Rick Steves' Travel Blog

I'm sharing my travel experiences, candid opinions and what's on my mind. If you think it's inappropriate for a travel writer to stir up discussion on his blog with political observations and insights gained from traveling abroad, you may not want to read any further. — Rick

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Happy Easter! All this week, I’ve been sharing daily clips from “Rick Steves’ European Easter,” my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online. And the “He is risen” finale is today’s clip: It’s Easter Sunday, and families in Spain, Italy, Slovenia, and Greece come together to celebrate, just as they have for generations. Enjoy…and thanks for sharing this beautiful holiday season with us.

Want to see more? Watch previous clips and take a peek behind the scenes of my Easter special.





In honor of Easter week, I’m sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online. Today’s clip traces Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations. In the town of Nafplio (two hours south of Athens), we attend the series of packed, candlelit, incense-augmented services that mark the events of Greek Orthodox Holy Week. In Greece, late night on Holy Saturday is a time of community-wide celebration, as the entire town comes together on the main square for fireworks at midnight.

Want to see more? Watch previous clips and take a peek behind the scenes of my Easter special.





In honor of Easter week, I’m sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online. For Good Friday, we attend two of Europe’s most poignant passion plays — re-enactments of the Crucifixion, dating back to the Middle Ages — in Škofja Loka, Slovenia, and in Cantiano, Italy. We also join hooded penitents on their Good Friday processions through Gubbio, Italy.

Want to see more? Watch previous clips and take a peek behind the scenes of my Easter special.





In honor of Easter week, I’m sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online.

In today’s clip, we join locals for Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday) in Italy’s La Marche as they re-enact Jesus’ Last Supper and betrayal, and as a local priest washes the feet of his parishioners.

Want to see more? Watch previous clips and take a peek behind the scenes of my Easter special.





In honor of Easter week, I’m sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online.

In today’s clip, we’ll take a closer look at the Easter egg tradition — from Slovenia, famous for its all-natural, Slavic spin on this craft; to Italy, where chocolate eggs contain a surprise; to Greece, where decorating eggs is a family affair.

Want to see more? Watch previous clips and take a peek behind the scenes of my Easter special.





In honor of Easter week, I’m sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online. (And tomorrow I’ll be letting my Facebook fans know how they can get a DVD of the Easter show for only $2, so be sure to like “Rick Steves” on Facebook.)

Today we continue the story of Sevilla’s dramatic Semana Santa processions. Locals shuffle past their beloved floats, flamenco singers are overcome with emotion, and evocative processions trudge through the city streets — showered by flower petals.

Want to see more? Watch previous clips and take a peek behind the scenes of my Easter special.





In honor of Easter week, I’m sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online. (Also, on Wednesday, April 12, I’ll be letting my Facebook fans know how they can get a DVD of the Easter show for only $2, so be sure to like “Rick Steves” on Facebook.)

Today’s clip tells the Easter story — Jesus’ Passion, Crucifixion, and Resurrection — illustrated by great European artwork.





Happy Palm Sunday. In honor of Easter week, I’m sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online. (Also, on Wednesday, April 12, I’ll be letting my Facebook fans know how they can get a DVD of the Easter show for only $2, so be sure to like “Rick Steves” on Facebook.)

In today’s clip, we’ll experience one of Europe’s most bombastic Holy Week celebrations: the processions of Sevilla’s Semana Santa. Beginning on Palm Sunday, neighborhood congregations around Sevilla adorn their floats with flowers and candles, as “costaleros” prepare to carry those floats through the streets on their backs, amid a parade of cloaked penitents.





For the next week, to celebrate Easter with an international flair, I’ll be sharing daily clips from Rick Steves’ European Easter, my one-hour public television special that’s airing now nationwide (check your local listings) and streaming online. (Also, on Wednesday, April 12, I’ll be letting my Facebook fans know how they can get a DVD of the Easter show for only $2, so be sure to like “Rick Steves” on Facebook.)

In today’s clip, we see how traditional corners of Europe — from Italy’s Le Marche to Slovenia’s Lake Bled — prepare for their own local versions of the Easter feast. And we’ll meet an adorable band of Italian preschoolers bringing Easter joy to a retirement home.





Our crew is heading home after two busy weeks of filming (first in Italy, then in Greece — since Orthodox Easter was a week later than Western Christian Easter this year). Meanwhile, our second crew shot Easter festivities in Spain and Slovenia. Our challenge now is to squeeze all of the amazing footage we collected into 60 minutes. We’ll do it…and it promises to be an hour that informs, entertains, and inspires — as I hope you’ve come to expect from public television. Watch for it during Easter season, 2016.

 

greek salads.JPGWhen filming in Greece, our crew loves the Greek salads. The waiters respond with wonder when each of us orders a salad. When we asked our guide if we did something wrong, she pointed out that each salad came with serving spoons; they were designed to be shared. Remember: In Greece, most dishes are meant to be eaten family-style.

 

 

lamb not on spit.JPGIn Greece, Easter is not Easter without lamb roasted on a spit. Wandering through a village, it seemed every family was roasting an entire lamb. I’ll not forget watching the lamb go limp when our host withdrew the skewer. He then laid it across a chopping block, pulled out a big cleaver, and, in about two minutes, reduced the entire roasted lamb to two platters of meat — watch out for the bones!

 

 

square with explosion.JPGThe finale of Holy Week is celebrated the moment midnight strikes, announcing the arrival of Easter Sunday. The town square is packed, and the bishop spreads the “light from Jerusalem” as every candle is lit. He declares, “Christ is risen!” Deafening firecrackers light the square behind the silhouetted crowd, everyone shares the traditional “Easter kiss of love,” and — candles still flickering in hand — they all head home for a giant feast. (Impressed as we have been with all of this, the Greeks seem impatient with all the Easter-related rituals.)

 

 

long service.JPGGreek Orthodox services are very long if you come from a Catholic or Protestant tradition. And there’s little interaction. Father Dionysis explained, “We stand when we pray because when you stand, your entire body participates.”

 

 

IMG_3057.JPGHere’s my hardworking crew for the Greece shoot: cameraman Karel Bauer, our wonderful local Greek guide Patty Staikou, and producer Simon Griffith.