The riverside Stein-am-Rhein is one of Switzerland's loveliest (and wealthiest) communities. It lies at a pivotal point where the Rhine leaves the Bodensee, marked by three small leafy islands, one of which is still inhabited by monks. Crossing the bridge over the river, you see the village spread along the waterfront, its foundations and docks rising directly out of the water. Restaurants, hotels, and shops occupy 16th- and 17th-century buildings covered with ancient frescoes. Hovering over the walled town is a medieval castle surrounded by vineyards, home to an excellent restaurant with views.


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