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,...

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...

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 But that's an outdated notion: Travelers today find fresh, inventive, flavorful meals there -- and many Irish towns are working to establish themselves as foodie destinations.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...

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...

Aerial view of Playa de las Teresitas, a Blue Flag beach near Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Photo: ©dziewul/

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 511th issue of your monthly foreign-travel magazine. For those of you holding a sample copy, while it may be on newsprint and in black and white, there's nothing ordinary about it.

Each issue of ITN carries the escapades and discoveries of travelers of all types who have at least a few things in common: they love to travel, they subscribe to this magazine, and they have written in about something they think other travelers —...

Children passing by the shrine that remains of the monastery — Borromeo Garden, Brno, Czechia. Photos by Yvonne Michie Horn

Think Czech Republic (Czechia) and Prague springs to mind, everyone's mind, as elbow-to-elbow encounters in the city's picturesque Old Town attest. Mention Brno and the reaction is likely to be a scratching of the head. Brno definitely does not spring to mind.

It should. Brno, the Czech Republic's second-largest city (pop. 400,000), is but a 2-hour high-speed train ride from central Prague. Wander Brno's hilly streets and you'll hear nothing but Czech spoken....

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...

Walking on top of the medieval walls of Ávila — central Spain. Photos by Julie Skurdenis

Sixty miles west of Madrid lies one of my favorite places in Spain: the small city of Ávila (population 58,000). Four decades ago I wrote two books of walking tours of European cities. Ávila was one of the 24 cities included in those books.

One of the reasons Ávila ranks as special is its magnificent stone walls that encircle the city, among the best preserved in Europe. I wanted to walk along these walls again and revisit the medieval city they enclose. I also wanted to see...