The Riches of Italy - On a Budget!

Winter in Australia means one thing - Summer in Europe. And that, to me, means dreams of Italy. But it doesn't have to be a dream. Follow these tips for Italy on a budget and a mid-year break to Europe is entirely achievable!

So, you're shivering through your thermals, your electricity bills are through the roof with hot showers and heaters through the night. The wind goes straight through you on your walks to work in the dark. You feel pasty, pale and lacking in vitamin D. The cure... you need a holiday through Italy in the summer.

The journey begins with finding the most reasonably priced airfare. Often, this can mean opting for the flights with the most number of stop-overs, but if you have the time up your sleeve, then there's really nothing to lose (except sleep!). On the other hand, if you plan early enough ahead you can snap up a good deal at the start of the year and then you have that light at the end of the tunnel to get you through the first hard slog of the year.

Now, being summer in Italy, this means peak season prices, you will need to be very savvy. And to do this, I suggest you live like a local. Forget lunches and dinners in romantic Italian cafes and restaurants - from now on, you shop at the Italian grocers, buying the freshest Mediterranean produce and inhaling it while you explore. You can also buy your wines this way - although I suggest you forget carrying it around in a paper bag and sloshing it straight from the bottle while in public!

Start in Venice my friends and instead of buying passes to all the expensive museums and galleries, spend your time without a map, (yes, I said without!) and just walk. The best part of Venice is getting lost, in the labyrinth of back streets and laneways and finding your way back, past the most magical sights north-western Italy has to offer.

Catch a train from here through Bologna to Cinque Terre. Spend a few days enjoying the lover's walk along the azure coastline and the cheap limoncello that the region is most proud of.

From here you can train it to Florence and stay at one of the many famous back packer hostels that are in my view the most incredible in the world, as they are often former monasteries or convents.
This is where the fun begins! Florence has a multitude of bike rentals available and if you travel light, you can ride your way through the Tuscan hillside, with some great songs plugged into your itunes and you will remember this journey til the end of your days!

Meander through the small villages and find yourself in Siena. I love that in Italy, even in the peak of summer, you will always find yourself a room somewhere, simply by chatting with the locals.  I love a trip where you don't have to know your every move along the way.

In saying that, it can pay to be well-organised when it comes to the bigger cities, like Rome, which is where I suggest you go next. There is so much to see and do in Rome, that I suggest you forget about seeking luxury accommodation. You simply won't be there to enjoy it! The city never sleeps and neither should you, especially if you drink their coffee!! Head to the Vatican but don't pay for the tour groups. I know it's cheeky but if you're dead keen on listening in to the commentary of what you're looking at in the museum, then you won't find it difficult to over hear the many outspoken and flamboyant Italian tour guides who positively below their way through the crowds.

Romans are also not so bad at making pizza and pasta, on every single street corner - so this is what you will live on, re-gaining those kilos you dropped on your cycle ride.

And lastly, jump on a bus to the Amalfi coast, just a few hours south of Rome, to the majestic Positano! Don't actually stay in Positano mind you - unless you can get a room at the Pupetto Hotel, a converted lemon grove right on its own secret beach and still charges the cheapest rates in the Amalfi coast! If you can't get in here, try the next town along, Praiano. Prices are more reasonable and there's a fabulous ferry service that can transport you to and fro any time you like - including a day trip to the Isle of Capri (where the rich and famous folk reside) which I do suggest you do! Take your bathers and spend some time lazing about on the warm rocks on the water's edge, topping up that Italian tan and listening to the sexy sounds of the Italian accent - even if they are arguing or simply ordering more limoncello and pizza.

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Posted by Claude10Report
Last time I checked amalfi coast was famous for limoncello often wonder if your journos actually go or just google the story