Italy on a budget?

Old Nov 27th, 2001, 05:40 PM
  #1  
Sarah
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Italy on a budget?

A friend and I are hoping to take a trip to Italy in early January. Only problem is that both of us have recently got laid off and don't want to go through our severance packages on this trip. We'd like to go for around 10 days and travel by train. We don't want to stay at hostels, but we don't require fancy hotels either. Something clean and friendly. Any suggestions on budget travel in Italy. Is it feasible to hit Rome, Florence and Venice on a budget? We're both located in Southern California, so we're not concerned if we hit a little cooler weather. We really just want to sightsee, check out some museums and eat inexpensive pasta and gelato. Thanks!
 
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 06:01 PM
  #2  
Vita
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Sarah, It should be pretty easy to find cheap accommodations in January. I stayed at Pensione Panda in Rome (www.hotelpandaparadise.com) by the Spanish Steps. The room I stayed in was clean and inexpensive. I'd gladly stay there again.
 
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 06:21 PM
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Keith
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In FLorence, which you will love, stay at the Hotel Pendini. The cost is $100US per night. It's located overlooking the Republica (?) Plaza which is wonderfully central in the Historical district, the same as the Savoi hotel but $200US a night cheaper.
The rooms, very large, almost stately, are located on the 3 & 4th floor of the building. Enter on the side after you go through the huge arch. Don't let the hallway fool you, go to the end take the elevator up to the 4th floor. You will be shocked when you exit. It's GREAT! You'll love it I promise you.
 
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 06:36 PM
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Tony
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Could you do a week in Italy for $1,000 per person, including airfare from the West Coast? Just curious, since I might try and get back over there in late January.
 
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 08:53 PM
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Sam
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I'd love to hear from anyone who's done Italy on a budget. Seems like the perfect country for saving money on food. IS tourism down drastically in Italy right now?
 
Old Nov 27th, 2001, 11:33 PM
  #6  
Umbriana
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Stay at convent, eat at neighborhood bar or trattoria (ask the local merchants or the nuns for recommendation, not the hotel clerk), take the train, bus and metro, and Italy is yours for a pittance.(Note: Venice is more expensive than Rome and Florence as far as lodging goes). Bestfares is offering $302 airfare from Los Angeles to Rome between now and the end of April so you're set for a good deal.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 06:46 AM
  #7  
sandi
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You may want to mention what your budget is, or would like it to be. No one can recommend anything to you if we don't know what you can afford.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 08:28 AM
  #8  
ellen
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Go to a good bookstore or order online the book "Bed and Blessings" by June Walsh. It lists lots of convents in Rome and other parts of Italy. They provide rooms - singles, doubles and triples, most with bath, for very reasonable prices. And many include breakfast.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 09:30 AM
  #9  
Vita
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Sarah, If you're looking for a good travel guide, I'd recommend Let's Go. It has a lot of cheap hotel and dining suggestions. It's where I got the info on Pensione Panda which I mentioned above.

You could also check out the travel guides in your local library for more info. This may meet with some criticism but I have also gone to book stores to peruse the travel guides without paying for them. :0
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 10:01 AM
  #10  
Sarah
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I'd love to be able to do this for around $1,000 a person. But I'm not having much luck finding cheap airfare from San Diego or LA. Maybe we're out of our minds to think that we pull off such an inexpensive trip and still stay in safe and comfortable lodgings.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 10:33 AM
  #11  
sandi
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Not at all. In 1999 I went to Italy for 2 weeks for about 1500. inclu airfare and even split the cost of a car rental. There are still very inexpensive 2 and 3 star hotels that may not be oppulent but are clean and safe. (The 1500. even included my "fun" money)
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 10:34 AM
  #12  
Julie
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Venice might be the most expensive place for lodgings, but depending on when you go in January I would recommend the following place:

Hotel Guerrato (Budget)
Calle Drio la Scimia, San Polo 240/a
Venezia, Italia (C.A.P.) 30125
011-39-04-522-7131 phone/fax or
011-39-04-528-5927 phone/fax
Located very close to the Rialto bridge but practically in the back yard of the fish market. Whenever I make a reservation here, if I mention that i will be paying in cash they give me an additional discount. Roberto, Piero and Giorgio are the usually at the front desk (they’re not dissimilar from the Marx brothers – even though the place is immaculately run). I stayed here on my first trip to Venice and they made it very special. Continental type breakfast is included and it only takes about 5-10 minutes to get to San Marco depending which way you go. There are a lot of great places to eat around here.

I once made reservations there for some dates in January and even though they weren't open (renovating) they offered me an apartment of theirs for a fabulous price. According to what you say you're looking for, it might be worth your while to look into them. Besides the Guerrato, a lot of places in Venice drop their prices in January. It's worth doing a little research.

Good luck!
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 10:49 AM
  #13  
Sarah
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Would it make more sense to skip Venice on this trip (I've been there before, but not the rest of Italy)? Maybe split the time between Rome and Florence? Could spend a few days along the coast at an inexpensive rate? ANy suggestions on 2 and 3 star lodging along the coast?

Sandi - Do you have the names of the places that you stayed? I'd love to get some suggestions. Thanks
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 10:56 AM
  #14  
Capo
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Hi Sarah. I second Vita's recommendation of the Pensione Panda in Rome. We stayed there for four nights this past March and, in my opinion, it's hard to beat it for inexpensive accomodations in a great location. Our room was *very* small, with a shared bath, but it was clean and quiet and was only 120,000 lira (about $60) per night.

Tony/Sam/Sarah, regarding your similar question, I just found my notes for our Rome trip and here's what our breakdown was for 10 days & 11 nights:

$1,046 Roundtrip airfare for two, Seattle to Rome, on Northwest/KLM/Alitalia.
$ 230 4 nights at the Pensione Panda in Rome
$ 470 11 nights at a B&B in Rome
$ 62 1 night at Hotel Astoria in Sorrento (we "double-paid" for this night)
$ 70 2 roundtrip train tickets: Rome to Sorrento
$ 46 2 roundtrip train tickets: Rome to Arezzo
$ 746 Everything else (about $337 of that was gelati :~)

So that came to $1,345 per person for the entire 10-day trip, including airfare.

Good luck finding inexpensive-to-moderate airfares! I've watched prices from Seattle to Rome for years and thought $523 (including taxes) roundtrip from Seattle to Rome in March was very good.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 10:59 AM
  #15  
Capo
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Ooops, correction...that should have been 7 nights at a B&B in Rome, not 11.
We found it through the Bed & Breakfast Association of Rome at:

http://www.b-b.rm.it/
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 11:00 AM
  #16  
Peach
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I just returned from Italy on Monday. Yes, you can do it on a budget. However, Italy is not a country to nickel and dime it in. I went to Rome, Siena, Florence, Venice and several small towns in between. Treat yourself, I know you've been laid off, but you only pass through life once. Give yourself the best experience you can. You may not have the chance to go again. Your memories will last a lifetime, your unemployment will not.

 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 11:17 AM
  #17  
marj
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for florence, check out hotel casci, www.hotelcasci.com. also lots of great comments on this board. very clean, friendly, convenient, quiet and a good brekfast.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 12:25 PM
  #18  
Umbriana
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Sarah: As I mentioned before, bestfares.com is offering $302 airfare right now for traveling through April from LA to Rome.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 12:28 PM
  #19  
Sarah
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. Unfortunately Hotel Casci is closed for the month of January for renovations, so despite all of the recommendations, we'd have to choose another hotel for Florence.

Now if I can only track down cheap airfare to Italy!
 
Old Nov 28th, 2001, 12:57 PM
  #20  
Meg
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Try Fare Watcher on Travelocity. I put in NY to FCO and NAP back in October, and they email me when the price goes down. Today it was $310 or so, without taxes. I already booked through them for a British Airways flight (under $400 per ticket) and Delta.com and Continental have great deals as well. I'm leaving for Rome and Naples next Friday, found really low prices, but a lot is closed. Had to cut out staying on the Amalfi coast altoghether. Try all the discount sites (orbitz, expedia, cheaptickets, etc) and the airlines' sites before you book. Good luck
 

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