Piazza and duoms, signorina and seigneurs, pizzas, pasta, gelato, wine, cheeses. There are many plans, and the budget is limited, especially with the current conditions. But it’s not all bad! We tell you how to save money on Italian travel.
Carry cash and use a multi-currency card
Universal advice for everyone who goes to Europe – bring the euro with you. Withdrawing money from the card is not the most profitable option: they can interest using an ATM, not of their bank. And it is better to travel with a multi-currency card. In this case, there will be no interest in converting into euros.
Don’t forget the sleep tax.
“You still have a tax,” they say at the reception. Stop, how? After all, you paid for everything. But no, in Italy there is a city tax for accommodation for tourists. And it differs not only in different cities but also in hotels depending on the stardom. For example, in hostels, you will pay from 1.5 to 3 euros per night, in three stars – 3-4, in five-star hotels – from 5 to 7 euros. Before you book, study on the website whether the tax is included and what it is.
Shops for locals
Like us, in Italy supermarkets are expensive and more budget-friendly. The latter have products of their brands, for which prices are even lower. If you want to save money, look for Lidl, Coop, and Penny Market signs. Very tiny mini-markets are usually in the center, but if you want a large selection, you will have to go to the supermarket somewhere closer to the outskirts.
His own cook
If you have an apartment with a kitchen or hostel, cook yourself. This is a wonderful way to save and try out local products and of excellent quality. Buy homemade pasta, artichokes, prepare a light tomato sauce, cut tomatoes and mozzarella, melon, and prosciutto, take a bottle of prosecco – dinner is ready. And it will cost much cheaper than in a restaurant.
Italians drink tap water and take a bottle with them, filled in the hotel or drinking fountains. The latter are many in the tourist streets and near the sights. If there are no extra signs on the fountain, you can drink water. But if you see the inscription “Non potabile,” pass by: in such fountains technical water.
Go to the local market – Mercato (type this word in Google Maps or search on the city map). Each seller will gladly treat their goods: cheese, prosciutto, fruits, vegetables, nuts. You can try for free, and the quality of products in the markets is usually very high.
No matter how much you want to eat pizza with a view of the Pantheon or pasta in front of the Duomo, you should not do this. 99%, which will be tasteless and 100% expensive. And never go to places where a waiter invites you.
All the best is hidden in the courtyards and noisy. Go for conversations in Italian and laugh. Better yet, ask the locals where to eat.
Many restaurants, especially in tourist areas, have a percentage for service and maintenance – coperto, reaching up to 12%. It depends on the restaurant’s popularity and even on the time of day (usually higher in the evening). If you do not like surprises, ask the waiter in advance about additional fees. But keep in mind that for coperto, you will most likely bring a basket of fresh bread and local olive oil.
In the popular cafes and restaurants, loved by locals, there is always a queue. Tables in such places are better to book in advance. And here’s the secret: sometimes, booking a table through the portal or the TripAdvisor app, you can get a discount of up to 30% or a compliment from the restaurant.
Coffee in a hurry
If an Italian wants coffee, he goes into the institution, drinks a cup of espresso or cappuccino right behind the bar. Otherwise, you will have to pay coperto, and coffee will cost several times more.
Don’t forget to snack.
An aperitif is not just about going in and having a drink before dinner. In many cafes and bars in Italy, this is a whole mystery. To the ordered drink, you get different snacks or even access to the buffet. Usually, the aperitif is reported at the stands in front of the cafe, or you can check with the waiter. In Rome, Florence, and Milan, an aperitif + buffet can be found for 9-11 euros, Genoa for 8 euros, and in Naples for 6-7. Usually, nuts, bruschetta, mini-pizzas, olives, cheese slices, prosciutto, or vegetables in such a menu.
Morning in Italian
Breakfast like an Italian is hearty, budget, and aesthetically pleasing. No scrambled eggs, sausages, and servelate sandwiches. Instead, the cornetto is the Italian equivalent of a croissant but sweeter. And yet, speaking of cornetto, the locals mean breakfast. In many places, you will see coffee and “croissant” with fillings. It will cost up to 3 euros, and in local places and at all up to the euro.
If you arrive and depart from the same airport, then buy a round trip transfer immediately online. For example, a bus to Rome is 5.80 euros, and there and back – 9 euros (Terravision company). With the money saved, you can buy gelato.
Walk around the city. Italian cities are not so big. You can safely move around them on your own two. In extreme cases, use public transport. One trip is about 1.5 euros. You can make transfers within 100 minutes. Or buy a pass for 1 day for 7, 2 days – 12.5 and 3 days – 18 euros per person. Taxis and even Uber will hit the pocket significantly.
Adventures by bus
If you decide to travel around Italy, do not rush to buy train tickets. Yes, they are fast enough, the views from the windows are exciting, but the prices bite. There is a wonderful company Flixbus, whose buses will deliver to any point, cheap and no less comfortable. And you can use the services of Blablacar and ride with the locals.
Do you want to know more about the city? In each city, there are free walks with a guide daily. Search the Internet for queries such as “Roma free tour” or “Napoli on foot.”
A real tourist
If you have big tourist plans with a visit to all the attractions in a short time, we recommend that you immediately think about saving time and money. Buy tickets online on the sites. You have no idea how much time and nerves will cost you queues in popular museums.
You can also buy a tourist card for 1/2/3 of the day, making it possible to pass almost without queues to the city’s main museums. And in some museums, you can buy a single ticket. For example, a ticket to the most popular Roman Colosseum also gives the forum and Palatine Hill the right. The ticket offices of the latter are located a hundred meters literally from the Colosseum, and there is usually no queue there.