Sceptre Tours (tel. 800/221-0924; www.sceptretours.com) is known mostly for its deals to Scotland and Ireland but recently they've started offering tours to Italy, too -- a perennial favorite. This one, to the Amalfi Coast, is this week's smart deal. It offers six nights at a three-star hotel in Sorrento, along with roundtrip airfare to Naples and car rental during your trip.
The price reflects travel January 1 through February 28 from New York-JFK; $819 for Boston; $899 for Chicago and $99 for Los Angeles, but the package is also available right now through the end of 2009 for discounted rates, depending on availability. For March travel, the price starts at $829 for New York, and in April it rises to $999 and another hundred dollars again for May travel. Other gateways are available, too, upon inquiry. The prices reflect midweek departures and are based on double occupancy.
So, why the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento? The jagged, rocky coastline is dotted with towns and villages overlooking the Bay of Naples. The steep cliffs make for some beautiful views. Sorrento is where limoncello hails from. You're also close to the island of Capri, they're just a ferry ride away. The accommodations at Hotel Gardenia situate you within a short walking distance to the center of Sorrento. Hop in your rental car and embrace the challenge of driving this coast, stopping in the fishing villages of Praiano, Furore and Conca dei Marini, the port and town of Amalfi itself. You're also close to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. You can upgrade your final night and stay in Positano, from $99.