NEW YORK -- With sharp discounts from some tour operators this
fall, agents can sell operatic Italy for a song.
On Nov. 1, Donna Franca Tours, based in Boston, will launch its
2001-2002 Italy On Sale packages good for travel to Rome, Florence,
Venice and the Neapolitan resort of Sorrento through March 31.
Priced at $599 per person, double, the tours include round-trip
air on Alitalia from Boston, New York, Newark, Chicago and Miami;
five nights at three- to four-star hotels; daily breakfast, and
taxes and gratuities.
In addition, the Taste of Sorrento package includes car rental
(with limited mileage) or private roundtrip transfer to and from
This autumn marks the fifth year the $599 tours are being
promoted by owner Donna Franca, who in 1985 offered $1 week-long
stays at her Italian hotel property to woo U.S. tour-ists
frightened by terrorist attacks at Rome's airport.
"At that price, suddenly no one was afraid to travel anymore,"
Franca noted. "This is actually the best time to visit Italy
because it's one of the safest places to be."
The packages, which must be
reserved with a $200 credit card deposit, pay travel agents 10%
For its part, TourCrafters also is selling air-inclusive, $599
fall and winter jaunts to Italian hot spots.
This year, the Libertyville, Ill.-based tour operator added
Naples to its roster of itineraries, which also includes Rome,
Florence and Venice.
Available from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, and Jan. 3 to March 23, the
Naples package combines five nights' accommodations at the newly
renovated, three-star Hotel Garden, with daily breakfast and hotel
taxes and gratuities.
Roundtrip travel on Alitalia from Boston, Chicago, Miami, New
York and Newark, save airport taxes, is included; San Francisco and
Los Angeles departures cost an extra $138.
TourCrafters' Rome package, which includes airport transfers,
features a stay at the three-star Hotel Brasile or Hotel Paris,
while clients opting for the Florence package can choose between
the three-star Hotel Palazzo Ruspoli or the tourism class Hotel
Meridiana, which features a self-service restaurant.
The Venice deal, which is not available during Carnival, Feb. 1
to 12, includes five nights at the two-star Hotel Hesperia on the
Rates for Rome, Florence and Venice are good from Nov. 1 (at
most hotels) through Dec. 15 and from early January to March
TourCrafters pays 10% commission on all packages.
To contact TourCrafters, call (800) 482-5995, fax (847) 816-6717
or e-mail [email protected]. The company's Web site can be
found at www.tourcrafters.com.
For Donna Franca Tours information, call (800) 225-6290, fax
(617) 266-1062, e-mail [email protected] or check on line at www.donnafranca.com.