Rick Steves Art of Europe to Premiere Fall 2022 on Public Television Stations Nationwide

Production is underway for a six-part limited series presented and distributed by American Public Television in which travel expert, author and host Rick Steves will showcase Europe’s great art and architecture in a new six-part series currently in production. The culmination of three decades of Rick showcasing Europe’s great art and architecture on public television, the series will cover the span of European art history through their greatest masterpieces. Produced by Rick Steves’ Europe and presented by American Public Television (APT), the leading syndicator of content to public television stations nationwide, Rick Steves Art of Europe will release October 2022 to public television stations nationwide (check local listings).  

From climbing deep into prehistoric tombs on remote Scottish isles and summiting Michelangelo’s magnificent dome at the Vatican, to waltzing through glittering French palaces and pondering the genius of Picasso and Van Gogh, Rick Steves does for art what he does for travel—makes the television experience both fun and accessible.

“This year, APT is proud to deepen our public television relationship with Rick Steves in our new role as the presenter for the Rick Steves’ Europe programming catalog and specials, in addition to handling international licensing for the collection,” notes Cynthia Fenneman, President and CEO of APT. “We’re excited to share his experiences and learnings on art in this exciting series, honed through decades of travel in Europe.”

“All my life, art has brought me great joy in my travels. And I’ve learned that the more we understand art, the more we appreciate it,” said Rick Steves. “In this six-hour series, we’ll enrich your understanding—and therefore your enjoyment—of European art.”

From Cave Paintings to Modern Art in Six Episodes

The six-part Rick Steves Art of Europe will trace European art from cave paintings and mysterious stone circles through the rise and fall of great ancient civilizations, and the influential periods of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Through it all, new artistic styles emerged: stern Neoclassicism, unbridled Romanticism, sun-dappled Impressionism. The series concludes with an exploration of the art of the 20th century as artistic expression was pushed to new frontiers. Throughout each episode, the exuberance and joy of European art are celebrated, connecting audiences to the past while simultaneously pointing the way forward.

Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces

Pick up the full-color coffee-table book Rick wrote with Gene Openshaw, “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces” — and satisfy those art cravings with a chronological tour through Europe’s greatest paintings, sculptures, and historic buildings.  

Rick asks that you please support local bookstores in your community, or you can find it in on his  online Travel Store: https://www.ricksteves.com/masterpieces 

Join Rick Steves as he explores the origins and history of European art:

Episode 1: “Stone Age to Ancient Greece” – The basis of Western art in symbolism, tombs and statuary.
Episode 2: “Ancient Rome” – Groundbreaking architecture, mosaics and frescoes.
Episode 3: “The Middle Ages” – Majestic castles, cathedrals and art for the secular and faithful alike.
Episode 4: “The Renaissance” – The rebirth of classical culture through the celebration of humanism.
Episode 5: “Baroque” – Displaying a Europe in transition with displays of both austerity and excess.
Episode 6: “The Modern Age” – New artistic styles that express the complexity of our present-day world.

Listen to Rick’s podcasts and radio show and follow his blog.. @ricksteves

Rick Steves is a popular public television and radio host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. He is the founder and owner of Rick Steves’ Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Rick lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Rosio Square, Italy. @ricksteves.com

Rick Steves Art of Europe is a production of Rick Steves’ Europe, Inc., and presented and distributed by American Public Television. The host and writer is Rick Steves. The producer is Simon Griffith. The editor is Steve Cammarano. The co-writer is Gene Openshaw.

Early traveler Rick Steves. @ricksteves.com

You can watch Rick’s shows online. He also has a YouTube channel where you can catch up on his many shows. To start, click here.


About American Public Television

American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. Founded in 1961, APT distributes 250 new program titles per year and more than one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. APT’s diverse catalog includes prominent documentaries, performance, dramas, how-to programs, classic movies, children’s series and news and current affairs programs. Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, America’s Test KitchenAfroPoPRick Steves’ EuropePacific Heartbeat, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Legacy List with Matt PaxtonFront and CenterLidia’s KitchenKevin Belton’s New Orleans KitchenSimply MingThe Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, James Patterson’s Kid Stew and NHK Newsline are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT also licenses programs internationally through itsAPT Worldwide service and distributes Create®TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — and WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.

Hiking in Italy’s Cinque Terre. @ricksteves.com

About Rick Steves’

Rick Steves’ Europe (RSE) inspires, informs, and equips Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Guided by the values-driven vision of Rick Steves, the company brings tens of thousands of people to Europe annually on organized tours and produces a wide range of travel content, including a best-selling guidebook series, popular public television and radio shows, a syndicated travel column, and a large library of free travel information at ricksteves.com. RSE’s mission is built around the idea of social responsibility, and it empowers several philanthropic and advocacy groups, including a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits that it funds through a self-imposed carbon tax.

Emilia-Romagna: Learn About the Region’s Fast Cars and Slow Food with Historian Francine Segan

Italy’s Motor Valley: Fast Cars, Slow Food

Join food historian Francine Segan and accomplished race car driver and sportscar historian Frank Celenza for a thrilling ride through Italy’s “Motor Valley.”

Fast Cars and Slow Food

Birthplace of Enzo Ferrari and home to the world’s highest concentration of sportscar brands including Dallara, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani and Ducati, Italy’s Emilia-Romagna is as well known for its fast cars as it is for its slow-cooked and savored food. Visitors can explore and discover the 11 car museums and four-day Motor Valley Fest.

Many of world’s most famed Italian foods come from Emilia-Romagna, a wondrous region in northern Italy known as the Food Valley, because its world-famous specialty edibles
such as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma–an
Italian dry-cured ham served uncooked, Aceto Balsamico, made by cooking grape must from regionally grown wine into a syrup like vinegar that is robust in flavor and a great addition to so many dishes, and Lambrusco wine. 

Moderna, one of the region’s gorgeous cities rich in art, music, fashion, and culture, is also home to Osteria Francescana, voted twice as the best restaurants in the world. But don’t expect to just walk it or even call in a day or two advance. Their first available table is seven months from now.

Owner and executive chef Massimo Bottura, born and raised in Modena, says he grew under the kitchen table at his grandmother Ancella’s knees.

“That is where appetite begins for me,” he says. “Inspiration comes from the world around me – from art, music, slow food and fast cars. Catch the flash in the dark because it only passes once. Expect the unexpected.”

Participants in this online interactive event will come away with a greater understanding of Italian culture and food traditions as well as the country’s important role in the world of car manufacturing and racing.

The event is Thursday, June 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET

Sign up here.

If you do get to Emilia-Romagna, here’s a curated itinerary courtesy of Emilia-Romagna Tourism.

An ancient route running through the length of Emilia-Romagna, Via Emilia, linking the coastal city of Rimini on the Adriatic Sea with Piacenza in the north, was completed in 187 BC by Roman Consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.

Along the way are 10 fine cities rich in art, architecture, history and culture, all deep in a landscape punctuated by medieval villages and noble fortresses.

Each of these cities is a stopping-off point on a slow-travel discovery of Emilia-Romagna, with myriad Unesco World Heritage sites, iconic locations in the history of cinema18 pilgrim trails17 natural parks, 20-plus amusement and adventure parks, 110km of fully serviced beaches24 thermal resorts and endless opportunities for sport, including a multitude of bike trails.

The region is also home to 44 food and wine products with the DOP/IGP guarantee of quality, and the great automotive brands that have made Emilia-Romagna famous all over the world.

Photos courtesy of Emilia-Romagna Tourism.

Cheese, Wine, and Bread: Discovering the Magic of Fermentation in England, Italy, and France

Katie Quinn. Photo courtesy of William Morrow.

         Katie Quinn wasn’t content to just enjoy a chunk of the English classic Montgomery’s Cheddar, a hunk of crusty bread with a soft inner core from Apollonia Poilâne, or a glass of Nebbiolo, the grape variety from Northern Italy’s Piedmont region known for its  strong tannins, high acidity and distinctive scent.

Katie Quinn working on a goat farm in Somerset, England. Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/TheQKatie

         Instead, living in New York she had worked her way up from being an NBC page to her dream job as an on-camera host at Now This News, she found herself back home recuperating in Ohio after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in an accident. With time to ponder, her avid curiosity led her to ask a question—“how can I love these great foods–bread, wine, and cheese without knowing how they’re made?”

         Of course, many of us would be content just to pour another glass of wine and slice a gooey piece of Brie, but Quinn couldn’t leave it there.

For some of use, including me, the realization that  cheese and bread are as much a part of fermentation as wine is a revelation. It takes a little more connecting of dots to realize that cheeses are fermented dairy products and bread ferments through the use of yeast.

Working as a cheesemonger at Neal’s Yard Dairy. Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/TheQKatie

         “I realized that there was a story to be told,” she says. “I could have just nerded out as a history geek to write the book, but I wanted to really experience the process of fermentation and how it creates these foods we love. I wanted this to be an immersive experience.”

And so in her newest cookbook, Cheese, Wine, and Bread: Discovering the Magic of Fermentation in England, Italy, and France (William Morrow 2021; $22.63 Amazon price), we follow  Quinn on her all-encompassing road trip as she embarks upon an in-depth exploration of all three necessary food groups. She became a cheesemonger at Neal’s Yard Dairy, London’s premiere cheese shop. But that was just the start in her cheese career. Soon, she was working on a goat farm in rural Somerset where she describes the cute critters as just smart enough to be obnoxious. It was during her exploration that she discovered the role British women play in cheesemaking (you have to try her recipe for Cheddar Brownies which she’ll be demonstrating at her upcoming virtual book launch this Tuesday, April 27—see below for details on how to sign up).

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/TheQKatie

         Next she’s hanging with Apollonia Poilâne of Paris’ famed Poilâne Bakery, apprenticing at boulangeries in Paris learning the ins and outs of sourdough, and traveling the countryside to uncover the history of grains and understand the present and future of French bread and global bread culture. Next stop Italy, where she  gives readers an inside look at winemaking with the Comellis at their family-owned vineyard in Northeast Italy and visits vintners ranging from those at small-scale vineyards to large-scale producers throughout the country.  Taking a side road, so to speak, she discovers her great grandfather’s birth certificate and become eligible for dual citizenship. So entranced with the country, she and her husband Connor decided to make their home in the Puglia region in southern Italy.

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/TheQKatie

         Quinn, an author, food journalist, YouTuber, podcaster, and host, describes herself as having a real appetite to explore. A great storyteller, she also shares recipes such as Zucchini Carbonara, Tortellini in (Parmigiano Reggiano) Brodo, Ciambelline al Vino (Wine Cookies), and Walnut and Raisin Rye Loaf, which are interspersed through the book.  

Virtual Book Launch of Cheese, Wine, and Bread.

When: Tuesday, Apr 27, 2021, 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM CST.

Cost: Book and shipping:  This ticket includes a signed copy of the book and shipping – Shipping within USA only (THE BOOK WILL BE SHIPPED IN ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THE EVENT). $44 or Book and Ticket with pick-up at Anderson’s Naperville store. $34.

To join through Anderson’s or other bookstores throughout the U.S., visit katie-quinn.com/cheese-wine-and-bread-cookbook

The following recipe is from CHEESE, WINE, AND BREAD by Katie Quinn Copyright © 2021 by Katie Quinn. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Photo courtesy of William Morrow.

Spaghetti all’Ubriaco (Drunken Pasta)

Coarse sea salt

12 ounces dried spaghetti

1/4 cup extra-virgin

olive oil

4 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup freshly grated

Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

1/4 cup  finely chopped nuts (I like pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds)

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sprigs of parsley, for garnish

Fill a large pot three-quarters full of water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a generous amount of coarse salt (the adage “It should taste like the sea” is a good gauge of how much). Cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than the instructions on the package for al dente. (You don’t want it to be completely cooked because it will continue cooking in the red wine later.)

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Pour the wine into the pan with the garlic and stir. Remove from the heat while the pasta finishes cooking.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Add the pasta to the pan with the wine and garlic over medium heat and stir. Cook, occasionally stirring gently, for 2 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed most of the wine, taking on a plum hue.

Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cheese and nuts. Stir in a tablespoon (or more) of the reserved pasta water; its starchiness mixes with the fat in the cheese to create a silky coating on the noodles. Finish with the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, and stir to incorporate well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you think the dish is asking for it.

Serve garnished with parsley and topped with more cheese and enjoy slurping down the drunken noodles.

The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends

Elizabeth Minchilli, who has lived in Italy for a quarter of a century, has created a way for all of us to experience certain special food events that comprise the country’s heritage in much the same way as their monuments (think The Colosseum, St. Peter’s and the Leaning Tower of Pisa) are must-sees for visitors.

She shows us how, in her latest cookbook, The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends, to completely replicate such Italian food culture in such chapters as a Sunday Lunch in Email-Romagna, Farm to Sicilian Table, Panini Party in Umbria and A Table by the Sea in Positano. Because Minchilli’s background and interests are not only culinary but also envelope style and architecture, she tells us not only what to drink and eat but also how to create the tablescape as well.  As an example, her Pizza by the Slice in Rome meal calls for “for the authentic pizzeria al taglia vibe, use plastic or—more sustainable—paper.”

              Minchilli, who is from St. Louis, Missouri but moved to Rome with her parents when she was 12, developed such a passion for the all things Italy (she even married an Italian man) and in her words, had an Italian baby, an Italian house and an Italian dog.

              “That was after I returned as a graduate student to study Renaissance garden architecture in Florence,” says Minchilli when I talk to her using Skype as she was at her home in Rome.

             I discover, as we talk, that I already have one of her books, a luscious tome titled Villas on the Lakes: Orta, Maggiore, Como, Garda  that someone had given me years ago and which I still leaf through to marvel at all the wonderful photos. Minchilli is one of those people who seems to do it all, she’s written nine books including Restoring a Home in Italy, takes all her own photos, writes an award winning website, elizabethminchilli.com, developed her Eat Italy app and offers food tours to behind the scenes culinary destinations as well as posting on You Tube and other social media.

              She tells me that her love for food began when she was given one of those easy-bake ovens when she was a kid.

              “I became the cook of the family,” she says, though she obviously she’s moved way beyond a toy where the oven is heated by a light bulb.

              The Italian Table is her ninth book.

              “I’m really happy about it,” says Minchilli. “This is really the book where I can bring everything together—the food, the people who make the plates, what is surrounding us, the whole experience.”

              She was motivated to write the book after being questioned countless about how Italian food and dining. To showcase that, she decided on highlight 12 different dinners and photograph and write about them in real time—as they were being planned, cooked and served.

              “I wanted people to know how Italians really eat and I decided to do that by meals in different areas and then narrowed it down by going deeper into how it all comes together,” she says. “I set it up so you can go through the cookbook and decide what you like.”

              She’s also included a time table, what to do, depending upon the dinner, two days before, one day before, two hours before, one hour before and when your guests arrive. And there are ways to lessen the cooking load for the more intensive and elaborate dinners.

              “Food is about being social and sharing,” Minchilli tells me. “A lot of people are scared to have people over and so I wanted to take fear out of the equation. That’s why I give people a game plan by telling people when to shop, when they should set the table and also how far ahead to do things so that there’s less to do at the last minute. It reduces the stress and fear and makes it more approachable.”

Elizabeth Minchilli will be at Ceres’ Table, 3124 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL on Monday, April 22 at 8 pm (EST).  The Book Cellar is handling the event.  The price of the ticket includes a signed copy of the book, five course dinner selected by Elizabeth from dishes in her book, taxes and service. Tickets, which cost $82 per person, can be purchased by visiting the event page at bookcellarinc.com or calling (773) 293-2665.

Rotolini di Zucchini con Ricotta

Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchini, trimmed

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch of fresh mint, leaves only

Sea salt

11/2 cups of fresh ricotta

1/2 cup of poppy seeds

Fresh sage or basil leaves, for garnish

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (preferably your best variety)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Using a sharp knife or mandoline, cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons. (You should end up with at least 12 full-length, unbroken ribbons.) Place the zucchini in one layer on one or two baking sheets. Season them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, half of the mint, and salt to taste and bake them for about 10 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

In the meantime, place the ricotta in a medium bowl with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the rest of the mint, roughly chopped. Using a fork, whip it until smooth and creamy.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on each strip of zucchini and roll it up. Place the poppy seeds in a shallow bowl. Dip both flat ends of the rolls in the poppy seeds, coating the ricotta.

To serve, place two or three rolls on individual plates. Garnish each roll by placing a sage or basil leaf on top and tucking the ends in so that it follows the curve of the roll. Drizzle with your best extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

Radicchio with Pancetta and Parmigiano

Makes 8 servings

4 heads of radicchio di Treviso, leaves separated

30 thin slices of pancetta (about ½ pound)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

8 shelled walnuts, roughly chopped

4 ounces of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (1 cup)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the radicchio leaves on top. If some of the inner leaves are very small, you can put two together to make a larger base.

Fry half the pancetta in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until it has released its fat a bit. Don’t let it burn. You won’t need any oil, as the pancetta should be pretty fatty. This may need to be done in a few batches. Each batch should take only a few minutes.

Season the radicchio with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Distribute the cooked pancetta on top of each leaf, then add the chopped nuts and sprinkle with the Parmigiano.

Wrap each stuffed leaf with a slice of uncooked pancetta. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, until pancetta around the outside is cooked and beginning to sizzle. Serve immediately, while warm.

Torta di Spinachi

Spinach Tart

About 2 pounds of spinach or other greens

1 cup fresh ricotta

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

½ cup of whole milk

4 ounces of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram leaves for ½ teaspoon dried

½ teaspoon sea salt

A few grindings of black pepper

Place the greens in a pot with about an inch of water and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until wilted. Drain and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the greens into a ball, squeezing out every last drop of moisture. You should have about 1 cup. Roughly chop the greens and set aside.

About an hour before you are going to bake the tart, place the ricotta in a fine sieve and drain it over a bowl to remove the excess whey.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.

Put the chopped greens in a clean bowl with the drained ricotta, whole egg and yolk, milk, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¾ cup of the Parmigiano, the marjoram, butter, salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork.

Pour the mixture into the pan, leveling off the top with the back of a spoon. Cover with the remaining olive oil and Parmigiano.

Bake for 50 minutes, until the tart begins to brown and is well set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and, using an offset spatula, turn it out onto a serving platter.

Serve.