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Rick Steves’ Europe: Rome, Florence, Venice And Paris

Airs Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 3 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: The interior of the Colosseum, Rome.

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series RICK STEVES' EUROPE, and best-selling author of 40 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe — and Europeans — for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Courtesy of Rick Steves

Rick Steves beneath the Oculus of the Pantheon, Rome.

Courtesy of Rick Steves

Florence skyline

Courtesy of Rick Steves

Venice Lagoon: Zattere waterfront

Courtesy of Rick Steves

The interior of St. Chappelle, Paris.

Courtesy of Rick Steves

Give at the $60 level during our TV membership campaign and receive a Rick Steves' Europe 2-DVD set of all 11 shows from season seven. This gift also includes enrollment in the myKPBS Savers Club which features a directory of best-in-class offers from Entertainment Publications and a KPBS License Plate Frame (if you're a new member).

In this special episode, Rick shares travel tips and stories, taking viewers to the biggest destination cities in Europe including Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris.

First, in Rome, resurrect the rubble and bring back to life the capital of the ancient world. Focusing on the grandeur of classical Rome, we marvel at the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the empire's exquisite art. Go offbeat by bicycle to see the Appian Way and marvels of Roman engineering.

Then enjoy the exquisite artistic treasures of Florence, the city that propelled Europe out of the Middle Ages. Side-trip to a couple of rival cities and cultural capitals in their own right, Pisa and Lucca to marvel at a tipsy tower, circle a city on its ramparts, and enjoy some Puccini in his hometown.

And later, after sorting through the monuments of Venice’s powerful past, trace its decline from Europe's most powerful city to its most hedonistic one. Cruise the Grand Canal, luxuriate in a venerable café, and savor fresh fish canalside with Venetian friends. Becoming as anonymous as possible in this city of masks, viewers will be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance and get intimate with the city of Casanova...on a gondola under the moonlight.

Finally, in Europe’s “City of Light,” ride a unicorn into the Middle Ages at the Cluny Museum, take a midnight Paris joyride in a classic car, get an extremely close-up look at heavenly stained glass in Sainte-Chapelle, go on a tombstone pilgrimage at Père Lachaise Cemetery, and savor the Parisian café scene. Few cites are so confident in their expertise in good living—and as travelers, we get to share in that uniquely Parisian joie de vivre.

Rick's Travel Philosophy:

Travel is freedom...one of the last great sources of legal adventure. Travel is intensified living, with maximum thrills per minute. It's recess, and we need it. Experiencing the real Europe requires catching it by surprise, going casual...Through the Back Door.

Rick Steves is on Facebook, and you can follow @RickSteves on Twitter.

This program is part of our TV Membership Campaign. Support quality programming you depend on from KPBS. Join or renew today!

Video

Rick Steves' Europe: Rome, Italy: Catacombs and Appian Way

Above: Rome's San Callisto catacombs housed early Christian heroes later recognized as martyrs and saints as early as the 3rd century. Along with the catacombs, which were abandoned and forgotten in the Middle Ages, Rome's ancient Appian Way is enjoying resurgence as a well-known attraction for locals and tourists alike. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

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Rick Steves' Europe: Rome, Italy: Ancient Wonders

Above: Rome's ancient wonders are at tourists' fingertips when they visit the Eternal City. Step inside Rome's pantheon for a look at the splendor of ancient Rome, and marvel at the colossal Colosseum, Rome's greatest engineering feat. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

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Above: No trip to Florence is complete without a visit to the masterpiece-packed Uffizi Gallery. On a single floor, travelers experience a thrilling sweep through art history, spanning the 12th through the 17th centuries. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

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Rick Steves' Europe: Florence, Italy: Brunelleschi's Dome

Above: Built in 1420, Brunelleschi's dome ignited an architectural Renaissance that can still be experienced today. Tourists climb 500 steps to the top in a hollow space Brunelleschi devised to make the dome lighter, therefore ultimately able to stand. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

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Rick Steves' Euroope: Venice, Italy: Gondola Gliding

Above: For open air art in Venice, you need only to look at the canals. Sleek and graceful, gondolas are a symbol of this most serene city. On a gondola, romantics glide through their own parallel Venice, experiencing echoes of the past, and reflections of once upon a time grandeur. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

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Rick Steves' Europe: Venice, Italy: The Doge's Palace

Above: More than any other city, Venice is the place to get out early, or stay out late, where around each corner is an excuse to savor the magic of the city. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

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Rick Steves' Europe: Paris, France: Icons of the City

Above: Built in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower is a marvel of the Industrial Age and trumpets progress and man's ingenuity. Meanwhile, centered on the Isle de la Cite, Notre Dame sits atop what centuries ago was a Roman temple. For more information on the Rick Steves' Europe TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit http://www.ricksteves.com.

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Highlights Of Paris: Lunching On The Seine

Above: Rick's guide takes him through an iconic Parisian afternoon, topped off with a "cliche" Parisian lunch. For more information on the RICK STEVES' EUROPE TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit www.ricksteves.com.

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