How to get there
The lowest round-trip air fare between Boston and Rome at press time was $722 on American Airlines.
Where to stay
Via Cavour 15, Rome
Doubles from about $244. Lavish art deco and antiques-filled suites make the centrally located hotel a grand choice. At night, the rooftop garden bar offers one of the city's best views.
Hotel Spadari al Duomo
11 Via Spadari, Milan
Doubles from about $255. Conveniently located sleek boutique hotel designed in cool shades of blue and minimalist decor by Ugo La Pietra.
Where to eat
Massimo D'Azeglio Restaurant
Via Cavour 18, Rome
Gleaming wood paneling and perfectly tuned table service re-create Roman elegance,including a menu with creamy truffle-flecked fettuccine and a wine cellar with upward of 30,000 bottles. Entrees about $21-$30.
10 Corso Como, Milan
Fashion reigns at this cast-iron and steel eatery conceived by former Italian Vogue editor Carla Sozzani. The deliciously simple fare lures shoppers away from the rest of her three-story lifestyle boutique, which also houses a luxury design shop, music room, bookstore, and rotating gallery. Entrees $18-$28.
What to do
Via di Castel Romano, Rome
About 10 miles outside the city, and best reached by taxi (about $100 each way) or, much more economically, by rented car (the smallest of which cost about $70 a day). From the city center, the drive takes less than an hour. Open daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
15069 Serravalle Scrivia, Arquata
More than 130 shops, offering a mix of fashion, home, and sporting goods. Permanent discounts of up to 50 percent year round. Open Monday-Friday, 10-7, Saturday-Sunday, 10-8.