May News from Rick: Instant Friends in Italy
|My new Pocket Rome guidebook includes my "Night Walk Across Rome" tour, in living color.|
I've been in Italy exactly a month, and I'm struck by how Italy is a land ripe with people who want to connect. Nowhere else in Europe does a country share its quirky secrets like here. And, even though I don't speak the language, I make more friends here per visit than in any other country. Even struggling onto a crowded bus in Rome is a chance — almost an obligation — to discover what's on the mind of whoever is wedged up against my shoulders. Anyone can do it. Maybe that's why so many Americans marry into this culture.
Connecting with Europe is the foundation of everything I do, and this week I'm happy to announce a new way to help you do just that: my new series of Rick Steves Pocket Guides.
These are full-color, truly pocket-size guides to three of Europe's greatest cities: Pocket Rome, Pocket Paris and Pocket London. Unlike other "slimmed-down" guides out there, these are packed with practical content: my top walking tours for each city, details on the major sights, recommended hotels and restaurants, dozens of full-color maps (plus a big, fold-out city map), and lots of city nitty-gritty. To learn more and do some virtual page-turning through these new books, use one of the links, above. I used Pocket Rome during my stay a couple of weeks ago, and it passed the test.
This month's Travel News lets you browse through even more of Europe, with an iPhone video I shot a few midnights ago in Florence, travelers' tips on how much to tip, a travel tale from a study-abroad student, plus articles on cheap sleeps in Europe, train travel, and the ins-and-outs of Madrid.
My guidebook research and TV work have made the past month here hectic and rewarding. But the parts I'll remember most vividly are those unguarded encounters with outgoing Italians: hanging out beside a Cinque Terre harbor with a chef done with a long day of cooking, or asking the woman in the nearby tobacco shop what it's like to live in tiny Vernazza, and hearing her say, "It's a big high school, but we're all different ages."
On your next trip to Italy, assume the locals find you interesting. Connect. Share. They have a story to tell. Italy has a story to tell.
P.S. To see more frequent updates, photos, and iPhone videos during my spring travels through Italy and Turkey, go to my Facebook page and "like" me.