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Italy

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Venice is one of the most romantic cities in Italy, and some might even consider it to be the most romantic city in the world. There are only four bridges that cross the Grand Canal in Venice, and Ponte dell'Accademia is one of them. Since the...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
As it's one of the most popular sights in Venice, you may have to wait for the perfect spot to view the Bridge of Sighs, but it's so beautiful that it's worth the effort. Part of the Doge's palace, the bridge leads to the prison, and it was said...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Most tourists get to Venice's famous Rialto Bridge, but how many cross to the right bank of the Grand Canal to experience the Erberia (vegetable market) and the Pescheria (fish market)? Elbowing my way through the crowds on the Rialto was worth...
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Piazza San Marco, 328, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
When planning a May trip to Italy with my husband, magical Venice was one of the cities I knew I wanted to visit. I was really looking forward to seeing all the things typically associated with Venice: gondolas, the Grand Canal, St. Mark's Square,...
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Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Two things you need to know about gondola rides in Venice: They're worth it; and the price is agreed beforehand. Knowing those two things, you can happily hop aboard this traditional Venetian mode of transport and relax, because, touristy as it...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
A must-see in Venice is the Doge's Palace in Piazza San Marco. The palace dates from the 14th century, and was the residence of the Doges of Venice. On view is the splendor of high Venetian style—Byzantine and Moorish architectural...
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Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Dorsoduro, Venezia VE, Italy
If you are in Venice, you will surely get familiar with local spritz (a fizzy, refreshing aperitif) and cicchetti, or small snacks. If you want to have a local experience, be sure to stop by Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi while walking around La...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

This meal was delicious - the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the seafood was fantastic. Best part of the meal though, was when our waiter brought us small shot glasses of bootlegged homemade limoncello to finish off our meal!

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Sant'Elena, 30132 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
"You're going to get lost in Venice regardless, so stick your map in your map pocket and just wander." Our tour manager couldn't have been more right. This was one of the narrowest alleyways we went down when we had lost ourselves in a seemingly...
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The Gallerie dell'Accademia, located quite close to the Rialto along the Grand Canal, offers a sweeping look at nearly hundreds of years of Italian art, including works by Tintoretto and Titian. Not to be missed.
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Dorsoduro, 2, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Controlled by the François Pinault foundation, the same trust in charge of Christie's auction house, this is a museum-worthy gallery in the heart of Venice. Set inside a 17th-century customs house, it showcases Pinault's impressive private...
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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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Piazza Eremitani, 8, 35121 Padova PD, Italy
Built in 1307, Giotto's Arena Chapel, aka Scorvegni Chapel, should not be missed when visiting the Veneto. In Padua, it is often overlooked, which can mean smaller crowds during certain times and seasons. After a video in English and Italian...
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Piazza del Santo, 11, 35123 Padova PD, Italy
This massive church was one of the most impressive in size, architecture, and collection of relics—for the art that is within and surrounding the building. Before you head inside, almost as an afterthought hidden in between kiosks selling St....
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Piazza Unità d'Italia, 34121 Trieste TS, Italy
In the center of Trieste, the capital of Italy’s Friuli–Venezia Giulia region, the vast Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia looks out over the deep, blue waters of the Gulf of Trieste. This elegant seafront square is bordered on three sides by ornate...
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Murano, 30141 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Sky imitates art!
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
While in Florence this May, my husband and I decided not to walk to the top of the dome of the Duomo but, instead, to make the climb to the top of the tower next to the Duomo to get a great view of the dome itself. I shot this from the stairwell...
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6 Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Florence FI, Italy
Escaping the crowds around Florence Cathedral one afternoon, I decided to wander along the Arno River and was rewarded with stunning views from the water's reflection. The picture highlights not only the clear, nearly symmetrical reflection cast...
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Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you have time to see just one piece of art, make it David. Carved in 1501-4 from a single piece of milky-white Carrara marble, Michelangelo’s magnificent statue, an icon of power and wealth, originally stood in Piazza della Signoria, but...
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Greve in Chianti, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
In May my husband and I visited Italy and one of our favorite drives was through the Chianti region in Tuscany. There are so many beautiful roads lined with stately cypress trees like this one winding through the rolling hills outside Greve, with...
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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...
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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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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
Time to catch an afternoon nap siesta in the square
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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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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
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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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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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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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 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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74, Via di S. Teodoro, 00186 Roma RM, 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
What else can you say, it's THE Colosseum. Impressive on every count. Long live Caesar.
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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 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 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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Salita dei Crescenzi, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This Roman institution, which is located 30 yards from the Pantheon, was opened by Armando Gargioli in 1961. Now his sons Claudio (in the kitchen) and Fabrizio (at the front of house) and granddaughter Fabiana continue the family tradition of...
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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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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
of three roads (tre vie), the Trevi Fountain in Rome marks the terminal point of the Aqua Vergine, Aqua Virgo and one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the world.
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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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Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
Licking the final scoop of my stracciatella, I stared up to look at the monumental façade of the ST. Peter’s Basilica and It blew my mind! I could not take my eyes off Michelangelo’s Dome of the Basilica with the statues of the Saints on the top...
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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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Piazza Trento, 5, 00019 Tivoli RM, Italy
From the entrance, the villa looks totally unassuming. But as soon as my fiance and I walked through the gate, we discovered this fountain and promptly had to pick our jaws up off the ground...
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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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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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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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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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Ponte Settimia Spizzichino, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
This white steel bridge, which was inaugurated in June 2012, is dedicated to Settimia Spizzichino. She was among the only survivors of the Roman holocaust and the memorial bridge links the via Ostiense to Garbatella, the neighborhood where...
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Riva degli Schiavoni, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
As a local of İstanbul, I always feel that cities neighboring to a sea have a very different, sad - melancholic even - charm that comes with winter time. With the cold weather pushing stronger and stronger into the daily life, no one is interested...
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Campo San Giacometto, Ponte di Rialto, 122, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
At the ground-floor wine bar, take in the view of the Grand Canal while enjoying such cicchetti as salumi and cheese. In the upstairs dining room, choose from a menu that features intriguing dishes, including cocoa fusilli with boar ragu. Campo...
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Piazza San Marco, 52, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Want to get the most out of your experience in Piazza San Marco? Museo Correr is a little-known gem on the southern side of the square. In-the-know tourists come here to buy tickets to the Doge's Palace without a line. One ticket (16) provides...
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30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
If you're planning to spend a full day island hoping from Murano to Burano and on to Torcello, this is a good spot to stop for a fast lunch between islands. The no-frills trattoria began as a small inn back in 1944 and serves hearty, toothsome...