Top Five Rick Steves Stories of 2014

From Italian hilltop villages to the biggest happenings in France, here are the most-read articles written by Europe travel expert Rick Steves this year.

1. Traveling Italy 

Travelers will always see new things when visiting Italy. Florence is a must-see, but long lines at many of the sites can be frustrating. An easy soultion is investing in a Firenze Card, which allows visitors to have access to 60 some museums in the city.

Venice is strict with litter laws and keeping the city clean. Individuals should not picnic in St. Mark's Square where fines are given out.  Read more here


2. Updated Sites in France

France seems to never disappoint travelers, with various cities, museums and monuments worth visiting.

The Picasso Museum recently was renovated, and the Rodin Museum will continue its renovation into 2015. The city of Marseille recently got a major renovation, while Nice recently added a green parkway.

Guests can also save time at popular sites, like the Eiffel Tower, by making online reservations in advance. Another tip: St. Sulpice Church is no longer allowing visits to its pipe organ. However, performances still occur in the church. Read more here


3. Surprises in Reims 

Reims, France, known for its champagne, is a city full of historical and cultural importance. Also, accessing the city is easy and quick from popular destinations like Paris.

This is where French kings were crowned, where Champagne first bubbled, where WWI devastation met miraculous reconstruction and where the Germans officially surrendered in 1945, bringing World War II to a close in Europe. Read More Here


4. Orvieto, a Top Italian City

Orvieto may be the ultimate hill-top town in Italy, with its views and romantic feel.

Less than 90 minutes from Rome, Orvieto sits majestically high above the valley floor atop a big chunk of "tufo" volcanic stone, overlooking cypress-dotted Umbrian plains. Orvieto's cathedral also adds some variation to the "typical" cathedral facade by using a range of colors. Read more here.  


5. How to: European Airports 

Navigating European airports can be daunting, especially when fighting jet lag. However, when traveling asking certain questions is key, and knowing which service person to approach in case of a travel mishap could save a traveler time, energy and money.

Also, visitors can avoid losing money at airports by avoiding scams, like taxis overcharging. Follow these tips for smooth flying. Read more here