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Italy 2016

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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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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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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 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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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 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 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 del Monte della Farina, 28, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At Pizzeria Emma in central Rome, siblings Francesco and Ilaria Roscino have teamed up with gourmet gurus the Roscioli brothers to open Emma. There are deceptively light fried starters like rice croquettes, mozzarella-filled squash blossoms, and...
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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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Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I was walking around taking photos at the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, while waiting for my friend. As the evening draws near, I found myself enjoying the sculptures inside the Loggia dei Lanzi, which I was not able to visit in detail...
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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
When French writer Stendhal saw Giotto's frescoes in Florence's Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross), he wrote: "Ero giunto a quel livello di emozione dove si incontrano le sensazioni celesti date dalle arti ed i sentimenti...