Image: Anchored fishermen's boats are pictured
Mario Laporta  /  AFP/Getty Images
The Southern Italian Odyssey package includes round-trip airfare, six nights' accommodations, most meals, ground transportation by bus, and tours.
updated 6/19/2008 11:04:08 AM ET 2008-06-19T15:04:08

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, six nights' accommodations, most meals, ground transportation by bus, and tours, from $1,099 per person — plus an estimated $345 in taxes.

Departing: Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, Dec. 5, 2008; Feb. 15, March 6, 13, 20, 2009.

Gateways: New York City.

The fine print: Does not include airport taxes and fees of $75, a $270 fuel surcharge, or incidental gratuities. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $260. Round-trip airfare, six nights' accommodations, ground transportation, most meals, entrance fees, and hotel taxes and transfers are included. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Based on availability; July 31.

Contact: Celtic Tours World Vacations, 800/833-4373, celtictours.com.

Why it's a deal: A recent Kayak search produced a $718 flight (including taxes) on Iberia from New York City to Rome in early November. For $726 more (including taxes), this package includes not just your flight, but six nights in a hotel, tours and entrance fees, and most meals — all in one stop. Consider that the price breaks down to about $240 per day. You'll be on Eurofly, which has lower-quality in-flight services and perks compared with Iberia, but has a record of being just as safe and efficient.

Trip details: The Southern Italian Odyssey package will fly you overnight from New York City to Rome via Eurofly. You'll be picked up and then head to Formia, on the Mediterranean coast. It's about halfway between Naples and Rome, so be prepared for a two-hour trip via bus. When you arrive at the 100-room Grand Hotel Fagiano, which will be your base for the six-night stay, you'll be treated to a welcome dinner and drinks. Steeped in Roman mythology, the region is also called "Ulysses' Coast." Named for the hero of "The Odyssey," this area was where Ulysses moored his ship.

Hop on the bus and take a guided tour of Sperlonga, a classic Mediterranean city with white buildings, narrow streets, and steps leading to the sea. You'll visit the National Archaeological Museum, which houses marble statues from the adjacent villa of the emperor Tiberius. Finally, stop at a mozzarella factory for a tasting.

Your afternoon will be spent touring Gaeta, about 15 minutes from the hotel. The ancient town is now a harbor for fishing; view the church of Santissima Annunziata and other cathedrals and sanctuaries. You'll also see the 14th-century Montagna Spaccata, a grotto that, according to legend, opened when Jesus died. You'll have dinner back at the hotel.

The next day will be devoted to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. The two-hour bus drive on a twisting road along the Sorrentine Peninsula passes rugged coastlines. You'll make several stops along the way: first in Sorrento, which sits on a hillside overlooking the Bay of Naples and is known for its shopping; then in Positano, where you'll see the buildings and shops clinging to the rock face in tiers. You can shop a little more for leather goods, shoes, and other items. Finally, you'll arrive in Amalfi, which is a resort-friendly town and perfect for pictures.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

The next day is free to enjoy Formia on your own, or you can take an optional tour of Capri, an island off the Sorrentine Peninsula, for $220 per person. Formia has its own charms: four ancient districts with temple ruins and plenty of beaches.

Next is a tour to the province of Naples and the city of Pompeii, about an hour and a half from the hotel. Pompeii is an ancient town that fell victim to Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., was covered in ash, and then was rediscovered in the 1700s. The preserved ruins (including wall art and houses) provide insight into ancient Roman life.

Slideshow: Florence a la fresco Your next day is also free. One option: See the Montecassino Abbey on a guided tour for $49 per person. You'll be treated to a farewell dinner at the hotel, and then the next day, take your return flight back to the U.S.

These trips are during the off-season in Italy, but the weather will still be pleasant. Expect temperatures between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with some drizzle and fog in the mornings.

For more tips on what to do, visit the country's official tourism site and see the U.S. State Department's travel fact sheet.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

Photos: Italian dreams

loading photos...
  1. Torino

    Street scenes of Torino, or Turin, the capital of Piedmont. This sub alpine territory is famous for the shroud of Turin, its cafes and cars. (Mike Hewitt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Sicily

    The ancient Greek Temple of Juno, located in the medieval city of Agrigento, on Sicily's southern coast. The Temple of Juno was built in the mid-5th century BC. It was dedicated to the goddess Hera (Greek name), or Juno (Roman name). (Alessandro Fucarini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Milan

    Cyclists pedal in downtown Milan's Duomo Square, renowned Milan's gothic cathedral in the background. Milanese were forced to renounce to their cars by local authorities calling for a car less day to fight pollution and encourage citizens to take public transportation. Some 150 cities all over Italy declared a car less day on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2000. (Luca Bruno / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Pisa

    Tourists visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Cathedral in the "Square of Miracle" Aug. 24, 2002 in Pisa, Italy. The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the Cathedral. Its construction began in August, 1173 and continued for approximately two hundred years. The tower began to lean due to interaction with the soil on which it was built. The tower reopened in December, 2001 after 10 years of stabilization work. (Franco Origlia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Pompei

    Aerial view from a mongolfiere (hot air balloon) as it flies over the ruins of the antic Pompei city, near Naples, May 27, 2005. (Mario Laporta / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Florence

    Michelangelo's famous marble statue of "David" (left) is bathed in natural light streaming through the dome of Florence's Accademia Gallery May 24, 2004, next to the "Pieta", another Michelangelo sculpture. (Vincenzo Pinto / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Rome

    Tourists visit the Foro Romano in Rome. The Roman Forum was the city's political and economic center during the Republican era and maintained its position into the Imperial age. It was mostly abandoned at the end of the 4th century. (Gabriel Bouys / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Turin

    Turin's Mole Antonelliana dome stands out on Turin's skyline, northern Italy. The building was originally designed as a synagogue, but been restored into the National Museum of Cinema. (Massimo Pinca / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Venice

    Gondolas wait for tourists near Saint Marks Square Sept. 12, 2005 in Venice, Italy. The city stretches across 117 small islands, is linked by over 150 canals and 400 bridges. G ondolas, water taxis and water buses are the only modes of transportation around this unique, vehicle free city. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Village in the mist

    Italy's cities, villages and capitals offer a plethora of adventures. (Tino Soriano / National Geographic via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments