LONELY PLANET NAMES EUROPE'S BEST DESTINATIONS FOR 2018
It's perhaps no great shock that an Italian region has been named the most exciting European destination for 2018. But the region in question may well come as a surprise.
Sidestepping the likes of Tuscany, Campania and The Veneto, Emilia-Romagna took first place on Lonely Planet's Best in Europe 2018 list.
While Lonely Planet's annual list is usually made up of exciting and underrated European destinations, the issue of "mass tourism" has been taken into account this time, meaning the spotlight is focused on lesser-visited regions and hidden gems around the continent.
"Whether you're looking for a cultural city break, spectacular scenery or a buzzing foodie destination, there is something for every taste.
"You can find all of these things in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, which flies under the radar compared to some of Italy's bigger hitting destinations, while the other picks showcase some of the places that in-the-know European travelers are excited about right now."
The Spanish region of Cantabria and Friesland in the Netherlands are also featured in this list, which has been compiled by Lonely Planet's European experts in an effort to inspire travelers to discover some of the lesser-visited regions and alternative city breaks beyond the usual suspects in Europe.
Lonely Planet's Best in Europe 2018:
1. Emilia-Romagna, Italy
2. Cantabria, Spain
3. Friesland, the Netherlands ( find my favorite Friesland convertible driving roads here )
5. Provence, France
6. Dundee, Scotland
7. Small Cyclades, Greece
8. Vilnius, Lithuania
9. Vipava Valley, Slovenia
10. Tirana, Albania
Source: Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN