Rick Steves' Europe / Travel & Leisure

Communicating in Italy

I am terrible at foreign languages. Because they're so outgoing and their language is fun, Italians are a pleasure to interact with. I find Italian beautiful and almost melodic.

Pondering Britain's stone circles

Grand, centuries-old cathedrals distinguish Great Britain's cities and towns, providing spiritual nourishment to those who visit. Stonehenge is the most famous of these -- and has a new visitors' center to serve nearly one million annual sightseers.

Being spontaneous in your travels

Twenty years ago, I was on a train heading to Rothenburg to update the ultimate medieval town in Germany for my guidebook. As I was preparing for a connection, I realized the train I was on was heading for Prague.

Tips on tipping in Europe

Here's a tip. Restaurant tips are more modest in Europe than in America. Virtually anywhere in Europe, you can do as the Europeans do and add a euro or two for each person in your party.