The Dopios Blog

The Dopios Blog

dopios, a global travel community that connects Travellers and Locals all around the world! Insights, unique experiences, tailor made requests, customised advice curated by the real experts of a destination, the locals!
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Rome’s chamber of secrets

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The Italian Capital has many more things to offer except from the classic sightseeing spots of the center. This week i’m spotting 5 extraordinary places that will get you thrilled and show you another side of this glorious city.

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1.Via Piccolomini

An authentic optical Illusion in Rome. Check the illuminated dome of St Peter’s church and get amazed by the unexpected change of its size. When you get closer it get’s smaller and smaller, but when you move away it’s magically stretched. Creepy?

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2. The Zodiac Hill

Undeniably one of the best views in Rome. A Lovers panorama surrounded by kisses, hugs and whispers. It’s located right next to the Observatory of Astronomy and it’s a romantic off the beaten spot for lovebirds.

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3. Parco degli acquedotti

Located in the Roman suburbs. A park that will remind you the opening shot of the ”la dolce vita’. Typical Roman countryside of archaeologic and Naturalistic interest that attracted numerous artists, architects, writers and travelers of the Romantic era. It’s located in the Roman suburbs and a bike ride is a must-do! 

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4. Chiesa del Gesu

One of the most superb jesuit churches in Rome. The magic happens at 17.30pm every day, when the statue of St. Ignatius which is hidden behind a large painting is suddenly revealed with large spotlights switched on to show the piece. Loud religious music covers the baroque happening. Lovely.

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5. Ostia Antica

An ancient Roman port quite well-known in the ancient world. It’s easily reached from the centre of Rome. It’s ideal for a short break from the center of the city. For some it’s significantly more impressive than Pompeii. A must-do stroll in the wonders of ancient Rome.

Special thanks to Fabio for his priceless Roman tips.

The jewel of Toscany

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Lucca is one of Toscany’s top secrets, full of history and italian flavours! Turlough, can show you the best of it and teach you how to best pronounce his name! 
1. How would you describe Lucca in 3 words?
Untouched by time, Elegant, Intimate

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2. What is your favorite spot in the city?
My favourite spot is the top of Torre Guinigi.
You can see the whole town with it’s charming red-brick roofs and the surrounding hills from the shade of the olive trees.

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3. How would you describe a perfect day in Lucca?
A sunny day in July at 2 pm, when then streets are deserted and all the buildings and cobblestones are exclusively yours to wander through and admire from a shady spot while you can hear classical music softly reaching you from the Conservatorio.

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4. What advice would you give to travelers visiting Lucca?
Take your time and soak in everything around you. Every corner has something beautiful to reveal to you. You don’t need to plan your whole day, just wander!

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5. Can you tell us a secret of the city?
Lucca has many secret little Piazze and quiet spots, but the best secret is the remnants of the old Roman walls which are hidden in a small church, which is rarely visited.

”We will always have Paris”

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The elegant French capital is full of charm and hidden treasures. This week we pick our top 5 off-the-beaten-path places. An exciting ride to the Parisian way of life.

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1. The St Paul Village

A fairy passageway at the Marais district. Cozy atmosphere, antique treasures, artisan boutiques and philatelists’ shops. Peaceful shopping with international flavored clientele, definitely worths a visit. 

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2. Jardins des archives nationales

Even the greyest days look different there. The secret symphony of those gardens can revive your romantic mood. Located in the very center of the boho-hearted Marais.

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3. Parc de Belleville

Terrific view, probably the best you can get in Paris. Picnic is always an option on sunny days. Make sure that excellent wine and cheese are both included in your basket.

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4. The passage l’Homme

An 18th century passage with timeless beauty. A picturesque cobbled courtyard that will remind you certain French provincial cities. It’s located at the 11th district and it’s a pure diamond so do bring your cameras.

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5. The Paris Catacombs

Does 20meters underground sound challenging to you? Then take an underground spooky tour or join a secret underground party at the catacombs. There are lots of secret entrances all over Paris that can be full of surprises since some of them are not even mapped! Suitable for adventurous (and therefore brave) type of travelers.

Got more cool places to add? Feel free to enrich our list by telling us, which are your must-see places in Paris that the common tourist eye cannot easily reach.

Fenia Megremi

New York New York

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”New York City is tough and romantic” that’s the Woody Allen’s quote from the opening of his movie Manhattan. Dulcie Dee, a native new Yorker, will give you her personal overview of the Big Apple, come and find her!
1. How would you describe New York in 3 words?
Unforgettable, Exciting, Gastronomic.

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2. What is your favorite spot in town?
Soho for all the shopping, cast iron architecture, proximity to Chinatown and Little Italy and West Village.

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3. How would you describe a perfect night in New York?

Dinner, followed by a Broadway play and a night cap at one of NYC’s famous bars in the meat packing district, and lastly, a view of NYC at night from the Empire State Building.

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4. What advice would you give to travelers visiting New York?
Plan on visiting at least 4 days to give you time to soak up the magnificent sights, museums, shopping, and all it has to offer culturally.

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5. Can you tell us a secret of the city?
Central Park is big and beautiful to walk through any time of the year to people watch, relax, jog, bike, take photos, ice skate, rowboat or dine at the Boathouse. This park is the most peaceful and romantic santuary in busy NYC.