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Cheap backpacking route Italy for 2 weeks end of Sept/Oct

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Cheap backpacking route Italy for 2 weeks end of Sept/Oct

Hi all,

Would appreciate help with the following,

We are on the tail end of a 1.5 year backpacking journey and will be spending our final 6 weeks in Europe. I am trying to figure out the cheapest possible itinerary through Italy for 2 weeks.

To be specific:

- Other than 2-3 nights in Rome and 1 night in Venice, I do not want to visit the regular tourist spots (ie: Milan, Florence etc) as I already know we will not be able to afford accommodation in major cities

- We have no problem going right off the beaten track

- Our goal is to simply experience Italian food, wine and culture AWAY from major cities (rural/rustic Italy). Even just moving through one region is OK with us.

- We will return to Italy at some other point to see the major sights, so they do not have to be included

- We are not in a rush to do/see a lot

I have heard that "south" is cheaper than "north" , but despite researching cannot find any real itinerary of where some affordable destinations might be

I have read that bus and train travel is quite affordable in Italy - please advise if this is correct

I have already registered and messaged a few hosts for couchsurfing in Rome

Does anyone have experience travelling through a different part of Italy (contrary to the regular Rome-Florence-Venice-Milan etc) that would be able to suggest a possible itinerary to see the countrysides, small towns/villages, suggest home stays, eat local markets etc

I am travelling home from Madrid, so will need to get from Italy to Spain the cheapest possible way - if you can advise on this it would be wonderful.

Hope that this is specific enough to get some good advice, please ask questions for further clarity. Thanks in advance!

If you happen to have knowledge on the same question regarding South of France (1 week) or Spain (3 weeks) I would be very grateful.

Barcelona, Spain
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1. Re: Cheap backpacking route Italy for 2 weeks end of Sept/Oct

To get to Spain cheaply from Italy fly (vueling or Easyjet).

That cuts out the South of France but as you say you will be back sometime I'd say leave it for that trip. You could extend the time in Italy, maybe consider including Alto Adige/Südtirol, the mountain region on the border with Austria. Until 1919 it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is bilingual/bicultural. The Dolomites offer very spectacular mountain scenery. A friend of mine has just been to the area and was telling me how beautiful Trento is, just south of there, capital of Trentino (I've not been to Trento yet myself)

The Veneto is a lovely region to explore too: Verona, Vicenza, Padova, Treviso and smaller places like Bassano di Grappa.

And/or Bologna and Emilia-Romagna which is less touristy so likely to be cheaper. And you eat especially well in that region. There are flights from Bologna to Barcelona with vueling (possibly to other cities in Spain too),

Milan Malpensa airport is near Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta which are very pretty. Btw Milan isn't a top sightseeing destination in Italy by any means but yes accommodation is expensive!

For 3 weeks in Spain, ask on that forum specifying what interests you particularly. As a starter I would say do include Andalucia for at least a week. For a complete contrast you might go to the north too eg Asturias, much less visited by foreign tourists

Edited: 21 August 2014, 07:23
Brentwood, United...
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2. Re: Cheap backpacking route Italy for 2 weeks end of Sept/Oct

Long distance train travel in Italy is only cheap if you book sometime in advance and are prepared for loss of the fare if you want to cancel or change that booking. Seat reservation is essential on these trains and included in the ticket price. For local (Regional) trains there are no reductions for advance bookings and no seat reservations , so just buy those on the day or just a few days in advance.

To buy tickets on-line use this site putting in the start and finish destination and a time in form 08 in the time box. It will show the next available trains and the cost. Also which links are long distance and which are Regional trains. Just book the long distance trains, except the where you are arriving by air at the starting point, delayed flight could result in loss of fare.


Local buses are relatively cheap but there are not a lot of long distance coaches. Cheap shuttle buses between airports and the nearest local city.

Draw up a basic itinerary and book tickets for the long distance sections as early as possible. Best of luck with your planning.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Cheap backpacking route Italy for 2 weeks end of Sept/Oct

I would say in my experience, yes, the south is less expensive than the north....Salerno, a normal city, on the other side of the Amalfi coast from Naples is much cheaper than any of the tourist cities in the area....it has great bus/train/boat connections to the area (I worry if you're in an "off of the beaten path" area, there won't be easy transportation connections)

4. Re: Cheap backpacking route Italy for 2 weeks end of Sept/Oct

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