Italy is an increasingly popular travel destination for Indian tourists but a vacation in the land of the Dolce Vita can quickly add up to be quite expensive. This is especially true if you’re not a savvy traveler and haven’t been to Italy before. However, there are plenty of ways that you can keep your costs down without missing out on any of the cultural attractions and highlights that Italy has to offer.
To help you make the most of your budget and enjoy your time in Italy to the fullest, we’ve used our experience and knowledge to compile some ways that you can save money while visiting Italy.
Saving On Airfare To Italy.
By far the easiest way to get to Italy from India is to fly but the cost of flights can end up being one of the most expensive aspects of your trip. But there are a few ways that you can save a lot of money on the cost of your tickets.
For instance, if you fly into airports such as Milan instead of Rome, Florence or Venice, you can make significant savings on the cost of your flight. Similarly, if you visit Italy during the low tourist season, between late summer and mid-spring and during the Fall, then plane tickets are far cheaper than they are during the high season in the summer.
Another way to save money on your flight tickets is to select a route that stops over in the Middle East instead of catching a direct flight. While this will increase your journey time by a few hours, it will almost always save you a lot of money.
A great way to quickly compare the costs of flights from India to Italy is to use the Google Flights tool. This allows you to compare the costs of flights from dozens of airlines and routes at a glance. The Google Flights tool is free to use and makes finding the cheapest ticket to Italy very easy.
Saving On Accommodation In Italy.
Another major cost of your vacation is bound to be accommodation. Fortunately, there are hotels and hostels to suit all budgets and requirements, both in the city center and on the outskirts. As a general rule, hotels are much more expensive than hostels. Therefore, you can save a lot of money by opting to stay in a hostel instead of a hotel.
Italy’s hostels have come a long way in recent decades and are no longer the low-quality establishments that they once were. Today, Italy’s best hostels have a wide range of rooms to choose from, including shared dormitories and private rooms with ensuite facilities. Essentially, a private room in a hostel is the same as an in a hotel but it’s much cheaper!
Hostels also have good on-site amenities, including free WiFi, communal lounges, restaurants, bars and events spaces. Some hostels have on-site gyms, shops, vending machines, a 24-hour reception desk, luggage storage, outdoor terraces and even a swimming pool.
When you’re making your reservation in a hostel it’s worth asking for a room with a private bathroom instead of having to rely on a shared bathroom. This should be no problem in the better hostels and will make your stay a lot more comfortable. Like in India, in Italy, you will save money if you contact the hotel directly and make a reservation rather than use a booking website. This is very true for non-chain hotels.
Save Money While Eating Out.
If you’d like to save money on food then it’s a better idea to avoid sit-down restaurants for lunch and dinner. Instead, you can simply drop by a traditional pizzeria, sandwich shop or local store where you can buy much cheaper food that you can eat in a nearby square or park.
Another easy way to save money on food is to drop by a local supermarket and buy bread, cheese and other toppings so you can make yourself a picnic for lunch. Italian supermarkets usually have a good deli section where you can buy a whole array of tasty snacks including olives, cheeses, salads, cold meats, pastries and much more besides. Supermarkets in Italy sell very high-quality produce that is priced very cheaply compared to eating out in a cafe or restaurant.
Of course, it’s nice to eat out sometimes, especially while you’re on vacation! To save money on your restaurant bill it’s worth knowing that the lunchtime menu is usually a lot cheaper than the dinner menu. Alternatively, you can save money while eating out by looking for bars or restaurants that serve an Apericena.
Apericena is a popular Italian tradition in which restaurants and bars serve drinks with an all-you-can-eat buffet at a fixed price. An Apericena is an informal occasion and even though you get plenty to eat, the cost is very low compared to a more formal meal in a restaurant. Most of the time the buffet will be made up of Italian cuisine but you can also find establishments that serve Indian, Mexican and other international buffets as part of their Apericena.
Saving Money On Transportation In Italy.
The public transport system in Italy is very extensive and covers every town, city and village in the country. When you’re in a city, avoid taking a taxi and jump on the subway, bus or tram instead. Equally, when you’re traveling from one city to another, don’t fly and use the train instead. Always travel by train from one city to another. If you book a few weeks ahead, you can get great fares even on Italy’s high speed rail network (Frecciarossa and Italo).
When you’re booking a train ticket it’s much cheaper to travel in the off-peak hours. The most expensive train tickets are always during the rush hours while the afternoon and night time trains are a lot cheaper. You can also opt to take slower, regional trains instead of the high-speed intercity services to save extra money on your tickets as well.
Visit Italy During The Off-Season.
Italy is much more expensive to visit during the peak tourist season. The peak season for tourists is between May and August each year. The attractions will also be packed with Western tourists, so you’ll have to wait in long lines, and the prices of everything from hotels to plane tickets are much higher. Therefore, if you want to save a huge amount of money you can plan your vacation in Italy for the off-season.
The best time to visit Italy in the off-season is in April or between September and late October. At this time of year, the weather is still fairly warm, prices are much lower and you won’t have to wait in long lines to see the top attractions.
Take Advantage Of Free Opportunities.
There are many ways that you can take advantage of free opportunities while you’re in Italy. For example, on the first Sunday of every month thousands of museums, gardens, palaces and other attractions are free to enter! You don’t need to book in advance so you just arrive at the ticket office and you’ll be let in for free.
Another opportunity to take advantage of are free city walking tours. This is an ideal way to see some of the top attractions and learn about the history of the area without spending any money. In most cases, the guides of a free walking tour may expect a tip at the end but it’s entirely discretionary as to how much you give.
Get Off The Beaten Track.
One of the easiest ways to save big bucks during your time in Italy is to spend time in the less touristy parts of the country. Not only will you experience a more authentic side of Italy but you’ll also have a much more unique vacation than the average tourist!
While Rome, Venice and Florence are all incredible places to visit, many of the smaller towns and rural regions of the country have a lot to offer visitors as well. All of Italy’s towns, even if they are relatively small, have great museums, galleries, churches and local sites of historic and cultural interest.
For example, if you want to visit Tuscany – undoubtedly one of Italy’s best-loved provinces – then why not get off the beaten track and stay in some of the region’s beautiful hilltop towns instead of spending all your time in Florence? Alternatively, if you’d like to see some of Italy’s Renaissance art and architecture, then why not stay in Urbino instead of Florence or Venice?
Urbino is the birthplace of Rafael, one of the leading artists of the Renaissance, and is one of the nation’s best-preserved Renaissance cities. Urbino is packed full of incredible galleries, churches and Renaissance artifacts and the prices for accommodation, food and transport are significantly lower than other centers of Renaissance culture.
Shop In Local Markets.
Covered and open-air street markets play a central role in the life of Italy and locals rely heavily on them for a lot of their regular groceries. So while you’re in Italy, you can save money by shopping for food, souvenirs and arts and crafts at the local markets. Some markets are only open on certain days, Sundays for example, while the larger markets are open throughout the week.
As well as saving money on your food and other items, it’s great fun to explore the street markets and immerse yourself in the bustling daily life of Italy. Many of the markets have delis, hot drinks vendors, bakeries, pizzerias, fish and meat stalls as well as clothes and jewelry vendors.
Book As Early As Possible.
Lastly, if you can, it’s always better to book your flights, accommodation and other aspects of your vacation as early as you can. This will not only give you peace of mind after all the arrangements have been made but you’ll also be able to make some big savings. Everything from flights to hotel rooms are often discounted for those who book early.
It’s Easy To Save Money While Visiting Italy.
There’s no need to break the bank during your vacation in Italy. With a few tips and tricks under your belt, you’ll be able to enjoy your time in Italy without spending a fortune. So as you’re planning your vacation in Italy be sure to keep the money-saving ideas above at the forefront of your mind and you’ll have a great time while keeping your costs within budget.