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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Piedmont, Italy( Alison Harris )
I had come to Piedmont in late October with Kathy O'Green, a lifelong friend who shares my passion for cooking and travel. We viewed it as the trip of a lifetime for a pair of working Southern California moms eager to chuck the daily stresses, if just for seven days (plus a side trip to Venice).
So far it had delivered. Our tour already had taken us to hilltop caverns where Barolo wines are coaxed into perfection and to villages where makers of local specialties offered us samples of their delicious wares. We had walked through medieval castles and slept in a hill-top former convent dating to the 17th century. Three days into the tour, we still were adjusting our palates and appetites to a busy schedule of three-hour lunches at good inns followed by four-hour dinners at even better restaurants.
-- Catherine Saillant
Read more: A nose for the truffle in Italy's Piedmont
Pictured: Piazza Risorgimento in Alba.