Once an important Moldavian city, Suceava is one of those more severely impacted by Ceausescu's industrialization program, its river poisoned by factory waste and its air polluted by unsavory gases, yet it remains an important tourism hub for excursions to the elegant painted monasteries in the surrounding countryside. Alternatively, you could base yourself in nearby Gura Humorului, a small town well geared for travelers, with privately run pensiunes by the bucket load. Better still, there are even more down-home places to stay in the immediate vicinity of some of the monasteries; these afford the best opportunity to sample the traditional Bucovine way of life.