Daily Escape

Arno River

Photo by Colin Brynn / Robert Harding Picture Library / Aurora Photos

Arno River

Florence, Italy

Florentines like to take a passeggiata in the city's pink-hued twilight. They'll walk along the banks of the Arno, then cross the ancient Ponte Vecchio. A symbol of the city, the timeworn “Old Bridge” is recognizable for its overhanging shops, which resemble stacked trunks.  The domain of gold and silversmith atelier today, the shops once housed butchers and tanners. Stop by Vaggi, a third-generation jeweler, to peruse an array of 18-karat gold creations.


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Explore Rome  12 Photos

Burano Island

Burano Island

An island in <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/italy/photos/northern-italy">Northern Italy</a>’s Venetian Lagoon, Burano is a 40-minute motorboat ride away from Venice. The quiet village is known for its brightly colored homes and authentic, handmade lace that can cost $1,000 to $2,000 for a 10-inch doily. 960 1280

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Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

More than a million people visit Doge’s Palace each year. The palace, once home to the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice, is now one of 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei civici di Venezia, a foundation that manages and develops the cultural and artistic heritage of Venice and its islands. 960 1280

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Dolomites Mountains

Dolomites Mountains

Looking for adventure? From late spring to early autumn, the <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/italy/photos/northern-italy?page=7">Dolomites mountains</a> become a tourist mecca for mountain biking, base jumping, hang gliding, paragliding and hiking. The mountain range, located in northeastern Italy, is also <i>the</i> popular spot for skiing in the winter. 960 1280

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Hotel Gritti Palace

Hotel Gritti Palace

This luxe hotel was once home to Andrea Gritti, the Duke of Venice from 1523 to 1538. International royalty, rock stars and literary giants have stayed at the Hotel Gritti Palace -- the most luxurious and classiest hotel on the Grand Canal in Venice. The rooms have tented curtains over tall windows, inlaid antique furnishings and ornate built-in dressers hand-painted in 18th-century Venetian style. 960 1280

Hotel Gritti Palace  

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo

We recommend skiers visit <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/skiing/articles/ski-guide-cortina-italy">Cortina d’Ampezzo</a>. This popular winter sports resort town is known for its ski ranges, shops and après-ski scene. Nestled in an alpine valley surrounded by the Alps, Cortina was also a popular movie location for films like <i>The Pink Panther</i>, <i>Cliffhanger</i> and the <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/hot-topics/photos/travel-like-james-bond">James Bond</a> flick, <i>For Your Eyes Only</i>. 960 1280

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Aqua Palace Hotel

Aqua Palace Hotel

Located in Venice’s Castello Quarter, the luxurious Aqua Palace Hotel is a 4-star hotel that strikes a perfect balance between traditional Venetian style and the modern comforts of home, along with beautiful panoramic views of the city. The hotel’s convenient location provides guests easy access to the Grand Canal via a gondola ride or fun sightseeing to visit nearby tourist attractions, including Doge’s Palace, <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/venice/photos/venice-slideshow?page=12">Rialto Bridge</a> and <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/video/sam-tours-venice-12734">St. Mark’s Square</a>. 960 1280

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Handcrafted Glass

Handcrafted Glass

Take a half-day trip to the Murano and Burano islands to learn how handcrafted glass and lace are made. Glassmakers use a unique technique called lampworking, where a torch or lamp is used to melt the glass. In a molten state, the glass is then formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. 960 1280

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Murano Island

Murano Island

Visit beautiful Murano, an island located off the shore of Venice, Italy. Glassmaking in Murano may have originated in Rome during the 8th century, with significant Asian and Muslim influences; by the 10th century, Murano had developed a strong reputation for the craft. 960 1280

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Romantic Gondola Ride

Romantic Gondola Ride

A trip to Venice wouldn’t be quite as perfect without a romantic <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/video/sams-venetian-boat-ride-11161">gondola ride</a> through a quiet canal. A standard gondola ride is usually 40 minutes, but the fare can be expensive. We recommend negotiating for a shorter trip during the day, when fares are lower than at night. 960 1280

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Locanda Cipriani

Locanda Cipriani

Stay at a Locanda Cipriani for a romantic getaway. Once a rustic wine shop, this country inn was where literary great Ernest Hemingway wrote Across the River and Into the Trees. The Santa Fosca room seemed to inspire him the most, with its original oak floors and balcony overlooking the garden. Owned by the Cipriani family, the inn has been open for business on the corner of the lagoon -- known as Torcello -- since the late 1920s. 960 1280

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St. Mark's Square

St. Mark's Square

Visit one of the world’s most beautiful squares, Piazza San Marco, aka <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/italy/photos/northern-italy?page=6">St. Mark’s Square</a>. Located in the heart of Venice, the Piazzetta is an extension of the Piazza toward the lagoon. These 2 spaces combined form the social, religious and political center of the city. 960 1280

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