Art, History & Culture Classes

Europe 101: Art and History for Travelers

Get a crash course in ancient Greek life, medieval feudalism, Gothic architecture, Renaissance art, and plenty more. Learn how and why things were done — from castle construction to elegant court life to the rise of Venice to the fall of Rembrandt.

Europe for Foodies

A trip to Europe can be sightseeing for your palate. This food-lover's class outlines some of Europe's best — and most underrated — cuisines; takes a tour of Euro-hipster zones, foodie haunts, and must-try street food; and offers tips on how to inject a love of cuisine into your travels (through food tours, cooking classes, and more).

Europe: The Joy of Travel

Rick Steves shares a colorful slideshow presentation of his favorite places in Europe to inject a little fun and a lot of joy into your European travel dreaming.

European Architecture for Travelers

From the Colosseum to the Eiffel Tower to the Guggenheim Bilbao, every building tells a story. We'll help you learn how to recognize various architectural styles as well as understand and appreciate Europe's treasure trove of great buildings and monuments.

Europe's Musical History Tour

Join us for an overview of Europe's great composers, from Bach to Beethoven to Mozart and more. We'll learn about how their music reflects — and influenced — the art, architecture, and culture of their times.

Italy's Renaissance Treasures

The Renaissance was a rebirth of the arts and learning that began in Florence in the 15th century. It then spread throughout Italy and the rest of Europe. Beyond the rich legacy of fabulous sculpture, art, and architecture that attract today's travelers, the era was also marked by a rebirth of ideas that changed the course of history. Discover what makes a painting, building, and sculpture "Renaissance" and learn where to go to see the best of artists like Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, and more. We'll visit the "big three" of Florence, Rome, and Venice plus some lesser-known destinations as well.

Michelangelo's Italy

Michelangelo Buonarroti — sculptor, painter, architect, and poet — was both prolific and well-traveled. We'll trace the life, work, and travels of "Earth's Greatest Artist," visiting the Italian cities where he created his masterpieces.

Paris Beyond the Basics: Museums & Architecture

Learn more about the beautiful, challenging, fascinating art you'll find in the many incredible museums in the City of Lights — from the must-sees in the Louvre and Orsay museums to some lesser-known treats. We'll also take a look at the important architectural styles that give Paris' streets their unique and dazzling style.

Picasso for Travelers

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, considered by many to be greatest artist of the 20th century, once said, "Art is a lie that shows us the truth." Learn about Picasso's colorful life and the many museums throughout Europe where you can find his art.

Travel as a Political Act

Rick Steves believes there's more to travel than good-value hotels, great art, and tasty cuisine. Americans who "travel as a political act" can have the time of their lives and come home smarter with a better understanding of the interconnectedness of today's world. In this provocative slideshow lecture — now more timely than ever — Rick explains how travel can be truly transformational. Drawing from lessons he learned while exploring Europe, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East, Rick shares that by traveling thoughtfully you can take home the greatest souvenir: a broader perspective.