Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams Pledge Special

In his latest two-hour special, travel guru Rick Steves tours the ancient glories and back-street riches of three great Italian cities — Rome, Venice and Florence. Starting in Florence, Rick beholds the art of Fra Angelico, Botticelli and Michelangelo before savoring a Florentine-style steak. In Rome, he ventures into the rustic neighborhoods of Trastevere and the Ghetto. In Venice, he gazes upon the splendor of the Doge before embracing the good life with a gastronomic pub crawl and a romantic gondola ride.

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Stations can publish these three articles (of varying lengths), free of charge, to promote the special. Feel free to edit as needed. You can also download high resolution photos below (see "Download Promotional Media").

Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams — Florence, Rome, and Venice [966 words]

In his new public television special Italy: Cities of Dreams, Rick Steves weaves together the iconic and off-beat wonders of that country’s greatest cities — from the Renaissance brilliance of Florence to the crusty backstreets of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice. Stow away with your own private tour guide as these cultural capitals become accessible, meaningful, and fun. Beware: Watching this travel special may get you scheming to lace together these cities of dreams into your own trip of a lifetime.

Steves starts in Florence, the city that pulled Europe out of the Middle Ages. Fifteenth-century Florence was the home of the Renaissance and birthplace of our modern Western world. You’ll gaze into the eyes of Michelangelo's David, witness Botticelli’s "Birth of Venus," delve into the 3D wonders of Ghiberti’s "Gates of Paradise," rest your eyes upon Fra Angelico’s serene frescoes, and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. And beyond the art and pageantry, you’ll enjoy la dolce vita Florence-style by crossing the Arno River to where Florentine artisans live and work — and eat very well.

Renaissance Florence was the birthplace of humanism and, in many ways, of the modern world. After the fall of ancient Rome, Europe wallowed in centuries of relative darkness. Then, in about 1400, Florence hosted the exciting rebirth of the culture of ancient Greece and Rome — a Renaissance which swept all across Europe.

Touring Florence you’ll see how the Renaissance brought a return to the balanced domes, columns, and arches of the ancient world. Artists rediscovered the beauty of nature and the human body. Portraying beautiful people in harmonious surroundings, they expressed the optimism and confidence of this new age.

The suddenly perky Western European civilization made up for lost centuries with huge gains in economics, science, and art. Florence was the center of it all — the middleman of trade between East and West. The city had money, and it knew what to do with it.

Wealthy merchant and banking families — like the Medici who ruled Florence for generations — showed their civic pride by commissioning great art. And Florence — recognizing and paying creative genius like no one else — unleashed an explosion of innovation.

While Florentine culture was built upon the ruins of the Roman Empire, Rome itself rotted for centuries in medieval darkness. And from its dank and ramshackle districts, neighborhoods evolved that richly reward the intrepid traveler today. With Rick Steves as your guide — and public television as your plane ticket — you’ll immerse yourself in the street life and culture of backstreet Rome.

Sure, you'll see the Eternal City’s famous ancient sights — those awe-inspiring remnants of a mighty empire such as the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Pantheon. And you can't miss towering St. Peter's Basilica, along with the lavish Baroque wonders that decorate Rome’s churches, squares, and palaces.

But you'll experience Rome’s more intimate charms by delving into its back lanes and unheralded corners, many across the Tiber River from the city center. Rome was born about 3,000 years ago along the river. As a center of river trade, Rome connected the interior of the Italian peninsula with the Mediterranean. Standing on the riverbank, you can imagine the bustling in ancient times: busy docks, ramshackle boats, watermills, and platforms for fishing.

Just over the Tiber from downtown is one of Rome’s most colorful districts. Trastevere is the place to immerse yourself in the crustier side of Rome. The name, Trastevere, actually means "across the Tiber River."

Wandering here, you’ll discover a world of artisans who've found their niche and love it. The people — "Trasteverini" — are proud. Old-timers once bragged of never setting foot on the opposite bank of the Tiber. Exploring and observing the neighborhood, the big city seems worlds away.

The third of Italy’s cities of dreams is perhaps the most ethereal city in all of Europe: Venice. It’s certainly the continent’s most romantic city. Venice, more than any other European city, has a seductive charm. Its nickname for centuries has been "La Serenissima," the most serene place.

Thoroughly seduced, you’ll savor the splendors of the Doge in his palace, take a pilgrimage to St. Mark’s Basilica, feast on Venetian treats, be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance, and get intimate with the city of Casanova...on a gondola.

Venice, more than any other city, is the place to get out early and stay out late — to be swept away. On every square is a surprise, and around each corner is an excuse to savor its unique charms. But all the magic sits on a historical foundation of political and economic might.

With mountains of capital, plenty of traders with ready ships, and a shock-and-awe military, Venice was a commercial powerhouse — at one time it was among the six biggest cities in Europe. At its peak, in the early 15th century, of its 180,000 citizens, nearly 1,000 were fabulously wealthy.

When you think of Italy, you can't help thinking about Italian food. In each city, as if helping his viewers fuel their tanks for travel fun, Steves welcomes you to share a diner table with his local friends. In Florence, you'll eat on the "other side" of the river, savoring a Florentine specialty: Chianina beef — perhaps the best steak in all of Europe. In Rome, you’ll dine near the Spanish Steps, enjoying the best of Roman cuisine with restaurateur Claudio Conti. Finally, in Venice, you’ll embrace today’s good life with a gastronomic pub crawl — eating tasty morsels on toothpicks and washing them all down with local wine.

Steves caps this two-hour Italian adventure on a romantic Venetian gondola ride, signing off with a sentiment that anyone enjoying all this Italian goodness will echo: "Life is good…be thankful. Ciao."

Travel along with Rick Steves during his Italy: Cities of Dreams special on [station, date, time].

 

Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams — Florence, Rome, and Venice [704 words]

In his new public television special Italy: Cities of Dreams, Rick Steves weaves together the iconic and off-beat wonders of that country’s greatest cities — from the Renaissance brilliance of Florence to the crusty backstreets of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice. Stow away with your own private tour guide as these cultural capitals become accessible, meaningful, and fun.

Steves starts in Florence, the city that pulled Europe out of the Middle Ages. Fifteenth-century Florence was the home of the Renaissance and birthplace of our modern Western world. You’ll gaze into the eyes of Michelangelo's David, witness Botticelli’s "Birth of Venus," delve into the 3D wonders of Ghiberti’s "Gates of Paradise," rest your eyes upon Fra Angelico’s serene frescoes, and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. And beyond the art and pageantry, you’ll enjoy la dolce vita Florence-style by crossing the Arno River to where Florentine artisans live and work — and eat very well.

Touring Florence you’ll see how the Renaissance brought a return to the balanced domes, columns, and arches of the ancient world. Artists rediscovered the beauty of nature and the human body. Portraying beautiful people in harmonious surroundings, they expressed the optimism and confidence of this new age.

Wealthy merchant and banking families — like the Medici who ruled Florence for generations — showed their civic pride by commissioning great art. And Florence — recognizing and paying creative genius like no one else — unleashed an explosion of innovation.

While Florentine culture was built upon the ruins of the Roman Empire, Rome itself rotted for centuries in medieval darkness. And from its dank and ramshackle districts, neighborhoods evolved that richly reward the intrepid traveler today. With Rick Steves as your guide — and public television as your plane ticket — you’ll immerse yourself in the street life and culture of backstreet Rome.

Sure, you'll see the Eternal City’s famous ancient sights — those awe-inspiring remnants of a mighty empire such as the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Pantheon. And you can't miss towering St. Peter's Basilica, along with the lavish Baroque wonders that decorate Rome’s churches, squares, and palaces.

But you'll experience Rome’s more intimate charms by delving into its back lanes and unheralded corners, many across the Tiber River from the city center. One of Rome’s most colorful districts is Trastevere — the place to immerse yourself in the crustier side of the Eternal City.

Wandering here, you’ll discover a world of artisans who've found their niche and love it. The people — "Trasteverini" — are proud. Old-timers once bragged of never setting foot on the opposite bank of the Tiber. Exploring and observing the neighborhood, the big city seems worlds away.

The third of Italy’s cities of dreams is perhaps the most ethereal city in all of Europe: Venice. It’s certainly the continent’s most romantic city. Venice, more than any other European city, has a seductive charm.

You’ll savor the splendors of the Doge in his palace, take a pilgrimage to St. Mark’s Basilica, feast on Venetian treats, be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance, and get intimate with the city of Casanova...on a gondola.

Venice, more than any other city, is the place to get out early and stay out late — to be swept away. On every square is a surprise, and around each corner is an excuse to savor its unique charms.

When you think of Italy, you can't help thinking about Italian food. In each city, as if helping his viewers fuel their tanks for travel fun, Steves welcomes you to share a diner table with his local friends. In Florence, you'll eat on the "other side" of the river, savoring a Florentine specialty: Chianina beef — perhaps the best steak in all of Europe. In Rome, you’ll dine near the Spanish Steps, enjoying the best of Roman cuisine with restaurateur Claudio Conti. Finally, in Venice, you’ll embrace today’s good life with a gastronomic pub crawl — eating tasty morsels on toothpicks and washing them all down with local wine.

Steves caps this two-hour Italian adventure on a romantic Venetian gondola ride, signing off with a sentiment that anyone enjoying all this Italian goodness will echo: "Life is good…be thankful. Ciao."

Travel along with Rick Steves during his Italy: Cities of Dreams special on [station, date, time].

 

Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams — Florence, Rome, and Venice [306 words]

In his new public television special Italy: Cities of Dreams, Rick Steves weaves together the iconic and off-beat wonders of that country’s greatest cities — from the Renaissance brilliance of Florence to the crusty backstreets of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice..

Steves starts in Florence, the city that pulled Europe out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. You’ll gaze into the eyes of Michelangelo's David, witness Botticelli’s "Birth of Venus," and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. And you’ll enjoy la dolce vita Florence-style by crossing the Arno River to where Florentine artisans live and work — and eat very well.

With Steves as your guide, you’ll also immerse yourself in the culture of backstreet Rome. Sure, you'll see the Eternal City’s famous sights — the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, and St. Peter's Basilica. But you'll experience Rome’s more intimate charms by delving into its unheralded corners across the Tiber River in Trastevere — the crustier side of Rome.

The third of Italy’s cities of dreams is perhaps the most ethereal city in all of Europe: Venice. You’ll savor the splendors of the Doge in his palace, take a pilgrimage to St. Mark’s Basilica, be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance, and get intimate with the city of Casanova...on a gondola.

When you think of Italy, you can't help thinking about Italian food. In Florence, you'll savor a Florentine specialty: Chianina beef. In Rome, you’ll dine near the Spanish Steps, enjoying the best of Roman cuisine. Finally, in Venice, you’ll take a gastronomic pub crawl — eating tasty morsels on toothpicks and washing them all down with local wine.

Steves caps this two-hour Italian adventure on a romantic Venetian gondola ride, signing off by saying, "Life is good…be thankful. Ciao."

Travel along with Rick Steves during his Italy: Cities of Dreams special on [station, date, time].

Host Biography

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of over 50 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe — and Europeans — for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, London and Athens.

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 50 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 80 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website, European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 450 departures — attracting around 12,000 travelers — annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. Rick was divorced in March, 2010. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

 

Fact Sheet

Episode Description

In his latest two-hour special, Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams, travel guru Rick Steves tours the ancient glories and back-street riches of three great Italian cities — Rome, Venice and Florence. Starting in Florence, Rick beholds the art of Fra Angelico, Botticelli and Michelangelo before savoring a Florentine-style steak. In Rome, he ventures into the rustic neighborhoods of Trastevere and the Ghetto. In Venice, he gazes upon the splendor of the Doge before embracing the good life with a gastronomic pub crawl and a romantic gondola ride.

Program Information

RICK STEVES' ITALY: CITIES OF DREAMS HD Pledge Event (1/120) (Stereo,CC)
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
1400-1600ET /HD04

RICK STEVES' ITALY: CITIES OF DREAMS *Create* Pledge Event  (1/120) (Stereo,CC)
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
1400-1600ET /HD04

Thank You Gifts for Pledge Supporters

Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams is produced as a fundraiser for public television stations. To encourage viewers to call in pledges of support, stations and Rick are offering thank you packages of $60, $90 and $180 gift levels. Read a full description of the items by clicking to their product pages in our Travel Store.

$60 Level

$60 Level

  • Rick Steves' Rome Guidebook
    • Station Kit Cost: $9.00
    • Market Value: $26.94
    • Item #: ZZ-ROM-60

$60 Level

  • Rick Steves' Venice Guidebook
    • Station Kit Cost: $9.00
    • Market Value: $26.94
    • Item #: ZZ-VEN-60

$60 Level

$90 Level

$180 Level

All levels will include Rick Steves' Italy Planning Map, Travel Skills DVD and Best Destinations Newsletter.

Stations pay all shipping charges.

Questions: Angie@ricksteves.com

To order, please contact:

pledge@ricksteves.com
Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door
130 Fourth Avenue North
P.O. Box 2009
Edmonds, WA 98020
Tel: 425-771-8303
Fax: 425-771-0833

Download Promotional Media

Here you will find everything you will need to promote Rick Steves’ Italy: Cities of Dreams Pledge Special. If you would like assistance in downloading these images, or prefer another format, please email Ashley Sytsma (ashley@ricksteves.com) or call 425-608-4293.

Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams Photos: High-resolution photos for viewer guides, websites, and other publications.

Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams Pledge Premium Images: Completed Screenshots or composite images to create your own.

 

Rick Steves' Italy: Cities of Dreams Photos

To download any image, right-click the download link and select "Save Target As" (or "Save Link As" in some browsers).

David in Florence's Accademia. Download image.

Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River in Florence. Download image.

Rick at Florence's Piazzale Michelangelo. Download image.

Rick enjoying one of Rome's many outdoor cafes. Download image.

Cruising the canals of Venice. Download image.

Gondolas and San Giorgio Maggiore Church. Download image.

 

Pledge Premium Images

Below are composite JPEGs of each of the pledge levels shown below, formatted for a 1920 x 1080 screen.

You can download a zipped archive that contains high resolution JPEGs of all six pledge premiums, flat or 3-dimensional, for use in your own layouts.

A layered Photoshop file containing each pledge level as an editable group (with rasterized type) is also available for download.