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Italy

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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Many city parks offer green grass, fresh air, and open space (that's kind of their m.o.), but few include ancient Roman ruins! Villa Borghese is as breathtaking as it is vast, and it's the ideal place to lounge with a book or get in a quick run to...
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Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The Baths of Caracalla, a third century bathing complex located near the Circus Maximus, was the center of social life for tens of thousands of Romans who would gather there—around 10,000 at a time—to exercise, bathe, and relax. Admission was...
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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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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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Via Garibaldi, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The ancient Romans used aqueducts to carry water from distant springs into central Rome. As the empire decayed, so too did these ambitious public works. When Rome experienced a renaissance—not to mention a population boom—in the modern...
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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 del Popolo, Roma RM, Italy

First night in Rome, I metro-ed it to Piazza Di Popolo. The sun was setting and dusk hue-ed the grand square. Two bastion buildings welcomed me like solemn butlers to the Via Veneto where all of Rome had come out to enjoy the evening.

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We just happened upon the parading of Vergine del Carmine statue through the streets of the Trastevere district. This takes place during a festival held every July that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was a very spiritual experience that took...
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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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Largo di Villa Peretti, 2, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
At the Museo Nazionale Romano - Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is the Pugilist. He's a Hellenistic bronze sculpture from the 4th century BC and he is stunning. The details of the gloves on his hands and the look of exhaustion...and possibly...
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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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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 della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Pantheon is a spectacular structure, and one of the oldest and best preserved in Rome. The light changes throughout the day—this was taken about 12:30 p.m. in April. Be ready for big crowds, but looking at all the architectural details can...
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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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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Against our middle child's protests that we were going in a ramp that stated “Exit Only,” we rambled into the Roman Forum area after hours. Which is why we found ourselves at the top of a hill, overlooking the city, with only two young...
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Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Monument of Victor Emmanuel II in Rome, nicknamed the Wedding Cake (and, alternately, the Typewriter) for its distinctive boxy shape, offers some of the most stunning panoramic views to be had of the Eternal City, in every direction. There is...
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Piazza del Campidoglio, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
I had my epiphany in the fall of 2012 when I spent five weeks in Rome. Before I departed, everyone inquired what I would "do" there, to which I replied "nothing". This generally had the effect of a curious expression and a blank stare. I just...
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Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Many believe the Basilica di Santa Maria was the first church built in Rome. While archaeologists can't definitively corroborate this claim, this landmark remains of supreme importance to locals who come to worship beneath its gilded ceiling. The...
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Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
While a lot of people would go see the Sistine Chapel when visiting Rome, fewer travelers venture out to this grand church at the Piazza di San Ignacio near the Pantheon, which features an almost equally beautiful painted ceiling done by Andrea...
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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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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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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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Piazza di S. Luigi de' Francesi, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This church was built centuries ago as France's key liaison to the Vatican, and the surrounding buildings still host French-affiliated religious and cultural associations. Upon entering, head straight for the chapel in the left aisle close to the...
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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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Quartiere Coppedé is an unexpected and bizarre area in Rome developed by architect Gino Coppedè (1866-1927). A collection of about fifteen buildings, which are closest to Art Nouveau in style, it post dates Art Nouveau by 10-20 years. Near Viale...
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Via di Santa Prassede, 9, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The 8th century Saint Zeno Chapel in the Church of Santa Prassede was built by Pope Paschal to serve as a funeral chapel for his mother Theodora. The Pope employed talented artisans to bedazzle the chapel in gold and glass mosaics, which can still...
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Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Most visitors to Piazza Bocca della Verità are enticed by the so-called Mouth of Truth, an ancient drain cover anchored to a wall inside the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The Mouth of Truth features a carved face with a gaping...
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Via Catalana, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The history of Jews in Rome is an ancient and complex study spanning nearly twenty-two centuries. The community—today there are around 13,000 members—is a small but important facet of the city’s cultural fabric and, though you often have to go on...
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Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli, 4/a, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
When Pope Julius II envisioned his tomb more than 500 years ago, he commissioned Michelangelo to build a monumental structure featuring dozens of marble sculptures. The over-the-top mausoleum was meant to stand in St Peter's Basilica, but plans...
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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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Vicolo Cellini, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At this speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar near Chiesa Nuova, hipster bartenders pour and shake American classics like Manhattans, Sazeracs and Old-Fashioneds in a smoky lounge. To gain admittance, make a booking and come armed with the secret...
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Via del Pellegrino, 87, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
By day, this café serves coffee, tea and snacks, while from 6PM until closing, it is Rome’s premier craft cocktail bar. Choose from the menu of house specialties and cocktail classics or tell bartenders Federico Tomasselli or Patrick Pistolesi...
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Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
In 1857, the prior of the Basilica di San Clemente thought there might be something underneath his 12th-century church, already renowned for its relics and striking mosaic of the Crucifixion. When he excavated, he found not only the original,...
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Via Sacra, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
On the Via Sacra east of the Roman Forum, the Arch of Titus is a beautiful and imposing triumphal monument, commemorating Titus' victory following the Siege of Jerusalem in the first century, C.E. The south relief panel on the interior of the arch...
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Piazzale San Paolo, 1, 00146 Roma RM, Italy
A sycamore-shaded stroll along the Tiber River takes you to the palm-treed paradise of the Basilica Papale di San Paolo fuori le Mura. Being greeted by this gold facade like the rising sun is a majestic yet calming experience. Colors like these,...
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Via del Porto Fluviale, 12, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
The ex-Caserma del Porto Fluviale in the Ostiense district south of the city center has become a palate for Blu, a world renowned street artists, whose ambitious painting on the surface of this squat gives prestige and attention to the hundreds of...
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Via del Pigneto, 41, 00176 Roma RM, Italy
Pigneto is a super trendy district east of Rome’s historical center. The eastern part of Via del Pigneto, the neighborhood’s main artery, is pedestrianized. There, you will find bars, cafes and wine bars with front row seats to all the Pigneto...