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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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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...
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Via Giovanni Antonelli, 30, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Metamorfosi is the best of Rome's fine dining options at the moment, blending outstanding ingredients from Italy and abroad with the culinary creativity of Columbian-born chef Roy Caceres and Swedish sous chef John Regefalk.
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Via degli Specchi, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This might be my favorite place in Rome. Beer, burgers, famed baker Gabriele Bonci—and those potato chips with homemade ketchup. Swoon. The beef used here is the slow food La Granda. The condiments are homemade, and the buns are by baked by Bonci....
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Via Guido Reni, 4/a, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
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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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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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 Pietro de Coubertin, 30, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Italian architect Renzo Piano's Auditorium Parco della Musica, which was inaugurated in 2002, is a concert and cultural event venue in the Flaminio district north of the city center. This stunning complex hosts musical concerts, art exhibitions,...
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Ponte della Musica Armando Trovajoli, 00195 Roma RM, Italy
Inaugurated in May 2012, this steel and concrete bridge crosses the Tiber River in northern Rome to link the Della Vittoria and Flaminio districts. This pedestrian bridge, therefore, connects the cultural sites of the MAXXI and Auditorium Parco...
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Piazza dell'Emporio, 28, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Having a famous food writer as a neighbor is a great thing. For example, of one of the great things is phone calls for impromptu lunches in the middle of the week. The next thing you know you are eating fois gras sandwiches and drinking glasses of...
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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 Laurina, 10, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Take a break from shopping or strolling between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo to try some of Rome (therefore the world's) best artisanal gelato made with all-natural ingredients. Many flavors are seasonal, but you will always find a...
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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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Viale della Moschea, 85, 00199 Roma RM, Italy
Whenever I travel, I always try to seek out local mosques. There are spectacular odes to marble and calligraphy across the "Muslim" world and far beyond, ranging from the mammoth Hassan II mosque in Casablanca to a charming sea-green confection 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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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...
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Via del Porto Fluviale, 12, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
The ex-Caserma del Porto Fluviale in the Ostiense district south of the city center has become a palate for Blu, a world renowned street artists, whose ambitious painting on the surface of this squat gives prestige and attention to the hundreds of...
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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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Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
While a lot of people would go see the Sistine Chapel when visiting Rome, fewer travelers venture out to this grand church at the Piazza di San Ignacio near the Pantheon, which features an almost equally beautiful painted ceiling done by Andrea...
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Viale della Marina, 41, 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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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 Caio Cestio, 6, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The cemetery in the Testaccio neighborhood in Rome has many names; Campo Cestio, The Protestant Cemetery, The Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners, or the Cat Cemetery. It holds the grave of the poet John Keats, the famous pyramid of Rome, about...
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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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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Many city parks offer green grass, fresh air, and open space (that's kind of their m.o.), but few include ancient Roman ruins! Villa Borghese is as breathtaking as it is vast, and it's the ideal place to lounge with a book or get in a quick run to...
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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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Quartiere Coppedé is an unexpected and bizarre area in Rome developed by architect Gino Coppedè (1866-1927). A collection of about fifteen buildings, which are closest to Art Nouveau in style, it post dates Art Nouveau by 10-20 years. Near Viale...
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Via Lemonia, 221, 00174 Roma RM, Italy
Cycling through Aqueduct park in Rome
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Via della Caffarella, Roma RM, Italy
The Parco della Caffarella is part of the larger Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica, a vast public park that is protected from development. Just a short walk from the city center, and flanked by a dense neighborhood, the Parco della Caffarella...
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A vast network of ancient aqueducts converged on the center of Rome to provide water to 1 million residents and their public fountains and baths during the Empire. Today, the ruins of these imperial structures have been transformed into houses,...
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Piazza Giovanni Agnelli, 10, 00144 Roma RM, Italy
The Museo Della Civiltà Romana (Museum of Roman Civilization) is a fascinating destination. Made up largely of replicas of Roman artwork and scale models of Roman buildings (including an impressive scale model of the city of Rome as it appeared...
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Via di Santa Prassede, 9, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The 8th century Saint Zeno Chapel in the Church of Santa Prassede was built by Pope Paschal to serve as a funeral chapel for his mother Theodora. The Pope employed talented artisans to bedazzle the chapel in gold and glass mosaics, which can still...
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Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Most visitors to Piazza Bocca della Verità are enticed by the so-called Mouth of Truth, an ancient drain cover anchored to a wall inside the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The Mouth of Truth features a carved face with a gaping...
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The 3rd century Aurelian Walls stretched for 12 miles around the city. Measuring a distance of 12 miles in circumference, the defensive circuit is Rome's largest ancient building. There a dozen gateways in the wall, each of which provided access...
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Via Nazionale, 194, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Mussolini developed this residential and business district in southern Rome in the 1930s and 1940s for a pair of propagandistic motives. The first was to host the 1942 world's fair called the Esposizione Universale di Roma (abbreviated EUR), while...
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Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli, 4/a, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
When Pope Julius II envisioned his tomb more than 500 years ago, he commissioned Michelangelo to build a monumental structure featuring dozens of marble sculptures. The over-the-top mausoleum was meant to stand in St Peter's Basilica, but plans...
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Via di Villa Giulia, 9, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Though the Borghese Gallery is the best known museum in the Villa Borghese, there are a number of others, including the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, home to one of the world's most expansive collection of Etruscan relics. The building...
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Via Catalana, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The history of Jews in Rome is an ancient and complex study spanning nearly twenty-two centuries. The community—today there are around 13,000 members—is a small but important facet of the city’s cultural fabric and, though you often have to go on...
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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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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

On the Ponte Vecchio with two of my bother and our close friend.

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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy

I saw this exquisite chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci's Lady With An Ermine on the ground in one of the main plazas in Firenze. It started drizzling and I just had to take this photo before the rain washed it away!

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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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68r, Via dei Servi, 66, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence - home to the Italian Renaissance. It is so amazing to walk the streets and imagine all those who have walked there before you...Dante, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Boticelli, Ghirlandaio, Galileo and many more. You almost start taking for...
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Get up early to avoid the crowds and catch some beautiful, soft light while experiencing a quiet Florence devoid of its midday chaos.
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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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Watching the sun set from one of the bridges that span the Arno in Florence seems to be a popular ritual with both tourists and Florentines. But it's the Ponte San Trinita that seems the bridge that attracts most.
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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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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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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked away in a tiny piazzetta just off the main Ponte Vecchio–Palazzo Pitti tourist drag, this bright, modern squeeze of a wine bar specializes in wines by small, lesser-known producers from all over Italy. Tempting snacks include fabulous...
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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
See wonderful views of Firenze and the Duomo from Piazzale Michelangelo.
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Piazza della Passera, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
A local favorite on postcard-pretty Piazza della Passera in the Oltrarno neighborhood, Il Magazzino serves up delicious Florentine food with a special emphasis on offal. If you are up for it, there’s no better place to sample stalwarts of...
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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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Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When you visit the area of the Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Republica in Florence, don't miss this interesting attraction. From Piazza della Signoria, walk towards Piazza della Republica, and on the left side, you'll see Piazza del...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 64, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Offering good value for money alongside a creative riff on Tuscan and Italian classics, Santo Bevitore continues to be one of Florence’s hottest restaurants. The slow food ethic of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients is evident in a menu that...
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Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Giambolgna's sculpture The Rape of the Sabine Women stands under the arched Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy.
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Piazza della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The Piazza Della Repubblica was the place to be in Florence in the evenings. Tourists and locals alike dined at the restaurants lining the square, student groups gathered, families enjoyed the Carousel, and gypsies and other migrants tried to sell...
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Via Lambertesca, 18/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You can’t visit Florence without indulging in ice cream once at the very least, but it’s not so easy to find the real deal. Carapina, gelateria of choice for cognoscenti (but often overlooked by tourists), is located a stone’s throw from the Ponte...
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Via Santa Monaca, 3r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Know locally as S'forno, this vintage-look Santo Spirito bakery sells a fantastic selection of sweet and savoury goods and is one of the few 'panifici' in Florence to still have an on-site oven (most do their baking outside the city). The bread...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The most sublime experience in Firenze is sitting on the loggia at the Palazzo Guadagni on the square at Saint Spirito in Florence at sunset. You sit on the terrace and sip prosecco, and look over the beautiful terra-cotta tiled roofs and settle...