To travel means to explore new places, to lose yourself in a new culture, to have a good time learning new things. But what if there was a way to do it saving money or sometimes spending nothing (as visiting in squares or walking in the city center)?
The good news is that in Italy many places can be visited not spending a lot.
Yes, it is true that there are costly restaurants, museum tickets and so on. But it is also true that there are dozens of open-air squares that can be admired without having to pull out your wallet and monuments to visit where you have to take out your wallet but only for a few euros.
Which are they? I suggest you a list of 25 places to visit, from South to North, where you can enjoy the Italian culture spending little.
Arriving at Ascoli Piceno is simple, both by car and train. Once arrived, go to the main square Piazza del Popolo, that is considered from many as one of the most beautiful in Italy. The reasons are to seek in its elegance and harmony in line with the rest of the city. But it does not end here, because walking between the alleys and the turrets you will discover a lot of other attractions of equal beauty, as for instance the Cathedral of Sant’Emidio. Can you be lodge spending little? Absolutely. Ascoli is full of hotel and antique hostels, some of them also in medieval style. One of the most appreciated is that of the Lombardi. As regarding the food, don’t miss the famous “olive ascolane!”
Bari, state capital of Puglia, is an essential crossroad of south Italy. Easily reachable from Rome, Naples, and Bologna.
What to wait from Bari? You will find a beautiful coastal city with a definite and mysterious character, it will seem you to be in a pirates movie. Sleeping at low prices? Sure, thanks to the many B&B and hostels with low rates. And what about the food? You absolutely have to try the fried panzerotti, they are really cheap but will completely satisfy you.
Near Milan, at only 45 minutes by train there is Bergamo, a city that leaves without breath. This city deserves to be admired in every aspect, give a long walk along the pebbles roads, starting from the high-city to the low-city. As in the rest of Italy, also here is easy to find hotel and hostels with reasonable prices. To eat spending little just try the street food and buy the “polenta” take-away, delicious.
This elegant and pleasant Lombard city is located at just 40 minutes by train from Milan. You will find yourself walking in a town full of history, art, churches, and monuments. Things to see are the Tempio Capitolino, Piazza del Foro, Piazza della Loggia and the Duomo Vecchio. You can easily lodge at low price thanks to the comprehensive offer of hotel and B&B, and if you are good at finding the best deal you can also get by with around 20€ per person.
If you are near Naples, you have to go to Caserta, at just 40 minutes by train. The most famous attraction of Caserta is its Palazzo Borbonico that only this worth the trip. The Palace will take you away the whole morning (or afternoon) because there is a lot to see: the insides of the Palace are magnificently preserved with still the furniture and the frescos of the Bourbon epoch and the immense garden in English style will enchant you. The entry is not free but cost 16€, to me is a correct price and not too much high, considering everything that the Palace offers. However before going away you must taste the mozzarella, so tasty.
After Palermo, Catania is the bigger populated center of Sicily. It is a happy and a little chaotic city, a typical Sicilian culture, full of art. Don’t miss to visit the Roman monuments as the amphitheater, and taste with both hands the local food especially the meats “arrusti e mangia.”
Chieti is a little jewel in the center of Italy, one of those classic underestimate tourist destinations. Instead, it will surprise you for its mix of ancient, baroque, and medieval style. A must stop is the Archaeological Museum (the ticket costs only 3€) and the Roman Amphitheater. Chieti is the perfect destination to dive in the abruzzese culture. As regarding the food the specialty to taste is the arrosticini.
Como is a sought-after destination, especially in summer and in spring, it is the perfect point of departure to practice water sports, excursions and other lake activities. Go to the discovery of the historical center and walk on the lake shore. Don’t worry, Como is the right choice for all the pockets, for the lodgings and for the food (both mountain and lake cuisine.). Being a sought destination, many chefs have opened restaurants with prohibitive costs, that’s why my suggestion is to directly ask the citizens that will surely know how to address you on excellent restaurants but with reasonable prices.
Known by everybody as the capital of the Salento, Lecce is an open-air monument in purely baroque style. During the high season the prices are high but if you come in spring or in autumn the prices are decidedly lower, and you can fully enjoy the real colors of the city. Lecce is perfect to walk, to rest and eat well, one thing to absolutely try for the breakfast are the pasticciotti and the focaccia pugliese during the rest of the day.
This harbor city will steal your heart thanks to the generous character of its citizens. Livorno is a rustic city and at the same time noble, walking through its roads, you will acknowledge the beautiful reception that you will receive. The food is another asset, Livorno is full of restaurants that serve fish at convenient prices.
Mantova is a medieval pearl that worth a visit, just to take a walk between its streets and squares, as for example Piazza delle Erbe. Regarding the lodging, there are many B&Bs, and you should succeed in finding something around the 20€ per person. Don’t lose the occasion to eat the tortelli di zucca, a dish that is also possible to found in the most economic inns of the center.
What to say of Matera, by now famous all over the world to be the European Capital Of the Culture 2019. So strange the fact that it has remained out of the Italian destination for a lot of time. Arriving by train is complicated, my suggestion is to use the car. And during the journey, you can enjoy yourself with some nice panorama of south Italy.
The most important monument of Matera is the Sassi, which is nothing than a part of the city entirely dug in the tuff and declared Patrimony of humanity by the Unesco. In this district you will have the possibility to sleep in the rock hostels for 15€ per night.
In Naples, in comparison to the other great Italian cities, it is easier to spend little. The city is pleasant, chaotic but like many other in Italy it is an open-air monument. It will be enough for you to walk for its alleys and be able to admire the architectural wonder that Naples has inherited from the different epochs. Worthy of mention is Piazza del Plebiscito, Castel dell’Ovo, Spaccanapoli. Also the museums in Naples are economic, and according to me, the ones that deserve a visit are the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Capodimonte. Another asset of Naples is the food, here you can spend little and eat like a God, not only pizza but also mozzarella, pastiera or babà.
Palermo is another big Italian city but low-cost, here you will have a whole city to visit, mainly the historical center that recalls to the arabic period, among which the beautiful Palatine Chapel. The possibilities to lodge in hostels and convenient B&B is high, you can find something at less than 10€ per night. As for the food, we are in Sicily, anywhere you will stop to eat you will have the spoilt of choice spending little. And if Palermo is not enough, in the proximities there are a lot of sea places among which Cefalù.
Pisa is another city with beautiful monuments, the famous Piazza dei Miracoli with the Pisa Tower and the Cathedral. Being also a university city, it is predisposed to save money, you will find a lot of places that offer products of quality for people that have few money to spend. So nice if you love murals, don’t miss the work of Keith Haring, just in front of the central station. Another way to spend little? You can ride a bike throughout the center of Pisa.
Another little-known gem is Pistoia in Tuscany. A labyrinth of alleys, churches, buildings and underground tunnels! The lodgings are not expensive, and there is an ample offer of B&B, you could also choose to sojourn here for being able to explore the outskirts, like Pescia or Montecatini with its thermal baths. The Tuscan cuisine is excellent and the restaurants around here are a must.
Ravenna, known for its byzantine art and its mosaics, it is perfect to be visited in one day. Along with its roads you can admire various monuments, among which the Basilica of St. Vitale with its early christian rites mosaics. Thanks to the numerous B&Bs, sleep here doesn’t cost much and regarding the food you should try the sea meatballs and the stewed eel.
This beautiful city overlooks the sea and with sight to Sicily, Reggio Calabria enjoys a mild climate along the whole year, and therefore it is suitable to be visited during the low season. Reggio is one of the last place where to stop if you are directed toward Sicily and if you travel by car. Staying here it means to visit the National Archaeological Museum and to admire the famous Bronzes of Riace.
We cannot speak of Rimini in the summer season because we would go completely off-topic (is hard try to spend little). But how it is Rimini in winter? All the opposite of the summer frenzy. Calm and relaxing, you can walk on the waterfront without the thousand tourists. If you can’t in winter try it in spring. The prices of the hotels are a lot lower in comparison to the summer and for the food just try the piadina.
In Italy there isn’t a city full of monuments as Rome, you can visit it without having to spend a lot. The city is enormous and so also the choices to sojourn, among B&B, hostels, and hotel there is a wide choice and find something low cost is not difficult. Lower prices can be found in the districts Pigneto, Torpignattara and Montesacro.
To eat well and to spend little you can go to one of the so many restaurants in Trastevere.
Salerno is a pleasant city of south Italy and a good point of departure to explore Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. The perfect solution for who loves to spend little, a hostel can cost around 15€ per person. Eating in Salerno, as in the whole Campania, is a law. The cheaper dishes to try are the penne ai fagioli e lardo.
The most beautiful zone in Siracusa is the historical center, here you can able revisit all the various epochs starting from the greek domination to the sicilian baroque. The first thing to do in Siracusa is to taste an orange or lemon granita. Another must to try are the cannoli.
Udine is a city to discover (it is so elegant). It is rich in history and walking through its roads will let you discover it slowly. A must stop is the the castle. A specialty of the place that is to try is the frico with polenta and to eat spending little, just ask to the people. You can spend less than 20€ per night in one of the many B&Bs or in a hostel.
Vicenza is one of the most elegant cities in Italy, one of the best places where you’ll be able to walk among the many monuments of Roman and medieval epoch. It is one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, but it is low-cost to the visitor, indeed many of its monuments can be visited for free. You will spend more on the food because here they eat and drink so much! The best dishes are the dried cod, broccoli, and asparagus.
Viterbo is the best preserved medieval centers. Walking among its roads you can admire the Palace of the Popes that was the center of the episcopalian Curia during the medieval age. The city is also a university center, and therefore it is perfect for those that want to spend little. There are a lot of restaurants with low prices and it works for B&B too.
Written by: Lovin Italy