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

  • We are monitoring this blog carefully for inappropriate posts. Before you post, read our Community Guidelines.

cameron-italy-vernazza-portrait

I love to get someone else’s take — a fresh take — on one of my favorite places — especially when it’s by Cameron Hewitt (my wonderful co-author and fellow guidebook researcher). Cameron’s just settling into his spring research trip and starting with the Cinque Terre. You’ll find his first dispatch on his blog now.

By the way, if you enjoy Cameron’s take on Europe, be sure to “like” his Facebook page — he’ll be blown from Italy’s Cinque Terre and Dolomites, to Salzburg and the Austrian Alps before meeting up with me and our TV crew in Bulgaria and Romania. Don’t miss out on Cameron’s keen insights.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




Especially in a stony and historic town like Assisi (and especially in a light rain), I enjoy taking a solitary after-dinner stroll before heading back to the hotel. Here in this famous town, there’s history everywhere. Join me for a quick little walk and to celebrate the majestic fluting on an ancient Roman Temple.


This is Day 17 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




Montepulciano is my favorite town of the top wine-making region of Tuscany. And there we filmed the venerable coppersmith, Cesare, hard at work. He showed us the pan he first made as a 12-year-old boy in 1948. He stoked his fire and pounded away, before finishing his top-end copper pans with a lining of tin. With the help of my guide Roberto Bechi, Cesare explained how copper transmits heat but, to be safe for cooking, you need to line it with tin. He then demonstrated how you can determine if the tin is pure by how it crinkles and when it crinkles properly…you can suck on it (or cook with it) safely.


This is Day 16 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




One of my favorite agriturismi (farmhouse B&Bs) in Tuscany is Cretaiole, where Isabella and Carlo host about 15 visitors at a time for week-long stays (doubles for around $1,200 per week). They put together a fun-loving cultural boot camp where guests choose from classic Tuscan activities lined up for them every day. We stayed here as a base while we did our filming. And we joined them one night for the pici pasta-making party. With Isabella’s guidance, we kneaded it, rolled it, and then ate it. Young and old alike, for a few memorable minutes, we were all pasta-making machines. Cooking classes are so popular in Europe these days. What is your favorite such experience?


This is Day 15 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




I was just filming in the cathedral of Siena, my head spinning with its amazing art. Suddenly my Siena guide, Roberto, points out a tall, 750-year-old wooden post near and dear to the hearts of the Sienese people. As if it happened yesterday, he explained, “It was booty from a battle won at 8 a.m. on September 4th, 1260 — the last time we beat our arch rivals — the Florentines.”


This is Day 13 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




For more than a century, strolling down Barcelona’s main boulevard, the Ramblas, has been the thing to do when visiting. Sadly, the charm of the Ramblas has not survived the rise of mass tourism in Barcelona. Back when locals enjoyed strolling here, there was plenty of business to keep characteristic flower stalls, bird markets, and newspaper stands healthy. It’s what gave the Ramblas its unique cultural charm. But today, the local clientele that kept these characteristic stalls in business is gone, replaced by tides of tourists. Consequently, the street is lined with what many tourists buy — tacky trinkets and lousy street food. Still, if you come to Barcelona…you’ve got to ramble the Ramblas.


This is Day 12 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




“Italians love to talk about food. It’s in their DNA.”

From time to time, we share a random video clip to fuel your travel dreams. Join us today as we sit down for a delicious meal at a classic little mom-and-pop restaurant in Verona, Italy.

Watch my complete TV episode about Italy’s Verona, Padova, and Ravenna for free on our website.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




We hear so much about Europe’s problems. Traveling here, I see its successes. Spain, with one of the most miserable economies in Europe, is now laced together by bullet trains so good that you hardly need to fly. Here’s a quick peek at the ride from Madrid to Barcelona — nonstop with speeds ranging from 250 to 300 kilometers per hour (around 180 mph). It’s so nice to zip from downtown to downtown without having to deal with airports in 2.5 hours. And my train ticket included subway rides on either end, which made it even better. On the plain in Spain, the AVE train puts you in the fast lane. (You may want to turn up the volume for this video — I’m whispering so I don’t disturb slumbering passengers.)


This is Day 11 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




My Spanish friends just love croquettes — croquetas in Spanish. To me they taste like soggy tater tots. But at Madrid’s Restaurante Palacio de Cibeles, when restaurateur Javier and tour guide Javier share with me their love for these morsels (and a little historic/cultural context), they suddenly become much tastier. As Javier reminds us: Life is good — especially with good food and good friends.


This is Day 10 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




Walking down Madrid’s delightful pedestrian boulevard enjoying the paseo with my local guide, Nygil Murrel, I learn some fun insights about Spain’s capital city.


This is Day 9 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest