One of Lucca’s surviving towers is the Torre Guinigi, with 227 steps leading up to a small garden of fragrant trees.

On a sunny summer evening in Lucca, Italy, I was inspired by the simple joy of watching an old man bicycling with his granddaughter atop the wide, fortified wall that once protected this proud city from its enemies -- and now seems to corral its Old World charm. Then, on rented bikes, a group of chatty tourists frolicked by. Their enthusiasm was contagious. Squinting at the energy in their smiles, surrounded by dazzling sunshine, it struck me that the sun in Italy seems to...

A clear view of the spectacular Matterhorn isn’t guaranteed, especially if your Zermatt visit is a quick one.

On my two previous trips to Switzerland's tiny-but-touristy Zermatt, I failed to catch a glimpse of the glorious Matterhorn mountain that draws so many to the burg at its base for a peek at the peak.

My third try was the charm, and now I have a confession: I'm in love with the Matterhorn. Now I get why this mountain town of 5,800 people is so popular.

There's just something about the Matterhorn, the most recognizable mountain on the planet. Just seeing the...

Stone gargoyle on the façade of the Nicholson Museum in Sydney, Australia, founded in 1860. The museum holds 30,000 archaeological artifacts from Egypt, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and the Mideast.

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 529th issue — our 44th Anniversary — of your monthly foreign-travel magazine. With this issue, we start our 45th year. (I got a little ahead of myself when, in last month’s column, I said we had completed “45 full years.”)

While I’ve got you looking back and looking forward, Where Were You in 2019? If you haven’t yet sent us your list of countries visited last year, you’ve got only a few weeks...


India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes, its national fruit.

Canterbury Cathedral, a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, will soon have a new welcome center. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

Britain, while engulfed in Brexit politics, is constantly investing in first-class projects to share its heritage, and, in so many ways, Britain’s heritage is linked to our heritage.

While many travelers are understandably curious about how Brexit is affecting tourists, from my experience it isn’t. The only impact I’ve found is that the tourism industry seems to respect visitors more than ever. (And, for those who like to talk politics, the topic is a fascinating...


Switzerland has maintained armed neutrality since 1515.

Adding water to the simmering Hungarian Goulash. Photos by Sandra Scott

When I was in Budapest, Hungary, in October 2019, I booked a cooking class with Chefparade (Budapest; phone +36 20 316 1876, Aside from myself, there was only one other participant plus Chef Geri Hajas.

The lesson included three recipes, including a variation on goulash, which in America has become a generic term for any one-pot concoction, but the word gulyás, commonly written “goulash,” means “cowboy” in Hungarian. The Great Hungarian...

Cēsis Castle, built around 1213.

Riga, Latvia, was the second stop on a month-long trip that my husband, Paul, and I took to the Baltic states in May-June 2019. As with Tallinn, Estonia, our first stop (Feb. ’20, pg. 47), we had allotted eight days for Riga and, as with Tallinn, we could have spent all eight days exploring this vibrant city on the Baltic Sea, with its Old Town, wealth of Art Nouveau buildings and nearby seaside resort town of Jūrmala.

We also wanted to venture into the Latvian countryside to...