Italy is among the world renowned vacation destinations. One interesting Italy fact is that it’s my favorite country in the world, and every time I visit I discover something new.
Traveling across Italy has something to offer everyone regardless of what type of travelers you are.
Backpacking Italy Travel Tips
These backpacking Italy travel tips will help you learn the cost, sights, and backpacking tips and things you need when traveling to Italy.
Why Visit Italy?
Italy has a vivid history and culture that has directly impacted the course of the world. It is a country that offers something to every type of traveler no matter what your budget might be.
It is a country full of sinking cities, ancient art, mountain landscapes, delicious food, and friendly locals. Italy will give you memorable experiences.
My first solo backpacking trip was to Italy. This trip to Italy made me fall deeply backpacking, and turned me into the travel addict I am today!
When to Visit Italy?
Peak season- Italy is a country that is beautiful in summer, and winter. However the peak season is considered to be the summer months (May- Aug).
During this time, the cities are full of backpackers and school groups. However don’t let this turn you away.
Weather- Being in the Mediterranean, Italy has a wide range when it comes to weather. The hottest month is August.
Summer Temperatures – the average temperatures are between high 70’s and mid 80’s ° F (Upper 20 ‘s°C)
Winter Temperatures – Lower 50’s °F to 70 (10ish°C)
How Much Does It Cost to Go To Italy?
When I talk about traveling in Europe I always get asked the same question.
Backpacking in Italy cost isn’t the cheapest in the world, but if you are frugal, you can backpack for relatively cheap.
These Italy travel tips will help you save some money on the road and give you insights on how much does it cost to go to Italy.
How Much to Budget for Italy
Monthly Budget – The typical cost for traveling Italy for a month will be around $1500 -$2000, that is, if you watch and plan your visit.
One of the most important cost of traveling is travel insurance. Having travel insurance covers you in multiple situations and traveling without the right insurance is risky.
3 important reasons I recommend you get travel insurance before leaving on a trip.
1- Protect Yourself. in the unlucky event that you get sick or hurt travel insurance will cover you hospital bills.
2- Last Minute Cancellations: In a lot of cases travel insurance will cover the cost your tickets in unexpected emergencies arise and you have to cancel you trip.
Note: It does not cover all cancellations.
3- Electronics: We live in a digital age, and having your laptops, Ipads, and smartphones covered while traveling can save you hundreds if they are lost or damaged.
Within a week I had lost $500 in electronics once! That’s almost the price for the entire year of insurance. If I had insurance during that week I wouldn’t of had to pay a dime. Now I never travel without insurance to protect the electronics I travel with, and myself for any unexpected illnesses that come up. Having Travel Insurance it just common sense.
Where to stay in Italy
When traveling in Europe I always go with two main options for accommodations.
Airbnb – Renting a room in a locals house is a fantastic way to see the city meet some people. Airbnb actually gives you a lot of privacy if you want it, and the opportunity to hang out with locals.
Psssttttt – (Get $35 OFF your first stay with Airbnb using this handy dandy link) It is free to sign up so you have nothing to lose.
Hostel –Hostels in Europe are awesome! When traveling I stay in a lot of hostels. They let you meet other backpackers, and make friends from all over the world. I always use Hostelworld when booking my hostels.
Eating in Italy
This is one of those countries where eating can be expensive or cheap depending on your food choices.
Italy has many expensive restaurants, but you can also find some good bargains if you are willing to shop around before picking a place.
Also never rule out a meal of Italy’s finest bread and cheese. Some of the best bakeries I’ve ever eaten at have been in Italy and you can easily eat for under $10. Carrying around a loaf of bread and cheese also makes you feel like a complete backpacker.
Tips for find the cheapest and yet delicious food
Use an App – Many apps like Yelp will show you the closest restaurants and how expensive they are.
Ask the hostel staff – Asking the hostel staff where to go and what to eat is always a good idea. They live there after all!
Shop around – Like I said above, don’t just go to the first restaurant you see. Look at a few in a non-expensive part of town.
Ways To Get Around Italy
Trains – When backpacking Italy I highly recommend as one of my top Italy travel tips that you take the trains or invest in a Rail Europe Pass.
They are fast, nice, and you’ll get to see the landscape. These are also decently priced and I’ve gotten tickets as cheap as $25. This helps keep of the cost of travel in Italy down.
For the majority of cities you will either catch Buses or walk, and use metros for the bigger ones. The train, and metro network is easy to travel on. For example Rome only has two lines.
Busabout – If you are heading to more than one country then check out Busabout. It is a great bus system for backpackers and travelers.
For more info check out my Eurail Vs Busabout post.
Take an Escorted Tour of Italy
They both offer guided tours of Italy but both groups have their pros and cons which you can read in my reviews. However, I will say that Intrepid does small groups tours in Italy.
For day tours and guided tours around the city there is no choice but Walks of Italy. They are seriously the best tour company in Italy.
Top Cities in Italy
Italy is a has a diverse amount of cities flooded with history, and museums. Here are some Italy tips that will help you navigate some of the best cities in the country.
Rome is a popular destination in Europe; plus it’s the capital of Italy. The ancient city offers great activities and attractions for locals and tourists.
One thing I love about Rome is that it is a city that is built around ancient ruins. They make for a striking contrast; the past and present blending in harmony. It’s a striking place.
Things to see in Rome
Colosseum – At the heart of ancient Rome. Located here are the Markets of Trajan, the Imperial Flora, Capitoline hill, and several museums. The massive amphitheatre world renowned for its famous gladiator battles.
Vatican – The Vatican City boast museums and several tourists sights.
Trevi Fountain – Located at the heart of Rome, the site is located nearby piazza Barberini, piazza della Republica, and Castro Pretorio.
Roman Forum – Located at the heart of ancient Rome in the Colosseo district, the Roman Forum is nearby Capitoline Museum.
Augustus Palace Tour – This tour is a Walks of Italy exclusive. Visit the palace of one of Rome’s most powerful and beloved Cesar’s.
Things to do in Rome
Eat Gelato – Gelato is delicious Italian ice cream. Popular places to eat gelato include Fatamorgana, Caruso, Gelateria Del Teatro, Gelateria dei Gracchi, and Ciampini.
Explore the Alleys- Rome has a bunch of little alley ways filled with wonderful shops and restaurants
Spend a day in the Vatican – The Vatican museum is massive and will at least take a day to visit.
Hang out on the Spanish Steps– Every night travelers gather around the Spanish Steps. It is a great place to meet other backpackers and travelers.
Home of the renaissance Florence is filled with art and is known as one of Italy’s most beautiful cities.
Things to see in Florence
Il Duomo – Home to the Cathedral Museum and other religious buildings.
Piazza della Signoria – The place has an abundance of statues representing the antique renaissance art.
Michelangelo’s David – This is a renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504.
Things to do in Florence
Watch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence –The place is situated on a hilltop offering a great view of the city
Eat at Piazza della Reppublica – The place boast of fine restaurants and window stands that offer good food for any price range. •
Visit the Accademia Gallery – It is no surprise that Florence has a multitude of museums containing art and sculpture. This is one of the best in the city and it is home to Michelangelo’s David.
You can reach Siena in one short hour from Florence. Sienna is a gothic, medieval city unlike any other in Italy.
The cathedrals in Sienna do not contrast with the buildings around them. The city retains the medieval architecture style, and you will be hard pressed to find a better example of a gothic town in Europe.
Things to see in Siena
Duomo – The Duomo is a popular medieval church in Siena. Dedicated to the early days of the Roman Catholic Marian Church, the cathedral was originally designed and was completed in 1263.
Museo Civico – This is a superbly proportioned gothic courtyard located at Palazzo Pubblico. The museum consists of sculptures, frescoes, and paintings from world renowned artists.
Things to Do in Siena
Palio di Siena – This is a horse race held in Siena twice a year on the 2nd of July and 16th of August.
Explore the city – Siena is one of the best medieval cities I have been to. You can spend hours walking around exploring and not grow tired of the rustic building.
Venice, the famous sinking city, is the loveliest city located in Northern Italy. It is popular for its tourism and industry.
World class architectural buildings, lovely canals, cultural and historical attractions can be found throughout the city.
Venice is known as the world’s only pedestrian city. This means that you can explore the entire city on foot. If you listen to one backpacking Italy Travel tips about Venice it ‘s this one!
Thing to see in Venice
Basilica di San Marco – To visit this place is a must.
St Marks Square – Visit St. Marks Square and see the Bell Tower. The top of the tower offers excellent views of the lagoon and Venice.
Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni – This is a popular building at the heart of Venice. The place is home to a Renaissance art gallery and one of the city’s confraternity houses.
Do a Tour – Venice is a city to get lost in, but sometimes it is nice to have a tour guide explain the history and importance of what you are seeing. My favorite Venice tours are Venice in a Day Tour and Venice Boat Tour
Things to do in Venice
Venice Get Lost- There is no greater or easier city in the world to get lost in – enjoy it. Venice is made of little alley ways and tiny streets that form a maze. Flip a coin to see where you go, or put the map away and just start walking. That is the best way to explore Venice.
Visit St Mark’s Square at Night – This is the principal square with great architecture in the surroundings. Visiting at night allows you to watch the dancing lights on the major sights in Venice.
Carnival in Venice – The Carnival is an annual festival in Venice, Italy. It marks the end the celebration of Lent and is famous for its elaborate masks.
Other Popular Things to do in Italy
Cinque Terra – A stunning city that looks like it has come right out of a picture book.
Shopping – Italy is home to historic cities where you will find shopping markets in almost every cornor. Shop for souvenirs such as antiques, clothes, and accessories.
Get blessed by the Pope – The pope does weekly services at the Vatican, where he blesses the entire crowd.
Vatican City is one of the best things to do in Rome. It is well worth your time even if you are just going for Sistine Chapel. Beware, this is an all day event.
Go South – I haven’t spent much time in the heel of Italy, but there are wonderful places like Sicily to explore.
Tour Pompei – Visit the ruins of Pompei this historic city which is just an hour south of Rome. See the devastation of Mount Vesuvius first hand. • Relax on the Amalfi coast – The most stunning coastline in not only Italy, but in Europe as well.
Mestre – One of the most underrated cities in Italy. Definitely a worthwhile stop before Venice. • Urbino – A renaissance town in the shadow of beautiful mountain slopes.
I’m sure that you can see the vaule of visiting this wonderful country. I hope this Italy travel guide will help you when planning your next trip! I am sure you will fall in love with this country the way I did.
What did you think of this Italy Travle Guide? What do you think I should add? Let your voice be heard in comment section below?