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Italy 2014

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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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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the greatest cities in the world to just get lost in and see what is around the next corner. Took this picture and uploaded in instagram. Beauty. Love.
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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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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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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 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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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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Viale della Marina, 40-42, 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 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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Vicolo del Bottino, 8, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I love to go to this restaurant and wine bar for a glass of prosecco and to enjoy the unique view out over the Spanish Steps and the rest of Rome as the sun sets. 39/06-699-341000. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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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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Lungotevere Farnesina, Roma RM, Italy
One of the highlights of Rome was a sunset walk from Trastevere north along the Tiber with the dome of St. Peter's as the backdrop.
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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 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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Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 2, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Ciampini has all the required three Ps (that's a thing, right?): People-watching, prime piazza location, and perfect cappuccini to make it the most coveted caffè bar in Rome. From 8 a.m. to after dark, Rome's best-dressed flock to Piazza...
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When it comes to ice cream, there is still only one place in Rome. It has been the best since 1900. I love Giolitti not only for the great gelato, but also because it hasn’t changed since I was a little girl. 39/06-699-1243. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Via Giuseppe Lunati, 25/31, 00149 Roma RM, Italy
Excellent dough and creative toppings make La Fucina one of Rome's premier pizzerias. Pizzas are served to the table pre-sliced and one at a time (don’t even think about asking for them all at once, you’ll get an earful from owner Edoardo Papa!),...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 dei Cavalleggeri, 1, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I completely stumbled upon this gorgeous library in Florence on accident while wandering around the city by myself. It's about a 3 Euro entrance fee but being a book lover, there are few things more impressive than a reading library designed by...
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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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Via Castruccio Buonamici, 352, 55100 S. Anna,Lucca LU, Italy
My husband and I visited Lucca, Italy, in May. Just when I thought the charming town couldn't get any more beautiful, the sun went down and the lights came on, exposing a whole new beauty. Lucca is not a place to be missed, and make sure to stick...
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56048 Volterra, Province of Pisa, Italy
Make the steep ascent to this walled hilltop town and you’ll find yourself transported back in time—to the Renaissance, medieval, Roman, and even ancient Etruscan periods. Thought to be founded as far back as the 7th century B.C.E., Volterra is a...
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16034 Portofino, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Portofino, the romantic and glamorous stomping ground of the rich and famous including Grace Kelly, the Duke and Douchess of Windsor, Clark Gable, Ingrid Bergman, and where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton got engaged. This colorful and post...
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Via de Batte, 67f, 19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Our family toured the world for a year. Every time we said we were going to Italy people would tell us we had to go to Cinque Terre. Known as the five villages, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are each built along...
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19017 Manarola, SP, Italy
Does it get any better than this?
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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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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Hiking the Cinque Terre is an extraordinary way to explore the Ligurian Coast. Five villages connected only by hiking trail and rail with breathtaking coastal views and colorfully quaint villages. The trails can be challenging at times and it is...
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Southern Europe
Really cool, lesser known mountain town in Maremma in Western Tuscany. Built on top of the tufa rock. Very few tourists (at least in October)
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There is a reason why renting a villa in Tuscany is so popular - rustic farmhouses, rolling hills filled with olive and plum trees, golden sunsets, locally-harvested wine, creamy cheeses, and cool evenings spent with friends and family. Renting a...
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Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR, Italy
Relax in the warm volcanic water emerging from deep underground. These natural spas were known by the Romans, who came here for their yearly health retreat.
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Via Mangiavacchi, 37, 53026 Piennza SI, Italy
One of the most delicious towns in Tuscany - and most beautiful - is the charming Pienza. Situated between Montepulciano and Montalcino in the scenic Val d'Orcia, centuries-old Pienza is best known for its rich pecorino cheeses. Many feel that the...
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06081 Assisi, Province of Perugia, Italy
Best known as the birthplace of St. Francis, Italy's patron saint, the historic town of Assisi is a must-see on any trip through Umbria. Assisi is beautiful in so many ways, from its well-known Basilica of San Francesco (the burial place of St....
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Piazza Inferiore di S. Francesco, 2, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
The Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi is the Catholic mother church of the Franciscan Order and is an important Christian pilgrimage site. Partially destroyed in the 1997 earthquake the restoration is complete. After visiting the Giotto and...
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Localita' Villa La Rocca, San Gimignano, Si 53037, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
San Gimingnano is an old Etruscan walled town that is famous for their white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimingnano and their town center gelateria, Gelateria di Piazza San Gimingnano. This mid-spring view over looking the Tuscan land scape is what...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
It was a late summer night in Siena, and I happened to discover that the iron gate by the side of Basilica of San Domenico, which was firmly closed during the day time, was slightly open. I stepped inside and it led me to a Tuscan night view of my...
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Via S. Pietro, 29, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Active from the 13th to 15th centuries and considered an influence on the pre-Renaissance movement, the Sienese School of painting is identifiable by its themes—always religious, and usually with a focus on Biblical miracles—and its signature...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
It is so easy to get lost here, and to find yourself. I walked on cobbled stones through a quiet neighbourhood - every turn looks like a postcard.
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Il Campo, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Considered one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, the Piazza del Campo—or, simply, Il Campo—has been at the heart of life in Siena since it began as a marketplace and meeting spot for the area’s villages; the...
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Via Provinciale Montepulciano, 9, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
Best known as the home of Brunello, the classic Tuscan winemaking town of Montalcino is also a lovely place to wander around for day, taking in sites like the baroque Church of Saint Bernard and the 16th-century Palazzo Avignonesi. At its heyday,...
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53045 Montepulciano, Province of Siena, Italy
Montepulciano is a charming hill town in Tuscany. Walk the streets to get a feel for its appeal. On the outskirts of town visit San Biagio, a 16th-century church. This late-Renaissance building was constructed on the site of a pre-existing...
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Via Talosa, 8, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
There are several enotecas in Montepulciano to get your file of Vino Noble, the local varietal. The tasting room at Talosa is special because of the friendly and knowledgable hosts - Christian and Andreas. These two are so enthusiastic about their...
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Via S. Martino, 17, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
Medieval hill towns in Italy were built for security. They endure for romance. San Gimignano, about 30 miles south of Florence and 35 miles north of Sienna, is one of a the best loved and most visited.
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05018 Orvieto, Province of Terni, Italy
It's a little over the top, I'll admit. A real "wedding cake" of a cathedral, the Duomo's facade is resplendent with Italian Gothic architectural elements that some might find just a little too rich. But that's perhaps the source of its charm. The...
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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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Via Paolo Ferrari, Modena MO, Italy
Now there is a new reason to visit Modena, the mother city of supercars in northern Italy. An inspiring museum for Enzo Ferrari has just opened. Enzo Ferrari was an Italian icon, a real genius that created the absolute myth in Formula 1 and the...
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Via Modena, 12, 40019 Sant'Agata Bolognese BO, Italy
Located just outside of Bologna is the famous Lamborghini factory and museum. I’m not a gear head but even I was excited to visit this famous car maker. The museum is a collection of some of the most unique and sought after cars ever made by the...
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53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
I am a sucker for architecture. Especially old architecture...Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque. And churches are the best representation of these styles. Europe is filled with cool churches and Italy takes the cake. I got up close to the cathedral in...