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Europe Summer 2015

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An almost three week trip hitting the major European cities that I've always wanted to visit since childhood.
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The largest church by area in the world, the St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Italy. Remember the themes from the movie "Angels and Demons"? One thing I want to point out is when you visit there, the line to get in is usually long (don't be...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal is the no-brainer must-do Venice experience, and the best way to explore the city's main thoroughfare is on a vaporetto, or water bus. For a great introduction to the area, ride the vaporetto from the railway station, at the edge...
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Piazza San Marco, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
St. Mark's Square is Venice's main square. This famous 12th-century piazza is vast and very popular. Along the sides of the piazza, you see arches and arcades. The arcades are lined with shops and elegant restaurants.There are two famous cafes in...
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Calle Longa S. Maria Formosa, 5176/b, 30122 Castello, Venezia VE, Italy
Wonderful little bookstores are scattered all over Venice and Libraria Acqua Alta (Bookstore of High Water) is one of these hidden gems. Named and themed around the fact that Venice's floods are a peril to books, all of the store's stock is placed...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
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113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
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Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1C 4QP, UK
Sure, once you're in London you'll probably never want to leave. But the high-speed train to Paris is just one of the cool things London can offer with a nonchalant shrug of its shoulders. It's easy to buy tickets, easy to get to (Kings Cross/St...
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Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP, UK
The iconic Royal Albert Hall is one of the world’s most famous venues and has hosted great artists and millions of visitors since it was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871. The BBC Proms, an eight-week summer season of classical music concerts, is a...
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London, UK
I enjoyed the street art almost as much as the Tate Modern, the Globe, and the meat pies.
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London, UK
One of my favorite things about London is the mix of old and new architecture. Take this view (from the Tate Modern Museum) of the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral. If you're an architecture buff, a walking tour (or two...or three!) will...
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London, UK
OK, you'll be lucky if you ever find a carriage this empty. But the tube is without a doubt a defining charm of London (even if it's the bane of the lives of those forced to commute on it during rush hour). If you're unsure where you want to...
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Greater London, UK
It would not be an exaggeration to call London's river Thames the soul of the city. The river snakes past most of the city's illustrious landmarks and offers panoramic views of the London. A number of companies offer river cruises and boat tours,...
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20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, UK
William and Kate’s wedding brought a 21st-century focus to this 700-year-old abbey, which is built on the same spot as a Benedictine monastery enlarged by Edward the Confessor in the 1040s. The site of every coronation since 1066, it boasts...
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85 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, UK
If you find yourself in East London on a Sunday with some good walking shoes you’re in luck. This is the day for markets. The best ways to experience London’s curious mix of old and new is to start off at the Columbia Road Flower Market near the...
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London, UK
The iconic, red, open-topped double-decker London bus might be touristy but it's a great way to see the city, especially if it's your first visit. When Relais & Chateaux flew in more than 40 of its grand chefs from around the globe they first...
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Tower Bridge, United Kingdom
This is a landmark that is so familiar, so often seen, that to visit it -- even for the first time -- feels almost ordinary. You know the Tower Bridge. You've seen it in storybooks and on movie screens. You get it. Right? Nope. Because even if it...
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33 Rose St, London WC2E 9EB, UK
Other than the fact that it’s just nice to see sunshine after a gray winter, the great thing about summer in London is that pubs let you drink outside. (You can do this year-round, but if you want a watered down beer, try doing this in the rainy...
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Thurloe Pl, Kensington, London SW7 2RZ, UK
These green huts are known as Cabman's Shelters. They first started appearing around London in 1875 to provide cheap hot meals to cabbies. Even though the huts are pretty small, there's enough room inside for a little kitchen and some seats. I...
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103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
From the London eye, you are able to view many aspects of London with a quick glance, easily understanding how and where items to visit lie on the ground from way above
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Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
London is an incredibly crowded city and when it comes to tourist attractions, it may seem difficult to snag a good view of Big Ben and Parliament. Rise above the crowds and grab a slow and quiet ride on the London Eye, London's famous Ferris...