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    Visit Providence: what to see and where to sleep

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    Martí Micolau

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    Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, is a city that can often be overlooked among the many possible stops of a tour in New England, however it is an interesting destination to visit, with many things to see and with a geographical position that places it. close to many nearby attractions, starting with Boston, Plymouth, Newport and Cape Cod (all within an hour's drive).

    The city is renowned above all for 3 reasons: Brown University, a famous institution founded in 1764 and part of the prestigious Ivy League, its kitchen, which makes use of young chefs baked every year by Johnson & Wales University and RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), which boasts a museum full of truly unexpected pearls.

    The city, while being quite large compared to the average of New England towns, can be easily explored by car (by the way: have you taken a look at our tips on car rental in the USA?) And is worth a visit of at least an entire day. Let's see then what see and how visit Providence.


    • Rhode Island State House
    • Brown University
    • Museo d'arte del RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)
    • The Federal Hill neighborhood
    • Culinary Arts Museum
    • Where sleeping in Providence
    • Other useful resources

    Rhode Island State House

    The beautiful capitol that stands on Providence Hill is one of the most beautiful in America and is the legislative and executive seat of the state; designed in 1904 and inspired by St. Peter's Basilica, it boasts one of the largest free-standing domes in the world and houses the famous portrait of George Washington which is also found on the one-dollar bill (by Gilbert Stuart).

    Admission is free and can be visited quite quickly (even 15 minutes, it's not very big inside). By booking it is also possible to request guided tours.

    Brown University

    Strolling through the green and quiet campus of Brown University, among the ancient buildings and the austere and at the same time welcoming atmosphere of the prestigious institution is a truly pleasant experience. Entering the Van Wickle Gates you will be able to see Stephen Robert Campus Center, Manning Hall Chapel, Sayles Hall, historic University Hall, John Carter Brown Library, Rhode Island Hall and Lincoln Field Building.

    To get a better idea of ​​what to expect take a look at this virtual tour. If you are interested in a guided tour instead, stop by the visitor office at 45 Prospect Street.

    Museo d'arte del RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)

    It is the best art school in the United States and the main reason to visit it is the Museum of Art (224 Benefit Street), which boasts an extraordinary collection: French paintings from the XNUMXth century (among which Manet, Matisse and Sargent stand out. ), classical art, medieval and Renaissance works, a large American production and an authentic mummy.

    The Federal Hill neighborhood

    This is the Spanish neighborhood, the liveliest and most picturesque area in the whole city, where some of Providence's most brilliant chefs express their creativity (especially on Atwells Avenue). Wandering around the city you will feel homesick ...

    Culinary Arts Museum

    The museum dedicated to the culinary arts (315 Harborside Boulevard) is a real boon for lovers of cooking and its history. There you will find recipe books, molds, molds, advertisements, entire industrial and home kitchens, menus, photographs and works of art inspired by the theme.

    Where sleeping in Providence

    Providence attracts both tourists and business people, so it won't be difficult for you to find a hotel in the city. I stayed at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel and I must say it turned out to be a great choice. The hotel faces right in front of the Rhode Island State House, offering a beautiful view from the window, is in a great location, has a very friendly staff, clean rooms with a modern and elegant design and has all the necessary facilities for a truly enjoyable stay. .

    Alternatively, you can find a list of hotels in Providence on this page:

    Providence hotels list

    Other useful resources

    If you are thinking of embarking on a New England itinerary, I would like to point out some resources that may be useful for planning your trip.

    • Our guide on how to plan a tour of New England.
    • Our tips on Country Inn: the best Bed & Breakfasts in the region.
    • All you need to know about Acadia National Park, New England's most fascinating natural park.
    • Our advice on the city of Boston, a reference point for visiting the region.
    • Our section with all the recommended itineraries in New England.
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