Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world, which means it’s also a relatively expensive destination to visit. But some cities cost more than others. So you can save some money by staying in the places on this list.
These places aren’t just affordable, though, they’re also amazing destinations in their own right. And each of these cities becomes even more affordable if you travel to Italy in the shoulder seasons from April – May or September – October.
I WANT YOU TO BE ABLE TO VISIT THIS INCREDIBLE COUNTRY, SO HERE ARE THE BEST DESTINATIONS FOR BUDGET TRAVEL IN ITALY!
Verona is in Northern Italy in the Veneto region. It’s famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. You can visit a 14th-century home with a balcony overlooking a courtyard that’s said to be Juliet’s House.
Must-do activities when you’re here are:
Explore Castle Vecchio, wander around the Piazza Delle Erbe, tour the Giusti Palace and Gardens, climb the Torre dei Lamberti, and see a concert or show in the Verona Arena, a massive 1st-century Roman amphitheater.
Verona is only about an hour and a half drive from Venice, which you can visit as a day trip instead of paying a lot for accommodation in Venice.
Polignano a Mare
Most tourists flock to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. But if you head to Polignano a Mare on the Southern Adriatic Coast, you’ll find more affordable prices. Plus, you’ll avoid a lot of the crowds.
Polignano a Mare is often referred to as the “Town with the famous beach,” and the Cala Porto beach (pictured above) is worth a visit, though it will be the most crowded place in the town. The Balconata sul Mare viewpoint will give you the view in this photo.
Other things to do here are cliff jumping, a walking tour of the old town, and sailing along the coastline.
Matera is only about an hour and a half drive from Polignano a Mare. So you could stay in both of these towns to thoroughly explore the area, or you could visit either of them as a day trip from the other.
This is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It’s been occupied by Greeks, Romans, Longobards, Byzantines, Saracens, and many others throughout its history.
Make sure you visit the ancient cave dwellings in the nearby canyons where the original town of Matera was first built.
Bologna is one of the largest cities in Italy, and it’s bustling streets and cosmopolitan culture make it a fantastic destination! The city is only about an hour and a half drive from Florence, so you can easily visit Florence as a day trip.
Make sure you explore the Piazza Maggiore. This massive plaza is lined with medieval and Renaissance structures such as City Hall, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Basilica di San Petronio.
You’ll also want to climb at least a couple of the city’s iconic towers, such as Two Towers, Asinelli, or Garisenda.
Naples is the heart of the Bay of Naples, and it’s the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. Finding accommodation in Naples and visiting Sorrento, Positano, or other towns on the Amalfi Coast as day trips will save you money.
In the city, you need to see the frescos in the Duomo di San Gennaro, visit the Royal Palace, and explore the Castel Nuovo. Naples is also famous for its mussels, one of the Best Local Foods To Try In Italy. Italian mussels are cooked in a spicy tomato sauce or a sweeter white wine sauce, and I recommend trying them both ways!
You should also visit the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum while you’re here. And Hiking the Path of the Gods is a must-do day trip.
Turin famously hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006, and the views of the Alps are stunning! The city is known for its baroque buildings, grand squares such as Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo, and its robust art scene.
When you’re here, you’ll want to go up in the spire of the Mole Antonelliana. You’ll have fantastic views of the city and mountains, and you can explore the National Cinema Museum that’s in the base of the spire. You can climb stairs to the tower, or take an elevator.
Turin is only about two hours from Milan and three hours from Lake Como, so you could visit these as day trips when you’re here.
Noto is on the island of Sicily, and the whole island is a relatively budget-friendly destination. The city is on the Southeastern part of the island, just a short drive from the coast.
While you’re here, you’ll want to see the Porta Reale triumphal arch at the city’s entrance, visit the Palazzo Nicolaci, explore the Hall of Mirrors in the Palazzo Ducezio, and marvel at the Noto Cathedral.
The nearby towns of Modica (known for its chocolate-making) and the port town of Siracusa make excellent day trips from Noto.
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