The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on Alitalia to Florence; six nights in a one-bedroom apartment in , about 13 miles from Florence; a Tuscan-style buffet dinner featuring regional specialties; a Christmas dinner at the castle; a full-size manual-transmission car rental for the week with unlimited mileage from Autoeurope; and hotel taxes, from $1,299 per person — plus estimated fuel surcharges and airport and car rental taxes of $148.
When: Dec. 20; add $300 for Dec. 26, 2009.
Gateways: Boston, Chicago; add $100 for New York City, $265 for Atlanta, $285 for Denver, $500 for Miami, $585 for Houston, $735 for Seattle, $869 for L.A.; additional gateways available.
The fine print: Breakfast is not included. Taxes are about an additional $148 per person. Upgrade to an automatic-transmission car for an additional $80 per person. A fully refundable deposit of $224 must be paid upon arrival. A final cleaning fee is $60 for a one-bedroom apartment and heating (if needed) is $21 per day. Based on double, triple, or quadruple occupancy only. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Sceptre Tours, 800-221-0924, sceptretours.com.
Why it's a deal: A recent search on Kayak yielded a round-trip fare between Boston and Florence in mid-December of $865 with taxes (multiple carriers). For an additional $682, this Sceptre Tours' Tuscan Castle Christmas package covers international airfare, as well as six nights' accommodations at a castle, a buffet meal, a rental car for a week, and all taxes.
More: Optional activities are not available, nor is the option of extending your stay.