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Monaco is so small that it could fit inside New York's Central Park.

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Coimbra University’s King João's Library, in Portugal, has a spectacular ceiling and is one of Europe’s best surviving Baroque libraries. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

When touring any city, it’s fun to drop in on the local university. But in Europe, universities can be essential sightseeing, as some are home to great architectural, artistic and cultural treasures.

• One of Europe’s top university sights is the Book of Kells, tucked away in the library of the venerable Trinity College in DUBLIN. This famous illuminated manuscript is a 1,200-year-old version of the four Gospels, elaborately inked and meticulously illustrated...

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Entrance courtyard of the Valtice château. Photos by Yvonne Michie Horn

Two magnificent châteaux bookend what is known today as the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic.

From 1249 until events surrounding World War II resulted in its confiscation, the Cultural Landscape’s 100-plus square miles belonged to Liechtenstein, the tiny, 62-square-mile principality now sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland.

Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the Dukes of Liechtenstein set about...

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The church inside Tomar's Convento de Cristo, designed at the height of Portugal's sea power, is covered with elaborate motifs.

With a rich culture, friendly people, affordable prices, and a salty setting on the edge of Europe, Portugal understandably makes a rewarding destination for travelers. Bustling Lisbon and the sunny Algarve coast are well known to tourists (for good reason), but quieter places also offer tantalizing tastes of Portuguese flavor.

About 90 miles northeast of Lisbon, just east of the pilgrimage site of Fátima, is lushly green Tomar -- a quaint town of...

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Florence offers plenty of engaging cooking classes. After cooking your meal, you'll get to feast on your fresh creations.

Sampling Italian cuisine is sightseeing for your palate. The tour plan: Start with fresh ingredients and talented cooks, mix in a city's personality, and add a happy dining crowd. Experiencing Italy's cafés, cuisine, and wines is a joy, and in the heart of Tuscany, Florence offers a particularly satisfying spread.

Tuscan cuisine is hearty and simple farmer's food: grilled meats, high-quality seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs, prized olive...

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The Capuchin Crypt in Palermo, Sicily, displays mummified bodies - complete with clothing intended to remind the living that life is temporary.

With Halloween and All Souls' Day approaching, I'd like to spook you with some of my favorite European cemeteries and crypts. Over the years, I've popped into a lot of burial grounds -- some peaceful and scenic, some eerie and evocative -- with all revealing compelling stories of the past. Some high-profile places -- such as the catacombs in Rome or Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris -- get a lot of press, so I've listed...

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St. Michael's Gate in Bratislava's old town is the last surviving tower of the city wall.

Strung along the Danube River, three capital cities -- Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest -- make up a triangle of enjoyable urbanity at the heart of central Europe. Each of these capital cities shares a common Habsburg history, and thanks to their proximity -- only one or two hours apart by train -- combining all three into one trip is a breeze.

Vienna ranks at the top of my list of elegant European cities. Once the capital of the mighty...

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Normandy’s little lanes, cute stone houses, and lush greenery are irresistible.

Picture this: Half-timbered towns with tall cathedral spires, thatched-roof cottages dotted among green rolling hills, fat happy cows, and drifts of gnarled apple trees. This is the beguiling Normandy coast of France.

Strategically positioned across from England, Normandy is the closest coastline to Paris. That prime location may attract urban beachgoers, but it also explains why this welcoming corner of France has seen more than its share of war.

In the...

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