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Mannina, Florence

This family-run business is one of Florence’s best shoe stores. Every pair is hand-crafted in the workshop, which is a few doors down and around the corner from the shop. My husband bought two styles and liked a third, but they didn’t have his size. No worries – the owner offered to make him a […]

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Farmers’ Market, Aix-en-Provence

Another great farmers’ market! In Aix, the morning market at Place Richelme is the place to be. It’s small, but has all the essentials: honey, olive oil, tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes, produce, bread, cheese, artisanal sausage, flowers. My husband and I swung by here and gathered an overabundance of picnic items in no time. Tweet

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Moulin Coopératif de Mouriès, Mouriès, France

We spent a lot of time in Provence sampling and purchasing wine and olive oil. There’s an abundance of each at most every turn, so the key is doing research beforehand to identify those that sound most alluring. We read favorable things about olive oil cooperative Moulin Coopératif de Mouriès and wanted to check it […]

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Bulles & Millesimes Wines, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

We ducked into this basement wine shop because it is one of the few that sells some of the region’s best wines – Chateau Rayas, Chateau de Beaucastel and Clos des Papes. Think of it as a boutique that only carries a few high-end brands, only in a crumbling, dusty cave. The owner, Pierre, was […]

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E. Dehillerin, Paris, France

E. Dehillerin is the place to buy traditional French cookware in Paris. I emphasize traditional, because there are also many popular shops that sell things like cupcake tins and Oxo products, which are nothing new to Americans, but are still a novelty for French cooks. This family-operated shop has been in operation since 1820. It […]

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Riquewihr Macaroons

These sugary treats have been a Riquewihr tradition since coconut was introduced here in the early 1700’s. Just try walking through the town and resisting; it’s impossible! The alluring scent wafts into every corner and before you know it, you’ll be picking a flavorful assortment. Tweet

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Verbania Market

Markets are the best way to get a feel for a region and Verbania is no exception. The Saturday morning market is worth seeing simply for the food. Unless you’re in the market for underwear or street vendor-quality clothing, you’ll spend most of your time marveling over humungous cheeses, fresh pastries and cured meats. Tweet

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Fivers

It turns out the best shop in Luxembourg does not sell luxury goods, artisanal chocolates or contemporary art. Rather, it sells Vibram FiveFingers (although I suppose it’s not a stretch to consider these an art form!) – a dizzying, enticing, overwhelming array of FiveFingers in almost every style and color. This is the first FiveFingers-only […]

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Nice Market

There’s no better way to get a feel for a city than through its markets. Vieux Nice has a thriving at cours Saleya with flowers, produce, antiques and artwork. Make sure to arrive before 1 p.m., though, when the vendors begin packing up and the area restaurants begin rolling out their awnings. Tuesday through Sunday […]

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Les Bouquinistes

There are over 200 independent outdoor booksellers in Paris, mostly lined up along the Seine, operating out of green metal boxes that have been depicted in street scenes from as far back as the Impressionist period. The bookselling tradition began in the 16th century with the Renaissance’s encouraged literacy. Like all good entrepreneurs, booksellers began […]

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