Local Insider

Over the course of the years, we have almost fallen to a painful death; been marched off to the police station by an irate train conductor; and faced down East German border guards. All in order to serve you better (although we did not know that at the time). Through our adventures and mishaps, we have learned how to do Europe: Where to find the hidden gems, the great vistas, and the unforgettable experiences. And also how to navigate away from the crowds when you’d like Europe for yourself. Check out the archives for destinations relevant to you – and sign up for updates on new postings.

Montreux, Switzerland
Smoke on the Water
Why is a small Swiss town at Lake Geneva is forever connected to both Deep Purple and Queen? And how do we somehow manage to draw a straight line  from them to international express trains? Smoke on the water, fire in the skySmoke on the waterThey burned
Cinque Terre, Italy
Juvenile Delinquent
The first time I went to Cinque Terre, my mother’s wallet was pick pocked from her purse on a bus on the way to Rome’s Termini train station. This was decades ago, when we lived in Italy and had adopted a certain Latin flair for dealing with life’s
Berlin, Germany
Ghost station
If you would like to get a feel for what life in Berlin was like during the Cold War – the Wall, the Stasi secret police, the machine gun-toting border guards – you should visit this underground station.  I visited Französische Strasse when it was one
Bolzano, Italian Dolomites
Bad Spaghetti
More Austrian than Italian, this could be the worst place in Italy to get pasta. But on every other score, Bolzano and South Tyrol is fairy-tale territory, with stunning mountains and this perfectly beautiful small town. Last year, I suffered through probably
Mosel, Germany
Alchohol kills
Visit one of the finest vineyards in the world, high above the scenic Mosel river. But watch your step: This is also one of the very steepest. I know alcohol kills, but this is ridiculous. Premature death from wine is not supposed to happen suddenly and