The town of Varenna on Lake Como is the perfect place to savor a lakeside meal or aperitivo.

Northern Italy's seductively beautiful lakes district -- in the shadow of the Alps -- seems heaven-sent for communing with nature. Though just an hour north of Milan, this area feels a world away from the business and bustle of Italy's second city.

In this romantic region, wistful 19th-century villas are overgrown with old vines that seem to ache with stories to tell. Stunted palm trees appear to be held against their will in this northern location. And...

Sampling one of Germany’s hundreds of varieties of sausage from a street vendor is a classic German experience.

Eating in Germany is a big part of the fun of traveling there. Ingredients are wonderful (especially if you eat with the season), traditions are prized, "modern German cuisine" is giving old dishes tasty and entertaining new twists, and small, creative foodie places are thriving in every city. And here's even more good news: Eating well in Germany is an amazing value -- cheaper than in France, Britain, Italy or Scandinavia.


Composer Edvard Grieg retreated daily to this picture-perfect studio on a Norwegian fjord.

As a traveler, I find myself visiting the homes of lots of dead people. Some are over the top (Louis XIV's Versailles near Paris); some are haunting (Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam); others inspire you to write a poem (William Wordsworth's Dove Cottage in England's Lake District).

Many of my favorites are the home studios of artists -- painters, sculptors, composers. There's something about these special places that conjures the strange magic of creative work....

The Douaumont Ossuary holds the remains of more than 130,000 unknown French and German soldiers from the WWI battle in Verdun, France.

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I -- "the war to end all wars," which cost an estimated 40 million lives. While there are no more survivors to tell us their stories, WWI sights and memorials scattered across Europe do their best to keep the devastation from fading from memory.

Perhaps the most powerful WWI sightseeing experience is located about 140 miles east of Paris at the battlefields of Verdun. It was here in...

Depicting the archangel atop a demon, the bronze statue of St. Michael symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Part of the tallest fountain in Paris, it is in Place Saint-Michel. Photo ©Wiesław Jarek/

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 513th issue of your monthly foreign-travel magazine.

If you're looking at your first copy of ITN, one of the free samples that we send out each month to anyone upon request (or at the request of a friend), the main thing to know about this publication is that it is a safe place for travelers to express opinions, share their experiences and tell what they've learned on trips outside of the US.

ITN is in its 42nd year, and we'...


New Zealand was named by the Dutch after Zeeland, a region in the Netherlands.

Chef Giovanni Ciaravola's finished dish.

Ostia, several miles southwest of present-day Rome, was once an important port for Rome. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, Ostia was abandoned. Today, the archaeological site of Ostia Antica can be visited near the modern town of Ostia (Ostia Lido).

In October 2016, my husband, John, and I stayed in Ostia, now a beach resort, so we could visit the nearby archaeological site, easily accessed from Ostia by a short train ride.

Admission to Ostia Antica costs about $9, but...

Taking an educational tour often means you’ll visit a struggling part of the world and engage with the locals, like these schoolchildren in El Salvador. Photos by Rick Steves

Honolulu or Havana? The world is full of travel opportunities that are more than enjoyable; they can be transformational. By getting out of your comfort zone, you realize that different people find different truths to be self-evident and God-given. You gain empathy for the other 96 percent of humanity, and in many ways you can learn a lot about your own country by viewing it from afar.

While many extremely rewarding destinations are not on the typical bucket list, they can be...