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Rick Steves' Europe

WMHT | Rick Steves' Europe
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Rick Steves' Europe

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Rick Steves, the engaging host of four previous travel series, continues the tradition of providing informative and enlightening ways to enjoy European travel. The newest addition, RICK STEVES' EUROPE, offers a fresh perspective on the best travel advice including where to stay, what to see and how to get around. Additionally, three “travel skills” episodes feature helpful tips on safe, economical and hassle-free traveling, beneficial even for the most seasoned explorer.

Rick Steves' Heart of Italy

WMHT | Rick Steves' Heart of Italy
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Rick Steves' Heart of Italy

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In RICK STEVES' HEART OF ITALY, Rick delves deep into the Italian heartland — the place where la dolce vita is a way of life. Starting in Umbria, he connects with rustic, traditional culture: sleeping at an agriturismo (a farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made (and eaten), and hiking down into ancient and fragrant wine cellars. Then he tours Assisi, with its inspirational story of St. Francis, its stop-and-smell-God's-roses spirituality, its delicate Giotto masterpieces, and its awe-inspiring basilica. In Siena, Rick enjoys a front-row seat at its wild horse race — the venerable Palio — and marvels at cultural treasures from the city's glory days, when it rivaled Florence for dominance in Tuscany. He finishes with the ultimate Riviera getaway: the Cinque Terre, where he gets to know each of the "five lands" — from the dramatic, vineyard-surrounded Vernazza to hardscrabble Riomaggiore, to the pint-sized resort of Monterosso. Fishing for anchovies, sipping wine out of rustic barrels, bringing flowers to hilltop cemeteries, and savoring twinkling Mediterranean vistas, Rick visits his favorite stretch of Mediterranean coastline. From hill towns to harbors, and from vino rosso to Giotto, RICK STEVES' HEART OF ITALY savors the good life in the Italian heartland.

Rick Steves' European Christmas

 
WMHT | Rick Steves' European Christmas
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Rick Steves' European Christmas

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After producing more than 100 travel shows, Rick Steves and his television crew finally celebrate Christmas in Europe. The result — a picturesque celebration in Rick Steves' European Christmas. This colorful montage of the holiday's rich history of traditions explores the sights and sounds of celebrations from Bath, Paris, Oslo, Burgundy and the traditions of Nürnberg, Salzburg and Tuscany in a European snapshot of Christmas.

From England to Norway, Burgundy to Bavaria, and Rome to the top of the Swiss Alps, this special gets you down on the carpet with wide-eyed children, up in the loft with the finest choirs, and into the kitchen with grandma and all her secrets. Experience traditional European Christmas like never before: from flaming puddings and minced pies in jolly old England to angelic girls' choirs donning flickering crowns of candles in Oslo.

Christmas in Europe is a rich and fascinating mix of Christian and pre-Christian traditions; yule logs and mistletoe, shepherd's bonfires and fondue, monastic chants and a Christmas yodel. Celebrate Christmas through the eyes of a delighted child, an awe-struck pilgrim, and a loving parent. Tuscan peasants, trendy Norwegians, Victorian English, dirndl-clad Tyrolians, all contribute to this heart-warming pledge experience.

Each scene is filled with inspiring sounds of traditional European holiday music — unfamiliar to most American ears — performed by families and choirs in their homes, chapels and cathedrals. In England, spirits soar as choral groups sing like angels and ebullient conductors perform centuries-old carols in acoustically perfect churches. In the little village of Swainswick, tiny tinseled singers belt out a joyful song of a donkey that took Mary to Bethlehem. Up north in Norway, the ethereal voices of the Norwegian Girls Choir celebrate the return of the sun and little Santa Lucias brighten the season with their namesake's traditional tune.

Rick Steves' European Christmas is filled with fun history. You'll uncover curious holiday facts like why Cromwell outlawed Christmas and how Charles Dickens caused it to boom again, why English turkeys wore boots in December, and that there are no plums in plum pudding, nor mince in mince pies. You'll discover how to please Norway's pesky Julenisse (hint: leave a bowl of porridge in the barn on Christmas Eve) and that Tyrolians are still singing Silent Night in the village of its birth.