Are you planning a trip to Italy?
Well, here you can find some useful information and advice, based on the experience of many different Globe Trotters that visited the country! But never forget: Being on a shoestring budget while traveling – it doesn´t matter where – is a bad idea! Suggesting the best way to travel cheaply in Italy is the aim of this article but if you really want to enjoy your trip, you must be able to indulge in something (Italian food and wine, for example!) even if only occasionally!
- Although Italy is a small country there are many different places to see (at least four different kind of sea sides – Riviera Romagnola, Cinque Terre, Smeralda coast, etc.; big cities – Torino, Rome, etc.; South Italian traditional towns – e.g. Alberobello; the green heart of Italy in the Centre – Tuscany and Umbria; the major and minor islands – Sicily, Sardinia, Elba, etc.). So, remember that one short visit to the major Italian cities is not enough for this country!
- Travel off-season to extend your budget and to avoid crowds. As you may already know the weather in Italy is good most of the time, so you can plan your holiday any time between April and October!
- Youth hostels offer a great budget alternative to hotels – Check out the Italian Youth Hostel Association’s website at www.ostellionline.org.
- Apartment rentals are a good choice for long stays. This is a really good idea for the sea side: you can save money cooking fresh local food in the apartment, you can organize your own party with your travel-mates and you don’t need to return to the apartment when you are across town or on the beach during the day.
- If you are visiting Italian cities, sightseeing will be your main activity. Look for combination tickets for the local attractions – above all for the most famous cities where you have really many things to see (Rome, Venice, Florence, etc.)
- To move from one city to one other it is best to choose the train – www.trenitalia.it. Italy is quite small and the train fares are absolutely tourist-friendly unlike the highway fares! The train is also much more sustainable for the environment and safe (Italian highways are not only expensive but also in bad condition for quite long distances).
- Book your flight on the internet instead of going to a travel agency, on the internet there´s no service charge!
- The public transportation system is also very cheap, a single ticket costs between 0,80 and 1 €. In the biggest cities you can buy a day-ticket or even a weekly or week-end ticket. At the sea side it is very common to rent bikes or scooters to visit a different stretch of the coast each day.
- Many Italian cities are great walking-cities – although many of them are on hills and can be reached only via stairs. Just take along a good map, your language guide and a bottle of water.
- Make sure that you are traveling with someone that can speak fluent Italian. The local people will be glad and they might decide to offer you an espresso or a schnapps grappa!
- Don´t save money on food and wine! Eat at least one pizza, one first course of fresh handmade pasta and one typical main starter of the region you are visiting. Most of the restaurants, inns and trattorie are not so expensive. A pizza will always cost less then 10 € and all other dishes cost between 7 and 16 €. A bottle of white wine costs around 10 € and a bottle of red wine costs around 20 € but it´s worth trying it! In all restaurants look always for daily specials or the fixed-price menu. They are usually traditional or regional dishes and fresh or seasonal products.
- Don´t forget an espresso after lunch and a schnapps grappa or limoncello after dinner – in many friendly restaurants the schnapps is offered by the owner.
- If you are traveling in spring or summer try the handmade ice – gelato artigianale!
- Try the Italian quick breakfast standing at the bar, it´s delicious and it costs less than 3 €.