Letters from Travelers
We receive many thoughtful emails correcting goofy yet intentional mistakes Rick makes in his guidebooks. Even Rick's editors at Avalon Travel Publishing accidentally correct Rick when he'd rather be wrong. Here's a recent and particularly thoughtful example from one of our readers:
In Rick Steves ' Europe 101 (page 105) you refer to the Brotherhood of Flatulence. Shouldn't that be the brotherhood of Flagellants? There is a very big difference-the public wants to beat upon the former group and the later group beats upon themselves.
Thanks for the enjoyable book.
Keep the newsletters coming, they are wonderful. You've heard
from me before — I'm the dentist who plays your videos for my patients on a
ceiling mounted TV while they have their work done. The only part we don't
like is the scenes of delicious looking food you show a lot of on your
shows. I mean here the poor patient is having dentistry done with all the
yucky tastes and they often can't eat afterwards and they are watching all
that fine European cuisine. And then of course I ask them not to salivate!
Pure dental torture. How about making a dental version of your shows with
no food? Maybe a segment on European dentistry so that our American
patients can see what it's like overseas. Just a thought. Any new shows
coming out? Hope so. Keep on traveling.
Tom Devlin, DDS
You are my golden travel God. It's true. My darling boyfriend and I took your "Rick Steves Italy 2004" book with us on our recent trip, and boy did we ever use it! At some point, we began to talk like you were actually on the trip with us. We'd say, "Where does Rick say we should eat dinner?" Or "What did Rick say about that museum?" Thank you sooooooo much! I have been spreading your gospel. When my sisters both traveled to Europe, I gave them a copy of "Europe 101: Art and History for the Traveler" and "Rick Steves' Best of Europe 2003." They found their guidebooks the most valuable thing in their luggage!
On to the reviews. Best: We had our very best meal of the trip at Osteria Antica di Devo in Siena. That place was fantastic! And thank you for the recommendation of the Borghese Gallery in Rome. I don't know why more people don't know about it and visit it — the sculpture is amazing! Make sure you recommend the audio guide — it gave new meaning and great stories to each piece of art. We also stayed in a gorgeous 60 Euro a night place that you recommended by Cristiana and Luciana in Corniglia in the Cinque Terre. The room had a SPECTACULAR view of the sea. We LOVED the Cinque Terre, and probably would never have known about it without you.
The Worst: We walked into the Trattoria Burrasca in Florence (where you said Andy Capp would eat on a fancy night out). Well, I'd called in Italian to get a reservation and the woman didn't remember. The owner was rude to two other customers, and we walked out about five minutes later without ordering. Yuck. Not to mention, it wasn't any cheaper than other nicer places. Definitely downgrade. We also stayed in the Hotel Nuovo you recommended two blocks from the Duomo in Milan (the one without the warm welcome and lots of stairs). We didn't expect fancy, but we didn't expect flea bag either. Room 41 is next to the joint bathroom, and the beds are unsleepable. I'd take this place off the list.
Our trip was amazing. I'd taken a suggestion from your newsletter and booked an incredible 1 Euro flight to Barcelona by Ryanair for the middle of our vacation as a surprise overnight — but my boyfriend got sick and we couldn't go. Suddenly I was scrambling to make cancellations and re-plan the trip while we were in Italy — and we NEVER would have been able to do it without your book's help. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!! It says in your book that you personally read all feedback. I hope you do get this letter and know what a huge influence you've been in my life. My mother gave me your book after I graduated UCLA and took my first trip to Europe. During that trip, I got bitten by the travel bug, and haven't looked back. Thank you for inspiring me.
With much gratitude,
Kristy Grant (and Lawrence Long my traveling and life partner :-)