Go to Italy and Save Money

A time might come in your life, when you will just have to go and visit Italy. If that happens, nothing will stop you. Neither will rising air fares, nor will increasing cost of accommodation or a weakening dollar stand in your way.
Luckily, when Italian cravings strike, we will have you covered. Let us show you the ways to minimize your spending while maximizing your trip:

  • Top cities – if you decide to visit the three beloved destinations, Rome, Venice, or Florence, our recommendation is to stay outside of those cities and commute by public transportation, which is fast, frequent, and cheap in Europe. You will save money on hotels and restaurants this way and will still get to see and do the same things.
  • When to travel – summers in Italy are hot and teeming with tourists, not to mention expensive. If you can, choose to visit this beautiful country in spring or fall. It will be cheaper and less crowded. If museums are most important to you, consider traveling in winter.
  • Saving on food – the best time to eat is around noon, so make lunch big and dinner small. Evenings are perfect for pizzas or picnics. If you want to take it even further, shop at local supermarkets and learn a lot more about local culture and real people. If you do want to stick to restaurant food, choose places a couple of blocks away of beaten path.
  • Vacation rentals – consider Home Away or Airbnb if you want to save money. These hotel alternatives can give you more savings and a lot more flexibility. You will not only get to see how local people live, but will have your own kitchen to cook your own meals.
  • Different regions – keep in mind that you don’t have to be in Rome, Venice, and Amalfi Coast to experience Italy. Every region has something special and often cheaper options than those main tourist attractions.

Rome

  • Stay outside of Rome – when you visit the capital, stay outside the city and reach it by train. It might take you just 20 minutes, but you will save not only on accommodation, but dining too. Local restaurants are affordable and not as busy as the ones in the city center.
  • If you have to be in Rome, look for hostels, B&Bs, budget hotels, and monastery lodges.
  • Food and drinks – as we mentioned before, stay away from the touristy places when it comes to restaurants and bars. Walk just a few blocks and you will find places where locals eat. Those places often have more authentic food and friendlier people. Shop at grocery stores for water and snacks whenever you can.
  • Sightseeing – You don’t have to go bankrupt to see Rome. There are plenty of budget options – visit a few museums and then spend your time walking around the city. Use public transportation when you can and buy City Pass for multiple museums and monuments.

Venice

  • When visiting Venice, stay away from the city itself overnight. The best places to be at are Padua and Chioggia. Trains and tourist boats run from both of them to Venice in summer frequently, so commute is not a problem. There are also hostels and campgrounds in and around Venice.
  • Sightseeing – Venice is not very large and is best seen on foot. The most wonderful thing is getting lost in Venice and discovering tiny ancient streets and canals. Having a map helps, but you will still get lost, so enjoy it. Buy daily passes for water buses (vaporetto) at the ticket office. Take vaporetto along the Grand Canal and enjoy views day and night. Avoid water taxis and gondolas at all costs.
  • Museums – many churches are free and have great artwork, they are also cool and inviting to rest your tired feet. Basilica San Marco is always crowded, so consider going further from the center and then getting lost.
  • Food and drinks – eat everywhere except at Piazza San Marco, unless you don’t have any budget constraints. Everywhere around the central plaza tables outside will cost a lot more than just standing at a bar, so do that for a quick bite. Get food and refreshments at grocery stores if you can.

Florence

  • Just like everywhere else, try staying away from the city. Florence is in Tuscany, so there is beauty and views everywhere. Go the agriturismo or vacation rental route and reach the city by train or bus every day. Stay in cities of Prato, Pistoia, or Montecatini Terme if you want to be on the train line.
  • Food and drinks – Stay away from Piazza della Signoria and choose more affordable places. Florence is not known as a very expensive place if you venture just a bit outside main squares. Central covered market is famous, so make sure you visit it.
  • Sightseeing – people come to Florence for its architecture and it’s free. Most of the churches are also free, so spend your time walking along Arno River and enjoying this majestic city on foot, which is good for your health and for your wallet.

Tuscany

  • Tuscany is not cheap, but you can still find affordable places. Go north and stay in Garfagnana and Lunigiana regions, where you will find breath-taking views, medieval villages, castles, and great hiking. If you stay there you can also make day trips to the coastal Cinque Terre, Lucca, and Pisa.
  • Central Tuscany can also be affordable. Consider renting self-catering vacation rental or an agriturismo lodging. These options are especially great for families or small groups.
  • Sightseeing – rent a car and drive around the region in search of great views and free wine tasting. There are also many free festivals and sagra in summer with local food and entertainment.

Finally, if you have been to Italy before, don’t go back to the same expensive and touristy places. There is so much more to Italy than Rome and Venice. Visit Val Chisone in the Italian Alps, Brisighella in Emilia-Romagna, Urbania in Le Marche, Abruzzo Region, and Puglia beaches to name just a few.