Looks like a cheap holiday in Italy you a myth? Are you convinced that your budget can never handle a trip to Italy? Surely it would be a shame if your dream of the perfect sunny Italy trip falls into the Venetian canals because of that. With the current crisis, such a holiday is more necessary than ever, and with the following budget tips for Italy the dream seems closer!

Budget tips for Italy
A perfect budget tip for a cheap holiday in Italy: get some tasty things and have a picnic and people-watching in the park (photo credit)

1. Cheap travel starts at home

Already when packing you can save a lot of money, making your trip a lot cheaper. Get a good travel guide that recommends restaurants and hotels in every price range, or better yet, pack a tent and go camping. Fun and savings guaranteed! Those who camp can also cook for themselves, and then take some jars and ingredients with you from home. Although, those herbs and olive oil are of course so tasty in Italy. Well, you can also get cheap stuff in the Italian supermarket fairly cheaply, which you can prepare yourself at the campsite or in your apartment.

2. Travel out of season

It is easier to book a cheap holiday in Italy in January than in July. But also know that a lot of sights have winter hours and the weather can sometimes be quite bad. If you can choose when you travel, try to book for May – June or September – October. Then the weather is usually nice and it is not super busy. From 15 to 30 August (Ferragosto) also many Italians take their annual vacation. At that time it is very busy and a lot of businesses are closed. Rather a different (and cheaper) moment.

3. Cheap accommodation in Italy

A cheap holiday in Italy starts with where you stay. It goes without saying that a hotel on the Duomo Santa Maria el Fiore in Florence is more expensive than a small hotel in nearby Lucca. You can easily make a day trip to large cities by car or train, while staying quietly and cheaply in a smaller city. Or you rent a house or room on a farm because 'farmhouse' is becoming increasingly popular among Dutch and Belgians in Italy. Not only because of the affordable price, but also because you really experience the authentic Italy.

4. Breakfast included?

If you choose a hotel with breakfast included, you don't have to worry about that anymore. Do you have to pay something extra? Then ask what breakfast it is. An extra 5 euros seems nice for a 'fine colazione', but not for a pot of coffee and a sweet biscuit. No breakfast at the hotel or in your apartment? Then buy some bread and cheese in the supermarket and sit on a bench on the piazza in the morning sun. So tasty and no one can match the view.

Budget tips for Italy
A perfect budget tip for a cheap holiday in Italy: get some tasty things and have a nice picnic and people-watching in the park (photo credit)

5. Eat an extensive lunch instead of dinner

Searching for budget tips for Italy means that you also want to adapt. This can be done, for example, during the lunch choose a set menu and eat a cheap pizza or pasta in the evening. Lunchtime menus are often cheaper, and the restaurant is usually less crowded. They call that a win-win! If you want to save a little extra in the evening after a day trip, buy something at the market and prepare it where you stay. An additional advantage: you do not eat too much during your holiday in Italy, so that you do not return home with kilos heavier. No stove? No problem. You can quickly prepare a tasty sandwich or salad without a cooking fire and are certainly tasty.

6. Cheap eats outside the center

You often only have to walk a few blocks away from the center to find cheaper restaurants. Find a place where there are many Italians. As the locals come back then you know the food is really tasty. Do you speak a little bit of Italian, or do you get out of the way well with hands and feet? Then ask a local Italian (no, not the waiter from the poop-chic restaurant next door, but a guide or shopkeeper) where they will eat in the afternoon or evening. You also know where the good food is where you live, right? Right, so do the Italians.

7. Book over the internet

Seen a nice hotel but you think it's too expensive? Take your tablet or smartphone with you and see if you can't book cheaper online. There is a good chance that the prices on hotel sites are a lot lower, or that there are great offers. Start your search for a nice budget hotel or other cheap accommodation Booking.com of airbnb. There you are guaranteed to find a good stay for a good price.

8. Italy has more to offer than Rome, Florence and Venice

The best-known and most touristic cities are also the most expensive. If you opt for the smaller towns, you will often see churches, gardens and fountains that are equally beautiful and not overrun with visitors. They are also often cheaper or even free to visit. A walk through an old city is really ideal as an excursion and you pay nothing for it. Keep in mind that tempting gelato stand you have to pass by. But those few euros that you spend on this are often the best spent in Italy.

9. First stop in a new city

At best, a cheap holiday in Italy also includes free trips and events. Of course you have come to the right place in Italy. At the Ufficio del Turismo in the major cities, you will find information about concerts and festivals, as well as which museums may offer discounts on certain evenings. If you are under 26 or older than 65, it can also be worthwhile to read the special rates for young people and the elderly. Are there discount passes for tourists? Then of course you will be the first to use it!

10. Dare to ask for a discount

Do you have quite the balls to deal with and do you dare to negotiate? Then try for things like a hotel room if you can get a discount if you book for a few nights. Don't be too assertive, because with a friendly smile you will probably get ahead. In Italy's street markets, bidding is part of the ritual. It is often a bit uncomfortable for many, but not negotiating can be seen as an insult to the market vendor. Do you see something nice? Always ask the trader's price first, and then offer a maximum of half as a counter offer. Keep your ideal price in mind!

These budget tips for Italy will go a long way, but it always pays to ask the locals what they think. Who knows, maybe the cleaning lady of the hotel knows a nice shop with authentic olio al basilico, or does the guide know a cafe with the perfect cornetto and cappuccino-breakfast. All that at non-touristy prices, of course! So find places less touristy to discover the real Italy, that of the Italians of today and not centuries ago. This way, your trip in Italy will be a real hit for you and for your wallet.

More tips on cheap travel to Italy can be found in the article Cheap holiday Italy.