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Italy: July 18-26, 2017

Follow us as we explore small towns in Emilia Romagna, in the height of tourist season. You can still travel in the summer and avoid lots of tourists, by going to lesser-known regions and small towns. 

Our first stop is the Castle of Torrechiara, a stunning castle perched on a cliff. There is a small B&B here and an excellent restaurant, and you can stay here for under $100/night. 

Next up is Brisighella, a remarkable town surrounded by three precipitous peaks. Each peak boasts an amazing sight: a castle, a convent, and a clock tower. Brisighella is a sunny, pastel-painted town with medieval porticoes to explore, and it is also the home of a famous olive oil called "Brisighello". 

Next we move on to Modena, the home of balsamic vinegar. We'll climb the Ghirlandina tower, visit the famous Mercato Albinelli, and hang out with friend and blown glass artist Susanna Martini. 

We'll end our trip at an agriturismo outside Modena. This working farm offers small apartments, and there is an excellent restaurant on site. Everything they serve is from their own farm, huge, multi-course meals of locally sourced, organic, traditional Modenese cooking.