Program 313: Pleasure of Italian Cuisine; Little Pleasures in Slovenia; African-American History Sites

Release Date: 01-26-2013

On Air Description

Often, the simple pleasures of life are the most satisfying.  On this week's Travel with Rick Steves, we take a closer look at the pleasure of eating like an Italian with Fred Plotkin.  Two guides from Slovenia highlight the good things they enjoy in their small country.  And we'll see how dozens of sites connected to African-American history, can teach us about the freedoms that 21st century Americans might take for granted. 

It's all on the next Travel with Rick Steves.


  • Fred Plotkin, author of "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler" (Kyle Books)
  • Slovenia tour guides Sašo Golub & Tina Hiti
  • Lydia Sermons, executive director of the African-American Experience Fund

Related Links


  • Asks about Fred's "new book," "In the Footsteps of Michelangelo: A Traveler's Biography” and what Michelangelo's favorite dishes were. (Clarissa in Marina del Rey, California) 
  • "I had the chance this past summer to stop for the day in Lublijana on my travels to/from Croatia.  While I enjoyed the beautiful city, I was stumped about the local food specialties. What food recommendations do you have for some of the local cuisine next time I go back?" (Mendy in Edmond, Oklahoma)
  • "My wife and I visited Slovenia in 2010 and absolutely loved it!  We started at Lake Bled, and it is a must-see. The highlight was a farm stay near Kobarid, rafting the aquamarine Soca River, hiking the surrounding hills, and visiting WWI sites." (Edward in Manassas, Virginia)

Incidental Music

  • I Santo California, "La Dolce Vita Suite," Ciao Amore (collection) / WarnerBros-Starbucks
  • Christophe Beck, "Olive Harvest," Under the Tuscan Sun (soundtrack) / Hollywood Records
  • Janet and Judy, "Italy," Little Ditties / (self-released)
  • Cincinnati Pops, Erich Kunzel, cond., "'Quando m'en vo' from 'La Bohème' (Puccini)," Bella Tuscany (collection) / Telarc
  • * National Philharmonic Orchestra, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, cond., "'Intermezzo' from 'Cavalleria Rusticana' (Mascagni)," The #1 Opera Album (collection) / Decca
  • Magnifico, "Hir aj kam, hir aj go," Export Import / Sony (Slovenia)
  • Neisha, "Malo tu, malo tam," Neisha / Nika Records
  • Slavko Avsenik, "Lovska koracnica," 40 let hitov / (self-released in Slovenia; some of his CDs are distributed internationally by Koch International)
  • Magnifico and Turbolentza, "Zh Ne Sui Pa Pur Tua," Gypsy Groove (collection) / Putumayo
  • * Nina Simone, "Central Park Blues," The Very Best of Nina Simone / Disconforme
  • Herb Ellis, "America the Beautiful," Texas Swings / Justice Records - Fontana
  • Mass meeting participants, recorded in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Feb. 1964, "Freedom Now Chant," Voices of the Civil Rights Movement (collection) / Smithsonian Folkways
  • Etta Baker, "One Dime Blues," Blues Routes (collection) / Smithsonian Folkways
  • Taj Mahal, "Time to Run," Follow the Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad / Rabbit Ears Productions-BMG Music
  • Taj Mahal, "Follow the Drinking Gourd," Follow the Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad / Rabbit Ears Productions-BMG Music

Dated References

  • After Rick's question at 10:22, Fred says that the San Remo farmers market is his favorite for being the "most authentic" in the Liguria region, where local people sell garden herbs and produce. He and Rick then discuss how the Central Market in Florence has become more of a tourist destination.
  • Caller Mendy recalls at 28:30 enjoying "a sunny day in June" in Slovenia.
  • In his intro to segment C, Rick notes that Black History Month is observed in February, and that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. He opens the interview with Lydia Sermons by saying "this is an exciting year" for African-American history.
  • Lydia Sermons says at 42:15 that the African-American Experience Fund is working with 25 sites managed by the National Park Service, which provides park rangers who can arrange for tours, and that most of the sites are free and open on weekends and most holidays.
  • At 43:05, Rick asks Lydia about the "relatively new" Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial site, which opened in the summer of 2011.
  • At 51:32, Lydia notes there is a restoration project underway to restore Fort Howell and Mitchelville on the banks of the Savannah River near Hilton Head Island.