This is probably the best summer in a decade to visit Europe. Why? The deals are incredible and the tourist crowds are thinner.
Our friend Kathy McCabe, editor and publisher of the subscription travel newsletter Dream of Italy, fills us in on why this August may be a better time to visit Italy than you think.
I have never seen airfare deals like the ones I have seen to Italy this year. In many cases, the prices are half what they were at the same time last year.
In fact, I’ve known travelers who just bought tickets to Italy a few weeks ago for August.
In years past they would have paid a premium for purchasing so late, but they paid about half of what they might have paid last year—$750 each round-trip from the East Coast.
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Since August is high season for flights to and from Italy—this is the traditional Italian vacation month and many Italian-Americans are returning home—last year they would have paid upward of $1,500 each.
The deals for flights in September are even better and I am still kicking myself for not buying a ticket when I saw it for $300. That was $300—roundtrip— WITH taxes.
Tickets can still be had for $500 or so in September and, if you can believe it, there are still deals for August though they are going fast. The key is to keep searching and keep abreast of trends in fares.
The deals extend beyond plane tickets. Hotels across Italia are offering special deals and it seems that even hotel rates and villa rentals may be up for negotiation. One of my newsletter readers saw a villa he liked and it was still available for August. However, it was a bit more than he wanted to pay so he negotiated and struck a deal with the owner. Tourism is one of the largest industries in Italy; the Italians need our travel dollars and the smart ones are showing flexibility in working with visitors.
Because August is the traditional Italian vacation month there is a travel myth that Italy should be avoided at all costs around that time. I’d like to shatter that myth.
Yes, many Italians are on vacation which means that some restaurants and shops will be closed, but aside from that minor inconvenience, it is a particularly great time to visit because most of the natives are away at the beach.
One of my best visits to Rome was in August when I felt like I had the city to myself! Yes, August in Italy can be hot but I didn’t find it any hotter than many parts of the U.S. at this time of year, from Washington, DC to California.
If you’re ready to book your ticket to Italy now, check out a special offer from Dream of Italy. (https://www.dreamofitaly.com/public/10.cfm).
Purchase a subscription before July 20, and you’ll receive:
- Immediate online access to nearly 65 back issues covering every aspect of travel to Italy including villa rentals, cooking schools, shopping, hotels, restaurants, private guides, and more;
- Ten new issues of Dream of Italy— online, via postal mail or both;
- $15 discount off our regular subscription price
- Automatic entry to win a Rosetta Stone 1-2-3 Italian Language Learning Program valued at $549
- Dream of Italy’s Collected Rome E-book Guides – 80 pages of top Rome content, fully updated – $39 value.
By Kathy McCabe for PeterGreenberg.com.
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