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Grand Hotel Continental

If you’re looking for an up-close look at history in the Renaissance city of Siena, there’s no better place to lay your head than at this gem of a hotel, set in a 17th-century Baroque palace called Palazzo Gori Pannilini, originally built by Chigi Pope Alexander VII. Thanks to a recent top-to-bottom renovation, the splendor of the 51 rooms and suites, some set in the property’s medieval tower, is visible at every turn, but the public spaces are the most inspiring: the terracotta lobby features a travertine stone staircase, restored 17th-century balustrades, and a giant gilded 19th-century clock that chimes on the hour. Oversize glass and metal doors open onto the Winter Garden, a sunroom filled with ferns and soft light. Inside this airy space is Sapordivino, the hotel’s wine bar and restaurant, offering classic Tuscan cuisine such as ribollita, a traditional bean soup, and house-made pici pasta—best paired with a bottle of the region’s Tenuta San Guido.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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