Top Tips to Save Money While Visiting the Sites of Italy

We have covered how to cut down on transport in Italy as well as how to find the best accommodation for a budget price in Italy. How can you save money on your Italy sightseeing?

We share some of our top insider tips in our third post about how to travel in Italy with a limited budget.

You can save money and discover your “own” Italy by getting off the beaten path

You might find that you have a better experience if you get off the beaten track, such as Pienza. Not only will your prices drop but so may your enjoyment

It is more expensive to visit Italy’s major tourist spots and cities than it is to live in smaller, more remote towns. What’s the cool thing? The cool part? Instead of spending five days in Florence spend two days in Tuscan towns such as Lucca and Pienza. You can also travel to another region, such as Umbria and Le Marche. All things, from accommodation to food and museums to the rest, will be less expensive. You’ll feel more like you have discovered “real” Italy than if your time is spent in the Duomo or Uffizi.

Keep in mind that Italy’s churches are just as full of masterpieces than its museums


Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome is a church, treasure trove, and art gallery. It’s also free.

Many churches in Italy are not free. A small donation is always appreciated. This is a great deal for budget-conscious travelers, as each church is more than just a religious space. It’s also a treasure trove full of sculpture and painting. For example, in Rome, Santa Maria del Popolo (and San Luigi dei Francesi) have some of Rome’s finest Caravaggio paintings. The church of Santa Maria della Vittoria has one of Bernini’s most impressive sculptures. Santa Maria Sopra Minerva houses a Michelangelo, Filippino Lippi frescoes and the body Saint Catherine of Siena. And that’s just the beginning.

Your I.D. Bring your I.D.

It is not possible to get a discount at all Italian museums or sights. E.U. citizens can get discounts at most places, including the Colosseum or Uffizi. Citizens over 65 and under 26 years of age can receive a discount, while children under 18 years old are eligible for a free admission. Your E.U. card is essential. To prove your eligibility, you will need to have your passport or identity card.

Even if you are not a European citizen, you might still be eligible for a discount. Are you a teacher or student of architecture, literature, conservation, literature or art history? Although it varies from one place to another, many Italian sites, such as Florence’s Uffizi or Accademia allow free entry. To prove your enrollment, you will need to have a “certificate d’enrolment for the current academic years” in English. A letter seems to be acceptable.

But you’re not a student in these fields and you are not European. Your university I.D. Bring your university I.D. With a student ID, you can get a discount of EUR15 to EUR8 at the Vatican museums. Other museums and sites may offer a student discount, even if it’s not available to E.U. citizens. If you have an ISIC Card, you can get a discount.

Walk and take public transportation–smartly

Taxis in Italy are expensive, just like in other cities. Walk whenever possible. It is easy to walk around Italy’s cities, so it’s not surprising that walking is the best way to get to certain places. Public transportation is also an option. It’s an affordable way to travel: For as little as EUR1, you can take several buses and one metro ride around Rome for 75 minutes.


You want to travel around Venice by boat? It will cost you

You can often get “tourist tickets” to use public transport in Italy’s major cities. You can purchase an unlimited tram, bus, and metro card in Rome for EUR4 for 24 hour or EUR11 for three day. There are many options in Venice. Prices vary depending on the season. For EUR33, you can get a 72-hour pass to unlimited water buses for EUR6.50 per person in the middle/high season. You can also get additional discounts by visiting the Venice Connected site at least one week before your trip.

Remember to be realistic. To make the 72-hour Venice pass “worth it”, you would have to pay five times as much for the EUR6.50 boats to get it. You might find yourself walking more and using transport less in some Italian cities than you think. So weigh all your options.

Take into account discount cards but do the math

Each version of the card allows you to enter a variety of museums and sights for free or at a reduced price in Rome, Venice, Florence. It all depends on what you intend to do with them. A quick rundown:

Rome

The Roma Pass allows you to enter the Colosseum without having to wait in line

The Roma Pass is available for EUR25 and lasts for 72 hours. You get unlimited access to all public transport, including tram, bus and metro, as well as free admission to the first two attractions. You can also “skip the lines” at places like the Colosseum. The Vatican museums are excluded because they aren’t technically in Rome. Sites that are include the Colosseum/forum/Palatine (all one archaeological site, normally EUR12), the Capitoline museums, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Galleria Borghese (here, though, you still have to book in advance). Although discounts aren’t very large, they can be quite substantial. However, you will need to calculate the cost of the Roma Pass before you book.

Florence

The Firenze card is available for EUR50 and lasts 72 hours. The card includes bus and tram transport, as well as entry to many of Florence’s most important museums including the Accademia Uffizi Bargello, Boboli Gardens, Palazzo Vecchio, Bargello, Bargello, Bargello, Boboli Gardens and Palazzo Vecchio. It allows you to skip lines without having to book in advance, which is a great option if your tickets are not yet booked for the Accademia or Uffizi.

Venice

Yes, you can save money in Venice – even on tickets to St. Mark’s

The Venice Card is available for purchase at EUR29.90 (for youths between 6 and 29) or EUR39.90 (for adults over 30). The card is valid for seven days. You get free entry to the Doge’s Palace and 10 other civic Venice museums, as well as free access to 16 churches and two free city toilets (normally EUR1.50 each). There are also discounts throughout the city. You won’t see many of the included sites, so make sure to look at all details before you purchase.

For discounts, check out Venice connected. Prices can change depending on whether the high/low seasons are. You will need to select your date first in the calendar. After you have done that, you will see two options under “Culture”. Read this description about the differences between these museum passes and decide which one is best for you.

Consider the Rolling Venice Card if you have a group of people between 14 and 29 years old. The card costs EUR4, and the above 3-day transport pass is EUR18 with it. You can also get discounts at various locations in the city.

Are you looking for ways to save money while traveling in Italy? Please share your tips in the comments

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