The summer is the perfect time to slow things down and do them at your own pace, and the Tuscan countryside of Italy is the kind of place that encourages this. Gate 1 Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gate1travel.com) has this week's smart deal, an eight-day fly-drive package to Tuscan countryside with airfare that's priced from $849 and set for summer departure dates. There's no booking deadline for this deal, but prices this low are not going to be available for long. However, if you want to upgrade to different accommodations from the modern-looking Tuscany Inn, located in Montecatini's city center, you can do so starting from an additional $20 for the Grand Hotel Plaza (located on the main square) and running all the way up to an additional $930 for Grand Hotel & La Pace, a deluxe property on the grounds of a private estate.
This price is valid for a handful of departures on Wednesdays in mid-August through mid-October. The package includes, in total, round-trip airfare from New York City to Pisa (other cities are possible for additional fee); airline fuel surcharges, six nights of accommodations in a range of hotels you can choose from; seven days of a car rental (economy with manual transmission) with unlimited mileage and third party insurance, and daily breakfast. Other departures are possible -- the promotion starts in June from $1,199 and runs through the end of October, topping out at $1,422 for the height of the summer -- July 22 -- departure. As for the itinerary, after arriving in Pisa you'll pick up the car and head toward Montecatini and spend the night there. From that location, you can get to Pisa (which has more than just a leaning tower to entice visitors) if you want, or the medieval town Lucca, or Florence -- an important place as it spawned both Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and, oh, the Florentine Renaissance. Other destinations within driving distance include the villages of Collodi and Vinci, and even the Cinque Terre, five small villages in the Liguria region that overlook the sea. And no trip to Tuscany would be complete without stopping in Siena, surrounded by olive trees, as well as the nearby walled town of San Gimignano.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers in our Italy Forum today.