Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, September 2018
A bike ride between Levanto and the sleepy village of Bonassola offers up views of the Italian Riviera’s stunning coastline.

When it comes to basking in the beauty of Italy's Riviera, the Cinque Terre is tops for me. But there's much more to this region on the Mediterranean coast than those famous five villages.

A handful of charming towns lie within an hour of the Cinque Terre, with posh ports set against rugged mountain backdrops that have drawn poets, authors and romantics over the years from Lord Byron to Elizabeth Taylor.

To the north of the Cinque Terre is a trio of beach...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, September 2018
Icelandic waterfall could be fatal.

Gazing into a volcanic crater lake, leaping across a tectonic fissure in the earth's crust, descending into the magma chamber of an extinct volcano ... Iceland is filled with unforgettable experiences. This beautiful country is packed with tourist-attracting natural wonders: waterfalls, glaciers, rivers, fjords, cliffs, thermal springs and geysers.

Though magnificent, this landscape is perhaps the most dangerous place in Europe. Several times a year,...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, September 2018
The annual Dingle Food Festival hosts around 60 food and drink stalls and welcomes thousands of hungry foodies along its “Taste Trail.”

Irish cuisine has long been the fodder of jokes -- a kind of penance to suffer through in order to enjoy the people, music and lush scenery of the Emerald Isle. But that's an outdated notion: Travelers today find fresh, inventive, flavorful meals there -- and many Irish towns are working to establish themselves as foodie destinations.

Long considered the land of potatoes, Ireland's diet once reflected the country's dire economic circumstances. Though...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, September 2018
You can see prime examples of fascist-era architecture in Mussolini’s E.U.R. suburb just south of Rome.

The sweeping impact of fascism in the 20th century can be felt to this day in the many monuments and memorials across Europe that remind us of those horrific years.

You can trace fascism's roots to the turbulent aftermath of World War I, where masses of angry people rose up, and their charismatic leaders manipulated that anger. Both Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany turned fringe movements claiming to be...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, September 2018
The abbey structures at Fontenay have remained virtually untouched by the outer world.

The French countryside is littered with medieval monasteries -- stony, quiet and atmospheric. Some are in a state of ruin; others are still home to peaceful monks or sisters going about their religious work. Still others are intact but now open only as museums. A little history can help visitors breathe life into these serenely remote monuments.

Monasteries arose in Europe as refuges from the dark chaos that followed the collapse of the Roman Empire. In many ways,...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, September 2018 -- Page 47
To avoid the worst crowds on a cruise ship, use amenities such as swimming pools during off-peak hours. Photo by Rick Steves

Last year I spent two weeks on a Mediterranean cruise, filming a one-hour TV show* that will present an honest look at the pros and cons of cruising and will equip travelers with the knowledge they need to be smart cruisers.

You might not think of it as budget travel, but cruising can be extremely affordable. When you consider that the price includes accommodations, food and transportation to far-flung destinations, it's simply a steal. But reckless spending on a cruise...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, August 2018
Bastille Day block parties throughout Paris (and all of France) bring locals and tourists together for music, dancing, and patriotic celebration.

For the ultimate summer party in France, visit during Bastille Day, the country's Independence Day. This July 14 holiday is celebrated with gusto, with all-night parties, picnics and fireworks. And the fun permeates the country, from tiny towns to Paris.

The day marks the symbolic start of the French Revolution that brought down the monarchy. In 1789, France was under the tyranny of its king, bishops and nobles. The corrupt monarchy spent...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, August 2018
The thatched roof of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, where Shakespeare’s wife grew up, seems to drip over the 500-year-old building.

To see or not to see? Nonliterary types might find England's Stratford-upon-Avon to be much ado about nothing, but Shakespeare's hometown is blanketed with opportunities for bardolatry. It's an easy side-trip from London, but an overnight stay is best to take in a performance of the world's best Shakespeare ensemble.

Within Stratford's compact old town, you can walk easily to most sights. The River Avon, which flows right through town, has an idyllic...

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