I found a great deal ($500) for a 7 day cruise on a new MSC ship, Meraviglia, out of Rome (Civitavecchia) and visiting Palermo, Valetta (Malta), Barcelona, Marseille, and Genoa, all of which we haven’t seen. Finding reasonable airfare was a challenge. Most flights were running around $900, but then I found a Gate 1 package that included airfare, 3 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Florence, 2 nights in Venice and train tickets between them for $1,000. The independent package also includes walking tours in each city. That’s the kind of deal that’s hard to pass up. Gate 1 is great about allowing you to extend your trip, so they were able to book the flight early and book two extra nights in the same hotel in Rome for $100 more, which will give us 5 nights in Rome. The plan is to take day trips from Rome to Ostia Antica and Tivoli to see Villa D’Este and Hadrian’s Villa. We might decide on a day trip to Cortona and Arezzo depending on the weather our energy.