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Via Borgo San Frediano, 8, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Aperitivo is one of the best things that happens all over Italy every day. Cafe Volume, in the heart of the piazza, is open all day and late into the night and has a great vibe. I love that they have a dedicated crepe-maker and delicious drinks!
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Via de' Bardi, 58/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The name says it all: this sleek bar is set right on the south bank of the Arno, just east of the Ponte Vecchio and the sunset views of the bridge as dusk falls are indeed golden. Bag a table in the window, order a cocktail and help yourself from...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If a stay at The Westin Excelsior in Florence may not be in your budget, but the aperitivo menu may be. Stop by their posh bar and for 12 Euros get the house wine and all sorts of goodies—a cheese plate, a meat plate, flat bread, and samples of...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 4r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Cabiria is an Oltrarno classic with a terrace on Piazza Santo Spirito that is often packed. Once a grungy pre-club haunt, it’s quite sophisticated these days with moody dark walls and atmospheric lighting. The cocktails are good (although the wine...
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Via dei Renai, 17/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
[CLOSED] This sleek, red-and-black-interiored bar is one of the coolest places in town for an aperitivo and really good background sounds. Your aperitivo of choice has to be a Negroni (equal parts gin, Martini Rosso and Campari plus a twist of...
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Via de' Tornabuoni, 64R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The recipe for the delicious, tiny truffle-cream sandwiches at atmospheric old Procacci is a guarded secret but, oh boy, are they good, especially when accompanied by a glass of prosecco. Smart Florentine ladies-who-shop flock here for a pit...
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Via dello Sprone, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Located on one of the prettiest little squares in the Oltrarno, this caffè has a few tables on the sidewalk, a tiny bar area, a room in the back for sit-down meals and snacks and a cosy, Bohemian atmosphere. It’s a great place for either...
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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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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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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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Piazza Ognissanti, 1, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Celebrated Tuscan chef Valeria Piccini took over the fine-dining restaurant at the St. Regis hotel in 2014 and was soon awarded a Michelin star. Dividing her time between the St. Regis and her famous restaurant Da Caino in the Maremma, Piccini has...
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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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Piazza del Carmine, 8, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
The setting of Da' Pescatore –a deconsecrated chapel-turned nightclub-turned restaurant-may be a little strange, but Daniele Pescatore’s accomplished fish and seafood cooking is seriously good. His menus betray his Neapolitan roots but dishes are...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 64, 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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Borgo S. Jacopo, 62/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This Ferragamo-owned restaurant is located on the river with in-your-face views of the Ponte Vecchio for the lucky few who manage to book one of the tables on the terrace. Chef Peter Brunel has been making waves with his creative menus: Borgo San...
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Viale Europa, 4, 50126 Firenze FI, Italy
Some of the best gourmet experiences in Florence are to be found way off the tourist radar; chef Beatrice Segoni's superb food is a case in point. Part gourmet deli, part 'gastro-bistrot and wine bar', elegant Convivium is located in an eastern...
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Borgo S. Frediano, 167R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
IO Osteria Personale is a small, elegant, and innovative restaurant in Florence. It's a foodie's delight, with an à la carte menu of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, but no pasta! You can choose three or five dishes plus dessert to create...
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Via dei Georgofili, 11R, 50100 Firenze FI, Italy
If you weren't sure what you were looking for, you might miss Marco Stabile's Ora d'Aria restaurant on Via dei Georgofili. The hint of a large birdcage peeking through a tall window in an expansive and otherwise-unadorned wall is all that alerts...
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Via dell'Orto, 49, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Located in the nether reaches of the Oltrarno, this lively, up-market trattoria serves up Tuscan cuisine (plus a few fish dishes) with a bit of a twist. Try the sublime fillet of beef in a rich, vin santo reduction or the padella di mare, a spicy...
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Via de' Ginori, 8/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
It's difficult to know what to call new Florence opening La Ménagère: it's a café, flower shop, tapas and cocktail bar, bistrot, purveyor of gorgeous homeware and restaurant all under the same roof. Done out in the retro, shabby-chic style that...
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Via Romana, 70/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
‘The Holy Grail’ offers an innovative take on the local cuisine in a stylish, low-lit brick-vaulted room. While he has his culinary feet planted firmly in his native Tuscany, young chef Simone Cipriani (definitely one to watch) is not afraid of...
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Via del Gelsomino, 99, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
By day it’s the canteen of a the small Pampaloni silver factory (‘fabbrica’), by night this tiled, ‘60s room is transformed into a unique -and decidedly eccentric- restaurant. The tables are laid with grand silver candelabra, silver platters and...
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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Via dei Vecchietti, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When people think of Florence, they usually think of Renaissance art and crowded museums filled with altarpieces and "Madonna and Child" images. While the Renaissance is the biggest draw of this historic city, there is a lot more to its art-museum...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
When you go to Florence, don't forget to wander outside the "Centro Storico" to see how the "regular" people live. There are great photo opportunities in the outer neighborhoods that are both tranquil and "real".
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Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The grand Boboli Gardens are one of my favorite places in Florence, but they can be crowded. I like to start directly behind the Palazzo Pitti and climb to the top of the gardens. This section includes the Porcelein Museum and a small formal...
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Via Federico Stibbert, 26, 50134 Firenze FI, Italy
Frederick Stibbert was a wealthy Anglo-Italian art collector who used his inherited fortune to turn his home into a museum in the 19th century. Today, the Stibbert has one of the quirkiest collections you'll find in a city most famous for its...
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Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
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Piazza San Felice, 8, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Ultra-romantic poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (famous for "How do I love thee, let me count the ways") and her husband Robert spent happy years in this Oltrarno apartment, that is now open to visitors. Thanks to a painting done when they lived...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I love Florence: it's one of my favorite cities in Italy and in the world. But, the downside is that it can get ridiculously crowded. In fact, the last time I visited it was so crowded on the 'main side' of Florence, where the Duomo and all of the...
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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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Piazza di Santa Croce, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Standing in the Piazza Santa Croce, a statue of Dante looms over the square from the corner. Florence, where Durante degli Alighieri's journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise was to begin but not end. In 1829 a tomb was built for him in the...
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Via Borgo Ognissanti, 42, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Domenico Ghirlandaio's beautiful fresco representing the Last Supper is one of my favorite paintings in Florence, and luckily, most tourists ignore it, so you may find you have the place to yourself.
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50144 Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
At weekends, the locals head for the Cascine park, which stretches three kilometres along the north bank of the Arno just west of the city centre, a green, fresh air-filled lung amongst Florence’s urban sprawl. Families with kids and dogs in tow,...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Really good, authentic ethnic food is hard to come by in Florence, so it's worth making a little effort to seek out this off-radar newcomer in the east of the city. Stylish, wood-lined Cucina16 is mainly a popular lunch-spot offering traditional...
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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 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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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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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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Via Guidoni, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
Any meal served in an eleventh century castle overlooking the sea has to be good. But dinner at Belforte in Vernazza (Cinque Terre) is an experience to be rivaled by few others. Daniele can tell you about the most recent catch, the housemade...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
The five villages that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Ligurian coast are some of the most picturesque in the world -- and totally worth the hike! Grab your shoes and take a water bottle in the heat of the summer -- and make sure to visit the...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
A few times a year, join hang-gliders from around the world as they soar over the breathtaking vistas of the Cinque Terra section of the Ligurian coast! Fly over abandoned World War 2 bunkers, weaving cobblestone village streets, and gorgeous...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
If you think you've reached the end of Monterosso Al Mare after passing the last boardwalk gelateria, you're sorely mistaken. Just keep going --- and find this massive Atlas carved into the rock outcropping at the end of the beach! If you are...
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Piazza Rio Finale, 8, 19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
One of the highlights of my trip to Italy was walking Cinque Terre. I would travel back to Italy just to do this walk again. My favorite part was the Via dell'Amore, or Walk of Love that went from Riomaggiore to Manarola. This is a picture of one...
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Via Renato Birolli, 103, 19017 Manarola, Riomaggiore SP, Italy
While Vernazza and Monteroso were nearly devastated by the floods and mudslides of October 2011, Manarola luckily fared much better. Only now nearly back to normal, the villages welcome visitors to enjoy the bounty of her waters --- especially...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Made from chickpea (ceci) flour, olive oil, water, and salt, this delicious 'flat bread' is a specialty of the entire Ligurian coast. Find these warm breads topped with rosemary, garlic, and/or other more traditional pizza toppings. Enjoy straight...
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19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Sometimes it's nice to get off the beaten path. You can take the normal pathways around Cinque Terre (and they are spectacular in their own right) but you can also veer a bit off the normal journey and take the 'high road' to catch a glimpse of...
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Parco nazionale delle Cinque Terre, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP, Italy
Climbing the Sentiero Azzurro (or the Blue Path, given the gorgeous ocean views you get from almost every bend) you traipse by countless terraced vineyards producing the Vermentino and Sciacchetrà that this region is so famous for. And keep your...
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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 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 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 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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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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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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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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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, 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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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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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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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...