Where to stay - Italy on a budget

Old Jun 15th, 2002, 08:43 PM
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Where to stay - Italy on a budget

My husband and I will be spending 5 days in Italy in August, arrive Pisa and leave from Milan. Any good suggestions on how to get around and where to stay? We would like to see Rome and Florence as well.We are young and fit 50 year olds and coming from New Zealand we have to multply NZ$1.00 by 3 to make one pound - scary!!!! really looking for the cheapest way to enjoy Italy. Is this possible? Any suggestions gratefully recieved. Thanks Gayle
Old Jun 15th, 2002, 11:37 PM
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Hi Gayle,
my husband and I are Australian and holidayed in Italy this year, so we know all about making our dollar stretch! I would recommend travelling by train and bus. If you avoid the Eurostar trains you will save quite a bit of money and the IC and Regional trains are fine. We travelled on all types of trains in 2nd class and had no problems. Regional trains are the slowest but we also had problems with the Eurostar trains running very late and we had paid a premium to use them.
You can get reasonably priced accommodation but anything good, central and cheap gets booked up way ahead so I would start looking (and booking) now. A couple of places we stayed and would recommend are:
Locanda di Quercecchio in San Gimignano - 57 euro per night, no breakfast www.sangiroom.it
Hotel Galleria in Venice - about 130 euro incl. breakfast
Hotel Smeraldo in Rome was OK (113 euro no breakfast) and in a great area, www.hotelsmeraldoroma.com
I can recommend the Palazzo Starace in Sorrento but it doesn't sound like you are headed south.
Picnics are a good, cheap way to eat. Buy supplies and find a spot in a piazza, or near a fountain, and people watch! Great fun.
I wouldn't pay for breakfast at any hotels in Italy if you can avoid it. You can buy the same breakfast in any bar around the corner for half the price. (Breakfast in Italy is usually coffee and a pastry.)
Old Jun 16th, 2002, 04:56 AM
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Hi Gayle, there is a very good book by MARGO CLASSE called A Hotel Guide to Italy for $50 to $99 a night.They are all clean, safe,centrally located and she has examined them all. hope it helps.
Old Jun 16th, 2002, 06:21 AM
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One cost saver, which also happens to be fun, is to make at least one of your meals a day NOT a restaurant meal. You can shop for bread, fruit, drinks, cold cuts, salads, olives, cheeses, etc., at outdoor street markets, small grocery stores, bakeries, and specialized single-category food stores (e.g., fruit and veg. stores, meat stores, cheese shops). You will be able to get excellent quality food in small quantities and eat it in the countryside or in a park or on the steps of a building or, depending on the food and where you are, maybe just while walking.
Old Jun 16th, 2002, 06:50 AM
Sue P.
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I used fodors.com starred recommendations all over the world. Have rarely been disappointed regardless of price.
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