Rome Home Run

Updated and revised August 2

When in Rome you probably know more or less what to do by now. You hang with the locals and follow their lead (and Vespas) as they help you put your own spin on la dolce vita and teach you to twirl the spaghetti with uncustomary gusto and wear you feelings on your sleeves, all while keeping it real alla Romana and trying not to turn into a complete Roman Holiday cliché. Even if you're not a cultural chameleon or a fan of Fellini, it's a safe bet that whatever the Romans do these days it most likely isn't all that different from what you yourself do at home every day, so you can also just go as you are and come back pretty much the same.

Either way, that's where things get really tricky, of course. To live the good life on the Tiber, you have to get there first and the going isn't always easy, at least not on your wallet. American Airlines has just put Rome on sale for fall travel, but as sales go it really isn't much--or rather, it's really far too much! We've added a few of the fares that struck us as less than exorbitant, but we also left many of them out because at these prices you may simply not want to go.

Fortunately, the long-running Iberia sale we told you about last month has been unofficially extended beyond its official July 31 expiration and is still offering decent deals to Bologna, Genoa, Pisa (Florence), Turin, and Venice (fares from Washington did get a $50 bump). Also check out Air One's low fares, which we also told you even earlier (but do you listen?). Since then, they have teamed up with various U.S. carriers to offer connections and savings from more cities through their Boston and Chicago gateways to the Milan hub and beyond, including Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Lamezia Terme (in Calabria). Many of the early fall bargains are long gone, but can still be found (not always easily, mind you) for travel later in the year.