• Cefalù, Sicily, Italy


Floating midway between Africa and Europe, Sicily really is a world unto itself. On the mainland, modern life may be encroaching on quintessentially Italian customs and attitudes, but here they still thrive. For tourists, the island can be a challenge: Its historic and artistic big shots just don't ring a bell, folkloric traditions seem to play out only for tour groups, and its cities are generally rundown and chaotic. But if you want exotic, intensely Italian thrills, the "football" to Italy's "boot" is a surefire kick.