Just a two-hour drive from jammed-with-tourists Florence, you'll find what is perhaps Italy's most underrated hill town: Volterra.
Rick Steves, Special to Postmedia Network
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Crowds are becoming an increasing nuisance at top European attractions.
St. Petersburg continually amazes me.
Although their kings and queens don't come cheap and today are only figureheads, most Brits seem to thoroughly enjoy having a royal family.
Whether tackling big cities or quaint villages in Europe, you don't want to feel like a stranger in a strange land (even though that's what you are).
Oslo recently overtook Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world. That doesn't surprise me in the least.
How do you fit a whole trip's worth of luggage into a small suitcase or backpack? The answer is simple: Bring very little.
Mykonos is the classic Greek-island stop and, along with Santorini, it's the most touristy.
I'm standing on a tiny balcony overlooking the Times Square of all of Spain -- Madrid's Puerta del Sol.
For centuries, Great Britain's castles were the literal and political high points of their communities.
How to select the right destination? It ultimately depends on your interests, your tastes -- and what your experienced travel writer tells you.
For many travellers, a visit to one of the great treasure-chest museums -- Paris' Louvre, London's British Museum, Rome's Vatican -- is the highlight of a European trip.
Jostling through crowds of Germans and tourists in the Rhine River village of Bacharach, I climb to the sun deck of the ferry and grab a chair.
Whether joy-riding through the French countryside or navigating an urban jungle like Paris, maps are indispensable tools while travelling.
Rome's gateway to the East -- was Europe's first super highway and the wonder of its day.
It's not what you spend or pack that makes your trip memorable; it's the state of mind you bring.
In my early days, I earned my plane ticket to Europe by working as an escort for a bus tour company.
One look at London's skyline, and it's clear the city is shifting east.
In Budapest, Hungary's vibrant capital, you can sample spicy paprika at the Great Market Hall (designed by Gustave Eiffel), sip coffee in a genteel turn-of-the-20th-century cafe, and enjoy an affordable performance at the luxurious Opera House.
As far as I'm concerned, there are two IQs for travellers: Those who queue, and those who don't. If you plan ahead, you can avoid nearly every line that tourists suffer through (except for security checks).