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Key to the City

Laura Lombardi’s Historic, Insider-y Guide to Pisa

Key to the City BY alisha prakash 06/19/2013

“I hate good food and beautiful places,” said no one ever. In other words, you’re going to L-O-V-E the Pisa tour that jewelry designer Laura Lombardi is about to give you. “I grew up between New York and Italy, and spent a lot of time in Pisa,” says Laura, who still has some famiglia living in the Tuscan city. “What’s unique about Italy is that I can go to the same pastry shop or restaurant as my grandmother did. You feel a different connection.” Here, five spots to hit on your first visit or tenth. 

 

 

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(Borgo Stretto, 46)

Lauralombardi bio
"Its such a beatiful and calming haven and I am addicted to their waterlemon juice at breakfast. They also have Marmite, which I have a weakness for."
of Laura Lombardi

 

 

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“I’ve always stayed at this hotel called the Royal Victoria Hotel. It’s right on the Arno River. It has been open since the 1830s, and there’s something so interesting about all the history that’s there—tons of ephemera, photos, maps, menus, and postcards since they’ve been open. It’s kind of like a museum in its own way.”
(Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti, 12)

 

 

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“The Camposanto Monumentale is a giant burial ground—it’s the one that nobody goes to, but it’s my favorite. Initially it was made as a home for Roman sarcophaguses, but eventually, they started burying people in there. They all have these really elaborate gravestones. And I love the legend behind it—they say that all the soil that it was built on is sacred, and if you bury someone in it, they’ll turn into a skeleton in 24 hours. It’s a classic Italian lore, but it’s part of what I love about that culture.”
(Piazza dei Miracoli)

 

 

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Trattoria Sant’Omobono is a restaurant that has really classic Tuscan food. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve had a really good, authentic meal—try the homemade gnocchi or any of the homemade pastas. It was built where a medieval church used to be, so one of the giant columns of the church is in the middle of this tiny restaurant—it’s really cool.”
(Piazza San Omobono, 6)

 

 

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Il Vecchio Forno is a bakery that has all the authentic Tuscan pastries, cookies, and treats that you’re not really going to find anywhere else like ricciarelli, cantuccini, and schiacciatine. It has typical terrible Italian service where it’s like they’re mad at you for being there. There’s nowhere to sit—you get your pastry and take it home or sit on the bench in the front and have it. It’s the real deal—it’s super legit.”
(Via D. Cavalca)

 

 

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