Image: Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome
Tony Gentile  /  Corbis
European Destinations offers the best deal for September departures, starting at just $1,089 for a six-night package to Rome, Florence and Venice.
updated 5/20/2008 11:21:57 AM ET 2008-05-20T15:21:57

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through fall 2008

The deal
Now that spring is here, we recommend a sample of la dolce vita in Italy. We've found a selection of stellar deals that will make an Italian holiday hard to resist. Air and hotel packages to the city classics like Florence, Venice and Rome start at just $1,039 for fall departures. We also spotted a made-for-hedonists trip to Tuscany and Umbria that sells at just $2,199.

Florence getaway from $1,039
Art lovers and romantics should jet off to Florence, the picturesque crown of Tuscany, for a dose of the Old World flavor. We found a Virgin Vacations special for trips to Florence that starts at just $1,039. Valid for fall departures, between September 8 and October 25, this rock-bottom price covers round-trip airfare from New York and four-night lodging at midrange hotel, such as Palazzuolo Hotel, a simple but pleasant property in the city’s historic center. Continental breakfast daily is also thrown in.

Italy’s Classic City Trio from $1,089
Want to see Italy’s classic city trio in one fell swoop? European Destinations offers the best deal for September departures, starting at just $1,089 for a six-night package to Rome, Florence and Venice. Included is air from New York (or your departure city of choice at low extra cost; for example, just $1,265 from Los Angeles); midrange hotel accommodation for two nights in each city (you choose between 20+ properties in each destination); daily breakfast; and Eurostar rail tickets between the destinations.

See Tuscany and Umbria from $2,199
We also spotted an eight-day wine and food lovers’ tour of Tuscany and Umbria by Foreign Independent Tours. Priced from $2,199, it covers air, lodging, car rental, meals, and tours. In addition to air from New York, also included are three nights at hilltop Villa Il Patriarca near Sienna and three nights in deluxe Relais Ducale in the historic town of Gubbio, both with breakfast. Tours and dinners are thrown in, too: a guided visit to the wine cellars of the Renaissance town of Montepulciano; a tour of Gubbio; a trip to an Umbrian chocolate factory; two wine tastings; and two dinners.

The dollars
The rates for the above packages are per person, based on double occupancy. The Florence package is priced up to $1,349 for earlier departures during spring and summer so the fall package saves you a chunk of change. We checked other providers who offer the three-city package (Rome, Florence and Venice) similar to the European Destinations one and the lowest priced we found was a Go-Today deal for $1,499. The $2,199 foray to Tuscany and Umbria is for fall departures (late October through early December) — earlier trips with the same inclusions cost $2,999 so the savings make the wait worth it.

The catch
Gelato and espresso not included.

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