Budget Travel — $479 for 9 Nights Rome, Florence, Venice

Tour offers nine nights in Italy’s most popular cities.  You can even spend Thanksgiving in Italy, having tacchino (turkey) for dinner.  Okay, it’s in 3-star hotels, but 3-star hotels in Italy, while not luxurious, are perfectly comfortable, are in safe neighborhoods,  have private baths and provide good breakfasts.

The land-only package, which is valid from November 1 to December 20, includes three nights’ accommodation in Rome in the Hotel Buenos Aires, three nights in Florence at the Corona d’Italia or Porta Faenza Alba, three nights in Venice at the Malibran or Santa Chiara, daily breakfast,  high speed train tickets, free pizza and gelato in Rome, free pizza and gelato in Florence, and a  tour of Murano in Venice.

For this price there’s only one included sightseeing tour, but seeing the sights is easy enough with a good guidebook in hand.  You’ll want to see the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s and the Vatican Museum, and window-shop on Via Condotti  and surrounding streets before indulging in your free pizza at Strega Restaurant.

In Florence the highlights include  the Duomo and Baptistry, the Accademia (Michelangelo’s David) and the Uffizi Gallery and, having saved money on the package, you can afford to shop for jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio.  Then enjoy your free pizza at La Mangiatoia and gelato at the famous Vivoli.  In Venice you’ll want to just wander the streets of this fairytale city, take a vaporetto down the Grand Canal, visit the Ducal Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica before having a coffee in St. Mark’s Square to marvel at the architecture and listen to the schmaltzy music.  A tour of Murano’s glass-making factories is included.

Note that the package does not include air fare or local hotel taxes.  All prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability.  For additional information about this three-city package and other shorter and longer (even some luxury) fall and winter packages to Italy,  log onto www.tourcrafters.it and then click “Deal of the Week.”   For reservations,  call TourCrafters  toll-free  at  1-800-ITALY95.

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Barbara Gillam





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