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Your guide to getaways in Northern Italy

Tracy E. Hopkins is an accomplished writer, blogger and editor living in New York City. She has expertise covering travel, fashion, health and entertainment.

Ciao Bella!

Looking for an ideal European vacation this summer? Let Northern Italy be your destination! Here, landscapes range from small cities in the lush, sunflower-washed Tuscan countrysides to bustling big cities and sunny seaside villages.

SheKnows Travel contributor, Tracy E. Hopkins, is our guide through this unforgettable Italian summer getaway:

Ciao Bella!


Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, is a walking art history lesson -- home of Michalangelo's revered David statue and other ancient sculptures depicting Biblical and mythological figures.

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The frenzied city is also a shoppers' haven to fit every budget: the San Lorenzo flea market is the place to score reasonably-priced leather handbags and belts; designer shops like Prada and Gucci satisfy the high-end shopper; and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is flanked by fine jewelry stores.

>> Get some free iPhone wallpapers of Italy

Not unexpectedly, Florence also boasts some of the region's best pizza -- sold in squares by the pound with unique toppings like potato and sardines -- and unbelievably creamy gelato. Vestri Cioccolato (Borgo degli Albizi) serves several silky smooth flavors, including heavenly pistachio and caramel.

On the next page: Pisa & Lucca


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>> Get our favorite Italian recipes, travel tips, decor, style & more!


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