A winding path in Switzerland's Berner Oberland region. Photo by Rick Steves.

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...

In Vevey, Switzerland, Charlie Chaplin’s statue is a stone’s throw from a 26-foot-tall fork installed in Lake Geneva by the Alimentarium, a food-themed museum. Photo: ©irisphoto18/

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 550th issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine, with articles and letters supplied by its world-traveling subscribers. In this issue, read how they have been managing lately!

Meanwhile, I’ll fill you in on some of the latest news.

In the ITN Travel Brief “Vaccine Passport for France”(Oct. ’21, pg. 30) , it was reported that France was offering a digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate to American and...


How do you know when it’s safe to travel again? (Part 3 in a series)

This month I’m sharing the experiences of two people who took small-group tours.

Morocco adventure

After reading my last two columns, ITN reader Lenita Firth of Mill Creek, Washington, emailed to say that she and her husband returned on Nov. 5, 2021, from a 2-week trip to Morocco with Odysseys Unlimited (Newton, MA; 888/370-6765, She wrote that, as part of a group of...

Gravesite memorial to two sisters: Demetria and Pamphile – Kerameikos Archaeological Park, Athens. Photos by Paul Lalli

KERAMEIKOS: Athens’ ancient cemetery

I am standing in Kerameikos, one of Athens’ oldest cemeteries. At first the site seems lonely, even desolate, somewhat like my life since COVID-19 sidetracked me after March 2020. 

Back then, I had just returned from a long trip to New Zealand and Australia, with my mind full of memories and my suitcases full of souvenirs. I was already planning new trips to Greece, to France and to Italy in the coming months. I imagined...


In the Lofoten Islands of northern Norway, the Rost Reef, discovered in 2002, is the world’s largest deepwater coral reef, formed by Lophelia corals. — Bryan Henry, Contributing Editor, Hollywood, FL

My dinner with Franklin: <i>Indimenticabile</i>. Photo by Rick Steves

When I'm not in Europe, I like to recall my favorite meals on the road. I especially love the way Italians enjoy their food.

I’m sitting down for a meal with a friend at one of my favorite restaurants, Enoteca Cangrande in Verona. Eating in a little restaurant like this one, you have contact with the chef. We were here a year ago and chef Giuliano remembers us. Once we’re comfortably seated, he consults with us. As is our tradition, we encourage him to bring us...

Helsinki’s Lutheran Cathedral. Photo by Cameron Hewitt

There’s a definite energy on the streets of Helsinki tonight. My friend Hanne explains, “We call Wednesday our ‘little Friday.’”

People are filling up the city’s main boulevard. There are so many people that I wonder if it’s some kind of demonstration. Then I see their robes and sheets of music and realize that these are choral groups, each represented by a placard. From all corners of the country, some 800 singers converge on the massive...

An elegant pool at the Caracalla Thermal Baths. Photo by Sandra Hundacker

Relaxing at the spa resort of Baden-Baden in southern Germany’s Black Forest, I see more naked people in two hours than many Americans see in their entire lives.

Ever since the Roman emperor Caracalla bathed in the mineral waters here, Baden-Baden has welcomed those in need of a good soak. In the 19th century, the town was Germany’s ultimate spa resort, and even today, the name Baden-Baden is synonymous with relaxation in a land where the government still pays for its...