Here you will find the latest information on travel in Europe, as well as lots of other great stuff like recipes for some of my favorite European foods, schedules of upcoming travel seminars, tips and tricks on traveling in Europe, and answers to reader questions about European travel.

For more information about hotels and restaurants like those featured in our blog, or for help in planning your own independent trip to Europe, please contact us about our Self-Guided Trips or Custom Itinerary Planning services.


Visit to the Eagle's Nest

Kehlsteinhaus, known in English as the Eagle's Nest, is a popular destination for those interested in World War II history.

Hitler's close associates gave him the house as a surprise 50th birthday present. Many visitors come under the mistaken impression that this was Hitler's secondary HQ/vacation getaway. Actually Hitler hated the house, and rarely spent more than a few hours here. Photos of him in the Alps are almost all from the Berghof, a chalet further down the mountain, where he did spend a lot of time. Nothing remains of the Berghof, which was damaged in bombing raids, and later dynamited by the Allies.

Reaching the Eagle's Nest is no easier today than it was 70 years ago. The steep, narrow road is only open to specially-equipped buses. Visitors park at the base of the hill, buy a bus ticket, and then ride up to the upper bus station. From there an elevator drilled through solid granite ascends the last 400' to the house, which is now operated as a restaurant.

Be sure to reserve your return trip time as soon as you arrive at the upper bus stop. Buses are often full, and without a reserved seat you could be in for a long wait. Two hours at the top is sufficient for a bite to eat, and a walk along the path for views of the house and surrounding Alps.



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Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Scenes at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, a 14th century monastery in southern Tuscany.
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Views from Rocca d'Orcia

Rocca is a tiny medieval village in southern Tuscany, between Montalcino and Pienza. These were taken at the fortress that crowns the hill above the village.


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Italian police

Visitors to Italy are often confused by the varied, and seemingly competing police forces they see. Polizia Municipale. Polizia Nazionale. Carabinieri. Guardia di Finanza.

Here the BBC explains the origins of the carabinieri, often the most visible of Italy's forces.

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Germany considering motorway tolls

Most countries in Europe collect tolls for using their limited access highways. In France, Italy and on a few highways in Spain, motorists pay the toll by taking a ticket as they enter the highway, then paying when they exit, with the amount of the toll based on the distance driven.

In most other countries the toll is paid by purchasing a tax sticker that goes on the car windshield. The stickers can be valid for ten days, two months, or a year (each country has a slightly different system and price).

Germany has been one of the few exceptions, not charging any toll for cars, but that may be about to change.

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For more information about hotels and restaurants like those featured in our blog, or for help in planning your own independent trip to Europe, please contact us about our Self-Guided Trips or Custom Itinerary Planning services.