Something To Declare: South Tyrol; Beerlao

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The Independent Travel

Destination of the week: South Tyrol

The growth in flying opportunities from the UK to north-east Italy has opened up the South Tyrol area - where next month the annual Chestnut Fair takes place in the town of Lana. See www.suedtirol.info for details of nut-related events in the area from 21 to 29 October, and where to find delicacies such as chestnut pasta. The main no-frills gateways to the South Tyrol are Treviso, Brescia and Bergamo (purporting to be Venice, Verona and Milan respectively). In addition, Venice Marco Polo, "real" Verona and Innsbruck in Austria, are all feasible gateways.

Drink of the week: Beerlao

Which is the world's finest beer? That was the question posed by Wanderlust magazine to its readers. The results are published in the new October edition (£3.80; www.wanderlust.co.uk for details of stockists and subscriptions). The winner is Beerlao, a rice beer brewed in Vientiane on the banks of the Mekong.

Despite its victory being described as "unanimous", other brews are honoured. In second place is Cusqueña, the local ale in the Imperial Inca city of Cuzco - where Guinness is also available. Third place goes to the excellent Guatemalan beer, Gallo.

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