Cheap Seats: Bargain airfares to Italy, Spain
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Ancona, Italy.
Start with a walk along Ancona’s ferry docks. After pausing at the ruined church of San Agostina, stroll to the 19th-century Teatro delle Muse, which has been reopened after a complete restoration. From there, visit the regimented row of 13 water-spouting masks, the 16th-century Fontana del Calamo.
From there, head to Palazzo Ferretti to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale delle Marche, containing collections of Attic vases, Roman bronzes and Iron Age jewelry. Paintings to be found at Ancona’s Pinacoteca Civica, found on the Palazzo Bosdari, include Crivelli’s "Madonna and Child," and Titian’s "Apparition of the Virgin."
Standing high above the modern port city is the oldest part of town, home to Ancona’s most visible landmark, the medieval Cathedral of San Ciriaco. The interior features a painted wooden roof in the form of an upturned boat and a soaring 12-sided cupola. The crypt offers a view of the remains of an ancient pagan temple.
For a side trip, travel northwest to the Renaissance city of Urbino for a visit to the twin-towered palace, which has been copied many times throughout Italy.
Three months — Oct. 10-12
Valladolid, Spain: 44.48 pounds round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Valladolid, Spain.
Valladolid’s old quarter has many beautiful buildings. Among them is the unfinished cathedral, a highlight of which is the 1551 altarpiece. From the cathedral complex, you can visit the Diocesan Museum, with various carvings from several churches and other works attributed to artists such as Gregorio Fernandez and Juan de Juni.
A half-block south from the cathedral is the Cervantes House, now a museum. Once home to Miguel de Cervantes, author of "Don Quixote," it uses furniture and other items to illustrate how noble families in the 17th century lived. Visit the Christopher Columbus House Museum in the building where the navigator died in 1506. It has various pieces and documents related to the discovery of America.
Farther from the city center is the National Museum of Sculpture and the Oriental Museum. The sculpture museum holds religious works from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The Oriental Museum contains 14 rooms of Chinese and Philippine art.
Return to the city center for wine and food at one of the bars, pubs and cafes along Calle del Paraiso and Calle de Vincente.
Airfare prices include taxes and are courtesy of each airline’s Web site. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.