There never seems to be a shortage of deals to Tuscany, but this one is a late-breaking opportunity: TourCrafters (tel. 800/482-5995; www.tourcrafters.com) is offering a four-night special that includes airfare and lodging starting from $519 for departures out of Boston. Travel is valid through March 13. If you want to stay a little longer, you might consider the company's six-night package starting from $769 -- and this one includes a rental car. The catch? You must book by January 18.
These last-minute sales are a collaboration between TourCrafters and Delta Airlines. For the shorter package, simply called "Florence Special," you'll stay at the centrally-located three-star Hotel Machiavelli (a former convent dating from the 1700s) and hotel taxes and services charges are covered; you'll also receive daily buffet breakfast. For a little bit more money, the longer trip -- "Florence and the Hearth of Tuscany" -- you can see a little bit more. Your accommodations will be three nights at Hotel Meridiana in Florence and three nights at Arco Naturale in Cetona, a family owned villa with a pool. You receive three days' car rental, daily buffet breakfast, and hotel taxes and service charges are included. Make sure you ask when booking about a free fourth night and fourth day of car rental in Tuscany.
Hotel upgrades are possible, too. If you upgrade the four-night Florence trip to the four-star Hotel Kraft or Grand Hotel Baglioni, the price starts from $565 and $649 respectively. If you upgrade to a four-star Hotel Athenaeum in Florence and the Badio di Pomai, the price goes up to $815. Or, if you upgrade to the Hotel Romain Florence and the Canonica di Fungaia (located a few miles from Siena), the price starts from $869. You can depart from other cities, of course, for an additional fee. For New York, add $12; Miami, $38, Washington, $61, Chicago and Philadelphia $72, Atlanta $134, Los Angeles and San Francisco $162, among others. The price does not include fuel surcharges of $210 or additional taxes upwards of $100. and reservations must be paid within 72 hours of booking. Prices are based on availability and double occupancy.
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