Italy hasn’t been a cheap destination by most standards since the country switched currency from the lira to the euro. It’s certainly possible to spend a fortune on a trip to Italy, and it’s also possible for a budget traveler to visit the country without going into debt.
The cost of a flight to Italy can vary considerably, usually depending most on two factors – when you intend to fly, and where you’re flying from. The most expensive time to fly to Italy is the high summer season, which usually runs from mid-May through mid-September, and the cost of a ticket goes up the further away your home airport is from Italy. This is one of the parts of your Italy travel budget with the widest potential for variance, but most of the factors that make the cost of Italy accommodation vary are within your control.
As is the case with airfare, accommodation costs fluctuate quite a bit depending on when you’re traveling. Hotels and hostels in Italy tend to be at their peak cost-wise during the summer months, and also around major holidays. In particular, the holidays of Easter, Christmas, New Year’s, and (in Venice) Carnevale are times when accommodation prices go up – but every city and region has smaller festivals and events that can make the prices go up as well. Paying attention to the holidays and events calendar for Italy will help you at least understand why room rates seem higher than usual.
Types of accommodation
The type of accommodation you’re looking at will also have an impact on how much your room costs. Besides the traditional hostels and hotels for you to choose from in Italy there are also B&Bs, pensioni, camping, vacation rentals, agriturismo and many other options. Staying in less-popular cities or away from the main attractions can make the price drop significantly. To save even more in major cities, look for the word “camping” – campsites in big cities are often just outside the city center.
The best mode of transportation for your trip in Italy will depend largely on where you’re going and how many people you’re traveling with. A solo backpacker sticking to larger cities and towns can get along just fine with trains and (sometimes) buses, but a family or group of 4+ venturing into the countryside will likely need to rent a car.
Even if you’re not a serious foodie, no trip to Italy is complete without sampling the cuisine the country is so famous for. It’s not terribly difficult to eat well in Italy without spending a fortune.