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Mike Nessralla's Rome 2016

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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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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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00120, Vatican City
In the final hour of closing, we rushed down the halls of the Vatican... Wanting to get to the Sistine. However this snapshot is just a itsy bitsy taste of the tons and tons of art within - on the walls, on the ceilings, sculptures and even modern...
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Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Rome is famous for many things, especially its public art. Beautifully sculpted fountains, designed by Bernini and other great artists abound. The Trevi is probably the most famous, but in the Piazza Navona, there are three fabulous fountains: The...
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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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Via Lago di Lesina, 9/11, 00199 Roma RM, Italy
A few blocks from Villa Ada and the Via Salaria, Gelateria Fatamorgana sells Maria Agnese Spagnuolo’s edible works of art. Each flavor is made from all natural ingredients, without chemical additives or artificial flavors, and many are lactose...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
If there is one person responsible for the relatively recent improvement of Rome’s gelato culture, it is Claudio Torcè. He has trained some of Rome’s premier gelatai (Maria Spagnuolo of Fatamorgana and the Gori siblings, to name a few) and prides...
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Via Luigi Poletti, 6, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
This tiny natural gelato shop opened behind the Maxxi (the Zaha Hadid-designed museum for 21st century art) to rave reviews in the summer of 2011. The gelataio uses Italy’s best hazelnuts and pistachios, Amedei chocolate, milk from a biodynamic...
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Via Federico Ozanam, 30-32, 00152 Roma RM, Italy
Monteverde's vibrant pizzeria and trattoria is an enclave of local flavor—from its excellent menu of fritti (fried starters), sfizi (delicious antipasti), and pizzas to its busy clientele. Owner Giancarlo Casa is a pizza perfectionist, and...
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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 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 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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Via dei Servi, 66/68R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Even with all the noted thinkers, artists, politicians, and powerful families who’ve called Florence home, Leonardo da Vinci is arguably the city’s most famous son. This homage focuses less on his artwork and more on Da Vinci’s forward-thinking...
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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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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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Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 8/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
There are few better places from which to enjoy river views and sunsets than the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345. Spanning the Arno's narrowest point, this is the only bridge to have survived the German bombing of the city in 1944. There have always...
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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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Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Food in Italy is still largely about seasonality, and never more so than in late fall when the new olive oil (‘olio nuovo’) begins to arrive in the shops. Take a drive into the Tuscan countryside anytime between late October and December and you...
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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...