This promotion isn't about sending you to the opera or other musical forms. Central Holidays (tel. 800/539-7098; www.centralholidays.com) has, however, paired four nights at three-star hotels in Rome and four in one of three other cities -- London, Paris, Nice, and Athens -- priced from $999 for travel in the off season. The trips include round-trip airfare from New York City or Newark, New Jersey to Rome and then flights from Rome to the second city you've selected. It's an independent trip, but you're not left entirely to your own devices, as the price also covers a half-day tour of Rome regardless of what second city you choose, along with airline fuel surcharges, hotel taxes and service charges, and breakfast daily.
Those who opt for Paris will find a river cruise on the Seine is included. The other cities Rome is paired with -- Nice, London, and Athens -- are priced from $1,029, $1,169, and $1,399, respectively. Nice has a mild climate and outdoor markets, cafes, and museums. London is, well, London, and it certainly has its charms. If you've never been there, the price includes the city's hop-on and hop-off tour, which might be helpful for an overview at your leisure. For those who love to think about the dawn of civilization, Rome and Athens are a great pairing and this option also comes with a half-day city tour of Athens that will familiarize you with the House of Parliament, the Parthenon, and Constitution Square.
Upon request, other departure gates are available, as are hotel upgrades. Extra nights are possible to add in each city, along with optional sightseeing trips to add on and airport transfers. The trips are valid for travel November 15 through March 31, 2010 and you must book by October 31. Be prepared for some blackout dates around Christmas and New Year's.