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Where to find cheap and free flights to and from Italy?
Italian citizens or dual citizens who live in North and Central America, and have an Italian passport, can get free tickets for their flights to and from Italy (up to one round trip ticket per year). Everybody else can often find very attractive prices through the most popular travel search engines.
On the other hand, if you are in Italy, a good number of domestic flights and European flights are operated by low-cost airlines. The biggest low-cost airlines operating in Italy are Ryanair and Easyjet. Both offer flights to and from almost all the European countries.
The former even used to give away thousands of plane tickets on occasion, including free flights to Italy and from Italy, though this kind of promotion has not been announced in the last few years. However, getting free flights to Italy is still possible (see the following section).
The official websites (ryanair.com and easyjet.com) are the only ways to get the best prices. All other websites will usually add fees of various kinds for each ticket.
Other popular low-cost companies:
It is worth mentioning that Free Flights to Italy, an international nonprofit organization, will help you get free flights to Italy if your residency is not in Italy (especially North America) and own an Italian passport. Membership will always be free because Free flights to Italy makes use of the free service Google flights to determine what fares can be reimbursed each month. You will just have to download an iPhone app that will take care of the whole reimbursement procedure. Do not forget to scan the main page of your passport (the one with your photo) and your AIRE certificate. AIRE is an Italian acronym that stands for association of Italians living abroad. The certificates are issued by Italian consulates.
The Free Flights to Italy program aims at connecting two different continents — Europe and America — through well-known carriers (non low-cost!) that you can choose yourself, so you will not be forced to travel inside Europe with low-cost airlines. New Italian flights to and from other continents may be added in the near future on demand.