In Europe, 76 destinations off the beaten path
Looking beyond Rome, Paris or London? Consider Europe's lesser-known destinations, such as Monschau, Germany, a town so quaint you can hardly believe it isn't a theme park or San Marino, one of Europe's oldest and smallest countries (drive through it slowly).
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Lipari, Italy( Ionas Kaltenbach / Lonely Planet Images )
In Homer's "Odyssey," Lipari was the domain of Aeolus, king of the winds. Lipari, the capital of a seven-island archipelago north of Sicily called the Lipari Islands or the Aeolians, has a sporadically dramatic history: It was the source of shiny, black obsidian for the Mediterranean basin in the Neolithic Age, a Greek colony, the scene of naval battles between Rome and Carthage during the Punic Wars, plunder for North African pirates, a place of exile for opponents of Mussolini in the 1920s.
This seems the gist of what there is to say about Lipari: Just 13 square miles, with a population of 13,000, it isn't Tuscany or Rome.
-- Susan Spano
Read more: Return to Italy's glorious Lipari
Pictured: A market stall on Lipari's main street.