Europe Travel

The souvenir shops and luxury stores give way in Venice&apos;s Cannaregio district in the north of the city to simple residences and cozy restaurants. (Jack Chang/Sacramento Bee/TNS)<br>TNS

You can still find daily life in Venice amid the raging tourism

The summer sun had barely risen over Venice’s quiet waterways when the voices started up again. Blaring in Mandarin Chinese and French from the loudspeakers of cruising tour boats, they told the centuries-old saga of this fabled, once-mighty city in a few minutes, as passengers sipped spritzes and took selfies in front of the passing palazzos and cathedrals. For the rest of the day, the voices would echo throughout this miracle of a city, known as La Serenissima, or the Most Serene One, about once every half an hour until night fell over St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace.

Urban art transforms Lisbon into an outdoor canvas

Street art is front and center in the Portuguese capital, which has transformed itself into an open-air museum, proudly awash in eye-catching murals.

What to see in Florence, Italy's city of art

The skies were cloudy as I strode across that famous bridge, the Ponte Vecchio, ready for a day of checking off Florentine must-sees.

Fear of terrorism means no crowds on Nile River Cruise

From the top deck of the cruise ship River Tosca, the fabled Nile River was wide and blue and calm. And I had the deck of the 236-foot ship to myself.

Contemporary artist brings monumental work to Versailles

On June 7, Versailles unveiled a large-scale exhibition of Olafur Eliasson’s contemporary art, including a waterfall. Following the likes of Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor, Eliasson is the latest artist to take over the estate with art installations — a buzz-generating annual event that invites visitors to see the chateau in a new way.

europe quick trips

Eppstein, Germany, offers castle ruins and picturesque walking

About 8 miles north of Wiesbaden, Germany, at the foot of the rolling Taunus Mountains, lies the 1,000-year-old town of Eppstein. Dominated by its partially renovated castle, first mentioned in the year 1122, the town of just more than 13,000 possesses a picturesque pedestrian district and hidden historical treasures spread around its modest confines.

europe after hours

Restaurant Mediterran a culinary standout in Kaiserslautern

You can’t mistake Kaiserslautern, Germany’s Pariser Strasse for the Champs-Elysees – or any other Paris avenue. The section that runs from the shopping mall to Berliner Strasse is notable mainly for a string of old men’s bars, an empty Christian Science Reading Room and an array of shabby small shops.

festivals and events

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