Italy

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Rome Coliseum with a Xmas Tree (Photo: Thinkstock/Hemera)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 14, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Alitalia, Bing Travel, Bulgaria, destination, Expedia, family travel, Go-today, hotel, Italy, Jaclyn Liechti, Lonely Planet, low season, Marrakech, Mendocino, Morocco, Orbitz, Philadelphia, Rome, Sofia, Travelocity, vacation package, winter.

Italy is a perennial favorite on many travel lists, including Frommer's Top Destinations 2011, though most people visit city and beach areas during the warmer summer months. However, bargain hunters can still experience the history, food, and beauty of the country during the winter, but at much lower prices.

I compared airfare to major cities in Italy and found savings of up to $467 during the low season.

Route Off-Peak Rate Peak Rate
Boston to Rome $808 $1,170
Chicago to Florence $891 $1,358
Los Angeles to Milan $868 $1,153

Off-peak rates are based on travel from January 4 through 11; peak travel prices are based on travel from June 7 through 14. All fares were found using Expedia and include taxes and fees.

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The recent inclusion of Italy in Eat, Pray, Love, the country's continuing economic crisis, and the opening of the Coliseum dungeons in Rome this October have raised the profile of Italy in many savvy travelers' minds. This winter is a particularly good time to visit, with deals popping up all over the place. Alitalia offers a five-night vacation package to Rome that includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles for $999 (without taxes and fees). When you book by November 30, Ciao Italy Tours offers up to 50 percent off a pre- or post-tour night in Rome with a Fantasia Tour, free dinner for two when you book a Winter Special package, or free airport transfers in Rome for bookings of more than $3,000. Save $185 with hot deals from Insight Vacations' nine-day Italian Intermezzo tour when you book by November 15. And at go-today.com, winter departure dates can save you up to $800 compared to summer departures.

For more information, check out our Italy Travel Guide, or browse through photos of Italy for more inspiration.

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