A few of Turkey's friendly faces. Photo by Rick Steves.

I’m in Kastamonu, five hours northeast of the Turkish capital of Ankara. It’s a town that has yet to figure out the business of tourism. The business hotel where I’m staying is cheap and comfortable, but not slick. I hand a postcard to the boy at the desk, hoping he can mail it for me. He looks it over a couple of times on both sides, compliments me, and politely hands it back. As I leave, he raises his right hand and says, “Hello.”

While changing money,...

David, Michelangelo. "Yes, we can,” say the eyes of Renaissance Man. Photo by Cameron Hewitt.

Entering Florence’s Accademia Gallery is like entering the Church of David — a temple of humanism. At the high altar stands the perfect man, Michelangelo’s colossal statue of David. Like a Renaissance Statue of Liberty, David declares, “Yes, I can.”

This 500-year-old slingshot-toting giant-slayer is the symbol of Florence. The city’s other treasures are largely ignored by the tourist hordes that roam the streets with one statue at the top of their...

The Camino ends at this cathedral, which holds the tomb of St. James. Photo by Cameron Hewitt.

For over a thousand years, the cathedral towering over the main square of Santiago de Compostela in the far northwest corner of Spain has been the ritualistic last stop for pilgrims who’ve hiked here from churches in Paris and all over Europe. And for a thousand years, pilgrims — standing before this towering cathedral — have been overcome with joy and jubilation.

Walking the Way of St. James has changed little over the centuries. The gear still includes a cloak, a...

The 15th-century Tour de l’Horloge (Clock Tower) peeks above medieval buildings in the Old Town of Auxerre, France.

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 553rd issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine — our 46th Anniversary issue, starting our 47th year of publication! ITN was the original monthly “meeting place” for hodophiles, where they could share discoveries, warnings and recommendations from their travels outside of the United States.

We’re still at it, dispensing news as well, such as the following….


A winding path in Switzerland’s Berner Oberland region. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

It’s a glorious Swiss Alps morning. I’m spending my day walking with my schoolteacher friend, Olle, exploring the alpine landscape high above his home in Gimmelwald.

We come to a bluff and pause to look down at his village. It’s a pastoral setting — a zigzag in the narrow paved service road lined with traditional wood homes, many of them two centuries old. In this peaceful community, nearly everyone has one of two last names and the children don’t play...

Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora in Athens. Photos by Julie Skurdenis

I’m standing at the entrance to the Athenian Agora (Adrianou 24; phone 30 210 321 0180 or 0185) in Athens waiting for my husband, Paul, to pay for our entry tickets. The line on this sunny afternoon in October 2021 is unexpectedly long.

As I wait, I notice a small group of tourists also waiting while their guide stands in the ticket line. As they chatter away in English, one of the agora’s guards sidles over to them offering a bit of advance information preceding their...

The old-time sweet shop in York's Castle Museum. Photo by Rick Steves.

I’m following Edwin on a walk around York — the most interesting stop between London and Edinburgh. Edwin is a spry retired schoolteacher who stays active by leading town walks and giving private tours. Today, he’s showing me around to illustrate why, in his mind, York is such a fascinating city.

Edwin and I head over to the York Castle Museum, where English memorabilia from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries is cleverly displayed in a huge collection of craft...

Herr Jung leads a group through Bacharach, Germany. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli.

I’m thinking back on my favorite European memories, and my favorite Europeans, including Herr Jung, the German schoolteacher who passed away not long ago. When I close my eyes, I can still imagine Herr Jung walking me around his hometown … and I still hear his caring teacher’s voice.

When cruising down the romantic Rhine River in Germany, I always stop in my favorite town along that fabled river: Bacharach. This pleasant half-timbered village with vine-covered...