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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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Trip Report Budget trip

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We just got back from two weeks in Italy (husband's dream trip). We are a husband-wife team, independent travelers, budget travelers almost to a fault, but as husband gets older adjusting to some health restrictions with amount of walking, climbing, etc. We worked around those and had a fantastic time anyhow!

Overview:
Off-season trip to Rome, Naples and Florence, flying TAP (Lisbon layover), relying on public transit, renting an apartment in Rome and wrapping up with a few days in a budget hotel in Florence

Prep work:
We traveled carryon-only, which is a challenge with TAP - but as we learned, it is still doable. The base rate for our round-trip airfare was $489 each and we booked those tickets in mid-April for our late October/early November trip. Once the tickets were bought we found a great Testaccio apartment in Rome and a nice budget hotel near Florence's main train station. Our Naples hotel was also fantastic - right by the train station and one of the nicest hotels we've ever stayed in.

Successes:
We averaged 10 Euros per day, per person, for food - that includes restaurant eating and groceries. Many days were 5 Euros or less. If I'd gone without gelato, it would have been even less. ;-)

Less-than-Successes:
Booking the apartment locked us into being there on certain dates. I got great counsel on side trips, but that came within a few days of our departure so it was hard to rearrange much. We ended up doing an overnight in Naples - could have made that two or three days and based in Sorrento instead - but it came during our Rome apartment stay, so we were paying double on those days.

If we could do it over:
I'd spend more time in Florence so we could use that as a base for more side trips.
I'd have spent our arrival night by the airport, then left the next morning for Sorrento and used that as a base for at least two or three full days before continuing to Rome.
I would have cut Rome to 4 days (we were there 6 days).

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