THEN YOU MISSED your chance to visit Venice, Paris and Barcelona without the crowds in the aftermath of the first waves of the pandemic. Do not worry. Here are nine alternative places that promise to be relatively serene this summer even if tourism in Italy, France and Spain is expected to reach or exceed pre-Covid levels. And while inflation is also rising in Europe, the dollar is hovering near a five-year high against the euro, meaning the US currency has higher relative purchasing power on the continent than these last years. Get off the Jet Set trail and head to one of these underrated spots and you’ll find some great deals.
1. Ferrara: Renaissance art and ravioli
Three centuries of reign of the enlightened D’Este family have left this city, nestled in the plains between Venice and Bologna, a fascinating Renaissance heritage. To walk in Ferrara is to go back in time. A good starting point is Piazza Trento e Trieste, the heart of the city and the Cathedral of Ferrara. From here, it’s only a short walk to the city’s other highlights: the 14th-century Estense Castle, the Renaissance Palazzo dei Diamanti and Via delle Volte, a winding cobbled lane which passes under arches connecting the buildings on either side. Do not leave without having tasted the Cappellacci di zucca (dumplings stuffed with pumpkin), a regional specialty. A 45-minute ride leads to Comacchio, a village with a network of canals much smaller but no less picturesque than that of Venice.