The perks of off-season travel in Italy
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Rome, Italy, is often on my “deals list,” since you can usually find flights from Phoenix in the $600 to $700 range. Mid-week flights (Wednesday to Wednesday, for example) are under $700 into April. Remember, that’s where “basic economy” seats start, so you’ll have to pay extra for luggage. Still, it’s a pretty good deal for a flight halfway around the world to such a beautiful destination!
Winter in Italy often brings the best prices for both airfare and lodging. Aside from the two weeks around Christmas, you can find deep discounts at some of Rome’s beautiful hotels from November through March. The weather in Rome remains pretty mile through the winter. Similar to Phoenix, the daily highs average in the 50s and 60s in December, January, and February. While the number of daylight hours is reduced, winter is still a great time to visit Rome (and much of southern Europe). In addition to the great rates on flights and hotels, you’ll find much smaller crowds at many of Rome’s famous attractions in winter, from the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain.
Vatican City, which is the world’s smallest country, is always busy with crowds of tourists. Still, even there, you’ll encounter fewer people in the Vatican Museum hallways and the Sistine Chapel during the winter. While you could spend the whole trip in the city, Rome is a base for day trips to villages like Assisi in the Italian countryside.
Italy’s train system is easy to use. Within two hours, you could be in Assisi, tracing the footsteps of Saint Francis, one of Italy’s patron saints. It’s one of a few medieval hilltop villages to visit outside Rome. A day trip from Rome to Orvieto is even more convenient. An hour away by train from Rome, you’ll love walking the cobblestone streets lined with shops and restaurants.
For deal-hunters: You’ll save big by taking the train on a day trip rather than booking a tour. Of course, Rome is worth visiting any time of the year, but if Italy is on your travel list for the years to come, a winter trip has its perks!
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