Rick Steves: Sightseeing as citizens of the world

October 22, 2008 at 11:50 am 1 comment

CNN recently published an article by Rick Steves – Sightseeing as citizens of the world.  In this article, Rick talks about how he really appreciated his 1999 visit to the Reichstag in Berlin because of his knowledge of history.  While many tourists were worried about their camera batteries and cheerfully enjoying the view, Rick was able to appreciate the emotion of the Germans as they remembered WWII and the suffering during the Cold War and appreciated their freedom.

I think history is one of the most important aspects (if not the most important aspect) of travel.  When we visited Venice this past summer, I definitely looked around and though, “Ooh!  Pretty!”  But I also thought about Venice’s storied past – of doges and of a republic that lasted over 1,000 years.  (Read more about the Republic of Venice on Wiki.)  Of course, Venice’s potential future is something to be considered as well.  It may be sinking, but it is definitely crumbling.  It’s incredibly expensive to maintain the existing structures, so a lot of owners have no choice but to allow the buildings to slowly fall apart.  Save Venice is trying to help and has completed some masterful projects, from several within the Doge’s Palace to Santa Maria dei Miracoli.

Next time you travel, take the time to read up on the history of where you are going.  You’ll make your time (and money!) spent there even more worthwhile.

Images from Rick Steves via CNN and Save Venice.

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Entry filed under: Destinations, News, Travel Tips. Tags: , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Travel Turtle  |  October 24, 2008 at 7:53 am

    I always bring a book about the place I’m visiting that’s about some historical perspective of the place. Even historical fiction. When I went to Italy, I was reading “The Name of the Rose” and it was set in the 1300s. I was actually in Germany when I started reading it and a church I visited had a handout about the history of the church and part of that church’s history coincided with what I was reading in my book. Which just makes it that much more powerful of an experience.

    Reply

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