Around this time of year and in the early Spring I always book tickets for my parents to go back to Italy. There is an actual science to booking your tickets and finding the right deals. If you're traveling to Italy or planning a trip to Italy for the summer, you really have to start looking for a ticket in the Spring time, the earlier you book the better. The secret to booking the ticket is calling your carrier on a Tuesday, for some reason the pricing is lower on this day. Then when you book, you should always book your actual travel dates from Tuesdays to Tuesdays. Leaving on weekends will jack up your costs significantly.
If you're looking to travel during the holiday season, its really quite impossible not to get hammered on airline prices but the best thing to do is book as far in advance as possible as in September or October. Right now you can still get away with finding something at a reasonable price. For me, booking tickets to Italy is really second nature and I've become the travel expert in doing this for so many years. From NJ, our airline preferences are usually Continental and Alitalia. We always take Continental to Italy, then connect with Alitalia to get to Calabria. Now, if you're going to rent a car in a location like Reggio Calabria, lucky for you there are a few choices.
Last time I was in Italy, I had a travel agent actually confirm the car rental, now I could have done this myself but to ensure the car I requested (automatic, because I'm not too savvy with the manual) was there and with no problems. So, when I landed in Reggio Calabria, like I always do..I was also pleasantly surprised to see the many positive changes in the airport. (for those of you who know what I'm talking about.) Anyhow, renting a car is fairly easy, its not cheap to say the least but you have to do your homework on pricing. I would consult with an travel agent, they basically get paid from their own end of booking, so you can ask them to arrange and confirm your rental. But if you don't do that you can just land in the airport of your choice in Italy and just walk over to the rental car windows. Oh and now when you book your tickets with your carrier they do ask if you need a rental car, so you can also book it this way. Be sure to remember that most cars in Italy are manual (stick shift) so you have to ask for an automatic and it does cost more.
The great thing about Italy, is that most Italians are very fluent in English so they are truly helpful. So, if you're looking to get to Italy for Christmas, you better book it this week. Seats are almost sold out, I know this because I just priced it..:( If you have any travel or booking questions, you can email me. There is so much information to share on this topic and I really could be writing for days. Good Luck!
or go to yahoo travel and get comparison prices first .