Q. My boyfriend and I are planning to visit his brother next fall in Naples, Italy. We'd also like to see Rome and Milan while we're there. Flying from San Francisco, which arrival airport closest to Naples would we find the best fare? And would it be cheaper to travel by air or train between cities in Italy?
A. We tend to find more sale fares from the US to Rome, but other cities do offer cheap fares on occasion. Rome is much closer to Naples than Milan, which is in the northernmost part of Italy. Air travel can be incredibly inexpensive within Europe if you stick to the small budget carriers like Ryanair or Easyjet, and may be able to beat the price of a train ticket. Try searching Whichbudget.com to see what carriers operate where. Just be aware that these smaller airlines often operate from airports farther outside the city, and sometimes require lengthy shuttle transport to/from, whereas trains tend to take you to the city center and give you a chance to take in the countryside.
When searching for a flight from the US, you might even consider flying into a less expensive hub city like London, and booking a flight onward to Naples on a budget carrier. Just be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to make your connecting flight!