Money saving tips when visiting Italy

These are ideas I’ve picked up on my travels through my native country and I think they’ll help you make the most out of your Italian vacation for even less money.

Hi. My name is Guido. I’m an Italian native, travel enthusiast and founder of Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours. I love helping people get the best possible experience from an Italian vacation. Recently I have written about the best Venetian restaurants to try and how to choose the best Italian wine. Continuing on that theme, I’m now going to share with you some of my thoughts on money saving tips for visiting Italy.

Think about traveling ‘off-peak’

Many of you may have commitments at home – like children and young people in education, which means the timing of your trip to Italy has to coincide with school vacation. But to those who have a little more flexibility, you can save money by traveling outside the peak season. Since the warm weather in Italy lasts long into the autumn, this can be a great option.

Book early and be the ‘early bird’

For those of you who have to take your holidays during specific times of the year that are considered ‘peak season’, definitely think about booking your holidays far in advance. For instance, if you book right at the start of the year or earlier, you can take advantage of some wonderful early bird discounts. You’ll also avoid having to pay a premium rate to get the location, accommodation type or dates you want.

Bring comfortable shoes and explore our cities on foot. Then you’ll really ‘see’ Italy.

When you are exploring Italy’s main cities, you can really take advantage of the walking tours that offer great value for money. They also help you to find your bearings in a new city. If you continue this theme by walking from your accommodation to your destination then you’ll save money but you’ll get to see more of Italy.

Make meals even more affordable

Eating in Italy doesn’t have to be expensive. Try eating away from the main tourist areas and you’ll find that the prices will be much cheaper. You can always ask a tour guide for advice on where the locals eat. Also, consider eating your main meal at lunchtime and you could save even more money. Most Italian restaurants will serve the same meal at lunch for much less than they will in the evening.

Try the Apertivo in the evening.

In Italy, when you buy a drink in in a restaurant between 6pm and 9pm – you’ll also get access to what is essentially free food. The food is small, snack size portions of good quality Italian food, and of great quality. And you can eat as much as you want.

Ask for tap water at the restaurant.

In Italy, you won’t be asked if you’d like bottled or tap water at the restaurant. So, if you are ok with it, ask for tap water. The water in Italy is of very good quality from taps and water drinking fountains in the city.

Decline the bread.

At the restaurant you’ll usually find bread on the table. You probably didn’t ask for it, but it’s not always free and can cost you more. If you don’t want it, then you can send it back.

Escorted tours and packages offer good savings

The prices of these are usually less than you expect because tour operators, like myself, are able to build in the discounts we achieve from our long-term relationships with the accommodation providers into the overall cost we charge you the traveller. So booking with someone like us at Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours is often cheaper then doing it all yourself.

Let the train take the strain.

If you plan to travel in Italy independently, then using the train is an affordable option if you book ahead. The network is extensive and reliable and the trains are clean and comfortable. Traveling by train in Italy means you will be able to see more of the Italian countryside as you go. You can save even more money by taking local trains instead of the intercity high-speed options. If you are touring Italy on a budget then it’s an affordable way to travel. They will be slower, but if you have the time, it’s quite relaxing.

Standing up versus sitting down.

You are on holiday so it’s natural that you want to rest and relax. But you can save some money if you opt to stand at the counter or the bar and have a coffee and snack instead of sitting at a table in a café or restaurant.

Invest in a pre-paid SIM

When you arrive in Italy, you should consider investing in buying a pre-paid SIM card. If you do this, you will be able to access a cheaper rate for calls, texts and data.

Visiting areas outside of the main cities


Italy is blessed with a breath-taking number of fabulous cities, regions and sights. Not all of them are in the well-known places like Rome, Florence and Venice. You can try other areas like Apulia – or Puglia as we say in Italy – and generally get more for your money. Apulia is at the ‘heel of the boot’ – so the south east of the country. And although many tourists visit, it is generally less crowded than the cities; it is very authentic and has lots of beautiful sights, miles of beaches and coastline to explore. I recently wrote a blog post on the area which you can find visit to get more information.

Italy is a fantastic location for your next vacation and it is possible to have a great Italian vacation without spending more than you need to. I do hope this guide will help you do that. At Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours we aim to deliver quality and value for money with our Italian tours and Italian vacations. If you would like us to help you plan your next trip to Italy, then please do get in contact with us at Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours.

If you would like more information like these money saving tips for Italian vacations – please do visit our blog at We always say that with us, your Italian tour or Italian vacations will be one you’ll never forget.



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