Breathtakingly beautiful villages, epic beaches, fantastic nightlife, unspoilt scenery and of course pasta. It’s no wonder Italy is high on every backpacker’s bucket list. Despite its general appeal, Italy is not as expensive as you might expect. There are enough ways to keep your money together: imagine delicious, cheap wine, free fruits and nuts that grow almost everywhere, and hostels with unlimited amounts of pasta – free! The only problem is, where should you start your journey? To help you with this, we have put together a travel guide with the places that you should definitely visit. So pack your passport and sunglasses and get a piece of la dolce vita.
If you would like to get to know the quieter life of the Italians, then you should go to one of the smaller towns in the country. San Miniato is cheaper than cities like Milan or Rome, and the perfect place to spend a few relaxing days. Be sure to check out the Tower of Frederick II (Torre di Federico II) and the stunning Duomo, entry is free. At La Smorfia, you can get a huge fresh Napoli pizza (big enough to share) for less than 6 Euros.
Alberobello is a lovely town near Bari. It is home to the trulli, cone-shaped white buildings that look like houses straight out of a fairy tale. The village is a labyrinth of narrow streets and nice piazzas, and it also has a beautiful belvedere that offers fabulous views of the town. Thanks to its beauty, Alberobello has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you want to get the full Alberobello experience, then you have to stay in one of the town’s iconic trulli buildings. Don’t be scared of their ancient looks – the interiors have been adapted to modern life, and they have all the amenities you’d expect in a studio flat.
Vernazza, Cinque Terre
This time we’re going to Vernazza (just a few minutes by train from Manarola). To save money, you should stay in one of the cheaper cities outside the Cinque Terre region (e.g. La Spezia or Levanto). Don’t forget to treat yourself to the freshly caught and cheap calamari that can also be bought on the streets. This will also keep you financially in your backpacker budget while you enjoy this breathtaking city.
Lecce is located in the Apulia region and is also known as the “Florence of the South”. Beautiful and idyllic, this city is one of the most beautiful places in Italy to get away from the crowds – that’s why it is exactly the place where Italians do vacation. Don’t miss the flea market on Piazza de Libertini and the great Cattedrale di Lecce, or the Basilica di Santana Croce – a church from the 17th century with ornate sculptures and rose windows. Thanks to its location on the “heel of Italy”, Lecce is surrounded by enchanting beaches. This region of the country is known for burrata, a mozzarella-like cheese that is best served with fresh bread and olives – a must for every foodie. And then the Italian specialty coffee, the espressino (a cross between a cappuccino and a macchiato) should not be missing.