February Travel News

Hi from Rick: History's Persistent Echo

When we travel thoughtfully in Europe, we can't help but hear a persistent echo from its history. Our sightseeing through the art, architecture, cathedrals, and palaces pulls us into a deeper understanding of the conflicts, achievements, excesses, beliefs, revolutions, and growing-pains of our civilization.

Learning about the past gives us meaningful perspectives on the issues of our day. Last summer I filmed a TV show in and around the châteaux of the Loire Valley. As I pondered the excesses of the French ruling class in the 18th century (and their tumultuous consequences) I felt like some great tour guide in the sky was trying to help me get my brain around the economic challenges we face as a society today.

In this month's Travel News we'll take you to Europe as a thoughtful, eager-to-learn traveler... Read more

In this issue

Becoming a Temporary European

Many travelers tramp through Europe like they're visiting the cultural zoo. "Ooh, that guy in lederhosen yodeled! Excuse me, could you do that again in the sunshine so I can get a good picture?" It's important to stow your camera, roll up your sleeves, and enjoy…Read More

What's New in Italy & Spain for 2015

Spain and Italy are working hard this year to accommodate hordes of travelers hungry to experience their delightful cultures. The big news in Florence is the food scene. The steel-and-glass Central Market has undergone an exciting resurgence. The top floor is now…Read More

The Hamster Wheel States of America

Watching cable news headlines about lower-than-expected holiday spending, it occurred to me that here in America the business news is never allowed to be entirely good: "Purchases are up…but weaker than forecast." "The stock market is in record territory…Read More

France's Loire: Valley of a Thousand Châteaux

The Loire Valley, two hours southwest of Paris, offers France's greatest array of château experiences. Wander through sumptuous interiors, cared for by noble families who've lived there for centuries and still put out bouquets fit for a countess. View packs of carefully bred…Read More

The Dingle Peninsula: Pure Ireland

In Ireland, you drive on the left. For that reason, I take my time in a car there, especially when doing a do-si-do up and over scenic mountain roads. I slowly weave down the dramatic Conor Pass, spilling out into the rugged Dingle Peninsula. My Irish dreams have long…Read More

Travel Forum: Share Your Lovely, Low-Key Moments

I'll start! Went in a pottery shop in Coimbra — there was a cat sleeping on top of a giant roll of bubble wrap. While wending through Venice, I came across a young man playing the lute very beautifully — when he finished, he was very gracious about answering…Read More

Video of the Month: The Loire's Château de Chenonceau

The château of Chenonceau in France's Loire is one of the great sights in all of Europe. Designed in an odd-couple collaboration by King Henry II's mistress (Diane de Poitiers) and his wife (Catherine de' Medici), Chenonceau was the local aristocracy's place to see and be seen in the 16th century…Watch the Video