Image: 'Last Judgment' Fresco cycle by Frederico Zuccaro and Giorgio Vasari
Fred De Noyelle  /  Corbis
The Thanksgiving Special includes round-trip airfare and four nights' accommodations in Florence, Italy.
updated 9/26/2008 9:57:34 AM ET 2008-09-26T13:57:34

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare and four nights' accommodations in Florence from $569 per person—plus taxes of up to $440.

When: Depart on Nov. 26, 2008.

Gateways: New York City; add $60 for Chicago, Miami; $180 for L.A.; $318 for Seattle; additional cities are available.

The fine print: Breakfast daily and hotel taxes are included. Airport taxes and fuel surcharges are up to an additional $440 per person. Airport-hotel transfers are not included. Prices are based on double occupancy; single supplement is $104. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: TourCrafters, 800/621-2259, tourcrafters.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest round-trip airfare between New York City and Florence, departing November 26 and returning December 1, starts at $715 including tax (multiple carriers). For an additional $294, TourCrafters covers airfare as well as the four-night hotel stay, breakfast daily, and all hotel and airport taxes and fuel surcharges.

Trip details: The Thanksgiving Special includes round-trip airfare on an Alitalia carrier and four nights' accommodations in Florence at Hotel Meridiana, a few minutes' walk from the heart of the compact city. (As we've noted on our blog, Alitalia is on the verge of collapsing; luckily, TourCrafters also works with major carriers like Delta and Air France.)

There are 76 rooms, decorated in shades of brown and green, with basic amenities like air-conditioning and satellite TV. The hotel provides Internet access, laundry service, and has a bar and an information desk where guests can book guided tours or rent a car. Florence's main railway station, Santa Maria Novella, is a little over a mile away; all of the Intercity and Eurostar trains stop there. For those arriving by car, garage parking is available right behind the hotel for a small fee.

You'll be relatively close to most sightseeing attractions. For example, the Duomo, Michelangelo's David at the Galleria dell'Accademia, and the Fortezza da Basso exhibition center are all less than a mile away.

To get to the Uffizi Gallery, by the River Arno, you can take a bus or walk the 1.2 miles from the hotel. Piazzale Michelangelo and the medieval Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, are both a little over a mile from the Meridiana.

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The same air/four-night package is available at several other hotels. For instance, rates start at $579 for Carolus Hotel, $591 for Villa Gabriele D'Annunzio Hotel, and $609 for Hotel Roma.

If you'd like to stay longer, you can add extra nights at the Meridiana for an additional $74 per person for a double or from $106 per person for a single. Or simply opt for a five-night package starting at $619 for air and accommodations at Hotel Machiavelli.

TourCrafters is offering similar Thanksgiving getaways for many other European cities. You can check out Venice from $575 for air and four nights at Hotel Malibran and from $695 for air and five nights at Hotel Capri. Airfare and five nights in Paris at the Quartier Republique Le Marais Hotel starts at $573.

For more tips on what to do in the area, visit the official Web site of the Italian Government Tourist Board.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

Photos: Florence a la fresco

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  1. Magnificent marble

    The Statue of "David" by Michelangelo is on display at the Galleria dell'Accademia. Sculpted from 1501 to 1504, the 17-foot tall marble statue portrays the Biblical King David at the moment that he decides to do battle with Goliath. It is the most recognizable statue in the history of art. (Stefano Amantini / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Heavenly view

    A visitor takes in the view from the top of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral's Dome in Florence, Italy. (Guido Cozzi / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Ancient garden

    The Boboli Gardens are filled with a collection of sculptures dating from the 16-18th centuries. Stroll through the grounds and see more statuary from Michelangelo (copies are here now to protect the originals), a massive Egyptian obelisk, classic grottoes and garden temples, and carefully groomed plants and trees. (Guido Cozzi / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Last Judgment

    The "Last Judgment" fresco by Frederico Zuccaro and Giorgio Vasari seen in the dome of the Florence Cathedral. (Fred De Noyelle / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Chapel of the Princes

    A view of the interior of the Chapel of the Princes in San Lorenzo Basilica. The massive structure, which is the mausoleum of the powerful Medici family, was erected between 1604 and 1643 by Matteo Nigetti. (Richard Bryant / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ponte Vecchio

    Houses and shops are built along on the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy. It is Europe's oldest wholly-stone, closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge. (Richard Cummins / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Famous cathedral

    The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church of Florence, Italy. The basilica is most notable for its dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. (Fred De Noyelle / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
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