Meet Our Speakers

Rick Steves' Europe presents free, regularly scheduled talks designed to inspire and inform your future travels. Each speaker brings a wealth of know-how and talent for sparking wanderlust. For a taste of the topics they commonly cover, browse our class descriptions.

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Since his stints studying in sunny Aix-en-Provence, singular Marseille, and seaside Brittany, and with seasons of solo sightseeing from Sweden to Spain, Andrew's sure savored being situated to spread the Steves travel style he swears by, serving as webmaster of this swell site and an assistant on our spectacular tours of Europe's sweetest spots.

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A six-month study abroad in Kraków, Poland, was Ben's first trip overseas. Since then, he tries to spend eight weeks a year in Europe visiting friends and new destinations. In college, Ben studied the history of East Central Europe and Russia, making Europe east of the Rhine his favorite region. He works as a travel advisor in the Rick Steves Travel Center and organizes these travel classes.

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For more than two decades, Cameron has spent three months each year in Europe, traveling to over 40 countries and co-authoring several guidebooks. Cameron also contributes to radio shows, TV shows, and other media for Rick Steves' Europe, where he serves as content manager.

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There's nowhere Cassandra would rather be than on a trail in Europe. She's the author of Explore Europe on Foot: Your Complete Guide to Planning a Cultural Hiking Adventure and works as a hiking tour guide in France and Germany. When she's stateside, she offers private consultations to help people plan their own epic European walks.

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Colleen's overseas travels started in college as she worked toward her master's degree in intercultural communication. After convincing Rick to hire her, she turned her travel obsession into a travel career. Today Colleen leads a variety of Italy- and Europe-wide tours for about 10 weeks a year, and when home she orchestrates the logistics for several of our Italy tours.

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Dave's user-friendly maps in Rick Steves' guidebooks have helped thousands of travelers confidently navigate in Europe. His experience as a travel consultant and tour guide give him a broad knowledge of Europe. Passionate about architecture, the outdoors, and good living, Dave loves exploring near home and abroad with his Danish wife and half-Danish son.

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Don traces his family roots to the Abruzzo region east of Rome. His lifelong passions for history and travel led to European study, tour guiding, university teaching, and public speaking, including stints on several European cruises. By day a senior advisor with a large firm, Don spends most nights reading the latest writing on European — especially Roman — history and art.

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Gabe is a former Spanish teacher and current travel consultant in the Rick Steves office. He has lived in England (York), northwestern Spain (Oviedo), and southern France (Castres). He loves teaching, tracing the relationships between cultures and their languages, and methodically hunting down the best pastry in every city he visits. No tart or strudel is safe!

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Gene's passion for Europe and his ability to bring its art and history alive are well known to anyone who's used one of the many guidebooks he's co-authored with Rick Steves. Gene specializes in writing the walking tours of Europe's neighborhoods and museums for Rick's guidebooks and audio tours. He is also the co-author of Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler, as well as Europe's Top 100 Masterpieces, and has contributed heavily to Rick's TV shows.

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Graziella was born and raised in northern Italy and came to the US in 1977. In her many years of teaching Italian classes — which she sprinkles with anecdotes about life in Italy — she has noticed that people learn best when you keep them laughing.

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Gretchen spent a year studying in Scotland and three years teaching English in a German town handily located for constant forays around the rest of Europe. She returns to Europe every year — but somehow her must-see list keeps growing. She's now the online-content editor at Rick Steves, but takes breaks to update guidebooks, lead Rick's My Way tours, and do her part for Europe's gelato industry.

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Joyce has volunteered around the world to work on archaeological, restoration, sustainability, and conservation projects and written two books based on her experiences (Smiling at the World and The Orangutan Rescue Gang). She has also taught English in China, Ukraine, Guatemala, and Spain. When not volunteering, she teaches at North Seattle Community College. She loves inspiring new voluntourists!

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Julianne spent every other summer of her adolescence staying with a French family, leading to a love of the French culture and language. She's been regularly returning to an expanding range of European locales ever since, particularly enjoying her travels in Italy, Germany, Greece, and Britain — and taking every chance to bask in more of France.

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Keith loves how travel exposes the world's incredible diversity, trains you to focus on the positive, and encourages you to live each moment to the fullest. He has lived all across the US, worked in Alaska, resided in Switzerland and London, traveled around the world on five voyages with Semester at Sea, visited 175 countries, and is currently a tour guide for Rick Steves' Europe.

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Kevin embarked on his first European backpacking trip when he was 18, and he's been hooked ever since. While studying European history on an exchange program in England, he took every chance he had to explore more of the continent. And after spending two years teaching English in China, he returned home excited to inspire more travelers.

Travel speaker Lauren Mills


Lauren first visited the UK in 1988 and had become an Anglophile long before bringing home her English husband as a souvenir. Now a map editor for Rick's guidebooks, she visits annually to see in-laws…and to continue her search for the perfect cream tea. Lauren has also traveled widely throughout Europe — from Bergen to Crete, Ankara to Porto — and has even circumnavigated the globe.

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Lisa flew to Europe in 1993 with little more than a carry-on bag and an invitation from friends in a small German town. Exploring "back door" Europe, she reveled in its festivals, markets, and rhythm of life. She now spends three months a year there, tour guiding and on solo and family trips. Stateside, Lisa helps travelers plan independent trips as a consultant in the Rick Steves office.

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Martin grew up in Switzerland, and each summer he channels his love for his country — and passion for the Alps — into guiding tours for Rick. The rest of the year, he's usually either at work as a journalist, or exploring the North Cascades, which he considers "almost like the Alps." He enjoys distilling information into relevant and fun doses, whether fo readers, tour members, or class attendees.

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Mary Ann

A lifelong avid traveler, Mary Ann retired from the Rick Steves' Europe marketing team after working with Rick since the company's earliest days. She has accompanied Rick's tour members all around Europe, most often in Turkey, Britain, central Europe, Ireland, Sicily, Spain, and Portugal. No matter where she travels, it's face-to-face encounters with the world's people that fascinate her the most.


Michaelanne has lived and studied in Provence and Brittany, and she now works as a Rick Steves tour guide. She spends two months a year in France, each time falling in love all over again with the French language and lifestyle — especially the formality, the food, and the savor-the-moment pace of life.

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After studying in Madrid and then working there for more than three years, Mitch fell in love with all things Iberian. Today, he handles logistics for Rick's Spain tours, and he returns to the country every year to learn more about its history and culinary culture.

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Pat L.

Pat loves talking travel and traveling wherever she can in the world, whether on a Rick Steves tour or with her family. She has a special zeal for giving travelers the knowhow and confidence to minimize what they carry with them in order to maximize their travel experiences.

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Pat O.

Pat's five-month exploration of Europe in 1981 was planned and executed with the first edition of Rick's Europe Through the Back Door book. After multiple return trips for studying and backpacking, Pat joined Rick Steves' Europe as a tour guide in 1997. He's also the co-author of Rick's Ireland guidebook. Today, Pat thrives as a travel consultant in the Rick Steves Travel Center.

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Since his first backpacking trip through Europe in 1998, Rich has kept right on traveling. He returns to Europe each year, leading Rick's My Way tours in Spain and Italy, working as a tour assistant, and exploring on his own, adding to his ever-growing travel resume. When he's not on the road, Rich helps others plan their trips as a consultant in the Rick Steves Travel Center.

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While she handles complicated tour-group logistics for a living, decades of globetrotting have taught Robyn that the best travel experiences are the ones you never planned for. Aside from designing and coordinating Rick Steves tours, Robyn also helps update our guidebooks. She knows far more about the various flavors of Ritter Sport chocolate than anyone really should.

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Since 2008, author and walking-tour guide Sandy has trekked over 7,000 miles on the pilgrim trails of Europe. His published guidebooks include The Way of St Francis: From Florence to Assisi and Rome (2015), Camino de Santiago: Camino Francés (2020), and the three-part Walking the Via Francigena: Canterbury to Rome (2021–2023). Sandy blogs his adventures at Caminoist.

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After 13 years in high-school physical education, Sheri started her dream business, Transformational Trekking, by combining her two loves — travel and trekking. Sheri's adventures have taken her trekking all around the globe, and she now trains women for similar life-changing adventures. Sheri has a special affinity for and focus on trekking through England, Scotland, and Ireland.

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Having grown up on three continents, Stefanie's travel passions got an early start! Her undergraduate years were spent in Germany, and were followed by seven years sailing round the world working aboard cruise ships. Now she shares her travel passion on her blog as well as in her roles as a travel advisor and tour guide for Rick Steves' Europe.


Steve is best known as Rick's guide around France in several TV episodes of Rick Steves' Europe, and as the co-author of Rick's France guidebooks. Steve has retired from managing Rick's tour and guide logistics, but still spends his summers researching and updating guidebooks, mostly in France, and relaxing in the farmhouse he and his wife renovated in Burgundy.

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When Tara isn't working as a tour guide — and even when she is — she works as the point person for emergencies and incidents that pop up on the 1,000+ Rick Steves tours that run each year. Her life has been shaped by years of living in Bavaria, a love for speeding on the autobahn, being photographed with large portions of Black Forest cake, and a great empathy for first-time travelers.