The Delights of ltaly's Abruzzo

CAE Use of English Part 2: Open Cloze 3

Read the text below and think of the word which best fits each gap. Use only one word in each gap.
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When Edward Lear visited Abruzzo (0) in the 1840s, it was a little-known region of ltaly, shunned by most tourists, who were more taken (1) the delights of Tuscany and cities (2) as Venice, Rome and Milan. But the poet and artist was drawn by its sense of isolation and old-fashioned ways. ln his 1846 travel book, Lear captured sights that many in Britain had never seen before, describing the sleepy feel of the region and complaining about the local wine.
Yet Abruzzo, all these years on, still lags way (3) Tuscany in the tourism and second home popularity stakes. (4) there has been more interest - the number of tourists to the area has risen by a third in five years, (5) to new low-cost flights - property opportunities have been thin on the ground.
According to Lucio Forgione, who works for Overseas Homesearch and who is a big fan of Abruzzo, its time, he believes, has come. The area has several selling points. The (6) is its isolation and peacefulness. lt is truly tucked away. There is virtually no traffic and the main sound is that of birdsong. The village of San Donato is a good place for outdoor types and it is (7) an hour's drive to beaches on the Adriatic. The food at local restaurants is first rate and the wine's not bad either. For a back to nature holiday, Abruzzo is second to none and it is astonishing that so (8) holiday companies have developed an interest in the region.