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).
Image 21 of 75
Ardennes, Belgium( Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times )
The Ardennes is an amorphous region of southeastern Belgium, Luxembourg and France. The name which comes from the Gaulish word arduenna, goddess of hunting denotes a forest and weathered massifs lined by rocky cliffs. I doubt many Americans could pinpoint it on a map.
The confusion is understandable because the Ardennes is in the geographically confusing, culturally blended heart of the Continent. The region, contested in the 1944 Battle of the Bulge, was a German portal to the west in both World Wars. Its language and wines are French; its taste for robust meat and potatoes German; its modest, gray stone villages with bulb-shaped church steeples quintessentially Belgian.
-- Susan Spano
Read more: Belgium's gentle fall
Pictured: The Semois River.