In San Jose, Italian restaurants aren’t even close to being synonymous with pizza places. Although many of the area's best Italian restaurants are pizza spots, the city offers plenty of opportunities to branch out beyond pepperoni pies. At Paolo’s Restaurant, for instance, diners can feast upon butternut-squash gnocchi and fried calamari with rock shrimp and Castroville artichokes, while people staying at the Fairmont San Jose can even pick up Italian staples such as spaghetti and spicy lamb meatballs (paired with a single-malt scotch and chandelier lighting) right in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge.

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