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Lonely Planet’s 10 top European under-the-radar destinations

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Planning a European vacation this summer? Instead of vacationing where the hordes do, head instead for an equally fabulous, but distinctly less-traveled spot. Lonely Planet just announced its top 10 under-the-radar destinations across Europe and there’s something there for everyone.
Foodies, for example, should head for Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy, where ragu, prosciutto di Parma and Parmesan cheese originated. This region is also home to Bologna’s new FICO, an Eataly theme park  — no roller coasters, but plenty of pasta, plus truffle-sniffing dogs and other foodie fodder.
Cantabria on the Bay of Biscayne, on Spain’s northern coast, offers sandy beaches, forested mountains and miles of hiking trails. Slovenia’s Vipava Valley is the spot for wine lovers — an opinion shared by Travel+Leisure. Last month, a colorful T+L magazine spread raved about “meals that feel like magic shows and brightly colored wines made by mysterious alchemical techniques” in this corner of the former Yugoslavia.
And culture vultures will want to visit Friesland — its capital, Leeuwarden, is this year’s European Capital of Culture.
A two-hour train ride from Amsterdam, Leeuwarden offers all sorts of enticements, including canals, cobblestone lanes, 17th century houses and the Fries Museum, which is hosting an exhibit dedicated to graphic artist — and famous native son — Escher. (Mata Hari was also from Leeuwarden, but the Fries Museum exhibit she inspired closed in April.)
Here’s Lonely Planet’s list of less-traveled European treasures. Discover more at

Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Cantabria, Spain
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Friesland, the Netherlands
Provence, France
Dundee, Scotland
Small Cyclades, Greece
Vilnius, Lithuania
Vipava Valley, Slovenia
Tirana, Albania

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