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5 unbeatable places to visit in Italy on a budget

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Italy is a country with a lot of culture and history. It has many great places to visit and explore. However, its high cost of living in the popular cities means that it can be hard to explore all the best places without breaking the bank. Here are five locations with wallet-friendly ideas for you to explore the wonders of Italy on a budget.

1. Rome, Italy

Rome is the capital and largest city in Italy. It is an ancient city with a vast heritage and history. Many people overlook it as they flock towards more glamorous cities like Milan, Florence, or Venice.

Rome has an extensive range of food which can make for excellent dining experiences from delicious traditional cuisine such as pizza and pasta to the international cuisine being served up by many restaurants. You can keep your travel costs down by opting for delicious street food instead of dining in.

There is also much art, history and culture to explore… including lots for free! Lonely Planet share an extensive list of 40 things to do for free in Rome including:

  • The Pantheon

  • St Peter's Basilica

  • Trevi Fountain

  • Villa Borghese

  • Trastevere

and many, many more.

There are also free walking tours in Rome to explore the historic sites without spending a penny.

On the first Sunday of the month, all state museums are free to enter.

Accommodation can be expensive, but I have managed to find hotels and boutique hotels for around £60 to £70 per night using Ebooking.

2. Venice, Italy

Venice is one of those cities that will make you want to spend a lot of time exploring. But if you're on a tight budget, it can be difficult to keep your expenses in check. Luckily, with these quick and easy tips for saving money in Venice, you'll have more cash for gelato and canal rides:

  • Avoid high season

  • Use public transport

  • Stand up when eating out (dining in seated can cost a premium)

  • A Venice rolling pass can help you skip queues and save money on transport and museums if you’re a young tourist

  • Choose a hostel instead of a hotel

  • See the sights from outside. Bear with me - it can be expensive to visit and go inside all the tourist hotspots, but they are often just as beautiful from outside with their stunning architecture. So spend a day on foot exploring the city and viewing everything it has to offer without paying extortionate entry fees.  Exploring on foot is an easy way to see the sights and save money on travel

3. Northern Italian Lakes

According to Musement, the six most beautiful lakes in Northern Italy, aside from Lake Como, are:

  1. Lake Garda

  2. Lake Maggiore

  3. Lake Orta

  4. Lake Lugano

  5. Lake Iseo

  6. Lake Varese

The ‘Lake District’ of northern Italy offers a breathtakingly beautiful location to visit on a budget. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the pure beauty of nature offers plenty to keep you entertained without overspending.

Whilst there are many opulent hotels, you can opt for budget-friendly accommodation, pack your own lunches and explore the beautiful lakes and quaint villages on foot. Walking and hiking will keep your visit low cost.

4. Florence, Italy

Florence's best attractions are free to visit. The city is a treasure trove of priceless treasures it's one of the most visited cities in the world and for good reason. It has UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stunning architecture, incredible art museums and so much more.

The Tour Guy shares six free things to do in Florence:

1. Parco Di Pratolino

2. Garden Of The Iris

3. Abbey Of San Miniato Al Monte

4. Window Shop On The Ponte Vecchio

5. Giardino Delle Rose

6. Parco Delle Cascine

5. Cinque Terre, Italy

If you're visiting Italy on a budget and want to explore the breath-taking coastline with amazing views, then Cinque Terre is the place for you.

Cinque Terre (five lands) is a gorgeous stretch of coastline just an hour away from the major city of Genoa. The five villages are perched high up on hillsides overlooking the sea and are connected by a series of hiking trails - or you can take a train or bus that connects them all together.

There's plenty to see and do in this area so it's best to plan your trip in advance. Some suggestions include: Explore vineyards, take in historic sites, hike through nature reserves, visit quaint villages, or just enjoy the magnificent views from afar for free!

Watching the sunsets, swimming in the sea, hiking from village to village and admiring the scenery is all free too.