Travel Tip Tuesday: Saving €uros in Italy Series, Transportation

Travel Tip Tuesday

We are rounding out our month-long series on Saving €uros in Italy today with something many Italy-bound travelers forget to budget for … intra-country transportation.

Other parts of the series are:
– Saving €uros on Flights
– Saving €uros on Food
– Saving €uros on Lodging
– Saving €uros on Tours

People often think that because Italy is a relatively small country, it is easy-and inexpensive-to get from one point to another.

That’s not always the case.

For example, traveling from Lamezia Terme in Calabria to Rome is €38.00-€49.00 one way for a second class ticket, depending on the train. For a family of four, that is more than €150 one way, €300 round trip. And that is just for one, albeit long, excursion. You could see where it would add up.

Here are three ways you can save money on transportation in Italy.

photo credit: afroboof

1. Rent a car

If you plan on getting outside of the main cities, renting a car might be your best option. Many off-the-beaten track areas aren’t serviced by trains, buses can be scarce and taxis are expensive. A quick search revealed a car from for €350 a week, just a little more than the round-trip train tickets I quoted above. returned prices as low as €186.00 per week, although I don’t have personal experience with this agency. Do you?

photo credit: bribriTO

2. Check Low-cost Airlines

If you plan to visit a few larger cities that are pretty far apart, then you might want to check out some of the low-cost flights in Italy.

I found an EasyJet flight from Milan to Palermo for just over €80.00 one way. A train ticket for the same day costs €131.00.

Visit the airport websites for the cities you will be visiting to see which low-cost carriers operate from there.

photo credit: chjab

3. Be Careful of Rail Passes

Eurail passes have long been a popular option for backpackers and budget travelers visiting the bel paese. That being said, it isn’t always your cheapest option. Some trains require ticket upgrades and unless you plan to do a lot of traveling by train, it might not be worth it.

Plan your trip in advance-or at least choose the areas you plan to visit-and compare the cost of a rail pass with the cost of individual tickets to see if this really is a money-saving option for you.

What other tips do you have for getting around Italy on a budget?

Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

3 Responses
  1. Cherrye, great tips. I know when we make reservations and travel plans so far in advance we don’t always know or take into consideration details that can affect the cost/comfort of our transportation. Here’s a personal experience:

    One month before my trip to Italy last May I purchased a 1-way low cost ticket from Naples to Venice for 44E, flight was 90 minutes. I thought this was the quickest and cheapest way to go. Here’s what I didn’t take into consideration:

    1. Will luggage be overweight & incur charges? Since I’m not a light traveler & this flight was at the end of my travels when I’d be laden down with purchases, I ended up paying an extra 80E.
    2. Cost of getting to the airport – since most airports are a distance from the city center you need to add in the transportation cost of getting to/from the airport. In my case 20E-To & 23E-From. Trains usually stop in or close to city centers.
    3. Time – If you fly you need to add up all the extra time. Getting to the airport 1 to 1 ½ hours before the flight, waiting in lines & for luggage, etc. With a train, boarding within 30 mins. of departure is fine. I ended up taking a slow water taxi that took 1 hr. to get from airport to Venice as I did not want to go from airport to bus or train to vaporetto.
    4. Stress – at times flying is less stressful, other times it’s not. In my case even though I paid over weight charges my luggage was still very heavy and my carry-on backpack was very heavy. Fortunately they didn’t measure or weigh my carry-on or I’m sure I would have been charged.

    Taking Trenitalia ES train from Naples to Venice would have cost me 114E 1st class, 6 hrs. in length and dropped me right next to a vaporetto. I would not have waited in a crowded, noisy, & uncomfortable airport but sat and been able to read, work on my computer, sleep, or gaze out the window while relaxing. Flying got me to Venice about 45 minutes before the train would have but I can honestly say the train would have been more relaxing.

    Moral of the story: try and take everything into consideration when choosing a form of transportation. Initial cost isn’t the only factor.

    Sorry this is so long…

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Linda. You are so right, many people don’t factor everything in or read the “fine print” regarding transportation. There is a good morale here!! 🙂

    .-= Linda @ Ice Tea For Me´s last blog ..swine flu paranoia… =-.

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