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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Verdun, France( Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times )
The town of Verdun in northeastern France is famous for sugar-coated almonds.
It is also famous for its World War I battlefield where half a million French and German soldiers died in 1916. Seeing the area is an education, putting America's late-arriving, long-distance contribution to the war in the context of the French struggle, which started when the nation went to war with Germany in 1914 and ultimately claimed the lives of more than 1.5 million French.
The Victory Monument in Verdun has a card catalog with the names of the war dead, including those of many American infantrymen.
-- Susan Spano
Read more: Verdun, France, saw a World War I battle of terrible loss
Pictured: The Victory Monument in Verdun.