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Off The Beaten Path or Track

Are you going away on holiday this summer? Have you booked anything yet?

At home we’re having the usual conversations about how we can fit in a holiday and still be able to see our families in England; should we stay in Italy or go abroad; if we go abroad where shall we go – cities, mountains, by the sea, in the countryside?…..

For me there is only one criteria, and that is that we go off the beaten track.

Have you ever walked through a field of tall grass or corn where no one has passed before, or walked on freshly-fallen snow? When you first see the field or snow, there is no path, no track, no footprints… there is no sign that anyone has been there before and you can feel special because you are the first one to walk through the field or to see your footsteps in the snow. In those moments you have stepped off the beaten track (or path – “sentiero”)!

If a lot of people have already walked that way before, then we say the track is “well-trodden” or “beaten” (“ben calpestato”). So, if you go somewhere off the beaten track, you go somewhere quiet and remote where there aren’t a lot of tourists.  Here’s an extraphrase used as an adjective which means the same thing – “out-of-the-way.”

Here are some more examples:

  • I’m looking for a place to go on holiday this summer which is quiet and off the beaten track.
  • I’m looking for a place to go on holiday this summer which is quiet and out-of-the-way.
  • I usually buy “The Lonely Planet” guidebooks because they always have information about places which are off the beaten track.
  • “What sort of holiday do you prefer – a resort with lots of organised activities, or one which is off the beaten track?

Well, what’s your answer?

I once read this on a travel blog which made an impression on me:

“It takes one step to get off the beaten path, and two steps to find a different world.”