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Stretching from Main Street in the northern part of College Hill to Alves Way in the neighborhood of Fox Point, this street is also called the 'Mile of History'. Benefit Street has been a catalyst in the history of the city and state. Along the way, visitors will see many Victorian and Colonial homes as well as the campus of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. The street is dotted with other historical attractions like the Providence Athenaeum, the First Baptist Church in America and the anachronistic John Brown and Nightingale Houses. If you choose to walk yourself, the Providence Preservation Society provides free pamphlets in order to guide you down the street.
Thayer Street is the main thoroughfare that runs along College Hill and its a popular spot with RISD, Brown and J&W University college students. Thayer has always been a part of the counter-culture college scene and most of the stores still remain fiercely independent despite a few chain brands like Starbucks along the way. Between Bowen and Waterman streets is where you'll find most of the restaurants and shops, stores such as Spectrum India and Pie in the Sky as well as several casual places to eat like East Side Pockets or Nice Slice. A couple of other highlights include the historic Avon Theater and the Brown University Bookstore.
Federal Hill has one of the most varied and historic reputations as a neighborhood could have in any city. Today it's filled with ritzy bars, restaurants, shops, apartments and entertainment, though it was not always this way. Situated in the heart of the city, this neighborhood is known for its rich Italian-American population. The Italian-Americans here have contributed immensely over the centuries to the development and betterment of the city. The many Italian restaurants here offer delectable food to patrons throughout the year. As you walk down Atwells Avenue, you'll definitely know where you are when you see La Pigna (the pine cone) under the gateway arch.