One of the major reasons people flock to Rome is to see the vast amount of art created by the some of the most famous artists of all time.
Sara sent in this comment about her thoughts for a vacation in Italy - My favorite vacation ideas involve a good balance of relaxation and action. I would like to travel to Italy for 3 weeks, and spend the first 2 weeks traveling around the country seeing all the sites, from Vatican City to Lake Cuomo. I would ideally like to take the train from region to region, and see as many sights as possible.
I feel that this experience would be incredibly fulfilling and enriching. Seeing things such as the Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mount Vesuvius, the Pantheon, etc. would be amazing, educational, and something I'd take with me for the rest of my life.
I would also spend time immersing myself in local culture in each region; eating at small restaurants frequented by locals, walking around town squares, visiting local markets and wineries, and talking to as many locals as possible.
But the price of admission to museums is steep and the cost of cathedral tours can really add up. So what is a budget-minded traveler to do? Remember that some of the best art found in Rome is the architecture and outdoor sculptures, most of which you can enjoy for free.
Grab a book with a self-guided walking tour of Rome and plan your own art tour! The Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and St. Peter’s Basilica are just a few of the numerous Italian artifacts that you can enjoy free of charge.
Still have your heart set on roaming the Roman museums? The stunning Vatican Museums are open to visitors free of charge on the first Sunday of every month.
Also, the Gallery of the National Academy of San Luca is home to many original works of art and is always free. Check the websites of the Roman galleries you’re interested in visiting; they often have special deals on admission rates if you go at the right time.
The expansive and gorgeous Villa Borghese gardens are one of the highlights of a trip to Rome. Originally constructed for a wealthy Roman cardinal in the early 1600’s, these gardens are a must-see part of any trip to the Eternal City.
Spend hours walking through the tree-lined paths and enjoying the architecture of the many buildings at no cost to you: entrance to the Villa Borghese gardens is completely free.
One of your biggest expenses on a trip to Italy will be your sleeping accommodations. For those of you on a very tight budget, a hostel may be a reasonable option. Hostels can be found in many locations throughout Rome and can cost anywhere from eight to fifty euros (ten to fifty-three dollars) a night.
This may seem extremely cheap, but bear in mind that you get what you pay for. If the thought of sharing a room with strangers or putting up with less-than-sparking conditions is bothersome, a hostel may not be the thing for you.
Another frugal option that offers a little more privacy is booking a room in a Roman monastery. Certainly a unique choice, these monasteries are often run like hotels but are operated by an actual religious order.
Websites for monastery hotels (such as monasterystays.com) tout their family-friendly, relaxing environment as well as their great value. Smart travelers know that taking a cue from the locals is a key to their cheap vacation in Rome Italy. Instead of renting a cab or car for your Italian adventures, consider taking public transportation.
Rome is known for the Metro, a subway that can take you from the Coliseum to the Spanish Steps for just a few euros. Plus, when you buy a ticket for the Roman bus system, it is good for an unlimited number of rides within the time limit (about 75 minutes).
Dining can be expensive and make it difficult to achieve your cheap vacation in Rome Italy plans. But some of the best and cheapest food in Rome can be found in small, out-of-the-way restaurants. They may not require a black tie but offer charm as well as a reasonable price tag.
So what’s the key to finding these restaurants? Follow the locals! Don’t be afraid to ask their recommendations for their own favorite restaurants. The person at the front desk of your hotel or even the man serving you gelato can be a good source of information. Chances are you’ll have to wander out of the “touristy” regions to find your next meal, but enjoy the adventure and know that you’re getting the authentic Italian experience!
Another way to eat like a Roman while sticking to a budget is to plan a picnic. There are numerous small delis and bakeries where the food is fresh and genuinely Italian; these are your best bet for great picnic fare. Grab some salami, cheese, a loaf of crusty bread and some sparkling water—now you’re ready to spread out a blanket in the Villa Borghese gardens and have a true Roman meal.
The city of Rome is rich with culture and history, but you don’t have to be wealthy to take advantage of all the things it has to offer. So, how do you achieve a cheap vacation in Rome Italy? By thinking like a local, researching your options and planning ahead. Yes, you can make your vacation idea to the Eternal City a memorable and affordable experience.
I've learned through past experiences that vacations like the one I just described are amazing and wonderful, but can leave you feeling like you need a vacation from vacation. That is way I'd like to spend the remaining 1 week relaxing at a resort on Capri or the Italian Riviera. For this week, I would do nothing but lay on the beach, read, relax, and enjoy the serenity and beauty of my surroundings.
I would not set an alarm clock, but would wake up naturally. I would eat breakfast overlooking the beach, then go for a morning swim. I would collect seashells and explore the nearby beach. I would use this time to reflect on the frenzy of my travels of the past 2 weeks. I would then return home with wonderful and enriching memories, and would also be relaxed and ready to return to day to day life.