How to Travel to Italy and Keep to a Budget

By Calvin Knowles

Even at a time when the value of the dollar seems to fall against the Euro every day, travel to Italy can be done on a budget. Here are a few tips to help you make that happen.

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Rome, Venice and Florence are the top three most popular cities to visit when you travel to Italy. Hotel prices can really strain your budget; since these are small cities, a good way to save on your hotel bills would be to stay somewhere out of the way, in the suburbs. Italian cities have excellent public transportation, and you would just need to get into the city on a local train every morning to see all the attractions.

One of the best ways to save traveling anywhere is to go in the off-season. Since summer is the peak tourist season in Italy, you could consider traveling in September or in May. With fewer tourists to cater to, every business is likely to be far cheaper. Winters can be cold, of course; but if you travel in the winter and mostly keep to the museums and cathedrals, you’ll find the weather doesn’t affect you, and it can be quite warm indoors. The best part about travel to Italy in the winter is that the prices never get lower.

There is a secret to saving on your restaurant bills when you travel to Italy. The mid-day meal is always the cheapest. You can fill up at lunch, and try a cheaper option like pizza or shopping at a food market for your other meals. Food markets are a great way to get some local flavor.

Buying souvenirs, you’ll always find that staying close to the major attractions when you buy them triples the prices. Buy your souvenirs as least a mile away from the attraction you are at, and you can get far better prices.

Let’s say that you are traveling to Venice; the great thing about travel here is that you can completely cut transportation costs of any kind out of your budget save for a gondola trip. Venice is a city that you can explore completely on foot. All you need is to get a map, and not worry if you get lost. The city is a living museum, and everywhere you go, you’ll find wonderful things to see. Make sure that you buy passes for the Vaporetto water bus to get about from time to time, and that you avoid the water taxis altogether. They are expensive. Face it, the churches are the most beautiful part of a visit to Venice. Almost all of them have free entry. You don’t have to stick to the popular Piazza San Marco Square where all the tourists are. You could wander around everywhere and see the sights most tourists don’t. It’ll cost you less.

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