Eastern Europe has experienced more change in the last generation than any other corner of Europe. In Prague, the National Museum on Wenceslas Square is slated to wrap up a years-long renovation.
Germany and Austria are a work in progress -- each country has great and innovative museums and galleries to share its culture with its many visitors.
France and the Low Countries have a wealth of art, history, and taste treats to share with visitors. In Paris, the Picasso Museum has finally reopened after years of renovation. The Louvre's iconic pyramid entrance is under renovation until 2016.
Spain and Italy are working hard to accommodate hordes of travelers hungry to experience their delightful cultures. The big news in Florence is the food scene.
In my work throughout Europe, I struggle almost daily with this issue: When is a tourist experience actually a unique slice of a culture, and when is it a tired cliche kept alive by the travel industry?
I find the holiday season in Rome a joy: crisp air; stylish big-city Italians cupping hot cappuccino in corner cafes; and hurried shoppers bundled up with panache, thoughtfully pausing at grand manger scenes.