first time backpacking to italy

May 16th, 2014, 09:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1
first time backpacking to italy

Me and my partner wish to backpack to itsly next month. Wishing to see places like rome. Florence. Venice athens and any other anybdy might suggest.
I want to know about accomodations. Cheap ones. And best travel within italy.

Thanks in advance.
newbietraveller10 is offline  
May 16th, 2014, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,342
Athens is in Georgia, USA and Greece as far as I know.

Taking the train between those places (Rome, Florence, Venice) is a good idea.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
May 16th, 2014, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
Hostels would probably be your best best for low-cost lodging.

The big three in Italy are Rome, Florence and Venice. Dpending on your interests and your time, you might want to check out the Cinque Terre and/or Napoli and the Amalfi Coast depending on how much time you have (I'd vote for the latter). Maybe some of the smaller cities in northern Italy and Tuscany--Bologna, Padua, Ferrara, Ravenna, Siena, Lucca, San Gimigiano all have something to recommend them and each is very different from the others.

Get a guidebook and read about what's where then choose. Sounds like a great trip!
dwdvagamundo is offline  
May 16th, 2014, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,131
Look at Lonely Planet's guidebooks, website, and forums. Rough Guides and Let's Go are also good publications.

(There aren't many people who currently backpack here on Fodor's).

Take the train between cities. Stay at hostels. Eat from grocery stores and outdoor markets. Are the general guidelines for cheap/backpack travel. You can usually find information as you arrive at new cities from tourist bureaus and at train stations.
suze is offline  
May 16th, 2014, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,628
You can usually save significant money on train fares by buying your tickets in advance. However, discounted tickets cannot be exchanged, so don't buy them if you're not sure when you'll be traveling.

You usually save money by flying into one city and flying home from another, so you don't have to backtrack. For example, you could fly into Venice and fly home from Rome. It may be too late for that if you've already bought your plane tickets.

The logical order would be either Venice, Florence, Rome or Rome, Florence, Venice. You don't say how much time you have, but if it's two weeks or less, I would stick with those three and maybe take some day trips. Athens, as you've already heard, is in Greece and I would suggest saving Greece for another trip.

Hostels are usually moneysavers if you are traveling alone, but two people traveling together can pay less to stay in a budget hotel rather than a hostel. I use to find rooms. You can choose a neighborhood, or you can just state your destination as "Rome city center" (or Florence, or Venice) to get all the central neighborhoods. Then you can sort the list by price. Pay close attention to the guest rating, and read the guest reviews. I would want to find something with a rating over 7.

You might want to limit yourself to one restaurant meal each day, and have your other meal at a bar (where you can often get salads or sandwiches), at a pizza-by-the-slice pizzeria, or at a sandwich shop (paninoteca). Groceries that have a counter for cheese and cold cuts will usually make you a sandwich on a roll for just the cost of the ingredients. Italians usually don't put anything on their sandwiches other than the meat and the cheese, so don't ask for mayo.

In bars and cafés, as well as some pizza places, gelato shops, and the like, you usually have to pay extra to sit at a table. There should be two prices posted above the bar for each item: the sitting-down price and the standing-at-the-bar price. Some places also charge more for outside tables than inside tables.

For the sit-down restaurants, pizza is usually the most economical meal. However, you'll probably want to try other types of restaurant. You don't have to order all the courses shown on the menu. It would be too much for most people to eat, and would not be cheap. My husband and I usually order either two first courses, or one appetizer and one first course. Then we order one second course (meat or fish) and one contorno (vegetable side) and we share those.

Don't order anything at all, not even water, unless you see the price on the menu. Also look for the service charge. Not all restaurants have it, but it's required to be on the menu, sometimes in small print at the bottom. All restaurants are required to post their menus outside, but sometimes it's hard to find the cost of beverages, and some restaurants overcharge for them.

In Florence and Venice, you may see a charge for "pane e coperto" (bread and cover), which you have to pay whether you want it or not. This also has to be on the menu. In Rome, charging for "coperto" is not allowed, and you don't have to pay for bread if you don't want it, but it will often be brought to the table without your asking for it. If you don't want it, tell them so before they walk away and leave it there. If it's already on the table when you arrive, tell the person who shows you to your seat that you don't want the bread. If they leave the bread on the table and walk away without your saying anything, you have to pay for it whether you eat it or not.
bvlenci is offline  

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