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Here is a sampling of offerings gleaned from the Web site Skyscanner.net.

Next weekend — Dec. 1-4Parma, Italy: 26.64 pounds round trip

Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Parma.

Parma is known for the architecture of its streets, piazzas, and the cultural and musical traditions of its elegant lifestyle.

Visit the Arturo Toscanini birthplace and museum to learn about the man considered by many to be the greatest orchestral conductor of the first half of the 20th century. His childhood home has been turned into a museum with interesting mementos and a library of all the recorded works he conducted.

Next, head to the salmon-colored marble Baptistry. The interior is adorned with biblical scenes including “Madonna Enthroned” and “Crucifixion.”

The Duomo, or cathedral, is an excellent example of Romanesque architecture. Its dome fresco, Correggio’s “Assumption of the Virgin,” is a masterpiece not to be missed. The mosaic fragments with fish and geometric shapes in the floor date from the fifth and sixth centuries and came from the city’s ancient basilica.

Behind the Duomo is the Church of St. John the Evangelist. Three rooms of the historic pharmacy within the St. John monastery have been refurbished and opened for visitors. On the shelves, an array of apothecary jars from various time periods are displayed. You can also visit the abbey and school within the complex.

In the evening, take in a concert at the Teatro Regio. The theater is famous for its relationship with Giuseppe Verdi’s works and was commissioned by Maria Luigia, duchess of Parma and wife to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Next month — Dec. 29-31Dortmund, Germany: 39.05 pounds round trip

Fly easyJet from London Luton to Dortmund.

According to the Dortmund tourist office, the city’s three most-visited museums are the Ostwall Art Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Art and Cultural History.

The Ostwall Museum specializes in 20th- and 21st-century media art with paintings, sculptures, photographs and more than 2,500 graphic works on display. At the Natural History Museum, visitors can explore Earth’s history through displays on rock crystals, pressed plants, insects and a huge aquarium. The Museum of Art and Cultural History, the oldest museum of its kind in the Ruhr Valley region, has a collection of objects that trace the city’s history from the Middle Ages to the present.

The attention-grabbing Dortmund Concert Hall is well-designed and has fabulous acoustics. The Dortmund theater’s opera house offers classical and modern operas, ballets and musicals. The theater next door holds dramatic events.

If shopping is on your agenda, head to Hansastrasse for luxury clothes and leather goods, and to see the latest catwalk creations. The Westenhellweg shopping street runs through the heart of the city and offers a range of goods. To the south is the Propstei shopping mall, home to many up-market clothing stores.

Then take a breather at one of the many restaurants and traditional bars on Alter Markt (Old Market) and enjoy a beer and pfefferpotthast, a pepper beef stew with onions.

Airfare prices are courtesy of the Web site www.skyscanner.net and are subject to change depending on availability. Prices include estimated taxes.


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