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Europe at Your Doorstep

Living in Naples, you are already in Italy, one of the most visited countries in Europe! Should you choose to explore further, there are many countries just beyond your front door to explore!

It is important to keep in mind while working abroad that situations in other countries can change, sometimes quickly. To exercise caution, it is a best practice to check the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel Advisories for up to date travel advisory information before you plan any travel.

Small, landlocked Austria offers alpine scenery, world-class museums, cobbled quaintness, and Wiener schnitzel. Unlike Germany, its industrious neighbor to the northwest, Austria is content to bask in its good living and elegant, opulent past as the former head of one of Europe’s grandest empires. Austrians tend to be relaxed, gregarious people who love the outdoors as much as a good cup of coffee in a café.

Wikitravel – Austria
Rick Steves’ – Austria
Lonely Planet – Austria
CIA World Factbook – Austria

Belgium rewards visitors with richer sights than you might expect and fewer tourist crowds. You’ll encounter some of Europe’s finest cuisine, including the best beer, creamiest chocolates, and tastiest French fries. Belgium’s town squares bristle with soaring spires and warm-brick gables. Its museums house lush paintings celebrating the glories of everyday life. From funky urban neighborhoods to tranquil convents, from old-fashioned lace to high-powered European politics, little Belgium delights.

Wikitravel – Belgium
Rick Steves’ – Belgium
Lonely Planet – Belgium
CIA World Factbook – Belgium

Though it’s by far the smallest of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark once ruled all of Norway and much of southern Sweden. Before then, it was home base for fierce Viking warriors. Modern Danes, however, are remarkably well-adjusted — organized, yet easygoing, with a wry sense of humor. From Copenhagen to tiny ship-in-bottle islands, the Danish landscape is equally mellow, with rolling hills, thatched-roof farmhouses, beech forests, and whitewashed churches with stairstep gables. None of it is more than 30 miles from the sea.

Wikitravel – Denmark
Rick Steves’ – Denmark
Lonely Planet – Denmark
CIA World Factbook – Denmark

From the grandeur and bustle of London, to the pastoral countryside that inspired Shakespeare, to some of the quaintest towns you’ll ever experience, England is delightful. Stand in a desolate field and ponder an ancient stone circle. Strike up a conversation just to hear the Queen’s English. Bite into a scone smothered with clotted cream, sip a cup of tea, and wave your pinky as if it’s a Union Jack.

Wikitravel – England
Rick Steves’ – England
Lonely Planet – England
CIA World Factbook – UK

Finland’s small population fills a sprawling, rocky, forested land that shares a long border with Russia. The Finns often have been overshadowed by their powerful neighbors, the Swedes and the Russians. And yet, they’ve persevered magnificently with good humor, a zest for architecture and design, a deep love of saunas, and an understandable pride in things that are uniquely Finnish.

Wikitravel – Finland
Rick Steves’ – Finland
Lonely Planet – Finland
CIA World Factbook – Finland

France is the world’s top tourist destination and for good reason. There’s a lot packed into just one country — artistic and architectural masterpieces, remarkable museums, natural landscapes, and a history harking back far beyond the Romans. Top it off with fine wine, food, and a culinary culture that permeates through every city and small town, and the only hard part is deciding where to go first.

Wikitravel – France
Rick Steves’ – France
Lonely Planet – France
CIA World Factbook – France

Germany is a combination of cutting-edge cool and timeless tradition, wrapped up in a package of spectacular landscapes, vibrant metropolises and idyllic half-timbered villages, architectural masterpieces, and fairy-tale palaces. The world’s fourth-largest economy is also a powerhouse when it comes to spirit-lifting culture, with an extraordinary wealth of museums, a thriving art scene, renowned orchestras, and high-octane nightlife. And in a country that’s given the world the Hanseatic League and the Reformation, among many other key moments in history, it’s no surprise that you’ll find fascinating vestiges of the past around many a bend in the road.

Wikitravel – Germany
Rick Steves’ – Germany
Lonely Planet – Germany
CIA World Factbook – Germany

Ancient sun-bleached ruins pierce blue skies as the Aegean laps at the endless coastline. Greek culture is alive with passionate music, inspired cuisine and thrill-seeking activities. Step into the ring where Olympians first competed. Climb steps hewn out of stone to Meteora’s monasteries perched atop towering rocks. Contemplate the oracle’s insights from the grandeur of Delphi or take in a starlit drama at an ancient outdoor theater and be stunned by massive marble sculptures dredged up from the Aegean. Immerse yourself, whether it’s a coffee, a shot of ouzo, a chorus on the bouzouki or a local celebration. Greeks are passionate and live life to the fullest, even at the most difficult times. The result is a country seemingly riddled with challenges, yet full of people loving life.

Wikitravel – Greece
Rick Steves’ – Greece
Lonely Planet – Greece
CIA World Factbook – Greece

Stunning architecture, vital folk art, thermal spas, and Europe’s most exciting capital after dark are Hungary’s major drawing cards. Sitting at the crossroads of Europe, quirky Hungary has managed to become cosmopolitan while remaining perfectly Hungarian. Classical music is revered here, and Hungarians have revived their elegant, Vienna-style café culture. In the countryside, even older traditions live on and a renewed passion for winemaking thrives. Dive into a bowl of spicy goulash, then while-away an afternoon over a delicate dessert at a genteel coffeehouse or sip a sweet local wine as you try to wrap your head around Hungary’s colorful history.

Wikitravel – Hungary
Rick Steves’ – Hungary
Lonely Planet – Hungary
CIA World Factbook – Hungary

Flung onto the foggy fringe of the Atlantic pond like a mossy millstone, Ireland drips with mystery, drawing you in for a closer look and then surprising you. Pubs are whirling with playful conversation and exhilarating traditional music. Pious, earthy, witty, brooding, proud, yet unpretentious, Irish culture is an intoxicating potion to sip or slurp, as the mood strikes you.

Wikitravel – Ireland
Rick Steves’ – Ireland
Lonely Planet – Ireland
CIA World Factbook – Ireland

Unesco-listed Old Town is one of Europe’s most scenic capitals, thanks largely to its unusual setting, draped across the deep gorges of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers. It’s full of surprising spaces, tunnels, and intriguing nooks to explore. Good museums and a great dining scene makes this a top city to visit.

Wikitravel – Luxembourg
Lonely Planet – Luxembourg
CIA World Factbook – Luxembourg

Tiny Holland may just have the world’s densest concentration of great artists and shows off their works in several world-class museums. Be sure to venture beyond Amsterdam by taking advantage of the efficient train network, which puts nearly every Dutch destination within an easy day trip. Rent a bike and cruise the flat countryside. Wherever you roam, look behind its placid exterior, where you’ll find a complex mix of modern technology, honored traditions, quaint countryside, outrageous architecture, and no-nonsense, globally minded people.

Wikitravel – The Netherlands
Rick Steves’ – The Netherlands
Lonely Planet – The Netherlands
CIA World Factbook – The Netherlands

Norway is stacked with superlatives — it’s the most mountainous, most scenic, and most prosperous of all the Scandinavian countries. Perhaps above all, Norway is a land of intense natural beauty; its famously steep mountains and deep fjords carved out and shaped by an ancient ice age.

Wikitravel – Norway
Rick Steves’ – Norway
Lonely Planet – Norway
CIA World Factbook – Norway

Chic medieval hot spots like Kraków and Gdańsk vie with energetic Warsaw for your urban attention. Outside the cities, woods, rivers, lakes, and hills beckon for some fresh-air fun.

Wikitravel – Poland
Rick Steves’ – Poland
Lonely Planet – Poland
CIA World Factbook – Poland

Tucked into a far corner of the continent, Portugal preserves a traditional culture of widows in black and fishermen mending nets. But along with the old, you’ll also find the modern, especially in the culturally rich capital of Lisbon and the second city of Porto. If your idea of good travel includes friendly locals (who generally speak English), exotic architecture, windswept castles, thriving towns and cities, appealingly authentic seaside resort towns, and fresh seafood with chilled wine on a beach at sunset, then Portugal is the place for you.

Wikitravel – Portugal
Rick Steves’ – Portugal
Lonely Planet – Portugal
CIA World Factbook – Portugal

Rugged, colorful, and feisty, Scotland stands apart. From its stony architecture to its unmanicured landscape to the more laid-back nature of its people, and their peculiar fondness for haggis, Scotland is distinctly not England. A proud identity unites the sparsely-populated country, all the way from the southern lowlands, which border England just north of Hadrian’s Wall, up to the Norwegian latitudes of the rocky Highlands and remote islands. Outside its main cities, Scotland’s sights are subtle, but the misty glens, brooding countryside castles, and warm culture are plenty engaging. It’s easy to fall in love with the irrepressible spirit and beautiful landscape of this faraway corner of Britain.

Wikitravel – Scotland
Rick Steves’ – Scotland
Lonely Planet – Scotland
CIA World Factbook – UK

Spain is a mix of old and new, modern and traditional. For the tourist, Spain means bullfights, massive cathedrals, world-class art, Muslim palaces, vibrant folk life, whitewashed villages, and bright sunshine. You’ll find all those things, but the country’s charm really lies in its people and their unique lifestyle. From the stirring sardana dance in Barcelona to the sizzling rat-a-tat-tat of flamenco in Sevilla, this country creates its own beat amid the heat.

Wikitravel – Spain
Rick Steves’ – Spain
Lonely Planet – Spain
CIA World Factbook – Spain

Scandinavia’s heartland, Sweden is far bigger than Denmark and far flatter than Norway. This family-friendly land is home to Ikea, Volvo, WikiLeaks, ABBA, and long summer vacations at red-painted, white-trimmed summer cottages. While nearly 80 percent of its landscape is wilderness, Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, is Scandinavia’s grandest city.

Wikitravel – Sweden
Rick Steves’ – Sweden
Lonely Planet – Sweden
CIA World Factbook – Sweden

Little, mountainous, efficient Switzerland is one of Europe’s most appealing destinations. Wedged neatly between Germany, Austria, France, and Italy, Switzerland melds the best of all worlds and adds a healthy dose of chocolate, cowbells, and cable cars. Fiercely independent and decidedly high-tech, the Swiss stubbornly hold on to their quaint traditions, too. Join cheesemakers in a high valley, try to call the shepherds on an alphorn, and hike through some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery.

Wikitravel – Switzerland
Rick Steves’ – Switzerland
Lonely Planet – Switzerland
CIA World Factbook – Switzerland

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