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Siena and Assisi: Italy's Grand Hill Towns

In red-bricked Siena, we tour its innovative medieval hospital, lavish cathedral, and a bakery that makes panforte (like fruitcake, only better). Exploring the Chianti region, we taste Brunello di Montalcino--with its makers. Spending the night at a farmhouse, we meet the family and the sheep, learn of the Slow Food Movement, and enjoy a homegrown dinner. In Assisi, we follow the footsteps of St. Francis from his humble chapel to the grand basilica--frescoed by Giotto--that holds his tomb.



Upcoming Airdates

Great Swiss Cities: Luzern, Bern, Zurich and Lausanne

In this episode we'll focus on an often overlooked side of Switzerland its urban charms. We'll get some exercise, from ringing a very big bell to floating down an urban river. We'll also enjoy a variety of eye-opening art, from Chagall and Klee to inmates of an asylum. Then we'll ponder a few Swiss innovations, from their open-minded drug policies to their hush-hush underground arsenals. And it'll all before a backdrop of Switzerland's stunning natural beauty.




  • 2016-09-30T02:02:00-07:00
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  • 2016-10-12T12:30:00-07:00
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Vienna and the Danube

For centuries, Vienna was the crown jewel of the rich and powerful Habsburg Empire. A century after that empire's fall, the Viennese appreciates their imperial legacy as a cultural wellspring and an excuse to live in style. We'll take in the city's wealth of elegant gardens, great art and fine music. Then we'll explore the city's surroundings, with a trip along the romantic Danube River and a hike up to the breathtakingly Baroque Melk Abbey.

  • 2016-10-03T02:00:00-07:00
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  • 2016-10-13T12:30:00-07:00
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Burgundy: Profound France

Burgundy is a calm and cultivated corner of France, where nature is as sophisticated as the people. Traditions are strong here. We'll slow down to enjoy the region's edible, drinkable, scenic, and floatable delights. We'll travel on a canal barge, visit a medieval hospice and a modern monastery, build a barrel, appreciate fine Burgundy wine, slurp escargot, and eat very, very well. If you're looking for the quintessential French culture, you'll find it in Burgundy.



  • 2016-10-03T12:30:00-07:00
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The Czech Republic Off The Beaten Path

Few travelers venture beyond Prague to experience the Czech Republic's many cultural riches and offbeat delights. We'll get you started with a whirlwind of Art Nouveau, local pub music, stinky cheese-tasting, river-rafting, and peat-bathing in places like Olomouc, Moravsky Krumlov, Telc, Trebon and Konopiste. We'll also tour a remarkable memorial to the holocaust in Terezen, and the charming castle town of Cesky Krumlov.



  • 2016-10-04T02:00:00-07:00
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  • 2016-10-17T12:30:00-07:00
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Athens and Side Trips

  • 2016-10-05T02:00:00-07:00
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  • 2016-10-19T12:30:00-07:00
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France's Dordogne

  • 2016-10-05T12:30:00-07:00
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Greece's Peloponnese

Island getaways are fun, but the real heart of Greece is found in the Peloponnese Peninsula. After enjoying the charming old port town of Nafplio, we'll time-trip through the ruins of Olympia, take center stage at the remarkably preserved theater at Epidauros, and explore the ancient capital of Mycenae. Then we'll wander off the beaten path along the rustic, rough-and-tumble Mani Peninsula, relax in the idyllic beach town of Kardymli and marvel at Greece's Rock of Gibraltar: the fortress town of Monemvasia.



  • 2016-10-06T02:00:00-07:00
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  • 2016-10-20T12:30:00-07:00
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Barcelona and Catalunya

The creative spirit of Spain's Catalunya the land of Picasso, Gaudi and Salvador Dali is on a roll. We'll get caught up in the festivity of Barcelona, enjoying the vibrant street scenes, tasty tapas and pedestrian-friendly Gothic Quarter. Then we'll take a scenic side trip to mountaintop Montserrat, and finish with an artist's pilgrimage along the Costa Brava to Salvador Dali country seaside Cadaques to visit his home and nearby Figures to experience his playfully surreal mausoleum/museum.



  • 2016-10-06T12:30:00-07:00
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Copenhagen

Denmark's capital is the most fun-loving in Scandinavia. As we get to know Copenhagen, we'll discover reminders of its Viking history and symbols of its proudly independent ways today. We'll stroll through Europe's first great pedestrian zone, ogle crown jewels in the palace and take a bike ride through a famous hippie squatter community, finishing at Copenhagen's full-time carnival, Tivoli Gardens.




  • 2016-10-07T02:00:00-07:00
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Denmark: Beyond Copenhagen

Using Copenhagen as a spring board, we'll visit the very best of Denmark. Aarhus welcomes us with its ruddy affluence, charming open air museum and eerily well-preserved ancient bog man. Roskilde impresses visitors with its royal burial church and the best Viking ship museum anywhere. And the delightfully quaint Isle of Aero beckons a bike ride among thatched cottages, "snooping mirrors", and cobbled alleyways that reminds us of the world of Hans Christian Andersen.



  • 2016-10-10T02:00:00-07:00
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Little Europe: San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City, Liechtenstein, and Andorra

Don't blink as we blitz through Europe's tiniest countries: Vatican City, the world's smallest country, comes with the planet's biggest church. The fairytale princedom of Monaco lures visitors with its fancy casino and glamorous views. Italy's last independent hill town, San Marino still looks formidable, as does the castle-guarded principality of Liechtenstein. And tiny Andorra entertains shoppers and hikers alike, surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Pyrenees.



  • 2016-10-10T12:30:00-07:00
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Istanbul

Where Europe comes face to face with Asia, we'll explore the fascinating, multilayered city of Istanbul. We'll lose our way in the Grand Bazaar and feast like kings with locals at a fisherman's wharf. We'll follow the fall of the Byzantium and the rise of Islam at the city's ancient wall, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. To escape the city bustle, we'll board a boat on the churning Bosphorus, make friends over backgammon, and try a traditional bath.

  • 2016-10-11T02:00:00-07:00
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Iran:Tehran and Side Trips

As he's done with previous programs on Israel, Egypt, and Eastern Turkey, Rick takes us beyond Europe to a place that's rich with history...and mystery. In this first of two half-hour shows on Iran, Rick dodges traffic in Tehran, enjoys the tranquility of a nearby village, and encounters both anti-American propaganda and a warm welcome from everyday Iranians.



  • 2016-10-12T02:00:00-07:00
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Iran's Historic Capitals

Iran's rich history goes back millennia, to the days when Persepolis was home to "the king of kings." In this episode, Rick Steves explores three historic capitals of Iran: Persepolis, with its splendid monuments; Shiraz, with the tombs of Iran's most beloved poets; and Esfahan, with its extraordinary mosques and endearing people.



  • 2016-10-13T02:00:00-07:00
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Rome: Ancient Glory

Part one of three on the Eternal City, this episode resurrects the rubble and brings back to life the capital of the ancient world. Focusing on the grandeur of classical Rome, we marvel at the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the empire's exquisite art. Then we go offbeat by bicycle to see the Appian Way and marvels of Roman engineering.

Read our ancient Rome travel guide.

  • 2016-10-14T02:00:00-07:00
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Rome: Baroque Brilliance

This second of three episodes on Rome reveals a city busy with life and bursting with Baroque. We ramble through the venerable heart of Rome, admire breathtaking Bernini statues, ponder sunbeams inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, and mix and mingle with the Romans during an early-evening stroll. Following an exquisite Roman dinner, we join locals after dark, lacing together the Eternal City's most romantic nightspots.

  • 2016-10-17T02:00:00-07:00
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Rome: Back-Street Riches

In this third of three episodes on the Eternal City, we explore this grand metropolis-so rich in art and culture-on a more intimate scale, delving into its back lanes and unheralded corners. Venturing through the crusty Trastevere district, visiting the historic Jewish Ghetto, and enjoying art treasures in a string of rarely visited churches, we uncover charms of hidden Rome that compete with its marquee sights.

  • 2016-10-18T02:00:00-07:00
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Florence: Heart of the Renaissance

Fifteenth-century Florence was the home of the Renaissance and the birthplace of our modern world. In this first of two episodes, we gaze into the self-assured eyes of Michelangelo's David, enjoy Botticelli's Birth of Venus, delve into the 3-D wonders of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, appreciate Fra Angelico's serene beauty, and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. Then we cross the Arno to where Florentine artisans live, work, and eat ... very well.



  • 2016-10-19T02:00:00-07:00
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Florentine Delights and Tuscan Side Trips

In this second of a two episodes on Florence, we enjoy more of the exquisite artistic treasures of the city that propelled Europe out of the Middle Ages. Then we side-trip to a couple of rival cities and cultural capitals in their own right, Pisa and Lucca, where we'll marvel at a tipsy tower, circle a city on its ramparts, and enjoy some Puccini in his hometown.



  • 2016-10-20T02:00:00-07:00
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Paris: Regal and Intimate

In Paris, amidst all of its grandeur, the little joys of life are still embraced. In this first of two episodes on Paris, we cruise the Seine River, visit Napoleon's tomb, and take in the Louvre. Then we feel the pulse of Paris-shopping in village-like neighborhoods, attending church in a grand pipe organ loft, and celebrating the mother of all revolutions with a big, patriotic Bastille Day bang.



  • 2016-10-21T02:00:00-07:00
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