piazza Tritone, this spotless club offers exercise classes that range from step to spinning. It stands behind the Bernini Bristol on the same street as Da Tullio, a great restaurant with a wood-burning oven. Various other locations throughout Rome. Monday-Friday 7 am-10:30 pm, Saturday 9 am-7 pm, Sunday 10 am-5 pm. Day fee is 20 euros. Dok Bua City Retreat Be pampered East Asian-style at this Thai spa, which offers some of the best relaxation in Rome. Enjoy massages from experts who learned their art at the Thai Spa Heritage in Bangkok. Try the "Surf of Sea" massages. Shiatsu, reiki, tansu, yoga and Pilates are also available. Massages start at 30 euros, always followed by a tea ceremony. Transportation is offered. Open daily except Sunday 11 am-8 pm. Moves This small exercise gym is well-situated in the heart of the centro, near a beautiful street lined with antiques shops. It offers traditional exercise and weights, as well as yoga, aerobics and Pilates. Monday-Friday 8 am-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm, Sunday 10 am-1 pm. Day fee is 18 euros.
Via dei Coronari 46 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-4989 http://moves-fitness.com Villa Brasini, Via Flaminia 495a Rome, Italy Phone: 06-333-9059 http://www.dokbua.it Via San Nicola Da Tolentino 30 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4201-2515 http://www.dabliu.com

Roman Sport Center This giant sports center located in the Villa Borghese has just about everything a traveler may require: traditional club facilities, aerobics, yoga, spinning, squash, pools, steam room, massage, even parking and a pro shop. Open Monday-Friday 7 am-10:30 pm, Saturday 7 am-8:30 pm, Sunday 9 am-3 pm. Day fee is subject to change. Visit the Web site for more information.
Via del Galoppatoio 33 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-321-8096 http://www.romansportcenter.com

Swimming
Cavalieri Hilton This hotel north of the Vatican allows nonguests to use its outdoor pool, which is heateda rarity in Rome. You'll pay well for the privilege45 euros per day Monday-Friday, 85 euros Saturday and Sunday. Closed in cold weather
Via Cadlolo 101 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3509-2040 http://www.cavalieri-hilton.com

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Piscina delle Rose The Piscina della Rosa offers a much-needed venue for cooling off during the summer months. Full Olympic swimming pool, plus health club and spa. Open daily mid-May to September Monday-Friday 10 am-10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-7 pm. Day pass 16 euros adults, 10 euros children younger than 12, free for children younger than 4. Multiple-entry deals available.
Viale America 20 (Metro stop: Eur Palasport) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-5422-0333 http://www.piscinadellerose.it

Nightlife
Fellini's La Dolce Vita depicted a lifestyle of savoring the city's sidewalk cafes and nightclubsa portrayal that's still very accurate today. A typical Roman evening begins with a late dinner, followed by the giro (a wander). This involves strolling through the piazzas of the city and stopping for coffee, gelato or a drink at a local pub or enoteca (wine bar). Nightclubs remain virtually empty until about 1 am. The majority of bars close at 2 am, with nightclubs shuttering around 4 am. However, this only means they stop entry. People already inside are permitted to stay until dawn, or even longer. Nightspots are present throughout the city. The Centro Storico offers a wide range of bars, primarily filled with tourists (the Campo dei Fiori is especially popular). Trastevere is the spot for locals and students, with literally hundreds of bars and restaurants, dozens of movie theaters and a few nightclubsall in an accessible, pedestrian-friendly area. Most clubs are in remote corners of the city. The Testaccio area near the Piramide metro stop is one exception. Late-night restaurants and bars flank some of the best dance spots. Avoid the centri sociali (partisan clubs)and don't dally on the streets at night at the risk of being pickpocketed. The city's live-music scene gets hopping late, with everything from South American rhythms to jazz.

Bars, Taverns & Pubs


Abbey Theater Near Piazza Navona, this two-story Irish Victorian pub is popular both day and nightespecially when there's a rugby match. Imported beer and whiskey are always on tap. It serves lunch and dinner, as well as Irish sausage, potatoes and beans for breakfast. Open daily noon-2 am. Happy hour Monday-Friday 3-8 pm.
Via del Governo Vecchio 51/53 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-1341 http://www.abbey-rome.com

Antica Enoteca di Via della Croce Sit at the bar to sample delicious, freshly prepared appetizers and to drink Fragolino, a sparkling, berry-flavored wine, or one of the many other wines. This is also an ideal place to stop for lunch, dinner or an afternoon drink while shopping near Piazza di Spagna. The place can become touristy at times, however. Daily noon-1 am (packed from 5 pm until closing).
Via della Croce 76 Rome, Italy

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Antico Caffe della Pace This place has an elegant, 19th-century interior (painted by Lucifero) and charming hanging-ivy exterior. A bit on the expensive side, and the swanky atmosphere only increases as the night wears on. The after-10 crowd mingles amid smoky mirrors, cool sofas and candlelight. By day, splurge for a drink at one of the outdoor tables: The view of the narrow piazza and an exquisite church, Santa Maria della Pace, is well worth it. Tuesday-Sunday 8:30 am-2 am, Monday 4 pm-2 am. In the evening, it gets going at about 10 pm. Art Cafe This trendy nightspot is set among the tree-lined lawns of Villa Borghese park. During the day it serves as a center for cultural conferences and exhibitions. At night it becomes a hedonistic refuge for actors, models and other celebrities. Gazebos, tents, whirlpools and massage tables are spread out over the surrounding park during the hot summer months, when each night a different Asian culture is explored. Daily 9 am-3 am. Cavour 313 One of Rome's original wine bars, unpretentious Cavour 313 (the name is simply the establishment's address) has avoided trends and stuck with what works: a solid menu of light foods, a diverse selection of wines (including two dozen available by the glass), a comfortable interior and a knowledgeable staff. Open daily 7 pm-12:30 am (Sunday till 11:30 pm).
Via Cavour 313 (between the Imperial Forum and Termini train station) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-678-5496 http://www.cavour313.it Viale del Galoppatoio 33 (near the Via Veneto entrance to Villa Borghese) Rome, Italy Via della Pace 3/7 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-1216 http://www.caffedellapace.it

Cul de Sac This historic wine bar is famous for serving more than 1,500 different wines, along with other drinks and Middle Eastern snacks. In the summer, sit on the patio and watch the tourists mix with movie stars and locals. Open daily noon-4 pm, nightly 6 pm-12:30 am. Gets busy after 9 pm.
Piazza Pasquino 73 (just south of Piazza Navona) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-6880-1094 http://www.enotecaculdesac.com

Jonathan's Angels The bar's founder, an ex-circus star, decorated the place with hundreds of self-portraits in different costumes and periods. The elaborately decorated, exceedingly tacky neobaroque restroom is legendary (and somewhat overhyped), and there's usually a wait in line to see it. The bar is generally packed after 9 pm, and there's live music nightly after 11. Open Monday-Saturday 8 pm-2 am, Sunday 1 pm-2 am.
Via della Fossa 16 Rome, Italy

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Open Baladin Shelves of beer bottles brilliantly line the walls at this low-key bar, which offers dozens of artisan beers, bottled and on tap. The staff is friendly, and the beer selection impressive; be aware that beer is the only beverage on the menu. A limited menu of snacks is offered all the time, with a full menu of light options available at lunch and dinner. Daily noon-2 am.
Via degli Specchi 6 (between Jewish Ghetto and Campo dei Fiori) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-683-8989 http://www.openbaladin.com

Trinity College This Irish pub is the most cosmopolitan bar in Rome, where tourists, expatriates and foreign students mix with xenophile Italians. Busy every night, it's packed Friday and Saturday evenings when DJs play. It is also a pleasant place to take a break from sightseeing in the afternoon or get a drink before dinner. Daily noon-2:30 am.
Via del Collegio Romano 6 (just behind Palazzo Doria Pamphilj) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-678-6472 http://www.trinity-rome.com

Vineria Reggio Enclave of the bohemian set: Walls are lined with shelves of wine bottles, and the floor is scattered with sawdust. From May to September, this is the "in" place for young Romans and tourists, who sit outside for a drink under the statue of Giordano Bruno. Open Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-2 am.
Campo dei Fiori Rome, Italy

Dance & Nightclubs


Alibi This is the best-known, most elegant gay gathering place in Rome. Women won't feel very welcome there. A DJ spins dance music. Open Wednesday-Sunday 11:30 pm-5 am. Cover varies 10 euros-20 euros. Alpheus This cutting-edge club stages special events, including nights dedicated to jazz, international music, cabaret, live music and theme parties in three big rooms and a disco. Opening times vary from 9 pm-midnight on Friday and Saturday; hours vary on other nights depending on concert schedules. Call after 4 pm for theme information and opening times. Cover 1 euro-20 euros, depending on the event.
Via del Commercio 36 (near the Ostiense/Piramide metro stop) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-574-7826 http://www.alpheus.it Via Monte Testaccio 40 Rome, Italy 153

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Gilda Still one of the liveliest places in Rome for the over-40 crowd, this place is so out of date that it is kind of in again. Famous local artists go to be seen, but there's also great dancing for commoners to enjoy. Elegant attire is mandatory to get past the snobby bouncers. Open Thursday-Sunday. Closed July-September. Cover 25 euros, includes one drink. For a table, the cost is 30 euros per person. Goa One of the most popular clubs in Rome. Its interior sports candles, mirrors, incense, flowers and plasma screens that show the latest video art. Italy's best DJs make frequent appearances there. Fans of electronic music flock to the place on Thursday evening. Tough doormen, so show bella figura. Opens at midnight Thursday-Saturday. Zoobar This huge dance club has an enormous dance floor, as well as an outdoor area that is used for dancing in the summer. Open Thursday-Saturday nights. The fun rarely starts before midnight and lasts until 5 am. Cover starts at around 5 euros.
Via Generale Roberto Bencivenga 1 Rome, Italy Phone: 339-272-7995 http://www.zoobar.roma.it Via Libetta 13 Rome, Italy Via Mario de' Fiori 97 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-678-4838 http://www.gildabar.it

Live Music
Alexanderplatz Dinner is available in this well-appointed jazz club. Monday-Saturday concerts usually start after 10:30 pm; closes 3:30 am. Closed July and August. Reservations are highly recommended. Cover varies, depending on the act.
Via Ostia 9 (in the Prati district) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3974-2171 http://www.alexanderplatz.it

Big Mama Big names perform weekly in this internationally known clubRome's Home of the Blues. Dinner is served from 9 pm. Walk there because almost no parking is available. Schedule varies weekly. Opens at 9 pm, acts begin around 10:30 pm, closes 1:30 am. 8 euros for a one-month membership; there can be an additional cover for big-name acts.
Vicolo San Francesco a Ripa 18 (off Viale di Trastevere) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-581-2551 http://www.bigmama.it

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Casa del Jazz A unique venue along the ancient Aurelian wall in central Rome that offers indoor and outdoor seating for 150 people, rehearsal rooms for private lessons, and a bookstore and minimuseum of jazz history. The annual summer concert series features well-known contemporary jazz greats as well as up-and-comers. Ticket office is open 7:30-10:30 pm on the days of shows; ticket prices vary. Fonclea Most of the big names in Italian pop got started in this venue. It offers English country-pub decor in the pretty Prati district. The main room is reserved for nonsmokers. Light meals are served. Note: In summer, it moves to the lungotevere (the market along the Tiber) in the area called Ponte Palatino (no street numbers). Open nightly 7 pm-2 am; till 3 am Friday and Saturday. Admission free, except Friday and Saturday (7 euros).
Via Crescenzio 82a Rome, Italy 193 Phone: 06-689-6302 http://www.fonclea.it Viale di Porta Ardeatina 55 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-704-731 for information http://www.casajazz.it

Performing Arts
Rome's greatest strength in the performing arts is perhaps in the theater, but almost all offerings are in Italian. (English-language productions are sometimes put on at Teatro Agora, Teatro dell'Arte and Teatro Ghione.) Rome's opera standards are also high, and dance companies, both classical and modern, perform to packed houses. When it comes to classical music, Rome can't rival London or New York in terms of the sheer number of concerts, but the scene maintains high standards. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the major hall in Rome, hosts many symphonic and chamber-music concerts, and Teatro dell'Opera also hosts well-known international dance companies. Concerts are also presented in churches and historic sites. Performing-arts schedules are promoted in local papers and billboards, and advertisements posted on buildings in the Centro Storico announce upcoming performances.

Nearby Cinecitta (Film City) has served as the studio for some great Hollywood epics, as well as for some Italian directors such as Fellini and Rossellini, and it is now periodically open to the public (http://www.cinecitta.it). Rome taps into the tradition with a large supply of cinemas, including several that screen movies in their original language. There are also a number of national and international film festivals in town. And during the summer months, two outdoor cinemas usually shine, each with a single screening just after sunset. One is near the Colosseum, and the other is on Tibertina Island. For more information, ask at the tourist information booths or check Roma C'e.

Film
Many Italian cinemas run films in their original language (indicated by "v.o." in listings) several times a week. Check Roma C'e for complete movie listings. http://www.romace.it. Nuovo Olimpia This old cinema behind the Parliament is not particularly comfortable, and neither the sound nor the picture is of the quality of modern cinemas. However, it regularly presents English-, Frenchand Spanish-language films, with subtitles in Italian. 7.50 euros; 5.50 euros for matinees Monday-Friday and all day Wednesday.
Via in Lucina 16/g (off Via del Corso, just north of Piazza Colonna) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-1068 http://www.cinemadelsilenzio.it

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The Space Cinema Moderno One of the best movie theaters in Rome, both for comfort and the quality of sound and picture. It frequently shows English and Italian versions of films on separate screens. 8 euros.
Piazza Repubblica 45 (at the metro stop Repubblica) Rome, Italy Phone: 39-892-111 http://www.thespacecinema.it

Music
Accademia Filarmonica Romana The Teatro Olimpico hosts this group's chamber-music concerts and dance recitals during its October-May season. The box office at the theater is open 10 am-7 pm.
Piazza Gentile de Fabriano 17 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-320-1752 for information or 06-326-5991 for tickets http://www.filarmonicaromana.org

Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia This resident ensemble performs symphonic concerts October-June in the Auditorium Parco della Musica. Concerts are sometimes held at the Baths of Caracalla as well. The box office is open daily 11 am-8 pm.
Via Pietro da Coubertin 30-34 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-808-2058 http://www.santacecilia.it

Teatro Palladium Roma Tre university in central Rome continues to add interesting concerts to its annual schedule. The 1920s theater has been refurbished and the acoustics are superb. The box office is open Monday-Friday 9:30 am-1 pm and 2-6 pm only by telephone, walk-up daily except Monday 5-8 pm and until one hour before performances on scheduled days.
Piazza Bartolomeo Romano 8 (Garbatella) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4555-3052 http://www.teatro-palladium.it

Opera
Teatro Argentina Rome's oldest opera house was inaugurated in 1732 and has hosted many operatic premieres including Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville in 1816 and Giuseppe Verdi's I due foscari in 1844. More recently, the theater has hosted avant-garde opera performances and plays. The box office is open daily except Monday 10 am-2 pm and 3-7 pm.
Largo di Torre Argentina 52 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-684-0001 http://www.teatrodiroma.net

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Teatro dell'Opera Operas are performed mid-December to mid-June. The theater also hosts ballet and other performances. In summer, many performances are staged in the Terme di Caracalla. Buy tickets at the box office Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 9 am-1:30 pm.
Piazza B. Gigli 1 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4817-003 or 06-481-601 http://www.operaroma.it

Ticket Brokers
Genti e Paesi Tickets for a variety of shows and sporting events, as well as to most theaters and museums. Monday-Friday 9 am-7 pm; Saturday 9 am-5.30 pm.
Via Adda 111 Rome, Italy 198 Phone: 06-8530-1755 http://www.gentiepaesi.it

Orbis Offers tickets to museums, sporting events, theater productions and other shows. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-1 pm, 4-7:30 pm. Closed Saturday afternoons in summer. Ticketeria Reserved tickets for museums and concerts, with sales points throughout Rome. Open daily except Monday 8:30 am-6:30 pm.
Piazzale Museo Borghese 5 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-32-810 http://www.ticketeria.it Piazza dell'Esquilino 37 Rome, Italy 185

Venues
Auditorium Parco della Musica This theater complex is the largest in Europe, with three main halls in varying sizes. Home to the Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia, it also presents a multitude of other performances, from dance to large rock concerts to cinema. In the winter months, the outdoor area is transformed into a snowy playland complete with an ice rink. The Auditoriumdesigned by superstar architect Renzo Pianoalso serves as a venue for painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions. Check the online schedule for up-to-date information. Open daily 11 am-8 pm and one hour before concerts.
Viale Pietro da Coubertin 30 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-8024-1281 for the box office http://www.musicaperroma.it

Spectator Sports
Romans are known for passionately following soccer, tennis, cycling and horse racing. Soccer, called calcio, is the Italian national sport, played September-June. Sunday afternoon is the traditional time for home games of the local contenders, Roma and Lazio. Horse races take place at Le Capannelle on Sunday.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher The Rome Marathon in March is picking up steam as an internationally recognized event. The city dresses for the occasion, and some of the best runners in the world compete.

Horse Racing
Le Capannelle There's racing at Le Capannelle every Sunday and also on some weekdays. Your hotel's concierge or front-desk staff can get the timetable, which changes often. Entrance fee is 3 euros.
Via Appia Nuova 1245 (south of the city) Rome, Italy 178 Phone: 06-716-771 http://www.capannelleippodromo.it

Soccer
Roma and Lazio soccer teams The Eternal City is blessed with two local teams: Roma and Lazio. Matches are generally held on Sunday afternoon at the Olympic Stadium, meaning there is a home game for one team or the other every weekend during the season. When these teams clash twice a year, the city erupts in a froth of air horns, graffiti and banners (Roma's is red and gold with a she-wolf; Lazio's, blue and white with an eagle). Note that both clubs are notorious for hooligansracist outbursts and violent clashes with police can and do happen. Tickets cost 15 euros-100 euros. They can be purchased at the team stores or through your hotel concierge. AS Roma Store is located at Piazza Colonna 360. Open daily. .
Stadio Olimpico, Via Foro Italico Rome, Italy Phone: 06-678-6514. Lazio Point is located at Via Farini 34. Open MondaySaturday. Stadio Olimpico, Via Foro Italico, Rome. 06-6920-0642 http://www.asroma.it. http://www.sslazio.it

Other Options
Campionato Internazionale di Tennis If you're lucky enough to be in town for the Italian Openand lucky enough to get a seatyou will be thrilled by the world-class competitors at this series. Tickets can be expensive; laterround tickets are almost impossible to acquire. The events take place in the Foro Italico in late April or early May.
Viale dei Gladiatori 31 Rome, Italy http://www.internazionalibnlditalia.it

Shopping
Rome's trendy stores with the latest fashions just might divert you from seeing one more museum. Fans of Prada, Fendi, Ferragamo or Gucci will have plenty to choose from. What's more, those famous brands, which are available around the world, will seem different: Even the designers known for the purity of their linesArmani, for instanceseem to offer something a little more baroque in Rome. But the true joy of shopping in this city lies in discovering one-of-a-kind items in specialty shops. Hundreds of such stores sell goods, particularly shoes and clothing accessories, that are produced on-site, often using centuries-old techniques. Beyond the world of high fashion, you can check out the upscale secondhand shops on Via del Governo Vecchio, the artisan studios of Trastevere and the galleries of Monti. Rome also has a handful of markets, each with a distinctive style. The colorful and inviting Campo dei Fiori offers cheeses, spices, some clothing, kitchenware and, of course, flowers (the name means field of flowers). The Sunday flea market at Porta Portese is not for the faint of heartshoppers are packed in so tightly it becomes an effort just to stop or cross the street. Go early and beware of pickpockets. Much of Romeand indeed, Italyshuts down for several weeks in the summer heat. This period, known as Ferragosto, can stretch from mid-July through August. The one advantage: superb sales beforehand.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Shopping Hours: Stores are generally open Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 4:30-7:30 pm. Most stores are closed all day Sunday, and some take Monday morning off, as well. The exception is the Centro Storico, where a seven-day shopping culture is emerging. In winter, many boutiques have reduced hours, although most open their doors until 8:30 or 9 pm two weeks before Christmas.

Antique Stores
Three streetsVia del Babuino, Via Coronari and Via Giuliaare lined with very good shops carrying English, French and Italian furniture, most of it from the 1700s and 1800s. Granmercato dell'Antiquariato, next to the Babuino fountain, has three floors for browsing. Other antiques shops and rigattieri (collectors) can be found on side streets near Campo dei Fiori, Via Panico and Via di Monserrato. In May and October, Via dell'Orso and Via dei Coronari have street fairs. Christie's, Sotheby's and several other houses hold regular auctions throughout the year.

Bookstores
Almost Corner Bookshop This tiny shop (its previous location was on a corner) can be found down a picturesque street in Trastevere, just off the Ponte Sisto. Packed to the rafters with choice selections, it's open Sunday to boot. Monday-Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm and 3:30-8 pm, Sunday 11 am-1:30 pm and 3:30-8 pm. Anglo American Bookstore A great shop located near the Spanish Steps, the Anglo American offers a wide selection of English titles and travel books, as well as a good children's-book section. Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10:30 am-7:30 pm.
Via della Vite 102 (near the Spanish Steps) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-679-5222 http://www.aab.it Via del Moro 45 Rome, Italy

Feltrinelli International Thousands of English titles to choose from: fiction, travel, cuisine and history. Feltrinelli's also stocks stationery, maps and literary souvenirs. There are other locations throughout the city, but they have smaller international selections. Monday-Saturday 9 am-8 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-1:30 pm and 4-8 pm.
Via V.E. Orlando 84 (near Termini station, just off Piazza della Repubblica) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-487-0999 http://www.lafeltrinelli.it

La Libreria del Viaggiatore A vast selection of travel books in multiple languages including travelogues, maps and itineraries. Open Monday 4-8 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-2 pm and 4-8 pm. Lion Bookshop This great old shop has been around for a long time. Daily 9:45 am-2 pm and 3-7:15 pm.
Via dei Greci 36 Rome, Italy Via del Pellegrino 78 (Campo dei Fiori) Rome, Italy

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Touring Club Italiano Produces driving maps and guides. Stop in before an automotive excursion. Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm (closes for lunch on Saturday 2-3 pm).
Viale Giulio Cesare 100 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3600-5281 http://www.touringclub.it

Department Stores
COIN Expect fashionablebut typicalmen's and women's casual and dress wear and shoes, as well as glasses, cosmetics, perfumes and furniture. Branches dot the city. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-8 pm.
Via Cola di Rienzo 173 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3600-4298 http://www.coin.it

La Rinascente Classic men's, women's and some children's wear, as well as cosmetics and accessories are found there at moderate prices. Open daily 10 am-9 pm.
Piazza Colonna, Via del Corso (in the Galleria Alberto Sordi) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-678-4209 http://www.rinascente.it

Markets
Campo dei Fiori At this white-tented market, vendors hawk beautiful flowers, fresh produce, spices and food delicacies, especially cheeses. The best bread-maker in all of Rome, Forno, is located there try the pizza bianca, considered by Roman cognoscenti to be the best in the city. On Sunday afternoon, artists sell paintings in the square. The market is usually busy Monday-Saturday 7 am-1:30 pm. Porta Portese Rome's flea market sells practically everythingfrom a doghouse and an 18th-century sofa to old and new pearls (strung in India) and icons of dubious heritage. Look through tables of used clothing, including the occasional vintage design. As a rule, the best and most interesting finds are in the stalls around Piazza Ippolito Nievo. Bargaining is half the funexpect high drama when you offer a few euros less. Be extremely wary of pickpockets, because the aisles get crowded. Open Sunday 7 am-2 pm.
In a warren of streets and alleys beginning at Ponte Sublicio (on the west side of the Tiber) Rome, Italy Campo dei Fiori (between the river and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II) Rome, Italy 186

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Via Sannio Market This place sells new and secondhand clothes and shoes. Open Monday-Saturday 9 am-2 pm.
Near Porta San Giovanni Rome, Italy

Shopping Areas
Galleria Alberto Sordi Alberto Sordi was perhaps Italy's most popular comic actor. His death in 2003 led to more than Piazza Colonna two weeks of national mourning and dozens of monuments and dedications in his honor. The Rome, Italy most famous of these was the reopening of the Galleria Colonna, rechristened Galleria Alberto Sordi. This beautiful building houses dozens of shops, a few cafes and Feltrinelli's enormous http://www.galleriaalbertosordi.it media shop. The Galleria has become one of the primary cultural focal points for the city, hosting concerts, poetry readings, charity rallies and art exhibitions. It has even replaced the Spanish Steps as the default meeting point for locals. Open Monday-Thursday 8:30 am-9 pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30 am-10 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-9 pm. Via Cola di Rienzo Starting at Piazza Risorgimento near the Vatican, this long, somewhat unprepossessing street is an excellent shopping area for nearly everything, especially for women's clothing and leather products. It's popular with locals. Via del Corso This central street, running from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Venezia, has the best (and some Via del Corso of the most expensive) shopping in Rome. The east side of the street, near Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Italy hosts upscale boutiques. Two cross streets, Via Frattina and Via Condotti, are a veritable who's who of designer names (with street vendors selling counterfeit wares right in front of the designers they're imitating). On the west side are more reasonably priced men's and women's clothes (still of exceptional quality). Near the Trevi Fountain, you may even be able to find some bargains, especially in shoes and leather goods. Via Nazionale This street, which stretches from Piazza Venezia to Piazza della Repubblica, is lined with small specialty fashion shops known for attractive sale prices in July and January. Most of the best shops are at the end closest to Piazza della Repubblica.
Via Nazionale Rome, Italy Via Cola di Rienzo Rome, Italy

Specialty Stores
Most specialty shops are one-person or family operations, and their opening hours are completely dependent on the owners. Al Sogno Tiny lead soldiers line up to protect unusual dolls and lifelike plush animals, all in a charming setting. The perfect place to buy a gift for a child. Daily 10 am-8 pm.
Piazza Navona 53 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-4198 http://www.alsogno.com

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Andrea Gobbi See the artist and his students at work in this dramatic atelier, which was renovated to reflect each show's theme.
Via dei Lucani 33a Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4434-0151 http://www.andreagobbi.com

Antica Norcineria Viola One of the best places in the Centro Storico to buy prosciutto and more than 100 different salamis produced in the city of Norcia in Umbria. Ever tried anise salami? Monday-Saturday 7:30 am-1:30 pm and 4:30-8 pm. Borsalino Borsalino has been in the hat-making business for more than a century, and that experience is reflected in its quality goods. The milliner carries a selection of stylish accessories, belts and gloves, too. Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-7:30 pm.
Piazza del Popolo 20 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3265-0838 http://www.borsalino.com Piazza Campo de' Fiori 43 Rome, Italy

Claudio Sano This young designer sculpts Tuscan leather into futuristic yet functional piecesfrom sleek attache cases to fish-shaped handbags.
67a Largo degli Osci, San Lorenzo Rome, Italy Phone: 06-446-9284 http://www.claudiosano.it

C.U.C.I.N.A. What Italian kitchens are made of: gadgets, pans, odd little devices. This store has everything you need to stock the home kitchen and set the table. Open daily except Sunday 10 am-7:30 pm, Monday open 3:30-7:30 pm.
Via Mario de' Fiori 65 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-679-1275 http://www.cucinastore.com

Fornari & Fornari Finest Italian designer kitchenware. This is the place to stock up on beautiful silverware, glassware, crockery and table-top accessories for your Italian cooking back home. Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7:30 pm.
Via Frattina 133 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-678-0105 http://www.fornari1905.com

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Giorgio Sermoneta Stars and fashionistas stock up on this shop's beautiful handmade leather gloves, lined with silk or cashmere. Chose a favorite fancy cuff and pick from a riot of colors. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-8 pm, Sunday 10:30 am-7 pm.
Piazza di Spagna 61 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-679-1960 http://www.sermonetagloves.com

Joseph Debach These handmade shoes are works of artsome resemble sultans' slippers with curled-up toes. Don't bother visiting in the day, though. The shop is a fixture of Trastevere nightlife and never opens before 7:30 pm (though phone orders are accepted). Closed Friday. Polvere di Tempo, Guytamelli This store specializes in archaic mechanisms for telling time. It has an impressive selection of handmade hourglasses, sundials, solar clocks, water clocks, candle clocks and other antique instruments, as well as a small collection of jewelry and leather goods. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-8 pm.
Via del Moro 59, Trastevere Rome, Italy Phone: 06-588-0704 http://www.polvereditempo.com Vicolo de Cinque 19, Trastevere Rome, Italy

Spazio Sette For home furnishings, kitchenware and lighting, Spazio Sette offers the best in European design. Even the store is a work of art with frescoed ceilings above three floors of houseware heaven in a 17th-century palazzo near the Campo dei Fiori. Open daily except Sunday 9:30 am-1 pm and 3:30-7:30 pm. Closed Monday morning. TAD Fabulous one-stop-shop with avant-garde fashion, footwear, furnishings, fragrances, rare flowers, music compilations, books and cult magazines. You can also get a fashionable haircut in this concept store, enjoy an hour of antistress therapy and the like, or have a lunch of AsianMediterranean fusion food in the TAD cafe. The abbreviation stands for tendenze e antiche debolezze (trends and old weaknesses). Monday noon-7:30 pm, Tuesday and Friday 10:30 am-7:30 pm, Saturday 10:30 am-8 pm, Sunday noon-7:30 pm. Closed Wednesday and Thursday. Trimani This elegant wine shop is one of the best in Rome, offering a large selection of wines from Italy and France, as well as spirits and liquors. Monday-Saturday 9 am-8:30 pm.
Via Goito 20 (near Termini) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-446-6961 http://www.trimani.com Via Del Babuino 155a Rome, Italy Phone: 06-9684-2086 http://www.wetad.it Via dei Barbieri 7 Rome, Italy

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Valzani This is one source of those lavish hostess gifts that Romans bestow, all gussied up with wrapping paper and ribbons. Valzani stocks handmade chocolate candies, nougat and traditional Italian treats. Its gorgeous Sacher torte is hard to resist. Why try? Open daily 10 am-8 pm; closed Monday and Tuesday mornings and during July and August.
Via del Moro 37B, Trastevere Rome, Italy Phone: 06-580-3792 http://www.valzani.it

Volpetti Savor the gourmet cuisine of Norcia, in Umbria, a region famed for its cheese, ham and sausages. The store overflows with delicacies such as wild-boar ham, Piedmontese cheese with white truffles (crutin), farmed Italian caviar (calvisius) and 200-euro bottles of 50-year-old balsamic vinegar (aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena). Open Monday-Saturday 8 am-2 pm and 5-8:15 pm.
Via Marmorata 47, Testaccio Rome, Italy Phone: 06-574-2352 http://www.volpetti.com

Itinerary

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Day Trips
Rome is in the center of the Latium (Lazio) region. Day trips can take in the rich offerings of the region, from the Mediterranean coast to antiquities in the hills around the city. To Ostia Antica. Visit the well-preserved ruins of ancient Rome's port in a beautiful park of pines and cypresses less than 15 mi/24 km from Rome. The extensive excavations expose the empire's remarkable architecturefrom houses and stores to temples. Practice your oratory in the perfect acoustics of the Roman theater that seats 3,000 and then wander the miles/kilometers of alleyways. Take along water and a picnic lunch. The site is open 8:30 am-6 pm, with everyone required to leave by 7:30 pm. Museum open 10:30 am-6:30 pm. Both the excavations and the museum are closed on Monday. Nearby is the necropolis of Isola Sacra, the Castle of Pope Julius II in the borgo of Ostia Antica and the fishing port of Fiumicino. To reach the area by car (a 45-minute drive), take Via del Mare 14 mi/23 km from Rome. No turnsjust follow the signs to Ostia Antica. Or even better, take the train (a 20-minute ride) from Ostiense station (trains leave every 30 minutes). The train station is just across a footbridge from the excavations. Daily except Monday 8:30 am-5 pm (4 pm in winter). Admission 6.50 euros. Viale dei Romagnoli 717, Ostia, Rome. Phone 06-5635-8099 or 06-5635-2830 for tickets. http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/en/archaeological-site/ancient-ostia. To the Castelli Romani (Colli Albani). These picturesque towns are scattered across isolated volcanic hills. The pope spends his summers at Castel Gandolfo high above Lake Albano, and from there he gives his Sunday blessing. Most of the towns have chestnut festivals in the fall. The slopes are planted with the vines that produce the famous Vini dei Castelli. Take Via Tuscolana in the direction of Frascati, 7 mi/11 km south of Rome. Or, to reach Frascati, the hub of the Albani region, take Metro A to Anagnina and then take a COTRAL bus. Trains leave Termini Station for Frascati or Marino and Castelgandolfo roughly every hour; the ride takes 30 minutes for Franscati or 45 for Marino or Castelgandolfo. To Tivoli. A popular day trip from Rome (about 45 minutes away) included in many tours. Visit lush Villa d'Este, a convent-turned-palace, complete with an aquatic pleasure park. Elaborate fountains and fishponds spout in its impressive gardens. Don't miss the miniature version of ancient Rome or the Organ Fountain, which once played music. The estate is open daily except Monday 8:30 am to dusk. Admission is 8 euros. Down the street from Largo Garibaldi. Phone 199-766-166. http://www.villadestetivoli.info. The magnificent cascade of the Villa Gregoriana is also worth a stop. Admission 5 euros. Daily except Monday in March 10 am-2:30 pm, April-September 10 am-6:30 pm, October-November 10 am-2:30 pm. Open December-March by reservation. Phone 077-438-2733. http://www.villagregoriana.it. To get to Tivoli by car, take the Via Tiburtina 20 mi/32 km southeast from Rome or take the highway (A24 for L'Aquila, and take the Tivoli exit). The most convenient way to get there, however, is by the train from Tibertina Station. After the Villa d'Este, go on to Hadrian's Villa, the largest and richest estate of the Roman Imperial era. This staggeringly large residence of Emperor Hadrian is one of the most evocative classical sites still standing in Italy. Take a picnic (the tiny snack bar could be better). Local buses stop at the intersection for Hadrian's Villa, but be prepared for a walk. Open daily 9 am to one hour before sunset. 8 euros. An additional 3.50 euros is charged when there are exhibitions. Via Rosolino, 3 mi/5 km south of Tivoli. Phone 0774-382-733. http://www.pierreci.it/it/musei-e-monumenti/villa-adriana.aspx. To Viterbese or Tuscia. These areas north of Rome are still relatively unknown to international visitors. The sparsely inhabited hill towns are famous for their profusion of elegant Renaissance gardens, architectural masterpieces, cool lakes, crafts, extra-virgin olive oil and cooking. Magnificent fountain-filled gardens can be visited at Villa Lante at Bagnaia, a suburb of Viterbo. Open daily except Monday. 5 euros. Via Iacopo Barozzi 71, Bagnaia. Phone 0761-288-008. Bomarzo village, 7 mi/12 km northeast of Bagnaia, contains the silly and sublime Monster Park (Parco dei Mostrialso called the Sacred Grove, Sacro Bosco). This surreal sculpture gardensort of a 16th-century theme parkis one of northern Lazio's primary attractions. 10 euros. Daily 8:30 am to one hour before sunset. Localita Giardino, Bomarzo. Phone 0761-924-029. http://www.parcodeimostri.com. Italy's best-preserved Renaissance parterre is at Principessa Claudia Ruspoli's family castello in Vignanello, a town famous for its wine. Another princess, Elika del Drago, gives spring and summer tours of her island's gardens on Isola Bisentina, located in Lago Bolsena. The largest of the area's three lakes, it's really a flooded volcanic crater. Tourists can rent boats at various locations around the lake; Capodimonte is a good base. Enjoy a fish lunch at one of the many lakeside restaurants in Capodimonte or Marta and then visit the medieval center of Bolsena (known for its catacombs and castle museum). This day trip is best undertaken by car.

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Local Tours
Rome has no shortage of guides, running every type of tour imaginable. Yet the quality varies incrediblyeven within a companyand some operate illegally. The city of Rome operates a Bus Turistico service, which offers inexpensive overviews of Rome. Qualified tour guides can only be located through Centro Guide Cast, Via Cavour 184. Phone 06-482-5698. http://www.cast-turismo.it. If you want to splurge, hire a horse cab. The fare for a one-hour tour should be about 80 euros totalbe sure to establish a fee before starting out. Drivers will take you wherever you wish. See your hotel's concierge or front desk staff to find the closest carriages. 110 Bus Turistico Tours depart from the Cinquecento plaza in front of Termini station and have English-speaking guides. Tickets can be purchased at the ATAC information kiosk in front of the station. Tours depart daily every 20 minutes 8:30 am-8:30 pm, and last approximately two hours. A stop-and-go ticket is 15 euros (you can get on and off the bus as often as you like). .
Rome, Italy Phone: 06-684-0901. Toll-free 800-281281 http://www.trambusopen.com

Appianline This local bus with guide takes larger groups; it is city-approved. The Ciao Roma tour runs two hours and costs 20 euros.
Piazza dell'Esquilino 6 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4878-6601 http://www.appianline.it

Archaeobus City-approved tour running from Piazza dei Cinquecento every half-hour 8:30 am-4:30 pm. Purchase tickets for the 90-minute tour onboard the bus, at the kiosk in Piazza dei Cinquecento or online (online booking offers a discount). Daily 9 am-4:30 pm. 10 euros. . Context Rome Architects and historians offer walking seminars through this expat-owned company, which also designs private tours. Smart, fun and funny, these guides rank among the city's best. Other services include language workshops, yoga sessions and cell-phone rentals. Context Rome's 3.5-hour Underground Tour is especially popular (60 euros, plus about 15 euros worth of tickets).
Via di Santa Maria Maggiore 145 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-9762-5204 http://rome.contexttravel.com Rome, Italy Phone: 06-684-0901 http://www.trambusopen.com

Through Eternity Some of the most enjoyable niche tours of the city run the gamut from urban treks through the ruins to such esoteric outings as the Love and Death: 2,700 Years of Scandals tour and the Feast of Bacchus wine-tasting tour. All tours are adaptable to visitors' wishes and historical knowledge.
Rome, Italy Phone: 06-700-9336 http://www.througheternity.com

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Dining
Dining Overview
Each region of Italy boasts its own distinctive cuisine, and because Rome has become home to Italians from all over the country, the city's native, rustic cuisine has been influenced by many different sources. For a true taste of the indigenous cucina povera (food of the poor people) be sure to sample the food at a number of humble trattorias, not just the upscale restaurants. Classic dishes include spaghetti carbonara, bucatini all'amatriciana (straw-shaped noodles in a tomato and bacon sauce), l'abbacchio (roast lamb), carciofi alla giudia (deep-fried artichokes) and the most Roman of all: trippa (tripe). Tuscan and Sicilian restaurants usually provide more elegant meals and refined dining. Begin with an antipasto of marinated vegetables, seafood, bruschetta or a selection of meats. Prosciutto crudo is often served with melon or figs in the summer. The first course is almost always a pasta dish, such as penne all'arrabiata (quills with a chili-tomato sauce), linguini con vongole veraci (linguine with clam sauce) or pasta e fagioli (short pasta cooked in a thick bean soup). For a second (main) course, try rombo (turbot), spigola (sea bass) or straccetti con basilico e parmigiano (thin-sliced beef topped with fresh rocket lettuce and Parmesan cheese). Italian meals typically run five courses from antipasti to dolce (dessert), followed by coffee and a digestivo. Visitors are under no obligation to order all of them. However, two courses is the polite minimum at a busy establishment. Given the leisurely pace of dining, you've "bought the table for the evening"don't abuse such hospitality by ordering only a salad. Light eaters should try fancier places for lunchor retreat to a cafe, cafeteria (tavola calda), pizzeria or slice shop (pizza al taglio). The latter also can provide a great snack on the go; while you're there, sample the suppli (deep-fried rice balls with tomato sauce and a molten mozzarella core). Be aware that sitting at a tavola calda will increase the price of your meal; order your lunch portar via (to take away). The region's most famous wines are the dry whitesVini dei Castelli (Frascati, Genzano, Marino and Velletri). To accompany meat dishes, choose a full-bodied dry red from the regions of Tuscany or Piedmonte, or one of the reds from up-and-coming wine regions such as Sicily or Umbria. Romans typically order a carafe of house wine (vino della casa) usually from the countryside near Rome in the case of whites and from the adjacent region of Abruzzo for redsselections are usually decent and reasonably priced. Be forewarned, however: The liter unit is 25% larger than a typical bottleand public drunkenness is frowned upon (half- and quarter-liters are also available). The main local beers are Peroni, Moretti and Nastro Azurro, which are well-made lagers on the lighter sidefans of heavier beers will have to opt for an import. Order acqua naturale (flat water) or frizzante (sparkling) with each meal. Other nonalcoholic treats include freshsqueezed juice (spremuta) and lemonade (limonata). Italian coffee is ubiquitousand unmissable. Even those who normally dislike espresso may appreciate the smooth genuine version. Barristi brew dozens of variations of the simple shot (order un caffe and not un espresso in Rome). At more casual establishments, pay at the register (cassa), and then present the receipt at the counter, with a small coin (0.10 or 0.20 euros) on top as a tip. Table service can increase the priceby as much as 500% in a tourist hot spot. Also note that locals drink cappuccino only for breakfastnever in the evening or after meals. Gelato, the heavenly Italian ice cream, is appropriate any time of the day or night. Modern life has trimmed the traditional five meals a day. Italians aren't generally big on breakfast (usually cappuccino with a sugar-glazed croissant or a cream-filled pastry), but brunch is popular. Lunch, around 1 pm, can consist of one course or several (restaurants close 3-7 pm, so don't wait). Dinner can be either a leisurely affair with several courses or just pizza and beer. Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of dinner for one, not including drinks or tip: $ = less than 25 euros; $$ = 25 euros-40 euros; $$$ = 41 euros-75 euros; and $$$$ = more than 75 euros. Tax is almost always included in the price of meals. The bill (conto) may feature pane e coperto (bread and a cover charge) or servizio (service). Tip 5% atop the coperto or 10%-12% otherwise (Italians offer less, but tourists are expected to be gracious).

Local & Regional

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Agata e Romeo What started in 1890 as a weekly dinner of roast pork at Agata's grandparents' house evolved over the years into one of Rome's finest dining experiences. The menu is created entirely by Agata, who is a local chef celebrity with her own cookbook line. Romeo (her husband) handles the extensive wine cellar and never misses when pairing wines to food. Ingredients are traditional Roman staples, but the creativity in preparation takes them far beyond. Staples include Agata's sformato di formaggio di fossa (a souffle-tart made with sheep's cheese that has been aged in special caves in northern Italy) and risotto with quail eggs, asparagus and crumbly prosciutto. Desserts include Agata's millefoglie chocolate invention. Open daily except Saturday and Sunday. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Ambasciata d'Abruzzo This restaurant showcases fare from the mountainous Abruzzo region, east of Rome. The bruschetta appetizers are among the city's best, proving that toast-with-toppings can reach culinary heights. The maccheroni alla chitarra cacio e pepe (elbow pasta with sheep's cheese and pepper) is another standout. Porcini mushrooms and truffles feature heavilynever a bad thing. Open daily for lunch and dinner. $$. Most major credit cards. Ambasciata di Capri This wonderful restaurant close to the Vatican serves delicious specialties from the island of Capri, including black ravioli with cuttlefish, and the pezzogna, a tender fish that only swims in the waters of the Gulf of Naples. But the dolci make the fame of this restaurant, and rumor has it that owner Mario Tarantino sends a selection of them to the pope once a month. Try the ricotta tart with pears, the tiramisu and the wonderful pastiera, a shortcrust cake with ricotta and buffalo-milk cheese. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Asino Cotto Tucked into a romantic back corner on the quiet side of Trastevere, this gourmet staple is really a showcase for master chef Giulianno Brenna. His creations transform seasonal ingredients into succulent dishes that he personally explains to diners with great care. Dishescarre di agnello al te' verde, cedro e coriandolo (roasted rack of lamb with green tea, cedar and coriander)are coupled with such desserts as mousse di cioccolato "Santo Domingo" con sedano sciroppato (Santo Domingo chocolate mousse with celery syrup). Don't be surprised if he comes out after you've eaten to see if you liked what he prepared. This is a restaurant for couples and not a place for children. Open Monday-Friday for lunch, daily except Monday for dinner. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Boccondivino In the heart of the Campo Marte, the urban decor of this trendy restaurant defies its stoic 16thcentury surroundings with zebraskin chairs and burlap table coverings. But the food sticks to its Roman roots as seasonal market offerings take shape in delicious risottos and colorful pastas. Seafood dishesthink salmon drizzled with citrus marinadedominate the menu. The restaurant is filled with politicians who work at the government complex nearby. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Monday for dinner only. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards.
Piazza Campo Marzio 6 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-683-08626 http://www.boccondivino.it Via dei Vascellari 48 (Trastavere) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-589-8985 http://www.asinocotto.com Via E.Q. Visconti 52 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-8992-8793 http://www.ambasciatadicapri.com Via Pietro Tacchini 26 (Parioli) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-807-8256 http://www.ambasciatadiabruzzo.com Via Carlo Alberto 45 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-446-6115 http://www.agataeromeo.it

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Camponeschi This upscale restaurant is near the Michelangelo-designed Palazzo Farnese, which now houses the French Embassy. Try the fusilli calabresi (corkscrew pasta with fresh tomatoes and eggplant sauce) or, if you favor fresh seafood, maltagliati all'astice (short, flat pasta with lobster sauce). For an entree, ask for rosette con carciofi (veal with artichokes) or agnello al rosmarino (lamb with rosemary). There's a wide selection of rich, creamy desserts. Open Monday-Saturday for dinner. The wine bar next door is open Monday-Saturday 7:30 pm-1 am. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Checchino dal 1887 Few restaurants can still claim to preserveand servetraditional Roman food as Checchino has been doing since 1887. Its claim to fame is the invention of la coda alla vaccinaraa distinctive dish made from less-popular cuts of meat. It carries the official cucinaromana designation. Excellent wine list. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed in August and for a week around Christmas. Reservations required. No shorts or tank tops allowed. $$$. Most major credit cards. Colline Emiliane Try the mouthwatering classic Bolognese dishes in this tiny, but very popular, family-run restaurant just off Bernini's Triton Fountain. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch only. Reservations required. $$$. Dal Bolognese This is one of a small handful of restaurants in Rome where the menu lives up to its chic reputation. Popular with Italian television and film stars as well as international gourmands. Try the misto di pasta (four kinds of pasta on one plate) as a first course, and graduate to any of the restaurant's signature veal dishes.
Piazza del Popolo 1 Rome, Italy Via degli Avignonesi 22 Rome, Italy Via Monte Testaccio 30 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-574-3816 http://www.checchino-dal-1887.com Piazza Farnese 50a Rome, Italy Phone: 06-687-4927 http://www.ristorantecamponeschi.it

Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Closed for three weeks in August. Reservations required. $$$$. Enoteca Corsi One of the bestand least pretentiousplaces to eat lunch in the normally pricey center. The Via del Gesu 88 look of the place is virtually unchanged since it opened its doors in 1943, and it is a favorite of Rome, Italy local businesspeople and power brokers, as well as students and blue-collar workers. Prices are very reasonable, and the menu is limited to a few tasty choices each day, scrawled on wallhung chalkboards (wonderful gnocchi and great saltimbocca alla romana). Go to the back and turn to the right for the wine store, which has a few extra tables in it and a still-more-charming atmosphere. Wine is also available to take away. Open Monday-Saturday noon-3:30 pm. The wine store is open Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 5-8 pm. Reservations not accepted except for large parties. $. No credit cards.

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Enoteca Ferrara This enchanting enoteca in the heart of Trastevere started out as a tiny, backstreet hole-in-thewall wine bar owned by two sisters and has grown to encompass most of the bottom floor of a medieval palazzo. View the expansive wine cellar from the glass floor in the main bar or head straight to the dining area where recipes inspired by the old tradition of the cucina povera ("poor man's kitchen") are reinvented into modern fare. Sicilian dishes (involtini of pesce spada, or swordfish rolls) and northern delights (thick vegetable soups) are the best offerings. Open daily, dinner only. $$$. Most major credit cards. Felice a Testaccio One of the tastiest and most colorful restaurants in the city center's working-class district. The restaurant is run by restaurateur Felice and his family, who are tempermental enough to deny a second course to diners who don't finish their first. But not finishing the first is tough: the pasta is to die fortry the simple and addictive Pasta al Felice (ricotta, tomatoes, mint and chili)and the suckling lamb served in cooler months is unforgettable. Oscar-winning actor Roberto Benigni adores the restaurant so much he wrote a poem in its honor.
Via Mastro Giorgio 29, Testaccio Rome, Italy Phone: 06-574-6800 http://www.feliceatestaccio.com Entrances at Via del Moro 1a and Piazza Trilussa 41 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-5833-3920 http://www.enotecaferrara.it

Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner (and subject to Felice's whims). Reservations are required and rarely accepted the day of the meal. $$-$$$. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Gino al Villino This small trattoria has been around since 1958, kept secret by its location just outside the city center. Don't expect the servers to speak English, but do look forward to some of the best Roman cooking possible. The menu changes daily, and the chef's inventions are always worth trying. However, staples include polenta con salsiccia (polenta and Roman sausages) and gnocci al parmigiano (potato-based dumplings in a parmigiana sauce). Adventurous diners sometimes continue with la trippa (tripe in a tomato and cheese sauce).
Largo Alessandrina Ravizza 12 (take Tram 8 to the Ravizza stop) Rome, Italy

Open daily except Wednesday for lunch and dinner. Closed for two weeks in August. $$. Most major credit cards. Giovanni A kind and efficient family from the Marche region owns this pleasant, comfortable restaurant. The cuisine is delicate and simple. Ask for the traditional tagliolini al sugo di carne (homemade pasta with red meat sauce) or the lentil soup. For dessert, savor the millefoglie (multilayered, cream-filled puff pastry). Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner; closed Sunday and in August. Reservations recommended. $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards. Hostaria Antica Roma Dining on the Appian Way, you'll be surrounded by Roman ruinsone wall of a dining room is actually an ancient columbarium, which held ashes of the deceased. Hostaria Antica Roma is an ideal choice when visiting the Catacombs of San Callisto, but otherwise it's out of the way. For a full, historically accurate Roman menu, diners must reserve three days in advance. But some elements of the menu are always available. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Appia Antica 87 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-513-2888 http://www.anticaroma.it Via Marche 64 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-482-1834 http://www.ristorantegiovanni.net

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Hostaria dell'Orso di Guantiero Marchesi One of the icons of the Roman dining scene, the Hosteria dell'Orso is a gem located in an opulent 15th-century palace with a view of the Tiber. It has been a favorite of dignitaries ranging from Goethe to Clark Gable, and is known for its contrast of ancient architecture, modern furnishings and an unforgettable menu that includes a tasty seared scallop salad with ginger, and homemade tortelli with pumpkin and marjoram. The wine list is impressive. Monday-Saturday for dinner. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Il Drappo Long, flowing draperies give this gracious Sardinian restaurant in Centro Storico a homey touch. Try the zuppa di carciofi (artichoke soup), maialino arrosto (roast suckling pig) or calamari ripieni (stuffed baby squid). Top things off with the fruit pie. Dine in Il Drappo's garden or in the air-conditioned dining room. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended for dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards. L'Antico Arco This vine-swathed restaurant attracts foodies with its slightly nouvelle flavors, 400 wines and homemade Sicilian cassata dessert. The seasonal menu is graced by such delights as spaghetti cacio e pepe con fiori di zucca crocanti (spaghetti with aged cheese, pepper and fried zucchini flowers), carpaccio caldo con i carciofi (sauteed beef served on a bed of artichokes) and petti di faraona con tartufi (quail breasts with shredded truffle and a potato tart). The gracious 18th-century building stands on the hill above Trastevere, next to the renowned Bar Gianicolo and the Porta San Pancrazio, a pink and white triumphal arch.
Piazzale Aurelio 7 Rome, Italy 152 Phone: 06-581-5274 http://www.anticoarco.it Vicolo del Malpasso 9 (off Via Giulia) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-687-7365 http://www.ildrappo.it Via dei Soldati 25c Rome, Italy Phone: 06-6830-1192 http://www.hdo.it

Open daily for dinner. Closed two weeks in August. Reserve a week in advance. $$$. Most major credit cards. La Pariolina This modern and stylish eatery specializes in gourmet pizzasboth the Roman thin-crust and the Neapolitan fluffy-crust varieties. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$.
Viale Parioli 93 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-808-6002 http://www.lapariolina.com

La Pergola This may be one of the grandest restaurants in all of Italy, boasting a panoramic view of the city, a mouthwatering menu that changes seasonally and a world-class wine list. Every detail is considered: Flanders linen, fine porcelain and a well-trained waitstaff that works so seamlessly they've been compared to a Russian ballet. Everything is so well-done that it's possible for diners to close their eyes and simply point to the menu for an unforgettable choice, but the best option may be to ask the advice of the knowledgeable, friendly and multilingual staff. A five- or seven-course wine tasting menu is offered most nights. Open Tuesday-Saturday 7:30-11:30 pm. Reservations must be made at least a month in advance. Dress formally. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Cadlolo 101 (located inside the Cavalieri Hilton) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3509-2152 http://www.romecavalieri.com/lapergola.p hp

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La Taverna del Ghetto Kosher In the heart of the Jewish Quarter, this restaurant serves typical Jewish-Roman dishes. Kosher Italian cuisine is not well-known outside of Italy, but many Romans consider it the best example of the city's culinary traditions. If they're serving tortino di alicotti all'indivia, be sure to try it. Open daily except Saturday for lunch, daily except Friday for dinner. $$. Most major credit cards. La Terazza dell'Eden The understated rooftop restaurant in the stylish Hotel Eden is an island of tranquility between the hustle and bustle of the Spanish Steps and the Via Veneto. Traditional Italian pastas, seafood and meat courses are prepared with a particularly delicate hand. Combined with a spectacular view of the city, La Terazza is a highlight of the Roman dining experience. Open daily for brunch, lunch and dinner. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Ludovisi 49 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4781-2752 http://www.edenroma.com/en/laterrazzad elleden Via Portico d'Ottavia 8 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-6880-9771 http://www.latavernadelghetto.com

Open Colonna Atop Rome's Palazzo delle Esposizioni off Via nazionale sits the glass encased Open Colonna, the Roman location for chef Antonio Colonna, who for years ran one of the most important destination restaurants a day trip away from Rome. At lunch, the restaurant offers a reasonably priced buffet of well-prepared traditional favorites, and at night the space is transformed into one of the city's most decadent eateries. Reserve at least a week in advance. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch only. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Osteria Margutta This impossibly romantic restaurant is located on a charming street. The all-red Ostaria Margutta serves specialties such as linguine and prawns, tortellini made in-house and baked turbot with potatoes, all in a candlelit setting. Changing art exhibits add to the decor. Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. $$. Most major credit cards.
Via Margutta 82 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-323-1025 http://www.osteriamargutta.it Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Scalinata di via Milano 9a Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4782-2641 http://www.antonellocolonna.it

Palazzetto International Wine Academy Go for the views of the Spanish Steps but stay for the gourmet cuisine served there in Rome's largest wine bar. The International Wine Academy has become the leading wine school in the city. Food is prepared to go with the wine, not the other way around. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Terrace bar open noon-7 pm. Reservations recommended. $$$-$$$$. All major credit cards.
Vicolo del Bottino 8 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-69934-1000 http://www.ilpalazzettoroma.com

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Piperno This well-known destination in the old Jewish Quarter is famous for its beautiful carciofi alla giudia (deep-fried artichokes) and fritto misto (mixed fried meat, fish and vegetables). The wonderful and elegant cuisine is matched by the historically significant setting, secluded in a little piazza engulfed by the Palazzo Cenci. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for lunch. Closed August. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Pizzeria La Montecarlo In summer, the alley outside this pizzeria is filled with tables of boisterous Romans. In winter, the Vicolo Savelli 13 (near Piazza Navona) crowds move indoors, where the walls display hundreds of photos of Italy's most famous actors, Rome, Italy singers, writers and politicians posing with the staff. The service is faster than it is polite, but the pizzas are great, the pasta is some of the best in Rome, and the price is fair for the quality. Phone: 06-686-1877 Start with a plate of fritti misti, which includes the most traditional Roman appetizers: fried http://www.lamontecarlo.it zucchini flowers with anchovies, suppli (rice balls stuffed with mozzarella and tomato, breaded and fried) and olive ascolane (fried olives stuffed with pork). Then try the calzone (pizza folded over on itself and filled with ham, cheese and egg) or the best carbonara (pasta in an egg-and-bacon sauce, with lots of black pepper and Parmesan) in Rome. Finally, finish with tiramisu. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Closed for two weeks in August. $. No credit cards. Pizzeria Panattoni "Ai Marmi" This pizzeriaprobably the best-known in Romeis commonly called l'obitorio, "the morgue," because of its minimalist interior. Rectangular marble tables fill the large, white room. Despite the simple decor, it's packed most nights with lively crowds, often including celebrities. The wood-burning oven is in the corner, so you can watch the hypnotizing pizza-making process. Open daily except Wednesday for dinner. Reservations not accepted. $. No credit cards. Primo al Pigneto From an unlikely location (until recently, Pigneto, just beyond San Giovanni, was an undesirable neighborhood of Rome) emerges one of the city's culinary hot spots, with creative interpretations of classic dishes that change with the seasons. Ask for an outdoor table in the summer to get a feel for the bohemian area. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards. Ristorante '34' This small restaurant is tucked between the shops where big-name designers sell handbags and shoes. First-rate Roman dishes. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards.
Via Mario de Fiori 34 (near the Spanish Steps) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-679-5091 http://www.ristoranteal34.it Via del Pigneto 46 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-701-3827 http://www.primoalpigneto.it Viale Trastevere 53-59, Trastevere Rome, Italy 153 Via Monte de' Cenci 9 Rome, Italy 186 Phone: 06-6880-6629 http://www.ristorantepiperno.com

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Santopadre The after-theater crowd gathers in this restaurant that's both rustic and elegant. Traditional Roman specialties include il cartoccio vegetale (seasonal vegetables baked in a bag) and tagliata di manzo (aged beef sliced and served on a bed of arugula and tomato wedges). Every Tuesday and Friday, fish selections augment the menu. Open Monday-Saturday for dinner. Reservations recommended. $$. Most major credit cards. Taverna Giulia This lovely, comfortable restaurant serves traditional Ligurian food on a quiet street at the north end of beautiful Via Giulia. At the top of the list are the dishes made with Genovese pesto, such as gnocchi and lasagna, as well as the delicate torta pasqualina, a vegetable dish with layers of pastry. Creme brulee is a favorite dessert. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Taverna Trilussa This bustling Trastevere eatery is so Roman that the menu is written in the local dialect (a Via del Politeama 23, Trastevere charmingly translated English-language version is available on request). A mix of Romans and Rome, Italy occasional visitors make up the crowd served by an experienced and helpful waitstaff and a menu ranging from traditional pasta and meat dishes to signature local dishes. Try the ravioli mimosa, the taverna's signature dish. Second-course dishes can be made from imported beef, and the millefoglie dessert is delicious. There are two wine lists: one focusing on underrated regional bottles, another focusing on the rest of Italy and a few foreign choices. Open Monday-Saturday from 7 pm. $$-$$$. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Tram Tram The name of this bustling little eatery comes from the tram that passes in front of the Via dei Reti 44 establishment and the old-fashioned wooden tram seats in the smaller of the two dining areas. Rome, Italy In the traditional Roman neighborhood of San Lorenzo, Tram Tram's Puglian-inspired cuisine is loved by locals, but it's a little too far off the beaten track for most tourists. The restaurant is crowded and service is uneven at best, but the food is wonderful and the bill is refreshingly free of sticker shock. Try the pappardella Tram Tramnoodles in a sauce of lamb strips and roasted peppers. The wine list is ample with many unusual choices for the adventurous. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. $$. Most major credit cards. Trattoria da Giggetto al Portico d'Ottavia Just short of becoming a Rome cliche, this landmark eatery nevertheless features a tasty menu served with a breathtaking backdropthe portico of Ottavia. Still family-run, still using authentic Jewish-Roman recipes, it bears the official cucinaromana designation. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via del Portico d'Ottavia 21A (near the Theater of Marcellus) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-1105 http://www.giggetto.it Vicolo dell'Oro 23 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-9768 http://www.tavernagiulia.it Via Collina 18 Rome, Italy 187

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Trattoria Monti Unpretentious and intimate, this enjoyable trattoria, operated by brothers Enrico and Daniele, features well-prepared and delicate dishes inspired by their native region of Le Marche. Try the delightful Parmesan custard.
Via di San Vito 13 Rome, Italy

Open daily, but closed for two weeks around Easter and Christmas and for the whole month of August. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards.

Cuisines
Asian
Thai Inn These Thai chefs would stand out in any city, as would the kindly, English-speaking staff. Christmas lights, blue lanterns, aquariums, bamboo matting, fake flowers and butterflies create a tranquil atmosphere. Open daily for dinner; Sunday for lunch. $$. Most major credit cards. Does not accept American Express or Diners Club. Thien Kim This first-class restaurant serves traditional Vietnamese dishes in a quiet nook near the bustle of the Lungotevere. Try the calamari with ginger and the frog legs in green coconut curry. The mixed starters and soups (pho) are renowned. Open Monday-Saturday for dinner. $$. Most major credit cards. Zen Sushi Pretty good sushi, sashimi and tempura served on a revolving carousel. For dinner, try the selection of fish brought on a wooden boat and finish it off with excellent coffeethis is Italy, after all. Daily except Monday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner only. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via degli Scipioni 243 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-321-3420 http://www.zenworld.it Via Giulia 201 Rome, Italy Via Federico Ozanam 94, Monteverde (Bus 44 from Piazza Veneziathe stop before Via Nadina Helbig) Rome, Italy

Vegetarian
Il Margutta Vegetarian restaurants are sparse in Rome, but Il Margutta is a refined, haute option. Its cooks use only organic vegetables and wines for its contemporary dishes, prepared in a sleek, modern setting. Even carnivores are favorably impressed with the rich, complex offerings. You may recognize this lovely street, near the Spanish Steps, from the movie Roman Holiday. Jazz concerts are held most Tuesdays after dinner. On Sunday and holidays, the "festivity brunch" offers a buffet and live music for 25 euros Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Margutta 118 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-3265-05577 http://www.ilmargutta.it

Breakfast & Brunch

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Bibli A relaxing cafe and bookstore in the Trastevere area, Bibli serves a light breakfast buffet on Saturday morning and a full brunch Sunday starting at 12:30 pm. It's small but comfortable if you can get a table. In the afternoons and evenings, there are poetry readings and live acoustic music. Open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner, Monday for dinner only. $. Most major credit cards. Chiostro del Bramante The cloisters that surrounded a 16th-century church now serve as a venue for some of Rome's most exclusive exhibitions and conferences. This fabulous structure, complete with colonnades and Raffaelo's fresco Le Sibille, is interesting enough as a museum, but on Saturday and Sunday (10 am-3 pm), it also serves one of the best brunches in Rome for 28 euros. $$. Most major credit cards.
Via Arco della Pace 5 (the street leads to the front door; there is no number) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-6880-9035 http://www.chiostrodelbramante.it Via dei Fienaroli 28, Trastevere Rome, Italy Phone: 06-581-4534 http://www.bibli.it

Doney Every Sunday, the Excelsior's restaurant hosts an elegant brunch with exquisite food and wines. A lunch buffet (38 euros excluding drinks) is served Monday-Friday. Sunday 12:30-3 pm. Reservations recommended. $$$. Brunch is 50 euros (including a glass of spumante, but not wine). Most major credit cards.
Via Vittorio Veneto 137 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4708-2783 http://www.westin.com/excelsiorrome

'Gusto A leader in the multimedia trend, 'Gusto is a large space with shopping, a wine bar, a pizzeria, a restaurant and live music at nightand, of course, brunch. The fare is on the lighter side, with options ranging from soups and salads to pasta and couscous. Daily for lunch and dinner till 1 am. Live music after 11 pm Tuesday and Thursday. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards.
Piazza Augusto Imperatore 7 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-322-6273 http://www.gusto.it

Coffeehouses
La Casa del Caffe Tazza d'Oro Some of the world's best coffee is worth the wait (up to 15 minutes in high tourist season). The capuccino is to die for. When lines are small, the staff can prepare a shakerato (iced coffee with sugar, shaken like a cocktail until it becomes thick and frothy). Coffee ground on-site is available for purchase and can be shipped worldwide. Open Monday-Saturday 7 am-8 pm. $. Most major credit cards, though there is a minimum charge of 5 euros.
Via degli Orfani 84 (around the corner from the Pantheon) Rome, Italy 186 Phone: 06-679-2768 http://www.tazzadorocoffeeshop.com

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Sant'Eustachio il Caffe Since it opened in 1938, this cafe has become famous among Romans for its unique coffee. The baristi must sign an agreement not to divulge the secret of its preparation, and the position of the espresso machines hides the process from view. Ask for the zuccherato (with sugar). Beans ground on-site are available for purchase and can be shipped worldwide. Courses about coffee are also offered. Open daily 8:30 am-1 am (stays open slightly later on Friday and Saturday). $. No credit cards.
Piazza Sant'Eustachio 82 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-6880-2048 http://www.santeustachioilcaffe.it

Seafood
F.I.S.H. Rome's Fine International Seafood House offers something for all seafood aficionados. On one side of the restaurant, French oysters and Japanese sushi dominate the raw menu. On the other side, Asian- and Mediterranean-inspired cooked seafood reigns. The house favorites are Tris Tar Tar, tuna spezzatino and the exotic fruit platter. Open daily except Monday for dinner. $$. Major credit cards. La Rosetta A famous restaurant just off the Pantheon, this place is considered by many to be the finest seafood restaurant in Rome. Go expecting a culinary treat and a lengthy meal. Dinner is expensive; the food at lunch is just as good and the prices far more reasonable. Try the fish soup. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner only. Reservations recommended. Dress up for dinner. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Pierluigi A popular source for centuries-old Roman recipes, Pierluigi is as beloved as ever. Begin with one of the specialties: pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) or minestra broccoli (broccoli soup). Follow up with spaghetti con frutti di mare (spaghetti and seafood sauce), and then proceed to pesce al sale (fish baked in a salt shell) or calamari e gamberi fritti (fried squid and shrimp). Be sure to dine outside in the warmer monthsthe location is beautiful. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Quattro Mori When Pope Benedict XVI was still Cardinal Ratzinger, he often walked five minutes from the Vatican to enjoy Rome's best Sardinian seafood: The scallops, scampi and swordfish are delicious. Try the pasta served with bottarga, a rich and intensely savory roe of either tuna or gray mullet. Very charming service and now almost always full. Daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Santa Maria alle Fornaci 8a Rome, Italy Phone: 06-639-0195 http://www.ristoranteiquattromori.com Piazza de' Ricci 144 (between Piazza Farnese and the Vatican) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-1302 http://www.pierluigi.it Via della Rosetta 8 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-686-1002 http://www.larosetta.com Via dei Serpenti 16 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4782-4962 http://www.f-i-s-h.it

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Ristorante da Vincenzo The friendly service at this seafood restaurant is surpassed only by the quality of the food. Begin the evening with a Sicilian or Sardinian dry white wine from Vincenzo's well-stocked cellar. Order the antipasto misto al mare (assorted marinated seafood). For the first course, ask for penne or linguine all'astice (short or long pasta with lobster sauce). Indecisive gourmands can request an assaggio (sampler) of at least three kinds. For the main course, choose between mazzancole alla griglia (grilled king prawns), rombo e patate al forno (baked turbot with potatoes) and spigola in acqua pazza (sea bass boiled in seasoned water). Let the server fillet the fish for you. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations necessary. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Siciliainbocca Sicilians prepare the best fish in Italyand this charming restaurant showcases that skill. The fish arrives fresh daily from the channel between the island and Tunisia. Try the involtini di pesce spada (thin slices of swordfish wrapped around a traditional stuffing of raisins, pine nuts, bread crumbs and herbs) and one of the exquisite Sicilian wines from the cellar. Finish with cannoli or one of the other ricotta-based desserts. There is a second location in the Prati quarter on Via Faa di Bruno, and a third in Trastevere on Via Garibaldi. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Does not accept Diners Club.
Via Flaminia 390 (above Piazza del Popolo) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-324-0187 http://www.siciliainboccaweb.com Via Castelfidardo 4 (near the Baths of Diocletian) Rome, Italy Phone: 06-484-596 http://www.ristorantidiroma.com/davincen zo/homeeng.htm

Steak Houses
Al Girarrosto Toscano This steak house in the Prati area specializes in steak fiorentina (prepared as in Florence), as well as other Tuscan dishes. It serves fried chicken and boasts that its meatballs were one of Fellini's favorites. Wide selection of wines. Finish off the meal with one of the desserts made inhouse. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Germanico 58/60 (a few blocks north of Piazza Risorgimento, near the Vatican) Rome, Italy 192 Phone: 06-3972-5717 http://www.ristorantedaltoscano.it

Caminetto Great steaks (said to be a favorite among Italy's soccer players), wine and atmosphere, along with light Italian cooking. The restaurant also has excellent servicea rarity in even the best restaurants in Rome. Daily for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Viale Parioli 89 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-808-3946 http://www.caminettoroma.com

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Da Tullio No one treats prime beef better than Tuscanssuch is the case with the family that runs this homey and rustic, but stylish, restaurant just off the Piazza Barberini. Highlights include the long pasta dishes with truffle shavings or wild mushroom and parsley sauce. Cooked over an open fire, the tagliata (sliced beef grilled and garnished with basil and Parmesan cheese) will satisfy any craving for top-grade, aged meat. Superbly executed fish and seafood entrees are distinguished as well. Local gourmands crowd this place.
Via San Nicola da Tolentino 26 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-474-5560 http://www.tullioristorante.it

Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Girarrosto Fiorentino For more than 35 years, this steak house has been a solid favorite for dining just off the Via Veneto. It specializes in Florentine steaks and an assortment of fish and pasta. Great atmosphere for dining in the cooler months. Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Via Sicilia 46 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-4288-0660 http://www.girarrostofiorentino.it

Other Options
Gelato (ice cream) has a long tradition in Italy, and it still resembles the treats Michelangelo and Bernini might have enjoyed. A gelateria that calls its product artigianale crafts its wares in-house. Whether you take your gelato after a long walk in the blazing heat, after dinner or at 2 am between visits to bars, there's no better way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Caffe Giolitti The air-conditioned, pink- and green-marbled gelateria, with its fin-de-siecle ambience, offers a nice break from the busy streets outside. There's better gelato to be found, but this is Rome's most famous. Try zabaione or the champagne ice cream, and expect to meet Silvio Berlusconi, who loves this place. You can have excellent tea and coffee there, too. Daily 7 am-2 am. Da Quinto Gelateria This small ice-cream shop is right next to Piazza Navona, on a street full of Rome's best nightspots. Day or night, the line to buy ice cream flows out the door and tends to obstruct even the foot traffic along the road. The wait is well worth it, however. Many claim it's the best in Rome. Try the affogato (ice cream drowned in brandy or rum). Open 10 am to very late, almost until dawn in the summer. Gelateria della Palma This colorful, chaotic gelateria, just behind the Pantheon, is always full of locals and tourists. The taste of the ice cream is exceptionally good, but this place is better known for its quantity of flavors. There are more than 20 flavors of chocolate alone and hundreds of others. Try kiwi, watermelon, wild strawberry, limoncello, sesame seed or honey. Open 8:30 am-midnight (sometimes later, depending on how busy it is).
Via della Maddalena 19/23 Rome, Italy Via di Tor Millina 15 Rome, Italy Via Uffici del Vicario 40 Rome, Italy 186 Phone: 06-699-1243 http://www.giolitti.it

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Gelateria di San Crispino It's not hard to find great ice cream in the eternal city, but this gelateria is a cut above, specializing in meringue ice creams and fresh fruit sorbets. Open daily noon-12:30 am (until 1:30 am Friday and Saturday).
Via della Panetteria 42 Rome, Italy Phone: 06-679-3924 http://www.ilgelatodisancrispino.it

Security
Etiquette
Contrary to the relaxed image many have of Italy, the Italian business world emphasizes formality and procedure. Get assistance from a local contact, go through proper channels, and always present yourself and your firm as polished and accomplished. AppointmentsHaving an intermediary is essential. Without someone to make the appropriate contacts, you'll find it hard to get much done. A go-between can help schedule meetings, which should be set up well in advance. It is very difficultnearly impossible, in factto call on a businessperson unannounced. Confirm your meetings a day or two before they're set to take place. Punctuality is expected throughout the country. Your Italian counterparts may or may not be as prompt: Those in the northern part of the country generally are; those in the south are less so. Personal IntroductionsGreet others with a handshake and a slight nod. Titles are important: Use any professional titles supplied on introduction or, better yet, ask for a list of the participants and their official titles in advance. Use the title and last nameplus the formal third-person address if you speak any Italianuntil instructed otherwise. On a social level, Romans often bestow two cheek kisses to friends of friends. Be alert and follow cues. NegotiatingThe pace of negotiations is slow, and final decisions are not made by lower-level functionaries. The chain of command in Italian business is both vertical and horizontal, so decision-making can take a long time. Last-minute demands can be made by a person who enters the negotiations late in the game. In fact, this is sometimes used as a negotiating tool. Remain patient and calm at all times. Business EntertainingBusiness dinners are common, but will typically involve only a few key players. If you are hosting the dinner, ask your Italian contact whom to invite. Tip the waiter ahead of time and ask that the bill be quietly given to you, should you wish to pay. Otherwise, you will have to request the check; it will not be brought to you automatically. Body LanguageItalians typically converse while standing close together. Handshakes can extend longer than in other cultures, and locals tend to gesture when talking. The hand signs are continuous and nuanced, though none are likely to be made by a foreigner inadvertently. More often, visitors start to imitate the gestures without understanding the precise meaningsa practice we'd caution against. Gift GivingSmall but high-quality gifts are appropriate in some situations: Ask your intermediary for advice. Take flowers, chocolates or lavishly wrapped pastries to someone's home. Exercise caution in giving wine: Many Italians are experts; if you're not, select a different gift. ConversationVery little is off-limits in Italian conversation, but avoid being critical of Italian society and culture, even if your host is. Soccer is a passion and an easy topic (though discussing individual players rather than teams may be safer), as are art, travel and Italian culture. The less-positive side of Italy, including racism charges, Mussolini, World War II, the role of the Church in Italian affairs and the Mafia, is probably better avoided unless you know the other parties well.

Personal Safety
Rome, like any big city, has its fair share of crime. Fortunately, few incidents involve gangs or violence. Great progress has been made by Rome's mayor, Gianni Alemanno, to diminish petty crime, but it has made those vagrants still out there more aggressive than usual. There are many more police officers patrolling tourist areas than in previous years, but one should still be cautious. The buses that connect to St. Peter's, the Colosseum, the Catacombs and Termini Station are crawling with pickpockets, as are the subway trains. Don't tempt thieves with flashy, expensive jewelry, dangling or open purses, easily accessible wallets or unlocked cars. Don't leave

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher handbags or backpacks open, and make sure your most valuable possessions are close to your body or back in the hotel safe. Hold on tightly to purses and briefcases, and avoid the side of the sidewalk nearest traffic (purse snatchers sometimes operate from the backs of motorbikes). Keep physical contact with your belongings, even when seated at a cafe table or outdoor restaurant (for example, handbags should loop over an ankle or knee, rather than a chair back). Be alert. Make eye contact with potential pickpockets. Should an incident begin, shout and point while gripping your belongings. Don't be afraid of causing a scene: Locals and transit workers will quickly come to your defense. Note: Street musiciansmany of them classically trained Romanians or self-taught Romaare largely innocent of such scams. Many support large families. Locals consider it bella figura (good style) to donate spare change to talented buskers and sincerely needy beggars. Be wary of fast-talking "guides" or "hotel representatives" in the train station or at tourist sites. They are either swindlers or serving as a diversion, as another crook strips you of your possessions. You can appeal to the police if there is a dispute over the price for any type of service. Changes to the taxi charter have put caps on prices, so be sure you check the printed price list or ask for an estimated price before entering the cab. A small percentage of Roman soccer fans are apt to become violent, but there is increasing violence by fans of visiting teams, especially England. Be attentive to which team the people around you support. Serious incidents are extremely rare, but it's better to stay on the safe side. Sporting the wrong jersey, or even wearing the wrong colors, can sometimes lead to problems. As a rule, it's advisable to leave the stadium early. Women may endure more attention than at home. Flattering comments such as "bellissima" (most beautiful) are culturally acceptable touching is not. Scream and slap; most Romans will leap to your aid. In Rome, there are four different law-enforcement organizations: the city police, polizia municipale (in blue and white); the state police, polizia di stato (also in blue and white); the paramilitary police, carabinieri (in designer black and red); and the finance police, guardia di finanza (in brown and green). Although each has a specialization, they all cover the same jurisdiction. Appeal to any of them, regardless of the problem. All four types tend to speak at least basic English and are eager to ensure that tourists are not cheated (after all, tourism is Rome's biggest business). Finally, do not be alarmed by machine guns at the airport or in the hands of traffic cops: The heavy weaponry is routine. In an emergency, phone 113 for the police, 115 for fire and 118 for medical assistance. For the latest information on travel safety, contact your country's travel-advisory agency.

Health
Medical facilities are generally very good, and the water, although heavily chlorinated, is safe to drink. Locals stick to bottled water, but it's a matter of preferencethe tap water is fine. Rome can get particularly hot in summercarrying a bottle of water can help prevent dehydration. Refills from the street nozzles are perfectly safe, but keep out of the fountains. Also, as everywhere, take your most comfortable pair of walking shoes, as Rome is a city best seen on foot. Most pharmacies are open Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1 pm and 3:30-7 pm. They rotate night duty (7 pm-8:30 am), publishing the schedule daily in newspapers, such as Il Messeggero or Il Tempo. Pharmacists can sometimes aid travelers with basic prescriptions such as birth-control refills or medicine for conjunctivitis (pink eye); for a minor ailment, ask first before tracking down an English-language doctor. All medicine is given over the counter, so it helps to know the Italian name for your malady. The two main hospitals in the city center are Policlinico Umberto I, located on Viale del Policlinco close to the Policlinco metro stop on the B line (phone 06-49971; http://www.policlinicoumberto1.it); and Ospedale San Giovanni-Addolorata, located on Via dell'Amba Aradam 9 (phone 06-77051; http://www.hsangiovanni.roma.it). For more information, contact your country's health-advisory agency.

Disabled Advisory
As an ancient city with limited auto access, Rome can be difficult for disabled travelers to navigate.

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The public-transit system and the train system both have special services for the disabled, but trams are the only sure bet. Otherwise, transportation must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance (a week ahead is best). There is an office at Termini Station, open daily 7 am9 pm, that offers information on services for the disabled and helps to make special arrangements if contacted in advance. Phone 06-4881726. For up-to-date information on accessibility for trams, buses and subways, call ATAC Monday-Saturday 8 am-8 pm. Phone 800-154-451. http://www.trenitalia.it or http://www.atac.roma.it. Clubs and restaurants are also becoming more aware of access issues. Listings for them in the local Roma C'e now include wheelchair accessibility.

Facts
Dos & Don'ts
Do feel free to drink the water from the many street nozzles. It's the same water drunk by astronauts in space and what is sold as bottled water throughout the world. Avoid only if the words non potabile (not drinkable) appear. Do pack a good insect repellent. Large tiger mosquitoes from Asia do not carry diseases but do plague the city in the summer months. Don't bathe in the city's fountains. They are considered monuments, and you will risk being arrested or fined. Do order a pizza with ham and figs or potatoes and rosemarypopular, traditional Roman snacks. Don't expect to eat dinner in a local restaurant before 7:30 or 8 pm, and lunch is rarely served before 12:30 or 1 pm. Do take time to admire the cobbled streets in the city center. Many of the city center's main traffic streets have already been paved with asphalt, but there is little chance they will disappear entirely. Don't forget to look up when walking down Rome's quaint streets. Many old buildings have remnants of frescoes and original statues on the facades. And you might see wonderful Roman faces people-watching from the windows.

Geostats
Passport/Visa Requirements: Citizens of Canada and the U.S. need only a passport. Check travel document requirements with your carrier before departing. Population: 3,357,000. Languages: Italian. English is widely spokenif not perfectly, at least enough to communicate basic information. Predominant Religions: Christian (Roman Catholic). Time Zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Voltage Requirements: 220 volts. Telephone Codes: 39, country code; 06,city code;

Money

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Currency Exchange
Banks, though ubiquitous, are concentrated on main drags such as the Via Veneto, Piazza San Silvestro and Via del Corso. ATMs, called bancomats, are available 24 hours a day outside almost all banks and at many other locations. They are the preferred way of getting cash, because they do not usually add the 2.5%-4% fees that credit cards charge for advances. Cards with the Cirrus symbol are accepted almost anywhere. To change cash and traveler's checks, banks charge a commission of about 3 euros. Post offices charge a fee of 3.13 euros. Exchange rates are generally better at downtown banks and exchanges (ufficio di cambio) than at the airports or hotels. Cambio hours are generally 8:30 am-7:30 pm. At the airport, try to avoid changing more money than you may need to get into town. You'll also find 24-hour automated exchange machines dotting the city for extra convenience. Bank hours are generally Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-4 pm (with some variation), but some of the larger banks are open throughout the day. In winter, banks often have reduced hours.

Taxes
Hotels in Rome now charge a 5 euros per night occupancy tax, and an additional 2.50 euros event tax during special occasions such as major events at the Vatican, the Rome Film Festival or major holidays. A value-added-tax (VAT, or IVA in Italy), anywhere from 3%-22%, can be refunded to non-European Union visitors. The amount added varies from country to country within the EU, and not all stores participate. Check first or look for the sign in the store window. In addition, only luxury goodssuch as clothing and wineare eligible. Refunds usually amount to about 13%-16% of the purchase price. Present three things to the refund officer at the airport before departure: your purchase, the receipt and the customs division's stamped refund form (which must be picked up at the place of purchase). Without these, your refund will be denied. Note that only unused articles are eligible for a refund: If the article looks used, you won't get your money back. If everything is in order, the IVA refund officer will give you a final form to be mailed. (Ideally, jump through all these hoops before checking your bags and have your purchases in an easy-to-reach place.) Some larger stores have a streamlined process: They handle most of the paperwork and then mail the refund to you, usually minus a fee. Private IVA refund services, located at the airport, also pay immediately minus a fee, usually a percentage of the refund. This is also possible at refund centers in the shopping district of Rome's Centro Storico and other large Italian cities. The two largest such services are Global Refund and Cashback; you'll see their signs in store windows. For more information, check Global Refund's Web site, http://www.globalrefund.com. It provides information, a tax calculator and a location map, showing its refund offices in 34 countries and all major exit points in Italy (airports, harbors and roads).

Tipping
Tipping is not mandatory. At times a service charge (servizio) is tacked onto restaurant bills. Don't confuse this with the cover (coperta), which is a charge for bread and table settings. If the service charge is included and you are pleased with the service, leave an additional 5%; if the service charge is not included, leave a tip not to exceed 10% of the total bill in high-end restaurants. In mid- and lower-level eateries, a tip of 1 euro per person at the table is plenty. Be aware that if you write your tip on the credit card, there is a good chance your waiter won't get the gratuity. It's always best to hand the tip directly to the person for whom it is intended. Hotel staff typically receive 2.50 euros-5 euros. Tipping in taxis is not obligatory, either, but most people round up to the next euro.

Weather
May and June are the best times to visit, as far as the weather goes. Spring weather can be quite changeable, especially in March and April, with sunny skies in the morning and storms in the afternoon. May and June can be very pleasant, but temperatures often climb above 85 F/30 C in July and August. High humidity (around 85%) causes most locals to flee the city toward the end of summer. Fall remains sunny, with October and November quite mild but sometimes rainy. September-November is a nice time to visitthe weather's good for touring around, and you'll miss the early-summer crowds. Winters are generally mild, with January lows around 40 F/5 C.

What to Wear

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher As a rule, Italians are very conscious about clothes and fabric and have a highly developed sense of style. Casual dress is fine for most occasions, but a suit and tie are recommended for business meetings. Jackets for men and smart attire for women are wise for dining out. The only locals in shorts and T-shirts are construction workers or people playing soccer in the park; women rarely wear shorts. Bare feet are taboo except at the seaside or swimming pools. When visiting the Vatican or any major cathedral, men should wear long pants and women should wear skirts or long pants. Sleeveless shirts and shorts are not permitted in churches or the Vatican, including the Vatican museums. Use a large scarf to cover exposed shoulders if no other covering is available.

Communication
Telephone
If you're calling a number in Rome from outside Italy, first dial your country's international access code and then Italy's country code, 39, followed by the city code, 06. Within Italy or Rome, you'll need to dial 06 and then the local number. Mobile numbers begin with 3 and have no city code (outside Italy, you still must dial the prefix 39). However, numbers starting in 3 are beginning to run out, and it is reported that starting in 2012 some cellular numbers will begin with 4. Public phones are getting harder and harder to find (cell phones have taken over the country). Most accept only phone cards issued by Telecom Italia, the state-run company. Purchase these at newsstands, tobacconists (marked by a blue or black sign with a large white T), post offices and many bars. Ask for a carta telefonica. Tear the corner off, insert it into the phone, and dial away. International call cards can be purchased at most tobacconists and bars. Most offer about 300 minutes' worth of talk time for 5 euros. Actual cost-per-minute is determined by which country you are calling. Call the switchboard numberlisted on the calling cardfrom any phone and they'll connect you to your desired number. Cell phone coverage is variable. Don't expect to get any signal whatsoever when inside ancient buildings or ruins, and most restaurants in the city center have limited signals indoors. You can tell how good a restaurant's signal is by the number of people standing outside talking on their phones. If you are traveling for an extended period of time and would like an Italian number, TIM and Vodafone stores, located throughout the country, sell SIM cards starting at 5 euros. SIM cards are compatible with most unlocked cell phones.

Internet Access
Internet cafes have become common in the center of the city. Many are extremely small, with no more than five computers, but prices tend to be very reasonable. If you're looking for ambience, check the centro areas around the Pantheon, Campo dei Fiori or Via Veneto. Wi-Fi hot spots are now in major parks such as Villa Borghese and Villa Pamphilij and in almost all central areas. Wi-Fi is free with registration; all you need is a cell phone to authenticate registration. If you travel with a laptop and need Internet access immediately upon arrival in Rome, the McDonald's restaurant in Termini Station offers free Wi-Fi.

Mail & Package Services


Most tobacconists, in addition to the post office, sell stamps. If you're mailing something important, skip the post office and use a private delivery service. Federal Express, DHL and UPS all have outlets throughout the city. Mailboxes Etc. also has a handful of shops, and they will handle courier and mail services. Poste Italiane All post offices accept international parcels, but packaging requirements apply. Padded envelopes are the safest bet. Boxes should be cleanly wrapped and sealed. Priority mail (posta prioritaria) and express mail (posta celere) have sped up Italy's infamously slow mail. The most central post office is Ufficio Postale di Roma Centro. Monday-Friday 8:30 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-1 pm. Piazza di San Silvestro 20. Rome, Italy.

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Vatican Post Office Quicker and with more efficient service than its Italian counterpart; it also has multilingual clerks. Only mail with Vatican stamps will be accepted. The Vatican Post Office may close without notice because of increased security for special ceremonies. Monday-Friday 8:30 am6:30 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-1 pm. Piazza San Pietro. Vatican City, Italy.

Newspapers & Magazines


Il Messaggero, La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera are Italian-language dailies that cover metropolitan news. Another local daily is Il Tempo. Il Sole 24 Ore is the main daily business newspaper. Newsstands in the city center stock the International Herald Tribune, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Financial Times and many international magazines. British newspapers and some U.S. dailies are available at newsstands in Piazza di Spagna, in Piazza San Silvestro, on Via Veneto near the Excelsior Hotel, at Termini Station and at the airport. Wanted in Rome is a bimonthly English-language publication sold at all newsstands. It has entertainment listings among other bits of information, and the Web site, http://www.wantedinrome.com, carries back issues. The section "What's On and Where to Go" is particularly useful. See also the multitude of entertainment options listed and advertised (in Italian) in "Trovaroma," the Thursday supplement published by La Repubblica and available throughout the city. The most complete listings are in Roma C'e, which has an English-language insert.

Transportation
Rome's downtown streets are narrow, scooters zip by everywhere, and Roman drivers are far from cautious. Before renting a car and braving the chaos, know that parking is difficult and that very few garages are available. We recommend that visitors walk as much as possiblenothing in the Centro Storico is more than a 30- to 40-minute stroll away. Taxis, buses and the metro can fill most gaps.

Air
Rome's main airport is Leonardo da Vinci, commonly called Fiumicino (FCO), about 16 mi/35 km southwest of Rome. Though quite large, with two of its three terminals dedicated to international travel, it manages to avoid confusion with clearly marked signs and a generous number of information booths, as well as interactive touch-screen kiosks that provide timetables, airport maps and more. Most U.S. destinations leave from Terminal 5. There is no shortage of ATMs, duty-free shops and restaurants, and there's a 24-hour cash exchange. For airport information, call 39-06-65951. http://www.adr.it. A second airport, Ciampino, mainly welcomes international charters and budget airlines 8 mi/13 km southeast of Rome. Small but friendly, it offers a pint-sized selection of services normally found in the larger airports: a bank, post office, cash exchange (usually closing around 9 pm), a couple of information booths and a lounge. In addition, it has a smattering of snack bars and duty-free shops. The airport is being expanded, and though this doesn't affect flights or service within the airport, it will in the future mean quicker check-in times and controls, and the possibility of flights to more destinations. Phone 39-06-794-941. http://www.adr.it. Connecting Transportation Best way: Trains run approximately every 30 minutes, between 6:30 am and 11:30 pm, from Fiumicino's train station either directly to Termini Station (about 30 minutes) or, on a different line, from a dozen stops in the city, including Stazione Trastevere, Stazione Ostiense and Statione Tiburtina (40 minutes). The trains from Termini start at 5:52 am and run until 10:52 pm (from Fiumicino to Termini they run 6:37 am-11:37 pm). These are called the Leonardo Express. They leave from tracks 27 and 28, and they work even during rail strikes. The local trains that pass through the city center leave at uneven intervals (every 15 minutes early and at the end of the business day, every 40 minutes during the day and every 1:20 late at night). This train also leave the city and heads to points north as far as Orte in northern Lazio. The Leonardo Express costs 14 euros and the local train through the city is 8 euros. Purchase tickets from station windows, vending machines or the newsstand. Don't forget to validate the ticket in a yellow machine before boarding. (It is no longer permitted to use a pen to cancel the ticket. If you arrive too late to cancel the ticket in the machine, have the conductor on the train validate your ticket.)

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher http://www.trenitalia.it. Ciampino's public transport links are trickier. COTRAL buses connect to the vast Anagnina Station, where you can then catch Metro Linea A to the central train hub, Termini (1 euro). http://www.metroroma.it and http://www.cotralspa.it. Busses run from Termini to Ciampino (the town), 6:37 am-11:45 pm and in reverse 4:50 am-9:45 pm. The route takes 40 minutes. The cost is 3.90 euros for one way and 6.90 euros for round trip. From the airport to the metro stop Anagnina buses leave every 20 minutes and cost 1.20 euros. From the airport to the Ciampino train station, busses run 5:20 am-9:50 pm (occasionally there is a bus at 10:40 pm and 11:35 pm) in reverse they run 5:50 am-10:20 pm. It takes five minutes and the cost is 1.20 euros. From Roma Termini to the Ciampino train station, trains run on both directions hourly at a cost of 1.30 euros. The trip takes 12 minutes. Hours change periodically, but they are generally 6 am-10 pm. Other options: COTRAL night buses run 1:15 am-7 am (4.50 euros or 7 euros onboard). Fiumicino's stop is outside the arrivals hall. The bus ride to and from Termini takes around 30 minutes. Toll-free 800-174-471. http://www.cotralspa.it. A taxi takes 45 minutes and costs 40 euros plus 2 euros per bag to destinations in the city center (always use the official white and yellow cabs at the stand; avoid the unauthorized touts). There is a surcharge of 10 euros 10 pm-7 am. Be forewarned that drivers tack on surcharges for almost anything, but regulations have helped tremendously. All legal charges are printed on a white card in multiple languages inside each licensed taxi. Beware of taxis from the city of Fiumicino, which are allowed to pick up passengers at the airport but charge an additional 20 euros for the trip to Rome. A chauffeured shuttle service between Fiumicino Airport and your hotel costs approximately 40 euros. Book through one of the many booths in the terminal. Many major hotels have courtesy vans. Let the concierge know your arrival time and flight details prior to traveling. Branches of major rental car agencies have desks at the airport. For Ciampino, some airlines run shuttles (around 20 euros return). A cab costs 30 euros to the center, plus an additional fee per bag.

Car
We strongly advise against driving within Rome. For excursions, take the train out of the city first and then rent the car: The GRA (the freeway that encircles Rome) and its exits are notoriously bewildering for tourists and locals alike. Driving is on the right. There is no shortage of car rental agencies at the airport, train station or in town.

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Public Transportation
The public transit system includes buses, trams and metro subway trains. Tickets are valid on all three forms of transportation, good for only one trip on the metro but unlimited transfers on buses and trams for 75 minutes after the time stamped on the ticket. Buy tickets for many buses at tobacconists (marked with a black or blue sign with a large T), bars and newspaper kiosks, as well as at the green ATAC (the city transport authority) booths located on all the major squares. A single ticket is 1 euro and must be stamped in a validation machine onboard. Multiride passes are available for a day (5.50 euros), week (22 euros) and month (50 euros). Month-long passes can only be purchased at tobacconists. The public transit Web site helps plan routes. Insert the starting destination address, and the site provides a printable page, complete with a map, of all possible transfers and (where applicable) alternative routes. http://www.atac.roma.it. ATAC Buses In general, this is a good way to get around, but familiarize yourself with the system first. Electric buses 116, 117 and 119 are a visitor's friend because they ply the pedestrian areas of Piazza del Popolo, Via del Corso and the Centro Storico, hitting the major sights along the way. Pickpockets operate on all buses, particularly on those around the tourist areas. Be aware of your wallet and bags at all times. Bus service is generally suspended between midnight and 5:30 am, except for autobus notturna (night bus) servicethese buses run about every 30 minutes, and the hub is Piazza Venezia. Stops with night bus services are indicated with a large owl, and the buses are marked with an N. They don't necessarily slow down at the stops, so flag ostentatiously. Phone 06-57003 for information. Rome, Italy. Metro There are two Metropolitana (subway) lines. The A line runs from Battistini to Anagnina, crossing the city from west to southeast. The B line runs from Laurentina (near EUR, south of Centro Storico) to Rebibbia and crosses the city from south to southeast. The two lines intersect at Stazione Termini. Stations are marked aboveground by a large red M sign. Work is under way on the new C line, but progress is slow. The subway runs daily 5:30 am-11:30 pm, and until 1:30 am Friday and Saturday. Rome, Italy. http://www.atac.roma.it. Trams These lines are the best ones for visitors: Tram 8 connects Centro Storico to Trastevere before terminating at Villa Pamphilj; Tram 19 runs from the Vatican around Villa Borghese; and Tram 3 runs from Villa Borghese to Stazione Trastevere, stopping en route at the Colosseum and Stazione Ostiense. Trams run 5 am-midnight, except for Tram 8, which runs until 3 am on Friday and Saturday. Rome, Italy.

Ship
Cruise ships dock at the port of Civitavecchia, a port city approximately 65 mi/105 km north of Rome. This rapidly growing port is one of the most popular destinations for ferry travelers in the Mediterranean. Popular destinations from the port include Sardinia, Palermo, Genoa and Barcelona. The port itself is not very attractive. It is enormous; from the ferries to the port entrance is half a mile/kilometer, and shuttles are available. The train station is another 10-minute walk. Trains leave for Rome's Termini Station every 20 minutes and take about one hour and 15 minutes. Buses that leave from the train station also go to Rome. Trains do not run direct to Fiumicino Airport; travelers must go first to Rome, and transfer trains. Total travel time is at least two hours. Taxis are not always available. Private shuttle companies take travelers from Civitavecchia to Rome or the Fiumicino Airport. Popular companies include Rome Airport Transfers and Airport Connection Service. Cruise ships also dock at Naples, about two hours south of Rome. This grand, sprawling port also welcomes ferries (traghetti) and hydrofoils (aliscafi). Routes web the Tyrrhenian Sea, linking Naples to Sicily, Sardinia, Capri, Ischia, Procida, the Pontine and Aeolian Islands, as well as international destinations such as Tunisia, Croatia and Greece. Naples and Rome are very well-connected by bus, train and even plane, but the train is best and takes less than two hours.

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Taxi
Official taxis are white, carry a Commune di Roma plaque (inside the rear door on the left side), have meters and operate 24 hours. Cabdrivers are not accustomed to being hailed and may not stop. Instead, go to a taxi stand (marked with green signs) or order one by phone: 06-0609 (centralized service), 06-3570, 06-4157 or 06-4994. Different fares are charged for travel outside and inside the GRA, a ring road around the city, inside and outside the ZTL (a limited traffic area in the center of the city) and for different times of day. Fares vary depending on traffic, fares start at 2.80 euros, but are 2.50 euros higher after 10 pm and on Sunday, and 3 euros higher when the cab leaves from Termini. For taxis ordered by phone, the rate is charged from the time the car is dispatched. Sometimes you'll be charged for luggage. Most taxi drivers don't speak English, so it's a good idea to have the destination address written down.

Train
Ferrovie dello Stato The Italian national rail service is fairly cheap and reliable. Rome's primary stations are Termini (the main hub, connected to both metro lines), Trastevere (on the rail line between Termini and the airport) and Ostiense (in southern Rome on Metro Line B, with connections to Ostia and Naples). Termini has easy-to-use interactive kiosks where the traveler can choose a destination and print a ticket (reserve a seat on the faster, more expensive services, such as Eurostar). Termini is the source of all schedule and train information as well, however frustrating and inefficient employees can be. Take with you plenty of patience and time. Be sure to validate your ticket using the yellow machines on the platform before boarding a train. Phone 892-021. You can also plan your trip and book tickets online. http://www.trenitalia.it. Rome, Italy. http://www.trenitalia.it.

For More Information


Tourist Offices
Chiamaroma is the new information line for the city of Rome, with service in English, and is open 24 hours a day. From any local phone, call 06-0608. Tourist Information Board Located inside Termini Station near track 24, the office provides maps, the helpful A Guest In Rome guide, the Roma Pass and other useful information. The tourist kiosk located outside of Termini Station provides bus information exclusively Daily 9 am-6 pm. Termini Station. Rome, Italy. Tourist Information Kiosks Locations include: Fiumicino International Arrivals Terminal B, Termini station next to track 24, Castel Sant'Angelo, Via del Corso, the Imperial Forums, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, Via Nazionale (at Piazza delle Esposizione), Piazza Sonnino in Trastevere, Santa Maria Maggiore, the Trevi Fountain and Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. Operators at the call center speak four languages. Daily 9 am-7 pm. . Rome, Italy. Phone 06-0608. http://www.060608.it.

Events
Calendar
Visitors to Rome are awed by its majestic antiquities and museum treasures, but the city is still very much alive. Colorful religious traditions and processions mark many holidays, and an abundance of music thrives both within the city and at nearby festivals. The Baths of Caracalla, ruins dating from the third century, provide a dramatic setting for outdoor performances in summer. During holidays and local festivals, businesses, shops and government offices close, so plan ahead. General audiences with the pope are usually held Wednesday at 10:30 am in Vatican City. In winter, they take place either inside St. Peter's Basilica or in the Paul VI Audience Hall (capacity 7,000). In summer, they're held either in St. Peter's Square or at the pope's summer

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residence at Castel Gandolfo. If you wish to participate in a general audience, write in advance to the Office of the Prefecture. http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/en/biglietti_en.html. Fax 06-6988-5863. If you're Catholic, include a letter of introduction from your local parish priest. Appropriately modest dress is requested: Men should wear a jacket and tie; women should dress with arms and head covered. For detailed information about upcoming events in the Rome area, contact the City of Rome's Tourist Information Service. Phone 06-0608. http://www.060608.it. The Municipality of Rome also has a Web site that offers information about events and sights. http://en.turismoroma.it. Within the city, a good source for information about classical music performances is Thursday's edition of La Repubblica. The periodical Wanted in Rome lists happenings in English. If you're calling the phone numbers in this calendar from outside Italy, you must first dial your country's international access code, then Italy's country code, 39, followed by a zero and then Rome's city code, 6. When dialing from within Italy and even from within Rome, you must dial 06 before the rest of the (four- to eight-digit) phone number. We've included the city codes in the phone numbers listed. Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.

May 2012
1 MayMay Day Music Festival International musicians perform to huge crowds at this annual rite of spring. This free, televised event is held at Piazza San Giovanni. http://www.primomaggio.com. 1 MayLabor Day Public holiday. 12-20 MayTennis The Masters Series Roma is a warm-up tournament for the French Open. Parco del Foro Italico, Viale dei Gladiatori 31. For tickets, call 06-3208-225. http://www.internazionalibnlditalia.it. Late MayHorse Races Piazza di Sienna features horses from around the world. Villa Borghese. For more information, call 06-81918637. For tickets, call 06-3685-8420. http://www.piazzadisiena.org. Throughout MaySoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June Throughout MayConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-320-1752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Concludes late May Throughout MayConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Concludes late May Throughout MayPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August

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June 2012
Early JuneSoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season concludes early June 10-14 JunRome Chamber Music Festival at Villa Aurelia This annual event presents performances by world-class musicians. For more information, call 06-3265-0719. http://www.romechamberfestival.org. 23-30 JunPesaro Film Fest Also known as the International Exhibition of New Cinema, this festival showcases works by new directors. This annual event also provides retrospectives of films by veteran directors from many countries. For information, call 06-445-6643 or 06491-156. http://www.pesarofilmfest.it. Continues through 1 Jul 29 JunSaints Peter and Paul Day Public holiday. Solemn Masses are held at St. Peter's Basilica and elsewhere. Late JuneSpoleto Festival Founded by Gian Carlo Menotti in 1957, this festival presents world-class concerts, opera, dance, theater, film and visual arts. In Spoleto, 80 mi/130 km north of Rome. http://www.festivaldispoleto.com. Continues through mid July Throughout JunePerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August

July 2012
Early-Mid JulySpoleto Festival Founded by Gian Carlo Menotti in 1957, this festival presents world-class concerts, opera, dance, theater, film and visual arts. In Spoleto, 80 mi/130 km north of Rome. http://www.festivaldispoleto.com. Concludes mid July Early-Late JulyEstate Romana The Roman Summer offers hundreds of events with thousands of artists. The varied program includes rock, symphonic, solo and ethnic-music performances, literary readings, film screenings, theater and international dancing. Venues throughout the Rome area. http://www.estateromana.comune.roma.it. Continues through late September 1 JulPesaro Film Fest Also known as the International Exhibition of New Cinema, this festival showcases works by new directors. This annual event also provides retrospectives of films by veteran directors from many countries. For information, call 06-445-6643 or 06-491156. http://www.pesarofilmfest.it. Final day 21-28 JulNoantri Festival Folklore of Old Rome in Trastevere, including a colorful procession honoring the Virgin of Carmine. Folk music, dancing, parade floats and fireworks. Throughout JulyPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August

August 2012
Early AugustPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Concludes early August 8 AugFeast of Our Lady of the Snow Rose petals fall during services at Santa Maria Maggiore, Via G. Alberto 47. 15 AugFeast of the Assumption Public holiday. Throughout AugustEstate Romana The Roman Summer offers hundreds of events with thousands of artists. The varied program includes rock, symphonic, solo and ethnic-music performances, literary readings, film screenings, theater and international dancing. Venues throughout the Rome area. http://www.estateromana.comune.roma.it. Continues through late September

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September 2012
Mid-Late SeptemberSoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June 2013 Late SeptemberConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-320-1752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May 2013 Late SeptemberFotografia This themed, international photography festival features exhibits, workshops and conferences at various venues. For more information, call 06-8207-7100. http://www.fotografiafestival.it. Continues through late October Late SeptemberRomaeuropa Festival This annual contemporary arts festival includes world-class music, dance and theater performances, and art exhibits and installations. Phone 4555-3050. http://www.romaeuropa.net. Continues through early December Throughout SeptemberEstate Romana The Roman Summer offers hundreds of events with thousands of artists. The varied program includes rock, symphonic, solo and ethnic-music performances, literary readings, film screenings, theater and international dancing. Venues throughout the Rome area. http://www.estateromana.comune.roma.it. Concludes late September

October 2012
Early OctoberRomics The Rome Comics and Cartoons Festival includes presentations of the newest international publications and a fair that allows fans to meet designers. It also features film previews and the presentation of the Golden Romics awards. Fiera di Roma, Via Cristoforo Colombo. Phone 06-9395-3069. http://www.romics.it. Early-Late OctoberPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August 2013 Mid-Late OctoberConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Continues through late May 2013 4 OctFeast of St. Francis of Assisi Flowers are placed at the monument to St. Francis, near San Giovanni, Laterano. Throughout OctoberSoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June 2013 Throughout OctoberFotografia This themed, international photography festival features exhibits, workshops and conferences at various venues. For more information, call 06-8207-7100. http://www.fotografiafestival.it. Concludes late October Throughout OctoberConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-3201752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May 2013 Throughout OctoberRomaeuropa Festival This annual contemporary arts festival includes world-class music, dance and theater performances, and art exhibits and installations. Phone 4555-3050. http://www.romaeuropa.net. Continues through early December

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November 2012
1 NovAll Saints' Day Public holiday. Many churches not usually open to the public may be open for visiting this day. 4 NovUnity Day Marking World War I and Armed Forces Day, a ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Piazza Navona. Throughout NovemberSoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June 2013 Throughout NovemberConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Continues through late May 2013 Throughout NovemberPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August 2013 Throughout NovemberRomaeuropa Festival This annual contemporary arts festival includes world-class music, dance and theater performances, and art exhibits and installations. Phone 4555-3050. http://www.romaeuropa.net. Continues through early December Throughout NovemberConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-3201752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May 2013

December 2012
Early DecemberRomaeuropa Festival This annual contemporary arts festival includes world-class music, dance and theater performances, and art exhibits and installations. Phone 4555-3050. http://www.romaeuropa.net. Concludes early December 8 DecFeast of the Immaculate Conception Public and religious holiday. The pope or his envoy places flowers at the column of the Virgin in Piazza di Spagna. Statues are crowned with flowers, and civic bands and bagpipers perform. 24 DecChristmas Eve Public holiday. 25 DecChristmas Public holiday. 26 DecSt. Stephen's Day Public holiday. Many Romans visit nativity scenes in churches throughout the city. 31 DecNew Year's Eve Mass is held in churches throughout the city. Traditionally, broken crockery is tossed from balconies, and an allnight party rages in the Piazza del Popolo. Throughout DecemberSoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June 2013 Throughout DecemberConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Continues through late May 2013 Throughout DecemberPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August 2013 Throughout DecemberConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-3201752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May 2013

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January 2013
1 JanNew Year's Day Public holiday. 6 JanEpiphany Public and religious holiday, called Befana in Italian. An ordination of new bishops takes place in St. Peter's Basilica. An Epiphany fair is held in the Piazza Navona. Toys, candy and gifts are exchanged. Throughout JanuarySoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June Throughout JanuaryConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Continues through late May Throughout JanuaryPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August Throughout JanuaryConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-3201752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May

February 2013
13 FebAsh Wednesday The pope, clad in purple and accompanied by members of the College of Cardinals, walks from the Basilica of Santa Sabina (Aventine Hill) to the Circus Maximus, where a ceremony takes place. Throughout FebruaryConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-3201752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May Throughout FebruaryConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Continues through late May Throughout FebruaryPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August Throughout FebruarySoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June

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March 2013
19 MarFeast of St. Joseph Celebrants congregate in the Trionfale Quarter. 29 MarGood Friday In the evening, the pope traditionally leads the Procession of the Cross from the Colosseum to the Forum. 31 MarEaster An outdoor Mass takes place Easter morning in St. Peter's Square. All 20,000 seats are reserved; Italians watch the Mass on TV. At noon, the pope blesses the crowds assembled in St. Peter's Square. Throughout MarchSoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June Throughout MarchConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Continues through late May Throughout MarchPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August Throughout MarchConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-3201752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May

April 2013
1 AprEaster Monday Public holiday. Throughout AprilConcert The Accademia Filarmonica Romana performs frequently at Teatro Olimpico. For tickets, call 06-320-1752. http://www.filarmonicaromana.org. Continues through late May Throughout AprilSoccer Italians are impassioned fans, rooting for the home team A.S. Roma Calcio. Games are played at Stadio Olimpico (Via del Gladiatori) on Sunday afternoons. Purchase tickets at the stadium or through your hotel. http://www.asroma.it. Season continues through early June Throughout AprilConcert Chamber-music and orchestra concerts. Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Via della Conciliazione 4. For information, call 8024-2501. http://www.santacecilia.it. Continues through late May Throughout AprilPerformance Operas and ballets are staged frequently at Teatro del'Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 1. For information, call 06-481-601. For tickets, call 06-4816-0255 or 06-481-7003. http://www.operaroma.it. Continues through early August

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Sardinia
Overview
Introduction
Sardinia is a very striking islandthe rocks are colored black from basalt, silver from granite, red from porphyryand it has had great historic and strategic importance. Its location 150 mi/240 km southwest of Rome helps explain why every Mediterranean power has controlled the island at one time or anotherRomans, Phoenicians, Spaniards, Turks, even a pope. The northern coast of present-day Sardinia is a favorite vacation spot of Italy's extremely wealthy (which explains the island's high prices). The island has a multitude of attractions: wild horses, flamingos, nun seals, great fishing, mountain climbing, Roman ruins, sailing, reef diving, waterskiing, grottoes (the best is Grotta Nuova, near Cala Gonone on the east coast), and uncrowded sandy or rocky beaches. Mustsees include the pink sand at Porto Ferro, the typically Sardinian town of Nuoro, Oristano (ruins of the Phoenician city Tharros), the Goddess of Fortune Temple in Porto Torres, Cagliari (the island's capital and largest city, with a good archaeological museum) and Su Nuraxi Nuraghe (an impressive Nuraghic fortress, 40 mi/60 km north of Cagliari). The town of Olbia is the gateway to the exclusive Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda), one of Europe's most important (and expensive) resort areas. It contains sites that span 3,000 years of history. Shop for exquisite lace, wood carvings, carpets and bitter honey (harvested during autumn when the only flowers blooming contain bitter pollen). For dinner, try the traditional Sardinian dish, porceddu (roast suckling pig). If you are looking for something more exotic, order uova di ricci (raw sea-urchin eggs) or bottarga (salted and dried fish eggs, often grated over pasta). A good alternative to renting a car is to circle the island by boat over the course of two weeks, stopping in the small towns and coves along the way. If you're not yachting around the isle, plan a minimum of three nights. Also keep in mind that many hotels shut down in the fall and spring.

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Venice
Overview
Introduction
Venice, Italy, is romance: a bridge arching over a canal, a gondola gliding by, the moon reflecting off water. Venice is history: the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), Piazza San Marco, the Grand Canal, great art and great museums. Venice is modern: the headline names and paparazzi of the Venice Film Festival, the buzzing excitement of Carnival in the 10 days before Lent begins. Venice has a plethora of world-famous museums and artistic treasures. The Basilica di San Marco, with its spectacular Golden Altar; the Bridge of Sighs, where prisoners could enjoy one last glimpse of the beautiful city before entering the dark jail; the Gallerie dell'Accademia, with its collection of art of the 14th-18th centuries; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of 20thcentury artthe list is long. Pick and choose to visit in-depth, or just skim the surface and soak up the atmosphere. Venice View from Rialto Bridge Venice is set on islands connected by bridges, with the Grand Canal as its main street, and traffic moves by boats that range from the traditional gondolas to refuse barges. The absence of automobile noise means you can hear the laughter of children from your window, as well as footsteps seemingly just around the corner. But what makes Venice so unique also challenges its existence. The rising sea levels of global climate change threaten the city, and even now high tides from the Adriatic Sea can flood whole sections of the city. Although the resident population in Venice has declined as many young people have moved to the mainland, where real-estate prices and the cost of living are lower, the city continues to draw tourists. In fact, the central areas can be packed, people may be brusque, and prices are high. Even so, Venice remains a treasure to be savored.

Highlights
SightsBasilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal by boat or gondola. MuseumsGallerie dell'Accademia; Museo Correr; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Memorable MealsCa' d'Oro for cicheti and baked mussels; risotto alla Torcellana at Locanda Cipriani; sea bass with asparagus and radicchio at Casin dei Nobili. Late NightHanging out in Campo Santa Margherita; people-watching at Piccolo Mondo; strolling the Piazza San Marco under a full moon or on a foggy night. WalksCrossing the Rialto Bridge; getting lost in Sestiere di San Marco; wandering down Via Garibaldi. Especially for KidsDressing up for Carnival and parading around town; traghetto rides; exploring the prisons and armory of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace).

Geography
Venice sprawls over hundreds of low-lying islands in a lagoon in the northern crescent of the Adriatic Sea. A single bridge links it to the mainland city of Mestre. Traffic ends at Piazzale Roma, making the city serenely free of buses, cars and motorcyclesnot even bicycles are allowed. The city's main thoroughfare is the Grand Canal. The islands are also crisscrossed by 177 smaller canals and connected by more than 400 pedestrian bridges. Streets are narrow and windingsome little more than sidewalks between buildings. The city is divided into six sestieri

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher (districts): Cannaregio, San Polo, San Marco, Dorsoduro, Castello and Santa Croce. A map of the city resembles a labyrinth, but surprisingly, it is not too difficult to find your way to the main attractions. Yellow signs are posted on the buildings at most major intersections, with arrows directing you to Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia (the train station, Santa Lucia), Rialto Bridge, Accademia Bridge and Piazza San Marco. Specific addresses, however, can be hard to find, as many streets are so small they aren't on maps. Phone directories usually list addresses by the name of the sestiere and the number of the building, with no reference to a street. Often the easiest way to find a shop or restaurant is to askmost people are helpful, and many speak English. Hotel employees and shopkeepers are usually quite knowledgeable about their neighborhoods. Several islands in the lagoon are also part of the city area or connected to the city by regular public boats. In addition to Giudecca (the large island across from the Zattere) and Lido (where you'll find beaches), the best known are the glassmaking island of Murano, colorful Burano and the lagoon's original seat of power, Torcello. The airport is on the mainland, north of Mestre.

History
As invaders swept down from the Alps in the fifth century, the farmers and fisherfolk living along what is now Italy's northeastern coast sought refuge on nearby scrub-covered islands. From the safety of their lagoon in the Adriatic, Venetians began building a powerful trading empire. By the ninth century, religious and political power had moved from Torcello to the island of Rivoaltum, where the Venetian leaders began clearing the land and driving wooden piles into the mud beneath the waterlaying the foundations of modern Venice. The city's merchants and traders (including Marco Polo's relatives) amassed huge fortunes, which were invested in the city. The fortunes built grand palaces and huge churches, and funded precious art collections (some of which still adorn the Basilica di San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale). At its peak in the 1400s, the Repubblica Serenissima (the Most Serene Republic, as it was known) ruled the Adriatic and eastern Mediterraneanits democratic-style government served as an international model for centuries. But the republic soon began to decay, weakened by expansion wars, famines, plagues and finally by invading French troops, led by Napoleon in 1797. French control ended when Venice was ceded to the Hapsburg Empire a few years later. In 1866 it switched hands again, joining the Kingdom of Italy. Today, Venice is the capital of Italy's Veneto region and one of the country's most-visited cities. Its watery setting and tourism-based economy bring modern challenges, such as structural erosion caused by motorboat wakes and a steadily decreasing population as younger generations move to less-expensive cities with more job opportunities. The proud Venetians are not ones to give in easily, though, and as measures are being taken to protect this fragile city, more travelers from around the world will have the opportunity to discover the treasures hidden within it.

Port Information
Location
The Venice Cruise Terminal (Terminal Venezia Passeggeri) has two main docking areas, San Basilio pier in the Giudecca Canal and the Stazione Marittima, the largest of the two areas and where the biggest ships dock. There's a free shuttle bus to Piazzale Roma, the gateway to Venice, Saturday-Monday for cruise passengers. Alternatively, the Piazzale Roma is only a 15-minute walk from the terminal. Another option is the Venice People Mover, a cable-operated tram system. San Basilio is just a short walk from the Gallerie dell'Accademia. It takes more than 30 minutes to walk from the terminal to the Stazione Marittima and is not recommended. Instead, take a water taxi. Because Stazione Marittima and San Basilio are part of the Terminal Venezia Passeggeri (Venice Cruise Terminal), they have tourist information, duty-free shops and refreshment facilities. All have water taxis. http://www.vtp.it.

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Shore Excursions
Consider signing up for the excursions offered by your ship. They may not be the least expensive way to see the city, but you won't have to waste your limited time making arrangementsand you won't have to worry about missing the ship. Shore excursionsand their prices vary from cruise line to cruise line. Outings include walking or boat tours of San Marco, a few churches and museums, and gondola rides. Private tour companies may offer day tours, walking tours, gondola trips, excursions to the glass factories and many more. Inquire about pickup from where the cruise ship is docked.

Potpourri
A traditional gondola is 36 ft/11 m long and weighs 1,325 lbs/600 kg. They are almost always painted black. In the 16th century, an anonymous writer published an escort guide for visitors that listed the names, addresses, looks, skills and costs of the most beautiful courtesans in Venice. In 1509, about 11,500 working girls are said to have offered their services in Venice, which had a population of 170,000 at the time. Amaretti (dome-shaped cookies) were first made in Venice during the Renaissance period. St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice. His symbol of a winged lion holding a book can be seen on many of the older buildings. If the book is open, Venice was at peace when the building was erected; if closed, Venice was at war. Casanova made the city synonymous with lovers. Once imprisoned in the Doge's Palace, he escaped by fleeing across the rooftops. City-son Marco Polo is attributed with introducing both pasta and window blinds to Italy from the Far East. The still-standing "Bridge of the Tits" in San Polo was named after the working girls who displayed themselves on the bridge and in the windows of the nearby houses in a "tempting state of undress" while the light from oil lamps illuminated the spectacle.

Hotel Overview
Hotels are everywhere in Venice, although many are not clearly marked. Luxury hotels are clustered along the Grand Canal and around Piazza San Marco. But there are also several low-budget options not far from the Piazza. Some visitors end up staying on the mainland when the city fills up or simply to save money, but before doing so, be sure to factor in the cost of daily transport. Venice is such a popular and expensive place to visit, we recommend booking a hotel as far in advance of your trip as possible. This becomes an absolute necessity during the peak weeks of Carnival (usually around the end of February), the Venice Film Festival (late August-early September), Easter and Christmas. Keep in mind that prices vary markedly from high season to low. A host of bed-and-breakfasts have opened up, and these serve as good alternatives to hotels.

See & Do
Sightseeing
The best introduction to Venice is a boat ride on the Grand Canal, and it doesn't really matter whether the vessel is a velvet-cushioned gondola or a utilitarian vaporetto (public water-bus). The S-shaped canal slices the city in half: Lining each side is an astonishing collection of 12th- to 18th-century buildings. Some of the baroque palaces look as elegant as they did when the doges ruled the city, though other architectural gems are crumbling into the murky water. As you travel along Venice's Grand Canal, you'll also see what life is like in a city without automobiles. Cargo barges ply the narrow waterway along with police and fireboats. Classic wooden cabin cruisers take tourists to luxury hotels, and skilled gondoliers navigate their sleek black vessels under bridges and around bends. Venice's canals are a visual parade. Once you have oriented yourself to the waterways, set out on foot. Pick up a map, but expect to get lostit's an inevitable part of the

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher experience. Streets meander across canals, through campi (squares) and around buildingsoften changing names as well as direction. If that isn't confusing enough, some streets are flooded in the winter because of aqua altahigh water. You'll want to spend most of a day visiting the sites close to the Piazza San Marco. The Doge's Palace offers a fascinating look at how the city's leaders lived and managed the republic, and the colorful religious mosaics at the Basilica di San Marco are some of the most stunning in the world. Take in the view from the top of the Campanile di San Marco if it's a sunny day. From the piazza, it's an easy walk to the Rialto Bridge, where you can browse the shops and enjoy views of the Grand Canal. Across the Grand Canal from San Marco, via the timber Accademia Bridge, is the Dorsoduro neighborhood, where you'll find two very different museums. The Gallerie dell'Accademia is the city's signature art repository, containing the best works of the prolific Italian Renaissance painters. A few blocks away (but worlds apart) is the Guggenheim Collection, a canal-front palazzo that was fashioned into a modern and avant-garde art gallery by an American heiress. There's a host of other spots to visitfrom the Jewish Ghetto and the city's many ornate churches to the islands of Murano and Burano. A moonlit walk along a canal or an early-morning stroll through the winding streets of a secluded residential area can prove just as illuminating as a tour of the city's major attractions. Note: Venice offers several multipurpose tourist cards each with unique features. For museums, the Venice Card and the Museum Passes are the primary options, providing discounts and allowing visitors to skip ticketing lines. The Venice Card provides discounts on most museums, churches, historic sites, performing arts events and more, and can be purchased at all Hello Venezia offices and most APT tourist offices. It remains active for seven days after initial use and costs 39.90 euros for adults and 29.90 euros for visitors ages 6-29. Notably, it does not provide discounts on public transportation. http://www.venicecard.com. Alternatively, there are several types of Museum Passes that offer entrance to multiple museums for one discounted price. Museum Passes can be purchased at all participating museums or online. http://www.visitmuve.it or http://museiciviciveneziani.it. Visitors can also take advantage of the Chorus Pass Intero, a card that gives a single user unlimited entrance to most Venice churches for a period of up to one year. (Visit the Web site for a complete list of churches.) It's definitely worth the price just to visit the Basilica di San Marco several times. Offered by the Venice Church Association, the card costs 9 euros. A Chorus Pass Family (for two adults and children younger than 18 years of age) offers the same plan as the Chorus Pass Intero and is available for 18 euros. Chorus Associazione per le Chiese del Patriarcato di Venezia, San Polo 2986, Venice. Phone 041-275-0462. http://www.chorusvenezia.org.

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Historic Sites
Basilica di San Marco San Marco's Basilica embodies Venice's historical role as a bridge between East and West. Piazza San Marco Its five cupolas laid out in a cross pattern are strikingly Byzantine, though details both inside and Venice, Italy out reflect the Romanesque and Renaissance periods. Under the overlay of mosaics, patterns of colorful marble and innumerable carvings, the main architectural influences are Gothic. Have Phone: 041-270-8311 a look at the 13th-century carvings on the central doorways, representing the Labors of the http://www.basilicasanmarco.it Month. Don't wait for your neck to start aching before you pass up the exterior mosaics and move to the gold-lined interior of the basilica. You'll find this structure filled with artistic decorations that were used to awe the public with the might of the church, as well as teach the stories of the Bible and saints. The mosaics of the Central Dome of the Ascension and the Dome of the Pentecost are particularly stunning. Among the treasures within the basilica are more than 500 columns adorned with sculptures, puzzle-work floors made from Egyptian marble, walls covered with allegorical mosaics, Gothic arches and extravagant bronze lamps. Behind the altar is the Pala d'Oro, a screen of precious stones, gold and enamel objects dating from 976. The Tesoro (treasury) contains items stolen from Constantinople in 1204, including several gem-studded gold and silver caskets. Also located at St. Mark's Museum are tapestries, paintings and the original bronze horses that adorned the church's facade. They were trophies from the Fourth Crusade (the ones over the portal on the Loggia dei Cavalli are copies). Avoid the crowds by visiting early in the morning or in the evening, although the mosaics will only reveal their full splendor when the church is fully illuminated (approximately Monday-Friday 11:30 am-12:30 pm, Saturday 11:30 am-4 pm, Sunday 2-4 pm). Dress modestly (knees and shoulders should be covered). All large bags must be checked upon entry. The Basilica is open 9:45 am-5 pm, St. Mark's Museum till 4:45 pm. The Pala d'Oro and the Tesoro are open 9:45 am-4 pm (until 5 pm April-November); Sunday and public holidays 2-4 pm (5 pm April-November). Entrance to the Basilica is free. Other admission fees include 2 euros for Pala d'Oro, 3 euros for the Tesoro and 5 euros for St. Mark's Museum. Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Completed in 1443, this large and lofty Gothic brick cathedral, generally referred to as the Campo dei Frari, San Polo "Frari" (for the friars who once lived there), is one of the city's most important sites. Art-lovers Venice, Italy make a beeline to the high altar with Titian's revolutionary Assumption of the Virgin (1518) with the Madonna clad in a flaming red robe, and there are works by Giovanni Bellini, Antonio Rizzo Phone: 041-272-8611 and Donatello as well. The richness of the paintings and sculptures is outstanding, and the http://www.basilicadeifrari.it works stand in contrast to the simplicity of the interior. Check out the Monk's Choir, which has three-tiered stalls from 1468 carved with puzzle-work bas-reliefs of saints and Venetian city scenes. The church also houses the tombs of the sculptor Canova, the composer Monteverdi and two doges. Open Monday-Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Sunday 1-6 pm. 3 euros. Frari is part of the Chorus Pass circuit. Basilica Santa Maria della Salute Venetians built the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health to show their gratitude to the Virgin Campo della Salute 1/B, Dorsoduro Mary for delivering them from a terrible plagueit's hard to miss this massive marble church Venice, Italy situated at the end of the Grand Canal. The architect Baldassare Longhena dedicated his life to this building, which was completed in 1687 and is the heaviest structure in Venice. On the high altar, you'll see a gorgeous Byzantine icon dedicated to the Virgin. On a minor altar, there's a large painting by Titian, The Pentecost. More of Titian's works can be seen on the ceiling of the sacristy, where you'll also find a work by Jacopo Tintoretto. Every 21 November, people flock to the church, crossing the Grand Canal on a pontoon bridge from Campo San Maurizio. Daily 9 am-noon and 3-5:30 pm. Church admission is free; 3 euros to enter the sacristy.

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Campanile di San Marco St. Mark's bell tower, the tallest (322 ft/98 m) structure on the piazza, offers magnificent views of the city on a clear day. The present tower was built in 1912, replacing the original that was begun in the ninth century and completed in the 16th centuryit tumbled to the ground in 1902. Access to the viewing platform is by an internal lift installed in 1962. Daily 9 am-7 pm April to mid-June, 9 am-9 pm mid-June to mid-September, 9 am-4 pm midSeptember to March. 8 euros. Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo Dedicated to Saints John and Paul, this cavernous Gothic church (more familiarily known as San Zanipolo) is one of the largest in Venice. It's often called "the Pantheon of Venice" because of the 25 doges' tombs within. An important stop on the art-history circuit, it houses paintings including Giovanni Bellini's The Polittico di San Vincenzo Ferreri and three by Paolo Veronese. The Monument to Doge Pasquale Mocenigo (1481) is a masterpiece by sculptor Pietro Lombardo celebrating the doge's military pursuits.
Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Castello Venice, Italy Phone: 041-523-5913 http://www.basilicasantigiovanniepaolo.it Piazza San Marco Venice, Italy Phone: 041-522-5205 http://www.basilicasanmarco.it

In the square out front stands Andrea Verrocchio's monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni. This famous mercenary requested a statue in San Marco as his battle payment. The clever doge agreed, but instead of putting the figure on the piazza, he had it placed in front of the Scuola di San Marco (the San Marco School). Open Monday-Saturday 9 am-6:30 pm, Sunday noon-6:30 pm. Ticket office closes one hour before closing. 2.50 euros. Chiesa della Madonna dell'Orto This church was originally dedicated to St. Christopher, patron saint of ferrymen, merchants and travelers, and his statue still stands over the main door. It's an elegantly spare brick Gothic church now dedicated to the Madonna of the Garden and with a campanile crowned by an onion-shaped cupola. Tintoretto lived just around the corner. His tomb (in a chapel to the right of the chancel) is marked by a plaque. He graced the church with a terrifying Last Judgment that is on the right wall; note the classical figure of Charon ferrying the souls of the dead. In the painting The Adoration of the Golden Calf on the left wall, the figure carrying the calf, fourth from the left, is said to represent Tintoretto himself. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, last entry at 4:45 pm. 3 euros. Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli This colorful little marble church is tucked away in a picturesque square near the Chiesa dei Campo dei Miracoli, Cannaregio Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Built in 1481-89 by Pietro Lombardo, Miracoli houses Nicolo di Venice, Italy Pietro's Virgin and Childa painting believed to have miraculous powers. A favorite among Venetians, Miracoli brings the magnificence of a cathedral down to a more human scale and, with its decorative, geometric patterns of colored marble, is a notable example of the Venetian early-Renaissance style. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm. 3 euros.
Campo della Madonna dell'Orto Venice, Italy Phone: 041-719-933 http://www.madonnadellorto.org

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Palazzo Ducale The Doge's Palace served as the seat of the government of the Repubblica Serenissima, the Piazza San Marco Palace of Justice and the residence of the doge. The original palace was built in the ninth Venice, Italy century; several fires made a complete reconstruction necessary in the 14th century. The Venetian use of geometric designs across the facade arrests the eye, and the use of arches Phone: 041-271-5911 along the bottom of the building creates a lacelike effect. Its main gate, the Porta della Carta, is http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it the picture of Venetian Gothic architecture. Another masterpiece is the 15th-century marble Scala dei Giganti (Giants' Stairs), designed by Renaissance architect Antonio Rizzo. It was used for ceremonial purposes, including the crowning of the doges. Many rooms are decorated with paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Giovanni Tiepolo and Titian. One wall of the main salon (Sala del Maggior Consiglio) is entirely covered with Tintoretto's enormous Paradiso, one of the largest paintings in the world. A frieze around the upper walls of the room shows the first 76 doges of Venice, with the exception of the decapitated traitor Marin Falier (whose spot is marked by a black flag). Look up to admire the ceiling with panels glorifying the Republic. We think the most beautiful is Veronese's Apotheosis of Venice from 1583. The palace also contains an arresting display of ancient arms. From the main building, you can cross the Bridge of Sighs to the doge's prisons. Do not miss the underadvertised tour of the itinerari segreti (secret passageways), which shows you the offices and Hall of the Chancellery, the State Inquisitor's room, the Torture Chamber (where suspects were interrogated as they hung by their wrists) and the notorious piombi prison cells under the lead roof, from which Casanova made his daring escape in 1755. Yet the full horror awaited prisoners who were confined to the dark, humid pozzi dungeons at ground level, which often flooded. Open November-March 9 am-5 pm, April-October 9 am-7 pm; ticket office closes one hour earlier. Closed Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is 16 euros (18 euros with a tour of the itinerari segreti) and includes entrance to Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Libreria Marciana. Free entrance to disabled visitors with an escort. Tours are available in English. They are limited to 25 people and last 75 minutes (in English at 9:55 am, 10:45 am and 11:35 am). Book in advance at the palace or phone 041-520-9070. Piazza San Marco With three sides of the Piazza lined by dignified palazzos featuring elaborate marble facades Venice, Italy and the fourth showcasing San Marco's Basilica with its four bronze horses and crown of Byzantine domes, this is, as Napoleon put it, the "finest drawing room in Europe." The northern Phone: 848-082-2000 side is composed of the 16th-century Procuratie Vecchie (the old city administrative offices), http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it and the southern side of the 17th-century Procuratie Nuove (new city administrative offices). Across from the Basilica is Napoleon's 1810 addition, now housing the Museo Correr. Chairs and tables spill into the open plaza, and serenading orchestras perform in front of arched porticos that shelter expensive shops and cafes. Filled with splendid works such as the Campanile and two Syrian pillars (brought to Venice in 1256), the Piazza San Marco is a feast for the eyes. Don't miss the Piazzetta di San Marco in front of the Doge's Palace, which contains the Marciana Library (built in the 1530s) and the two monolithic columns holding symbols of the city, the lion of Saint Mark and Saint Theodore riding a dragon; or the Piazzetta dei Leoncini on the other side of the Basilica, with its two small red-stone lions. The clock tower (featuring two bronze figures, the Moors, that strike the hour) and its intricate astronomical clock can be visited with a guided tour (12 euros). Closed Christmas and New Year's Day. . Ponte dei Sospiri The Bridge of Sighs was aptly named: Prisoners crossed it on their way to meet the state inquisitors. From Ponte di Paglia, an ornate bridge beside the Doge's Palace, you can look up at the bridge. Dwarfed by the palace and the prisons, this marble structure seems to peer out at the open water from the two lonely eyes of its windows. While touring the Doge's Palace, you can walk across the bridge and look out at the canal from within.
At the head of Riva degli Schiavoni (behind the Doge's Palace), San Marco Venice, Italy

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Ponte di Rialto Originally little more than a bunch of boats spanning the Grand Canal, the now-massive Rialto Bridge was built in marble by architect Antonio Da Ponte in 1588-91. Its construction cost 250,000 gold ducats, a breathtaking sum in those days. Halfway down the Grand Canal, it lies midway between the train station and Piazza San Marco. It is by far the most elaborate and memorable of the bridges that cross the Grand Canal. Two rows of tiny shops line the span, and you will find an illuminating view of the very active canal at the top. Scala Contarini del Bovolo Although it is currently closed for renovations, Contarini's staircase is one of the architectural gems hidden in the winding streets of Venice, and it can still be enjoyed from the street below. Called del Bovolo (the Venetian word for snail), the tower's exterior spiral staircase is lined by spiraling arched windows that mirror the building's facade in a mixture of early-Renaissance, Byzantine and late-Gothic styles. The view from the top of the tower takes in the campanile and domes of San Marco along with the red-roof tiles of Venice. 3 euros. Scuola Grande di San Rocco One of the most visited sites for art in Venice, this former confraternity building completed in 1549 is renowned for its paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto, including his Allegories, Life and Passion of Christ (in the Sala dell'Albergo) with a stunning crucifixion scene, and Ancient and New Testament Episodes (on the walls and ceiling of the upper hall) with a striking Temptation of Christ and an equally fascinating Adoration of the Shepherds. Rent a mirror at the entrance to avoid neck pain. Be sure to see Titian's Annunciation near the entrance of the Sala dell'Albergo. Unfortunately the paintings are not very well-lit.
Campo San Rocco (behind the Frari) Venice, Italy 3052 Phone: 041-523-4864 http://www.scuolagrandesanrocco.it Located off Campo Manin in Corte del Bovolo Venice, Italy Phone: 041-260-1974 http://www.scalabovolo.org/bovolo2.html

Daily 9:30 am-5:30 pm; ticket office closes 30 minutes earlier. Closed Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter. 8 euros admission fee includes audio guide. Free entrance to members of the clergy.

Museums
Visitors going to many museums may want to consider purchasing one of the Museum Passes. They provide discounts and allow visitors to skip ticketing lines. The San Marco Square Museum Pass (16 euros) includes entry to four of the museums on Piazza San Marco, including Palazzo Ducale and Museo Correr. Unlike the Venice Card, Museum Passes are valid for up to six months instead of just a 24-hour period, but they only grant one admission to each museum. Museum Passes can be purchased at all participating museums or online. http://www.visitmuve.it or http://museiciviciveneziani.it. Ca' d'Oro The House of Gold (named for its once-abundant gilt work and otherwise colorful facade) houses the Galleria Franchetti. A typical example of an ancient noble palazzo, its wedding-cake facade is a gorgeous display of Gothic architecture. It displays sculptures, bronzes and paintings by Venetian, Flemish and Dutch artistsincluding Jacopo Sansovino, Alessandro Vittoria, Titian, Andrea Mantegna, Giorgione, Jacopo Tintoretto and Van Dyck. The mosaic floor of the palazzo's androne (the large ground-floor room opening on the canal) is impressive, as are the views from the second- and third-floor marble balconies onto the Grand Canal and fish market.
Cannaregio 3932 Venice, Italy 3932 Phone: 041-520-0345 http://www.cadoro.org

Open Monday 8:15 am-2 pm, Tuesday-Sunday 8:15 am-7:15 pm; ticket office closes 30 minutes earlier. 6.50 euros adults, 3.50 euros ages 18-25 and state teachers, free for E.U. citizens younger than 18, older than 65 or disabled (with an escort).

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Ca' Pesaro This famed baroque palazzo houses the International Gallery of Modern Art, which was founded in 1897 as a showcase for modern Venetian artists. On permanent display are works by such famed artists as Henri Matisse, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall and Joan Miro alongside 19th- and 20th-century Italian artists. Various temporary art exhibitions are also on display. Open daily except Monday 10 am-5 pm November-March, 10 am-6 pm April-October; ticket office closes one hour earlier. Closed Christmas, New Year's Day and 1 May. Tickets 8 euros. Free entrance to disabled visitors with an escort. Ca' Rezzonico This museum of 18th-century art presents many aspects of life in 18th-century Venice. It contains a complete apothecary, a floor dedicated to noblewomen, and works of art by Vittore Carpaccio, Giambattista Cima, Jacopo Tintoretto, Pietro Longhi, Lelio Orsi and Giovanni Canaletto. With a ballroom taking up the entire width of the palazzo, frescoes by Giovanni Tiepolo and Francesco Guardi, carved furniture and provocative paintings, the museum offers a glimpse into the life of the wealthy Venetians of a bygone era. Poet Robert Browning's son purchased the palazzo in 1880, and Browning himself lived there from 1888 until his death in late 1889.
Near Campo San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 3136 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-241-0100 http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it Near Campo San Stae, Santa Croce 2070 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-721-127 http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it

Open daily except Tuesday 10 am-5 pm November-March, 10 am-6 pm April-October. Last admission one hour before closing. Closed Christmas, New Year's Day and 1 May. Tickets 8 euros. Free entrance for disabled visitors with an escort. Fondazione Querini Stampalia This beautifully restored Renaissance palace offers an idea of what life was like for the nobility. A wonderful picture gallery features scenes of everyday life by Pietro Longhi. Modern leading architect Carlo Scarpa has made noteworthy additions. Concerts are held for visitors at 5 and 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Open daily except Monday 10 am-6 pm. 10 euros.
Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Castello 5252 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-271-1411 http://www.querinistampalia.it

Gallerie dell'Accademia Venice's premier art museum features one of the most important collections of 14th-18th century Venetian paintings. Room 1 has Byzantine and international Gothic art, including the early Venetian painter Paolo Veneziano with a sumptuous Coronation of the Virgin (1325). See the superb, enigmatic landscape of Tempesta by Giorgionecenturies ahead of its timeand several works by Jacopo Bellini, Andrea Mantegna, Jacopo Tintoretto, Titian (with a huge Presentation of the Virgin in the Sala dell'Albero), Paolo Veronese (Feast in the House of Levi) and Giovanni Tiepolo. Note Vittore Carpaccio's Healing of the Madman (c. 1496), which shows the old wooden Rialto Bridge before it collapsed in 1524. Because it's high on many people's lists of places to see, be prepared for a wait and go early to see everything.
Campo della Carita (just steps away from the Accademia Bridge) Venice, Italy Phone: 041-522-2247 or 041-520-0345 http://www.gallerieaccademia.org

Open Monday 8:15 am-2 pm, Tuesday-Sunday 8:15 am-7:15 pm. Last admission is 45 minutes before closing. 7.50 euros.

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Museo Correr This rich collection of Venetian art and history includes relics from the Repubblica Serenissima and paintings by Jacopo Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio (including his famous works Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Hat and Two Venetian Ladies) and others. Don't miss the marble sculptures by Canova. Open daily 10 am-5 pm November-March, 10 am-7 pm April-October. Last admission one hour before closing. Closed Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is 16 euros and includes entrance to Palazzo Ducale, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Libreria Marciana. Free entrance for disabled visitors with an escort. Museo della Musica Information on Antonio Vivaldi as well as musical instruments from the baroque period are on display in a restored church. Music by Vivaldi and other composers can also be purchased. Daily 9:30 am-8:30 pm. Free. Museo Ebraico This museum displays works of art and items related to Jewish religious life, such as historic ketuboth (wedding contracts), precious silverware and ritual objects. It also offers guided tours of the ghetto in English, and area synagogues and the Jewish cemetery can be visited. Open daily except Saturday 10 am-6 pm October-May, 10 am-7 pm June-September. Closed for Jewish holidays, Christmas, New Year's Day and 1 May. 3 euros. Guided tours in various languages cost 8.50 euros (including museum admission). Peggy Guggenheim Collection U.S. patron of the arts Peggy Guggenheim lived in this famous home-museum, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, for 30 years. In 1979, she opened her collection of 20th-century masterpieces to the public. Almost every major modern-art movement is represented, with works by Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Rene Magritte, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock and countless others. The palazzo, facing the Grand Canal, also has an outdoor sculpture garden and hosts temporary art exhibits. Its nearby gift shop is full of modernart mementos, and a lovely terrace coffee shop and restaurant are on-site.
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Dorsoduro 701 Venice, Italy 30123 Phone: 041-240-5411 http://www.guggenheim-venice.it Campo del Ghetto Nuovo 2902/B, Cannaregio Venice, Italy Phone: 041-715-359 http://www.museoebraico.it Chiesa di San Maurizio, Campo San Maurizio Venice, Italy Piazza San Marco, Alla Napoleonica (at the western edge of the piazza) Venice, Italy Phone: 041-240-5211 http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it

Open daily except Tuesday 10 am-6 pm. Ticket counter closes at 5:45 pm. Admission 12 euros adults, 10 euros seniors, 7 euros students. Free for children younger than 10 and disabled visitors with an escort.

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Neighborhoods & Districts


Cannaregio This is the northern district of Venice that stretches from the Fondamenta Nove to the railway station and along the Grand Canal to the Rialto Bridge. The Fondamenta Nove looks out to the Cimitero on the Isola di St. Michel and to the islands of Murano and Burano beyond. The Strada Nova is the main street of the area, bustling with shops, stalls, restaurants, bars and street theater. Elsewhere, Cannaregio is a tranquil backwater, and at the center of this is the Jewish Ghetto.
(From the train station, take Lista di Spagna over the bridge Ponte delle Guglie and turn left alongside the Canale di Cannaregio; turn right at the third street) Venice, Italy 30125

Venice has the dubious distinction of having the oldest Jewish ghetto in the world, dating back to 1516. The Jewish population was required to remain within the ghetto boundaries, adhere to strict curfews and follow many other harsh regulations. Five synagogues, each representing a different ethnic group, were built between the 16th and 17th centuries. You can learn more about the area's history by visiting the Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum), where you can join a guided tour of the area. At the center of the district, on the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo in Cannaregio, you'll see Arbit Blatas' moving bronze wall-tablet memorializing the victims of the Holocaust. The area also comprises the Ghetto Vecchio and the Ghetto Novissimo. (From the train station, take Lista di Spagna over the bridge Ponte delle Guglie and turn left alongside the Canale di Cannaregio; turn right at the third street). Dorsoduro This varied neighborhood stretches from just below the busy Piazzale Roma, next to the railway station, to the Dogana, where the 8-ft/2.5-m statue of the Boy with Frog by American sculptor Charles Ray looks out over the entrance to the Grand Canal. The charming area hosts the broad Zattere along the Canale della Giudecca, perfect for fare la passegiatta, that leisurely and sociable stroll that Italians love. The university is there, as well as several museums. At the center of Dorsoduro is the lively Campo Santa Margherita, full of outdoor cafes and restaurants, news and vegetable stands. With a fish market in the morning and a flower market twice a week, the campo is a microcosm of Venetian life. Parents gather to chat as children hold soccer matches, and students take a break at the popular surrounding bars, where the night life continues later than anywhere else. During Carnival, the party moves to the campo after the scheduled events in Piazza San Marco die down. Sestiere di San Marco This district, in the curve of the Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco to the Rialto Bridge, is where most of the notable sites of Venice are located and, therefore, most of the tourists. It contains the cluster of Piazza San Marco, Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale and the Bridge of Sighs, as well as the opera house La Fenice and the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. The maze of designer-shopping streets of the Frezzeria and San Moise rounds out the picture. Via Garibaldi Step into another dimension by taking a twilight stroll down Via Garibaldi. The villagelike feel of this Castello neighborhood is particularly poignant in the evening, when locals go out to catch up on the day's happenings and children play in the street. Don't expect many tourists. After the dinner hour, this part of town shuts down for the night.

Recreation
With all the museums and art exhibits to cram into your visit, recreation takes a backseat to culture. Joggers will find the most open space in the public park (Giardini Pubblici) in the Castello area. The Lido di Venezia offers a modicum of traditional recreation activities: beaches, tennis courts and golf courses. A long sandy island that serves as a buffer from the Adriatic, the Lido was a fashionable European resort in the early 1900s. Some of Venice's most expensive hotels are still there, but the water may not be clean and the beaches are overcrowded.

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Beaches
Venezia Spiagge-Lungomare D'Annunzio Venetians favor this beach on the Lido. In the summer season, it has a range of bars and restaurants, showers and changing rooms. There is one bar that is open year-round. A little farther from the center of the Lido, San Nicolo beach is smaller and slightly cheaper but has the same range of facilities. There is a bus from Piazzale Ste. Maria Elisabetta, and the No. 17 waterbus stop is nearby. At both beaches, you can rent beach huts for the season or for a week; a variety of changing huts by the season, week or day; and lounge chairs and umbrellas. Wi-Fi is also available. Open daily late May to mid-September.
Piazzale Rava Venice, Italy Phone: 041-526-0236 or 041-526-1249 http://www.veneziaspiagge.it

Bicycling
Lido on Bike This place rents bicycles to visitors and is conveniently located. Open during the warmer months, usually March-October.
Gran Viale S. Maria Elisabetta 21/B (one block away from the vaporetto stop) Venice, Italy Phone: 041-526-8019 http://www.lidoonbike.it

Boating & Sailing


La Reale Societa Canottieri Bucintoro Go boating with this prestigious club. It has a long tradition of lagoon rowing and numerous expats among its members. Great waterside location on the Zattere. Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Sunday and holidays 8:30 am-1 pm. Entrance fees start at 90 euros; discounts are available for tourists.
Dorsoduro 263, Zattere ai Saloni Venice, Italy Phone: 041-520-5630 http://www.bucintoro.org

Venezia Lines Offers affordable options for catamaran trips from Venice to locations in Croatia and Slovenia. Season runs mid-April to early October. Fares range 67 euros-83 euros one way, 121 euros149 euros round trip.
Isola di Tronchetto 21 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-882-1101 http://www.venezialines.com

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Golf
Circolo Golf Venezia This distinctive club, stretching from the Adriatic beach to the Venetian lagoon, has an 18-hole, par-72 course. Private lessons available. Daily except Monday 8:30 am-7:30 pm. Greens fees 70 euros (80 euros on Saturday and Sunday) plus 20% value-added tax.
Strada Vecchia 1, Alberoni, Lido di Venezia Venice, Italy Phone: 041-731-333 http://www.circologolfvenezia.it

Hiking & Walking


Trekking Italia This nonprofit group offers guided hikes and walks outside the city.
Via Toffoli 2/D, Venice-Marghera Mestre, Italy Phone: 339-688-4522 or 041-924-547 http://www.trekkingitalia.com

Tennis & Racquet Sports


Tennis Club Dolo This historic Venetian tennis club hosts summer tournaments. Daily 8 am-8 pm in summer.
Via Sandro Gallo 163, Lido di Venezia Venice, Italy Phone: 041-412-970 http://www.tennisdolo.it

Nightlife
If it weren't for the city's university students, Venice's streets would be empty after dinnertime. The city is not known for having a stellar nightlife. Most discos and movie theaters are on the mainland, which is within easy reach via bus or cab. But you aren't completely without options in Venice: A number of small bars and pubs serve food and drink. Called bacari, they are similar to osterie, serving snacks (called cicheti locally). There are a few clubs to choose from, and many little bars have begun offering small-scale jazz or Latin-music shows. In the summer, these live shows multiply, and places such as Cafe Rosso hold concerts once a week. Free local publications put out by the Tourist Office contain live-music, event and show schedules. Bars and pubs usually close at 2 am. If you're visiting during Carnival, expect to find a great deal of life in the city. Kiosks are set up throughout town with brochures explaining when and where the parties are. Organized events are centered in Piazza San Marco, and after that, the wilder life moves to Campo Santa Margherita.

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Bars, Taverns & Pubs


Blues Cafe Formerly Cafe Blue, this funky bar features frequent art exhibits and free Internet access for customers. Blues Cafe is popular with exchange students from all over the world. Live music on Friday. Daily except Monday 11 am-2 am. Cafe Noir Although the two groups rarely mix, this cool, dark barand the street in front of ithosts a curious mix of international students and well-dressed local twentysomethings. In the morning, you can drink a cappuccino while reading one of the foreign publications available there, or check your e-mail. Open Monday-Friday 11 am-2 am, Saturday and Sunday 7 pm-2 am. Caffe Aurora In the afternoon, this is just your average overpriced cafe on St. Mark's Square. In the evening, though, the Aurora is the only venue on the piazza, attracting young musicians and DJs. Open daily except Thursday 8:30 am-2 am. Caffe Rosso Called Caffe Rosso on account of its striking bright-red frontage, this traditional cafe has small tables that are the last to be taken inside on summer evenings. A meeting point for students and artists, it has a lively and slightly bohemian feel. Also a good spot for a midday snack on a sunny day or for an early cappuccino. Open Monday-Saturday 7 am-midnight.
Campo Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro 2963 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-528-7998 http://www.cafferosso.it/backgroundx.htm Piazza San Marco 48-50, San Marco Venice, Italy Crosera San Pantalon, Dorsoduro 3805 Venice, Italy Crosera Calle dei Preti, Dorsoduro 3778 Venice, Italy

Cantinnone gia Schiavi At least once, every visitor to Venice should stop into one of the old-fashioned osterie like this one, with its low beams, dark interior and affordable prices. It is family-run, friendly, slighty chaotic and so small that most patrons take their wine outside and sit on the steps of the little Ponte San Trovaso to savor it. Specialties include local wine and cichetta, typical Venetian appetizers. Open Monday-Saturday. Imagina This sophisticated and gay-friendly bar and art gallery is located between Campo Santa Margherita and the Ponte dei Pugni. Comfortable chairs make it a nice place to rest your feet and have a midday spritz (the Venetian cocktail) or cappuccino. Sunday-Tuesday 7 am-9 pm, Wednesday-Saturday 7 am-2 am; Closed on Sunday NovemberFebruary.
Ponte dei Pughi, Dorsoduro 3126 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-241-0625 http://www.imaginacafe.it Fondamenta Maravegie, Dorsoduro 992 Venice, Italy

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The Irish Pub Formerly The Fiddler's Elbow. The new owners retained the sports-loving, Guinness-drinking ambience but updated the decor and the TVs. Live music Friday. Daily 10 am-2 am.
Campiello Testori (Strada Nuova), Cannaregio 3847 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-528-1439 http://www.theirishpubvenezia.com

VinoVino Located near the Antico Martini restaurant, this wine bar serves more than 350 domestic and imported wines along with some snacks and local dishes. Try the sarde in saor (sardines in an onion marinade) or the octopus salad. Open daily 11:30 am-11:30 pm.
San Marco 2007/A (between La Fenice Opera House and Ponte delle Veste) Venice, Italy Phone: 041-241-7688 http://www.vinovinowinebar.com/it

Dance & Nightclubs


Centrale This hipster and celebrity hangout is upscale enough for the Prada crowd. It is one of the coolest places to drink and relax near Piazza San Marco. Leather sofas, mixed drinks and electronic world beats prevail. Recommended restaurant and wine list, too. Daily 6:30 pm-2 am.
Via Piscina Frezzeria Venice, Italy Phone: 041-296-0664 http://www.centrale-lounge.com

Piccolo Mondo This tiny disco near the Accademia is one of the few places to dance, short of going to Mestre. It doesn't get lively until after midnight, and drinks are pricey. Open daily 11 pm-4 am.
Calle Contarini Corfu, Dorsoduro 1056/A Venice, Italy Phone: 041-520-0371 http://www.piccolomondo.biz

Live Music
Ai Postali Lively nontouristy marble bar along the Rio Marin where you can sample a spritz on a seat by the canal and enjoy a totally spontaneous (and never-announced) jam session of local jazz musicians. Monday-Saturday 7:30 pm-2 am. Closed August.
Fondamenta Rio Marin 821, Santa Croce Venice, Italy

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Venice Jazz Club This is the venue of the excellent Venice Jazz Club Quartet, which entertains the small crowds with improvised tributes to American jazz legends. Cocktail prices are high, so make your first drink (included in the admission price) the best you can think of. Monday-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 7 pm. Concert starts 9 pm. Closed August. Admission 20 euros.
Ponte dei Pugni, Dorsoduro 3102 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-523-2056 http://www.venicejazzclub.com

Performing Arts
The city's performing-arts offerings are extensive. Highlights are Italian opera, Vivaldi's music, Goldoni's theater and Commedia dell'Arte (the traditional theater genre dating from 1500). Opera, concerts and ballet performances take place at the reconstructed Fenice Opera House or the Malibran Theater close to Rialto. Many palazzi and venues such as the Scuola Grande di San Rocco host classical-music concerts. All performances at the Chiesa di San Vidal and Scuola di San Teodoro are geared toward tourists. Tickets are sold at key locations around town by multilingual, costumed sales reps. English-language pieces are rarely performed. The season at the Teatro Carlo Goldoni is October-April. Avant-garde performances are held at Teatro Fondamenta Nuove. Keep an eye out for the wonderful contemporary music, dance and drama festivals run by the Biennale, the same organization responsible for the annual film festival and two yearly art exhibitions. Phone 041-521-8711. http://www.labiennale.org. In general, the best way to find out what's on is to read the posters on the walls as you wander around town.

Music
I Musici Veneziani Among the first costume groups to dedicate themselves to playing Venetian music, this group usually performs at Scuola Grande di San Teodoro. Concerts usually start 8:30 pm.
Campo San Salvador Venice, Italy Phone: 041-521-0294 http://www.imusiciveneziani.com

Interpreti Veneziani These musicians play the music of Vivaldi, Galuppi and Albinonisome of Italy's finest composersand are among the city's better-known performers of 18th-century music. They perform year-round in various locations but mostly in the San Vidal Church in Campo San Vidal, near the Accademia Bridge.
San Marco 2862/B Venice, Italy Phone: 041-277-0561 http://www.interpretiveneziani.com

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Opera
Gran Teatro La Fenice The historic La Fenice hosts regular performances. Some of the less-expensive seats have limited visibility of the stage. The staff members will show you the seating chart when you're booking. Audiotape tours and guided group tours of the theater are also available. Box office open daily 10 am-6 pm, information line operates daily 7:30 am-8 pm. Tickets are also sold at all Hello Venezia locations, most of which are open daily 8:30 am-5 pm.
Campo San Fantin Venice, Italy Phone: 041-2424 for tickets http://www.teatrolafenice.it

Theater
Teatro Junghans Located in an area that formerly consisted of factories, this theater, known as Little Cheese Theatre because of its wedge shape, hosts various productions as well as an acting school.
Giudecca 494/A Venice, Italy Phone: 041-241-1974 http://www.teatrojunghans.it

Ticket Brokers
Hello Venezia A citywide agency where you can book tickets for all major events, including opera, concerts and Biennale happenings. Alongside the ACTV ticket sales kiosk at Piazzale Roma and the Ferrovia S. Lucia train station. Also at La Fenice opera house. You can also purchase the Venice Card there (http://www.venicecard.com), which provides discounts at many performing arts venues.
Venice, Italy Phone: line open daily 7:30 am-8 pm. Most major credit cards. 041-2424 http://www.hellovenezia.com

Venues
Malibran Theater This 17th-century theater hosts opera, ballet and chamber music.
Campiello Malibran, Cannaregio (near Rialto) Venice, Italy Phone: line open daily 9 am-6 pm. Campiello Malibran, Cannaregio (near Rialto), Venice. 041-2424 http://www.teatrolafenice.it

Spectator Sports
Regattas take place almost year-round, and these rate as both spectacle and sport. If you are a soccer fan, you might want to check out FBC Unione Venezia (Venice United), which plays in the Italian B league.

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Soccer
FBC Unione Venezia Home games are played every other Sunday late September-early June at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. The cheap seats in the stadium curve (biglietti di curva) are nearly always sold out. Available tickets will set you back at least 30 euros. Try the stadium box office the day of or the day before a match. Alternatively, try to purchase tickets at the tabacchi stores, demarcated with a "T" sign, which sometimes have tickets.
For information, contact the team office, located on the mainland. Via Gaspare Gozzi 55, 30172 Mestre, Italy Phone: 041-532-1593 http://www.fbcunionevenezia.com

Shopping
It's hard to convey just how many shops there are in Venicethe sheer number of establishments is overwhelming. You really don't have to go out of your way to find gifts or souvenirs, at least in the well-traveled areas of town. Deciding what to buy is the bigger problem. Many of the shops carry the same stuffMurano glass in dizzying variety, Carnival masks, lace (much of which is made outside of Veniceyou can tell the real handmade stuff by the astronomical prices), and leather and silk goods ranging from inexpensive to luxurious. Because you'll see the same merchandise everywhere, it can be difficult to buckle down and actually make your purchases. But you'll kick yourself later if you leave empty-handed. Millefiore glass beads are a good bet in Murano; they're distinctive and hard to find elsewhere and much more expensive when you do find them. Lots of high-dollar fashion boutiques are clustered around the area just west of Piazza San Marco. You'll also find plenty of souvenir shops around San Marco, though stores in the Rialto Bridge area may be less expensive. Traveling to the islands of Murano and Burano won't lead to many bargains, but you may find larger selections of glass and imported lace. For unusual art and glass, seek out the smaller shops on Murano, where excellent work is done. And though there are hundreds of small stores and boutiques in Venice, you'll have to travel to the mainland to find a mall. In Italy, tax is included in the price of the merchandise, and stores are required to post a price for everything being sold. Even in expensive boutiques, there will be a card in the window listing the prices of the items on display. This doesn't mean the prices are inflexible, however. In smaller stores, you will often find that the person waiting on you is the owner who will cut you a deal if it helps make a saleespecially if you pay in cash. Shopping Hours: Generally Monday-Saturday 9 am-12:30 or 1 pm and 3:30-7:30 pm in winter or 4-8 pm in summer. In high season, many places stay open on Sunday and through lunch. Souvenir shops are often open later in the evening and closed on Monday morning.

Bookstores
Editrice Franco Filippi Original postcards, posters, engravings and books fill the charming shops affiliated with one of the most famous Venetian publishing houses. The owner, Franco Filippi, has a real passion for history, art and popular traditions. Daily 9 am-7 pm.
Casseleria 5284, San Marco Venice, Italy

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Libreria Marco Polo Good travel bookstore with both English-language literature and English-language walking guides to wonderful places all over Italy (and elsewhere).
Cannaregio 5886/A, Calle del Teatro Malibran Venice, Italy Phone: 041-522-6343 http://www.libreriamarcopolo.com

Libreria Mondadori This bookshop prides itself on encouraging literary meets and poetry readings. Spacious premises close to Piazza San Marco, with an Internet point where foreign newspapers can be downloaded and read at leisure. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-7:30 pm, Sunday and holidays 11 am-7:30 pm. In summer, the ground and first floors are open till 11 pm Monday-Saturday. Libreria Studium Just off Piazza San Marco, this well-stocked bookshop has guidebooks galore as well as plenty of literature and novels in English. Monday-Saturday 9 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am-6 pm. Most major credit cards. Mare di Carta This shop carries international books on all things nautical, including a selection of locally written and illustrated books on the Venetian lagoon. Located between the train station and Piazzale Roma. Open Tuesday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 3:30-7:30 pm.
Fondamente dei Tolentini, Santa Croce 222 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-716-304 http://www.maredicarta.com Piazzetta San Marco, San Marco 337/C Venice, Italy Salizzada San Moise 1345, San Marco Venice, Italy Phone: 041-522-2193 http://www.libreriamondadorivenezia.it

Department Stores
Coin Rialto This national chain store occupies a multistory Venetian Gothic palazzetto near the Rialto Bridge and stocks clothes, accessories, furnishings and housewares. Get a taste of what Italians really look for in their everyday shopping. Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-7:30 pm, Sunday 11 am-7:30 pm.
Cannaregio 5787 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-520-3581 http://www.coin.it

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Galleries
BAC Art Studio If you're looking for a memorable Venice scene to take home with you, be sure to stop at the BAC Art Studio. The eclectic gallery carries paintings, photographs, engravings, posters and sculptures that capture the unusual beauty of the city's landscapes and its people. It is wellknown for mixing classic posters with quirky self-portraits by local artist David Dalla Venezia. Monday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm.
San Vio 862 (between the Accademia Bridge and the Guggenheim Collection), Dorsoduro Venice, Italy Phone: 041-241-2716 http://www.bacart.com

Bressanello Art Studio This elegant little studio near Campo Santa Margherita offers well-priced original photographs, small sculptures and unique paintings by young local artists that avoid the stereotypes of most Venetian artwork. Particularly strong are the Mondrian-like photographs of Burano by the gallery owner, Fabio Bressanello. Monday-Saturday 10 am-1 pm and 3-7:30 pm.
Ponte dei Pugni, Campo San Barnaba Venice, Italy Phone: 041-724-1080 http://www.bressanelloartstudio.com

Shopping Areas
Mercato di Rialto The little shops lining the Rialto Bridge and surrounding area are usually less expensive than similar places in the San Marco area. When you cross the bridge, walk the inside routeyou'll find stands and little shops with jewelry, masks, Murano glass and much more. An interesting side trip is to the nearby fish market, which is busy in the morning (except Monday). Most shops near the bridge are open daily 10 am-7 pm. San Marco Venice hosts a collection of some of the top names in Italian fashion. The area around Piazza San Marco, especially Calle Vallaresso, Via XXII Marzo and Frezzaria, has a particularly high number of alta moda shops. Be prepared to pay. Borsalino. Calle del Loro, San Marco 4822. Phone 041-241-1945. http://www.borsalino.it. Giorgio Armani. Calle Goldoni, San Marco 4412. Phone 041-523-4758. http://www.giorgioarmani.com. Gucci. San Marco 2102 and San Marco 258. Phone 041-522-9119. http://www.gucci.com. Max Mara. Mercerie, San Marco 5033. Phone 041-522-6688. http://www.maxmara.com. Roberto Cavalli. Calle Vallaresso, San Marco 1314. Phone 041-529-9020. http://www.robertocavalli.com. Prada. Salizada San Moise, San Marco 1464-1469. Phone 041-528-3966. http://www.prada.com. Versace. Frezzeria, Campo San Moise, San Marco 1462-1523. Phone 041-520-0057. http://www.versace.com.

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Specialty Stores
Ballarin Some of the most interesting and original glass designs in objets d'art, tableware and jewelry. The colors are vibrant, the designs fresh and the prices reasonable. Definitely a standout amid the sameness surrounding it. Open daily.
Fontamenta Lorenzo Radi 14 Murano, Italy Phone: 041-739-375 http://www.ballarin.com

Attombri Talented young brothers string together unique Byzantine-style necklaces and decorative delights in the old goldsmiths' area near Rialto Bridge. Two other locations at Campo S. Maurizio, San Marco (phone 041-521-0789) and Calle Frezzeria, San Marco (phone 041-2411442).
Sottoportico Degli Orafi 74, Rialto Venice, Italy Phone: 041-521-2524 http://www.attombri.com

Campiello di Arras A cooperative near the Ca' Foscari University that produces original hand-woven fabrics, garments and bags in lively colors. Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 2:30-6:30 pm. Cartavenezia At this shop, you'll find artistic, handmade paper products, from stamped reliefs to paper shoes, as well as unique, high-quality paper for travelers wishing to capture their view of Venice in paint or ink. Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-1 pm and 3:30-7:30 pm.
Calle della Chiesa, Santa Croce 2125 (near Ca' Pesaro and Campo Santa Maria Mater Domini) Venice, Italy Phone: 041-524-1283 http://www.cartavenezia.it Campiello Squelini, Dorsoduro 3235 Venice, Italy

David's Shop This store carries a wide variety of art objects with Jewish themes, such as millefiori Stars of David and glass menorahs, many made of Murano glass. Open Sunday-Friday 10 am-6:30 pm.
Campo del Ghetto Nuovo, Cannaregio 2895 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-275-0418 http://www.davidshop.com

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Giovanna Zanella This shop offers unique and stunning shoes and accessories designer-made by a Venice native. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-1 pm and 3-7 pm. Most major credit cards. Massimo Micheluzzi Massimo's gorgeous modern glass sculptures and vases put the overwrought products of most Murano factory-produced glass works to shame. His work is rapidly being collected by museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Just steps away from the Ponte delle Maravegie bridge Venice, Italy Calle Carminati 5641, San Lio, Castello Venice, Italy

Paolo Brandolisio Workshop Forcole, the sculptural oarlocks that are unique to Venetian boats such as gondolas, are works of art as well as utilitarian tools. Paolo Brandolisio is one of only four active forcole makers in the world.
Calle Corte Rota near the Ponte dei Greci Venice, Italy

Pasticceria Marchini Choose from classic chocolates, freshly dipped fruits, and delicious cakes and cookies at Venice's most intriguing sweets shop. There are also oddities such as chocolate cell phones and wrenches. Fragile cookies are prepacked to travel safely. Daily 9:30 am-8 pm.
http://www.pasticceriamarchini.com/chi_si amo.html Calle Spadaria, San Marco 676 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-522-9109

Rivoaltus Handcrafted paper and tooled-leather books from this tiny shop on top of Rialto Bridge make beautiful souvenirs.
Ponte di Rialto, San Polo 11 Venice, Italy

Sent Incredible glass jewelry is created by the amazing Sent sisters, who descend from a centurieslong tradition of glassmakers from Murano. Their main Venice showroom is near the Guggenheim Collection at Campo San Vio. Other locations at Ponte San Moise, San Marco (phone 041-520-4014) and Fondamenta Serenella, Murano (phone 041-527-4465).
Dorsoduro 669 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-520-8136 http://www.marinaesusannasent.com

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Serena Vianello Near Rialto bridge, Serena Vianello, a former glass-jewelry designer, creates timeless, refined Venetian designs using sumptuous silks, soft velvets and warm tweeds mixed together with color schemes that bring to mind famous Venetian paintings. Buy your jackets, scarves, stoles, bags and colorful silk or velvet shoes (with rubber soles) there and stroll through Venice like a true classy Venetian lady. Monday-Friday 10 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-7:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-7 pm, Sunday 11 am-1:30 pm and 2:30-7 pm. Vetreria Artistica Archimede Seguso There you'll find art glassware produced by one of the most renowned masters from Murano. Particularly famous for glass sculptures in intense colors. Two showrooms are located in Piazza San Marco; if you have time, schedule an appointment to visit the furnace on Murano. Daily 9:30 am-7:30 pm.
Serenella 18 Murano, Italy Phone: 041-739-234 http://www.aseguso.com Campo San Aponal, San Polo 1226 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-522-3351 http://www.serenavianello.com

Vizio Virtu A paradise for chocaholics, this place called "Vice-Virtue" offers a mind-blowing selection of hand-crafted chocolates with exotic flavors. Some creations are filled with Barolo wine, blueberry, basil, tobacco, ginger or even pumpkin. Do drink the iced chocolate in summerit's wonderfully refreshing. Second location at Campiello San Toma 2815-16 (phone 041-2440301). Daily 10 am-7:30 pm. Hours vary on holidays, during August and in summer; call ahead.
San Toma, Calle de Campaniel, San Polo 2829a Venice, Italy Phone: 041-275-0149 http://www.viziovirtu.com

Itinerary
Day Trips
To Burano. The most startling aspect of Burano is the colorevery house is painted a bright hue, often two, creating a dazzling rainbow in any direction you look. Once the center of Venice's venerated lace-making activities, sadly, Burano now houses an all-but-dead art. You'll see very few older ladies sitting in their doorways working on delicate lace pieces, but you'll know by the price tags when you've found some of their handiwork. Formerly a lace school, the Museo del Merletto at Piazza Galuppi is a museum dedicated to lace-making. If you don't understand what all the fuss is about, stop in and take a look at the exquisite antique pieces on display. Open daily except Monday AprilOctober 10 am-6 pm, November-March 10 am-5 pm. Admission is 5 euros. Phone 041-730-034. http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it. The 16th-century Chiesa di San Martino, across the main square from Museo del Merletto, houses a work by Giovanni Tiepolo. A water bus to Burano takes 30 minutes from Murano or up to an hour from the Fondamente Nuove stop in Venice. To Lido di Venezia. Once one of Europe's top seaside resorts (think Thomas Mann's Death in Venice), the Lido is a shadow of its former self. Some wonderful hotels and resorts remain, as do expanses of sand that still become crowded with locals and tourists alike in the summer. But there are better places for a beach holiday. Fans of art-nouveau architecture will enjoy seeing the villas and hotels of that period in the residential streets, as well as the over-the-top Hungaria Palace Hotel on Gran Viale S. Maria Elisabetta (http://www.hotelhungaria.com). The Lido swarms with glamorous activity during the annual Venice Film Festival in late August. The Lido's Jewish cemetery, which dates from the 14th century, has been restored and can be visited with a guide. To Murano. You can't escape the glass industry in Venice. Colorful glass souvenirs are sold absolutely everywhere, and among the mountains of kitsch, you'll find some of the best bargains around. Most of the glass workshops were moved to the island of Murano in 1291 to reduce the risk of fire in the city. A visit to the island offers the chance to see master glassblowers at work, as well as to browse store after store of glass itemsfrom gaudy curios to true art forms. When you get off the water bus at Murano (a 10-minute ride from Fondamente

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Nuove or a 45-minute journey from the San Zaccaria stop near Piazza San Marco), you'll likely be met by a hawker who will lead you to a glassblowing demonstration geared to tourists. The hawker will then take you to a shop but will usually let you go if you're not interested in buying. If you have any inkling at all of buying Murano glass while in Venice, the island is the best place to do so, but do shop around to get a sense of the prices. Resist the street touts (and offers from your hotel) for "free" tours by water taxi to the glass factories of Muranoor if you go, be prepared for heavy pressure to buy from their "special" showrooms. Prices are highly inflated. Be aware that these are scams, and that there is indeed no such thing as a free ride. The island's Museo del Vetro (glass museum) has some interesting displays worth seeing. It is open daily 10 am-5 pm November-March, 10 am-6 pm April-October. Admission is 8 euros. Phone 041-739-586. http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it. To Torcello. The farthest of the lagoon islands on most itineraries, Torcello is by far the most unusual. Home to very few people, it was once the site of Venice's first major settlement. There you'll find a different Venice from that of Piazza San Marco. The main square, Piazza Torcello, is just about the only place to visit and is located down a pleasant path along a canal from the water-bus stop. The piazza is the site of Venice's earliest church, the 11th- and 12th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The Cathedral is noteworthy for its powerful Byzantine mosaics. A newer basilica, a bell tower and an archaeological museum share the piazza, along with a marble chair known as Attila the Hun's throne. Torcello is a five-minute ride by water bus from Burano, but the relaxing trip from Venice itself can take up to an hour, starting from the Fondamente Nuove. The basilica (phone 041-296-0630) is open daily March-October 10:30 am-6 pm, November-February 10 am-5 pm. Admission is 5 euros. The Torcello Museum is also worth seeing; it's a small but excellent archaeology museum. Open daily except Monday and holidays 10 am-5 pm. 3 euros. Phone 041-730-761. To Riviera del Brenta. Many wealthy Venetians built impressive villas for use as summer homes along a stretch of land between Venice and Padua that's called the Riviera del Brenta (named after the river that runs through it). Though not all of the villas remain open, those that do are wonderful sites. In the town of Stra, there's the splendid 18th-century Villa Pisani, with frescoes by Giovanni Tiepolo. Others worthy of attention include Villa Barbarigo, Villa Velluti and Palladio's Villa La Malcontenta. (La Malcontenta, the unhappy one, was so dubbed after a Foscari wife accused of marital misconduct was exiled there.) We suggest checking with the tourist office in Venice or with the Regional Institute for the Venetian Villas (phone 041-523-5606) for opening hours and seasons. Boat tours are available (http://www.ilburchiello.it or http://www.battellidelbrenta.it), or you can reach the area by bus or car. Distances vary according to the villa, but Stra is roughly 20 mi/30 km west of Venice. To Vicenza. Much of Vicenza bears the mark of the great architect Andrea Palladio, whose masterpieces in town include the beautiful Basilica in Piazza dei Signori (not a church, but a council chamber), the Olympic Theater and many palazzi that line the city's streets. The significance of the architecture and the abundance of examples draw many tourists, but you can also go to enjoy a walk in the historic center of this small, pleasant city. Several of the Veneto's most outstanding villas are in the area right around the city. Vicenza is about 40 mi/65 km west of Venice, and is easily reached by train or car. To Verona. Lying 70 mi/110 km west of Venice in a beautiful part of the country, Verona is blessed and cursed to be remembered as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. This means a huge tourist trade admiring a fake balcony, but the town offers so much more. The Arena, a wonderfully preserved Roman amphitheater built in the first century and one of the largest in existence, is still used as a performing-arts venue. A summer opera performance in the Arena is reason enough to visit Verona. Other points of interest include lovely churches and the town's three main piazzas: Piazza Bra, Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori. The Castelvecchio Museum is also worth a visitit has paintings by Jacopa Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio, Paolo Veronese, Jacopo Tintoretto and Andrea Mantegna. The church of San Zeno, a 15-minute walk from Castelvecchio, is one of Italy's foremost examples of Italian Romanesque buildings anywhere. For more information, contact the main tourist office (IAT) at Via degli Alpini 9 (near Piazza Bra). Phone 045-806-8680. http://www.tourism.verona.it.

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Local Tours
Sightseeing tours are readily available, ranging from walking tours to canal tours by gondola. According to state law, all tours must be given by licensed guides. For more information, visit http://www.guidevenezia.it or http://www.turismovenezia.it. Codess Cultura Previously a cultural organization, this firm offers customized individual and group tours of Venice and the areas surrounding the city. It can also assist visitors in setting up banquets and other social events in Venice.
Campo San Polo 2120 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-710-200 http://www.codesscultura.it

Heliair Venice Treat yourself to a helicopter flight with brilliant views over the lagoon and city. Fares start at 110 euros for a memorable 10-minute trip, but longer routes are available.
Aeroporto "G. Nicelli," Via Renato Morandi Venice, Italy Phone: 041-526-0215 http://www.heliairvenice.com

Kele & Teo This company has three tourist offices in Venice. Kele & Teo offers guided tours around Venice, as well as to the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Most trips take only a couple of hours. The office is closed on on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Prices vary.
San Marco 4930 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-520-8722 http://www.keleteo.com

Venice Events This group offers a choice of walking and boat tours around town, as well as minibus trips to the countryside and wineries. It can also help to arrange weddings in Venice. Prices vary. .
Venice, Italy Phone: 041-523-9979 http://www.veniceevents.com

Dining
Dining Overview
There are a number of good places to eat in Venice, especially if you're in the market for seafood or regional dishes. In fact, with such a prolific number of places to get a meal, it may be hard to choose. If you're looking for a break from Italian food, your choices are dramatically lessened. As a general rule, reservations are recommended. Seafood is king of the table in traditional Venetian cuisine. One local delicacy, sarde in saor (fresh sardines, fried and then marinated in onion, vinegar and raisins), gives an idea of the strong and tasty flavors to be found in Venice. Baccala (salt cod) dishes are on many menus, as is crab (variably called granseola, moleche and other names), as well as exotic seafood salads and squid. Risottos of all colors

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher are common. Don't look for genuine Venetian recipes (or even particularly good food) in restaurants with a menu of the day prominently displayed in four languages. You'll find better meals elsewhere, usually just off the main streets. If you are on a budget (or even if you aren't), follow the locals to a bacaro or osteria (small publike restaurant). The delicious cicheti (little appetizers often made of fish or meat) and ombre (glasses of wine) are too good to pass up. There are several choices around the Rialto area. Vegetarians usually don't have problems in Venice, as many pasta dishes, salads and pizzas are made without meat. If you drop by a bacaro, you'll also find a variety of Venetian-style vegetables to choose from. Families will gravitate to pizzerias, which really aren't just for children and will probably offer more variety in toppings than you expect. Pizza is a common meal for adults and children alike. Restaurants are generally open for lunch 12:30-3 pm and for dinner 7 pm-midnight, and most close one or two days a week. At coffee and pastry shops, as well as bacari, you'll find two prices for every item on the menuthe standing price and the sitting price. Often you will see a sign added to the price list, letting you know that it refers to products consumed at the bar only. Dining in Venice (and the whole of Italy) has become far more pleasant for nonsmokers, as all restaurants by law have posted "no smoking" signs in their indoor dining rooms. Expect to pay within these general guidelines for a dinner for one, not including drinks: $ = less than 30 euros; $$ = 30 euros-40 euros; $$$ = 41 euros-50 euros; $$$$ = more than 50 euros. Tax is legally included in menu prices, but watch out for an extra servizio (service charge) and coperto (cover charge). Tips are automatically included at the more expensive places.

Local & Regional


Al Covo This restaurant's kitchen is gaining one of the best reputations in town. Its chef and owner is Cesare Benelli, but its soul is Diane, Cesare's American wife. Not far from Piazza San Marco and tucked away in a quiet alley behind the Riva degli Schiavoni, it serves innovative Venetian dishes, such as tagliatelle con moleche e peperoni (pasta with soft-shelled crab and peppers), and gnocchetti with go (goby, a type of fish), scampi and clams. Excellent wine list. Open Friday-Sunday for lunch, daily for dinner. Closed late December-late January. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Avogaria Cuisine from Puglia in Italy's south is combined with local tastes and served in this stylish eatery not far from the Zattere. Steamed mussels in a light white sauce or a puree of broad beans with shrimp are typical offerings. The wine list concentrates on the Friuli and Veneto regions. Daily except Tuesday. $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards.
Dorsoduro 1629 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-296-0491 http://www.avogaria.com Campiello della Pescaria 3968, Castello Venice, Italy 30122 Phone: 041-522-3812 http://www.ristorantealcovo.com

Bancogiro Luscious, light meals served in what used to be Venice's first private bank. On the edge of the Rialto market district, this place has divine outdoor seating on the Grand Canal. No pasta, but fresh fish served with vegetables, such as branzino con arancia e cumino (sea bass with orange and cumin) and regional cheeses and sausages. Excellent wines. Daily except Monday. $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards.
Campo San Giacometto, San Polo 122 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-523-2061 http://www.osteriabancogiro.it

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Ca' d'Oro A favorite of locals, Ca' d'Oro is a beautiful example of simple Venetian cuisine. It's an extremely popular spot for cicheti and can get chaotic and crowded. Try the freshly grilled squid or the mussels, schie fritte (fried tiny grey lagoon shrimp) or the delicious fegato alla veneziano (liver Venetian style). Open daily except Thursday for dinner, Sunday for lunch. $$-$$$. Dalla Marisa Signora Marisa hails from a dynasty of butchers. Her small place may not be very comfortable, but you will rub shoulders with locals, gondolieri and the odd tourist lucky enough to find it. Winter is high season for meat and fowl. Expect delicacies such as filled pheasant, pasta with wild boar sugo or veal ragout. The beef risotto is wonderful. In summer more fish dishes appear. Try marinated sea bass or grated scallops. It's best to go for a set menu, which includes a decent house wine. Open daily for lunch, Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday for dinner. Reservations highly recommended. $$. No credit cards. La Bitta This establishment just off Campo San Barnaba serves meat dishes ranging from duck to Tuscan beefbut no seafood. Enjoy the agnolotti (big ravioli) filled with seasonal vegetables, such as spring asparagus with a Taleggio cheese sauce, but leave plenty of room for the divine desserts, rich in chocolate and hazelnut cream. Good wine list. Open Monday-Saturday for dinner only. $$-$$$. No credit cards. Le Bistrot de Venise Between Campo San Luca and Piazza San Marco, this small restaurant pursues the rediscovery of Venetian cuisine and wines from the Renaissance to modern times with a selection of seasonal and regional offerings. Good French and Italian cheeses and wine list. Occasional live cabaret or jazz music in the evening, as well as an extensive art and literary program that includes late-afternoon discussions (in Italian) as well as food and wine tastings. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Osteria Da Alberto Of the many bacari or osterie in the city, we especially love this one. One reason is that you'll see older Venetian specialties on the menu that are almost impossible to find in other restaurants, such as polenta con le seppie in nero (polenta with ink fish in black sauce). These delicacies practically cry out for an ombra (glass of wine).
Calle Giacinto Gallina (near SS Giovanni e Paolo hospital), Cannaregio 5401 Venice, Italy Calle dei Fabbri 4685, San Marco Venice, Italy 30124 Phone: 041-523-6651 http://www.bistrotdevenise.com Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2753/A Venice, Italy Fondamenta San Giobbe, Canareggio 652/B (as you walk down the Lista di Spagna from the train station, take the last left before crossing the first bridge; walk past Ponte dei Tre Archi bridge) Venice, Italy Calle del Pistor, Cannaregio 3912 (across Strada Nova from Ca' d'Oro) Venice, Italy

Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Osteria Vivaldi Drop in for an ombra (glass of wine) and polpette (fish or meatballs that are baked or fried) around noon when the cicheti are fresh. Local ambience and traditional Venetian food, including the homey, delicious salt cod with polenta and fegato alla veneziana. (Even if you think you don't like liver, try this.) $$. Most major credit cards.
Near Campo San Polo. San Polo 1457 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-523-8185 http://www.osteria-vivaldi.com

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Ribo Smart surroundings highlight the artistic presentation, beginning with appetizers of tuna carpaccio or a creamy fennel soup with steamed shrimp. Lamb is paired with the slightly bitter, red Treviso chicory (available throughout the winter). The cheese selection is very good. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Fondamenta Minotto Santa Croce 158 Venice, Italy

Cuisines
Fusion
Lineadombra Fusion cuisine deeply rooted in local traditions using fresh ingredients from the lagoon and its island farms, such as the outstanding tuna tartare or the salt-baked sea bass. The wine list is excellent, though pricey. Unlike most of the city's restaurants, the decor is sleek and minimalist, and you'll need a reservation to score the lone indoor window table. In nice weather, sit on the over-water terrace with views to Guidecca. Open daily except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Ponte dell'Umilta, Dorsodura 19 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-241-1881 http://www.ristorantelineadombra.com

Italian
Ai Gondolieri This restaurant has a menu that's unusual for Veniceno fish. Good for meat lovers, but vegetarian dishes are also available. Try the salad with duck and 30-year-aged balsamic vinegar, or the beef fillet in Barolo wine and porcini. The tasting menu is also recommended. Look there for the local favorite, cavallo: horsemeat. Daily except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Closed for lunch July and August. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Dorsoduro 366 (near the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Ponte del Formager) Venice, Italy 30123 Phone: 041-528-6396 http://www.aigondolieri.com

Andri Popular during the Venice Film Festival, Andri is an old-fashioned trattoria. It's at its loveliest in the summer, when dining under the quiet pergola is a pleasure. The fritto misto (a selection of fried seafood) is memorable, as is the simple and classic risotto di pesce (seafood risotto).
Via Lepanto 21, Lido Venice, Italy

Open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner. Reservations required during the Venice Film Festival. $$$. Most major credit cards. Caravella This restaurant is located in a fashionable shopping area, a few steps from Piazza San Marco, in the Hotel Saturnia. An elegant spot for romantic dinners in either the nautical ambience inside or the garden courtyard, but don't expect to meet many Venetians there. Traditional cuisine with a good wine list and delightful staff. Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Calle XXII Marzo 2397, San Marco Venice, Italy 30124 Phone: 041-520-8901 http://www.restaurantlacaravella.com

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Casin dei Nobili The chef has a way with fish, whether in the delicate melt-in-the-mouth treatment of sea bass with asparagus and radicchio or the meatier monkfish in a supportive sauce of leeks, cherry tomatoes and basil. The pasta and sweets are all made in-house, as is the breadso good that it's easy to devour the whole basketful while reading the menu. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner (pizza served until 7 pm). $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Do Forni A Venice standard. Heads of state and ambassadors can often be found dining there. Two of its renowned dishes are capesante alla Casanova (a scallop dish with porcini mushrooms) and risotto al Tiziano, but you can't begin a meal any better than with their deceptively simple scallops and shrimp on arugula served with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Harry's Bar In the past, this place was a haunt of great artists and writers. Arrigo Cipriani's restaurant now welcomes everyone from movie stars to tourists. The carpaccio, risotto, pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans), fritto di scampi (fried prawns) and flambeed sweet crespelle (similar to crepes) are tasty. The birthplace of the Bellini: Ordering this drink at Harry's Bar is yet another pleasurable way to break the bank in Venice. Daily for lunch and dinner. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Locanda Cipriani Travel to the tranquil island of Torcello and you'll find this much-extolled restaurant, host to royalty and the famous. Immersed in vegetable gardens, history and silence, Locanda Cipriani is an experience to savor. Our favorite time to go is in the spring. Try a specialty of Torcello, the delicious risotto alla Torcellana, prepared with fresh vegetables from local gardens. Open daily except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Closed in January. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Pizzeria Birraria La Corte Formerly an old brewery, this place has been transformed into a modernly furnished pizza restaurant. Popular with a young crowd. Pleasant outdoor seating in summer. Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner. $-$$. Most major credit cards.
Campo San Polo 2168, San Polo Venice, Italy 30125 Phone: 041-275-0570 http://www.birrarialacorte.it Piazza Santa Fosca 29, Torcello Venice, Italy 30012 Phone: 041-730-150 http://www.locandacipriani.com Calle Vallaresso 1323, San Marco Venice, Italy 30124 Phone: 041-528-5777 http://www.cipriani.com Calle del Forno, San Marco 457-470 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-523-2148 http://www.doforni.it Calle Lombardo (Calle della Toletta becomes Lombardo before entering Campo S. Barnaba), Dorsoduro 2765 Venice, Italy

Pizzeria due Colonne If you're looking for a place to eat outside in good weather, head to this pizzeria. Sit under the gazebo in the picturesque square and drink chilled white wine. Open daily for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for lunch. $-$$. No credit cards.
Campo Sant'Agostin 2343, San Polo Venice, Italy 30125 Phone: 041-524-0685 http://www.pizzeriaduecolonne.com

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Trattoria alla Madonna An old (it's been there for more than half a century) favorite with locals and repeat visitors alike, this place is a little touristy, but the seafood is fresh and consistently good. Efficient service. Open daily except Wednesday for lunch and dinner. Closed in January and for two weeks in August. Reservations not accepted. $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards.
Rialto, Calle de la Madonna, San Polo 594 Venice, Italy 30125 Phone: 041-522-3824 http://www.ristoranteallamadonna.com

Vini da Gigio This tiny, well-known restaurant has good traditional food and a nice selection of wines and vegetarian dishes. Specialties include moeche frite (fried crabs), which are available only in the spring. Consider ordering the mixed seafood plate, with succulent scallops (capesante) on the halfshell, baby shrimp on monkfish medallions and carpaccio of the market fish-of-the-day. Slow service. Open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner. Reservations highly recommended. $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards.
Fondamenta San Felice 3628/A (just off Strada Nuova behind the Billa supermarket), Cannaregio Venice, Italy 30131 Phone: 041-528-5140 http://www.vinidagigio.com

Cafes & Tearooms


Cafe Patisserie Rizzo Step inside the bakery to see the full range of cakes and pastries offered, then enjoy your selection at a table on Lido's central avenue while people-watching. Also inside is a small grocery shop and a salumeria where you can get good picnic makings. Open daily. $. Most major credit cards. Caffe Florian Opened in 1720 in Piazza San Marco, Caffe Florian enjoys the mood of its spectacular setting along with the distinction of hosting leading artists and literary figures, a custom that continues with ongoing innovative exhibitions. Whether you choose from the sumptuously decorated interior rooms or the splendor of the piazza, expect to pay some of the highest prices in Venice for even the simplest items. A cappuccino may cost you 9 euros, or even more when a band is playing. If you want to save money, sip your espresso at the counter where it's a lot cheaper. Daily 10 am-11 pm, until 9 pm Monday-Thursday in November and December. $$-$$$$. Nico Specializing in ice cream, this cafe is located on the sunny Zattere overlooking the large Giudecca canal. Outdoor seating on a dock-style patio over the canal is perfect for a summer afternoon. The chocolate hazelnut and cream is delicious, the portions generous and the prices moderate, considering the glorious setting. Open daily February-October 6:45 am-10 pm; closed Thursday November-January. $.
Fondamenta alle Zattere, Dorsoduro 922 Venice, Italy Phone: 041-522-5293 http://www.gelaterianico.com Piazza San Marco 56/59 Venice, Italy 30124 Phone: 041-520-5641 http://www.caffeflorian.com Gran Viale della S. Maria Elisabetta 18, Lido Venice, Italy

Seafood

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Ai Mercanti This is a good choice for a romantic evening for two. You'll find seasonally inspired takes on classic Venetian seafood dishes. The delicate risotto agli scampi e carciofi (risotto with prawns and artichokes) is wonderful. Among the best wine cellars in Venice. Menu changes according to season. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, Monday for dinner only. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Corte Sconta It's not easy to find this little trattoria near the church of San Martino and the monumental entrance to the Arsenale, but the search is worth it. Try the cozze ripiene e gratinate (stuffed mussels) and baccala mantecato (pureed salt cod, often served on polenta wedges).
Calle del Pestrin 3886, Castello Venice, Italy 30122 Calle dei Fuseri, Corte Coppo, 4346, San Marco Venice, Italy 30124 Phone: 041-523-8269 http://www.aimercanti.com

Open Wednesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed early January-early February and mid-July to mid-August. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Dalla Morra Shaded tables sit right along the canal, and the menu features seafood from the lagoonbest sampled in the gigantic gran fritto della laguna or the grilled equvalent. The banzino (sea bass) is excellent, or you can opt for the local classic sarde in saor, sardines in a tangy onion sauce. Open daily for lunch, Friday-Sunday for dinner. $$$. Most major credit cards.
Fondamente Manin 75 Murano, Italy Phone: 041-736-344 http://www.ristorantedallamora.com

Fiaschetteria Toscana Specializing in seafood dishes, Fiaschetteria Toscana uses only seasonal, fresh produce. Among its acclaimed dishes are polenta with schie (tiny lagoon shrimp), spaghetti with vongole veraci (clams) and Venetian-style liver. More than 600 wines are also available. Open for lunch and dinner Friday-Tuesday, Wednesday for lunch. Closed the last week in July and the first three weeks in August. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Osteria da Fiore The cuisine has been called some of the best in the world. Mara and Maurizio Martin's restaurant is in a narrow calle between Campo San Polo and Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio. The all-seafood menu is composed of reinvented traditional recipes, such as penne alle capesante (pasta and scallops) with broccoli. Strictly fresh seasonal ingredients are used. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Calle del Scaleter 2202, San Polo Venice, Italy 30125 Phone: 041-721-308 http://www.dafiore.net Salizzada San Giovanni Crisostomo 5719, Cannaregio Venice, Italy 30131 Phone: 041-528-5281 http://www.fiaschetteriatoscana.it

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Poste Vecie One of the city's oldest eateries, this place is located next to the fish market near Rialto and reached by its own little bridge (you may have to kick some empty fish crates out of the way to get there at lunchtime). Not surprisingly, seafood is the specialty, including sarde in saor (sardines in onion sauce) and baccala mantecato (salt cod). Best, though, is the simple grilled, fresh fish from the market. Open daily except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards.
Pescheria di Rialto 16020, San Polo Venice, Italy 30125 Phone: 041-721-822 http://www.postevecie.com

Security
Etiquette
Contrary to the relaxed image many have of Italy, the Italian business world emphasizes formality and procedure. Get assistance from a local contact, go through proper channels and always present yourself and your firm as well-polished and accomplished. AppointmentsHaving an intermediary is essential. Without someone to make the appropriate contacts, you'll find it hard to get much accomplished. Your go-between can help schedule meetings, which should be set up well in advance. It is difficultnearly impossible, in factto call on a businessperson unannounced. Confirm your meetings a day or two before they're set to take place. Punctuality is expected. Your Italian counterparts may or may not be as prompt: Those in the northern part of the country generally are; those to the south are less so. Personal IntroductionsGreet others with a handshake and a slight nod. Titles are important: Use any professional titles that are supplied on introduction or, better yet, ask for a list of the participants and their official titles in advance of the meeting. Continue to use the title and last name unless you are instructed otherwise. Many Italians have two business cards: One with their business contact information that they use for formal contacts; the other has personal contact information and is used for more social occasions. Do not exchange business cards at social events. NegotiatingThe pace of negotiations is slow, and final decisions are not made by lower-level functionaries. The chain of command in Italian business is both vertical and horizontal, and decision-making can take a long time. Last-minute demands can be made by a person who enters the negotiations late in the game. In fact, this is sometimes used as a negotiating tool. Remain patient and calm at all times. Business EntertainingBusiness dinners are common but will typically involve only a few key players. If you are hosting the dinner, ask your Italian contact whom to invite. If you want to pay, tip the waiter ahead of time and ask that the bill be quietly given to you. If you do not make such arrangements in advance, you will have to ask for the check; it will not be brought to you automatically. Body LanguageItalians typically converse while standing close to one another. They tend to gesture when talking, and handshakes can extend longer than in other cultures. Gift GivingSmall but high-quality gifts are appropriate in some situations: Ask your intermediary for advice. If you are invited to a home, take flowers or gift-wrapped chocolates. Exercise caution in giving wine: Many Italians are experts; if you're not, ask for advice and make sure what you chose is an excellent vintage. ConversationVery little is off-limits in Italian conversation, but avoid being critical of Italian society and culture, even if your host is. Soccer is a passion and an easy topic, as are art, travel and Italian culture. Politics, religion and the less-positive sides of Italy, including Mussolini, World War II and the mafia, are probably better avoided.

Personal Safety
In Venice, as in most major tourist cities, the main danger is theftwatch out for pickpockets and purse snatchers. Secure your wallet and bags when visiting crowded sites, including the area near the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco and Ponte della Paglia (in front of the Bridge of Sighs), as well as when traveling on crowded ferries. Places where tourists stop to contemplate the city's beauty are favorite "working areas" of pickpockets. Do not leave backpacks or other bags unattended on boats or in public places.

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher It is a good idea to have a small purse or wallet with an ATM card and some currency in a securely zippered pocket and keep other cards, passports and so forth out of sight in a money belt or neck wallet hidden under clothing. Attractive young women may draw stares and unwanted attention. Though this may sometimes be uncomfortable, it's not a threat. Remember that a sharp look or word will almost always deter undesired Romeos. For police (polizia) assistance, dial 113; you can also contact the military police (carabinieri) by dialing 112. For the latest information, contact your country's travel-advisory agency.

Health
No vaccinations are necessary to enter the country, and both food and tap water are safe to consume. Local habit is to drink bottled water, but it isn't a necessity. Sanitation is the same as in any major European city. The canals are nowhere near as dirty as they once were, but we would still caution against taking a dip. Summertime hazards include mosquito bites and sunstroke, so be prepared or visit a pharmacy for protective creams in both cases. In case of a medical emergency, dial 118. Having an Italian speaker on hand would be a good idea. Some hotels have English-speaking doctors on call, and you should be able to communicate with doctors in the hospitals, although most aren't fluent in English. Pharmacies, called farmacie, are marked by a red or green cross and are plentiful in the tourist areas of Venice. Even simple drugs, such as aspirin, are available only at pharmacies. Though there is no single 24-hour pharmacy, individual stores stay open late on a rotating basis. Pharmacies post the necessary information on their doors about which locations are open at night, and a list is published in local newspapers as well. The city hospital Ospedale Civile, located at San Giovanni e Paolo, has high-quality health care, and its emergency room is open 24 hours (phone 041-529-4111). Ambulances are high-speed launches and can be summoned by phoning 118. Also, check with your insurance company before departure about travel insurance and reimbursements for medical assistance overseas. Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed, public places.

Disabled Advisory
Venice is not very friendly to visitors with physical disabilities. Only a few bridges have platforms for wheelchairs. Steps are everywhere. Hotels, restaurants and museums are often inaccessible to disabled visitors. Though people are generally kind and helpful, you should plan your trip carefully. Visitors in wheelchairs should avoid Venice late October-February, when Piazza San Marco and other low-lying areas are often flooded. The temporary walkways are not accessible to wheelchairs. Although the landing stages for all the vaporetti are accessible, these, too, may be unusable when high water makes them unusually slick. Vaporetto access is free to those in wheelchairs. The public toilets near the main sites (such as Piazza San Marco) have special disabled facilities. The tourist offices at Piazza San Marco, the airport and the railway station have transportation information and maps indicating which areas are more accessible. Also note that at Stazione de Santa Lucia, in front of platform 5, there's an office that offers assistance to the disabled, such as getting in and out of the station and on and off trains. Attendants on the public boats are generally helpful getting disabled passengers on and off. Special water taxis from the airport to Venice are also availableyou can book a taxi by calling Cooperativa San Marco (phone 041-523-5775).

The helpful Informahandicap can assist disabled visitors to Venice. Informahandicap, Venice Council Office, Ca' Farsetti, San Marco 4136 (ground floor, URP office). Phone 041-274-8144. For additional information, visit the city of Venice's Web site. http://www.comune.venezia.it/handicap.

Facts
Dos & Don'ts

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Do dress appropriately and be respectful when visiting churches. The official dress code in all churches requires that your shoulders, knees and midriff must be covered. Women rarely cover their heads upon entering a church anymore, and you will see as many bareheaded locals as tourists. Also remember to turn off cell phones when visiting churches, art galleries and museums. Don't wear jeans to restaurants in the evening, except in pizzarie and small osterie. You will be better received if you respect this convention. Do keep your voice low in restaurants, and remember that even though those around you are speaking Italian, they may be perfectly able to overhear and understand what you say in English. Do learn a few polite words and phrases, such as "please" (per piacere or per favore) and "thank you" (grazie). This simple courtesy will set you apart as having made an effort to be polite. Before beginning a question in English, it is polite to ask first if the person speaks English. The reply will nearly always be "a little" even when the speaker's English is nearly perfect. Do attempt to pronounce Italian words correctly. Just remember that the letter "c" followed by an "i" or "e" has the English "ch" sound, while a "ch" followed by an "i" or "e" has the English "k" sound. Thus, che citta! (what a town!) is pronounced KAY chee-TAH.

Geostats
Passport/Visa Requirements: Citizens of Canada and the U.S. need passports but not visas. All visitors must present proof of sufficient funds and onward passage. Reconfirm travel document requirements with your carrier before departure. Population: 264,216. Languages: Italian. Predominant Religions: Christian (Roman Catholic, Protestant). Time Zone: 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+1 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Voltage Requirements: 220 volts. 50 Hz. Telephone Codes: 39, country code; 041, city code;

Money
Currency Exchange
Along with most of Europe, Italy uses the euro. Payment at most hotels, shops and restaurants can be made with credit cards. Where accepted, payment in foreign currency cash will be subject to a hefty fee. ATMs are easily found in areas frequented by tourists, including the train station, and tend to provide the best exchange rates. Currencyexchange agencies offer decent rates, but their commissions may be high. Most post office branches offer currency-exchange service at a fair commission rate. Banks are commonly open Monday-Friday 8:30 am-1:30 pm and 3:30-4:30 pm. Some banks are also open on Saturday morning (confirm with the individual bank).

Taxes
The Italian tax on the purchase of goods, called IVA or VAT, is roughly 20% on most items. It's included in price tags. Look for shops that display a Tax-free for Tourists Service sign on their windows: It may be possible for non-European Union residents to get the 20% back. When you spend a minimum of 154.95 euros (VAT included) in the same shop on a single receipt, ask for the necessary tax-free declaration form (you'll need to show your passport). Generally, shop owners will be quick to use the possible discount as incentive for you to buy and will give you all of the necessary details to receive an easy refund. Show this form at airport customs before you enter the gate and be prepared to show the original receipt and the unused items. Have the customs officer stamp the form. Depending on the refund company, you may receive a cash refund on the spot, or you may have to mail the form and then receive a credit on your credit card.

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Tipping
Tipping is not obligatory in Venice restaurants and hotels, as service is often included in your bill (check first); however, it is always appreciated. One or two euros can be left as a sign of good will if the service and the restaurant are above average. But in some cases, tips are expected and not tipping might mean unsatisfactory service. It is customary to tip the hotel porter between 0.50 euros and 1 euro per piece of luggage. At the end of a gondola tour, especially if you had a singer and accordion music, tip the musicians 10%-20% of the trip price. When visiting a small church, a guide may show you around. He or she won't ask for money but will greatly appreciate a donation for the church.

Weather
Venice is nearly always humid. The water that makes the city so unique also keeps the humidity level at about 80%. Keep this in mind, as the temperatures will feel more extreme. December-February, the average temperature is 32-37 F/0-3 C. Fog and wind often roll in with the coldest months. In summer, the humidity can become very uncomfortable. The hottest months are July and August, with average temperatures ranging 86-91 F/30-33 C. In the fall and winter, sometimes even through spring, the water often rises above usual levels and floods many of the streets and squares, usually for a few hours at a time. Called acqua alta, or high water, the locals are used to dealing with ittall rubber boots become de rigueur.

What to Wear
The city's hot summers and cold winters seem even more extreme because of high humidity levels. In the hottest months (July and August), lightweight cotton clothes are preferable. Be sure to wear a hat and apply insect repellent and sunscreen before venturing out in the heat of the day. In winter, dress in layers so that you can adjust to different temperatures when you stop at bars, museums and shops. In the coldest months (December-February), a scarf, hat and gloves are suggested, as well as an overcoat. You may also need a pair of waterproof boots in case of high water (acqua alta). Some hotels provide them, but you can buy an inexpensive pair if necessary. Do not, however, wear boots to a business meeting or a concerttake your shoes along in a bag and change before or upon entering the building. Comfortable shoes are essential in Venice, whether you are there on business or for pleasure. Walking is often the only way to get around the city. The city's business dress code is quite flexible. For men, a suit and tie are always best. There are no rules for women, as long as you dress fashionably (this is Italy, after all).

Communication
Telephone
Most Italian public phones accept only phone cards, which can be purchased at Tabacchi shops (marked with a "T") or newsstands in units of varying euro denominations. (You'll have to tear off the perforated corner before inserting the card into a phone for it to work.) Prepaid international phone cards are widely available and a good bargain. To make a local call, be sure to dial the city code first (in Venice it's 041), then the number, which is often seven digits but not always. For long-distance calls within Italy, start with the particular city code, which should begin with a 0 (or with a 3 for a cell phone), then the number itself. For international calls, you'll need to know the country code for wherever you're calling. For international directory assistance, dial 4176; for Italian directory assistance, dial 1240. To make an international collect call, dial 170. Almost every Italian uses cell phones, called telefonino. GSM 900/1800 phones are used in Italy, and coverage is almost 100% in Venice. Roaming is very expensive, so sign up for a prepaid plan in Italy. Once you put in an Italian SIM card, you can buy minutes (ricarica) and only pay 0.20 euros for calls within Italy. Major providers are TIM (http://www.tim.it), Wind (http://www.wind.it) and H3G (http://www.tre.it). SIM cards that will work with most unlocked cell phones can also be purchased at Tabacchi stores.

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Internet Access
Internet cafes aren't difficult to find in Venice. Watch for Internet-access signs in the most unlikely windows. You'll find the greatest number of Internet cafes in the university neighborhood of Dorsoduro. Most major hotels provide Internet access for guestsbut at a price. Wi-Fi is also available at Marco Polo airport and in the Eurostar lounge at Santa Lucia rail station, as well as in many hotels. There is also a public Wi-Fi network, Cittadinanza Digitale, provided by the Comune di Venezia. The signal is available in Via Garibaldi, most of the major squares and along the Grand Canal. The service costs 5 euros per day or 20 euros for seven days, but only if purchased online in advance. Otherwise, prices start at 8 euros per day. http://www.veniceconnected.com/veniceconnected-wireless-internet-connection-service. Venetian Navigator Internet access and various other allied services, including webcam, digital camera download and international phone calling. There is a second location at Calle Caselleria 5300, Castello (phone 041-277-1056). Open daily 10 am-1 pm and 2:30-8:30 pm. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Calle Stagneri (near Campo S. Salvador), San Marco 5239. Venice, Italy. Phone 041-522-8649. http://www.venetiannavigator.com.

Mail & Package Services


Central Post Office Poste Italiane is the national postal service. Stamps can be purchased at the post office and at Tabacchi shops marked by a "T" sign outside. However, it's best to send letters via priority mail from the post office directly. There's a second location at Calle Larga de l'Ascension just behind the Museo Correr (Monday-Friday 8:30 am- 2 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-1 pm; phone 041-244-6711). Monday-Friday 8:30 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 8:30 am-1 pm. The central post office is located at Marzaria S. Salvador 5016 (in the vicinity of the Rialto Bridge). Venice, Italy. Phone 041-240-4137. http://www.poste.it.

Newspapers & Magazines


Three of the most common dailies in Italy are Corriere della Sera (http://www.corriere.it/english), La Stampa (http://www.lastampa.it) and La Repubblica (http://www.repubblica.it). No single national paper dominates the field; rather, each paper is published in a different major city, has different political leanings and is widely read throughout the country. Il Gazzettino is your best bet for local news in Venice. Newspapers are easily found at any of the jam-packed magazine stands located around the city. English-language publications, such as The Guardian, Time, The Economist and the International Herald Tribune are widely available. A few of the most popular entertainment guides are A Guest in Venice (http://www.guestinvenice.com/?lang=en), Venezia de Vivere (http://www.veneziadavivere.com/?lan=english), Venice Magazine and La Rivista di Venezia. They each list general information about cultural events, shows, exhibits, festivals and more. You can find them at tourist desks run by the Azienda di Promozione Turistica, in most hotels, at magazine stands and on the counters of many cafes.

Transportation
Transportation in Venice means traveling by water. Everything in the city is moved either by boat or on foot. No cars are allowed, and you won't see any bicycles or mopeds, except on the Lido. Traveling the length of the Grand Canal on a vaporetto, or water bus, from the train station to Piazza San Marco is a lovely way to get a sense of how the city functions. But you can also take a water taxi or gondola. The vaporetti are analogous to city buses in other citiesbut cost more than you'd expect. If you are staying for any length of time or plan on taking them a lot, consider one of the money-saving passes available. The water taxis are similar to auto taxis on terra firma. They carry two to four passengersagain, for a higher fee than you'd expect. Gondolas are the most expensive boating option. But if you don't want to shell out the fees asked for a romantic gondola ride, you can step aboard the gondola's simpler cousin, the traghetto. Used often by Venetians to save time and shoe leather, they are the same type of boat, but their sole purpose is to cross the Grand Canal when there is no bridge nearby. Like the locals, you should stand for the journey, which takes all of three minutes and costs about 0.50 euros. Crossing the Grand Canal without backtracking to one of the bridges is the point of the traghetto, but the same thing can be accomplished

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher via vaporetto. Successive stops are on alternate sides of the Grand Canal, and you can travel one stopor to the next one on the other sidefree with a day or multiday pass. For the full fare of 6.50 euros, you can travel the entire length of the Grand Canal, getting on and off at will, for a total of 60 minutes.

Air
Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is 8 mi/13 km north of Venice on the mainland. It is used for flights from many Italian and European cities, as well as direct flights from New York and the Middle East. The international terminal (designed by Frank Gehry) offers shuttles to the water's edge for waterbus connections; land buses leave from the front of the arrivals terminal. Inside the arrivals area are the usual services: car rental (be sure to reserve ahead), ATM, currency exchange and so forth. Wi-Fi is also available in the terminal and costs 9.90 euros for 24 hours. Prepaid vouchers can be purchased online (http://www.linkem.com). For information, phone 041-260-9260. http://www.veniceairport.it. Connecting Transportation Best way: We recommend taking the water buses marked Alilaguna, which leave directly from the airport and drop visitors in a good location (either the Zattere, Fondamente Nuove or Piazza San Marco). The cost is 15 euros one way, 25 euros round trip. Purchase the tickets before getting on the boat. These water buses make a few stops before getting to the center of town, so the trip takes at least 45 minutes. Phone 041-2424. http://www.alilaguna.it. Other options: You can also get from the airport to the city by land. Traveling overland will get you to Piazzale Roma, which is immediately southwest of the train station. The least expensive way is to catch an orange city bus No. 5, which leaves the airport every 30 minutes. The trip will cost 1.30 euros and should take about 30 minutes. Blue ATVO buses that make the trip in 20 minutes or so cost 5 euros. Tickets are available from ticket machines at baggage claim and the bus terminal. Both are cash only. The easiest way to purchase a ticket is to leave the baggage claim area and go to the ATVO desk in arrivals, which accepts credit cards. An auto taxi to Piazzale Roma costs about 40 euros and takes 20 minutes. Private water taxis are the most expensive solution: A trip from the airport to the city center will cost you a flat fee of 110 euros. Treviso Airport is on the mainland 18.6 mi/30 km northwest of Venice. It is used by low-cost airlines from other cities in Italy and across Europe. Coaches connect each flight with Mestre and Venice's Piazzale Roma in 45 minutes. Phone 042-231-5111. http://www.trevisoairport.it.

Car
A car won't do you much good in Venice itself, but if you're driving to the city, you'll need to know where to park your vehicle. The last town on the mainland before the 3-mi/5-km bridge to Venice is Mestre. You may want to consider leaving your car there if you're visiting in high season, as parking facilities in Venice have been known to fill up. There's a garage near the Mestre train station. More convenient to the city are the parking garages and areas in Piazzale Roma and on the island of Tronchetto. Note that some parking lots have a one-hour time limit. Cars are allowed on the Lido, so you can take your ride there via the car ferry service from Tronchetto. Prices to park run 16 euros-26 euros per day. Pay for the parking when you arrive at one of the ticket machines. Another less expensive option is to park in one of the private long-term lots near Marco Polo Airport and use the airport bus to the city.

Ferry
Boats are everywhere, and some refer to the water buses or vaporetti as ferries. (We consider them public transportation.) There is a proper car-ferry service from the island of Tronchetto to the Lido, though. Depending on the size of your car, the crossing can cost 12 euros-22 euros. We suggest avoiding the ferry on Tuesdaythe weekly market in the streets of the Lido makes it too much of a hassle. There are also traditional ferries to a number of Mediterranean ports in Greece, Turkey and Croatia. In the summer, faster hydrofoil services run to the Dalmatian and Istrian coasts.

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Public Transportation
The main form of public transportation in Venice proper is the vaporetto (water bus). If you will be traveling extensively, you might want to purchase a Venice Connected Card. It can be purchased at all Azienda Consorzio Transporti Veneziano (ACTV) ticketing booths or online. It has an exceedingly complicated pricing structure, but it usually includes unlimited travel on both the water and overland services provided by ACTV, as well as use of all public restrooms. Prices range 7 euros-60 euros. Full details are available on the Web site. Phone 041-2424. http://www.veniceconnected.com. The water buses operate on several lines that are numbered and color-coded on maps that are available and posted at every stop. Some lines run in one direction only, but most go in both directions. The water buses are most useful when you need to get from one end of town to the other. They also stop regularly at the islands of Murano, Burano, Torcello, Giudecca and the Lido. Buy tickets before boarding and validate them if the seller didn't do soyou may have to ask. You don't need to show them when boarding, just hold on to them for the duration of the trip. If you are caught riding without a ticket, or with an unvalidated one, you'll be fined on the spot. A single ticket costs about 6.50 euros and lasts for 60 minutes from the time of stamping. Return tickets don't existjust buy two singles. One- and three-day passes are available for 21 euros and 36 euros (these are valid on most lines but not all). Though not astounding bargains, they may save you money and a lot of time and energy walking between points. After midnight, service slows or halts on most routes, but the N (for nocturnal) line continues serving major stops all night.

Ship
Venice is a popular stop on the cruise-ship circuit. There are multiple port facilities, the largest centered on the area below the train station. You'll also see smaller ships docked at the quay at the east end of Riva degli Schiavoni, a 20-minute walk from Piazza San Marco.

Taxi
Conventional taxis are only of use to get back and forth to the mainland or the airport. There are stands in Piazzale Roma and at the airport. It isn't easy to find one to hail on the mainland streets, so you're better off phoning a reputable taxi company to arrange a pickup. If you need one early in the morning, book it the night before. Beware of unlicensed cabs; look for the usual sign and meter. Radio Taxi offers fourwheeled service on the mainland. Phone 041-595-2080. Venice water taxis are snazzy little boats. The official fare starts at 15 euros, with the meter adding about 1 euro for every two minutes. It costs roughly 60 euros to take a water taxi from the train station to Piazza San Marco. There are extra fees tacked on for various things, such as holiday and night surcharges, which all add up to a very expensive ride but may be worth it if you are traveling with a larger group with unwieldy baggage. Also, booking one through a hotel is usually more expensive. Among those offering water-taxi service is Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia. Phone 041-522-2303.

Train
Arriving in Venice by train is more remarkable than arriving in most cities, especially for first timers. Setting foot outside the station, you are immediately confronted by the beauty of the Grand Canal. It's breathtaking on a sunny day. Venezia Santa Lucia The Venice train station is called Venezia Santa Lucia (S. Lucia), though it's also referred to as the ferrovia, which simply means railway. Don't get off the train at Venezia Mestre, the station on the mainland just before Venice itself, unless you intend to. Some trains do terminate at the Venezia Mestre station, in which case you'll have to get on another train for one stop. Connections between the Mestre and Venice stations are frequent. For rail information, phone 041-785-670. http://www.ferroviedellostato.it. The rail station links Venice with other Italian cities as well as major European cities. You needn't arrive by train to take advantage of a useful service at the station. The Cooperativa Trasbagagli operates a porter stand, which will transport your luggage to your hotel for a fee. Depending on your hotel's location, it would be wise to consider it as an option. If you are laden down with bags, navigating your own way over bridges and canals can be daunting. Venice, Italy. Phone 041-713-719. http://www.trasbagagli.it.

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Other
Like so many other tourists, you may find the urge to be ferried around in a gondola irresistible. It's one of those things to be done in a lifetime. Just think of paying through the nose as part of the experience. The main gondola stand is at Bacino Orseolo, near Piazza San Marco. Gondoliers are required to remain in particular areas, so if there is a certain area such as the Grand Canal or out front of Piazza San Marco that you'd like to traverse, choose a gondolier in that zone. Gondola fees depend primarily on the duration of the trip, and bargaining does occur. Fees vary according to time of day and start at 80 euros for the first 30 minutes, for up to six people, and about 40 euros for each additional 20 minutes. It goes up to 100 euros 7 pm-8 am, 50 euros for each additional 20 minutes. For better or worse, you won't be automatically serenaded. That's an extra fee and comes with group trips.

For More Information


Recommended Guidebooks
Strolling Through Venice: The Definitive Walking Guidebook to "La Serenissima" by John Freely (Macmillan).

Additional Reading
Venice by Jan Morris (Faber and Faber). Venice From the Ground Up by James H.S. McGregor (Harvard University Press). Venice (Art & Architecture) by Marion Kaminski (H.F. Ullmann).

Tourist Offices
Azienda di Promozione Turistica (APT) The offices provide free maps (though not very detailed), as well as brochures, useful publications and other information. It also sells maps that come with a mini city guide for 2.50 euros. Offices are in Piazza San Marco, the Venice Pavilion near the San Marco water-bus stop, Piazzale Roma, the train station (near Platform 1, this tiny office nearly always has a line waiting to get in) and the airport. The Piazza San Marco office is open daily 9 am-3:30 pm; the Venice Pavilion office is open 10 am-6 pm. . Venice, Italy. Phone 041-529-8711. http://www.turismovenezia.it. Hello Venezia This office provides similar services to Azienda di Promozione Turistica (APT), but it also serves as a ticket broker for the city's major events. It sells maps for 2 euros that are not as detailed as those sold at APT. Offices are located throughout Venice, including the train station and Piazzale Roma. Most are open daily 7 am-9 pm. Venice, Italy. Phone 041-2424. http://www.hellovenezia.com.

Events
Calendar
Two of the biggest happenings in Venice are Carnival before the beginning of Lent and the Venice Biennale, which features art exhibitions and performances. Both events fill the city to capacity, so you should take note of the dates and plan ahead. The rest of the calendar is filled with music and opera performances in the city's many churches and theaters, in addition to art exhibits at museums. Regattas and other canal- or lagoon-based activities are also popular. For detailed information about upcoming events in the Venice area, contact the Tourist Board of Venice. Phone 041-529-8711. http://www.turismovenezia.it. To call any of the numbers listed in this calendar from outside Italy, you must first dial your country's international access code, then Italy's

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher country code, 39, and Venice's city code, 041. Even if you're calling from within Venice, you must dial the city code, 041, before the rest of the (four- to eight-digit) phone number. We've included the city codes in the phone numbers listed in this calendar. Numbers in other cities outside of Venice and toll-free numbers are listed as they would be dialed from within Venice. Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.

May 2012
1 MayLabor Day Public holiday. 20 MayFesta della Sensa This Feast of the Ascension has been marked in Venice for more than 1,000 years by a symbolic wedding ceremony with the sea. Originally the doge would throw a gold ring into the water to celebrate the port city's relationship with the sea; now the mayor plays the part. Regattas follow. Phone 041-241-2988. http://www.veneziamarketingeventi.it/page/eventoDettaglio?idEvento=242. 27 MayVogalonga Thousands of nonmotorized boats compete in this friendly race from the lagoon to Burano, and back down through the Grand Canal. For more information, phone 041-521-0544. http://www.vogalonga.com. Throughout MaySoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June Throughout MayOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049-662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June

June 2012
Early JuneSoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season concludes early June Early-Mid JuneOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049-662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Concludes mid June 2 JunAnniversary of the Republic Public holiday. 22-30 JunArena di Verona This annual opera festival features world-famous singers and opera directors staging performances at the ancient Roman Arena. Past performers include Maria Callas and Beniamino Gigli. Verona (65 mi/105 km from Venice). For more information, call 045-800-5151. http://www.arena.it. Continues through 2 Sep

July 2012
Early JulyVenezia Suona This music festival takes place in the streets and squares of the city. Phone 041-275-0049. http://www.veneziasuona.it. 21, 22 JulFesta del Redentore The Feast Day of the Redeemer is a religious festival celebrating the city's recovery from the plague of 1576. A bridge of boats crosses the Giudecca Canal to the church of the Redentore, and a huge fireworks display lights up the sky. Throughout JulyArena di Verona This annual opera festival features world-famous singers and opera directors staging performances at the ancient Roman Arena. Past performers include Maria Callas and Beniamino Gigli. Verona (65 mi/105 km from Venice). For more information, call 045-800-5151. http://www.arena.it. Continues through 2 Sep

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August 2012
15 AugFeast of the Assumption Public holiday, also called Ferragosto. Throughout AugustArena di Verona This annual opera festival features world-famous singers and opera directors staging performances at the ancient Roman Arena. Past performers include Maria Callas and Beniamino Gigli. Verona (65 mi/105 km from Venice). For more information, call 045-800-5151. http://www.arena.it. Continues through 2 Sep

September 2012
Early-Late SeptemberOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June 2013 1, 2 SepArena di Verona This annual opera festival features world-famous singers and opera directors staging performances at the ancient Roman Arena. Past performers include Maria Callas and Beniamino Gigli. Verona (65 mi/105 km from Venice). For more information, call 045-800-5151. http://www.arena.it. Concludes 2 Sep 2 SepRegata Storica This historical boat-race festival features a procession of gondolas and regattas in four categories. The final race is a test of champion gondoliers' mettle and runs along the Grand Canal. Boats are decorated, spirits run high and the competition is fierce. Phone 041-274-7735. Late SeptemberSoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June 2013

October 2012
Throughout OctoberSoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June 2013 Throughout OctoberOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June 2013

November 2012
1 NovAll Saints' Day Public holiday. 4 NovWorld War I Victory Anniversary Day Celebrated in parts of Italy to mark the end of the country's participation in World War I. 21 NovFesta della Salute The Feast of Our Lady of Good Health takes place at the Basilica della Santa Maria della Salute, which was built as a tribute to the Madonna after the city's deliverance from the plague of 1630-31. Today, a procession across the Grand Canal ends at the church, where participants pray for their loved ones. Throughout NovemberSoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June 2013 Throughout NovemberOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June 2013

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December 2012
8 DecFeast of the Immaculate Conception Public holiday. 25 DecChristmas Public holiday. 26 DecSt. Stephen's Day Public holiday. Throughout DecemberSoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June 2013 Throughout DecemberOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June 2013

January 2013
1 JanNew Year's Day Public holiday. 6 JanEpiphany Public holiday. Throughout JanuarySoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June Throughout JanuaryOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June

February 2013
Throughout FebruarySoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June Throughout FebruaryOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June

March 2013
Throughout MarchSoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June Throughout MarchOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049-662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June

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April 2013
25 AprSt. Mark's Day Feast day honoring the city's patron saint. 25 AprLiberation Day Public holiday. Throughout AprilSoccer Associazione Calcio Venezia plays home games every other Sunday at Pierluigi Penzo Stadium on the island of Sant'Elena. For information, call 041-238-0700. For tickets, call 899-909-090. http://www.fbcunionevenezia.it. Season continues through early June Throughout AprilOpera The Gran Teatro La Fenice opera company performs regularly at the PalaFenice on the island of Tronchetto; Teatro Malibran, near the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal; and at various other venues. For information and tickets, call 049-662-552 or 041-2424. http://www.teatrolafenice.it. Continues through mid June

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Italy
Overview
Introduction
Land of la dolce vita (the sweet life), Italy is one of the world's best-loved destinations, and no wondertwo-thirds of the world's historical artistic heritage is there. Tuscany alone possesses more artistic treasures than the whole of Spain, which is the second country in the world for cultural heritage. Whether you crave culture, gastronomy, cutting-edge design, sybaritic pleasures or simply the art of il dolce far nientethe sweet doing nothingthis is a country for lovers of all that is good in life. A visit to Italy is a lesson in living well. Open-air vegetable and fruit markets, neighborhood bakeries and fresh cheeses made daily are fixtures of Italian life. Tradition reigns: Neighbors still meet in the piazza to discuss the day, laundry is still line-dried, even in the largest of cities, and the passeggiata (leisurely stroll) is still made in the evening air preferably with a gelato in hand. From the mountains to the coasts, the emphasis is on simple pleasures and high quality.

Tuscan Landscape

Geography
Italy resembles a boot about to kick the Sicilian "football," with the island of Sardinia already in the air. One of the most densely populated countries in Europe, Italy is characterized by rugged, mountainous terrain and thousands of miles/kilometers of coastline. The Alps form a barrier to the north (blocking bad weather more successfully than they ever blocked invaders), and the Apennines run the length of the boot. Only in several regions is there relatively flat land: the Po River Valley in the north and Puglia in the south. No place is very far from the sea. To the east is the Adriatic, to the southeast the Ionian and to the west the Tyrrhenian.

History
Some say that the people of Italy civilized Europe twice, once in ancient times and again after the Middle Ages. As the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire, Rome ruled much of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for nearly 1,000 years, until the Visigoths sacked Rome in AD 476 and the western empire fell. Greek ideals and Roman justice were spread throughout the Mediterranean region by the empire's legions. Today, Rome's legal, cultural and scientific legacies endure throughout the world. Places as diverse as Japan, Louisiana and Brazil are ruled by modern versions of Roman law, and the Romance languages (including French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish), as well as scientific terminology, are derived from Latin. At its height, Rome controlled lands from the Irish Sea to the Caspian Sea; Roman ruins can be found from Great Britain to Morocco, Turkey and Jordan. During the Renaissance, Italy rose to the forefront of Western civilization again, when such notable citizens as Galileo, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci made enormous contributions to science, art and architecture. Although the Roman legal system and famous Roman roads gave Europe a vision of cultural unity, Italy itself only achieved political unity in 1870. Before then, modern-day Italy was a collection of squabbling kingdoms, duchies and city-states that were often dominated by outside forces. Although currently unified under the government in Rome, the country is still divided into 20 distinct regions, each with its own landscape, history, dialects, artistic styles, foods and architecture. For many visitors, it is Italy's diversity that lends the country its most distinctive charms. In the past 100 years, Italy has gone from monarchy to parliamentary system to fascism to a seemingly unending series of coalition governmentsan average of one a year since 1946. The political situation, however, appears to have stabilized a bit in recent years. After a half-decade under the leftist Ulivo coalition, there was a backlash to the right. In 2001, the country elected Silvio Berlusconi, the controversial media magnate and leader of the Forza Italia coalition. Until early 2005, Berlusconi looked to be the first prime minister since World War II to

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher stay in power through his entire term. But after several crushing defeats in local and regional elections, he resigned on 20 April 2005, then formed a new coalition government. In April 2006, center-left leader Romano Prodi, a former European Commission president, claimed victory in Italy's election, but his government collapsed after only two years. Berlusconi was again elected prime minister in 2008, and in 2009 he founded the center-right People of Freedom political movement. His term is scheduled to end in 2013.

Snapshot
Italy's primary attractions include culture (modern, old and ancient), fabulous regional cuisine, historic sites, varied and stunning scenery, beaches, jagged coastline, architecture, world-class skiing, opera, watersports, elegant health and beauty spas, picturesque ruins, and shopping (for high-quality clothing, shoes, ceramics and designer goods). Those who want a diverse, fairly informal vacation, who are romantics, and who love art, history and lovely settings will enjoy Italy. The air of blithe inefficiency in some parts of the country may be disconcerting for travelers who demand the correct, crisp efficiency of northern European countries: A timetable may be treated more as a romantic ideal than as an attainable goal.

Potpourri
Rumor has it that the colorful uniforms of the Vatican's Swiss Guard were designed by Michelangelo. But don't think the guard is just there for ceremonial purposes or to look prettyit's a highly trained security force sworn to protect the pope. Cigar smokers should try the curious Tuscan cigar, the Toscano vecchio. Made in Lucca of all-natural tobacco, it comes twisted together in groups of three and is sold all over Italy. The Slow Food movement, born in Italy in 1986, protects distinctive regional foods and wine and promotes the art of savoring them. It's now an international organization that also is concerned with ecology and biodiversity issues. If you ever wondered how seriously Italians take their wine, here is your answer: There is a squad of Italian police dedicated to sniffing (and tasting) out fraud. Trained as professional sommeliers, they make sure that the wine in the bottle is the same as the wine on the label. In 2007, they arrested a group of men shipping unmarked Italian wine to Germany, to be fraudulently sold as fine wine.

Hotel Overview
Accommodations range from deluxe international resorts to dumps and include fabulous local inns, tiny pensions, bed-and-breakfasts, campgrounds, ski resorts and excellent small hotels. We recommend staying in properties with as much historic ambience as you can afford. The good ones are expensive, but the locations, setting, architecture and/or service usually make them worth it. Any lodgings rated three stars or less may not have a bath in the room. Always check first if you want to be sure.

See & Do
Sightseeing
During high season, some museums in major cities, such as the Brera Gallery in Milan, the Capitoline Museums in Rome and the Archaeological Museum in Naples, are open as late as 10 pm or even midnight, allowing visitors the chance to pack in more sightseeing during what is generally down time. To avoid disappointment, always check museum hours and guidelines in advance. At many of the most visited museums, such as Florence's Uffizi and Galleria dell'Accademia, you can avoid long lines by placing a reservation for a specific time. Italy has taken steps to protect some of its monuments from acts of defacement and wear and tear. Following attacks on Michelangelo's magnificent David and the Pieta, glass barriers were erected to protect some of Italy's most famous works of art. To protect Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Last Supper in Milan, the number of visitors is strictly limited; those admitted must pass through two separate glass cabins that control air quality and humidity levels. And in Florence, the doors of the Baptistry and other treasures have been moved to the

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Courtesyof:ElenaNemtsova Tripcatcher Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The Italian coastline is highly prized, particularly the areas of Cinque Terre, in the Italian Riviera, and the Amalfi Coast, on the Sorrento Peninsula. Nail-biting cliffs are beautifully adorned with lemon trees and grapevines in both locations. Cinque Terre is a 90-minute train ride south of Genoa, and the Amalfi Coast is located 45 minutes by train or bus from Naples.

Recreation
Italy's ski industry is highly developed. Turin and the nearby resorts of the Via Lattea (Milky Way) hosted the Winter Olympics in February 2006. The ski lifts in the resorts around Trentino can whisk more than 30,000 people up the slopes every hour. Posh ski towns such as Cortina d'Ampezzo offer spectacular hiking possibilities in the summer. There are many thermal baths and health and beauty spas in Italy (most are in the northern part of the country). Some of the popular ones include Abano Terme near Venice and Montecatini Terme near Florence.

Performing Arts
Opera is in full swing December-June in major Italian cities, but summer also boasts memorable performances. Verona is famous for opera staged in the Roman Arena, and the massive ruins of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome provide a dramatic setting. Milan's La Scala offers opera on the grand scale for most of the year, as well as ballet performances.

Shopping
Shop for leather goods (Florence, Rome and Milan), silks (Como), truffles (Spoleto, Alba and Rome), antiques, clothing, wood carvings, embroidery and lace, silver and gold jewelry, violins, ceramics, objects of marble and alabaster, glass (Venice), decorative paper (Florence and Venice), food products, wine and liqueur. Also fun to buy are ingenious kitchen utensils/accessories. In Vatican City, look over Vatican postage stamps and a wide variety of religious products (including relics). Clothing, both men's and women's, is often of excellent quality, with a high style quota (and often the price tag to match). Custom-made suits can be good buys, and many people consider shoes and other leather accessories to be among the best things to take home from a trip to Italy. For true bargain hunters, many designer outlets (think Prada, Fendi, Gucci and Armani) dot the northern provinces, especially outside Florence, Como and Milan. McArthur Glen opened the first true outlet mall in 2001 at Serravalle, between Milan and Genoa. It was so successful the company opened another in Castel Romano, south of Rome, and a third outside Florence. (Florence has another designer outlet mall, near Leccio Reggello.) Many people now make dedicated short breaks to Milan for winter and summer sales when it's possible to snap up bargains. Shopping Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 5-7:30 pm. In the north, some shops take a shorter break at midday and close earlier. Many shops in bigger cities stay open throughout the day.

Itinerary

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Day By Day
The whirlwind plans listed here are much more rushed than we would like: They're set up for people (especially first-time visitors) who don't have much time but want to see as much of the country as possible. On subsequent trips, visitors may want to concentrate on a certain region or smaller cities. Day 1Arrive Milan. If arriving before noon, spend the afternoon sightseeing. Don't miss Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (be sure to make a reservation) and a rooftop tour of the Duomo. Day 2If you didn't see enough of Milan on Day 1, tour until about 1 pm, then depart for Venice. En route, if you have time, stop for lunch at Lago di Garda and enjoy the unforgettable scenery of the lake against a towering backdrop of the Alps