Italy’s green heart, this pastoral region is a place to experience slowly. Make your way from hill town to tiny hill town, soaking up the rolling countryside, dotted with medieval churches, vineyards and olive groves—and sampling Sangiovese wine and edible delicacies as you go (think cheese, truffles, cured ham and capocollo). Be sure to stop in Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, for a tour of incredible cathedrals and basilicas, medieval castles and Roman ruins.
The site of the WWII D-Day landings, Normandy brings history buffs from far and wide to retrace the footsteps of American soldiers who stormed Utah and Omaha Beaches in 1944. Beyond the historic beachheads, there’s even more to explore: gothic-turreted castles, medieval-era cities and a breathtaking cliff-lined coast. You can see it all on a tour or river cruise of the region.
The Warsaw of present day doesn’t have much common with the sombre city of the Soviet and post-Cold War years. Rather, it’s a lively, green and thriving urban centre, teeming with bike lanes, beautiful parks, fantastic dining, music, fashion, theatre, lively festivals and more. Local designers and restaurateurs have taken over the old Soviet tenements, and the city’s medieval treasures have been restored to their prewar splendor. Start with a walking tour of the Old Town and go from there.