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  • Traveling to Italy Gets Easier
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    APRIL 2, 2006 - Today, we turned our clocks ahead one hour, which means the days are getting longer and the weather is improving. It's the time of year when folks start thinking about summer vacation. If Italy is among your destinations for the lazy days, you have wonderful options. Here are some possibilities that you might want to consider:

    O Sole Mio: From May 11 to November 10, EuroFly, a 15-year-old Italian airline, will be offering direct flights from New York to Bologna, Napoli, Palermo, and Roma. This is particularly welcome news for Italian Americans from the tri-state area, who often have relatives in Napoli or Palermo and usually have to take two to three flights to visit them. I've been dreaming of using this airline since the direct flights from New York took off for the first time last summer.

    For now, EuroFly flights start at $599, which is a steal compared to the prices of some of the major airlines. Just think of it -- with a snap of the fingers, you'll find yourself under the sun on the beach in Sicily!

    Vuoi Fa' Americano: Those who prefer flying American airlines have more options than ever. Delta started seasonal service from Cincinnati to Roma in early March, and On June 6, the airline will start service from Atlanta to Venezia, according to Dream of Italy, an online travel newsletter. On May 31, according to the same newsletter, U.S. Airways will provide service from Philadelphia to Milan. Of course, loyalists can always consider Alitalia - but beware the prices are high for summer.

    Ti Amo: In Roma, you'll find passionate people who take pride in living in an ancient city with monuments and artifacts everywhere they turn. In Venice, you'll find a city on water, gondoliers, and perfect photo ops. Italians say you'll find romance in both cities. Right now, sales on vacation packages make it easier than ever to see for yourself. If you book by May 8 for travel through June 30 on expedia.com, you can go to Venezia or Roma and get a fifth night free. These five-night vacations to Venice start from $1,036 and to Rome at $1,128. What a sweet dream!

    La Mia Citta': Firenze remains a hot spot for Americans seeking a taste of the dolce vita and a bit of culture. See classic works of art like Michelangelo's David, take a walk on the Old Bridge, or buy some of the world's finest gold jewelry as a souvenir. And do it all while staying in the lap of luxury. Right now, Orbitz.com is advertising four- and five-star hotels in Firenze for prices as low as $105 or $215 a night. For example, the four-star Executive Hotel on Via Curtatone offers a pool, high-speed Internet, free breakfast, a restaurant, and fitness room for $105 a night. Pets are allowed, so grab Fido and head for the airport. But make sure to lock in those deals now; the prices may go up and the deals may fade as the summer inches ever closer.

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