France's bustling, modern Reims greets travelers with cellar doors wide open.
Rome is a showcase of Western civilization, layered with elements of the city's 2,000-year-old history. Rome is the birthplace of the Baroque style -- and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who lived and worked here in the 17th century, is considered its father.
Lately, I've really been enjoying what I consider to be the "second cities" of Europe, such as Naples in Italy, Marseille in France and Hamburg in Germany.
Sometimes I wonder why I lug my bag through airports, following my own recommendation to pack light enough to carry on and avoid checking any bags on international flights.
The last time I visited St. Petersburg, in the 1990s, the Russian city was gray and depressing. Three hundred years ago, St. Petersburg was a dismal swampland.
While Germany sits in the driver's seat of Europe's economy, it doesn't take a cultural backseat either. Berlin is trying to finish construction of its new, 5 billion-euro airport: Willy Brandt Berlin-Brandenburg International.