Ah, Tuscany: the fabled land of olive groves, winding roads, hilltop villas, and barrels of wine. Sceptre Tours (tel. 800/221-0924; www.sceptretours.com), well-regarded for its vacations in Ireland, Scotland and England, also offers trips to Italy. Gather up your friends or family because this spring deal to Tuscany starts at just $859 per person for a six-night stay, based on four people traveling together.
You'll be positioned in a seemingly idyllic spot up in the hills of Tuscany. The property, Fattoria Degli Usignoli, was built by monks who lived there in the 14th century. Surrounded by olive groves, cypress trees, and vineyards, the hotel now has tennis courts, swimming pools, and mountain bikes all at your disposal. This package also includes a car rental, so you can easily reach the architecture and museums of Florence, about 20 miles away. Siena, Pisa, Lucca, and Arezzo are within reach, too. When you want to take a break from vineyards and the cultural offerings, you won't want to miss the designer outlets at La Fattoria, or "the mall." After all, going to Italy without shopping feels almost sacrilegious.
Trip Type: Air-inclusive, independent
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Round-trip airfare from New York, Newark, or Boston to Florence; a full-size rental car with a manual transmission; six nights of four-star accommodations in Tuscany; and airline fuel surcharges.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Government taxes, fees and charges of up to $135 per person. Departures from Chicago are also possible, from $959 per person based on quad occupancy.
When: May 1-15; November-December. Other departures are available June-October at higher prices.
Book By: As soon as possible for best availability.
Other Details: Expect to pay more if you travel during the height of the summer tourist season; the price jumps to $1,459 per person for May 16-June 30 and up to $1,759 per person for July and August departures. For an extra fee of $99 per person, a "gold package" includes a rental car with an automatic transmission, and a guided tour and tasting at Villa Casagrande.
All prices are per person and based upon four people traveling together. The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways and any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.