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Via G. Guidoni, 42, 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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Via Arsenale di Terra, 5, 16126 Genova GE, Italy
She sits overlooking the harbor, and the train station; from her rooftop, the view of Genoa at sunrise or sunset, both, please the viewer immensely. Inside, she gleams with not modernity but a traditional elegance that hasn't lost its shimmer to...
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Vico S. Pancrazio, 9, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Even if you think you aren't an onion fan, make sure you try at least one slice of the Focaccia con Cipolla while you are in Genoa - there is something about the crunchy sweetness of the slightly caramelized onions with the bright grassy olive oil...
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Vico del Campanile delle Vigne, 5, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
One of the most highly decorated churches in Genoa, Santa Maria della Vigne is hauntingly beautiful. Originating in the 10th century (when monks tended wine-producing grapevines in the courtyard, hence the name), the Basilica was not completed...
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Piazza di Soziglia, 74 r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Inspired by the beautiful French chocolate salons, Romanengo Pietro fu Stefano fashioned their old-town shop just as the French - with gorgeous old woods, glass display cases, and gold-gilded platters. Pop into this store, unchanged since its...
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Vico degli Indoratori, 45r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Tucked just a few steps away from the towering Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Al Giardino degli Indoratori is a lovely small restaurant with a delicious wine list, serving locally-sourced Genovese specialities (their menu is very balanced though -...
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Via Garibaldi, 11, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
Nestled among the stunning palaces of the UNESCO World Heritage Palazzi Dei Rolli, Palazzo Bianco was built in the late 16th century by the Grimaldi family, one of the 28 'albergi' families that ruled Genoa for centuries. Today, the gorgeous...
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Via Tommaso Reggio, 20r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Step inside the Museo Diocesano and be taken back to the Romanesque abbey of the monks of San Lorenzo Cathedral, originally built in the early 600s. Inside her recently renovated walls, explore many of the glories of the Catholic Church of Genoa....
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Mura delle Chiappe, 50, 16136 Genova GE, Italy
The winding streets of ancient Genoa all lead in one direction—straight up. Lace up your tennis shoes and keep climbing. Eventually you will reach a small park at the edge of the city, the entrance to one of the many fortresses that speckled its...
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Calata Cattaneo, 15, 16128 Genova GE, Italy
There are but few 'grocery stores' that live up to the title 'eatery'. Eataly, the Italian food market concept (headed up by Oscar Farinetti and Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini), certainly deserves all accolades poured upon it. With outposts...
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16034 Portofino, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Getting to Portofino from Genoa is quite easy. Take the train from Genoa's Brignole Station to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then catch the 82 bus to Portofino (a 12-minute trip around the bay). While I'm not a huge bus person, this is one of the...
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16032 San Fruttuoso GE, Italy
The tiny Abbey of San Fruttuoso is nestled in a cove between Camogli and Portofino, and accessible solely by foot or boat. If you want to hike it, find the trail at the far end of Camogli, and be ready for a steep, but gorgeous, two hour hike up...
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16032 San Rocco GE, Italy
While the climb is quite literally breathtaking (900 steps), the Church of San Rocco, perched on the very edge of the Ligurian Sea, is a gorgeous spot to spend the day. Taking the train to Camogli, you can then spend the morning hiking up to the...
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Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 147, 16032 Camogli GE, Italy
Camogli is a quick 30-minute train ride out of Genoa, making it easy for an evening out for cocktails and dinner. Leave from Brignole Station, and arrive in Camogli by 6:30pm so that you can get a seaside table at Bar Auriga for a perfect Aperol...
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Corso Italia, Genova GE, Italy
If you like to eat straight from the sea, the small restaurants along the Corso Italia are perfect spots for a cold glass of white wine and a bowl of piping hot fish soup from the waters directly off your seaside perch. Normally including deep red...
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Piazza di Pellicceria, 1, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Tucked deep in the heart of the ancient city, this is an easy Palazzo to miss—but don't miss it. My favorite of the Genovese museums, five floors of this massive palace are dedicated to the history and splendor of Genoa—the first three being the...
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Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 84, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Take your morning coffee in the sunshine, shaded by the the Palazzo Ducale. With quite a few tables, Douce does a busy morning cappuccino/focaccia business, so you can also come later in the afternoon (when it's slightly warmer) to make sure you...
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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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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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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 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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00120, Vatican City
Painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, the frescoes on the Sistine Chapel ceiling are considered some of the finest art ever produced. These religious paintings include nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, of which The Creation of Adam is...
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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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Via dei Chiavari, 34, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
One of Rome's best bakeries and among the city's most historic institutions, Antico Forno Roscioli is a family-run business. Depending on the time of day, you might find patriarch Marco or his son Pierluigi hard at work. There are a variety of...
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Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This historic bakery in Campo de' Fiori serves good pizza bianca and excellent pizza rossa, as well as assorted slices, cookies, and pastries. The neighboring annex across the alley (Vicolo del Gallo 14) serves sandwiches and baked goods. Drop in...
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Via Guido Reni, 4/a, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
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Maxxi, Rome’s first major contemporary art museum, cost 150 million and took renowned architect Zaha Hadid 10 years to complete. The result—a vast, bold space with exhibits on architecture and art—proves that modern Rome can produce masterpieces,...
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Via degli Specchi, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This pub, owned by the Piedmont-based Baladin brewing company and Lazio's own Birra del Borgo, opened in September 2009 and was quickly canonized as the best place to drink Italian beers in Rome. There are over 120 labels to choose from, ranging...
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Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 4, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
During the late 19th and most of the 20th centuries, the Testaccio district hummed with activity from the sprawling slaughterhouse. Thought animal slaughter was moved away from Testaccio in 1975, most of the building has been preserved. In recent...
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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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Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roscioli family, famous for their nearby bakery Antico Forno Roscioli, opened this restaurant/wine bar/gourmet shop in 2005. Book several days in advance for lunch or dinner and be sure to request a ground floor table near the back of the...
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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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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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Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Quietly inhabiting the lovely Via dei Banchi Vecchi, Il Goccetto (not to be confused with the Italian pro-marijuana organization by the same name) is a secret hidden in plain sight: a cozy, wood-paneled wine bar with 18th-century ceiling...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Every Saturday and Sunday on Via S. Teodoro, tucked just off Circus Maximus, Rome's best farmer's market takes place. It's run by Campagna Amica, an Italy-wide organization that promotes local, sustainable agriculture—so all of the products sold...
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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 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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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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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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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 di Pasquino, 69, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The newest addition to Rome’s growing number of boutique luxury accommodations opened in central Rome in March 2015 on a square just off the exuberantly Baroque Piazza Navona. The suites-only hotel is the work of hoteliers Emanuele Garosci...
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Via Dandolo, 51, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Via Dandolo, an early 20th-century street, winds its way up the slopes of Rome’s Janiculum Hill from Trastevere to Monteverde Vecchio. Along its sinewy path are villas built for elite families during the 1920s and ’30s. Leafy gardens...
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Salita dei Crescenzi, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Armando Al Pantheon is right around the corner from the Pantheon, but it feels a world away. The interior is small, warm and inviting. They have many classic Italian dishes and a few specials of their own. The wine list is reasonable and...
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Via della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Gabriele Bonci's famous pizza-by-the-slice joint serves some of the best pizza in town. The slow-leavened dough is made from organic stoneground flour, and toppings change throughout the day. Pizzarium also sells excellent bread and supplì (fried...
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Via del Casaletto, 45, 00151 Roma RM, Italy
Cesare al Casaletto is far off the well-beaten tourist track, but it is easy to get to: just take the 8 tram from Piazza Venezia or Largo Argentina and get off at the very last stop. Fifty yards from the tram tracks sits Rome's best trattoria,...
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Via Evangelista Torricelli, 2/12, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
In spite of being utterly delicious and in a popular destination for dining, La Torricella manages to fly under the radar. A long-established fixture in Testaccio, this pizzeria-ristorante serves delectable, consistently delicious food in a...
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Via di Monte Testaccio, 97, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Deep fried globe artichokes likely have their origins in the Jewish Ghetto. Yet you will find this regional specialty on menus all over the city, including at Flavio al Velavevodetto where carciofi alla giudia (Jewish style artichokes) are only...
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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 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
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 del Pigneto, 105, 00176 Roma RM, Italy
This small craft beer pub and shop in the heart of Pigneto specializes in ultra hoppy American and European beers, as well as sour ales. There is a nice selection of whiskeys, as well. You can drink around 6 beers on tap or buy bottles to take...
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Largo Marguerite Yourcenar, 1, 00010 Tivoli RM, Italy
The 2nd-century Roman emperor Hadrian spent much of his 20-year reign traveling through his empire, absorbing architectural inspiration from Greece to Egypt. His vision for a luxury villa was realized in Tivoli, a Roman suburb, where he...
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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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01016 Tarquinia, VT, Italy
A half-day visit to Tarquinia, close to the coast and 92 km north of Rome, offers a unique opportunity to escape the crowds of tourists and view exceptional ancient murals and artifacts. Tarquinia was one of the 12 cities of ancient Etruria, the...
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Piazza Trento, 5, 00019 Tivoli RM, Italy
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When Cardinal Ippolito d'Este narrowly lost the Papal election, he assuaged his frustrations by embellishing a spectacular villa in Tivoli, a village in the hills east of Rome. The villa itself was brilliantly outfitted in 16th century frescoes,...
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Via Roma, 51, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
There's not much that can improve upon this view, except maybe a cappuccino and a slice of focaccia bread. Lucky for me, I had both of those things with me. This is the view at the very beginning of the Vernazza-Monterosso hiking trail in the...
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00060 Capena RM, Italy
The original settlement of Capena was founded on the site nowadays known as La Civitucola, some three kilometres north of present-day Capena. Ancient Capena was a thriving town, situated close to the Tiber river and the sanctuary and commercial...
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Piazza San Marco, 1332, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
You have probably heard that Venice is the most romantic city in the world. Well, Venice is beautiful, mesmerizing, and seductive. I think it's the turquoise water, the winding canals, and the ancient buildings. We arrived at our hotel in Venice...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you...
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Go back in time to Casanova's Venice at this perfectly preserved palazzo. Built in the heyday of Venice's decadent 18th century for the Rezzonico family, it was also, at one time, the residence of poet Robert Browning (who died here). In the 1930s...
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Dorsoduro, 701-704, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
There's plenty of art in Venice, from the churches to the Scuoli to the Accademia. But when you just can't look at another Caravaggio, and even Titian hair doesn't move you any more, refresh yourself with a visit to Peggy's house. The renowned...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Dominican friars mixed medicines at the original workshop in Florence starting in 1612. The Venice branch is also a traditional apothecary, selling herbal elixirs. Most shoppers, however, come here to buy modern perfumes and gaze at the antique...
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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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Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Since few areas within the city of Venice afford high perspectives of the entire city, take the elevator (no stairs) to the top of San Marco's Campanile in Piazza San Marco. You may have to put up with a few elbows to get a spot against...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
There is a stone heart embedded in a wall and lost in an alleyway in Venice. The spot is said to have been the home of a Venetian fisherman who caught and married a cursed mermaid. While their story was ill-fated, legend has it that lovers who...
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Piazza Santa Fosca, 29, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Chef Cristian Angiolin heads up the kitchen at this Venetian lagoon institution, which is open year-round except for January and Tuesdays. The restaurant is no longer a part of the Cipriani franchise, which began in Venice and has since expanded...
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An address won't help you much on Burano. If you're looking for a specific spot on this tiny archipelago off the Venetian coast, let color be your guide. According to legend, island homes were painted in vivid hues to help fishermen find their way...
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Sestiere di Dorsoduro, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
Venice is expensive, this is true, but there are many ways to get around the tourist and sucker cruise-ship pricing. You don't even need a table (or cutlery). Around Italy are grocery store chains called "Pam," and of course your local markets....
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Calle del Scaleter, 859, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Cantina do Spade is nearly 600 years old and is as integral to the romantic allure of Venice as Casanova himself. The famous ladies' man is said to have met lovers on the Rialto Bridge and dined with them here at Cantina do Spade. But the...
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Piazza San Marco, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
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Italy’s oldest cafe has been serving coffee on a silver tray with a water chaser and a cookie since opening in 1720. Caffè Florian features a series of ornate gilded Neo-Baroque salons with frescoes and red velvet banquettes, as well...
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Campo San Fantin, 1965, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Aptly named after the phoenix, this opera house has risen from its own ashes three times, the last in the 1990s when it was burned in an act of arson. It was rebuilt in the same ornate style as the building that had been destroyed—a choice...
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Undoubtedly, Venice is beautiful by day, but at night, it comes to life like very few other places do. There's no right or wrong place to be. Walk around, preferably with a loved one by your side, and stop at the bridges to watch the gondolas go...
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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...