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10 Cheap Ways to Visit Italy

Nick Callos
Written By
By Nick Callos
cheap ways to visit Italy

Italy inspires the senses and moves the soul like no other. Home to some of the world’s most renowned art, architecture, and cuisine, Italy offers an experience nothing short of unforgettable. 

No wonder Italy consistently ranks among the top tourist destinations in the world, welcoming nearly 75 million visitors annually. The country has it all: You can tour the Colosseum in Rome, dive into the fashion scene of Milan, explore the Renaissance art of Florence, enjoy the landscapes of Campania, relax on the beaches of Sicily and much, much more. And along the way, you can sample all of the traditional Italian favorites, from Neapolitan pizza and focaccia to gelato and fettuccine alfredo.

Indeed, Italy will deliver a good time and a good meal at every turn.

Of course, if you want to visit and spend time in Italy, you’re not alone. The good news is that you can actually visit this European country for cheap. Yes, flights, hotels, food, and activities can add up, but there are cheap ways to visit Italy.

Perhaps you haven’t considered it, but volunteering in Italy is one of cheapest ways to experience the country. For example, International Volunteer HQ, the world’s #1 rated volunteer travel organization, offers six meaningful volunteer project options in Italy year-round in popular destinations such as Rome.

Volunteer abroad programs enable you to dive into Italian culture more deeply, while keeping overall travel costs down. Most projects have a reasonable price tag that includes meals and lodging, which removes major expenses that come with traveling. 

Another smart way to visit Italy on a budget is to get certified to teach English as a foreign language and apply for English teaching jobs there. As an ESL teacher in Italy, you’ll get a salary and other benefits, such as free housing. This enables you to immerse yourself in local culture through your job and have money to enjoy activities during free time. If that interests you, consider getting TEFL certification for teaching English abroad through a reputable organization such as International TEFL Academy. ITA offers the gold standard in TEFL certification and even offers job placement assistance in Italy. They can help you land a job making $1,500 – $2,000+ monthly (enough to live comfortably there). 

Now you know there are savvy ways to save money on your Italian adventure. Let’s explore even more strategies. Below, we highlight the top 10 cheap ways to visit Italy. 

1. Search for Cheap Flights to Italy

If you’re looking for cheap ways to visit Italy, start with trying to save money on one of the biggest expenses: airfare. Here are some tips to save money on a flight to Italy.

  • Visit during months when flights are cheapest. According to Travel + Leisure, January and February are the cheapest. It’s not unheard of to find round-trip flights from North America to Italy for under $400 during this time. You could easily save $300 – 500+ just by not flying during peak season. 
  • Look for flights 6-8 weeks in advance. Frommer’s has done the research on this, and it shows international airfare is generally most affordable when booked 6 weeks in advance. 
  • Opt for low-cost airlines instead of more traditional options. For example, low-cost carriers like Norse Atlantic Airways and Vueling Airlines usually offer ticket prices below market averages for European destinations. 
  • If you’re a student, look on StudentUniverse — a travel provider that caters to students with exclusive international travel deals. 

One other piece of advice is to be flexible with dates. Flying on a Wednesday instead of a Friday could save you hundreds of dollars. 

2. Go to Italy During Non-Peak Season

volunteer in Italy

Prices for airfare, lodging, food, and tourist sites will naturally increase when more people are visiting. So, if you’re searching for cheap ways to visit Italy, consider going when it’s not so crowded.

According to one travel guide, Italy’s peak and low travel seasons are as follows:

  • High Season: May-July; September-October (August is hot and beaches are crowded as people seek to cool off)
  • Shoulder Season: March-April; first half of November
  • Low Season: second half of November-February

Obviously, the cheapest time to visit Italy is during the low season. The risk you take is that the climate may not be ideal. It could be cold (which means no beaches). However, it may be worth the payoff because you still visit historical attractions like the Sistine Chapel. Plus, hotel, airline and sightseeing prices will all be much lower. But if you want a little more warmth and still save money, consider April. Prices will be a bit lower than peak season and the weather should be pleasant.

3. Volunteer to Help Children & Teens in Italy

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Volunteering to teach children and provide youth support is a wonderful way to give back to the local community during your time in Italy (and save money on your trip). While you volunteer, you can also make meaningful connections and immerse yourself in Italian culture

One organization that offers reputable volunteer programs in Italy is International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ). Founded in 2007, IVHQ has placed more than 137,000 volunteers in programs around the globe. Known for low fees, impactful initiatives, and projects that align with UN Sustainable Development goals, IVHQ is a top choice for those hoping to volunteer in Italy. 

With IVHQ, you have a few options for volunteering to help children and teens in Italy, including:

  • Teaching English in Rome: Assist a local NGO with their efforts to upskill children and adults. Duties include teaching English through conversation, games, songs, and other activities.
  • Youth Support in Rome: Provide support to young people in a positive environment, helping them gain communication skills, improve language abilities, and learn new healthy hobbies such as arts and crafts. You can even teach a subject in your area of interest, such as sports or theater. 

As a volunteer, you can explore the city of Rome during free time, all the while having meals and accommodation covered by your volunteer organization.

4. Save on Lodging in Italy

Depending on how long you plan to stay, hotels may be your biggest expense while in Italy. When it comes to cheap ways to visit Italy, budgeting wisely with lodging is a good idea. According to Budget Your Trip, average prices of hotels in Italy can vary tremendously. 

  • A guesthouse or hostel in Italy can be lower than $30 per night. 
  • An economy hotel costs an average of $68 per night. 
  • A mid-range hotel or bed and breakfast averages around $108 per night. 
  • A luxury hotel or accommodation can cost between $180-$250+ per night.

If you go with budget or mid-range lodging, instead of a 4- or 5-star hotel, you can save hundreds of dollars on your trip. Now, hostels and motels may not have all the fancy amenities, but they usually have WiFi and are plenty comfortable to get a good night’s sleep. If you’re looking for cheap ways to visit Italy, saving on hotels is a must. 

5. Intern Abroad in Italy


Another one of the cheap ways to visit Italy is to intern abroad there. It’s a great way to boost your professional resume and network, learn new skills, and see the country on the cheap. 

If you’re looking for an internship provider you’re looking for an internship provider in Italy, look no further than Intern Abroad, the world’s top-rated global internship provider. Thousands of young professionals have interned with the organization across the world, including in Italy. Currently, the organization offers intern programs for a variety of specialities. You can choose among the following five internships in Rome.

These intern programs provide great experience to jumpstart your career and don’t have high price tags and. Fees typically include accommodation and meals, among other things. This helps eliminate major vacation expenses.  

6. Volunteer to Research Dolphins in Italy


Dolphins love the Mediterranean waters of Italy, and you may even spot a few if you’re in the right spot during a trip. If you love dolphins and want to do your part to help them, consider joining a dolphin research excursion while here. It’s a great cheap way to visit Italy, as like other volunteer projects, you’ll get free meals and lodging during the project. 

GoEco is one ecotourism and volunteer company currently offering dolphin research expeditions in Italy. Founded in 2006, GoEco has been recommended by the Guardian, USA Today, Boston Globe and other major media outlets. Each project is carefully vetted to ensure high standards of quality and safety, so you can be sure your volunteer efforts will help improve dolphin conservation off the coast of Italy.

As a volunteer on the Liveaboard Dolphin Research Expedition, you’ll sail the seas on a historic boat. You’ll be directly involved in dolphin research and conservation, assisting with monitoring dolphin behavior, recording bioacoustics, collecting population data and more. You’ll sail off the coast of Ischia, one of Italy’s most gorgeous islands. During free time, make sure to take advantage of the natural healing powers of the natural thermal springs mud. 

Find out more and apply here! 

7. Use Miles or Points to Travel to Italy

Leave no stone unturned when looking for cheap ways to visit Italy. That includes using miles or points to save on flights, hotels, rental cars and more. 

On sites like The Points Guy and Upgraded Points, you can learn how to get to Italy for free or at a very low cost. These sites show how you can leverage lucrative travel credit card signup bonuses and other miles- and points-earning hacks, such as shopping online or doing surveys. 

With a well-planned strategy and disciplined execution, you can get enough miles to pay for your hotel or flight, or at least get a steep discount. 

8. Teach English in Italy

Earn your TEFL certificate and teach English abroad with ITA

One of the great cheap ways to visit Italy is to go there to teach English. Italy needs English teachers to help open up future opportunities for their youth and even adults. The hospitality and tourism industry in Italy is huge, and plenty of jobs are there for people with English language skills. Hence, there’s a consistent need for ESL teachers. 

Even if you have no idea how to get an English teaching job abroad, don’t worry. Organizations such as International TEFL Academy (ITA) not only teach you how to teach English as a second language, but they also ensure you get proper certification (TEFL — Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification). 

After you obtain TEFL certification through ITA’s course, they’ll help you with job placement assistance. You can land a teaching job in an amazing city like Venice, Naples, Milan or Turin. Through your job, you’ll earn a comfortable salary for life in Italy, in addition to benefits like housing and insurance. 

Click here to start your teaching journey in Italy with ITA.

9. Be an Environmental Volunteer in Italy

cheap ways to visit Italy

As mentioned, volunteering is one of the best cheap ways to visit Italy. International Volunteer HQ, a top-rated volunteer abroad organization that aligns their programs with UN Sustainable Development Goals, has two great programs in Italy:

  • Sustainable Farming in Rome: Get your hands dirty at one of Rome’s farms as you cultivate vegetables, assist with urban beekeeping, take care of farm animals, and find uses for recyclable materials. This project also works with migrants and refugees to help provide them with work and professional skills.
  • Climate Action in Rome: Support local nonprofits in fighting climate change and promoting environmental conservation. As an IVHQ volunteer, you’ll work alongside local volunteers in disadvantaged suburbs of Rome to mitigate the effects of climate change through tree planting and raising public awareness.

10. Find a Package Deal to Italy

If you want to save money on insurance, you may bundle home and auto insurance. Why not employ this same technique for travel?

There are many ways you can find a package deal for a trip to Italy. When you book on a site such as Expedia or Priceline, you can bundle your flight, hotel, car rental, insurance and more. Just search in advance, and you’ll find a good price. 

Putting the 10 Best Cheap Ways to Visit Italy into Action

Don’t limit yourself to using just one of these tips. You can use a mix of them to save thousands of dollars on your Italian adventure. 

For example, you could use airline miles to book a free flight, then volunteer in Italy to save on lodging and meals as you help the local community and explore the culture. These would keep vacation costs quite low. 

Do you have any other cheap ways to visit Italy? Feel free to share on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn and add in your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you. 

Now, all that’s left to do is put these cheap ways to visit Italy to work — and go have the best vacation ever.

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