VICENZA, Italy — If you want to break away from the crowds that make Venice a poster child for the term “overtourism” and you love architecture, there is one place you must go: nearby Vicenza, a showcase for the work of the renowned Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.
Palladio, who lived from 1508 to 1580, drew inspiration from the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, transforming these models into masterpieces that influenced everything from English country houses to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
The most famous of his works, the transcendent hilltop mansion called the Villa Rotonda, is a short taxi, bus or bike ride from Vicenza’s compact, largely car-free town center, where the main street bears Palladio’s name.
The town center itself is stocked with impressive Palladio buildings, including numerous town palaces, or palazzi, one of which houses an excellent and engaging museum devoted entirely to the architect.
In the surrounding countryside are Palladio’s villas, where the architect combined opulent living quarters and working farm buildings into coherent complexes that married nature with culture, rusticity and urbanity.
Located about 40 miles west of Venice, with a population of about 112,000, Vicenza (pronounced vi-CHEN-zah) is an ideal day trip. I took a red, sleek-nosed Italo train from Venice’s Santa Lucia station. (Round-trip fare was just under 38 euros, or roughly $42. The
However, the appeal of Havana is simply undeniable. The temperatures were almost always at perfect, the food was even better than you might imagine, and the salsa, blues and cubano dances filled the air at night.
6. Curacao, The Netherlands
This beautiful Dutch island is constantly ranked on the list of the most colorful places on Earth by its beautiful pastel-colored houses.
The weather in this warm tourist paradise is quite stable, and even the hurricane season rarely rains. Snorkelling around the coral reefs on the island is probably the most popular activity for tourists and locals alike.
If you’re wondering what nightlife is like, here’s a fusion of Dutch and Caribbean culture. Let it be up to your imagination before you arrive here.
7. Loja, Ecuador
If you want a break from the cold but don’t like the idea of a sizzling beach break, keep an eye out for Loja. Nestled in a valley, Loja has perfect weather all year round. This means it’s never too hot and never too cold. That’s probably why this warm tourist paradise is one of the happiest in Ecuador.
Loja is relatively small but offers beautiful music festivals, art galleries and colonial architecture. The locals are friendly, the views of the mountains are amazing, and are emotionally relaxed.
8. Merida, Mexico
If you want to soak in the local way of life, skip to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and head to the state capital Yucatan. Filled with Mayan ruins and Spanish