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Campo della Carita, 1050, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
If you find yourself at the Accademia vaporetto stop, take time out to have a bite to eat and a glass of wine. The cafe is perfectly located for people watching, by land or by sea. The two gondoliers located just steps away put on quite a show....
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Via del Boschetto, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

She stood out, even among the vibrant scene at Trevi Fountain.

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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy

I saw this exquisite chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci's Lady With An Ermine on the ground in one of the main plazas in Firenze. It started drizzling and I just had to take this photo before the rain washed it away!

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80045 Pompeii, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
One of the most erie things I have ever come across in my travels were the human casts from the remains of the Pompeii citizens. Looking at them one can only image the terror and complete helplessness they endured during the last minutes of their...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy

I first laid eyes on Portofino watching an episode of the Bold and the Beautiful they had shot on location.  From that moment, I knew I had to see this breathtaking scene firsthand. 

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Kraanlei 37, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Ghent appears almost magical the first time you see its architecture. My partner and I were in a dreamlike trance as our eyes moved from one beautiful building to the next. And we had just experienced the beautiful canals of Amsterdam the previous...
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84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
Our Mediterranean cruise was unreal from start to finish, filled with beautiful places and countless memories. The Amalfi Coast is one place we will definitely make a return visit to - I could imagine spending a few weeks relaxing and exploring...
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is such a romantic city; where canals show up at almost every other street. Numerous bicycles and boats can be seen dotted around them. Wander around the city without a map, get lost, and who knows you will discover a hidden cafe, an old...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
If you find yourself on the Mediterranean Sea or in Italy then be sure you make your way to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre, or "The Five Lands" (in Italian), is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and...
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Place du Jeu de Balle, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Jeu de Balles is a quintessential flea market set in the heart of the Marolles District of Brussels that runs daily through the morning. My favorite time to go is on Sunday when the square is filled with the most vendors who sell anything from...
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Van Baerlestraat 27, 1071 AN Amsterdam, Netherlands
We stayed at the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam for two nights on our way to Johannesburg for AFAR Experiences. Stepping into the lobby I was impressed by the architecture and design of Piero Lissoni, one of Italy's leading architects and interior...
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Papentorenvest 1A, 2011 AV Haarlem, Netherlands
Just a 15 minute train ride from Amsterdam is the picturesque town of Haarlem, complete with canals and De Adriaan windmill. You can go in (for a fee) but the best viewpoint is across the canal (and free!). As a bonus, Haarlem is a fairly compact...
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Legmeerdijk 313, 1431 GB Aalsmeer, Netherlands
Just outside of Amsterdam near the airport quietly sits the largest flower market in the world. Aalsmeer Flower Auction (otherwise known as FloraHolland) is the Wall Street of Flowers where everyday 20 million flowers and plants follow a carefully...
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Eastern Docklands, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The fact that there is a special-occasion restaurant like the Wilde Zwijnen (which means Wild Boar) is a sign of wealth in the neighborhood. I like the interiors: stylish but natural. The boar dishes are good, but they also do nice ravioli filled...
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The Flevopark is not a typical city park, because it’s on the outskirts of Amsterdam and feels a bit wilder. I love to walk and picnic and jog here. —Maartje Van Den Noort 
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Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK Amsterdam, Netherlands
The interiors of this museum and its library are really beautiful—a mosaic of polished wood and marble surfaces. And its contents are very timely, about the history of immigration and former Dutch colonies and slavery. The library is a bit...
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Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
“Brouwerij ’t IJ is the only place in the city that brews its own organic beer. We like to come on summer evenings and sit on the terrace. Ruben, my husband, really enjoys the Zatte and Columbus beers.”  —Maartje Van...
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Kinkerstraat 1, 1053 DB Amsterdam, Netherlands
You know what's annoying? Biking around Amsterdam on a bike that screams I'M A TOURIST. Here at Bike4U, you can get classic black Gazelles. Prices are good, child seats are available, and the Bulgarian guys who run the place are super nice. Note...
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IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Going to Amsterdam's film institute and museum, called the Eye, is fun for the journey alone: from the Central Station, you take an extremely short ferry ride (it's free) to Amsterdam-Noord. The museum is the swooping white building just to the...
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Herengracht 90, 1015 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Many of bars in Amsterdam serve the standard mass market beers, and those that serve craft beer predominantly sell Belgian beers. 't Arendsnest was recommended by our bed and breakfast hosts as a local bar that focuses on Dutch craft beers. How...
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Prinsengracht 587, 1016 HT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam-based designer Marcel Wanders transformed the city’s old public library into a hotel with a delft-pottery color scheme. Perks include Wanders-designed bikes.
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Dutch Special
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
We spent the day exploring the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. Since there are no cars in any of the villages, choose to travel by train, ferry or foot to connect you from one village to the next. We opted to hike in and ferry out to take...
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52420, Buzet, Croatia
The Subotina Festival in Buzet (held September 7–8 this year) revolves around white and black truffles, but there’s also abundant local olive oil, prosciutto, and herb-infused rakija, homemade brandy popular throughout the Balkans. The weekend’s...
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Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
If you happen to take a stroll high up to Aventine Hill by way of via di Santa Sabina, you will find yourself in Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. This quaint square is bordered by high walls, lovely engravings and architecture; the most striking of...
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Via di Monte Giordano, 60/61, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Coromandel, located just around the corner from Piazza Navona, just might be the prettiest spot to have a meal in town. From the brass door handle to bone-handled cutlery to the delicate Limoges-style plates and cups, it is an elegant design...
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Via Caio Cestio, 6, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The cemetery in the Testaccio neighborhood in Rome has many names; Campo Cestio, The Protestant Cemetery, The Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners, or the Cat Cemetery. It holds the grave of the poet John Keats, the famous pyramid of Rome, about...
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Via dei Chiavari, 34, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
One of Rome's best bakeries and among the city's most historic institutions, Antico Forno Roscioli is a family-run business. Depending on the time of day, you might find patriarch Marco or his son Pierluigi hard at work. There are a variety of...
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Via Cipro, 8 E, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Just a short walk from the Vatican Museums, La Tradizione sells more than 400 cheeses, which are carefully selected and, when appropriate, aged. This gourmet shop is hands-down the best place in town to shop for fermented dairy, as well as cured...
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Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Pinacoteca Brera is Milan's public painting gallery with an enviable collection of early Renaissance to late Baroque paintings by the very best of 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Though Bramante, Rubens, Raphael, Piero della Francesca and...
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Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
At a nondescript church in an unlikely neighborhood in Milan rests one of the greatest works of art ever created, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The 15th century mural was part of a renovation project at the Convent of Santa Maria della...
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Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy
Fondazione Prada reopens its Milan exhibition space in a 205,000 square foot space designed by OMA (by Rem Koolhaas). Prada always has the most engaging shows-- getting the best of contemporary art.
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Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Though they are admittedly tiny, the Botanical Gardens in Brera, located behind the Pinacoteca di Brera and the University of Milan, is a hidden oasis in a crowded city. Originally used in the 17th century by the Jesuits to grow and teach others...
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Via S. Gregorio, 17, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
The aptly named Gelato Giusto (meaning gelato done right) is an ice cream must. Former pastry chef Vittoria Bortolazzo makes delicious gelato every day from regional, organic fruit, high quality milk, and lots of love. Flavor selection is only a...
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Piazzale Angelo Moratti, 20151 Milano MI, Italy
Welcome to the hallowed walls of AC Milan. San Siro is the first and quite possibly only stadium in Italy to have a museum on its premises. For die hard red and black fans, this is only place you'll want to come to when you visit Milan. You get to...
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Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
An absolute must-see attraction in Milan is the Castello Sforzesco, an utterly beautiful and enormous castle, built in the mid 1400s, with a rich and storied history as a citadel, now housing an art museum. But what gave me a chuckle was the...
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Via Cesare Cantù, 3, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Milan invented the art of bel cafè, the pedicured bar for a delicious morning coffee or afternoon aperitivo. Passerini has a delicious selection of pastries for mornings and afternoons, and is the ideal hideaway for an aperitivo in the city...
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Via Santa Radegonda, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
There is a reason the locals line up down the block at this place come lunchtime: the pomodoro panzerotti. It's a perfect little pocket filled with fresh, warm, gooey mozzarella and local tomatoes. I tried several other sweet and savory items...
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Via Sant'Andrea, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The best tailors in Italy are from Napoli, and the best ateliers are in Milan, in particular in the beautiful Fashion Quadrilateral where every shop is more gorgeous than the next. Rubinacci is definitely a cut above the rest for its impeccable...
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Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Designed by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini, the glorious interior is quite the opposite from its austere exterior. Acoustics are amazing, not only from the exemplary construction of the venue but also thanks to the perfect...
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Via Brera, 23, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
My friend Andy says you can't go to Milan without having an evening in Brera, the tiny artsy area adjacent to Milan's fashion center. Bar Brera is the hangout of choice for expensive liquor and people watching.
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The Bermuda Triangle and Kansas Rectangle may be places of mysterious disappearance, but Milan's Fashion Quadrilateral is a small area of style where you will definitely want to get lost. With Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga, and...
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Via Giovanni Omboni, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
While most head to gawk at the high fashion on Montenapoleone or in the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, the Milanese will be on Corso Buenos Aires, the longest shopping street in Milan. A roughly 3/4 mile stretch, there are over 350 retail stores on...
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Piazza della Scala, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Free museum in the heart of the city. Great escape on a hot day, nice selection of Italian art across history. However, the true gem is the building itself I think.
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Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Distinct in style and concept, 10 Corso Como curates artistic boutique experiences. Part gallery, museum, retail and dining, the complex balances contemporary art and functional shopping. While a modern space, it's far from stark. The classic...
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At sunset...
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Via Monte Napoleone, 8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Caffè Cova, Milan's old world pastry shop and original fashion caffe. Its pastries are perfect and more than delicious, but what takes the proverbial cake is the aperitivo and its presentation. Black tie serves cater drinks like Negroni sbagliati...
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Galleria del Corso, 4, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
For the last decade, Peck was the only place in town to stock up on the best of the best Italian foodstuffs. Now there’s a new gourmet go-to: a sprawling emporium in the basement level of the Excelsior department store. Choose from thousands of...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Most tourists get to Venice's famous Rialto Bridge, but how many cross to the right bank of the Grand Canal to experience the Erberia (vegetable market) and the Pescheria (fish market)? Elbowing my way through the crowds on the Rialto was worth...
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Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Two things you need to know about gondola rides in Venice: They're worth it; and the price is agreed beforehand. Knowing those two things, you can happily hop aboard this traditional Venetian mode of transport and relax, because, touristy as it...
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The Gallerie dell'Accademia, located quite close to the Rialto along the Grand Canal, offers a sweeping look at nearly hundreds of years of Italian art, including works by Tintoretto and Titian. Not to be missed.
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Campiello dei Miracoli, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli is probably my favorite church in Venice. Surrounded by canals and small streets, the church looks like a fat piece of marble clad wedding cake that landed in Venice's Cannaregio neighborhood. It's one of the most...
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Calle S. Donato, 11, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
There is more to Murano Island than a wide collective of storied glass blowers. Make the journey to this lagoon island and be sure to pay a visit to the Chiesa dei Santi Maria e Donato to view its restored Byzantine mosaic pavements dating to the...
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Salizzada San Samuele, 3359, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Many of Venice's jewelry shops sell items produced cheaply in China, or pieces that seem as though designed to break or fall apart. But there are exceptions, and Alessandro de Angelis Palwer boutique in San Marco is one of them. The former Ungaro...
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Calle del Scaleter, 2794, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Carlo Goldoni was born in Venice in 1707 and went on to become one of the Italy's most important playwrights. He spent many years living and working in Paris, where he died in 1793. Ca' Centani, the 15th-century gothic palace acquired by Goldoni's...
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Sestiere Castello, 5909, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Should you find yourself in the vicinity of Campo Santa Marina, make a beeline to this excellent pastry shop. Their tiramisu is as pillowy as it is rich, and during holidays like Easter they make the most decadent fried donuts filled with whipped...
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S. Marco, 4741, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
Be picky when in comes to buying pastries and other dainty desserts in Venice. Marchini Time is a small pastry shop in San Marco that is rammed with locals stopping by for a quick coffee and croissant at breakfast. It's also nice to come here for...
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Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2804, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
Since 1930, the Marchi family has been importing rich, dark coffee beans from all over the world and roasting them in their quaint coffee shop in Venice's Cannaregio neighborhood. You can come in to shop for kilos of their black gold, which they...
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Riva degli Schiavoni, 4171, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Just beyond the Doge's Palace along the Degli Schiavoni is the Relais & Chateaux property, Hotel Londra Palace. I mention it because the hotel's LondraBar is small and quiet, with some outdoor veranda seating with excellent views of the lagoon. It...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
One of the best ways to schedule a quick walk through venice is to use churches as goal posts. A walk from the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute to the Chiesa di San Sebastiano is one of my favorites because it all happens in the Dorsoduro...
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Dorsoduro, 2, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Controlled by the François Pinault foundation, the same trust in charge of Christie's auction house, this is a museum-worthy gallery in the heart of Venice. Set inside a 17th-century customs house, it showcases Pinault's impressive private...
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Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This centuries-old "pharmaceutical workshop" gives visitors a chance to experience part of Florence's unique bespoke heritage. It was established by Dominican monks of the adjacent Santa Maria Novella church around 1221 and opened to the public in...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

On the Ponte Vecchio with two of my bother and our close friend.

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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I was walking around taking photos at the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, while waiting for my friend. As the evening draws near, I found myself enjoying the sculptures inside the Loggia dei Lanzi, which I was not able to visit in detail...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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Borgo degli Albizi, 11r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you love gelato and chocolate, no place will romance you quite like Vestri. Before you know what's inside, you'll be drawn in by the antique and elegant exterior and by the shiny packages peeking out. Inside, the small shop's allure consists of...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Tuscany is deeply connected to the land—the crops that grow here, from fruit and vegetables to olives and wine grapes, are central to Tuscan cuisine. Mercato Centrale, housed in the original 1874 market building, is a working showcase for...
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The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (to give its full name) is now a global brand, but this is where it all began, in a frescoed, 13th-century chapel in Florence. The place is as stunning as the products that are still made...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Despite the fact that it was the last week of October, the line to climb to the top of the Duomo dome was wrapped around the building. The line to climb Giotto's bell tower, right next door, was nonexistent. Lucky for us, we had our walking shoes...
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Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When you visit the area of the Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Republica in Florence, don't miss this interesting attraction. From Piazza della Signoria, walk towards Piazza della Republica, and on the left side, you'll see Piazza del...
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Via Lambertesca, 18/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You can’t visit Florence without indulging in ice cream once at the very least, but it’s not so easy to find the real deal. Carapina, gelateria of choice for cognoscenti (but often overlooked by tourists), is located a stone’s throw from the Ponte...
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Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Giambolgna's sculpture The Rape of the Sabine Women stands under the arched Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
While in Florence this May, my husband and I decided not to walk to the top of the dome of the Duomo but, instead, to make the climb to the top of the tower next to the Duomo to get a great view of the dome itself. I shot this from the stairwell...
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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
of three roads (tre vie), the Trevi Fountain in Rome marks the terminal point of the Aqua Vergine, Aqua Virgo and one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the world.
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00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
What else can you say, it's THE Colosseum. Impressive on every count. Long live Caesar.
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Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Piazza Navona was built on the foundations of a stadium constructed for Emperor Domitian in the 1st century C.E. Three grand fountains are the highlight of this elegant and impressive space: The main fountain in the center was designed by Bernini...
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00120, Vatican City
No, you are still not allowed to take photographs of the Sistine Chapel while visiting Vatican City. Yes, I did it anyway just to try and capture the awesomeness of the accomplishment by good ol' Michelangelo. Like so many incredible artistic...
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Viale della Marina, 41, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM, Italy
According to legend, Rome’s first orange tree—St. Dominic’s gift to the pope—was planted in Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of the Oranges) in the 13th century. The secluded park provides a panoramic view of the city, from...
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Loc. Follonata, Saturnia, 58014 Manciano GR, Italy
Not much more than a slit in the earth off the road in the cool hill towns of Maremma in Tuscany is the cool little natural oddity called the Saturnia hot springs. Not really a spa, more of a roadside attraction, it's a cool little stop to take a...
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69 Rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris, France
Paris boasts an unusual elevated park, La Promenade Plantée, built atop an abandoned elevated railway viaduct in the 12th arrondissement. It starts a block east of the Place de la Bastille and stretches for 2.9 elevated miles. Landscape architect...