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Europe 2016

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Gumpendorfer Str. 11, 1060 Wien, Austria
Viennese coffee culture is world-famous. Try your hand at ordering a coffee in the historic Café Sperl (founded in 1880). Sugar junkies will enjoy an "intermezzo" a concoction combining coffee, chocolate and whipped cream, while traditionalists...
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Herrengasse 14, 1010 Wien, Austria
The identity of a Viennese intellectual was ultimately defined by the coffeehouse they would frequent. Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hoffmannsthal would all brood over their work and agitatedly exchange ideas with fellow thinkers...
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Dorotheergasse 6, 1010 Wien, Austria
The 1930s Café Hawelka was a haunt for actor Oskar Werner and painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser in the 1950s and ’60s. Order buchteln (fruit-filled sweet rolls), and caffeinate with a strong cup of mokka.
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Wollzeile 10, 1010 Wien, Austria
In 1923 Café Diglas was opened at Wollzeile, though Hans Diglas' original establishment dates back to 1875. It's since been passed down three generations and has been a fixture in the 1st District. Unlike many other coffee houses which are...
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Singerstraße 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
In 1913 Rosa and Josef Prousek opened AIDA in Vienna's 9th district and today there are dozens of them throughout the city. While a franchise doesn't typically seem so appealing, AIDA is an exception. The AIDA at Stephansplatz, right beside the...
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Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
One of Vienna's most notable structures is its stunning Rathaus, or City Hall. Designed by Friedrich von Schmidt between 1872 and 1883, the imposing Gothic structure is the seat of both the mayor and city council, and is also the backdrop for one...
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Opernring 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
Arguably one of Vienna's most beautiful landmarks, the Opera is a cultural treasure. Not only has it hosted many outstanding works since its origin as the Wiener Hofoper in 1863, it's associated with one of the world's greatest philharmonics. The...
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Tegetthoffstraße 2, 1010 Wien, Austria
Hapsburg funerals were ostentatious events. For centuries, the Viennese have celebrated the arts, which you can find throughout the city's public memento-mori style statues. These statues were designed to inspire religious devotion. The Hapsburgs...
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Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien, Austria
Vienna's MuseumsQuartier is a great place to soak up the sun on the compound's iconic park benches, and check out extensive art collections housed in an elegant mixture of baroque and modern buildings. Don't miss great works of art by Austrian...
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Heldenplatz 21/4, 1010 Wien, Austria
Rounding out your visit to Hofburg Palace is the last of the great expansions to the palace by the Habsurgs. The building was done in true neoclassical style, obviously to make the royal family appear as mighty as Greek gods. A statue of Archduke...
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Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria
The Habsburgs were, generally speaking, lovers of art and many of the works of the Kunsthistorisches Museum come from their collections. While the grandiose interior alone may be reason enough to visit, the collections here are outstanding. The...
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Spittelberggasse 3, 1070 Wien, Austria
It's just a few blocks in the 7th district, but the cobbled streets, historic Biedermeier architecture and plethora of boutiques, trendy bars, restaurants and entertainment make Spittelberg one of Vienna's most charming historic neighborhoods....
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1060 Vienna, Austria
The Naschmarkt is absolutely one of the things you have to experience during your stay in Vienna! Locals call Vienna’s largest inner-city market the “city’s stomach." The market is a unique place for strolling, admiring, discovering, and sampling....
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Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria
While "Belvedere" might provoke an image of just a single palace, it's actually a large complex with two Baroque palaces (Upper and Lower), Orangery, Stables and beautiful park space in the 3rd District. It was built as a summer residence for...
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Welthandelsplatz 1 1, 1020 Wien, Austria
Though many may associate Vienna's architecture only with its Neoclassical and Jugendstil structures, which are indeed outstanding, they may be surprised by the creative modern architecture here. One place lovers of architecture will not want to...
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Arsenal 1, 1030 Wien, Austria
History buffs definitely won't want to miss out on the Museum of Military History, or Heeresgeschichtliches Museum. Focusing on Austria's military history from the 16th century up to 1945, exhibition halls are broken down into the Thirty Years'...
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Kegelgasse 36-38, 1030 Wien, Austria
Friedensreich Hundertwasser's design is quite the departure from the refined elegance of the city's most notable attractions. That's not to say, however, that it's not a masterpiece. This 1985 apartment block with a colorfully eclectic mix of...
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1130 Vienna, Austria
Schönbrunn was the summer residence of the Habsburgs and one of Europe's most stunning Baroque palaces. The family acquired the land in the 16th century and later built a palace, but it was completely rebuilt under Maria Theresa between 1744 and...
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Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Wien, Austria
Up until the end of World War I in 1918, the Hofburg was the center of the Habsburg dynasty and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The massive complex includes the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (National Library), Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury),...
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Stephansplatz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
In the heart of Vienna sits St. Stephen's Cathedral. Built in the late 12th century, it's a grand piece of beauty borrowing both from the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. Unlike St. Vitus in Prague, St. Stephen's shimmers with light...
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Nussberg, 1190 Wien, Austria
Austrian wines are made all the better by a visit to the many vineyards and wine taverns (Heuriger) on the outskirts of Vienna. Wieninger vineyard is located north of the city on the Nussberg. A light meal and wine outdoors among the vineyards is...
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Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, 1110 Wien, Austria
Cemeteries don't often end up on a traveler's "must-see" list - unless they are going to Vienna. The massive Zentralfriedhof, or Central Cemetery, isn't actually centralized. In fact, it lies far to the south of the city. With over 300,000...
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Esterhazyplatz 1, 7000 Eisenstadt, Austria
Of all the grand palaces in Austria, Esterházy is one you definitely don't want to miss. It's second, perhaps, to Schönbrunn. The 13th-century palace was acquired by the Hungarian family in 1622 and remains in their care. Magnificent rooms like...
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7141, Austria
Neusiedlersee is the westernmost steppe lake in Eurasia and, together with the surrounding countryside, was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site. Its shallow water (around 6-7 feet) warms quickly in summer, making the beaches a popular...
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Melinda Esterhazy-Platz 1, 7212 Forchtenstein, Austria
In the midst of Burgenland’s western hills lies stately Forchtenstein Castle, built as a protective bulwark against invaders in the 13th century. A tour of the fortifications and the castle’s treasury will give you a lively impression of castle...
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Marchetstraße, 2500 Baden, Austria
The Vienna Woods is our great outdoors. I went to secondary school in the lovely spa town of Baden bei Wien, and I return there frequently. Baden is a cute Biedermeier picture-book town, with a fabulous spa, a grand casino, good wineries, and...
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Dompl. 1, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria
The Dom zu St. Pölten, also known as Dom Mariä Himmelfahrt, dates back to the 13th century. Though the exterior might appear somewhat plain, the beautiful Baroque interior makes this cathedral in the capital of Lower Austria worth checking out. ...
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Abt-Berthold-Dietmayr-Straße 1, 3390 Melk, Austria
Towering high above the banks of the Danube in the Wachau Valley, the bright yellow Melk Abbey is one of Austria's most beautiful Baroque buildings. It's been rebuilt several times since its 11th-century origins, with its present form dating to...
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Greinburg 1, 4360 Grein, Austria
In a country with so many castles, Schloss Greinburg doesn’t rank as one of the most awe-inspiring. It is, however, particularly notable for two things. Greinburg is considered Austria’s oldest residential castle (origins dating back to 1488) and...
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Hauptpl., 3920, Austria
While Linz isn't really a top destination in Austria, it does have its charms. Everything seems to center on the main square, a place to meet, hold markets, and occasionally protest something. It's one of the largest enclosed squares in Europe,...
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3550 Langenlois, Austria
The Kamptal, or Kamp Valley, is one of eight wine regions in Lower Austria, which with around 27,000 hectares of vineyards grows more wine grapes than any other province. The town of Langenlois produces the most wine here, with an assortment...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of my favorite things to do in Barcelona on a Sunday morning is to go to the Catedral and listen to the sardana and watch the traditional Catalan folk dance. The music is beautiful and the dance is much more complicated than it appears....
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Carrer de Marlet', 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Head to the Gothic Quarter—once home to Barcelona's storied Jewish neighborhood, El Call—and look for the Sinagoga Major (Major Synagogue). The museum, built on the site of the city's oldest temple, is only two rooms, but it...
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Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Barcelona, Spain
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Bring some friends and a healthy appetite to El Bar-Barcelona for modern takes on traditional Spanish bar food as well as a well-thought-out wine menu. Crunchier-than-usual croquetas made with panko, a carnivores-only version of patatas bravas,...
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A longtime favorite with Barcelona vintage and bargain shoppers, Encants Vells is one of Europe's oldest flea markets, dating from the 14th century. Recently it moved a few blocks away from its historic location to a shiny new modern market packed...
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La Casa de l'Ardiaca, Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
For good luck in Barcelona, go to La Casa de l’Ardiaca and touch this turtle. If you look closely you'll see this is really a letterbox. The birds symbolize the hope that you'll get your mail soon, but the turtle is a nod to the reality of how...
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Plaça de Sant Jaume, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
On our first day in Barcelona, we learned that the city has surprises in store around every corner. We had just met up with American expat Jeff Koehler in the plaza in front of the Santa Maria del Pi church, about to head up a narrow street to THE...
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Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed in the 17th century but heavily modified a century later, this castle—actually more of a fortress—lords over Montjuïc hill. Its use as a military bastion spans from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, when Barcelona...
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Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel, 17, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Correfocs, or fire-runners, are one of my favorite elements of Catalan culture and local festivities in Barcelona. Dressed as demons and dragons, locals of all ages (kids, too) don fire-resistant fabrics and dance and skip around town spewing fire...
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Plaça de Catalunya, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Imagine Barcelona--filled to the brim and beyond with mountains of books and buckets of roses. Students fund-raising, Romanian gypsies, and Charities hawk cut roses in every color of the rainbow--indeed, even rainbow-colored versions compete with...
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255, Carrer d'Aragó, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Perhaps less well known than Catalan artists like Dalí and Miró, Antoni Tàpies was a delightfully strange painter, sculptor and art theorist, and Barcelona's museum dedicated to his work is located just off Passeig de Gracia, making it much more...
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Plaça de Sant Galdric, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
La Boqueria Market is a necessary stop on any Barcelona itinerary. Make the most of your time there with a stop at Bar Papitu, a small bar on Sant Galderic Square. Late morning, make like a Catalan, and wash down anchovies and olives with local...
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Carrer Claudi Güell, 08690 La Colònia Güell, Barcelona, Spain
The church where Gaudi was finally buried after he died suddenly after being hit by a trolley car, the church at Colonia Güell looks like it was built directly into the hill. Inside, it's a cross between the drama of striking buttresses and a...
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La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Great all-day dining option. This place was recommended to us by many, even the bellboy at our hotel. The food is very good and their specialty is tapas. Waiters are friendly enough and it's usually very crowded but there are plenty of seats with...
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Plaça Portal de la pau, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Constructed for the 1888 Universal Exposition, El Mirador de Colom reminds locals and visitors alike that Spain’s Catholic Kings, Isabella and Ferdinand, received Columbus in Barcelona after his first trip to the Americas. A 24-foot statue of the...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best places to wander in Barcelona is the city's charming Gothic Quarter, right off the famous La Rambla. A highlight is the area's beautiful Gothic cathedral, one of the few interesting buildings in the city that was not designed by...
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Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
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Plaça de Catalunya, 1-4, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This café is a meeting point for locals. If we are meeting in Plaça Catalunya, there are two points of reference: either you meet in front of Corte Inglés, or you meet in front of the Zurich. It is great for people watching (but you'll be paying...
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Barcelona, Spain
Marta, a petite Barcelona native fluent in three languages, welcomes any and all into her home for the joyous culinary experience of paella. The Spanish dish often frightens many due to its overwhelming nature of ingredients, but Marta brings such...
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Rambla de Catalunya, 61, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
This was one of my best experiences in Barcelona. You can by and eat in small tables the best pata negra Jamon and get a wine or champagne. Very good prices!!!!!
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locales 466- 470, Mercat de la Boqueria, Carrer la Rambla, 89, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Pinotxo, which stands for Pinocchio in Catalan, is a longtime family-owned restaurant in the Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona's most important central market. Reasonable prices and fresh produce entice tourists and locals for breakfast, lunch, or...
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Carrer del Vidre, 8, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is home to countless tapas joints. They sit on street corners and back alleys all over the city. Many are commercialized and target tourists, while others are homegrown, centuries-old locations. There are plenty to choose from. After...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
These geese have guarded Barcelona's Cathedral for hundreds of years. They make lots of noise if anyone comes anywhere near them. I'm sure they always did a very good job of alerting the Cathedral about intruders. They are unusual looking geese....
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Carrer de Tamarit, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Not a secret any longer, but still a great surprise. We ended our brief stay near Barcelona recently at Lolita, Taperia in Barcelona. Outstanding food, and tons of fun. We felt like adults, even with three kids under age 6 in tow.
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Baixada del Monestir, 9, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
This Gothic monastery houses collections from Barcelona's City History Museum, but if you've got only an hour or so, skip the exhibits in favor of a walk around. Founded by King James II of Aragon in 1326, the monastery (or monestir in...
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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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In this long, flat park built in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games, visitors can run and play frisbee or kickback. Would-be photographers may want to snap shots of outdoor art like the "Power of the Word" by Dutch sculptor Auke de Vries....
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08034 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
This is a great place for some down time in Barcelona. Located close to the University of Barcelona's Campus on Diagonal, and children's hospital Sant Joan de Deu, this park is a beautiful place for a stroll, or to sit outside and play with your...
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C. d'Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Imagine the crowds cheering on the home team at the Football Club Barcelona’s stadium, check out a space dedicated to Argentinean superstar Leo Messi, admire the Club’s many trophies, your favorite players’ jerseys, and learn about the history of...
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Passatge de Mercader, 10, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
In Barcelona's fashionable El Born neighborhood, unassuming neighborhood shops can surprise you with unique finds. At Antic & Modern, collectors can buy original works of art by world-renowned Catalan artists like Dalí, Miró and Tàpies, as well as...
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Carrer dels Banys Nous, 20, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
L'Arca, formerly known as L'Arca de l'Avia, specializes in recreating historical clothing, especially ball gowns and wedding dresses, but it's a great place to pick up antique and vintage accessories like lace gloves, Spanish fans, and jewelry, as...
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Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, Spain
One of Barcelona's most exclusive streets, Passeig de Gràcia is home to modernista masterpieces like La Pedrera and Casa Batlló as well as the massive luxury storefronts of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Mandarina Duck, and...
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Carrer de Còrsega, 231, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Despite this restaurant's claims of "low-cost haute cuisine," 3 Food's tapas are elegant—but considering the tiny portion sizes, fairly expensive, especially if you want try a variety of the restaurant's more creative dishes. There is a very...
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Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
In the middle of a fairly ordinary looking plaza en Cuitat Vella, savvy visitors can spot evidence of Barcelona's Roman history. Once a road with funerary monuments on either side, gradually the road was surrounded by the city. You can see the...
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Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 33, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
The Catalan capital has plenty of places to cozy up with your loved one and enjoy your drink of choice, be it a meaty Tarragona red or a café carajillo—the Spanish spin on Irish coffee. Lean your elbows on the marble tables of Casa Almirall,...
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Plaça Comercial, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
The ruins of the Barcelona that suffered the seige of 1714 lay buried underneath the cast-iron 19th century Born Market for centuries. WIth the opening of El Born Centre Cultural, visitors can explore the beautiful wrought iron market, examine the...
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Carrer del Parlament, 13, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona's Parlament street is an up-and-coming part of the city's San Antoni neighborhood. Packed with cozy bakeries, restaurants and cafés, the street and surrounding area is also home to some of Barcelona's more interesting boutiques. One of...
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Passeig de Santa Madrona, 16, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
Learn about Catalonia's culture via a collage of objects from its past in this small but curious collection. Religious artifacts, pottery, tools, jewelry, furniture from Catalonia's diverse heritage are all on display here. Pose for pictures with...
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Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
It’s one of the most recognizable facades on Passeig de Gràcia: a modernist fantasy of undulating stone, brightly colored mosaics, and stained glass—one that could only come from the mind of famed Catalan architect Antoni...
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Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
It is hard to find a more authentic tapas bar in the Old Town than this one. Founded in 1929, now the 4th generation of the same family is starting to take over bringing a happy freshness to the always busy but still smiling staff. When I take...
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Carrer del Bisbe, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This place is close to the Barcelona Cathedral or the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia in Barri Gotic. This neighborhood is a great place to walk around. Here I discovered a great jewelry shop, an antique flea market, and dancers...
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La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona's famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It's just one of...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Forget Google Maps: You’ll quickly locate this venerable tapas bar in El Poble-Sec by the line out the door. With standing-room-only space for just 20 people, this sliver of a spot fills up fast—and stays that way until closing time....
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Av. de Rius i Taulet, 1, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Who cares if it's a Barcelona cliché. Give in to the urge and get to Plaça d'Espanya to see the Magic Fountain show. It's always crowded, but everyone should see it at least once, and it's free. The show is especially gorgeous during...
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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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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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6 Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Florence FI, Italy
Escaping the crowds around Florence Cathedral one afternoon, I decided to wander along the Arno River and was rewarded with stunning views from the water's reflection. The picture highlights not only the clear, nearly symmetrical reflection cast...
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68r, Via dei Servi, 66, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Even with all the noted thinkers, artists, politicians, and powerful families who’ve called Florence home, Leonardo da Vinci is arguably the city’s most famous son. This homage focuses less on his artwork and more on Da Vinci’s forward-thinking...
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Get up early to avoid the crowds and catch some beautiful, soft light while experiencing a quiet Florence devoid of its midday chaos.
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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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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
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Watching the sun set from one of the bridges that span the Arno in Florence seems to be a popular ritual with both tourists and Florentines. But it's the Ponte San Trinita that seems the bridge that attracts most.
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Via dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
On a cool night in November, walking alone from an outdoor food market in the center of Florence, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth yet again. I stopped for a "snack," one that I would never eat just before dinner back home yet couldn't get...
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Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the more unusual ways to see Florence is by taking a river cruise on a traditional wooden barchetto. These small boats (originally used to transport building materials) hold up to 12 passengers and ply up and down the stretch of the Arno...
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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked away in a tiny piazzetta just off the main Ponte Vecchio–Palazzo Pitti tourist drag, this bright, modern squeeze of a wine bar specializes in wines by small, lesser-known producers from all over Italy. Tempting snacks include fabulous...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Food in Italy is still largely about seasonality, and never more so than in late fall when the new olive oil (‘olio nuovo’) begins to arrive in the shops. Take a drive into the Tuscan countryside anytime between late October and December and you...
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Piazza della Passera, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
A local favorite on postcard-pretty Piazza della Passera in the Oltrarno neighborhood, Il Magazzino serves up delicious Florentine food with a special emphasis on offal. If you are up for it, there’s no better place to sample stalwarts of...
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Via Camillo Cavour, 3, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Located behind the church of San Lorenzo, this is where many members of the ruling Medici family are buried. The octagonal building with an opulent marble interior dates from 1519. The Cappella dei Principi houses sarcophagi belonging to the...
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Piazza Vittorio Gui, 1, 50144 Firenze FI, Italy
If you get a chance to book seats for a night at the opera in Florence, grab it! The city has a new opera house, the Opera di Firenze, a 150 million theatre complex near the Cascine Park. Opera was born in this city when Jacopo Peri’s ‘Dafne’, was...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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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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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 della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This is the only Gucci museum in the world. The company was founded in Florence in 1921, and different floors of the museum take you back through its history and designs. There are sections on clothes, shoes, luggage, and more. The museum is...
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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 Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The rooftop restaurant of the Westin Excelsior hotel wins top prize for being the most panoramic spot for a meal in Florence; floor-to-ceiling, wraparound windows permit 360-degree views over the entire city and the hills beyond....
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Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Cramped it may be, but rustic Da Mario, located at the back of the mercato centrale, serves up a menu of consistently reliable Florentine classics to a mix of stall workers, business folk and tourists, and it’s always packed. The choice changes...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s most lively square is dominated by the blank, unfinished facade of Brunelleschi’s last church. Lined with trees and centered around a pretty fountain, the piazza plays host to a small daily market (where local ladies do their shopping)...
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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
You will likely see Bronzino's famous portrait of Eleonora (or Eleanor) de Toledo, in the Uffizi, during your visit to Florence. The Spanish noblewoman who became the duchess of Florence in 1539 when she married Cosimo I de' Medici was unusual for...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
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Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people head to this ex-art school to ogle the world’s most famous nude statue. Michelangelo’s David was carved from a single five-meter-high block of milky-white marble in 1504 and originally stood in Piazza della Signoria....
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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 di Santo Spirito, 64/66 r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This busy, buzzy Oltrarno restaurant continues to be a personal favorite for its lively atmosphere and dependable cooking at reasonable prices. The menu offers ever-present favorites such as pasta with sweet tropea onions and cherry tomatoes as...
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Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Just off the main square, Piazza della Signoria, in Florence, this open air museum was beautiful in the morning as light spilled down and over the statues and general gorgeousness that is Florence. Walking through Florence was so different to...
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Piazza della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The Piazza Della Repubblica was the place to be in Florence in the evenings. Tourists and locals alike dined at the restaurants lining the square, student groups gathered, families enjoyed the Carousel, and gypsies and other migrants tried to sell...
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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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Via Santa Monaca, 3r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Know locally as S'forno, this vintage-look Santo Spirito bakery sells a fantastic selection of sweet and savoury goods and is one of the few 'panifici' in Florence to still have an on-site oven (most do their baking outside the city). The bread...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the best views of Florence can be savored from the Piazzale Michelangelo, a short walk across the Arno River from downtown Florence. For a fun afternoon head to the square and enjoy an enchanting panorama of the city, followed by a relaxing...
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Piazza San Marco, 3, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Housed in the monastery of San Marco, this museum pays homage to the delicate, spiritual work of Fra Angelico who lived and worked here as a monk from 1435-1445. Some of his most celebrated paintings and frescoes are on show here: the famous...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Once home to the Medici princes, Palazzo Pitti is now our portal to Renaissance Florence. It is divided into six sections and, after three visits, I still cannot choose a favorite. The left wing is comprised of the Royal Apartments—a section that...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Sitting on a hill just south of the Arno with fabulous views over the city to the hills beyond, this is one of Florence’s most beautiful churches. San Miniato was built in 1015 and has an intricately patterned green-and-white marble façade with a...
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Kidathineon 41, Athina 105 58, Greece
While sitting outside at a café in Plaka, the historical neighborhood in Athens, a brightly colored wall across the way—filled with bottles—caught my eye. Ouzo was something I wanted to try, as it is for many first-time visitors to Greece, but...
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Athens 105 58, Greece

You can’t miss the Parthenon, the majestic ruin towering above Athens. Originally painted in vivid hues, this feat of architecture, engineering, and artistry is still as awe-inspiring as it was almost 2,500 years ago. Le Corbusier, pioneer...

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Ερωτοκρίτου και, Erechtheos 16, Athina 105 56, Greece
When in Athens, venture away from the typical sites and explore the neighborhood of Anafiotika. It's like a tiny quiet village was planted in the middle of a major metropolis. A relic of the old days, the area now is a maze of small decorative...
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Athens, Greece
Maybe the most ubiquitous dish in the capital city, but the window on the corner of Monastiraki and Metropoulos is where you go if you want the best souvlaki Athens has to offer.
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Plaka, Athens 105 58, Greece
We picked up some gyros to-go during our stroll through the historic Plaka neighborhood below the Acropolis. Thespidos street was particularly memorable for the cafe we stopped at and discovering Brettos bar, which we decided to come back to enjoy...
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Polignotou 3, Athina 105 55, Greece
Slave-traders and shoe-menders, jewelers and moneylenders haggled and gossiped at this ancient marketplace the history of which spans five millennia. The Agora was also the stomping ground of rival philosophers Plato and Socrates—the latter...
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Athinas, Athina 105 51, Greece
The noisy, smelly, chaos of Athens Central Market is an experience no foodie (or photographer) should miss. The colours, shapes and patterns are a compositional dream, but the market is not for the squeamish. You can find every conceivable...
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Athens, Greece
Wandering through Omonia, my fiance and I came across this massive music and electronics store called Metropolis. Best way to describe it is a copycat of a Virgin Megastore. Up on the top floor they had a nice, quiet cafe that I believe many don't...
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Akropolis, Athina 105 58, Greece
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. According to legend, the ancient gods battled it out to become Athens' patron deity. The showdown came after the Phoenicians founded a city at a giant rock near the Aegean some two and a half million years...
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Every summer, the Athens Festival brings world-class performances to an unorthodox range of venues across town. The most impressive is this Roman amphitheater beneath the Acropolis, where Maria Callas, Frank Sinatra and ballerina Sylvie Guillem...
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At 300 meters, Mount Lycabettus is the highest peak in Athens. Every half an hour a funicular whizzes up to the summit. Among other attractions, there’s a restaurant with sky-high prices and views to match. On a clear day, you can see the...
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Keramikou 28, Athina 104 36, Greece
This venue has closed.

In the Metaxourgio, possibly the least touristy area of Athens, is the Kunsthalle Athena, where temporary exhibitions are mounted. Everyone here works for free. Since the Kunsthalle Athena opened last year, it has already had...
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Avramiotou 6-8, Athina 105 51, Greece
In the Plaka, there's an unassuming doorway leading to this underground event space. Six d.o.g.s. Cultural Space hosts events and has a bar, gallery, and outdoor garden area. Since opening a few years ago, it has become a focal point for Athens...
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Take a walk up Pnyx Hill, simply to appreciate where the Democratic Assembly once took place. The crowds here tend to be sparse, so you'll be able to enjoy a little respite from the Athens havoc. Take note of the path: it's paved with ancient...
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Filopappos Hill, Thisseio, Athens, Athina 104 38, Greece
Climb up here to see the Philopappos Monument, an ancient Greek mausoleum dedicated to Philopappos, and you'll be treated to one of the best views of the Acropolis. This whole area is surrounded by rare green space in Athens, so take some time to...
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Themistokleous 66, Athina 106 81, Greece
Nosotros is a free social space in Exarcheia where the youth come to discuss politics or to participate in seminars on literature, theater, painting, music, dance, and more. You can even take a cooking or photography class. If you're a visitor,...
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Delicious Greek food? Check. Warm and friendly location? Check. Wood stove piping away in the corner? Check! If you're going to binge on mezethes (small plates of traditional food) and then indulge in some tsipouro (pomace brandy), Kafenio is the...
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Exarcheia, Athens 106 81, Greece
Exarcheia is the most unique neighborhood in Athens, by far. It's not for everyone. It's gritty, graffiti-laden, and crawling with punk rock kids who are far more harmless than they appear. But behind its rough exterior you'll find a dozen...
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Ifestou 2, Athina 105 55, Greece
Centered around a flea market, Monastiraki Square is busy with musicians, beggars, street performers, and tourists. Sometimes you'll hear fireworks going off here, for no particular reason. Sometimes there'll be full-on drum circles. The...
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Pl. Sintagmatos, Athina 105 63, Greece
Syntagma Square is most notoriously known for its political demonstrations in front of the Parliament Building. All the major events in Greece over the past century have been mourned or celebrated here, and it's a hub of activity. Grassy areas...
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Acropolis, Athens 116 36, Greece
The Acropolis is, for most people, the "can't miss" site. Because of its popularity it can be very busy, and the hours seem to change constantly. There's also the possibility that the workers might go on strike, which can mess with your plans as...
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Kolonaki, Athens 106 75, Greece
Kolonaki is Athens's affluent and posh neighborhood, and the access point to scaling Lycabettus Mountain. Kolonaki is a stunning contrast to nearby neighborhoods like Exarcheia and Omonia; this is where the elite hang out, and instead of graffiti...
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Viale della Stazione di Ostia Antica, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
Hop on the commuter train at Lido Station (next to the Piramide Metro stop) and make the 25-minute trip to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port town and administrative center. The teeming city of up to 100,000 residents is relatively well preserved...
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Largo della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roman Forum is where ancient Rome began. The sprawling archaeological park gives us just a hint of what the Roman Empire once was—a dominant and diverse society. The Forum itself was the political, social, religious, and commercial focal...
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Via di San Gregorio, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Palatine Hill was home to an early Roman settlement and had major significance for the city's history. Legend states that Romulus founded Rome on that hill in 753 B.C.E., and Romans even maintained a cult site sacred to the founding father for...
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Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Capitoline Museums house a collection of ancient sculptures in a pair of buildings designed by Michelangelo in the mid-16th century. The architecture on its own is stunning, but add to that brilliant frescoes and museum halls decked out with...
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Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Even with Segway tours rolling through and street performers loudly competing for audiences, the 15th-century Piazza Navona somehow retains a shred of grace and elegance in modern Rome. Calm Renaissance palazzi face the piazza’s centerpiece,...
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00120, Vatican City
When I walked into the World's largest Church, I had two feelings : I felt lucky and exhilarated. But when I started walking under the epitome of Renaissance art, I had a feeling that has no defination or boundaries.The Biblical narration of...
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Located across the Tiber River from the Centro Storico, Trastevere is a kaleidoscope of ivy-covered buildings, complicated Italian history, and bombastic nightlife. The heart of the neighborhood is Piazza Santa Maria, a large square where street...
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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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Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This historic bakery in Campo de' Fiori serves good pizza bianca and excellent pizza rossa, as well as assorted slices, cookies, and pastries. The neighboring annex across the alley (Vicolo del Gallo 14) serves sandwiches and baked goods. Drop in...
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Via Guido Reni, 4/a, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Maxxi, Rome’s first major contemporary art museum, cost 150 million and took renowned architect Zaha Hadid 10 years to complete. The result—a vast, bold space with exhibits on architecture and art—proves that modern Rome can produce masterpieces,...
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Via degli Specchi, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This pub, owned by the Piedmont-based Baladin brewing company and Lazio's own Birra del Borgo, opened in September 2009 and was quickly canonized as the best place to drink Italian beers in Rome. There are over 120 labels to choose from, ranging...
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Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 4, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
During the late 19th and most of the 20th centuries, the Testaccio district hummed with activity from the sprawling slaughterhouse. Thought animal slaughter was moved away from Testaccio in 1975, most of the building has been preserved. In recent...
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Via Ostiense, 106, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
Tired of the crowds? Go to the Centrale Montemartini in Ostiense. No lines. In fact, no other people. At all. Usually I am the only one there. Wander the ancient Roman sculptures and extraordinary mosaic floor set in the former power plant;...
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Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roscioli family, famous for their nearby bakery Antico Forno Roscioli, opened this restaurant/wine bar/gourmet shop in 2005. Book several days in advance for lunch or dinner and be sure to request a ground floor table near the back of the...
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Piazza degli Zingari, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
A 10-minute walk from the Forum, Gelateria Fatamorgana sells Maria Spagnuolo’s edible works of art. Each flavor is made from all natural ingredients, without chemical additives or artificial flavors, and many are lactose free. Spagnuolo’s...
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Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Just behind the Pantheon hides the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, a gem in its own right. The only Gothic church in Rome's center, it's a breath of fresh air from over-the-top Baroque opulence. Plus, it has gorgeous frescoes by Filippo Lippi...
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Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Quietly inhabiting the lovely Via dei Banchi Vecchi, Il Goccetto (not to be confused with the Italian pro-marijuana organization by the same name) is a secret hidden in plain sight: a cozy, wood-paneled wine bar with 18th-century ceiling...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Every Saturday and Sunday on Via S. Teodoro, tucked just off Circus Maximus, Rome's best farmer's market takes place. It's run by Campagna Amica, an Italy-wide organization that promotes local, sustainable agriculture—so all of the products sold...
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00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
No matter how many postcards you've seen of Rome's iconic Colosseum, you just don't get it until you pass beneath its crumbling arches. Built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 C.E., the huge amphitheater held 50,000 spectators and marked its...
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Piazza di S. Luigi de' Francesi, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
In 1589, the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi became the official church of Rome’s French community, and with true Bourbon flair, the church's decorations are a celebration of France's power and wealth, with gilded stucco, lavish...
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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
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Via Beniamino Franklin, 00118 Roma RM, Italy
The "new" Testaccio Market opened in a modern building next to the Ex-Mattatoio (former slaughterhouse) in the summer of 2012. The space was much larger than the original market, which meant there was plenty of room to grow new businesses,...
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Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
The Galleria Borghese, which is set in the large public Villa Borghese park, was born in the 16th century as the collection of Scipione Borghese, a powerful Cardinal and nephew to Pope Paul V. The Cardinal amassed an enormous number of ancient...
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Lungotevere dei Mellini, 35, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Altar of Peace, also known by its ancient name, Ara Pacis, is a 1st century BC monument embellished with marble reliefs. The structure's carved stone surfaces depict religious processions and allegories, all of which glorify the family and...
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Piazza di Pasquino, 69, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The newest addition to Rome’s growing number of boutique luxury accommodations opened in central Rome in March 2015 on a square just off the exuberantly Baroque Piazza Navona. The suites-only hotel is the work of hoteliers Emanuele Garosci...
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Via Dandolo, 51, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Via Dandolo, an early 20th-century street, winds its way up the slopes of Rome’s Janiculum Hill from Trastevere to Monteverde Vecchio. Along its sinewy path are villas built for elite families during the 1920s and ’30s. Leafy gardens...
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Salita dei Crescenzi, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Armando Al Pantheon is right around the corner from the Pantheon, but it feels a world away. The interior is small, warm and inviting. They have many classic Italian dishes and a few specials of their own. The wine list is reasonable and...
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Via della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Gabriele Bonci's famous pizza-by-the-slice joint serves some of the best pizza in town. The slow-leavened dough is made from organic stoneground flour, and toppings change throughout the day. Pizzarium also sells excellent bread and supplì (fried...
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Via del Casaletto, 45, 00151 Roma RM, Italy
Cesare al Casaletto is far off the well-beaten tourist track, but it is easy to get to: just take the 8 tram from Piazza Venezia or Largo Argentina and get off at the very last stop. Fifty yards from the tram tracks sits Rome's best trattoria,...
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Via Evangelista Torricelli, 2/12, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
In spite of being utterly delicious and in a popular destination for dining, La Torricella manages to fly under the radar. A long-established fixture in Testaccio, this pizzeria-ristorante serves delectable, consistently delicious food in a...
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Via di Monte Testaccio, 97, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Deep fried globe artichokes likely have their origins in the Jewish Ghetto. Yet you will find this regional specialty on menus all over the city, including at Flavio al Velavevodetto where carciofi alla giudia (Jewish style artichokes) are only...
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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Fontana di Trevi is, as it should be, one of the most visited landmarks in Rome. Seeing it is worth the blind stumble through narrow stone streets and alleyways. But do so at night (and in the rain, if possible) to be rewarded with...
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Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This 1st-century wonder will take your breath away. Not only is it one of the city's most ancient sites, it's been in continuous use for centuries. Originally built as a private temple, today it is a Catholic church and the resting place of...
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Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
One of my most memorable stops in Rome was of course the Piazza San Pietro and with it, the Basilica, and Vatican City. This huge square was laid in 1657 and holds the 400,000 worshippers and visitors who crowd this vast area in times of...
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Via del Pigneto, 105, 00176 Roma RM, Italy
This small craft beer pub and shop in the heart of Pigneto specializes in ultra hoppy American and European beers, as well as sour ales. There is a nice selection of whiskeys, as well. You can drink around 6 beers on tap or buy bottles to take...
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Largo Marguerite Yourcenar, 1, 00010 Tivoli RM, Italy
The 2nd-century Roman emperor Hadrian spent much of his 20-year reign traveling through his empire, absorbing architectural inspiration from Greece to Egypt. His vision for a luxury villa was realized in Tivoli, a Roman suburb, where he...
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Piazza del Duomo, 26, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
It was love at first sight. Everything about Orvieto is charming, with the exception of the Duomo (Cathedral) which more appropriately would be described as elegant and grand, especially the facade. Originally a thriving center of Etruscan...
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01016 Tarquinia, VT, Italy
A half-day visit to Tarquinia, close to the coast and 92 km north of Rome, offers a unique opportunity to escape the crowds of tourists and view exceptional ancient murals and artifacts. Tarquinia was one of the 12 cities of ancient Etruria, the...
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Piazza Trento, 5, 00019 Tivoli RM, Italy
When Cardinal Ippolito d'Este narrowly lost the Papal election, he assuaged his frustrations by embellishing a spectacular villa in Tivoli, a village in the hills east of Rome. The villa itself was brilliantly outfitted in 16th century frescoes,...
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Mt Etna, 95031 Adrano, Province of Catania, Italy
To see Sicily properly, you need to rent a car and drive. This is not a problem until you get to Mt. Etna......very curvy steep incline so here is where we had an Italian guide drive us(strongly recommended). At the rest area(before the cable...