We are travelling in italy for two weeks over June and July. We are flying to and from Milan, going first to Verona, then Venice, then Rome, Florence, Liguria coast, and Milan again.
We need some advice on cheap ways of doing this (travelling and accommodation). We have looked into campsites in most places but would like to be in the city for Rome and Milan. Any suggestions of the cheapest way of doing this?
any other suggestions welcome
Hannah and Laura
You could consider the Couchsurfing option. The FAQ link explains what it's all about. There are almost 18,000 members offering accommodation in Italy and it would certainly save you some money.
If you're travelling on trains at all, consider an overnight journey. This'll save you the cost of a room for the night and you can wash up before you get off. I've done it a lot and saved around €200 over 2 weeks on beds.
For moving about, you might consider a single-country Eurail pass for Italy - it could save you money, but keep in mind that some trains (overnight sleeper cars and high-speed ones) typically require a supplemental payment above and beyond what you paid for the pass (in the case of Eurostar Italia trains, its 20 EUR more for each trip). I think you can buy passes through eurail.com, and its supposedly better if you buy before you get there.
Italian train stations used to sell a 2000km pass (called biglietto chilometrico?) that could be shared by up to 4 people, and it was cheap (around $130), but I'm not sure they still offer that...I could not find evidence as such on the italian national rail website (http://www.trenitalia.com)
If the itinerary that you gave in your original post is all you want to do, I doubt whether buying a EUrail pass is a good idea. You're likely cheaper off if you just buy regular tickets. The biglietto chilometrico is also a good idea, but I haven't seen it in recent trenitalia ads, so I'm not sure if it still exists.
As to accommodation, don't get your hopes up about couchsurfing: especially in Rome and Milan, it will prove hard to find a host as these are popular destinations in Italy. I'm reasonably sure that Milan has a municipal campsite that is easy to reach. Rome's more of a problem: either settle for paying more for accommodation, or accept that you will sleep far from the city center (which need not be a problem, as certain parts of town have very good public transport connections even at night).
The biglietto chilometrico ceased to exist ages ago. The Milan campsite can only be reached by public transport until 0:20AM. The journey to it involves three changes of metro/bus. If I were you, I'd find myself a hostel in Milan as well.
[ Edit: Edited on 06-May-2009, at 13:50 by bentivogli ]
I'd definately go with Post #5#. You're sure to be better off buying local tickets. It's pretty much the same in every European country. Lucky you have the choice. Here in The UK we have several train companies all on one island that hold us to ransom. Every year the fares go up by above the rate of inflation - to help improve services, so we're told year after year, as the services get worse!!